70-285: Designing a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Organization.

Discussion in 'Microsoft Certification' started by Ruben van Gogh, Nov 17, 2006.

  1. Hi,

    is it me, or is there no selfpaced training kit available from MS press
    for this exam?

    Kind regards,

    Ruben van Gogh
    Ruben van Gogh, Nov 17, 2006
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  2. I'm going to reply to this post even though its a couple of months old and I
    figure that you have already taken the exam. Someone else might benefit from
    the info.

    My background is in Lotus Domino (Certified Administrator R5 & R6) and
    Alt-N's MDaemon (a great low end email sever). I had no desire to work on
    Exchange servers, but it seemed that I was always the one called upon to do
    so. I tried to get someone else in the office to get certified, but failed.
    So even with Exchange 2007 breathing down everyone's necks, I went ahead and
    took 70-284 last fall.

    That was my seventh cert for 2006 (upgraded to MCSE 2003, Plus Security, &
    Exchange). I really needed a break, so I read the excellent fifth edition of
    O'Reilly's Dns and Bind http://www.oreilly.com/catalog/dns5/index.html (I
    can highly recommend it).

    But now I've got the Plus Messaging itch since its just one additional
    design cert away. So I started looking around and found the same thing that
    you did, no study guides. Not even one from Microsoft Press. I've read that
    there wan't much difference between the design cert for 2000 and for 2003.
    Obviouly, there are some differences, but I don't think it will cause me any
    problems. So I purchased what I could find for Designing MS Exchange 2000
    (Exam Prep and Exam Cram) . They can still be purchased (very cheaply) from
    the private book sellers on Amazon.com.

    I've also read, but have not seen, that the PDFs which come along with
    CramMaster's 70-285 practice exam, come from the never published Exchange
    2003 Design Exam Prep book.

    If I remember, I'll post my experenses after passing the exam.
    Harvey Colwell, Jan 29, 2007
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  3. My final post on this topic.

    Another one bit the dust. “Designing an Exchange 2003 Organization” is now
    behind me. I’ll start out saying that I received the highest score (880) I’ve
    gotten on a Microsoft certification since they started giving out scores
    again. Most people would be extremely happy, and wouldn’t take the time to
    complain. But not me.

    Before I start blasting the quality of the exam questions. A short
    background is in order. I taught and wrote curriculum for 15 years. In one
    three year period I wrote over 3000 test questions for a technical college.
    I’ve always prided myself in writing challenging but fair exam questions. I
    felt that after an exam, the test taker should feel that his/her knowledge
    had been fully evaluate. And yes, they should leave felling good about the
    exam experience. They definitely shouldn’t feel like they’ve just been in a
    three hour guessing game trying to figure out what exam author was trying to

    This was the second hardest exam I’ve ever taken. Designing Security for
    Windows 2000 was the hardest and Designing a Network Infrastructure was the
    third hardest. Obviously there a pattern here. As everyone knows, the design
    exams are the harder than the implementing exams. But, in my opinion, they
    don’t have to be. Design exams are not hard because the material is any
    harder to learn, there hard because the exam questions are so poorly

    I know this is partially because of the law of supply and demand. Very few
    people are going to take these exams, so they don’t get updated (refined)
    like the more popular exams do. The same is true for the exam preparation

    I originally replied to the first post stating that I’ld document my
    experience for anyone else that might need some insight. Please remember
    that everyone is different, and my experience my not apply to you, but I
    must strongly disagree with the posts stating that this was an easy exam as
    far as design exams go.

    How I studied: Since there’s not any study guides for this exam, I purchased
    two books, Exam Guide and Exam Cram, for the Exchange 2000 Design. These
    books defiantly helped. I did have to keep vigilant about not confusing the
    small technical differences between Exchange 2000 and 2003.

    Of course Microsoft’s Technical Library for Exchange was a tremendous help.
    But since these white papers are for general purpose leaning, and not geared
    toward preparing for exams, they are quite voluminous.

    But I still wasn’t feeling ready, so I purchased Self Test Software’s and
    Measure Up’s practice exams. Neither one prepared me for the type of
    questions that were on the real exam. But I wouldn’t call them a waste of
    money. One thing I found extremely confusing at first was the myriad of
    utilities used to migrate/upgrade from or co-exist with other messaging
    systems. Both of these practice exams help clarify which utilities to use
    and when. It is very unlikely that the typical exam taker would ever get
    exposed to enough situations in which they would have hands-on experience
    with all of them.

    Like all Microsoft exams, especially the design exams, the more you know,
    the easier they are. There were many questions pertaining to other areas of
    a Microsoft centric networking infrastructure, such as Active Directory and
    Security. If you’re already skilled in these areas, then related questions
    should be a breeze.

    How I take the exam: As I’m reading the scenario, I write down what each
    directive requires. Therefore, before I read the first question, I should
    already have its answer written down.

    But my [complete] answer almost never appears after the question. To
    satisfy a particular requirement of the scenario, it may take several
    distinct steps, such as, install a CA, issue certificates, configure SSL,
    and configure IP/Sec.

    The question doesn’t say “which of the following is one of the steps
    required to fulfill the requirements of the scenario”; it ask what must be
    done to satisfy the requirement of the scenario. Only through the process of
    elimination, can you find one answer that is at least partially right, since
    it’s one of the above steps, such as issue certificates. I guess that we are
    to assume that all of the other steps will be done as well. But of course,
    in the very next question, if you make such an assumption, you’ll get burnt.

    This illustrates my advice for everyone taking any of Microsoft’s newer
    exams, if you know the material, then you can always use the process of
    illumination to answer the questions.


    I’m more relieved than normal to have this one behind me. And since I’m
    waiting for the accelerated exams for Vista/Longhorn to come out, I don’t
    plan to take any more exams this year. I’m quite behind on my reading. I
    have an Advance VB Scripting book, a book on using Ethereal/Wire Shark, one
    on using Nessus, one on using Microsoft’s log parser, and two books on
    Harvey Colwell, Mar 19, 2007
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