70-290 - study materials inadequate

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by Jim Hatfield, Oct 31, 2006.

  1. Jim Hatfield

    Jim Hatfield Guest

    I guess I must be naiive, but having purchased the MS study guides for
    the four core exams, I assumed that each book would contain all
    material needed for passing the exam.

    So it was a bit of a shock when I ran the first practice exam from the
    Measure-Up CD and discovered that about 20% of the questions were on
    topics not covered at all in the book.

    On reading back through about 3 years of this newsgroup I realise I am
    not alone!

    I'd be grateful if anyone could suggest the best material to
    complement the MS study guides. I'd much rather learn by doing, but my
    current employer refuses to upgrade beyond NT4 and Exchange 5.5 so I
    need to do a lot of the learning from books.

    Also, looking back at past postings, it seems to be unacceptable to
    post questions and ask for answers, but is it OK to post a question
    and the supplied answer choices, and argue that the supplied answer is
    incorrect, and give reasons? I've come across this situation a couple
    of times so far.
    Jim Hatfield, Oct 31, 2006
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  2. Jim Hatfield

    JaR Guest

    Yes, that is a failing of all the "study guides". I don't think they are
    so much incomplete, as assuming a more in-depth knowledge on the student's
    side. Normally, one considering becoming "certified" in any field, has
    extensive experience in that field before beginning the cert process.
    Microsoft certifications seem somewhat unique, in that people are expected
    to put the buggy before the horse, so to speak.
    Oh, no, you are not alone by any means. We've all been there in one way or

    Therin lies the rub, as they say. The certification is intended to
    demonstrate a proficiency with the software. If you have no, or little,
    practical expeience with the materials, how can you claim to be certified
    in them?

    Demo versions of the software are available, VMWare pr Virtual Server are
    now free to download. When I did mine, I picked up a couple of old boxen
    from yard sales and thrift shops. Set up a network, break it, fix it, do
    it again. Do the labs in the training books, and actually learn how to use
    the stuff. Then you won't be blindsided by the exams. The MS Study guides
    are ok, but there are dozens out there, but no single one will get you
    through it. I did mine a few years ago in win2K, and have no immediate
    plans to upgrade, so others may have more current reccomendations.
    Being as this is a newsgroup where sysadmins and network geeks hang out,
    we tend to be a tad intolerant of others that can't or won't try to do a
    bit of basic research on their own, and post no0bie questions in here
    looking for a handout. You can't work in this business without being able
    to figure things out for yourself. We constantly are confronted with
    lusers that have dumped their way through a cert and expect to be cut
    loose on a production server with a six figure salary to boot.

    Folks that, like you, can show that they have at least tried to find an
    answer before posting are more than welcome, and will generally get a
    civil, and informative reply.

    Well, they are likely to get some trash replies, as well, but after all,
    this is usenet, and it's rather a tradition ;-)

    Good luck!
    JaR, Oct 31, 2006
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  3. Jim Hatfield

    Cerebrus Guest

    We respect lurkers, we hate trolls and lamers. (not to mention
    cheaters) Your question was a perfect example of a well researched and
    well thought out question. Thus, JaR took his time to give you an
    informative and polite answer.

    Discussing actual exam questions and answers is unacceptable, because
    it constitutes a direct violation of the Exam Non-disclosure agreement.
    However, if the question you're concerned about, comes from a
    legitimate source such as a book / practice test, I think you would
    find people who would be ready to answer you. (assuming someone knows
    the answer !)
    Cerebrus, Nov 1, 2006
  4. Jim Hatfield

    Briscobar Guest

    What if the persons discussing exam questions have never agreed to a NDA?
    Not to say they're dumpers, but what if someone violates the NDA by
    discussing exam questions with someone who has not agreed to the NDA. Then
    the person not bound by the NDA discusses the same questions with another
    who is not bound by the NDA? Then what? There was no dumping. There was no
    cheating. There was only a violation of an agreement that neither of those
    people actually agreed to.

    ....just sayin'...
    Briscobar, Nov 1, 2006
  5. Jim Hatfield

    BD[MCNGP] Guest

    I think you're reaching....that would NEVER happen. ;)
    BD[MCNGP], Nov 1, 2006
  6. Jim Hatfield

    kpg Guest

    As Briscobar once said in microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse
    What? You work for the ACLU now?

    Oh wait, you do live in beantown.

    Ted would be proud. (drunk, but proud).
    kpg, Nov 1, 2006
  7. Jim Hatfield

    Cerebrus Guest

    The keywords are *actual exam questions*. If a person has access to
    those (in other words, he remembers them from the exam), then it
    follows by logic that he must have agreed to the Exam NDA. (Again,
    assuming that he's not a dumper)
    Cerebrus, Nov 2, 2006
  8. Jim Hatfield

    JIPS Guest

    Jim, I just finished taking my second exam this evening (70-290) and I've
    come to the following conclusion. A lab computer and the MS books are enough
    to prepare you for the tests. For each test, after going through the book
    completely I was distraught after taking the first simulation exam included
    on the book's cd.

    Both times I failed the first test and failed rather badly. What I've ended
    up doing, and it's worked fairly well, is I set up a customized test and I
    have it give every question on the cd without a time limit. As I answer each
    question, I let the simulation check and tell me if the answer is correct,
    if it isn't I read the explanation, if I don't understand the explanation or
    I have other questions about it, I go out and search and read a little more
    about the topic. After that I go through and make a customized test again,
    this time only using the questions that I got wrong the previous time, and
    repeat that until at the very least I've memorized the correct answer for
    the question, but hopefully by now I understand why it is the correct

    I do this process in both the readiness review and the exam simulation parts
    of the cd. Then I take a few timed certification simulations just to make
    sure I'm getting a passing score. Then I go take the exam. From what I've
    experienced, if you can reliably pass the simulation exams included with the
    book, then you should not have any problems passing the real test since it's
    a bit easier.
    JIPS, Nov 3, 2006
  9. Jim Hatfield

    kpg Guest

    As JIPS once said in microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse
    So you're saying study + research + practice applied diligently and
    repetitively as needed until you know the material inside and out?

    wow!...who'd of thought that would work?

    kp "good job" g
    kpg, Nov 3, 2006
  10. Jim Hatfield

    JaR Guest


    It does?


    Please to be providing dumps for thees study + stuff.

    JaR, Nov 3, 2006
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