Just passed 70-271... here's my advice

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by Alan, Feb 7, 2006.

  1. Alan

    Alan Guest

    Passed 70-271 today with a score of 899. I took the official MS course
    (2261b, 3 days) and studied with the textbook from that course as well as the
    Measure-Up practice test. I took two weeks to study between the class and
    taking the exam.

    I looked through this discussion group for general advice before I took the
    test (which was very helpful, thanks to all who posted here), so now I
    thought I'd add some advice of my own for future test-takers (without giving
    anything away from the exam, of course).

    The 2261b course was helpful, but more because of the instructor than the
    actual book. The book is one of the most vague pieces of instructional
    material I've ever read. If you just read it straight through, you'll only
    know half of what you probably should know. You'll learn a lot of concepts
    and become familiar with terminology, but you may not have the slightest idea
    of how to execute a specific task. Participating in all of the practice
    activities helps out a lot. However, I feel I would have failed if I had just
    used the course and textbook as my sole study materials. The instructor
    really hit hard the areas he felt were important for the exam, and he was

    The Measure-Up practice tests really are more difficult than the actual exam
    in this particular instance. I used the Measure-Up tests not to gauge what I
    knew, but to study. Every question you get wrong in practice is an
    opportunity to learn, and you'd be doing yourself a disservice not to read
    every explanation and follow up on missed questions until you understand why
    you missed them. If you come across a question and answer that you don't
    understand, google the topic. Often the search results will link you to the
    MS KB where you'll find more than enough info. It's true that you can
    memorize most Measure-Up questions within four or five tests, but if you
    actually know WHY the answer is what it is, you're in good shape. I learned
    quite a bit just from taking the practice tests; they will introduce you to
    scenarios that typical book study won't... you'll learn things you didn't
    know you needed to know in the first place.

    I got both my A+ and Network+ certifications before I took 70-271, and I
    think the Network+ certification in particular is a great help for this exam.
    It really shouldn't be any surprise that you need to know TCP/IP networks...
    they comprise every MS network and the internet, so understanding them is
    pretty much vital to taking exams like this. If you're not 100% comfortable
    with DNS, DHCP, ICMP utilities, and the general structure of domains, you
    will have problems, not just on this exam, but probably on most exams. Again,
    I don't think that should come as a shock to anyone. This is even mentioned
    in the list of objectives for the MCDST certification (around which, by the
    way, you should definitely base your study time).

    Do NOT EVER even THINK about using "study materials" from those shady sites
    that supposedly use actual exam questions. Aside from the obvious reason that
    you're cheating yourself out of learning the material and that you'll be a
    flop in whatever job you get from cheating your way through certification,
    these sites are just plain junk. I know because I was actually introduced to
    one by an *instructor* from a previous MS class (not 2261b) last summer, who
    flat out gave me .pdf files for several exams. At the time I had no idea MS
    considered them to be "cheating" and I browsed a couple of them (this was
    months before I even took my first CompTIA exam). Not only do these question
    lists not provide explanations, but some of the answers are just plain WRONG.
    The wording is poor, the grammar is poor, and the educational value is
    non-existant. If you're thinking about spending money on sites like this,
    DON'T. Use that money to get practice exams from a real site like MeasureUp
    and you'll actually learn something. (For my own good, I'm adding the
    disclaimer that I did not use the information from these sites in my own
    studying for this exam, or any other exam. I simply want to warn other people
    not to go anywhere near this garbage).

    Anyway... I'd strongly reccommend that anyone who hasn't worked in a DST
    position on XP Pro daily to just jump into the OS and start clicking on
    everything you see. Seriously. If you have a spare PC, install XP Pro and
    just go crazy with it. Open as many applets and options as you can find and
    just get familiar with what's there. Play around with folder options,
    permissions, synchronization options, accessibility options, everything in
    the control panel, IE settings, etc. The more you see, the more you will
    remember. It's one thing to read about how to do something in a book, but
    it's much better to actually carry out those instructions yourself so you
    actually know what you're doing. Instead of remembering steps, you'll
    remember what the menus and applets actually look like, and have a better
    understanding of how to accomplish tasks. I won't say either way about the
    exam, but I got several MeasureUp questions correct just by playing around
    with the Control Panel for awhile and remembering what I saw. I'd reccommend
    that people like me (just out of college but haven't worked in the field) do
    this daily. Know where every menu goes and what every button does, and you'll
    be more than ready.

    I was incredibly nervous about taking this exam. For Network+ and A+, I had
    also used PrepLogic practice tests, which are not available for 70-271, and
    only after using those as well as MeasureUp did I feel I was ready for the A+
    and Network+ exams. Yet I passed 70-271 by a much bigger margin than I did
    those other exams. I wouldn't call 70-271 easy, but I think the list of
    objectives is small enough and precise enough that preparation isn't
    extremely difficult. Honestly, the easiest way to pass this exam is to know
    those objectives. MS is handing them to you on a silver platter; all you need
    to do is study what they tell you to study. Personally, I was worried because
    I wasn't sure what I needed to know, and how much of it I needed to know. The
    objectives list really helps out in that department.

    Hopefully this post will help others that are in the position I was before
    taking this exam. I was worried that I might fail before I started the exam,
    and even during the exam, but in the end I really had nothing to worry about
    because I put in enough time with the study materials and practice tests, and
    because I has truly familiarized myself with the OS. Do the same and I'm sure
    most anyone can pass easily like I did.
    Alan, Feb 7, 2006
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  2. Alan

    Wayne Guest


    Well done and congratulations! This post should be part of an FAQ for people
    wanting advice!

    Wayne McGlinn
    Brisbane, Oz
    MCNGP Silver
    Wayne, Feb 8, 2006
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  3. Alan

    Lasher Guest

    Most people should just read the posts prior to this, but this
    definately sums it up. Good job and grats on the pass!
    Lasher, Feb 8, 2006
  4. Alan

    jkozlowski Guest

    very nice post Alan, great job on your test score! I too got an 899 :) I
    didnt take the instructor lead class but I have been dabbling in the computer
    field for over 27 years now. I read the book, tried the free online study
    material on the MS site, alot of the book (I got the newer one with service
    pak 2) was very good I felt. I would agree with you on the fact if someone
    just reads this book and has little or no computer exp they probably will not
    pass the test. I didnt get all the answers correct from the included
    questions from the book, but it did give me areas where I could focus.

    I was very surprised how well I actually did on the test, Also I will add
    one little tip for people out there...

    You are giving a chance to review and change your answers after you get to
    the end... I would recommand, Review before you hit complete. Re-read all the
    questions completely (since you basically now have answered them all and
    probably have some time left) Really try not to 2nd guess yourself and change
    answers unless you know for sure you see one is incorrect.
    jkozlowski, Feb 8, 2006
  5. Alan

    mmariecrys Guest

    Great info, congratulations. I am purchasing my study materials today.
    mmariecrys, Feb 8, 2006
  6. Alan

    Marie S Guest

    Hi Alan,
    I just passed my A+ cert a month ago and now persuing my MCDST cert. I am a
    help desk technician for a public school in NY. I don't have any formal
    training, just hands on. I bought the gianormous books and bought the
    on-line training kit. Like the A+ exam, I am going to do this on my own
    without any classes. After reading your posting I got a bit nervous because
    there is no way I can attend class. I do however have the help of the
    Network Administrator who shares my office. Any other advice you can offer
    would be great. Congrats on your amazing accomplishment! I remember the
    feeling of seeing "you passed!" when I passed my A+ Cert.

    Marie S, Feb 12, 2006
  7. Alan

    AL P. Guest

    Hey Alan congratulations..... I have to agree with you on the comment you
    made about those actual exams and those shady sites I was attending this
    school to get my A+ and N+ and they used alot of those exams to get you
    certified and dont teach you much....The bad thing is that Microsoft
    recommends them
    AL P., Feb 16, 2006
  8. Alan

    AL P. Guest

    AL P., Feb 16, 2006
  9. Alan

    AL P. Guest

    this is a correction on my reply..... please disregard my last line in my
    reply relating to Microsoft...................... thanks
    AL P., Feb 16, 2006
  10. Alan

    Marie S Guest

    Hey Al P.
    I didn't attend any type of formal schooling and was able to pass my A+
    exam. I studied using Mike Meyers Passport book. I plan on doing the same
    to pass my MCDST. I bought the Microsoft training kit books for both exams.
    Marie S, Feb 16, 2006
  11. Alan

    AL P. Guest

    well sometimes thats the best way.........

    AL P., Feb 16, 2006
  12. Alan

    vubinhlunel Guest

    Hi all,

    What I want to say today is that if there is any way to shout out to the
    world that preplogic.com is the biggest liar and stealer on earth.

    They didn’t stop sending me email for their practice exams and on September
    11 I have ordered the 70-236 practice exam. Right after my order, they called
    me on the phone to convince me to buy the package including the video, audio
    and practice exams for full access for 2 years at $99. I said yes then let
    Kyle Corpin to take care of all. 10 days after I have received the dvd and
    the first invoice that I have paid $116.95 of $1,612.95. I have contacted
    Kyle and told him that I didn’t want to pay for more than $99 that he has
    confirmed me. He said that the $116 and I wouldn’t have to pay any penny
    more. On October 11 I was charged a second time at $187. I called them again
    and have obtained the cancellation after days of negotiation. I have a refund
    of $187 then I asked them that I have paid $116.95 for the practice exam that
    they sell at $49 at first. Then the explanation is that $116.95 is for 30
    days trial. I mean that preplogic continue to steal from us again and again
    if we don’t have any way to warn people.

    Vu Binh LE PHAM VIET
    vubinhlunel, Oct 22, 2009
  13. Alan

    E.Hasi Guest

    Hi all
    I had exactly the same experience with preplogic but I didn't go to far with
    them as you did , and yes I absolutely agree with you they are liars and
    thief's. testout.com are the best I have dealt with them they are perfect
    and honest.
    E.Hasi, Dec 16, 2009
  14. Alan

    Nick Guest

    Sounds like this company has some issues.
    I did take advantage of their mega guides for 1 dollar each when they had it
    recently. There some sales guy that wont' stop calling now so now I know
    not to deal with this company.
    Nick, Dec 16, 2009
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