Question on which books to study with?

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by Guest, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I've been doing some research and I have found many opinions on which self
    training books are the best to prepare for the exams, both the core MSCE and
    elective exams.

    I've read bad opinions about the microsoft self paced training kit and
    average opinions on sybex books among a few others.

    I don't want to go spending some $100, $200, etc on exam books or materials
    and need some recommendations on a training book that will help me pass the
    exam if I take my time and read through the materials properly.

    I currently have textbooks for 70-270 and 290 from microsoft IT academy
    used in a couple of my college courses.
    Guest, Aug 20, 2007
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  2. Fortunately there is no exclusive, guaranteed training kit on the market
    for these exams. The trouble with opinions is that they are opinionated
    :) I would guess that half the people who give reviews about training
    kits failed the exam after using it. Is this the kits fault? Perhaps.
    But I bet that is all they used to try to pass the exam. I have been
    thinking lately if training kits or study guides are a great idea to
    have on the market. I am leaning toward no. The reason is that
    certification exams by default are based on recommended experience. What
    good is there in having a training kit or 5 day class if the
    certification program recommends experience in passing the exams? There
    are tons of resource kits and other books on technology. Why do we need
    a specific book on exam content when this content is available online
    and in printed form in other books (resource kits and such). Answer:
    MONEY. Nothing wrong with this, it is what makes the world go around and
    what we all work to achieve. But to me, training kits or certification
    prep guides are fading fast with me. I do not need a book outlining the
    exam content -- the Microsoft learning site informs me what I will be
    tested on for any particular exam. I do not need the kit to learn about
    the technology that I will be tested on -- my experience with the
    technology, other resource kits I own for research about the covered
    technology, and assist me with that
    part. I do not need the training kits for the evaluation software -- I
    should already know it, or at the very least worked on it before if I
    plan on testing out on it! And I sure don't need the training kit for
    the practice exams. In my personal opinionated view, practice exams are
    a waste of time. They are riddled with errors, give the person a false
    sense of security or worse, make them afraid to take the real exam and
    doubt their abilities.

    So again I ask, why do we need training kits or exam preparation guides?
    Michael D. Alligood [CertGuard, Inc.], Aug 20, 2007
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I understand with what you are saying. The majority of the things I've
    learned from Server 2003 is by doing it and learning things with group policy
    and permissions as I go along and getting numerous help from technet and
    various 2003 newsgroups. I know a little bit about everything, but not an
    expert on any. I know enough about exchange server to create and manage
    mailboxes, recipient policies, installing exchange, basically the things I
    needed to do to set up exchange and server 2003 for my organization. Most of
    this stuff I did by reading online and learning as I go.

    I agree with the opinions is based on they passed the test or not. If you
    haven't had actual experience and read a book for all your knowledge, I'm
    going to assume it's going to be very hard to pass a test.

    With that said I would like to use a book to further my knowledge and help
    me understand some areas I'm confused on. I may have set up DNS, Wins,
    Active directory, but I don't understand the fine details or understanding of
    why it works.

    I took a free practice exam from preplogic and discovered I know nothing
    about shadow copies and dymanic disks, which may not even be on the exam.

    So to make a long story short, I'm looking more for a book that will fine
    tune the areas I understand and go into some detail the areas I don't.
    Considering I work on (actually designed myself) a server 2003 network should

    I was considering a MS press book, mainly for the material and maybe see how
    the questions might be laid out on the exam.

    If you think is a good or bad idea I would like to hear your thoughts after
    you know a little bit of my background.
    Guest, Aug 20, 2007
  4. I find the Microsoft Resource Kits to be very concise. However, I
    recommend browsing thru your local bookstore and choosing several
    different publishers/authors on a technology (Microsoft Windows Server
    2003). Take note how the books are laid out, worded, and detailed. Your
    mind will immediately adapt to a certain style it is comfortable with.
    The hard part is not necessarily to go with that book however. Let's
    face it, these books are not cheap. You have to decide what you are
    looking for in a book. Here is a homework assignment for you: Pick 3-4
    books on Windows Server 2003. Pick a topic such as DNS or a technology
    that you are unfamiliar with. Read the different approaches in the 3-4
    different books concerning the subject and see which book is more
    concise. Make your own decision. And remember that all books are not
    perfect. Whichever publisher you chose, remember to visit the company's
    website to download corrections to errors. Good luck!
    Michael D. Alligood [CertGuard, Inc.], Aug 20, 2007
  5. Guest

    Syed Shah Guest

    the microsoft books are not that bad as some reviews
    i passed all exams with them but its always useful to know everything there
    is in the software and so use some other materials too
    Syed Shah, Aug 20, 2007
  6. Guest

    catwalker63 Guest

    I agree that no one should attempt to gain the certs without experience.
    That said, I don't think they will have every experience with everything
    being examined in the real world. Training kits give you a framework to
    learn a new version and to learn all about it. That's their value. If I
    have a year or more experience administering and building with Windows
    2000 Server and I'm about to be supporting 2003, I have the experience to
    attempt to certify because it's just a new version. The Training Kit
    will get me up to speed quicker than reading the whole resource kit and
    if I actually do in a lab what I'm learning, I should have sufficient
    experience to work in the real world.

    The experience does not have to be with a specific product. I could go
    from Novel or Linux Server OS's with the training kits. It doesn't mean
    I'll get a job or that I should attempt the certification until I have
    some on the job experience but the training kits are designed to get me
    through the technology fairly quickly and efficiently.

    The longer I'm in IT and the more varied my experience, the less I have
    to have in one specific item in order to get up to speed quickly. Lots
    of what I know already will transfer. The people I'm concerned about
    with regard to experience are the hobbiests or the career switchers.
    They will find it impossible to really get any value from the
    certification or training kit process until they have some experience.
    catwalker63, Aug 20, 2007
  7. Guest

    Neil Guest

    did you hear =?Utf-8?B?VVdSRlJFUE9SVEVSMDQ=?= <UWRFREPORTER04> say in :
    books on-line? (the help file? you know, like using the product...)
    Neil, Aug 20, 2007
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    Thanks for your help. I did look at a book store, but there selection was
    slim at best and found more options through amazon. I was going to do all my
    studying through a program called Testout, but my college isn't continuing
    the program.
    Guest, Aug 20, 2007
  9. Guest

    LRM Guest

    No, I don't get it.
    LRM, Aug 21, 2007
  10. Guest

    Neil Guest

    come closer, I'll give it to you...
    Neil, Aug 21, 2007
  11. Guest

    Jeff Dempsey Guest

    Another thing that Amazon has is the MOC (Microsoft Official Curriculum) for
    the MCSE core classes. I have found the Microsoft Curriculum excellent for
    the test objectives (at least for CRM they were), and you may have luch

    Also, with Amazon, you can get them used, which could help you save $$$

    My test experience (70-290) was odd, at best. I took the practice tests,
    and used them to hone my weak areas, and lo, and behold, the test covered
    very little of that, but something I was pretty well skilled on. I did do
    well on the test, and it was due to a combination of:
    1. Knowing Windows Server 2003 (via SBS 2003)
    2. Taking practice tests and using that to determine where I was lacking,
    3. Using the books to study the material where I was weak.

    #2 was key for me. A saying that I like to live by is "the best way to deal
    with a weakness is to make it a strength."

    A couple of things to help...
    1. Download virtual PC from Microsoft. It's free.
    2. Download Windows Server 2003 180 evaluation version. Guess what? Free.
    3. Do the samples in the books until you understand them.

    Understand that the tests are designed to weed out the people that don't
    know what they're doing, hence usually 2 answers are totally bogus. Two are
    close, but one (and only one) is right for the "pick one" questions, and the
    other is "mostly right".

    Understanding that point is helpful.

    i.e. (If this is on the test, then they copied it from me...)

    To convert disk volume D: from FAT32 to NTFS without losing your data, which
    command do you need to type in:
    A. format D: /FS;NTFS <---Almost right (don't try this at home,
    B. NTFSConvert D: <---- You have never used Windows Server 2003 to
    convert volumes to NTFS
    C. convert D: /FS:NTFS <--- correct
    D. You cannot convert volumes from FAT32 to NTFS without losing data. <---
    Again, you haven't used WS2003 to convert volumes.

    All in all, I did pretty well on 70-290, but as always, I was nervous going
    in, and excited coming out...

    I hope this helps you out, and good luck!

    Jeff Dempsey, Aug 27, 2007
  12. Guest

    Guest Guest

    if you really want the cert youll study all the books available i got
    my server environment cert i studied from 6 differnt books and passed
    Guest, Aug 31, 2007
  13. Guest

    vubinhlunel Guest

    Hi all,

    What I want to say today is that if there is any way to shout out to the
    world that 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
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