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MCSA Windows Server 2008 General Study Question RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I know that a lot of the recommendations are to get the practical experience in order to pass the exams for the MCSA qualification however it does seem to be a very chicken and egg kind of problem (without the quals you generally can't get a role that provides the experience that means you can't get the quals) so I have been starting off with the 70-640 Self Paced Training Kit. All-in-all I have found it very helpful and I am supplementing it with a lot of playing around.

    However, I have taken a look forward in to the future at the 70-642 exam and it seems that there are complaints about it's lack of coverage of all the exam topics. I realize that I need to make sure my skills meet the necessary level for the Microsoft exams - what would be recommended additions to the self paced training kits to fill out any deficits in information?

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 12:16 AM

Answers

  • That's just how IT is, you probably experienced this when you started your IT job. Any job posting you look at on Dice.com says that it requires some type of experience. Even level 1 support or help desk support says that it 'requires' some sort of IT experience, yet how are you supposed to get into IT if you can't even a level 1 job without experience.

    You are going to have to read the book, study your butt off and get hands on experience with a test lab. Here are some free ones for 2008 R2: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb512925

    I would also suggest getting some supplemental book as well. I'm studying for the 70-642 and i'm reading Tony's book (MS publishing) as well as another book that just covers R2 material. With that i'm also working in my own lab environment as well as using the above VM's that i posted.

    Make no mistake - this isn't a CompTIA exam or a school exam - these are very difficult, specific exams that Microsoft has created with the assumption that only trained knowledgeable professionals will pass them.

    Personally, i would rather fail a test 4 multiple times if it means i don't understand the material. It makes that certification much more valuable IMO. MS points out that to pass the exam they expect you to have one year experience working with 2008 R2. I know - chicken and the egg... but if you truly understand the technology (regardless of real world experience) you can pass these exams.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:24 PM

All replies

  • Hi there,

    Up front I have to be honest that I do not have the comprehensive list of study materials you required that may aid you in the certification but I am just sharing how I went about getting this examination done and what I have used for preparation for the 70-640, 70-642 and 70-646 papers.

    No doubts these three papers are the difficult one, (in my opinion, do not represent anyone else). So I used the following to help prepare for the exam.

    1. 6421B Configuring and Troubleshooting a Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Microsoft Official Course (MOC) Courseware
    2. Microsoft Training Kit
    3. MeasureUp Practice Exam 

    Why I have used this practice exam, it is because I felt the same as you did. However, is for all three papers. Thus I went on to grab the questions and did it, so it will give me a better idea where I am standing. From there, I just have to read on to the Training Kit and respective course ware to get in depth details.

    For your information, I did not passed my exam on first try, thus the results after exam is important as it flag the area that I am weak on and I spent more time on those area. 

    Just my 2 cents.

    Cheers.


    Regards,
    Milton Goh
    MCSE, MCSA, MCITP, MCTS, MCP
    Blog: blog.nerdytwo.com
    Twitter: @miltongoh

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 2:14 AM
  • As stated by Tony (70-642 author) in this thread http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-AU/CertGeneral/thread/d45e63c8-7134-40b0-b745-79f138132d50, "no book can completely prepare you for the certification exams".  He also goes on to state "If you could just read a book and pass the exam, the certification would become instantly meaningless, devaluing it for everyone."  This is why all certifications state that you require experience.

    It is possible to get experience without qualifications.  You just need to apply for junior and/or 1st level Help Desk support positions which generally don't require a certification.  If a position requires you to have a certification then you are applying for the wrong positions i.e. the position(s) are above your skill level.

    I would love to offer-up a list of resources to assist you pass the exam however I truly believe that you can't pass without experience (sorry).


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 5:40 AM
  • @ Mr. Wharty - I have worked in level 1 help desk for the past 18 months and have been involved at various levels in other forms of IT (mainly programming and web development). However, none of these roles actually provide the real world experience that you speak of. At least where I hail from, the only people who would actually get to use this stuff on a daily/weekly/monthly basis are those in the actual L3 server support roles. Heck, even our L2 desktop support folk wouldn't get the experience from their roles!

    As I pointed out in my initial post, this is a chicken and the egg issue and I was wanting guidance as to whether there were other resources available that were worthwhile. I have been practicing at home using labs and developing my own virtual machines however this doesn't help much if what I am practicing is not worthwhile for passing the exam/building my experience. The only way to find this out is to actually ask and investigate the materials available.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 7:09 AM
  • That's just how IT is, you probably experienced this when you started your IT job. Any job posting you look at on Dice.com says that it requires some type of experience. Even level 1 support or help desk support says that it 'requires' some sort of IT experience, yet how are you supposed to get into IT if you can't even a level 1 job without experience.

    You are going to have to read the book, study your butt off and get hands on experience with a test lab. Here are some free ones for 2008 R2: http://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/virtuallabs/bb512925

    I would also suggest getting some supplemental book as well. I'm studying for the 70-642 and i'm reading Tony's book (MS publishing) as well as another book that just covers R2 material. With that i'm also working in my own lab environment as well as using the above VM's that i posted.

    Make no mistake - this isn't a CompTIA exam or a school exam - these are very difficult, specific exams that Microsoft has created with the assumption that only trained knowledgeable professionals will pass them.

    Personally, i would rather fail a test 4 multiple times if it means i don't understand the material. It makes that certification much more valuable IMO. MS points out that to pass the exam they expect you to have one year experience working with 2008 R2. I know - chicken and the egg... but if you truly understand the technology (regardless of real world experience) you can pass these exams.

    Tuesday, February 12, 2013 4:24 PM
  • Thank you Terahertz.

    Your reply has given me the hope that I need to continue studying. I get what you mean about the fact that it needs to be hard (and, in honesty, it's what I want it to be) but it your reply does give truth to the fact that elbow grease can overcome... ^_^

    Wednesday, February 13, 2013 10:54 PM