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MTA Exam 98-361 CS - Please Help ASAP - It would be greatly appreciated! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hey guys:

    I am brand spanking new to this development scene and have zero background in any type of IT so, please bare with me..I'm currently active duty military planning on getting out in the fall. I heard about the MSSA program offered by Microsoft and decided to give it a shot since I meet the requirements (well, most). The reason I say most is my lack of background. Anyway, I just heard about the program about three or four weeks ago and didn't find out I met the requirements till about two weeks ago..At that time, I was also advised that to get into the program I had to pass this exam (MTA 98-361) , and I had to pass it before the new year to get into the course starting in January.

    Because I had such a short amount of time to prepare for the exam, of which I had no knowledge of, my leadership has been very flexible in letting me have time to study. I've taken great advantage of this and have spent countless hours at my desk studying. Probably around 12-14hrs a day, to be honest. I thought I had been taking this stuff in and really learning a lot getting all of these hours in in the past couple of weeks, until today. I get to the building that is holding my certiport proctored exam, I sign in, and when I do the proctor asks me, "is this the first time you're taking this exam?" At which point I replied yes and she advised me I had to pick the Visual Basic version of the test because it was my first time..My heart dropped and I got very nervous. I began the test and it looked completely foreign to me. These last two weeks I had focused all of my energy on learning C# and didn't have even a slight idea of how to apply these methods to VB. I know, most of you guys that have been in this awhile say this test is easy either way, but it wasn't for me, I'm not at that level. Needless to say, I failed...miserably, and was advised I could retake the test in 24hrs and I could take the correct test..real reassuring...When I say I did bad, it was BAD. Now I'm beginning to question if I even have a grasp on the simple stuff, the basic understanding of all of this. I enjoyed what I was learning, hence the keeping motivation through those long days.

    Is this not for me? I was advised that my results would be sent directly to MS and all I could think was GREAT, and I'm trying to get a job in this industry..is this going to look negatively on my behalf when MS sees that, even if I do somehow still manage to pass the test that I've been studying for and make it into the program? I'm dedicated and wiling to put what I need to into this because, like I said, it really interests me..I'm just looking for some insight if this is a realistic path for me or not and, if so, if anyone can enlighten me on how I can better prepare myself for the exam next week (CS version).

    Is the MeasureUp practice testing as good of a source as it's made out to be? Or should I be going elsewhere? I've watched the MSDN MTA modules multiple times, read Wiley cover to cover, and looked up things I didn't know or wasn't sure of all over the internet. I'm just wondering what all of you dev gurus would suggest for someone totally new, to learn all of these fundamentals in this short amount of time. Sorry for the lengthiness of this thread, I'm just a little stressed and frustrated.

    Thanks much,

    Joey

    ////I know there's lots of threads about the MTA 98-361, I'm just looking for particular help in regards to ////my current situation, thank you.//



    • Edited by Joey_185 Saturday, December 20, 2014 3:41 AM
    Saturday, December 20, 2014 1:39 AM

Answers

  • To start with, I think that your proctor made a mistake. If you have been doing all your studying with C#, you should have taken your exam in C#, not in VB. Although the change from C# to VB is trivial for someone who has years of practice with both languages, in your particular case you should have stuck with the one with which you were most familiar.

    As a second piece of advice, you need some practice rather than just stuudy time. The questions in the MTA exams are in general very easy to reply if you have actually done the things that they are talking about (versus just having studied them on paper). For this exam about "development fundamentals" I would recommend that you write a few simple programs that exercise the various topics covered in the "skills measured" section of the exam description page. For instance, when you see the topic labelled "For loops, While loops, Do...While loops, and recursion", go ahead and write a programs with several types of loops and verify that you understand how to write them, how they work, and that they produce the results that you expected. Do the same with recursion. Repeat this for every entry in the list of Skills Measured, and you should be ready to take the exam.

    • Marked as answer by Joey_185 Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:29 PM
    Saturday, December 20, 2014 6:35 AM

All replies

  • To start with, I think that your proctor made a mistake. If you have been doing all your studying with C#, you should have taken your exam in C#, not in VB. Although the change from C# to VB is trivial for someone who has years of practice with both languages, in your particular case you should have stuck with the one with which you were most familiar.

    As a second piece of advice, you need some practice rather than just stuudy time. The questions in the MTA exams are in general very easy to reply if you have actually done the things that they are talking about (versus just having studied them on paper). For this exam about "development fundamentals" I would recommend that you write a few simple programs that exercise the various topics covered in the "skills measured" section of the exam description page. For instance, when you see the topic labelled "For loops, While loops, Do...While loops, and recursion", go ahead and write a programs with several types of loops and verify that you understand how to write them, how they work, and that they produce the results that you expected. Do the same with recursion. Repeat this for every entry in the list of Skills Measured, and you should be ready to take the exam.

    • Marked as answer by Joey_185 Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:29 PM
    Saturday, December 20, 2014 6:35 AM
  • Alberto:

    I completely agree, I don't think she realized what she was doing when she had me take that one. I know it isn't a huge deal for people with experience but I'm still learning the very basics. I have been messing around with VS, so I have a general idea of how things in CS should look but you're right, I haven't tried actually writing my own programs to implement these new concepts yet. I will give that a shot though, I really think this will help me get a better understanding, thank you! 

    Saturday, December 20, 2014 7:29 PM