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  • Question

  • Do I have to take Microsoft's training or can I just take the tests?  What's the best way to begin my quest for my certification?  Any advice?

    Thanks bunches!

    Michelle

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 6:13 PM

Answers

  • The best place to start is at the Microsoft Learning site (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx) to figure out which certification(s) you want to take.  You can just take the tests, but studying/preparing for them is recommended.  :p

    There is no "best" way to prepare.  Much depends upon your style of learning.  If you're good at studying on your own, then the MS Press (or Sybex) books can be a good choice.  This can be augmented with video learning (CBT Nuggets/TestOut/Trainsignal).  Microsoft also provides online video training for some of their certifications.  Classroom training is also available, but can be expensive.

    Hope this helps.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 6:44 PM
    Answerer
  • You do not have to take any training course from Microsoft if you don't want to. It is perfectly possible to pass an exam with self-study, without ever taking a course.

    I personally prepare the exams by going to the "skills measured" page in the exam description, and I check out each and every one of the entries in that list. Most of the times I am already knowledgeable about several of those skills, and for those that I'm not, I seek information using public resources such as the MSDN library and Technet. After I have studied the materials to cover the whole list of skills tested, I sign up for the exam. I realize that this way of preparing is not for everyone, and that some people will need to follow a more formal source of information (such as the self-paced training kits or an instructor-led course), but it has worked for me so far. I have passed around 60 certification exams in this way, many of them while they were still in beta and therefore no training was yet available for them.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:58 AM

All replies

  • The best place to start is at the Microsoft Learning site (http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/default.aspx) to figure out which certification(s) you want to take.  You can just take the tests, but studying/preparing for them is recommended.  :p

    There is no "best" way to prepare.  Much depends upon your style of learning.  If you're good at studying on your own, then the MS Press (or Sybex) books can be a good choice.  This can be augmented with video learning (CBT Nuggets/TestOut/Trainsignal).  Microsoft also provides online video training for some of their certifications.  Classroom training is also available, but can be expensive.

    Hope this helps.

    Wednesday, November 17, 2010 6:44 PM
    Answerer
  • You do not have to take any training course from Microsoft if you don't want to. It is perfectly possible to pass an exam with self-study, without ever taking a course.

    I personally prepare the exams by going to the "skills measured" page in the exam description, and I check out each and every one of the entries in that list. Most of the times I am already knowledgeable about several of those skills, and for those that I'm not, I seek information using public resources such as the MSDN library and Technet. After I have studied the materials to cover the whole list of skills tested, I sign up for the exam. I realize that this way of preparing is not for everyone, and that some people will need to follow a more formal source of information (such as the self-paced training kits or an instructor-led course), but it has worked for me so far. I have passed around 60 certification exams in this way, many of them while they were still in beta and therefore no training was yet available for them.

    Thursday, November 18, 2010 6:58 AM