interested in mcse infrastructure server 2012 RRS feed

  • Question

  • Guys I have been working in Server environments for over ten years I have MSDN and Technet so I will have no problem getting software. I have a very good test lab at my house which includes a couple Poweredge servers and managed network switches. My problem has always been test taking some guys are good others are not. It's a ton of information so I'm trying to figure out how to best break the information down and study effectively. Also there seems to be lots of different information on study material for example the first test I plan to take is 70-410. You have some people that use the Microsoft books for 70-410 and others say they are horrible so as a newbie to certs I don't know where to start when it comes to picking out books. I'm not so much worried about CBTS as CBT Nuggets and TrainSignal put out decent products.
    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 2:35 AM


  • Hi, OSU75.

    You are right; taking tests is a different skill that requires practice and experience. Passing an exam is more than simply knowing the information. Let me share a few tips with you for passing Microsoft exams.


    When you are ready to start working towards a big certification such as the MCSE you mentioned, it's best to just focus on passing one exam at a time. For example, you have already identified 70-410 as the first exam you want to pass.

    Go to that exam's description web page and print the Skills measured section of the exam. You must study each topic mentioned in the exam description. At minimum, you should have the names of these topics memorized enough so that you will recognize them if they pop up as an answer to an exam question. Study the additional preparation resources listed under each subtopic as well. Read the TechNet documentation for all the topics listed.

    If you want a good study book, you should only consider the books that have been updated for Windows Server 2012 R2. Basically, these are the books that are being released in 2014 and newer. I have had great luck with the MSPress books released by O'Reilly for the developer exams:;i=1;m_Sort=searchDate;q=exam+ref;x=0;y=0&act=sortWhen

    When you find a book that you are interested in (and it has been released), study the reviews for the book on the US version of and see if people love it or hate it. There is usually no middle ground for test takers. They will be brutally honest with the book contents and tell you how well it helped them prepare. Here is a review for the old 70-410 book on Server 2012 RTM (not R2) that should probably not be used to prepare for this exam because it is old:

    You may want to purchase a set of practice exams to help you practice answering exam questions. Practice exams are usually a little harder than the real exam. They also will simulate the type of questions (multiple choice, drag and drop, etc.) you should expect while taking the exam. The good practice exams are perfectly legal with Microsoft because they do not contain brain dumps of the actual Q&As. The answers will typically include links to Microsoft documentation to learn more about any topic. You can purchase practice exams from Transcender/Self Test Software and MeasureUp. Transcender and Self Test Software are the same company offering the same products but a different number of questions for different prices. Here is Transcender's 70-410 practice exam:

    Taking the Exam

    In your head, you must tell yourself that taking an exam is not only an attempt to pass the test but it is also a personal information gathering session to identify what you must study up on. As you answer questions, use the wipe board they give you to write down topics you need to learn more about. As well, take pride in the questions you can answer easily.

    Each question is a fresh opportunity to show what you know. Watch the time remaining in relation to the number of questions remaining. If you are running low on time, you can quickly preview the last few questions to see if some questions require more reading than the last few other questions so you can focus you last few minutes accordingly.

    When you are looking at a multiple choice question, there will typically be some terrible choices (wrong answers) mixed with plausible answers. To simplify choosing the right answer, only look at the plausible answers. This narrows down your choices! Next, look for any small detail in the question that would eliminate one of the plausible answers. Down to one answer yet? If not, ask yourself if one answer is a new technology with the new version that replaces the other. The purpose of these exams is to make sure you know about the new features. The newer one may be the right answer. After selecting the answer you're pretty comfortable about, do one more scan of the dumb answers with fresh eyes to make sure that they are completely wrong and just won't work. Then click Next.

    Finally, if you pass the exam, sweet! If you did not pass it, do not give up. Try and schedule to take the exam again within the next week and dedicate some serious time to study up on what you think you missed. When you get home, try to write down all the topics you had scribbled onto the wipe board that you had to turn in at the testing center. As well, review the Skills measured section of the exam description and the TechNet documentation, they will help you remember additional Q&As that you were unsure about. Write it all down and study the topics. You can also use the printed exam results as a guide to the topics where you were weak.

    Good luck!

    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Tuesday, March 18, 2014 5:32 AM