MCITP Server Administrator- How difficult is it?

By tdk129 ·
Hi everyone, I am planning on taking the route to MCITP (Server Administrator) and i need some help from you guys who have more experience on this. I would appreciate it if someone can give me some feedback.

I am planning on taking the courses- 70-640, 642 and 646.

The courses are quite expensive if taken via a formal training/school. So i was thinking of studying on my own and i was wondering if this is a good idea. To give you guys a little more information about my IT background, I have the Comptia A+ and the Network+ certifications and have about 6 years of experience in the IT field (in desktop and help desk roles). I have NOT worked on servers that much (i would say i have limited knowledge of servers, patch deployments etc. I have also worked in Active Directory (a lot of password resets and a bit of add/moves/changes) but again, i would say limited knowledge.

My plan is to first do the 640 exam on Active Directory on my own and then do the other 2. I would like to know if studying on my own with the limited knowledge i have on Windows Servers and active directory is a good idea or should i go to school/training for it. Please help!

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All Answers

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by rob_annable In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

Hey, I would recommend revising as much as you can!
Depending on how you prefer to learn, paper based or online so buy books and subscibe to a few handy online learning centres.
Lots of websites offer some revision areas where you can try practice tests to guage whether you are ready too, use everything you can get your hands on is my advice...

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Reponse To Answer

by tdk129 In reply to Revise


Thank you for your reply. So you are saying that one can do it without attending formal school or training?

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Best thing to do

by patb071 In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

With most Microsoft study books you will get a trial version for server 2003 or 2008. I installed VMware Player and i am running server03 and XP in a virtualized envronment. If you do this and do the labs that are in the book you should have no problem.

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by lmalhoit Contributor In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

I've only taken the Active Directory one. I took it last year, when it was still using the lab type of exam. I'm not sure if they're still doing that, I know there was some controversy. I didn't take any formal training for it, but I did use the MS press stuff and I did labs online as well as practicing in my own labs. I didn't think it was too hard. I've also worked with AD for several years now, though.

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You can take all the formal training in the world...

by SmartAceW0LF In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

and still not pass. That said, given that you are a motivated individual with good study habits and discipline, you can do it that way as well. Either way, if you aren't prepared to dig in and work hard, it matters little how much you spend on education.

I haven't taken the Network + certification, but it is my understanding from many who have taken it that it is a relatively tough test. If you managed it I would say you can do the rest.

There are those who seem to have made a career out of taking every cert they can. I know a couple. Their advice (and I agree with them) is to get the book and spend a solid 30 days in preparation for each test. Take every practice test you can. Pay attention to your mistakes. Take the test and if you fail, give yourself a few more days to brush up on your weaknesses as outlined in the test results and get back in there while the subject matter is still fresh in your mind.

You can do this. With your background, this is as good of a starting point as any in gaining knowledge of Server OS. Just remember, the certifications are only the beginning of your journey. Whatever you do though, get out from behind that help desk!

The only real advantage you have in attending a school that teaches this curriculum is in having the opportunity to use their lab. There may be something said for the students attention-span in class when the tuition for same is coming out of his own pocket. Given you could find a local Technical or Community college that offers courses in the subject, you might be able to get a reasonable cost. Plus, the hands on in a place like this is absolutely invaluable.

Finally, surround yourself with people who have completed the tests and pay no attention to those who bicker about the validity of them. And even more importantly, let no one discourage you!

Finally, when it is all said and done and you get out there. Remember where you came from. Don't sell the effort you have put into learning this field short by ridiculing those who know less than yourself. This will help us all.

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Reponse To Answer

by tdk129 In reply to You can take all the form ...

"Remember where you came from. Don't sell the effort you have put into learning this field short by ridiculing those who know less than yourself. This will help us all."

This is absolutely not me but i do appreciate it. It feels good to know that there are like minded people around. Thanks.

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My Advice

by iworsfold In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

I took the upgrade path from MCSE so I did the 640 and 642 (+ 643) in one upgrade exam.

However the method I used was;
1. Review the exam objectives on the MS website. They tell you what you need to learn and also give the percentage weight of each exam topic so it helps given you a rough guide in how much time you split between each area.
2. If possible find any recorded MS webcasts on Microsoft???s event page. There are loads of them and they helped me a lot. However you may need a TechNet subscription to view some of them.
3. As you plan on taking three exams look out for exam offers. Currently you can purchase an exam 3 pack with 15 % discount and each including a second shot if you need it.
4. For study books I used MS press books and used their exam sim.
5. Practice labs as much as possible but don't forget the theory behind it. It???s always easy to follow a set of instructions from a text book but in the exam you need to know how to do it without the help of the text book. I trick I use is to try and create my own environment but its up to you how far you want to go.

Hope this helps.

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Self Study Guides

by Mike Barron In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

If you're looking at self study guides, I would recommend signing up for Safari Books Online. You will have access to many study guides and not be stuck with one publisher.

I'm glad I went this direction when studying for my MCITP as I found the Microsoft books had numerous typos.

You can still get Server 2008 R2 for 180 day evaluation, so you could setup a virtual lab easily enough (if you have the hardware).

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Server Administration

by rmaleshri In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

If you are sincere and committed, you can study on your own. Get a couple of old PCs for setting up your lab. There are many free resources and mentorship on the net. You can also find many free online practice tests and importantly don't forget to use your local library and Tech Republic.

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Thank you, Everyone!

by tdk129 In reply to MCITP Server Administrato ...

Thank you, all for all your feedback. Truly appreciate your suggestions and your time. I have the MS press books already purchased. I guess i need to start working on setting up a lab soon. I have done my previous two certifications (A+ and Network+) both on my own, though A+ is relatively simpler. So, I guess this shouldn't be too hard. Will see..Thanks again.

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