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  • #2194342

    MCSE / MCSA Certification Exam Prep Software


    by navy moose ·

    Hello Everyone,

    I recently made an investment with a firm who publishes Microsoft (and others) test prep software.

    I picked up the Microsoft Self Paced Training Kit for XP (70-270) read the book cover to cover and took the subtests in the book. Once I was done with the book I took the subject area tests with the software. I did notice seeing the same questions repeatedly through the tests, sometimes only the order of the answers was different.

    My fear was that I was not learning the material, I was almost memorizing the questions being asked of me.

    I took one of the simulated exams in this software and failed it miserably. I took another using the test prep software which came with the Microsoft book and got a similar score.

    What I would like to hear from my fellow IT professionals is their experiences with test prep software, good and bad. Along with advice on the best way to study for this exam.

    I’ve put in six weeks studying for this exam and my test date is 26JUN06. I have a voucher from Microsoft for a free retest if I bomb it too badly.

    Thank you.

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    • #3270458

      Hope its not too late

      by rknrlkid ·

      In reply to MCSE / MCSA Certification Exam Prep Software

      I’ve taken the MCSA exams for Windows 2000. The best test prep software I used was by Transcender, hands down. The simulation of the test was almost 100%. I also used the ones that came in the Exam Prep books, by PrepLogic.

      The main thing about these tests which helped me was learning how to manipulate the testing software. The first time I took a computerized test I was completely thrown off and flunked. Learning to navigate the exhibits and the differences between buttons and boxes is vital to whether you can pass a test the first time or not. (Buttons = single answer, box = multiple answer, btw)

      • #3270440

        Buttons and boxes…..

        by navy moose ·

        In reply to Hope its not too late

        Thank you for your reply. I learned that early on with the original software I purchased. I am using Exam Force as my primary. I am also playing with MeasureUp, from the Microsoft book.

        I have noticed the exam questions are very different from the subject area questions.

    • #3143072

      get a test network to play on

      by cg it ·

      In reply to MCSE / MCSA Certification Exam Prep Software

      the practical experience of setting up DNS, DHCP, AD, do some member server dcpromo promotes, demotes, create a RIS server and do some deployments, backups restore from backups.

      the practical will go a long ways in being able to understand the questions being asked on the test. The new Microsoft format for tests does require you to go through steps to configure “stuff”. Example: there are a couple of ways in which to accomplish the same task, but the test might ask “how do you do it with the least admin effort”. the least admin effort is the key to answering the question right.

      • #3112476

        Passed on first attempt with 905

        by navy moose ·

        In reply to get a test network to play on

        I was pretty amazed by my score when I saw the results. The first half the test I was nervous, after that I relaxed.

        I saw a bunch of questions that was on the MeasureUP CD. I saw nothing from the ExamForce CD.

        I primarily used the Microsoft Press book to study by and it did well by me.

        Tommorow, I start studying for the 70-290 exam.

        Navy Moose

    • #3111564

      Please listen

      by seanc ·

      In reply to MCSE / MCSA Certification Exam Prep Software


      The fact that you are asking the right question is good. You already recognise your weakness and are honest enough to admit it.

      There is more truth in the saying that “You get out what you put in !!!!!”.

      If you want to just pass the exam, continue on your path until you have memorized all the exam questions enough to pass.

      In a couple of weeks you would have forgotten all that you tried to memorize which will make the cert worthless… In turn, your usefullness in a job.

      If you want to build a solid and deep understanding of the material you have to build a cheap lab and PLAY !!!!!

      If you do this, you will NEVER forget what you have learned. You will be able to pass the exam with ease. And more importantly you will truly be a PRO 🙂

      Go forth and conquer !!!!!

      • #3111456

        I’d love to have a lab but space and $$ prevent it

        by navy moose ·

        In reply to Please listen

        In the case of the XP exam, having a test box wouldn’t have made a huge difference. I use XP Pro at home and the office.

        I’m going to download the trial version of a server simulator and this weekend I’m going to start using it for the 70-290 and the rest of the exams. I don’t work with AD, and I really need to practice the labs.

        I was trying to avoid memorizing the questions. I recognized questions the exam which I saw on the MeasureUP CD. My goal is not to memorize the questions to pass, but rather to learn the material. I’ve been in the IT field for six years and my customers are appreciative of the service I provide them. In order to give them more bang for their buck and be a bigger asset to my department I decided to go for my certs.

        Thanks for the advice and have a great long weekend.

        Navy Moose

        • #3112892

          Please listen 2

          by seanc ·

          In reply to I’d love to have a lab but space and $$ prevent it


          I know where you are going. You mentioned that you want to give your customers “more bang for their buck”. I know that there are limitations to what you can have but if you truly want to achieve this, you must have a setup to see what happens in a “live” environment. Simulations are static and limited. There will be error messages or things that do not work when they are supposed to. These will not be in the books because everything works on paper. If you have space and cost issues, how about getting one reasonably powerful machine from ebay or somewhere else. You can run Virtual Server and Virtual PC and load both the server and XP O/S’s. You can fire up AD, DHCP, DNS etc..and see how they work.

          How about asking your department to donate a PC to you so that you can pursue your studies. I remember when I didn’t have a dime in the NT days in the late 90’s. My then Supervisor told me that I can build a lab with 2 spare machines. I ran NT4 Server on one and NT4 Workstation on the other. They were connected with a crossover cable.

          I’m not trying to tell you what you should do. Only you know best. I just wanted to give you another alternative.

          Good luck and have fun..

        • #3168429

          Please Listen, part 3

          by navy moose ·

          In reply to Please listen 2

          Hi Sean,

          I tried logging in over the holiday but I was able to.

          I’m running a virtual server application and have a Windows 2003 Enterprise Server and XP Pro machines running virtually. I’ve configured AD, according to the labs in the book and have done the labs for the skills I don’t practice regularly.

          I decided upon the virtual server application after reading negative reviews on simulator software from Sybex for the reasons you mentioned.

          Thank you for your advice.

          Navy Moose

        • #3167124

          On your way to victory

          by seanc ·

          In reply to Please Listen, part 3


          I’m glad to assist :). You are on your way to absolute success.

          Well done !!!!


        • #3167703

          Save your money!

          by jmiguy ·

          In reply to I’d love to have a lab but space and $$ prevent it

          If you’re already in IT, save your money. You don’t need certifications. All they do is prove that you let Microshaft suck your wallet dry just like they do to everyone else.

          Follow the advice of the other poster, set up a lab and “learn” at your own pace. Microsoft exams are set up so you will most likely fail, then they can charge you for re-takes, upgrade testing, new technology testing, etc. It’s a big scam and a bigger waste of your time and money.

          Learn what you need to know to do “your” job well. Your results at the office will speak volumes over a worthless certification.

          I wish someone would have given me the same advice long before I wasted thousands of dollars and countless hours studying useless information to get my certs. They haven’t made any difference in my pay scale and much of what I learned I’ve forgotten because I never use it in the real world.


        • #3167650

          Unfounded !!!!!

          by seanc ·

          In reply to Save your money!

          Hi Jeff,

          Looks like you are generalising based on the fact that you are having a bad experience where you work.
          I do sympathise that Microsoft has brought the value of MS Certs down. This also goes for those paper MCSEs etc..

          I wouldn’t take any advice from you full stop.

          The statement that you made:

          “I wasted thousands of dollars and countless hours studying useless information to get my certs. They haven’t made any difference in my pay scale and much of what I learned I’ve forgotten because I never use it in the real world.”

          If you’ve spent countless hours studying and you
          can’t remember what you have learned, then clearly you need to look in the mirror.

          You’ll see the problem right there !!!!!!!!!!

          You did not “waste” thousands of dollars. Spending money on training is an investment in your future. You have only yourself to blame for not being able to reap the benefits.

          Don’t make silly statements like this. It only shows you up.


        • #3167308

          I wouldn’t call it a silly statement.

          by jmiguy ·

          In reply to Unfounded !!!!!

          I completely stand behind my advice, and there is nothing wrong with where I work either. I enjoy it thoroughly and I do get paid well.

          My point is that if you know what you’re doing you can get paid well without wasting your time or money getting certified.

          Memorizing a bunch of facts proves nothing if you don’t know how to incorporate them into your job.

        • #3211776

          Ok :)

          by seanc ·

          In reply to I wouldn’t call it a silly statement.

          Look, I’m not trying to pass judgement. The guy was just crying out for help and I felt that your posting was discouraging for him that’s all. I’m glad that you enjoy your role.

          Good luck for the future 🙂

        • #3167516


          by navy moose ·

          In reply to Save your money!

          I’ve been in the IT field for six years. My company is asking the Windows people on my team to get certified.

          I’ve never been a fan of certs from anyone. I agree Microsoft makes you learn information you likely will never use. Much of what I learned as an undergrad or grad student I will most likely never use either.

          I want to be competitive in the IT field and I want to use the certs and my experience to help place me above other people when I need to look for a new job.

          Thank you for your post.

          Navy Moose

        • #3212765


          by wingoc ·

          In reply to Certs

          when applying jobs, really required to have lots of cert with you, sigh!

    • #3141334


      by ultraback50 ·

      In reply to MCSE / MCSA Certification Exam Prep Software

      How did the test go? Did you pass? How difficult is it? Hope all is well!

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