Archive for the ‘Exams’ Category

70-294 passed – 1 more to go.

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

It was quite disappointing to come out of the exam having not scored higher than 900. I was pretty convinced I had a higher score, but 873 is still a respectable score as 700 is the passmark. I won’t be taking any more tests at this test center though – the room was hot and right by reception and the front door so all I could clearly hear the (long) conversations as people had their smoke breaks, came back from lunch etc. It made it pretty hard to concentrate and in this exam you really have to concentrate on precisely which user in which OU needs access to which resource in which domain Almost every question had an exhibit button that needed to be pressed and the screens are at such a low resolution you need to scroll all the time (although this seems to be a standard resolution for the Microsoft exams – they really should give you the abilty to change them on the fly)
So I now have only one more exam to go and then I get my MCSE qualification – I hope to take this one next Thursday – I’ve not decided whether to do 70-297 – Designing a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure or 70-298 – Designing Security for a Windows Server 2003 Network. 297 sounds easier as it builds on the skills in the other exams (and we have the mspress book in the office) but 298 would be more interesting but possibly harder and we don’t have the book.

70-293 completed.

Friday, May 9th, 2008

I got 955 on the 70-293 exam today and have started on the 70-294 which I hope to get done next Friday. The hours of study paid off!

shhh – I’m studying!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

As I found out that the 2nd chance exam offer runs out at the end of this month (for the initial exam – you have until the end of June to take the retake) I’ve decided to try and get my MCSE by the end of the month so I’m swotting really hard. I’ve finished the first half of the Microsoft Press book for 70-293 tonight – I started it on Sunday night and last night we were out for a couple of hours so it’s not bad going. I’ve scheduled the exam for Friday afternoon and after that I’ll only have 2 more to go.
I’ve also pushed the guys at the office to take advantage of the offer, so far I know at least 2 of them have booked exams and if the others are reading this – then just do it! With this offer I really don’t think there is any excuse for someone not to be an MCP at a minimum, especially when the exam fee is reimbursed on passing and the 2nd chance removes a lot of the pressure.

shhh – I’m studying!

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

As I found out that the 2nd chance exam offer runs out at the end of this month (for the initial exam – you have until the end of June to take the retake) I’ve decided to try and get my MCSE by the end of the month so I’m swotting really hard. I’ve finished the first half of the Microsoft Press book for 70-293 tonight – I started it on Sunday night and last night we were out for a couple of hours so it’s not bad going. I’ve scheduled the exam for Friday afternoon and after that I’ll only have 2 more to go.
I’ve also pushed the guys at the office to take advantage of the offer, so far I know at least 2 of them have booked exams and if the others are reading this – then just do it! With this offer I really don’t think there is any excuse for someone not to be an MCP at a minimum, especially when the exam fee is reimbursed on passing and the 2nd chance removes a lot of the pressure.

70-291 exam passed

Friday, December 7th, 2007

Got a 900 score this morning – the passmark was 700 so I am very pleased. I tick off the number of questions that I *know* I have correct (32), the number of simulations (3) and the number of questions that I’m not sure if the answer is correct (9). Any question that I’m not sure about I make my best answer too, mark the question for review and go on to the next question. Sim’s I immediately mark for review and go onto the next question. At the end of all the questions I go back and finish off all the review questions.
The exam was 4.25 hours long for 46 questions – I took about 90 minutes – the longest I’ve had so far I think.
This marks the end of my quest for MCSA certification – now I start on the remaining questions to get the MCSE certification.

70-291 book finished.

Sunday, December 2nd, 2007

I’ve finished the 70-291 book now – this past week has put a slowdown in the study so I had been stuck with just one more chapter to go. It was by far the easiest chapter – troubleshooting as it is something I do everyday and the troubleshooting section was pretty basic to be honest. I’ll be spending the rest of the week going through the practice questions ready for the test on Friday morning.

70-291 exam scheduled.

Friday, November 30th, 2007

I’ve scheduled my 291 exam for 7th December just to give me a deadline. As usual with prometric, scheduling this was horrendous. The website refused to acknowledge the email that it used to send me the exam confirmation last time and I had to call Prometric. After listening to the awful “Did you know you can use our website” automated recording (Yes I do know and I really would do so if the system recognised my user id!) I eventually got to a customer service rep. Prometric still have my email address, phone number and address from the UK. They wanted to clarify my phone number for identity purposes and none of my US ones worked. She read out the first 3 digits and after a couple of seconds I realised they were referring to my old UK employer! This was meant to have been changed when I first took my US exams in 2005 and they still hadn’t updated the system!
Anyway, the exams booked – now I just hope I get the chance to study for it – this week has been really busy and I’ve not felt like studying – a 15 hour work day on Monday did not start the week off well…. Meanwhile my colleague is trying to find out what his MCP ID number is so he can register for the 2nd chance promotion and *then* go through the prometric hurdles. He is doing the same exam so there is nothing like a bit of friendly rivalry to persuade us to study.

70-291 is hard going.

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

I’m currently about half way through the prep for my 70-291 exam and its hard going. The third and fourth chapters were on subnetting and dns – both subjects I was reasonably comfortable with until I started reading the book – they seem to make the explanations really complicated and there are a lot of formulas to learn (in the case of subnetting) and that is not something I’ve done for a long time. Even my GCSE’s at the age of 16 had limited formula learning needed. It’s also hard to come home from a long day at work, have tea and then start on 2 hours of studying each night, but unfortunately it’s the only possible way forward at the moment 🙁

70-290 passed.

Friday, September 28th, 2007

My passing score was 928 (pass was 700) so I passed comfortably – which is a very nice feeling and something I’ve maintained in all the exams I’ve taken with Microsoft so far. I now have 1 more to go and then I get my MCSA exam. This exam was quite different to the ones I’ve done before – there were 45 questions and about 10 (or more) were simulation exams. Personally I like these questions as it’s a lot easier to recognise the process needed to go through as opposed to the previous “drag and drop to put in order” box questions where you have to remember the exact wording on the dialog boxes that in real life you pay little attention to as you use them every day.
After 20 questions the screen froze, for ever, and ever and ever. Eventually I went out to see the receptionist but when I came back the machine was waiting for the next question – it takes a long time to load some of the simulation questions. I was really nervous at this point as the first 20 questions were easy and I was confident I had about 19 of them correct. I really didn’t want to start again.
After this scare the questions seemed to get harder but a lot of them were similar to the questions in the official MS press books and there were some questions I had seen that were identical to various test prep software solutions although I didn’t use the MeasureUp software for this exam which I have used in the past. Now it’s onto 70-291….