Small Business Specialist certification upgraded to 2008

I finally got around to taking 70-653 on Friday and passing it. It was an interesting experience as I had to take a survey before the exam that asked questions about my experience with the product and what I thought were my strengths and weaknesses. If I didn’t know the exams were downloaded overnight, it would make me very suspicious – if I answered that I didn’t know remote access very well, would I get lots of questions on vpn configuration or would Microsoft be kind and avoid that area? Although I passed it would have been nice to also get a comparison with my answers from the survey and my final test results. Funnily enough my weakest area was user management – I’m pretty sure that is because I’m so used to doing things in AD and I know to do things with the wizard but I don’t pay attention to EXACTLY what the wizard is called.
Now that I’ve passed I’ve got another Technical Specialist under my belt and this should also upgrade my SBSC to 2008 status (although the SBSC doesn’t appear on Microsoft transcripts as this certification is “awarded to companies rather than individuals” (which I think is a big mistake on Microsoft’s part))

70-297 complete and I’m an MCSE!

I took the 70-297 test this afternoon. It’s a lot different and a lot harder than the other tests due to the amount of information that you need to digest and analyze (and in some cases assume). I passed with a score of 781. It could have been higher, but the main thing is that I passed and I now obtain my MCSE accreditation. This month has been very busy trying to study most nights for these tests – this was my third one this month and so for the next week or so I’m not going to be doing any overtime – I’m looking forward to being able to relax, watch some films and play rockband. Hopefully I’ll also be able to post some more stuff to the blogs now too.

70-297 complete and I’m an MCSE!

I took the 70-297 test this afternoon. It’s a lot different and a lot harder than the other tests due to the amount of information that you need to digest and analyze (and in some cases assume). I passed with a score of 781. It could have been higher, but the main thing is that I passed and I now obtain my MCSE accreditation. This month has been very busy trying to study most nights for these tests – this was my third one this month and so for the next week or so I’m not going to be doing any overtime – I’m looking forward to being able to relax, watch some films and play rockband. Hopefully I’ll also be able to post some more stuff to the blogs now too.

70-294 passed – 1 more to go.

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.