MCSA/MCSE Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-290): Managing & Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment Hardcover – May 3 2006
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About the Author
Dan Holme, MVP, has 17 years? Experience as a consultant and trainer focused on Windows and Microsoft SharePoint technologies. He is author of MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-667): Configuring Microsoft SharePoint 2010.
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Top Customer Reviews
This book presents extensive exam preparation materials, going through section by section the requirements of the exam. It will help you learn to think and answer in "Microsoft speak".
There are lots of materials out there if you just want to pass a certification exam, crams, sims, testking ' but if you really want to learn the materials, you need to work with it. This book with its wide range and extensive exercises will help you learn hands on. It is an excellent resource, and will be a reference book I use for years to come.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
I recommend this highly to anyone wishing to prepare to pass the test.
I also found the certification exam to be very challenging and confusing at times; even more than some of the other Microsoft Certifications Exams the I have taken. That being said I believe this book did a very good job preparing me for the exam.
I found it to be bearable, which is actually pretty good considering my interest in the topics was limited. I spend roughly 30 hours reading the text and doing the examples from the book and another 15 hours taking the practice tests. In my opinion each of these three components are equally important.
Overall I don't think I retained much of the content and I would not recommend reading this book if you don't plan to taking the certification exam or using the content on a daily basis. However, if you are planning on taking the exam this probably the best resource because of the content, examples, and practice test cd.
for my studies (as well as those listed above), actually had to read thru the book twice since it had so much to deal with. Can't stress enough to do the labs, do them all, do the reviews. I'm not fond of the testing materials MS uses on the CD but I used Transcender on a professors recommendation and it was as close to the real thing as you can get. Passed my test no problem, dedicate yourself to closing off the world you know for an hour or two in the evenings and maybe a few hours on the weekend until you get it all down pat, the investment you make in yourself doing this will be well worth seeing that "CONGRATULATIONS!" screen when you take your test.
Every objective in the exam is technically covered, but the book does not include some of material that is covered on the test. This is not entirely the book's fault, as some of the test questions bordered on obscure. Still, 85%-90% of the actual test material is covered somewhere in the book. If you read the book carefully and slowly, there is a good chance you will pass the exam.
Unfortunately, the problem with this book is NOT detail. This book was extremely dry and was it wasn't very fluid. The material simply did not "flow" as you were reading it, and the sections were very disjointed... If you look at my review history, you'll see that I've read quite of few technical books that others would consider "dry"... but this one takes the cake (just edging out the ISC's CISSP book).
I also managed to read Sybex's 70-291 book, and also viewed CBT nugget's training video. Sybex's book was more geared toward the fundamentals, and lacked some of the details found in this book. The Sybex book is perfect for starting from the ground up, was fluid and explained itself very well. It was much more pleasant to read than this MS self paced training kit. The Sybex book would be the better book for a beginner, while this book would be better for a seasoned MS Administrator.
CBT nuggets was an excellent resource as well. It covered a lot of those little details that are hard to pick up through reading, or that might not be obvious until you perform the actions in a lab environment.
About the exam:
The MS exams are less straightforward (more tricky) than other exams that I've taken. I hear people often complain that they narrow it down to "two possible answers", and have trouble choosing between the two. If you encounter this problem, you aren't reading the question carefully enough. Almost every question like this that I saw had a small detail that would eliminate all but one answer. Not one question had two "correct" answers.
The questions are also a bit more wordy than other exams, so if you aren't the most patient person you may have some trouble. Once again, its important that you look over the details.
While I can't violate the NDA, I can say that a good portion of the questions fell within the core of the objectives. Most were very routine questions that involve average day to day tasks for an Administrator. About 5%-10% of the questions, however, were only LOOSELY related to the core objectives. For instance, the disaster recovery objective could extend to any service in the active directory. Do you know how to backup/replicate/transfer data from ALL the services that are integrated into active directory? Probably not. I was very lucky to have seen these things before, but they were so obscure I doubt most people have even seen them (let alone know how they work).
Also, I have a feeling most people will be unprepared for the automation objections. No one really uses them. Just a wake up call to all of you, they are on the test (its in the objectives!). If you don't know exactly what these automation tools do, you are going to have a hard time. Do you know the format differences, and do you know the functionality differences of LFIDE vs CSVDE vs AD Users and Computers? These tools aren't very automated, so no one really uses them (Much easier to use user data to produce dsadd or dsmod scripts). Learn how to use them.
I would definitely set up a lab, or use CBT training videos. Reading alone isn't going to be enough, especially for the simulations.
Finally, you NEED practice questions for this test. Its coverage is far too broad, and you need to make sure you have all areas of the objectives down pat. Its easy to have some wrong ideas about permissions, and/or group scopes and not realize it until you are tested. If you have a problem like this (especially in these areas), you aren't going to do well.
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