MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft .NET Framework Application Development Foundation (2nd Edition) Hardcover – Nov 12 2008
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About the Author
Tony Northrup, MCSE, MCPD, MCITP, CISSP, is a Windows and networking technologies expert who has written more than 30 books and video training courses. He is coauthor of Windows 7 Resource Kit and numerous Microsoft Press Training Kits for certification exam-prep.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
This book does not cover everything in the same depth as the test, so if this is your only study tool, don't expect to feel completely comfortable when taking the exam or expect to "ace" it. As other posters have stated, you will need to do some of your own research if getting every question right is your goal. However, using ONLY this book as a study tool you CAN pass. Passing was my goal, and to that effect, this book accomplished its purpose effectively.
The tests provided on the CD did not seem much easier than the questions on the exam. Others may have had a different experience, but that was mine. I did notice that I "memorized" the answers rather quickly, and am glad I saved the tests on the CD until after I had already worked through the book, and could still use them to help polish my knowledge.
I may also add that the sample questions given in the book and CD are way easier than that of the real exam. It doesn't even compare. I passed it but I had to find some other way means of reading up some details/references that the book lacks. Reading this book is only half the battle. I honestly can say that this is a good starting point since it covers the basic and fundamentals of various subjects. Since the exam covers much more in-depth for each subjects, you'll find yourself looking somewhere else in addition to what you've learned from this book. I end up going to MSDN a lot just to look up a topic and find out more about it.
To sum it up, get this book as a starting point to get you on the right track then research the topics and learn the little details on your own.
I basically used this book as my only printed resourse for taking the Application Development Foundation (70-536) test. There are NO other alternative books that I know of.
This second edition of the book still has some errors in it. I attempted to read the first edition and found the number of erros appalling and distracting. I considered finding the errors on the second edition part of my training for the test. I also looked up topics that the book didn't cover on MSDN. The tests at the end of the chapters are in no way similar to the actual questions on the test but they still help in testing and consolidating your knowledge and undertanding of the topics.
As the time to take the test approached, I bought the pratice test from Transcender and found the questions it contained to be very similar to the questions on the actual test. I actually passed the test with a very high score. Getting a Transcender practice test actually gives you a better perspective of the types of questions you will encounter on the test and helps you fill in any gaps the book may have.
Good luck on the test.
1) I read the "70-536 Training Kit" cover to cover. I worked all the labs. I answered all the sample questions. Any subject that I was not familiar with, e.g., COM interoperability, I got a book on that subject and read the first few chapters so I had a good background on the subject. (The MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit is not a primer! It does not baby step you through the basics of VB .NET or C#, nor any of the APIs.) Fortunately, I have a subscription to one of the several online technical book libraries. So, getting my hands on books was easy & cheap. I would recommend doing the same.
2) I re-read the book cover to cover. This time I only spent time studying the lab code that I previously completed. I worked the sample questions again.
3) The weekend prior to the exam, I reviewed all of the text I highlighted and again studied the lab code. (I know, I'm old fashioned. I actually bought a hard copy of this book and used a high lighter.)
I was taken by surprise at how focused the exam was on testing the minutia of the APIs. The MCTS Self -Paced Training Kit did a really good job of providing coverage of the significant APIs to know to pass the exam. I believe I could have done a lot better on the exam if I had spent more time rote memorizing the examples in the book. (Like punishment at school, write the code snippets 100 times each. A dry erase board would come in handy. But not required!)
The sample questions were easier than the real exam. So, I would highly recommend getting one of the practice tests listed on the Microsoft site, "MeasureUp" or "Self Test Software".
I don't know what the big deal about errata is. There were only a couple of times that I got annoyed. But, the online errata page resolved that.
First off, I resent the fact that it is "bi-lingual". As it is, a third of the book is useless to me (i.e. the VB.NET code samples) - a complete waste of dead trees and ink. It's not only superfluous, it is distracting, since I must continually scan for the C# code. Please bother to print two different editions of the book. It should be trivial.
Second, there is too much generic boilerplate text. Each chapter starts with the same kind of generic paragraphs stating that you should have some prior experience with .NET and Visual Studio blah blah blah. Again, I have to scan the text to see where the actual content starts.
Third, I would have liked to see some illustrations! Several topics (such as code access security) would benefit greatly from visual presentations to accompany or replace part of the text. As it is, I have to mentally deserialize the text to build up these images in my head instead.
Finally, a complaint about the exam itself (not the book) is that there are too many questions about random .NET arcana (such as the sequence of parameters to a method call, or whether you pass something to a constructor or set a property after constructing the object, or if there's is a factory method you should use rather than a constructor). A good test would focus on understanding, not on the stuff that Intellisense and MSDN gives you.
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