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Concerned about how up to date MCDST exams are

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by redbullman, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. redbullman

    redbullman New Member

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    Hi there

    This is my first post to the forums, of which are very informative. I'm after a career change to I.T. like many people here.

    I've recently passed the A+ and am currently studying for the MCDST. I haven't used XP in years after using Vista and now Windows 7. I've installed XP SP3 in dual boot with 7 at home and have both MS books and the Sybex book.

    However I'm slightly concerned about the number of errors appearing in the text books (when compared with XP itself) as I work through them.

    I also popped the MS MCDST CD in to quickly test myself and was surprised at the errors here as well. As an example, one question on the cd referred to the Office 2003 update procedure. I answered stating it can be updated via windows update (which it can as I've just done it); but the test cd stated it can only be updated via the office website. Is this just a basic error from the cd, or when the book/cd came out in 2006, could you only update Office via the website and not windows update?

    Just found another error in the Sybex book re remote desktop connection. States it's under Accessories>Communications>Remote Desktop, when on my XP Pro it's under Accessories>Remote Desktop.

    I suppose the main issue here is have some of the procedures/menus with XP changed since MS/Sybex books were written or are these simply errors by the publishers? Or will we have to treat the exam like a 20 year Trival Pursuit everyone plays at Christmas; where the trick is not to know the correct answer now, but the answer as it was when the question was published?! Is the MCDST exam up to date?

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, MCDST
    WIP: -
  2. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Are the books pre-SP2?
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  3. redbullman

    redbullman New Member

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    Nope the MS books are second edition (covering sp2) and the Sybex book states it covers SP2.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, MCDST
    WIP: -
  4. redbullman

    redbullman New Member

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    Just checked and actually the Sybex book (which is recommended alongside the two MS books by everyone on these forums) has a print date of 2004, so would be before SP2. So this may be the reason why some of the questions are wrong. Why is the Sybex book recommended by everyone if it's seriously out of date?

    However that still doesn't excuse the errors in the MS books. Are the 70-271 and 70-272 up to date (including SP3) or not? Surely they have to be updated to the latest service pack - I can't find any official comment from Microsoft.

    Was Office 2003 previously only available to update via the Office site and the change to Windows Update relatively recent or is this an error in the MS book/test cd?

    I don't want to find using XP SP3 actually leads me to the wrong answers because it is more recent than the exams!

    Thanks again.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, MCDST
    WIP: -
  5. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    You'll find many certification exams to be out of date. The problem is that it takes a long time to develop exam content, and even longer to develop the books and training materials that accompany them.

    Then of course, the guys who are updating the product aren't the same guys who are responsible for the exam content and it all gets muddled up.

    New questions do sneak their way into exams from time to time, and some drop out - but you probably wouldn't notice. Text books usually have revisions every now and then, and you'll usually see them stating 'now including SP2' or whatever.

    In general, the important thing to make sure is that you have studied the appropriate material/version of the product relevant to the exam you're planning to take, even if that isn't the latest version of the product.

    On the whole though, you'd be fairly unfortunate to fail an exam due to a product update.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  6. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    Does it say update or upgrade?
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  7. redbullman

    redbullman New Member

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    Thanks for your answers - much appreciated.

    The 70-271 cd has a test question regarding how to update Office 2003. The correct answer according to the test is to update via the Office website. I've recently installed Office 2003 Professional on my XP Professional install. I've managed to update it to SP3 via Windows Update, which according to the test answer is not actually possible. So my question is have MS just messed up the answer or at the time or publication, could you only update Office 2003 via the Office Website? I remember when I used to use XP Pro years ago; I could only update Office 2000 via the Office website, it wouldn't let me do this via Windows Update. Maybe this was the same.

    Thanks
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, MCDST
    WIP: -
  8. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    You've got me there; not sure.

    I've never used the Office site for updating anything, so either it's wrong or I've been missing out on a lot of updates! As far as I know, important updates have always come through WU - well, maybe not always, but certainly in the time frame we're talking about.

    Maybe they're on about non-essential updates and add-ons? Hard to say without seeing it all in context.
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCTS, i-Net+, CIW CI, Prince2, MSP, MCSD
  9. soundian

    soundian Gigabyte Poster

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    If you have the 2nd edition of the MSPress books then they are SP2.
    If I recall correctly I found numerous mistakes in the practice exams in both books, and several in the books themselves. Have a search for errata by entering the ISBN number on http://oreilly.com/
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2010
    Certifications: A+, N+,MCDST,MCTS(680), MCP(270, 271, 272), ITILv3F, CCENT
    WIP: Knuckling down at my new job
  10. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    All cert books have the odd errors if you look. However the MCDST exam itself will be about xp plain and simple so it will be up to date.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?

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