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Epic Fail

Discussion in 'Active Directory Exams' started by Phoenix, Aug 15, 2008.

  1. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Just thought I would make this public, I don't usually announce when I am taking exams, but usually give the results, and felt it would just as worthwhile to post details on my epic failure as it would my passes

    So on Tuesday I finally caved and dropped the $125 on 70-297, the AD Design exam, booked it for the day after at 9.30 am

    Read a bit of my exam cram, but couldn't really stay focused, and without my comp in full working order my VM capabilities are limited, so I barely studied, and even though I knew full well my real world experience would likely not help, I didn't realize just how much it would hamper me!

    See, I design AD for a living, it's part of my job as a consultant, I do a good few a year, often on my own, and often pretty complex solutions

    I failed the exam with a whopping 597, my lowest score ever, the first time I have got a lower score than 600, and only the second time I have ever failed a Microsoft exam
    I was pretty bummed out during the rest of wednesday, not quite sure how I managed to flunk so bad, I mean, I do this for a living right?

    By the evening it finally started to dawn on me, for this exam I didn't do the following
    Study much
    Read a full detail book (such as a Sybex study guide, I usually supplement that with an exam cram, not the other way around)
    and the big one !! Did not use any practical study, no VM's, no Sims, nothing !!

    There were a few other reasons that may of played into it, but I don't think they were deal breakers and I don't like to make too many excuses
    The format was new to me, (as far as I can remember) and it didn't allow me to utilize the masses of extra time I accumulate, most the exams I have sat are 4h long, and I am usually out in an hour, giving me 3 hours of backup if required

    The design exam is split up into smaller chunks, each set of questions related to a case study, each case study having a set time, extra time is not carried over, so speed doesn't give you any extra breathing room
    I also didn't sleep the night before, and could feel my eyes getting heavy in the exam, no problems there, I've done exams like that before with no worries

    I guess the lesson to take out of this is
    Real world experiance often does not help, and sometimes it plain hinders, you need to know the MS answer, even if it differs from the real world answer

    That means reading appropriate study material, as well as proper practical study as much as you can

    I have a second shot so I am not too worried, I just need to spend some time attacking it from a different angle, this is the last exam for my 2k3 MCSE, 4 years after I sat the first exam for it, so as you can imagine it was a double downer to miss out, bring on next week (ok maybe fortnight ;)
     
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  2. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hey mate,

    I've failed 9 exams (7 on the MS route, 2 on the Adobe route), that I can think of, already thru one or more of the following:

    1. Lack of studying
    2. Lack of sleep
    3. Not in the proper frame of mind
    4. Not enough experience of X at the time of exam
    5. Not enough knowledge
    6. Unexplained phenomena (lol)

    Everyone has off days and good study tips for everyone :)

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
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  3. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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  4. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Sometimes, what we do in the real world doesn't cover nearly everything that Microsoft *could* test us on. Plus, Microsoft's exam doesn't test us on all the OTHER things that go into AD implementations... and THAT is where your expertise comes into play. So don't beat yourself up thinking you should have passed because you do AD design for a living.

    You are quite correct in your self-analysis of the situation. I have little doubt that you'll be able to pass with a little study... plus, now that you're more familiar with the exam style, you won't get thrown for a loop the next time. :)

    Best of luck on your next attempt, Ryan!
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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  5. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I know the feeling Ryan, it's not the best in the world. I have the 290 exam coming up in a week and this exam is alot easier then what you took but I still don't feel very comfortable as I haven't studied much. Like others mentioned you know what you lack so I am sure next time around you'll improve quite a bit.

    Good luck!
     
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  6. Bambino1506

    Bambino1506 Megabyte Poster

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    Like you said Phoenix you need to know the microsoft answers.

    You'll nail this one with a bit of study for sure.
     
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  7. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Great post Ryan Kudos to you mate! 8)
     
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  8. the_shadow

    the_shadow Bit Poster

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    Sorry to hear about you not passing.:(

    How did you get into AD in the first place? (Double question really, as maybe you could remember why you did and that would fill you with enthusiasm and make learning it easier?)
     
  9. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Yeah, I think it's the same with every test I've ever taken. The key is to tell the teacher what they want to hear, which isn't necessarily the right answer. In MS' case seems like the answer is always to use that fantastic new feature that trumps everything that's come before it. Doesn't matter that nobody uses it and that the old way works with every version of the product. The right answer is always to do it the new way that forces everyone to upgrade. :rolleyes:

    Better luck next time around...
     
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  10. Naive

    Naive Byte Poster

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    I'm sure you'll pass next shot, best of luck mate
     
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  11. sunn

    sunn Gigabyte Poster

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    Too bad you didn’t pass your first time around. But, as mentioned, the positive is that you have already identified what you’ll need to do to get it accomplished.

    Best of luck on your next attempt.
     
  12. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Unlucky mate, must admit this exam threw me the first time I took it, especially due to the format of the exam.

    Best of luck next time! :thumbleft
     
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  13. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    If you administer servers or networks, it's really difficult to escape from AD. :biggrin
     
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  14. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Yes, that is typical for MS exams.
     
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  15. grim

    grim Gigabyte Poster

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    this thread is some what lacking the epic fail appeal :)

    Grim
     
    Certifications: Bsc, 70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-293, 70-294, 70-298, 70-299, 70-620, 70-649, 70-680
    WIP: 70-646, 70-640
  16. Phoenix
    Honorary Member

    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    Well I didn't want to post anything prematurely, I had this paranoid feeling that I still needed another exam to go

    Tuesday afternoon at 13:30 I resat the 70-297 exam and aced it, much easier when most the case studies were the same lol

    I was in an out in 37 minutes, it was over a 2 hour exam allowance

    That was the final exam in the 2k3 MCSE track, something I started back in 2004 with 70-284

    I'm hoping to finish the 2k8 EA stuff a little quicker than that, I'll hopefully do 649 by the end of the year, and as I already have 620 I only need to do the PRO exam after that!

    Think I will celebrate this weekend with some margs and some Sam Adams Oktoberfest!
     
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  17. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Congratulations :)
     
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  18. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Congrats mate. :biggrin

    Know you mean about the case studies, I had some of the same ones when I took the exam the second time around.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
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