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Just about to start MCDST through Computeach

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by simonp83, Feb 16, 2009.

  1. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Spent the past 3 years doing 1st and 2nd line support for a local computer shop and 4 months doing 1st line support for Centrica on a temporary contract. Now the contract is over, i thought i'd spend a little time doing a cert course to to get prove my knowledge. I'm taking the course through Computeach and the guy from Computeach is coming round on Thursday morning to talk me through the course but i was just wondering on how the course is laid out? I know there are between 40 and 60 questions, are these multiple choice questions and i also know i need to go to a test centre as well to do the tests.

    Also, where do i go after the MCDST, i want to get an MCSE as well but with it being so expensive, it would be difficult to do it outside of a job placement. Anyone have any idea on other certs to get if going for 2nd line role in a medium/large company?
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  2. dalsoth

    dalsoth Kilobyte Poster

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    If you are experienced on XP I doubt you need to pay a truck load of cash to Computeach. Never really thought about these training providers much till i joined these forums and since then have definitely gone right off them. They guy coming round is most likely going to give you the hard sell about MCSE and CCNA and everything else under the sun.

    He will tell you how he will get you a job after the training blabla.

    My advice honestly given is to buy the MCDST Microsoft Press books. There are two. Read those, take the exams, there are two exams, one on the operating system and the other on applications like Office etc. If you still feel a bit nervous, perhaps purchase a CBT course from the internet which will have tutor style lessons on the exam and will prepare you for it.

    Most people on here will self study, very few use training providers. Not to say they are all bad but i doubt you need one.

    I am about to take my MCDST exams. I have worked with XP a fair while and passed the XP 70-270 last year. Even so, i feel ready after a few days study to go for the first exam. Might fail, might not, get a second shot for free if i do:p

    Self study would not prove too expensive. You book your exams through the Prometric website for a local exam centre which should cost you £88 an exam. The MCSA is perhaps the better route to take once you have done the MCDST. The MCDST counts towards it. Do one exam at a time at your own pace. Will only cost you some books, perhaps some time and perhaps some exam fees. Optionally you can purchase things such as the CBT videos and practice tests online to enhance your learning.

    Check out the training forums for some guides and posts regarding all of this.

    Be careful before you sign up to any course with a training provider. Have a search for them on here and see what you think after that.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Certifications: MCSE, MCP, MCDST, MCSA, ITIL v3
    WIP: MCITP EA
  3. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Hi, why not introduce yourself here and be a part of this community :)

    Anyway... Along with the MCDST, I would strongly recommend looking into the A+ and the Network+. For now I would advise not doing the MCSE at the moment:

    These higher level professional certifications are not there to replace experience, they are there to reflect your job role as well as your responsibilities. Added to that alot of IT managers (including myself) actually disregard certain certifications if the experience does not back it up.

    As for the MCDST exams, in order to gain that credential you have to pass 2 exams the 70-271 & the 70-272, see the links for a little bit more info on the exams.

    E X A M S P E C S (from Cramsession)
    Exam Number: 70-271 & 70-272
    Active / Retired: Active
    Prerequisites: None
    Exam Format: Combination of Multiple Choice, Hot Area, Active Screen, Drag and Drop, Build list - sort and order, and Build a Tree question scenarios
    Num Questions: Approx. 50
    Time Limit: 90 minutes
    Cost (USD) $: $125
    Passing Score: 700

    I would also recommend shopping around and do not be pressured into purchasing any course until you do so.

    Hope this helps :)

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  4. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Thankyou both for the reply. I was initially looking at the MCSE but when i started hearing prices of £1500 per module, with 6 modules in total, i thought i want to go down a different route. The A+ sounds really straight forward but i just want to start "collecting" some of the certifications just to back up my experience.

    I'm going to see what the guy says on Thursday and see what prices he quotes, i'd be looking at around £220, doing it the self learning way?
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  5. Sparky
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    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Thats crazy money tbh.

    Whatever happens on Thursday don't sign anything, take a few days to think it over and if its not the right option for you go for the self study route instead.
     
    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  6. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    Yes,as the others have said you don't actually need a course at all for the MCDST ,especially with all your experience,which i didn't have,and i have passed the first part of the mcdst already .

    I went to college to study the mcdst,a few weeks into the course i began to feel there was no point at all in attending college as you will spend nearly all of the time reading a study book [the same as the person who studies this at home] this is the way this course is taught,this is the way microsoft want the subject to be taught,teacher interaction is minimal,and if you are doing it through computeach even less so i'd think.

    I might put my college study books in the for sale section as i'm finished with them now,those 2 books alone would get you straight to exam level with your experience.
    I'd agree with your estimate of £220 to go the self study route including exam fees.

    So my advice spend little and pass your mcdst,i truely regret spending money on the course,the exams are £88 each by the way,just phone the external test centre to take the exams when you want.

    The A+ is different,it is worth studying at a college in my view,but the MCDST definetely not.

    And to answer the questions comment,yes the exam is multiple choice with 4 answers to choose from,my exam was 49 questions with 2 hours to answer them,i don't know if everyone gets exactly 49 questions.

    Passing mark is around 70%,so you can afford to get a few questions wrong.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  7. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    If you can afford £1500 per module you may aswell go to university do a degree and a masters degree.

    Just so you know an MCSE wont do you much good unless you have 12 - 18 months experience of supporting and adminstering a 250+ multi user multi server envornment. Having high level certs like MCSE etc can damage your employment prospects as those certs are supposed to show your level of employment not that you can pass some exams.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    I agree :)

    If you want a more formalised teaching aspect, then I would strongly recommend contacting your local college to see if they do the classes. £1500 per module is very expensive.

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  9. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Right, just been speaking to the Computeach guy. From what he's said, to do an MCDST course through them will cost £1995. I've spent the past 3 years supporting XP so know my stuff. What are the other options, cheaper hopefully, options. Do it all myself, get a book to learn up what's expected in the exams and then go through the exams myself?
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    That is expensive, our local college is offering the MCDST course for £465 (£110 consessions) for the class based option. If you're happy to self-study, get yourself a good book (either from MSPress or Sybex) and maybe some practice exams (from vendors like Boson, Preplogic) and don't forget to sign up for MS Second shot, just in case you need to resit the exam - just remember to sign up for each exam (so twice).

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  11. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    buy one or two books and pay for exams is the simple solution,it's not a worthwhile college course as i've said.

    It's a subject where you work through your lab book at home and go for the exams,you might already be at exam level today for all i know.

    I had to learn about xp,as although i've used it since the first day of release,i used it in a single user basic manner,i never had to know about accounts or priviliges,i never had to know any of the stuff for multiple users or any networking information.

    You have already done 3 years on this subject,i needed less than 5 months to pass the exam.Without the knowledge that you have.

    So you can see why i'm saying you might allready pass today.

    What you don't need to do in my view is spend £2000 and say, i knew and know all that you are teaching me,why am i wasting money?
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  12. loneferret

    loneferret Byte Poster

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    £1995? Holy crap, that's expensive! When I was attending university the average term cost was 500-600$ CAD.
    The others are right, get the books and self-study. Keep your money for college or uni, or for future projects.
    Good luck.
     
    Certifications: MCDST/N+/L+/i-Net+/CIW/OSCP/OSCE
    WIP: MCTS 70-662
  13. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    I think you'll also agree this isn't a college subject?

    Microsoft ask that the course be taught from the book,the teacher cannot stand for half the session teaching,this is the problem i have with this course,it's not teacher driven,it's book driven.

    The teacher can give a short slide presentation,they can also give web addresses to click on,they can spend a few minutes with the student,and i mean literally minutes.

    The student is expected to keep their head down reading the microsoft book for nearly all of the session,microsoft instruct the student through the book what to do,something that can be done in comfort at home and achieve the same result.

    You can tell i am annoyed with this as a college course as it just isn't worth the money.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  14. loneferret

    loneferret Byte Poster

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    Pardon my ignorance but, what's a "Build a Tree question scenarios" ?
     
    Certifications: MCDST/N+/L+/i-Net+/CIW/OSCP/OSCE
    WIP: MCTS 70-662
  15. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    While it isn't an academic subject, it does follow the course guidelines from Microsoft. However it does depend on the actual trainer (both Modey & myself have taught the MCDST, MCSA & some MCSE modules) & the individual student. If done properly, yes there are some slides that the trainer has to go thru, the trainer then explains the slides with real world experiences/examples with interaction from the students, then the students have to do the practicals that are in the book. The Microsoft courses aren't the be all and end all, there is an expectance of some previous knowledge & some self study on the students part.

    What the college course does offer is studying in the group, a person qualified in and using the technology (dependent on college), e-learning to go with the course to study at home, discounted exam vouchers (in some cases). Not everyone want to self-study, some people need the option of a structured class. By offering different ways to study, you get to cater for everyone. Plus for a training course which is a fraction of the price of a private training course, it does represent a good price for class based training.

    I'm not knocking self-study, infact I endorse it, I just happen to endorse class based learning as well. It's down to the individual to choose what route to go him/herself and not just go down one route just because the majority says it's better.

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  16. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    You mean this:

    -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
    WIP: PGDip
  17. loneferret

    loneferret Byte Poster

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    Thanks :)
     
    Certifications: MCDST/N+/L+/i-Net+/CIW/OSCP/OSCE
    WIP: MCTS 70-662
  18. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Right, couple of things i'll get sorted out this week then. Order both the MS Press Kits from Amazon for 271 and 272 and also looking into getting a mock test done just to see how well i do on the mock test and go from there.
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291
  19. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Yikes. :ohmy
     
    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+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  20. simonp83

    simonp83 Kilobyte Poster

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    Book for 271 has arrived and a lot of it is farely straight forward for me so booking test for next Friday in Newark. I've put the Second Chance voucher code into the "Payment Information" bit of the Prometric site, a long with the 15% discount from the Presspack. Now it lists the 15% discount but it doesn't say anything about the second chance offer? Also, it is asking for an MCP ID. I have Prometic ID number which starts SR554xxxx, is this the MCP ID?
     
    Certifications: A+, MCP, MCDST, MCTS, MCITP
    WIP: 70-291

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