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MCSA Self Study?

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by lawson, Jan 18, 2011.

  1. lawson

    lawson New Member

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    Advice please

    im thinking of doing a MCSA and going the self study route has anyone had any experience of this and could they give me some pointers of where to start?

    This will be the first Microsoft Cert ill be doing so pretty much a novice on this from a certification point of view but i do work within the IT industry.

    thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
  2. millsie

    millsie Byte Poster

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    Me too! Will be embarking on this asap after my CCNA exam next week! Going to start with 70-680 configuring Windows 7 TS then go onto the Desktop Support Tech part of it, then do the server stuff.
    Exciting times! Going to buy the MS press books which for the 70-680 is only £27 at the moment so good deal.
    Self-studying is totally possible, better than paying loads for a company to just give you the info. Just gotta be strict with yourself and get on with it!
    Good luck with it!
    Steve
     
    Certifications: N+, CCNA, MCDST
    WIP: CCNP route 642-902
  3. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    I did my MCSA self study took me 4 years :oops: as I did the first 3 exams within 1 year and then took 3 years to do 70-291 as I burned myself out doing exams and with life at that time.

    Best advice I can give you is you is invest in good books and you must have a study lab to do these high end exams and hands on experience is also very helpful. As for the study lab either buy a couple of cheap servers and run ESXi on them (virtualisation technology) or if you have a powerful PC/laptop then you can also use virtualisation software like Virtual PC, VMware Workstation or Virtual Box which I use to install testing OS's.

    Duration to getting the MCSA is in my opinion dependent on your hands on experience as this should dictate how long it will take you to do the MCSA. If you don't have experience you must take your time doing the exams as passing is more than just getting the cert it's also about learning the material and remembering how to utilise it otherwise your just classifying yourself as a paper cert and it won't do your career any good.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  4. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Word of warning check on Amazon reviews for the 70-680 book as it's meant to be full of errors and some pretty bad ones so you will need to download the correction page for the book on Microsoft's website. I've got the book and am about to read through it. Also check on PC World books as they do a bundle of the book and official 70-680 online course for £38. Haven't went through the course yet but thought it was a really good deal as Amazon were selling it for about £10 more.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  5. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    sorry double post
     
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2011
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
    WIP: Being a BILB,
  6. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    I took the 290 exam back in November and failed miserably. I tried reading the MS press book and one by our very own Tripwire (James) but it wasn’t enough. I have got a server setup using a standard PC running W2K3, and my PC running Win7 on the Domain. Problem is playing with it. I don’t want to mess up my PC, so once the Domains been setup I’ve been reluctant to touch it to do some of the lessons from the book.

    I do feel you need s lab setup or network running a server to do any studying for this cert. Without it, just reading the books wouldn’t be enough. I'd already done the MCDST cert and though this would follow on easily. But it hasn’t. And, i don’t get to touch servers in work (and wont now as imp leaving that job).

    If anyone wants a study buddy, just yell. I've booked my resit in Feb and need some help, plus it might motivate me more if imp doing it with someone else.

    Once i get 290 out way, i plan on doing either the 270 (before end of March as it should be easy now i done the mcdst) or the Win 7 exam. After that, I’ll leave the 291 for a while longer, spend more time on that to make sure i can get it first time round.
     
    Certifications: Comptia A+, N+, MS 70-271, 70-272
    WIP: Being a BILB,
  7. cosway

    cosway Nibble Poster

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    Hi

    I went down the self study route. It took longer than I planed as life got in the way, but the best advice if I was to meet myself before I started, and give myself advice, here it is (a bit long)...

    - Buy the Microsoft Press Books from amazon, they are cheaper than WHSmith, and are delivered right away (I waited for almost a month for my local WHSmith to order the book in, I had to pay well over the cover price, and still had to go to the shop and pick it up).

    - Don’t be tempted to buy the MS press books 2nd hand - I've got 3 copies of 70-291 (one was an old version, the second was missing all the CDs, the 3rd I bought new).

    - If you are studying part time at collage or Uni, get yourself a student discount card (Student ID Card), you can then book the 72-XXX equivalent of the MS exam's (they are half the price, and you get a free go if you fail).

    - Get the exam cram books also. I found these great to re-cap subjects without going all though the MS press book course again.

    - Use the practice exams, try and squeeze 1 exam in each evening, or during lunch break. You may get used to questions, but you'll be surprised how similar the ones in the MS book are to the real ones.

    - Make time to study and stick to it, its very easy to skip a study period if there's a good film on, also make time to relax and not study. (you can study too much and burn out).

    - Buy the CBT nuggets videos, don't be tempted to download the torrents its illegal, unethical, and they are sometimes not complete. CBT nuggets are the best of all video based training courses.

    - Pace yourself, set yourself small goals, and don't try and rush. The feeling of seeing "Congratulations you've passed" on the screen in the test centre can be an amazing feeling, but the "Unfortunately you didn't pass this time" message can bring you down for a while. Wait until you feel ready to take the test.

    - Get the MCDST cert as soon as you can, its 2 exams, and they are about to stop allowing people to take them, so hurry up.
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCSA, A+
    WIP: MCSE
  8. karan1337

    karan1337 Byte Poster

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    Good advice from Cosway. Repped!

    I'm going for the 70-620 then will take some time to gain experience with servers, before i sit for the core MCSA/MCSE exams.
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, MCTS, Brainbench: XP and Vista [Master]
    WIP: Bachelors:Computer Science
  9. lawson

    lawson New Member

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    thanks some great advice there, ive ordered some books of Amazon to do the 70 - 270 exam

    Namely -

    1. MCSA/MCSE Installing, Configuring, & Administering Win XP Pro Training Kit Book/CD Package 2nd Edition: Installing, Configuring, and Administering ... Windows XP Professional (Pro-Certification)

    2. MCSE Windows XP Professional Exam Cram 2 (Exam 70-270)

    im hoping to get this exam in before end of March.

    ive worked for a while in IT (7 years to be precise) so have a good bit of experience behind me with operating systems and server but never got round to getting any certifications to prove this as im more a hand on person, so this year decided to kick my self up the ass and get learning for some certs.

    Have access to a few old server that are no longer used so will wipe one of them and get VMware installed on it for testing etc...

    thanks for the advice and any future advice people may post.
     
  10. ethernet0

    ethernet0 Byte Poster

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    and to carry on from this - the practice tests are terrible.
     
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Also repped.

    I know of a good book for that exam... :tune

    :biggrin
     
    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!
  12. karan1337

    karan1337 Byte Poster

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    Which one BM? stop teasing :)
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, MCTS, Brainbench: XP and Vista [Master]
    WIP: Bachelors:Computer Science
  13. rocketly

    rocketly New Member

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    Like the original poster, I'm new to this, been scouring the companies to understand how quickly I could do the MCSE, came across the forums, and rethinking stuff :dry

    But MCDST - how likely/achievable is it to do within the timescale left - and why's it important?

    Thanks :D
     
  14. michael78

    michael78 Terabyte Poster

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    Yeah after seeing the correction post on Amazon by the author I returned the book as it's shocking to say the least.
     
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP | MCDST | MCTS: Hyper-V | MCTS: AD | MCTS: Exchange 2007 | MCTS: Windows 7 | MCSA: 2003 | ITIL Foundation v3 | CCA: Xenapp 5.0 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7 | MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
    WIP: Online SAN Overview, VCP in December 2011
  15. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  16. karan1337

    karan1337 Byte Poster

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    OH! Thanks GBL (and BM and BJ too). Will look into it.
     
    Certifications: MCP, MCDST, MCTS, Brainbench: XP and Vista [Master]
    WIP: Bachelors:Computer Science

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