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Which course to study first.

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by JHarris, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. JHarris

    JHarris New Member

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    Hello all,

    I currently have around 10 years experience in IT ranging from 1st line technical support to smaller business networking, Windows 95 to Vista experience. I currently work for a software company providing second line support for their business software and of course this includes supporting customers on their XP/Vista systems. Currently I have no formal qualifications other than City & Guilds in Computing and Microprocessors & Architecture.

    I have been reading some posts on these forums saying that some people are having problems understanding the MCDST material even after doing the A+. Which out of these two would be considered as the harder course/subject?

    I have the Sixth Edition Mike Meyers A+ Book and I am reading through that at the moment, and find that I am learning a fair bit from it so far however I was wanting to get to at least MCP level with the Operating System exam.

    I know this is more of a personal thing however would people in general class the A+ as easier, or the first part of the MCDST? Any information you guys can give me would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks,

    Jamie
     
  2. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    The general rule of thumb advice goes as follows:-

    A+ then N+ then MCDST (70-271 then 70-272).

    As to which one is harder depends on your own knowledge. They're not really comparable as each exam focuses on different things...

    In layman's terms - A+ = Hardware, N+ = Basic Networking, MCDST, 70-271 = Supporting/Troubleshooting XP, MCDST, 70-272 = Supporting/Troubleshooting XP Desktop Apps

    With your current level of experience I'd still advise getting the certs in that order. Don't ever think that some exams will be so easy as to not bother with them - if they're easy then you can pass them faster and move on to the next rung of the ladder.

    After all, no one will take away your qualifications once you have obtained them.

    Hope this helps,

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  3. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    It looks to me like 272 has a lot in common with 271,i did a practice exam without studying anything at all for the 272 and scored 60% ,i've only done the 271,most of the questions could have been from the 271 exam there were strong similarities.

    What i'm saying is it looks like you need to do very little to reach the standard of the 272 if you have already finished studying 271.A bit of office 2003 study,and a bit of outlook express,and that seems to be the only differences.

    Anyway,to the 1st poster i'd say do 271 first and get that one out the way,272 looks easier than 271.

    And yes i'd class the A+ as a lot eaiser than the MCDST but mostly due to the questioning style,and i already had many years of hardware repair experience behind me before i did the A+ so i was bound to do better in this subject.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  4. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Of course there is overlap between 70-271 and 70-272 purely because they're part and parcel of the same qualification (MCDST)! :p

    In all honesty, I think you're generalising far too much. Yes there may be exam questions on 272 which feel similar to 271, but there's a chance the exam will contain none of these.

    It's far better to study all of the objectives for both exams individually, this way you're not shooting yourself in the foot when you score 60% on the actual exam and fail...

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  5. del_port

    del_port Byte Poster

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    60% is only a few questions short of passing the exam just now without studying,i will do some study,but it looks just like a 271 exam with added extras.

    I think i do things with a rebel approach,i don't study much near exam time but i pass exams,i have another exam in a fortnight that i won't be studying much, if anything for.

    I retain little that i study from a book,so it's seems pointless.In a practical hands on sense,or watching video,or being taught i learn much better.

    I think it's better to use the knowledge in your head rather than learn facts for a day just to be able to answer an exam question.When i go through an exam i take years of knowledge in with me,so i look at a question and i think yes i did that 8 years ago,or i did that 5 years ago,so i'm not so much relying on a book to get me through, i'm relying on my memory of what i did years ago to help me pass.
    Mixed with some new information i may have learned from the teaching or study,it's combined knowledge.
     
    Certifications: A+ and MCDST 70-271
    WIP: mcdst 272
  6. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    Unfortunately Microsoft devalues experience. You'd get higher scores on their tests if you focused on the marketing hype. Given two choices: the one years of experience has taught you and that works with all version of the product, or a new bell and whistle you've never heard of before that only works with the new version, the "best" answer will always be the new feature they want you to promote.
     
    Certifications: A few
    WIP: none
  7. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Agreed, marketing is one huge aim of the whole program, as is profit, why two exams with nearly same content for MCDST ? Why not throw in a couple extra questions and make it one exam ? Answer because then you couldn't charge twice for it.

    More certs and cert paths equals more books, courses and exams equals more profits, its that simple.

    Anyone with a Vista cert is gonna feel rather silly when the Windows 7 cert arrives in 2 minutes time, time to cough up another £88...

    Forget the marketing hype, enroll on a course that teaches fundamentals instead and get a real education ! Fundamentals never go out of fashion...
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  8. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    I've taken both, and the truth is, the exams ARE different, and they DON'T cover the same content. A quick glance at the objectives will confirm this.

    Nobody says you have to get certified.
     
    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!
  9. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Gotta agree, BM's bang on the money.

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  10. dmarsh

    dmarsh Terabyte Poster

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    Bigger more complicated topics have one exam, also other topics have multiple exams with very similar content. MS themselves have combined some exams due to lack of interest so in some instances even they agree with my point.

    Personally I think the Windows XP desktop OS can be reasonably covered in one exam, for higher stuff they already have the MCSA and the MCSE, you of course are entitled to your opinion.

    The MS training only covers one week, one exam for five days training seems reasonable to me. I was just agreeing with the other poster based on my experiences with MS exams, I have no interest in the MCDST specifically. If MS made it three exams you'd probably say they were spot on too.

    Good point, I have no plans to take anymore certifications, I shall be learning topics that interest me instead, CUDA, parallel and distributed programming, some Maths and Physics, after that I might pursue an MSc or MPhil.
     
    Certifications: CITP, BSc, HND, SCJP, SCJD, SCWCD, SCBCD, SCEA, N+, Sec+, Proj+, Server+, Linux+, MCTS, MCPD, MCSA, MCITP, CCDH
  11. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    It's not a certification for advanced folks. Sure, it CAN be covered in one exam, and there would likely be a one-exam version if there were an upgrade path to the MCDST (like there is for the MCITP: EST)... but that would be for people who have been in the industry a while and just want to upgrade their certifications. Saying that Microsoft ought to combine the exams because they're "lower-level exams" belittles the efforts of those who are just starting out who really ought to study for them individually.

    And, again, the subject matter is altogether different... one covers the OS, and another covers application support. You're a smart guy, D, but in this case, I don't think you know what you're talking about. I've taken the exams... and, if I remember correctly, I edited practice exams that cover them.

    If they cover different aspects of the technology, I surely would. That said, my opinion is quite irrelevant. If THEY think THEY need multiple exams regarding THEIR OS and THEIR applications before granting THEIR certification, who are you or I to argue with THEIR decision?

    For the record, if any exams ought to be combined, it's CompTIA's A+ exams. There's so much overlap going on there, it's astounding. But again, it's CompTIA's certification program; I can choose to play by their rules and get certified, or I can arrogantly say I don't need their certifications.
     
    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. StormTHX

    StormTHX Byte Poster

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    Certifications are designed for different jobs and different levels of experience and they provide a level of expertise at least for a period of time (if you do not use it you will lose it IMHO).

    There is not point in taking shots at MS as they provide a great deal of employment opportunities for those in the field and those writing books or exam sims as well. This is true in most industries.

    Of course there is a business side to it as well that can be a cash cow for MS, but that is what makes the world go round or not as the case has been.

    For better or worse MS sets the standard and thankfully there products are not perfect, because I would not have a job if the stuff just worked.

    Not sure I wanted in on this one, but enough bashing goes on.:rolleyes:
     
    Certifications: MCDST, MCP (210), A+, ITIL Foundations
    WIP: Taking a break then onto MCSE

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