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Why does it have to be like this?

Discussion in 'Network Infrastructure' started by jezza1970, Jun 11, 2009.

  1. jezza1970

    jezza1970 Nibble Poster

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    Why oh why.....

    Here is a little background:

    I am IT manager for a small publishing firm in South London - OK the job title sounds cool - but I am Manager because I am (almost) the only IT person in the company.

    A while back I thought it would be a good idea to recession-proof my career by getting a few certs under my belt - and first off - I thought MCSA!!

    Ok here goes..... I successfully passed my first exam to get MCP status (70-290) and (foolishly?) decided to go for the beast (70-291) next (the thinking behind this was that once the beast is out of the way - it would be all downhill from there!). At first all seemed well - I would come home from work and sit in front of the TV and study for a couple of hours each night.

    Now here is my situation...... I CANNOT TAKE IT ANYMORE! I am finding it very tedious and my motivation levels are dropping by the minute!!!! I would like to hear from anyone who has studied for this exam and has any pointers they are willing to share to make my path to the 70-291 a little more bearable!!

    Dont get me wrong - I am diligent and will (eventually) get there - but I would like to get there losing as little of my hair as possible!!

    I have read through the TCP/IP (subnetting et al - OH LORD THE MATHS!!!!), DNS and DHCP sections of the MSPress handbook and although the information is going in (slowly) I just want to hear from the good folks out there who have been here before me (and even those who are in the same boat as me)

    Please get back to me!!

    Cheers

    Jeremy
     
    Certifications: BEng (HONS); MCP 70-290; 70-291; 70-270; 70-680
    WIP: ACSP, 70-648
  2. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Ha ha don't worry mate, you are not alone. I was flying through my MS certs and hit a brick wall failing 291. Whats worse is I'm now scared of 291 and am sitting my Security+ and two MCTS exams before getting back into it, just to boost my confidence back up.
    Therefore my advice to you is. . . . if your starting to hate the material, falling asleep etc. Maybe try studying for 270 or 620 which I found interesting. Once you have all but 291 for your MCSA, this might give you that boost to think "right, am getting this done now". Thats the approach I'm taking. You can also revise your 291 stuff but only do half an hour a day say, possibly in your lunch break.

    Best of luck, we'll get there eventually . . . . . .

    Jim
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  3. LordMoolyBap

    LordMoolyBap Nibble Poster

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    I haven't done that exam but I know the feeling you are getting. I have studied almost every night for about 4 years now and have still got a long way to go. Sometimes I just get absoloutely sick of it.

    If you are self studying it may be worth just taking a short break from it, relaxing and remembering what it's like to live a normal life for a while (not too long though). Its also important to always allow some time to relax. If you can try and assign certain times when you will study and stick to them.

    I think breaking things down into what you need to achieve (make each a small goal) and then approaching them one at a time is very good as you can slowly tick each one off and see the progress you are making.

    Hope that isn't too much of the obvious but it's easy to forget these things.

    Dom 8)
     
    Certifications: HND (Comp) MBCS
    WIP: Msc Intelligent Systems
  4. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    My advice seems quite obvious given your situation.. go for the easier (client) exams first.

    Instead of aiming at the big scary server exams go and pass 70-271, 70-272, 70-270 and maybe even 70-620.

    They'll give you a more rounded understanding and ease you in to the information you need to learn for the 70-291. Plus you'll need to do some of them as they're electives for the MCSA.

    You're going from hardest to easiest. It's better the other way around.

    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. kevicho

    kevicho Gigabyte Poster

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    Always remember to try and even out your study with keeping the rest of your life in balance, my diet for instance has become terrible again and have been out drinking a few times too many and my studying has suffered, when I was eating plenty of fruit and keeping to more soft drinks my energy and happyness levels were higher and my study was less painful, and as such im getting back on track with this.

    Also keep to a routine, if two hours is too long for you just go for an hour a night, it may take longer to complete the studies but as you progress over time you can build up more revision time every night by 5 mins or so and get to two hours eventually.

    My final thought is to try and think of it less as studying, but more of learning and playing around with new technologies and concepts, putting a positive spin on it and you can brainwash yourself into working harder :)
     
    Certifications: A+, Net+, MCSA Server 2003, 2008, Windows XP & 7 , ITIL V3 Foundation
    WIP: CCNA Renewal
  6. jiggy

    jiggy Nibble Poster

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    The way I got through the beast was to book the exam for 1 month away. I then submerged myself in studying for it, read all the books, built test servers on vmware so I could actually do everything I was studying (and that was key for me as I learn best by doing, not reading about it)...basically lived, slept and breathed it. It was a hell of a month with no spare time but I knew that it would only be 1 month and then it would be done. Its a tough way to do it at the time but Im glad that I didnt drag it out over 6 months or 1 year etc.

    Just my 2 cents worth.

    J.
     
    Certifications: MCSE
    WIP: ABC's
  7. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    I did a very similar thing but over an 8 week period. As well as building a test lab of physical machines to practice on, I was also doing an evening class at the local college. It was a really intense period, but I passed first time and the hard work really paid off.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  8. Sparky
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    Sparky Zettabyte Poster Moderator

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    Certifications: MSc MCSE MCSA:M MCSA:S MCITP:EA MCTS(x5) Security+ Network+ A+
    WIP: Exchange 2007\2010
  9. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Certifications: A+, N+, MCP, MCDST, MCSA 2K3, MCTS, MOS, MTA, MCT, MCITP:EDST7, MCSA W7, Citrix CCA, ITIL Foundation
    WIP: Nada
  10. jezza1970

    jezza1970 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks to ALL for your replies!!!!

    I passed 70-290 in April (just before Easter Weekend!) and been studying for the 291 ever since.. I realise I could re-focus my energies onto the 270 (etc) so that its a little easier (in terms of content), but I figure that once I have passed my second exam I am going to end up in no mans land. What I mean to say is after 2 exams I would find myself at a midpoint (2 exams of 4) and I would be more motivated if its downhill from there (ie the difficult exams are all out of the way). Thats my thinking.

    What I am trying to say is: If I avoid the 291 now - its always going to be at the back of my mind - so I think I'll stick at it for another month or two!! If, by the end of July I still havent realistically got any nearer to passing I will change direction and go for the 70-270 (it actually had crossed my mind before I had actually passed the 290 to get the 'easy' exams out of the way!

    Actually, after saying all this, I studied for a good 2/3 hours last night, concentrating on the TCP/IP maths (calculating address block size, number hosts etc etc) and it started to make sense!!! So much so - I actually completed the practice exercises at the end of the chapter!!! Yay!

    This might not seem like much to others here BUT to me its comparable to a moon landing! Like I say I will see how it goes til the end of July then reassess the situation!!

    One other thing - do any members here actually meet up to share a few ideas and beers??? Without trying to turn Cert Forums into a dating site I figure it could be a good idea to meet a few members face to face and swap study ideas!
     
    Certifications: BEng (HONS); MCP 70-290; 70-291; 70-270; 70-680
    WIP: ACSP, 70-648
  11. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    See here - http://www.certforums.co.uk/forums/thread22750.html

    This is the thread for old get together events.

    There's a new one lurking around that Arro is trying to organise, but I can't (be arsed to) find the link.

    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
  12. jk2447

    jk2447 Petabyte Poster Moderator

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    Its probably helped you just to talk to us lot about it to be honest mate. I'd be up for getting drunk (any excuse!) and talking some nerd language if anyone fancies a night out in Liverpool :twisted:
     
    Certifications: BSc (Hons), HND IT, HND Computing, ITIL-F, MBCS CITP, MCP (270,290,291,293,294,298,299,410,411,412) MCTS (401,620,624,652) MCSA:Security, MCSE: Security, Security+, CPTS, VCP4, CCA (XenApp6.5), MCSA 2012, VCP5, VCP6-NV
  13. skulkerboyo

    skulkerboyo Megabyte Poster

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    The 291 nearly made me wanna kill myself. I found it so dry and boring. I'd have to reread most bits as my mind would defensively wander to something more interesting:(

    I focused alot on the subnetting and equations for the exam but dont recall needing them though eveyones exam experience is different as its luck of the draw which q's you get.

    My advice would be persevere. Stopping now to do a client exam would simply put you back at square one when you decide to pick this one up again and if it sucks now it wont suck any less then

    For subnetting see here
    http://www.learntosubnet.com/

    Heres the other forum I haunted during my studies
    http://www.techexams.net/forums/70-291-windows-2003-network-infrastructure/

    There are many other resources around though none are gonna make this one fun

    Its a dry boring exam and it covers alot. just put your head down and if you can take advantage of the second shot - If you can use second shot maybe just take th eexam once for the hell of it to see what you're reall up against

    Good luck and dont lose heart. It will sooooo be worth it in th eend
     
    Certifications: MCITP:SA, MCSA 03, MCSA 08, MCTS(680+648),A+,N+,ITILV3 Foundation, ITIL Intermediate: Operational Support and Analysis
    WIP: 70-417
  14. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    To be honest I find it really boring reading computer books.... I always incoporate labs and such into each exercise, it helps a lot more and keeps it intereting! non the less you seem like you're on the right track so just keep it up.
     
    Certifications: A+ | CCA | CCAA | Network+ | MCDST | MCSA | MCP (270, 271, 272, 290, 291) | MCTS (70-662, 70-663) | MCITP:EMA | VCA-DCV/Cloud/WM | VTSP | VCP5-DT | VCP5-DCV
    WIP: VCAP5-DCA/DCD | EMCCA
  15. jezza1970

    jezza1970 Nibble Poster

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    Thanks for all feedback!!! I will keep you all posted.......

    Decided, yesterday to pick up the MSPress handbook and re-read what I had already gone through!! Made a lot of progress. Re-reading has clarified a number of points - and I am feeling pretty confident again!

    Hoping to have the beast out of the way by August!

    Cheers All
     
    Certifications: BEng (HONS); MCP 70-290; 70-291; 70-270; 70-680
    WIP: ACSP, 70-648
  16. Patch230

    Patch230 Nibble Poster

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    The 291 is a complete Pig !!!


    But keep at it :) its such a relife when you pass it, i was jumping up and down as were the staff at the prometric centre :biggrin (3rd attempt)


    what really helped me was the CBT Nuggets videos - absolute godsend !


    And if i can give any tips without giving anything away and getting into bother of any kind, - i found learning the relevent command line functions extremly usefull for my 3rd attempt
     
    Certifications: MCDST MCSA
  17. jezza1970

    jezza1970 Nibble Poster

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    Cheers, Patch!
     
    Certifications: BEng (HONS); MCP 70-290; 70-291; 70-270; 70-680
    WIP: ACSP, 70-648
  18. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

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    What books are you using? MS Press? I know what you feeling - i hated that exam it took me months - i think 6! But i started from scratch on everything so maybe thats why... but back to the books maybe take a look at another book..
     
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  19. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    I know what you mean, it is as boring as hell.

    I did write a Study Guide for the 70-291 which can be found here
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5

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