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New member needs some advice!!

Discussion in 'New Members Introduction' started by antera309, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. antera309

    antera309 New Member

    Hi there!

    I'm an employed IT Consultant with 9 years experience in the implementation and support of Windows NT 4.0 & 2000 networks. In this time, I have had exposure to most of the functionality in these products, albeit in small-scale environments (less than 20 Servers / 500 workstations).

    This year, my Company have finally committed to financing my MCSE. Obviously, I'm wanting to obtain the latest Windows Server 2003 certification.

    I know full well what shark-infested water the IT Training industry is, and am looking for some independent advice before dipping my toes in!!

    My aims (in priority order) are:
    - To get "the piece of paper" and formalise knowledge I already have.
    - Learn as much as possible in the areas of IIS and SQL Server, as these are the products I work with the most in my current job.
    - Learn more about the differences between 2000 and 2003 R2 and migrations from one product to the other.

    I passed the three core exams for Windows NT 4.0 back in 1999 after following a excellent CBT course. I have since done a 5-day classroom course for 2000 core, but I never sat the exams for 2000. Everything else has been on-the-job experience.

    I don't get on with studying from books alone. I have a LOT of trouble committing the written word to memory, unless it is supplemented with something else. In the past, books have proved useful for reference and clarification, but that is all. Hands-on works best for me.

    So that leaves classroom training, CBT or possibly a combination of both, bolstered by practical exercises in a lab (which I have)

    So, those of you that DIDN'T self-study from books, what methods did you use to get through the MCSE exams and how did you find they worked for you?

    What are the best CBT courses out there right now?

    Who are the best Companies for classroom/lab training? (South East England preferred)

    Are Transcenders still the best for self-testing materials?

    Any help greatly appreciated!!

  2. zimbo
    Honorary Member

    zimbo Petabyte Poster

    Welcome to CF! umm first of all is you want to learn SQL server why arent you thinking of MCDBA or the new SQL server 2005 exams?

    I think if you like cbts try two big companies:

    Learnkey and CBT Nuggets

    Another one i like is Trainsignal

    Good luck!
    Certifications: B.Sc, MCDST & MCSA
    WIP: M.Sc - Computer Forensics
  3. antera309

    antera309 New Member


    I'm showing my ignorance already. Is SQL Server administration not available as an elective on the MCSE track any more?
  4. Boycie
    Honorary Member

    Boycie Senior Beer Tester

    Hi and welcome aboard. :thumbleft
    Certifications: MCSA 2003, MCDST, A+, N+, CTT+, MCT
  5. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    My Suggestion for MCSE - Self Study. Use the Books, Hands on exp, and Transcenders. 8)

    You can find out exactly what exams count here

    From looking at it quickly you used to be able to do 229 as a design requirement for the W2K track, but it doesn't look as though you can now. :(
  6. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    How you get on with books could depend on the books that you are using. For instance some books are designed as a reference for you to easilly find and extract the information that you want. However the books that are specifically targeted towards the exams contain hands on labs for you to practice and apply what you read.

    From personal experience you should always use at least two books, one targeted for the exam, and on that is juat for general reference and further understanding, such as the Resource Kits.

  7. antera309

    antera309 New Member

    Agreed on Transcenders. I used them extensively for both my NT 4.0 Core and when I was trying to upgrade my MCP to Windows 2000. They were a great tool for determining exam readiness.

    The books I tried were the Sybex ones, which were supposed to be the best available. After reading the whole Sybex book for exam 70-215 my max score on Transcenders only went up from 65% to 70%. That's a very poor payoff for the time I spent reading it.

    I'm open to suggestions on other reading materials, though.
  8. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Welcome to CF, Nick. Hope there is some good advice for you here :)
    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  9. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

    Greetings, Nick. Welcome to CertForums. :)
    Certifications: A+ and Network+
  10. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

    Well, I'm not too sure, as I've never really studied for the 2K3 stuff, but when I was doing 2K I found that the following helped me:

    MCSA/E for dummies books - To give a good overview of the subject - Not enough technical depth though.

    The Official MS Press Exam books - Good for the exam materials, and Labs to practice with.

    A 'Non' certification book such as the Resource Kits - to further clarify understanding of the technology and how it works.

    Also - A lot of hands on with the products and making use of Google / The Internet to further help me understand what I was studying.

    HTH. 8)

    EDIT: Despit this being my third post in this thread I still havent said welcome! :oops:

    Welcome! :biggrin
  11. Veteran's son

    Veteran's son Megabyte Poster

    Welcome to the forums, Nick! :)
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: N+

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