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Passed MCDST

Discussion in 'MCDST' started by McTaff, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. McTaff

    McTaff Bit Poster

    Well actually I passed a week ago, but have only just got round to posting my observations.

    I used a CBT by Career Academy (3 DVDs, but too short IMO), the Sybex study guide (good, but possibly a little out of date. Also, the exams and flash cards on the CD are not split conveniently between exams 271 and 272), and Microsoft's own on-line "preparation" course for the MCDST (this was free at the time, and I thought it was a pretty handy little resource, even if it was only 6 hours long). I also had Measure-Ups which came free with the CBT.

    My first mistake was not booking the exams early enough. I thought I could finish the course, then ring up Prometric and amble on down to the centre in the afternoon perhaps. No such luck, the earliest was a fortnight for the 272, and the 271 would have to be taken in Cardiff (200 miles away - I'd be stopping over with my parents) if I wanted to take advantage of Microsoft's second shot offer before the end of June. Of course, the second shot offer was a bit academic - I didn't understand at the time that my re-take would also have to be booked before the end of June, which would not have been possible.

    The Measure-Up mock exams were exasperating and invaluable in equal measure. I didn't think their questions were formulated that well, for example, they might say something to the effect that "the correct answer is B, although it might be A in some circumstances", or they might include a very minor stage in a correct solution that is also very obviously part of the "red herring" answer. However, they did prove to be extremely useful in the end, because they help you to recognise the same problems being asked in different ways - Microsoft tend to use the same scenarios in the real exams, although they may be back to front or have different red-herrings to throw you off track. Of course, the Measure-Ups were also useful for discovering gaps in my knowledge, a couple of times I thought - "I've never heard of that!", but after checking my notes I realised I'd just forgotten it. I don't think I'd attempt another cert without mocks, but I may try another provider. I was horrified that Measure-Up recommend passing their exams with a score of 100% twice - my first attempt was 65% and just got worse! I think they are a little harder than the real thing, just as well I suppose.

    I actually planned to concentrate on one exam at a time, and took the 272 first, passing with a score of 861. I'll never forget that feeling of astonishment I felt when I saw the result - I could have sworn that I'd failed (mind you, Bill, my instructor on my CBT said he "knew I could do it!" - and was right by jove). I took the 271 a week later feeling more confident, although I struggled for time, rushing the final questions. My score was a luke warm but adequate 749. I reckon the 271 is possibly 30% harder than the 272. I thought Microsoft's questions were really well written, I like the way you can use your knowledge to narrow your possible answers on questions you're not sure of. BTW, I was tickled to see on Prometric's website that "weapons" are not allowed in the examination room. I was also a little bit disappointed not to be searched as promised. Never mind, there's always next time I suppose.

    Anyways, I'm in the middle of the A+ now, with exams booked over the next few weeks - I know I'm doing them in the wrong order BTW, I'd started the MCDST before I realised.
    Certifications: ITIL v.3, MCDST, CompTIA A+, Network+
    WIP: Scratching my head in frustration
  2. JK2447
    Highly Decorated Member Award 500 Likes Award

    JK2447 Petabyte Poster Administrator

    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, VSP, VTSP
    WIP: AWS Certified Solutions Architect - Associate
  3. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

    All that does is cause you to keep taking the tests until you've basically memorized their correct answers... which, in my opinion, isn't that useful to helping you understand the concepts.

    What I would recommend is to leave random exams alone. Take Exam A, see what score you get, then read the explanation for EVERY question. A good practice exam will tell you why the right answers are right AND why the wrong answers are wrong. Then, study your weaknesses. Take Exam B when you're ready and repeat the process. Do NOT take the last unique exam (often Exam C) until you want to see if you're ready for the real thing. Afterwards, you can take random exams as much as you want, but the score you get will NOT be an indication of what you can expect on the exam - only an exam full of questions you haven't yet seen can do that.

    Congrats on the passes! :)
    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!
  4. Miro

    Miro Byte Poster

    Well done!
    As Boson said.
    I have spent a lot of times doing labs and simply play as much as I could with XP.
    After all you employer will pay you for you real skills.For what you can do and not for you certificate.
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician
    WIP: MCDST, Network+
  5. nugget
    Honorary Member

    nugget Junior toady

    Congrats. :thumbleft
    Certifications: A+ | Network+ | Security+ | MCP (270,271,272,290,620) | MCDST | MCTS:Vista
    WIP: MCSA, 70-622,680,685
  6. onoski

    onoski Terabyte Poster

    Well done and congratulations:)
    Certifications: MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003 Messaging, MCP, HNC BIT, ITIL Fdn V3, SDI Fdn, VCP 4 & VCP 5
    WIP: MCTS:70-236, PowerShell
  7. StormTHX

    StormTHX Byte Poster

    Congrats and pay attention to Boson's recommendations.

    I felt the opposite of you (which probably means we have different strengths and weaknesses) on the toughness between 271 and 272. I felt 272 was much more difficult than 271.

    Thanks for your review.:thumbleft
    Certifications: MCDST, MCP (210), A+, ITIL Foundations
    WIP: Taking a break then onto MCSE
  8. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

    Congrats on the pass :)

    Certifications: CITP, PGDip, 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: MSc in Tech Management

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