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  1. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Advice on 284 - Testing Tomorrow! Update-Passed

    So on Tuesday I decided to take the 284 exam this Thursday. While I am not as prepared as I would like to be, I am not totally unprepared either. I really would like another month to get ready for the test, but I also want to take advantage of the second shot so I need to take this test and 285 by the end of May. With a little luck I feel I can pass both, but I am willing to retake the tests in June if not. The other reason for the rush is I need to start on an Exchange 2007 migration plan for my company and I wanted to pass the 2003 exams before I moved on to learning 2007.

    I am almost finished with the Sybex 284 study guide and I still have the Exam Cram 2 to review tonight. More importantly I already have a 2003 MCSE and I feel I have a solid grasp of the core exam topics. I also have 5 years experience with Exchange 2003 (which began with a migration from 5.5 to 2003 way back in August 2003) and have been our lead Exchange admin for the last three years.

    If you have any last-minute advice, I would appreciate hearing it. I'm not really looking for specifics or a list of the exam objectives, but rather a suggestion about a topic or two on which I should spend some extra study time tonight. Something like 'be sure to understand 5.5-2003 migration strategies' or 'know how to manage public folders' would be very helpful.

    Thanks in advance!
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  3. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #2
    Good luck. Make sure you understand upgrades from Exchange 5.5. This is definitely my weakness . I take my 70-285 on Friday which should complete my MCSE: Messaging. Then I'm off to either MCTS: OCS or ITIL v2 foundations.
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    #3
    I thought you already had that for some reason (like because, I don't know, you're an Exchange expert or something ). Did you need to interrupt your 2003 studies with 2007 for work?

    Good luck to both of you!
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    #4
    Good luck to you both!
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  6. Senior Member
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    #5
    Check these notes out:

    n e t f r e s c o dot com

    Completely legit studying guides. Really gives you a good concise notes set, and links to relevant articles related to the exam. Awesome resource!
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  7. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #6
    Well, I'm going to attempt the exam without going back and studying too much about 5.5. I'm never going to end up doing any 5.5 work for my company so I'm not too worried if I barely pass with still messing up on 5.5 upgrade stuff. I think I still know enough about things like SRS, the ADC (connection agreements, deploying Exchange 2003 and setting SRS to the Exchange box, etc...). Public folder agreements, Exchange migration wizard, pfmigrate, etc.... I'm just hoping what I do know is enough for the exam.

    Other than that, I'm not too worried but I'm still sketchy on the stuff like creating a new public folder tree and linking it to a virtual server such as a new http virtual server. All I've done with Exchange 2003 in the last year and a half is migrating from it to Exchange 2007. I've focused so much on Exchange 2007 I haven't had time to go back and finish my 70-285. But I have a few days downtime so I figured I would go for the second shot offer, take my chances, and if I fail, I'll really go back and starting labbing Exchange 2003 back up and go back through my 70-284 material which I haven't done in a couple years.

    We'll see what happens.
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    #7
    Would you recommend that people new to Exchange start with 2003, or should we just focus on 2007? From what I've seen, 2007 is a solid product that's taking of quickly, and I think my time would be better spent on that.
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  9. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #8
    2007 but it's good to know 2003 so you can migrate off of it.
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  10. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #9

    Default Oops

    Missed it by one question - scored a 681.

    Bottom line is I just needed more time to study. The study guide was delivered on April 30 and I was hoping that experience and a quick review through the Sybex study guide would be enough to pass the exam, but I needed a little more polishing. I never even opened the Exam Cram 2 book or took a practice exam. I knew when I scheduled the exam that I wasn't ready, but I thought I would give it a shot. I am still planning on taking 285 next week to take advantage of the second shot promotion, but now I am thinking about retaking 284 next week as well. I'm certainly not going to be studying over Memorial Day weekend so the last week of May isn't good for my schedule. The retake will either be next week or the first week of June. I just want to get this done and move on to Exchange 2007 so I can start working on our implementation plan.

    Weakness:
    Managing, Monitoring and Troubleshooting the Exchange organization (scored about 50%)
    I could read through that section in the Resource Kit, but that's about 450 pages. Really another read-through of that section in the Sybex book and a review of the exam cram should be enough.

    Strength:
    Managing and Monitoring Technologies that Support Exchange Server 2003 (scored about 95%)
    I guess this is the general 290/291 stuff which I didn't (and won't) bother to review.

    I scored about 75% in all the other sections.

    This exam absolutely hammered me on message routing and connectivity - I swear that 25% of the questions had a network diagram in them. Apparently Microsoft wants to make sure that you can get messages from point A to point Z (and all points in between) in a reliable, controlled, and timely manner. Which, I suppose, is the whole point of a messaging application when you think about.

    HeroPsycho, thanks for the link. I was able to decipher that site address from some of your earlier posts and I used their study notes as a quick review this morning. I agree that the site is legit and has some very useful information so I don't know why it's blocked here.

    Royal, good luck on 285 tomorrow. Let us know what you think of the exam.
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  11. Senior Member doom969's Avatar
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    #10
    Too bad Claymoore.
    I'm sure the exam experience will serve you in your review and you'll get it next time.
    I'm in the same boat, I need to give 284 and 285 a shot before the end of may but I dont feel as prepared as I have with other exams.... even though I have lots of experience with the product (you never know what you'll get tested on and it always seem to be the stuff your weak on...)
    Your post gives me a good insight and I will give a reread to the mspress book, and fire up my old exchange2k3 virtual boxes to play with message routing and the likes.
    Exchange 2007 has gotten the bulk of my attention lately and i need a dustoff before attempting 2003.

    So good luck to you, Royal, and to me I guess.
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    #11
    No simulations to worry about when I took mines.
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  13. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #12
    Passed, but barely. 736. First time I had a passing score under a 900.
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    #13
    How'd you get over 900 on your CompTIA exams?

    I don't see what you're complaining about. It's something you haven't done much with over the last 18 months, and you've spent a lot of time with 2007. I think that's a decent score, all things considered.

    Congratulations on obtaining the full-blow MCSE:M!

    And hang in there Claymore. You probably only missed it by a couple of questions, and you admitted you were a bit shaky on the material. You'll get it next time for sure!
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  15. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #14
    Ah, missed Claymoore's post. Sorry about that! You'll get it next time. Hang in there.
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    #15
    That exam crashed on me like 4 times in the process. Worst of my exam experiences EVAR from a technical standpoint, and it hurt because I ended up losing time from the crashing and pausing between scenarios, and had to rush through the final scenario. But, hey, I passed with an 820. But I don't consider that anything to brag about since I supported E2K3 for Microsoft, anything lower than that, and I'd consider myself retarded. LOL...
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    #16
    Quote Originally Posted by HeroPsycho
    I passed with an 820 ... anything lower than that, and I'd consider myself retarded. LOL...
    I'm not sure if you're referring to Claymoore's 681 or Royal's 736, but I don't think that's going to make either of them feel any better about their score

    Since this thread has strayed as far as it has, and I'm not feeling ambitious enough to start a new thread, I'm just going to ask this here.

    I want to bring Exchange into our small business, and I was wondering if 236 is going to be a sufficient level of knowledge for me to do that. I really want to make sure things go smoothly, and that I can handle any basic/common issues that may arise. I like to do the entire EMA track, but I also want to get this up and running asap. Any thoughts?

    Thanks.
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    #17
    LOL, no, I didn't mean that they're retarded at all. Just was saying that if you had all the inside knowledge about the product, supported it for the product's maker, and get less than 80% of the questions right, something is seriously wrong.

    royal and claymoore didn't have nearly the advantages I had for this particular exam. That was my only point.

    I wouldn't say 70-236 alone is enough to setup E2K7 without a hitch, but I wouldn't say that having the other two exams would necessarily do it either.

    Make sure you thoroughly understand how to properly size your server, especially with RAM and disk i/o and space. For a small business, you probably will be deploying a single server running CAS, Mailbox, and HT roles. You want to ensure you go with 8GB + 2-5M per user depending on their usage patterns at a minimum. I often see people go with less than that, which is a no-no.

    Also, make sure you throughly understand how the Availability service works, and how to configure it properly, especially SSL certificates.

    Those are the two most common mistakes I've encountered with E2K7 deployments.
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  19. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by HeroPsycho
    Also, make sure you throughly understand how the Autodiscover service works, and how to configure it properly, especially SSL certificates.
    Fixed.
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  20. Senior Member
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    #19
    DOH!

    Good catch, lol!
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  21. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #20
    Passed the free retake with a 792.

    I first attempted this test 3 weeks ago and I thought the test was harder this time around (even though I also passed 285 last week). Just about every question on the first half of the exam had a network diagram and they were all essay-length, in-depth questions as well. Fortunately the questions lightened up in the second half. When I finished, I felt sure that I passed but I was disappointed with my score. Definitely a challenging exam.

    Up next - Home coursework for the PADI Openwater dive certification ahead of dive classes next week with the gf. We're heading to Key West in July for a well-earned vacation and we plan on doing some diving while there. I got NAUI certified several years ago, but I felt like I should go through the course again with her while she gets certified. It will be a nice change to study something enjoyable for me instead of something necessary for work.

    After that it's either 70-620 to get started on the MCITP:EA or 70-236 to start the MCITP:EMA track. And I still would like to take the BCMSN exam this year. And an ITIL Foundations study guide arrived this week. It never stops, does it?
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  22. New Member royal's Avatar
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    #21
    Congrats!
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    #22
    Congrats on the pass!
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