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Thread: Going for MCSE

  1. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    Default Going for MCSE

    When I started the MCITP in January 2009 I thought by the time I was done it would be well recognized, and while I think it has value I have to agree with the sentiments in this thread:
    Enduring Value of the MCSE 2003

    I regret not doing the MCSE first and upgrading to MCITP, but I can't go back and start over. However, since the Student 2nd Shot was extended to September 30, I'm going to try to do the complete MCSE (unfortunately there's no downgrade exam ). The student pricing of $60/exam is too good to pass up. Here's my schedule:
    Aug. 12 - 290 - passed with 868
    Aug. 21 - 294 - passed with 737
    Sep. 11 - 291 - passed with 785
    Oct. 30 - 350 - passed with 820
    Nov. 05 - 351 - passed with 700
    ? - 293
    ? - 298

    As long as I don't have to retake more than two exams, I should make it. I actually want to do the MCSE Security, however any more exams seems like too much at this point. I'm not even sure I can do the above, but I want to try and will be satisfied if I can at least finish the core exams.

    The 72-290 went well. I went through the Sybex book for it, skimming the stuff I know well while focusing on areas where I wasn't confident. The book is old and didn't cover all of the material on the current exam. The out of date stuff wasn't a major problem, but it turned out there were several exam questions the book didn't cover AT ALL. I don't recommend purchasing it at this point for exam prep (I bought most of the Sybex books years ago, but didn't end up using them until now).
    Last edited by MentholMoose; 11-05-2010 at 09:01 PM.
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    Damn dude, that's pretty ambitious. You're clearly well-versed in the material, so it should be doable.

    Just tack on the Security+ later on for your "S." There's no need to rush that.

    I'd just to 298 and 299 the same day if I were you. It's the same material in a different format. 299 is really short too, so it shouldn't be too taxing. 298 is the one you have to watch out for.
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  4. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    I actually put the 298/299 near each other based on advice you posted in other thread(s). It is hard for me to take two exams in one day on a weekday, so I probably have to split them up. If 298 is particularly grueling then I definitely couldn't do another one. I've thought about the Security+, and may do it, but $60 for these MS tests is just so cheap!
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  5. Senior Member ipconfig.all's Avatar
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    #4
    Do you have experience or gaining experience? at the moment related to your studies? it will help.
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  6. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #5
    That's a pretty ambitious goal you've set for yourself. Best of luck!
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MentholMoose View Post
    I've thought about the Security+, and may do it
    Remember you get it for life if you do it this year; it's a three-year renewal after that. You'll have plenty of time after your MS exams.
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  8. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #7
    I couldn't move that fast, but then again you should already know most of the material from doing the MCITP. Good luck
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    Quote Originally Posted by MentholMoose View Post
    When I started the MCITP in January 2009 I thought by the time I was done it would be well recognized, and while I think it has value I have to agree with the sentiments in this thread:
    Enduring Value of the MCSE 2003

    I regret not doing the MCSE first and upgrading to MCITP, but I can't go back and start over. However, since the Student 2nd Shot was extended to September 30, I'm going to try to do the complete MCSE (unfortunately there's no downgrade exam ). The student pricing of $60/exam is too good to pass up. Here's my schedule:
    Aug. 12 - 290 - passed with 868
    Aug. 21 - 294
    Aug. 31 - 291
    Sep. 9 - 293
    Sep. 21 - 298
    Sep. 23 - 299

    As long as I don't have to retake more than two exams, I should make it. I actually want to do the MCSE Security, however any more exams seems like too much at this point. I'm not even sure I can do the above, but I want to try and will be satisfied if I can at least finish the core exams.

    The 72-290 went well. I went through the Sybex book for it, skimming the stuff I know well while focusing on areas where I wasn't confident. The book is old and didn't cover all of the material on the current exam. The out of date stuff wasn't a major problem, but it turned out there were several exam questions the book didn't cover AT ALL. I don't recommend purchasing it at this point for exam prep (I bought most of the Sybex books years ago, but didn't end up using them until now).
    IMO this is way to take exams. If you're like me and have experience, slaughtering out these exams back to back is easier then waiting a couple of months between them. The information stays fresh, you're mentally ready, in the zone and the exams get easier as you go down the line. GL!!
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  10. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by dynamik View Post
    Remember you get it for life if you do it this year; it's a three-year renewal after that. You'll have plenty of time after your MS exams.
    And you have plenty of time for MCSE. The March 31, 2011 list came out and none of the MCSE exams are on it.
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  11. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ipconfig.all View Post
    Do you have experience or gaining experience? at the moment related to your studies? it will help.
    I've been working with Server 2003 and Active Directory for several years now. Also I did the MCITP:EA last year, and spent a ton of time studying the details and labbing everything.

    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsbane View Post
    I couldn't move that fast, but then again you should already know most of the material from doing the MCITP. Good luck
    That's what I'm hoping.

    Quote Originally Posted by garv221 View Post
    IMO this is way to take exams. If you're like me and have experience, slaughtering out these exams back to back is easier then waiting a couple of months between them. The information stays fresh, you're mentally ready, in the zone and the exams get easier as you go down the line. GL!!
    Agreed, I definitely want to crank through the exams. When you pause your studies for too long you will lose some of the knowledge (at least I do), causing more work in the long run. When I was doing the MCITP:EA I tried to do them pretty quickly (a month each), though there were some longer gaps between some exams when I got lazy.


    Thanks everyone for the tips, encouragement, and info. It will help me stay motivated. I'll keep this thread updated, hopefully with forward progress!
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  12. Senior Member xmalachi's Avatar
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    #11
    I would say that I would race you to the MCSE but I couldn't come close to your pace. Good luck! I'm sure you'll blow through these really quickly. Hopefully, I'll be at the same point as you come January or February.
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  13. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by xmalachi View Post
    I would say that I would race you to the MCSE but I couldn't come close to your pace. Good luck! I'm sure you'll blow through these really quickly. Hopefully, I'll be at the same point as you come January or February.
    I couldn't either and I already have the MCSA
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  14. Senior Member xmalachi's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Devilsbane View Post
    I couldn't either and I already have the MCSA
    Haha, he is pretty much going to take all of those tests in the time it would take me to study for one. I have to get mine done within 6 months so I need to ramp it up and knock mine out but nowhere near this pace.
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  15. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by xmalachi View Post
    Haha, he is pretty much going to take all of those tests in the time it would take me to study for one. I have to get mine done within 6 months so I need to ramp it up and knock mine out but nowhere near this pace.
    I'm moving at 4-5 weeks/ test. At least thats how I did 270,290,291, and Sec+. 293 and 294 could slow me down.
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  16. Still a noob earweed's Avatar
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    #15
    Keep it at the 4-5 week pace at the most. If you convince yourself you need longer (like I did for the 643) you'll get complacent and take time off and lose your "groove". I'm going to have to go back and review earlier stuff cause I took time off and now am off my pace.
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  17. Senior Member za3bour's Avatar
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    #16
    Good luck, too bad you didn't do it first and then the upgrade.
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  18. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    Well I passed the 294... with a 737!!! That was dangerously close to a fail. When I saw my score, I was actually shocked, since I felt I had studied enough, and I felt confident during the exam, so I'm not sure where I went wrong. My best guess is that I bombed some of the sims since there were several on the same topic, one where I don't have much experience (although I studied it pretty heavily since I knew I was weak on it).

    One problem was that I didn't get enough sleep last night (had to work this morning) or have a chance to eat anything before the exam, which had a noticeable effect... I hit a wall an hour into the exam, and was unable to concentrate at all for about half an hour, though I can't definitely attribute any missed questions to that. Also, maybe the sims were just messed up and not being scored correctly... there was graphical corruption in ALL of them, so perhaps that was a sign of a bigger problem.

    I don't know how many more questions I could have missed and still passed... there was one question that I marked wrong at first but figured it out from doing a sim later, so maybe that one question saved me. Good thing, too, since I didn't have a Second Shot on this (no student version of 294, so I bought a voucher on eBay for $62).

    I used the Sybex study guide along with some TechNet articles since the Sybex book left off some things I thought would be important. I actually managed to read the entire book except for a few sections that I didn't need (how to use Event Viewer, and perfmon, for example), and did almost all of the labs (I built a multi-site AD environment for labbing). Oh well, on to the next exam!!
    Last edited by MentholMoose; 08-22-2010 at 01:36 AM. Reason: typo
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    #18
    Congrats!

    Do you see the MCSE as having that much of a career benefit for you?
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    #19
    Congrats on the pass, that is a tough exam.
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  21. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by knwminus View Post
    Congrats!

    Do you see the MCSE as having that much of a career benefit for you?
    Thanks. I think it may help. Mainly I'm getting it since I think I can do it quickly and cheaply right now, so it is a relatively small investment for me. If it was $125/exam I don't think I'd do it, and would just hope that the MCITP somehow takes off soon.

    One additional benefit is it's good review. I finished the MCITP about a year ago now, so studying for MCSE should help me keep my MS knowledge sharp. Yeah I could just re-read some 2008 material, but studying for exams helps me get and stay focused.


    Now that I've had a chance to reflect on the exam some more, I've identified a couple questions that I missed (one sim and one multiple choice). They were things I know and should have got correctly, so I think I was just not in a good state of mind during the exam due to lack of sleep and food.
    Last edited by MentholMoose; 08-22-2010 at 01:54 AM.
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  22. Pancakes and Lasagna kurosaki00's Avatar
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    #21
    can anyone tell me about this student price?
    60 bucks sounds really good. Does that still going?
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  23. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #22
    Quote Originally Posted by kurosaki00 View Post
    can anyone tell me about this student price?
    60 bucks sounds really good. Does that still going?
    It is always going on, but not all exams have a student version. I believe the 73 prefix is used for the student version. So 73-270 would be the same as the 70-270, except that it is the student test.

    Have you seen the new deal going on? Buy 5 tests at once, save 20% and get second chance's on each. So $100 per test but you can take them again should you fail the first time.

    Check this out. Career Packs: Second Shot + discount! - Born to Learn
    Last edited by Devilsbane; 08-25-2010 at 02:04 PM. Reason: Added link
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  24. Pancakes and Lasagna kurosaki00's Avatar
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    damn nice man!
    Thank you a lot!
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  25. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #24
    The student exams are prefixed with 72. The 73 prefix is for IT Academy exams. The exams are all the same, there are just different codes for different programs. Details on the Student Second Shot are here:
    Student Certification Exams | Special Offers | Microsoft Certification

    Anyway I got lazy and slowed down my studying, so I haven't taken 72-291 yet. It's scheduled for next Monday. Interestingly the rep I spoke with when booking the exam actually asked for my student ID details!! They wanted the ID number and institution. I'm curious if the testing center will check my student ID. Nobody has checked or even mentioned it before.
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  26. Senior Member MentholMoose's Avatar
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    #25
    Well New Horizons and/or Prometric screwed me. They let me schedule my exam for today at a New Horizons location, even though the New Horizons location is CLOSED today. So I drove all they way out to the New Horizons testing center and had to drive back. OK it's not that far, but still, an hour of my time and $5 of gas down the drain.
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