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  1. Design Exam Verteran! kamikaze_worm's Avatar
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    #1

    Unhappy Failed 297

    Hi All

    You may have seen my previous posts asking for help on this exam. Well today I took it and failed badly. My score was an embarssing and shameful 362. I'm not much for reading takes me ages to process it and the amount in the case studies with the time provided was unfair.

    Dont get me wrong Ive failed exams before (2 to be precise) but they were with scores of 600 and 675. Plus non design exams are easy to bounce back from as you could look at subjects and restudy. Problem here was I didnt have enought time to extract the information needed.

    This is the first time ive failed an exam and not wanted to go at it again. Not sure even now what to re-study.

    Any Advice
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  3. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #2
    Do you have the second shot? If you do, study up and go again. If you don't, maybe consider a different design exam?
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  4. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #3
    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze_worm View Post
    I'm not much for reading takes me ages to process it and the amount in the case studies with the time provided was unfair.

    Any Advice
    Stop reading the case studies and read the questions.

    I failed 297 the first time I took it but I passed it on the retake when I read the questions first on half the exam. The 285 Exchange 2003 design exam is the same format and I passed it by reading and answering the questions without reading the case studies.

    IMO, the case studies are written so that 30 questions can be asked, but you will only see 10 of them. That means that 2/3 of the information in the case study is irrelevant. Reading the questions allows you to focus on only the information you need.

    I would start designing my own solution while reading the case study, and that could make me ignore information that wasn't relevant to my design. The question might take the design in a different direction and information I ignored is now important. Reading the questions first stopped me from doing that.
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  5. Design Exam Verteran! kamikaze_worm's Avatar
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    #4
    Thanks for reply.

    The stratergy going in was to read questions topics (not answers) then jot them down so to know what to look for. The problems came where I was wading throught the case study

    problem 1 - Where do you start which bits do you read first. How carefully to you read them based on time

    problem 2 - Remembering where the info is. For example I could have 3 questions on DNS and DNS infomation could be mentioned in 3-5 different places in the case study. Sundenly im confusing myself as to whats releveant to the question and where abouts in the case study the info was.

    In the end im flicking around run out of time and guess based on my knowledge not the case study.

    Do you think thats because im not strong on the subjects or I cant find the relevant info quickly?

    So Frustrated!!!
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  6. Design Exam Verteran! kamikaze_worm's Avatar
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    #5
    Thanks for advice.

    Any suggestions on what material to use. I was using my own course material added with transcender and mesure up.

    Is there anything else I can get? Looking for something for knowledge first of all as I think I need to get a bit sharper on DNS and upgrading/migrating from nt. Oh and OU Structures.

    Second of all I clearly need to practice taking this exam more. I need more practice exams as allthough there are more questions in my current software I need to practice reading case studies and pulling info out and If ive read them before Im going to know where most of info is.

    One final thing is in the exam I want to jot things down and all they give you is lamnate sheets and dry wipe markers. Very hard to make notes. Is there a reason you cant use pen and paper even if it was provided by the test centre.
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  7. Go ping yourself... phoeneous's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by kamikaze_worm View Post
    Is there a reason you cant use pen and paper even if it was provided by the test centre.
    Cost.

    And have you looked into video training like train signal or cbt nuggets?
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  8. Senior Member Devilsbane's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by phoeneous View Post
    Cost.
    I disagree. While cost might be a factor, I think its more of a concern that you might write down questions/answers and sneak them out of the testing center. With the dry erase boards, they give you 2 blank boards and they expect to get 2 blank boards back.

    Could you bring your own paper from home to write notes on, yes. But there is a much higher chance that they see you pull it out, have it out, or stick it back in than you would if they provided you with paper and you snuck a piece into your pocket.
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  9. Design Exam Verteran! kamikaze_worm's Avatar
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    #8
    I have been revising hard CBT Nuggets and lots of transcenders.

    I took my retake last friday. Felt alot more confident this time but still managed another epic fail!

    475... Not even close. Not sure what to do next

    The simple fact is i failed my exam because I couldnt pull the information out of the case studies and cant ever see that being different!

    I will not be giving up. I am retaking in 3 weeks or just under! However ANY advice I can get not infringing on the Microsoft NDA.

    Yesterday night I started studying again and im going over some topics DNS/OU/GP

    What worries me and is the main concern for when I retake is that the main problem seam to be pulling the relevant info out of the case study. I noticed towards the end of exam i found it hard to remember what I had read and began to panic as I ran out of time! I actully felt confident at the start and managed time well.

    However as the exam pushed on I found myself stugerling to find the relevant infomation espcially when it came to Business/security requirments. I do tend to get confused when it comes to understanding the infrastructure (sites/DCs/DNS servers)

    Just not sure what to study in mean time. Ive used up all my transcenders and Mesure up practice Exams and It wont take me long to go over my study material again. I will probably review CBT nugget case studies again.

    But yes I agree giving up is failure a failed exam is a blip! Just got a bit defeated with the low low scores!

    I WILL PASS THIS BEAST!

    Thanks in Advance

    Kamikaze_worm
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  10. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #9
    This was by far the hardest test for me in the MCSE track. And it wasn't the content but how it was presented. In the real world I'd be more likely to take those statements/interviews and reorganize the necessary parts under different technical sections.

    I briefly read over the case study, usually using 2-3 minutes, and that locked into short term memory where the key points were. And then each question only took me about 1-2 mins tops combing through all the material. I'd usually have about 5 minutes to spare and instead of going on to the next one if I felt confident in my answers I'd just sit there and relax.

    If you have the money you could also check out kaplan self test softwares (Kaplan SelfTest IT Certification Test Prep Products - Practice Tests and More), I think they had 13 or so case studies in their practice exams. When I prepped I think i used both that and measureup for this exam to try and get used to the format.

    The key to this test is keeping a cool head and not being over whelmed as soon as you click that start button.
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  11. Born Yesterday brucewhunter's Avatar
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    #10

    Default Maybe this can help

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  12. Senior Member motogpman's Avatar
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    #11
    Worm, have you considered taking it a bit more slowly? I am not sure how much time you have studied for this test, but after reading your posts and experiences, why the rush? Two fails now with still fairly low scores and you have it scheduled in 3 weeks? I am not trying to discourage you, but your posts may be telling you something.

    I am sure you will nail it when the time is right, just don't give up. I haven't taken this particular test, but I just figured I would give you some advice based on what I have read. Keep us informed, this will be the next test after 294 for me, hopefully I am not jinxing myself.
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  13. Design Exam Verteran! kamikaze_worm's Avatar
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    #12
    Thanks for advice. MotoGP. I would agree with you however its not really a knowledge thing. I am started going over CBT nuggets again and did DNS last night but it was nothing knew and I had a good understanding of it, as I do with other subjects.

    Its more of a issue with the structure to the test as im not a good reader and find it hard to pull the infomation needed out of the case studies.

    As well as re-studying the topics I am revisiting some topics from 294 and I stuggled a tad with that one. I am also trying to work out the best exam techniques for myself.

    I am retaking it quickly as all of the topics are still fresh in my mind and hopefully I will pass it. If not and hoping it wont come to this but I will break over christmas and look at taking again in feb or later.

    Will let you know how I get on. Any other advice is welcome

    Regards

    Kamikaze_worm
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