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  1. Member
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    #1

    Default CCNA failed 70-642

    Today was my first trial of 70-642 exam. I unfortunately FAILED !!! I got only a score of 607. I thought that I could pass easily the 70-642 MCTS ; because I got CCNA at first trial. I did work very hard since 1 year and half on 70-640, 70-642 and 70-646. I decided to first do the 70-642 exam today. I did not feel stressed ; I had enough time for answering to all questions.

    I did already read many times couple of books. I did all the books's exercises, scenarios and practices. I did also many labs on virtual machines. At the same time I did use some stuff of 70-640 and 70-646 books. Among other stuff, I did entirely use the books below :

    MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-642): Configuring Windows Server® 2008 Network Infrastructure | Microsoft
    http://www.amazon.ca/MCTS-70-642-Cer.../dp/0789748304
    The Precision Guide to Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration: MCTS Exam 70-642 Study Guide: Kurt Dillard: 9781468120158: Amazon.com: Books

    I did also use lot of Technet stuff.

    My question is : What could have been wrong in the way I did study ?

    Please, give me any hint that you think I did not know. I'm working in IT but not as a system administrator. I do system administration only when working on MCSA stuff at home.
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    #2
    Find the areas your were weak in and read/lab more on those.
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    #3
    I understand, I have to learn again and again. I'm trying to find out the most efficient way for doing it. How about buying the learning videos of CBT nugget, VTC and TrainSignal for 70-642.

    - Anyone has an idea of the price of each of these videos ?
    - How many hours each of them is long ?

    Thanks in advance for any help !
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    #4
    I think there's 20-25 40 minute videos for the CBT's. I used CBT, Self Paced Training, and doing the lab exercises.
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    #5
    Which price option you took with CBT ?
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    #6
    I did quick googling on video learning products for 70-640, 70-642 and 70-646.

    - For VTC, it seems I need to pay $99 for having a complete download of each of three courses ?
    - For CBT, it seems I have to purchase their $564 6-month plan to get access to video, audio and certification exams ?
    - For TrainSignal, it seems there is something called MCITP Pack ; but I have no idea of the price and cannot find out if that product already exists after merge with PulralSight ?
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  8. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #7
    Getting the videos may benefit you. They may benefit you a lot. However, have you tried looking at your weak spots and analyzing what you don't yet know? It may be as simple as studying up on your weak areas and re-testing.

    Also, even tho you read 3 books for the exam, did you lab thru most of the material? Did you take notes? Create flashcards? Make tables?

    There are also study notes floating around here on the forum. Take a look thru them to see if you missed anything that someone else picked up.

    Whereas you may benefit from the videos you're about to purchase, I don't think they are a good substitute for hardcore studying. At most, the videos will probably gloss over the objectives and leave plenty of holes they expect you to fill in yourself. If you've already read three different books and used technet extensively, the videos might just be giving you a friendly rehash of the info you already know, instead of doing a deep dive and getting you up to par to pass the exam on your 2nd shot.

    Just my $.02.

    Whatever you do however, good luck moving forward. I'm sure with a little bit of work, you'll pass on your next attempt!
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    #8
    Hi DoubleNNs,

    Thanks for you stimulating hints. Yes ! I did entirely read 3 different books. I did lot of exercises and labs. I did note take notes and do make tables or flashcards.

    What the paper result of my exam told is where I have been strong or weak on 5 big topics. I unfortunately do not remember questions I probably failed. I was confident and felt ready to take that exam.

    I think what I need know is a Test Engine with questions similar to those I got in the exam. Is it possible to purchase only the test engine for practicing the exam ?
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  10. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #9
    Yup. Transcender, MeasureUP, and Kaplan are some great examples of test engines that not only ask questions similar to (but usually harder than) the ones asked on the exam, but give great explanations on why each possible answer is correct or wrong.

    Others might chime in with their reviews on each product - I haven't personally taken the 70-642 yet.
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    #10
    MeasureUP is the engine that comes with the MS Book ; I did the 200 certification questions and 90 lesson questions it is proposing. I did also the 200 questions the Pearson's book engine proposes. I think, I definitely need to work again for 2 or 3 weeks anyhow (videos, books, labs, test engines) and to sit again for the 70-642.
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  12. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #11
    I might be wrong, but I believe the book uses the MeasureUp engine, but not the MeasureUp questions.
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    #12
    I did some quick certification tools shopping. In my current situation, I think the 99$ + 109$ 30-Day-online-access package below could help.

    Microsoft Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure 70-642 Video Training Online | CBT Nuggets

    Transcender Microsoft 70-642 Exam | Windows Server 2008 Certification Training Products
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    #13
    I think labing is the best thing for this exam. Find the areas you scored poorly on (i know MS's printout sux and isn't super detailed) and lab on those sections. Don't just lab based off material in the books - actually play with the OS, try to break it, try to completely understand how to setup specific environments (IE RRAS, DFS, DA, ect).
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    #14
    Thank you for your reply Lexluethar,

    So far, I did purchase no additional learning resources. I'm having some cool free refresh with Course Index.

    I definitely labed all what could be labed in the books I already used. I will probably use something called Nugget Labs or Pluralsight Work Files. Hoping that those tools will propose me labs I havent already seen.

    Did someone already lab with Nugget Lab or PluralSight Workfiles ?
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    #15
    I've found with these exams the book material sucks. It doesn't go into nearly enough details on the technology to pass these exams. The exam questions are too specific for that, you have to actually constantly lab on these in order to pass the exam.

    I passed using pluralsight videos, the first edition MS book and another book that covered R2 stuff. The books were trash IMO - i mean they give you the basics and concepts, but just reading the books you will probably get maybe a 50% on the exam.
    Go to MS's website and google the key terms / concenpts covered on the exam. Secondly lab, lab and lab.
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    #16
    Yeap ! I'll definitely use more video training (ITfreeTraining, CBT, PLuralSight) than books in next weeks. I'll also keep labing while reading and viewing videos. In a last step I will intensively practice with Transcender and Kaplan.
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    #17
    I did purchase Transcender on monday and started doing practices. I did 3 x 50 questions practice batches. I never saw the 150 questions before. So far, I score 72%, 66%, 72%.

    The two questions I'm asking are :

    1) Does it make sense I continue practicing and getting scores around 70% ? The whole number of the engine question is 205, I'll know them all very soon !

    2) Does it make sense testing myself again on questions that I know the answers ?

    Thanks for any opinion !
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  19. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #18
    Instead of focusing not he questions, you should be focusing on what the correct answers are and why each of the wrong answers are wrong. That's the only way you'll be able to transfer the practicing to the real exam.

    You should also be able to get a good idea on what areas you're weak in. I think you should review then lab on those areas.
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    #19
    Thank for your answer DoubleNNs,

    I understand that I do not have to focus on questions but on understanding the subject. I understand that questions/answers are not the subject ; but, I believe that ultimately having correct answers does guarantee the understanding the subject.

    Let me ask my question another way :

    1) I'm practicing a lot with Transcender and keep all answers.
    2) I will learn a lot and do lot of labs for enforcing my weaknesses.
    3) The question : To ensure that I'm ready for the exam, could retake the practices I failed to find out if my score raises, or do I nee to find another engine for practicing questions I have never seen ?
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  21. Senior Member DoubleNNs's Avatar
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    #20
    Sometimes throwing more money at a problem isn't the best solution.

    It's often better to go for quality instead of quantity. Figure out why your scores are so low. Fix the underlying problem instead of looking for additional questions.

    And I think you should do that before taking that last test you which you haven't yet done.
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  22. Senior Member aftereffector's Avatar
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    #21
    I also passed CCNA first-time-go but failed 70-642 on my first attempt. I put the book aside and thoroughly studied TechNet articles on all of my weak areas, which was enough to get me a pass - not a great score, but a pass nonetheless.
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  23. eLs
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    #22
    The books for windows 7 70-680 test sucked too. I had to watch videos and lab exercises when I can and use practice tests that were recommended and ended up with a 800 out of 1000 on my first try.

    I really thought while I was taking the exam I was going to fail go figured so many people fail these MS tests when the books are not that great.
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    #23
    Thank you aftereffector and eLs for your very helpful feedback on your experiences with MCTS exams.

    Yeap ! I'm doing all you suggest for having a score bigger than 600 next time. I'm doing lot of "step by step ... " Technet labs, looking at videos and sometimes opening books for some issues. Practice engine's answers explanation also helps me know some concepts that are not explained or are not clear in books or videos.

    I agree with you DoubleNNs when you say "Sometimes throwing more money at a problem isn't the best solution.". HOWEVER !!! This certification is also a matter of money, for someone who need to get his/her certification in a limited timeframe : you need to buy books, videos and invest lot of your time (money) doing exercises and labs.
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    #24
    PASSED 70-642 certif today, with not so big score : 750.

    I got the same feeling as my first trial. The exams seems not complicated examen ; but, result is hard to predict. There was stuff that I never saw in books and videos. Also, there was some questions requiring to exactly know TCP and UDP port numbers.
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  26. Senior Member aftereffector's Avatar
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    #25
    Congratulations! That "PASS" feels good, doesn't it?
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