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  1. Junior Member
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    #1

    Default Advice from those who passed 70-536

    I'm currently studying for the 70-536. I am studying with the MS Press book by Tony Northrup (of course I can't seem to find anything else).

    I've been using VB 2008 for about 18 months now and I'm very comfortable with it, and as I'm studying the material in the text I'm finding that the material is both familiar and easy to pick up. For the most part I have experience in everything I'm reading and where I haven't used a particular class or method it's not hard to learn.

    My question is this: Of those who passed, did you use this book for the test? If not, what did you use? In either case, can you recommend some pointers on material that I should really know? Or, is there anything outside of the regular study materials I should be looking at.

    Thanks for whatever advice you can offer.
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  3. Junior Member
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    #2
    Because nobody reply I will try.
    Do not rely on one book - it's not sufficient. Get some practice test from MeasureUp and others and make sure you can pass this tests with 90% or better. The previous two books for 70-536 from MS press is not as good as the second edition BUT have some material which is missing from the new one (also first edition have more tests on CD) You can get older books from eBay cheap.
    Search this forum - there are a lot of links to free stuff.
    Good luck!
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  4. Junior Member
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    #3

    Default Well

    My question is this: Of those who passed, did you use this book for the test?

    No - I did not.

    If not, what did you use? In either case, can you recommend some pointers on material that I should really know? Or, is there anything outside of the regular study materials I should be looking at.


    I used the test kit, I used the labs in the test kit, I used (extensively) the MSDN docs, and I used a practice exam from Transcender.

    What I will strongly recommend is this; you want to get to the point where you can do the labs without referring to the test-kit. This is the near the ultimate state of being ready; thus you understand the concepts and also, you are familiar with the code required to execute the conecpts you understand.

    Once you're done with this phase, you can confidently attack the practice exams. If you see something you're unfamiliar with in the practice exam, don't just "study the question". Go to the MSDN documentation, albeit a bit wordy at times, get familiar with the concepts, browse the code examples, and assign yourself a simple "lab" focusing on the new concept.

    While this process is a bit more arduous, you will not only pass the exam but also and more importantly, you will master most of the material. The purpose of the exam should not be just to pass; it should be to really learn the tools and that's what will make you effective at your job. When you're armed with such skills, you don't have to suck up to your manager to get respect.

    So -
    1. study test kit
    2. peform labs
    3. perform labs without referring to book
    4. proactice exam
    5. msdn documentation and samples
    6. other Text books
    7. See step 1


    I hope this helps
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  5. Member
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    #4
    What test kit u refering? is it these:
    Amazon.com: mcpd

    and what labs? do you mean using those cd in the books??

    Thank you for helping

    Quote Originally Posted by DeepCode View Post
    My question is this: Of those who passed, did you use this book for the test?

    No - I did not.

    If not, what did you use? In either case, can you recommend some pointers on material that I should really know? Or, is there anything outside of the regular study materials I should be looking at.


    I used the test kit, I used the labs in the test kit, I used (extensively) the MSDN docs, and I used a practice exam from Transcender.

    What I will strongly recommend is this; you want to get to the point where you can do the labs without referring to the test-kit. This is the near the ultimate state of being ready; thus you understand the concepts and also, you are familiar with the code required to execute the conecpts you understand.

    Once you're done with this phase, you can confidently attack the practice exams. If you see something you're unfamiliar with in the practice exam, don't just "study the question". Go to the MSDN documentation, albeit a bit wordy at times, get familiar with the concepts, browse the code examples, and assign yourself a simple "lab" focusing on the new concept.

    While this process is a bit more arduous, you will not only pass the exam but also and more importantly, you will master most of the material. The purpose of the exam should not be just to pass; it should be to really learn the tools and that's what will make you effective at your job. When you're armed with such skills, you don't have to suck up to your manager to get respect.

    So -
    1. study test kit
    2. peform labs
    3. perform labs without referring to book
    4. proactice exam
    5. msdn documentation and samples
    6. other Text books
    7. See step 1


    I hope this helps
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  6. Junior Member
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    MCP sql server, MCTS Web, MCTS Windows, MCTS Distributed - MCPD Enterprise Developer
    #5
    Quote Originally Posted by poguy View Post
    What test kit u refering? is it these:
    Amazon.com: mcpd
    Yes, the self paced kit 536
    Quote Originally Posted by poguy View Post
    and what labs? do you mean using those cd in the books??
    Thank you for helping
    Yes, the end-of-chapter exercies/labs. The CD has the working version so you can check your code against it if/when you get stuck
    Last edited by DeepCode; 11-09-2009 at 10:32 PM.
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  7. Junior Member
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    #6
    I passed 70-536 a few days ago, so my own thoughts are reasonably fresh...

    (1) Everyone's learning styles are different, but I've never been a fan of step-through labs. I always find that the mechanical and sometimes tedious mechnical task of following the instructions leaves me with a quite poor retention of the key relevant points that it was meant to illustrate. I tend to play with my own code, checking that I can apply what a chapter/lesson has just covered to various scenarios. Having said that, some of the training kit labs can slip in something a bit different, so do at least look at them.

    (2) The training kit is in my opinion a very poorly written book, and if I was to recommend one additional book it would be the WROX C# 2008. It is not specifically exam-oriented but you'd find most of the topics covered in depth. I bought this book when I first began learning C# from a VB background, and it is about the best intermediate level book on C# and the fundamentals of the .NET framework that I've seen.

    (3) The BENEFIT of the training kit is that it does give a fairly accurate idea of what is covered in the exam. And in my opinion the 300 practice questions are reasonably similar in difficulty to the exam ones.

    I think 70-536 has one inherent difficulty, and that is that it is "broad" in scope. Although I am always loathe to "cram" for exams, I am glad that I did for this one. I knew the content fairly well, but clarified and refreshed my memory regarding a lot of odds and ends over the last few days.

    Something I did that proved very useful, the weekend before sitting I went through every one of the 300 practice questions in the mode where I got immediate feedback on each question (fortunately I had never used many of those questions during study). As it happens I got a borderline pass on all 300 questions, but importantly it served as a memory jog as to various specifics, and when I jotted page references to questions I flunked I saw a definite pattern regarding a couple of specific areas to redress.

    I have no doubt that that final exercise raised me possibly 5-10% in the actual exam. Again, given the very "broad" nature of this exam, I think some form of cramming, rapid self-testing as a memory jogger is very beneficial.

    A final observation of my experience. It was my first MS cert exam and I didn't feel very secure. But for me it came together when I set a date and committed. Looking back, without that specific time-bound goal I was simply going in circles endlessly worrying that I never "knew it all". Make a date, commit, and you'll be either ready or not. More than likely ready.
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