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  1. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #1

    Default ready? not... [updated]

    hey everyone...

    I've been preparing for 291 for a month now. I use Mike Meyers Passport Certification 70-291 as my primary reader. I also have Mcgraw Hill Osborne MCSA all-in-one Guide. I've watched all the learnKey videos that it came with.

    And I have done all the Learnkey sims. I'm going to go back to read more about RRAS, and DNS because I think those are my weak areas.

    I havent done any practice exams yet, but I've been reviewing the questions and I'm comfortable with them.

    Do you guys think I'm ready? I have setup win2k3, and I have used DC, DHCP, IIS, DNS, Shadow Copy, File Server.
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    #2
    As many people will say, review the objectives and make sure you know them. It's very difficult to say when someone is ready or not. I myself just study until I have a gut feeling that I'm ready, then I go right to the testing center and take it that day.
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  4. mikej412's caddy sprkymrk's Avatar
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    #3
    I agree with kalebksp, only you can determine if you're ready. If it's moral support you're looking for then I'd say you seem like a pretty smart guy so go for it.
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  5. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #4
    Quote Originally Posted by kalebksp
    It's very difficult to say when someone is ready or not. I myself just study until I have a gut feeling that I'm ready, then I go right to the testing center and take it that day.
    Quote Originally Posted by sprkymrk
    I agree with kalebksp, only you can determine if you're ready. If it's moral support you're looking for then I'd say you seem like a pretty smart guy so go for it.
    Surely this was posted after reading some of the "beast" talk about 291. I feel like ready, I agree very much with the "gut feeling" meansurement and I'm thinking I'll pick up the books again once this annoying cold goes away. Aimming for 291 before the end of the month

    Thanks guys
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  6. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #5
    errr....my goal for getting this exam done before the end of the month is likely not happening. I was hoping to get a cheap voucher, but now the deal is gone!

    I did some reflecting, and I'm thinking maybe I shouldnt bother with MCSA anymore. Maybe I should just prep for CCNA instead. I bought 2514, and two 2503, and I have done some simple labs. I went back and read more on MCSA, and clearly I dont have the "background" Microsoft recommends. I have never worked with any real Win2k3 environment, and all of my win2k3 experience is from my home lab consisting of win2k3, win2k, and several winxp pro clients.

    They suggest that MCSA has 6-12 months of experience, originally I thought that this would be an "entry" cert I could achieve by studying and practicing, but these topics are pretty tough as I find. I've been getting 70-80% on the practice exams, and I just dont know if this is worth it anymore.

    Maybe I'm just in the "no motivation" stage, I mean, my job currently doesnt relate to networking, I'm working with databases. Should I take a break from networks until I get a job in the field?

    I'm also doing free-lance network projects on and off, but currently I dont have any. And because I'm relatively in-experience, I usually work with other people, and I'm only responsible for cabling, driver-setup, client configurations, and that's why I dont have any server experiences.

    So what do you guys think? Any comments is welcomed!
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  7. Senior Member deneb829's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bighornsheep
    I did some reflecting, and I'm thinking maybe I shouldnt bother with MCSA anymore. Maybe I should just prep for CCNA instead.

    So what do you guys think? Any comments is welcomed!
    It's been several years since I studied for the CCNA, and I ended up never testing, but if memory serves me, it's not much of an entry level test as well. I guess you might want to consider your medium-term goals in the IT industry (less than 5 years) and decide based on that.

    You metioned in another post that your "passion is still on networks". Find where that passion is specifically - if it's making networks work (as opposed to managing a server) then you're going to have to focus on the infrastructre anyway. TCP/IP and DNS are an absolute must as few network can run without them. If you want a break from test taking, don't stop learning! Setup an IP Cop or MonoWall firewall and learn about services and ports. Get into your DNS server - setup some A records and make your internal network the authoriative domain for yahoo and myspace and then sit back and have some fun with the other people in your house (be nice though!).
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  8. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #7
    Don't put too much stock in Microsoft (or anyone else's) "recommended time of experience". It's one of those odd things, saying "I have x number of years of expience". What do you have experience with, how good are you really, have you just been sitting on your butt and playing around? Experience measured in years is very sketchy, for me. If you feel like you are at a level where you're prepared to learn the material, that you know enough that every other word in the MS Press book doesn't confuse you, you have enough "experience" to study up for the tests.

    I suppose the same goes for CCNA, however much you've learned up to this point will help you. You might not be ready, you might be ready. . . uh. . . "-er" than you thought. Don't let nebulous time windows that Microsoft or Cisco throw at you discourage you, you study and do what you feel is right.

    All things considered, it's all a matter of perspective. Where I work, right now, I feel like studying for MCSE and CCNA are like a vacation, and they've already got me working on things you "should" be a CCNP for. Not that I'm CCNA, yet, nor do I have the "recommended experience" for it, but that doesn't stop me from learning what I need to learn to do my day-to-day job.

    Whatever you choose to do, I'm sure you'll succeed. I've read your discussions, you're a smart guy. Just figure out what your passions are, rekindle the old passions for networking and admin work, and you'll find your way. As long as you're doing what you love, you'll go as far as you want to go.

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  9. You Don't See Me
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    #8
    I think you should keep at it unless YOU really don't want to continue. Forget what Microsoft says. In today's job market, it is hard to get the experience unless you already have the experience. Sometimes just having the certs will get you in the door so you can accumulate the experience.

    Just keep at it and tell Microsoft that you would rather right click My Computer and go to properties, than going through the Control Panel to access System Properites .

    Famos
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  10. Senior Member deneb829's Avatar
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by famosbrown
    I think you should keep at it unless YOU really don't want to continue. Forget what Microsoft says. In today's job market, it is hard to get the experience unless you already have the experience. Sometimes just having the certs will get you in the door so you can accumulate the experience.

    Famos
    I don't know famous - I don't think it's that hard to get experience - you get experience from working in your field, but it does take time, effort, and persistence. It seems that many young people want their certs and then want to run the network as soon as possible. While this does actually happen sometimes - especially being in the right place at the right time - in many cases, as with other jobs, a person needs to work their way up. (A truth that few seem to want to accept)

    You never know where you are going to end up, so it does help to know where you want to go. Opportunity will always pop up along the way if you are looking for it - having the certs will definatley help - which is why after 12 years in IT, I am finally making a push for certification.

    Except twice for 8 jobs in 12+ years, I have only actively sought new employment when I didn't have a job, so I am not really sure what opportunity I may have missed along the way, but I am sure if I was more active in my search, I would have had more chances to run a network. Still, without question, experience has bought me 6 out of my last 8 jobs, and certification was required or a major player for only 2 of them. My first networking job was basically sheer luck and timing.

    Experience only comes with time. There are more ways to get experience besides on the job. Studying for certification has filled in some of the gaps in areas that I don't work with on a regular basis. Also, running you own servers at home helps as well. It may not be the same as working with it professionally everyday, but it is worth something.
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  11. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #10
    After a weekend of rest and relaxation I am feeling much better.
    Lots of barbequing, and sitting around watching tv. Finally picking up the pace and did some work and reading.

    I scheduled my exam for this Thursday, the 28th. I'm really winding down the studying now, and I do feel confident about this.

    I know I'm good for DHCP, DNS, TCP/IP, RRAS. However GPO and SUS I am still shaky about.

    Hopefully I'll brush up my weaker areas and be ready for this, otherwise I will have to reschedule.

    Thanks you guys, and wish me luck~
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  12. Senior Member deneb829's Avatar
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    #11
    Quote Originally Posted by bighornsheep

    I scheduled my exam for this Thursday, the 28th. I'm really winding down the studying now, and I do feel confident about this.

    I know I'm good for DHCP, DNS, TCP/IP, RRAS. However GPO and SUS I am still shaky about.

    Hopefully I'll brush up my weaker areas and be ready for this, otherwise I will have to reschedule.

    Thanks you guys, and wish me luck~
    Good Luck - you'll do great!
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  13. mikej412's caddy sprkymrk's Avatar
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    #12
    Good luck bighornsheep.

    Remember, in order to pass the exam, you must BE the exam.

    When you study a concept like SUS, ask yourself "If I were writing the exam, what questions or tasks would I ask of someone to see if he/she knows the material"? That can help to reinforce concepts that are hard to simply memorize.
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  14. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #13
    took this exam today, and did not pass.
    I was pretty overwhelmed by the simulations. It was harder than I was expecting. Only scored 535.

    I failed name resolution and network security which I was thinking were my strong areas, but did surprising well in routing and remote access.

    sigh....hopefully I can have more practice with win2k3 and do better next time...
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  15. Questionably Benevolent Moderator Slowhand's Avatar
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    #14
    Aww, man. That sucks. Don't worry, though, you'll nail it next time. It is a very overwhelming test, indeed, I got bumrushed by it my first time around. (And here I was just asking you how you did on the test, in another thread. D-oh!)

    Study up, don't let it get you down, and you'll have that monster slain in no time. Good luck, buddy.

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    #15

    Default Yoda Advice

    Do or Do Not....there is no try (yoda Voice)

    Hard you must study for this exam....


    Learn it you will, fail it you wont...



    Trust in the power of the nerdside...

    Good luck
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    #16
    Bad luck mate, It is a tough one.

    Fine tune on the weaker areas and you will get it!
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  18. Senior Member deneb829's Avatar
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    #17
    Hey, sorry to hear that. Keep plugging away - you'll beat it!
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  19. mikej412's caddy sprkymrk's Avatar
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by bighornsheep
    took this exam today, and did not pass.
    Hey, no biggie. Most of us have failed exams. Now you know what to expect the next time. The trick is to not let it demoralize you - just let it motivate you. Just don't wait too long or you'll lose your momentum. Do it within 6 weeks.

    You'll pass next time around.
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    #19
    sigh....hopefully I can have more practice with win2k3 and do better next time...
    Best thing for it! Do you use VMWare or Virtual Server or a lab of some sort? I wouldn't have got through half of the exams I've done without having a practice lab at home and work.
    Up Next : Not sure
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  21. Senior Member bighornsheep's Avatar
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    #20
    Quote Originally Posted by sToNeDcNuT
    sigh....hopefully I can have more practice with win2k3 and do better next time...
    Best thing for it! Do you use VMWare or Virtual Server or a lab of some sort? I wouldn't have got through half of the exams I've done without having a practice lab at home and work.
    I have a win2k3 box practicing DHCP, DNS, DC. I'm going to practice more DNS and adding another win2k3 box.

    I use Virtual PC as winxp clients.
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