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  1. Member Extraordinaire genXrcist's Avatar
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    #1

    Default Failed 8/6/09 - 70-297

    Well, worst score to date yet: 482

    Honestly, with so many case studies all the information started to blur together and by the 3rd testlet I was having a difficult time keeping the information seperate. That and about that time I really had to use the restroom but with each testlet having such a small amount of time, I had no time for that!

    I purchased the 70-297 transcender and was averaging around 80% or higher, even got 100% on one of them the first time through!

    Couple of lessons learned.
    1) Don't read each case study in depth. Skim it like others have said on the forum and then go to the question. All I need to remember is where the topic is located in the case study and I can go back and read that section.
    2) Don't eat/drink at least 2 hours prior to the test.
    3) Know the material so well that you don't have to 'reason' it out. You just don't have time to do this when you have 14 minutes for a single testlet. Ugh.

    Very discouraging but not because I failed. I failed the 293/294 both, x2!

    I'm tired of studying for the MCSE and it's going from an intriguing, cool and fascinating subject to complete drivel.

    Taking a week off to clear my head, purchase the MS Press book for a new perspective on the material and then get back to it next weekend.

    Any other recommendations?
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    #2
    Hey,

    Sorry to hear you didn't pass. It sounds like a tough test with trying to get the material you need out of all the info, while rushed for time.
    Good luck and ( congrats on passing) the next time...
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  4. Member Extraordinaire genXrcist's Avatar
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    #3
    Thanks Psoasman!

    Last night I purchased the 70-297 Syngress book. I'm essentially going to start over studying for this exam with this book in addition to, labbing things as much as I can.

    Which leads me to my question, where does one get old copies of NT4.0 & 2000 so I can go through the process of actually upgrading the domain controllers and/or migrating the accounts?

    Thanks!
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  5. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #4
    Don't feel too bad, I failed this with a score in the 500s and it was the only 2003 test I failed. I retook it a few days later and passed with a 700 exactly. I could complain about the format and the lack of dependable prep material (the MSPress 297 book dedicates an entire page to the NT4 to 2003 upgrade process, even though that felt like half the exam), but that won't help you pass.

    FWIW, here's some advice from a 700 scorer:

    Ignore the case studies until after you answer the questions.
    Seriously. Use them to check your answers afterwards, but read and answer the questions first for several reasons:
    1. From what I can tell, the case studies are written in such a way that they can ask 30 different questions - but you will only see 10 of those questions. That means 2/3 of the case study is useless.
    2. The information relevant the questions is scattered throughout the case study and not necessarily where you expect to find it. Rather than remembering something the CEO said when you try to answer a question later, you will recognize that what the CEO said is important after you answer the questions. Change the answer if necessary.
    3. Answering the questions first forces you to focus on the problems and solutions presented to you - not the ones you make up. I had a tendency to design a solution in my head as I read through the case study. If the questions had nothing to do with my solution then I just slowed myself down or worse - I missed important information because my solution was different.
    4. Each testlet is separately timed. Even if you run out of time re-reading the case study, at least you guessed on every question. That may take some of the pressure off.
    Don't think, just do it the Microsoft Way
    Back during the NT4 MCSE exams, everyone knew that there were three answers for the question - the wrong way, the right way, and the Microsoft way. The correct answer was always the Microsoft way. I felt MS did a good job of merging the 'right' and 'Microsoft' answers on the other 2003 exams, only to completely screw it up on the 297 design exam. When in doubt, choose the Microsoft Way

    Follow Occam's Razor
    All things considered, the simplest solution is best. Both in the exam and in the real world, there are only two good reasons to create separate 2003 domains - a disjointed DNS namespace (fabrikam.com and contoso.com), and separate password policy requirements. Every other reason is wrong. Review the earlier material so you know why you would need to create separte forests or when to use a particular DNS server. Don't overcomplicate the solution without a good reason.

    The first time I took 297, I read the case studies before I answered the questions and failed miserably. The second time I answered the questions first on half the testlets and passed. The 285 Exchange design exam uses the same format and I passed it the first try with a 700 and I didn't read the case studies at all.
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  6. Member Extraordinaire genXrcist's Avatar
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    #5
    Thanks Claymoore! Your responses are quite often full of good, practical information and I truly appreciate that. I'm going to take your advice on my next attempt and just answer the questions right off the bat, then go through and read the case study.

    How does one know the Microsoft way when I've never studied a Microsoft textbook? Instead of the MS Press book, I bought the Syngress because it has much better reviews. Hopefully re-studying for this exam with this book will help me figure that out.

    Thanks again!
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  7. One Man Wolfpac NetAdmin2436's Avatar
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    #6
    Quote Originally Posted by genXrcist View Post
    Very discouraging but not because I failed. I failed the 293/294 both, x2!
    I know your just trying to copy me. I failed the 293, 294, AND 297 twice. Third times a charm for me, but hopefully you nail the 297 on the second time

    I agree with Claymoore. You can eliminate at least 2 of the retarded answers by reading the questions before hand. If you read the case study first, sometimes a buzzword will stick in your head and make you think you should choose the retarded answer. Been there, done that I remember reviewing the questions after time expired and realizing that 'Answer C' doesn't even exist. But I choose 'Answer C' because of a certain buzzword I read on the case study.

    Also, make sure you know how many forests/domains are necessary. If you screw that up, then your likely to get 2 or 3 other questions wrong because of that.
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    #7
    The fail sucks, but GenX, NetAdmin, and any other MN TEer who's interested in a BBQ should PM me. Claymoore, you rule so you're welcome to come too, but you have to pay for your own travel. Ok, Psoasman too (but you definitely need to post more )

    I did 298, but I read all the questions prior to going through the other info. It seems like you do better when you have "containers" to put all the info in. The design exam is definitely an anti-climactic way to finish off the track. There's nothing new and exciting about it at all.
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  9. Member
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    #8
    This is honestly the worst exam ever. I took this twice and failed with 500's, I know active directory well. I ended up having to do 70-298. Problem is with this exam is the questions roll on for each other, so if you choose Single forest and they want multiple forests then all you design on OU structure, group type, group nesting will all be wrong based on what you understood to be what was required. This is the main reason i didnt like it. As if you misinterpret the needs of the business, or not even that, dont choose a directory structure that ms want, then you pretty much guareenteed to fail that testlet.
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  10. Member Extraordinaire genXrcist's Avatar
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    #9
    Well, yesterday I finally passed the 70-297 on my 3rd attempt! I was really excited up until today when I hadn't yet received an email from Microsoft declaring my glorious MCSE status. So I went online and checked my transcript and even though the 70-297 shows as passed, it still doesn't show MCSE.



    Here's my transcript:
    297 Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure Sep 17, 2009

    294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure Jul 14, 2009

    293 Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure May 27, 2009

    291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure Mar 31, 2009

    290 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment Feb 19, 2009

    270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional Jan 28, 2009

    3779 CompTIA A+ and CompTIA Network+ Nov 19, 2008

    272 Supporting Users and Troubleshooting Desktop Applications on a Microsoft® Windows® XP Operating System Nov 07, 2008

    271 Supporting Users and Troubleshooting a Microsoft® Windows® XP Operating System Nov 06, 2008


    So officially, it appears you can earn the MCSE with the A+/Net+ elective as long as your design exam is the 70-298 and not the 70-297.

    Oh well. I'll take/pass the 70-284 to finish it but it won't feel like I finally earned it like it did when I passed the 70-297. So I'm just gonna keep the MCSE on my profile.
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    #10
    Congrats on the pass. Haven't heard from you in a while, you must have been studying like crazy. Good luck on the 284.
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  12. Virtual Member undomiel's Avatar
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    #11
    A+/Network+ combo has always been only for the MCSA. MCSE has only accepted the Security+. Congratulations on passing that 297! It looks pretty rough from everything I've seen on here. I'm glad I did the 298.
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    #12
    That's weird. Maybe give it another few days to update. Just for your "M" an don't worry about it

    Congrats on the pass!
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  14. Member Extraordinaire genXrcist's Avatar
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    #13
    Well, they say patience is a virtue... My transcript was updated today but reflects the Sept. 17th date. Guess that confirms it, regardless of how you earn the MCSA, to upgrade it you just need the 293/294 & one of the design exams.

    Thank you to everyone for the help and support!

    Microsoft Certification Status

    Credential Certification / Version Date Achieved

    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Sep 17, 2009
    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Sep 17, 2009
    Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator Mar 31, 2009
    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Mar 31, 2009
    Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician Nov 07, 2008
    Microsoft Windows XP Nov 07, 2008
    Microsoft Certified Professional Nov 06, 2008

    Quote Originally Posted by Psoasman View Post
    Congrats on the pass. Haven't heard from you in a while, you must have been studying like crazy. Good luck on the 284.
    Lol Funny thing actually. I took this test for the 2nd time two weeks ago, Sept. 3rd and scored a 579. I was really quite devastated as I had just read the Syngress book and spent a lot of time studying/running sims like you say, crazy. This was a roughly 100 point increase but still quite a way from passing.

    So I scheduled my next exam out the minimum 2 weeks out and thought, what more can I study?

    So guess what? For all intents and purposes I didn't study for almost the entire 2 weeks.

    Took the test and got an 836 Score. Can you believe it? The break really allowed my head to clear and just keep it simple instead of over thinking the questions. In fact, I took the test in 65 minutes whereas each other time I used the entire time slot!

    Quote Originally Posted by undomiel View Post
    A+/Network+ combo has always been only for the MCSA. MCSE has only accepted the Security+. Congratulations on passing that 297! It looks pretty rough from everything I've seen on here. I'm glad I did the 298.
    I think this only applies if one takes the exams out of order so as not to earn the MCSA prior to earning the MCSE. Thanks for all the tips undomiel!

    Quote Originally Posted by kimanyd View Post
    That's weird. Maybe give it another few days to update. Just for your "M" an don't worry about it

    Congrats on the pass!
    Thanks Dynamik and of course as you so often are, you were right. I just needed a little patience. Thanks for your help as well, it really made a difference!

    Best wishes in LA and I look forward to one of your return visits to the great state of Minnesoooota.
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  15. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #14
    Quote Originally Posted by genXrcist View Post
    Well, they say patience is a virtue... My transcript was updated today but reflects the Sept. 17th date. Guess that confirms it, regardless of how you earn the MCSA, to upgrade it you just need the 293/294 & one of the design exams.

    Thank you to everyone for the help and support!

    Microsoft Certification Status

    Credential Certification / Version Date Achieved

    Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer Sep 17, 2009
    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Sep 17, 2009
    Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator Mar 31, 2009
    Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Mar 31, 2009
    Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician Nov 07, 2008
    Microsoft Windows XP Nov 07, 2008
    Microsoft Certified Professional Nov 06, 2008


    Lol Funny thing actually. I took this test for the 2nd time two weeks ago, Sept. 3rd and scored a 579. I was really quite devastated as I had just read the Syngress book and spent a lot of time studying/running sims like you say, crazy. This was a roughly 100 point increase but still quite a way from passing.

    So I scheduled my next exam out the minimum 2 weeks out and thought, what more can I study?

    So guess what? For all intents and purposes I didn't study for almost the entire 2 weeks.

    Took the test and got an 836 Score. Can you believe it? The break really allowed my head to clear and just keep it simple instead of over thinking the questions. In fact, I took the test in 65 minutes whereas each other time I used the entire time slot!


    I think this only applies if one takes the exams out of order so as not to earn the MCSA prior to earning the MCSE. Thanks for all the tips undomiel!



    Thanks Dynamik and of course as you so often are, you were right. I just needed a little patience. Thanks for your help as well, it really made a difference!

    Best wishes in LA and I look forward to one of your return visits to the great state of Minnesoooota.

    wow genX, thats a rough go but you pulled through!!!
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  16. One Man Wolfpac NetAdmin2436's Avatar
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    #15
    Congrats GenX!
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  17. Level 80 Paladin FishOnAH's Avatar
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    #16
    A much belated congratz GenX!!!

    I have re-scheduled my 70-297 a half dozen times in the past few months. Wrapping up an Exchange 2003 to 2007 migration here at work and that really has limited my desire to do any extra-circular studying. Thank you to you and Claymoore for the tips. I’ll take the advice and read those questions and answer them first. Here’s to getting my MCSE wrapped up by the end of the year.
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