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  1. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #1

    Default Help with Microsoft Windows 8.1 70-687.

    I'm in a weird situation with my job. I'm a computer tech in a small company in Texas. I got hired because my company apparently thinks if you can build you're own PC and can install drivers you're good enough to work there. My problem is now they want me to get the 70-687 cert without any prior training. I have the Exam Ref book, CBT nuggets videos, and I'm using the Microsoft virtual academy. I still feel a lot of this is over my head. I need to know where I should start to get a good foundation for the tech industry. Any suggestions are welcomed, thank you.
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    #2
    Hi Radical_friend,

    That is a pretty interesting situation you’ve got there. I’m surprised that your company would want you to start off with the 70-687 rather than a newbie techie course like CompTIA’s A+ to get you started but I guess you’ll just have to make do with what you’ve got at the moment. Have been given a deadline to get the 70-687? Studying the 70-687 isn’t the easiest course out there so I wouldn’t be too worried about it being a bit over your head to start off with, it used to be a bit overwhelming for me too but it gets easier over time, I promise. You’ll need to use as many resources as you possibly can to pull this off though.

    Here’s what I would do. Firstly, (since you mentioned CBT Nuggets I’m assuming you have a subscription with them) I would watch those videos through a few times, it’ll help you find your feet and get used to Windows 8.1. Be aware that there are two versions of these course videos on CBT Nuggets; the newest one with Anthony covers Windows 8 with the 8.1 update and the older one with James Conrad however is also very good and although it isn’t updated for 8.1, it still a very good course to watch (there’s not much missing from it in comparison to the other one) so I recommend you watch his videos as well as hearing the course material from more than one person really helps. If you want to see more demos of course objectives, I recommend getting a free trial from Pluralsight and watch their version of the course. Pluralsight’s version is very good and the guy who teaches it goes into a lot of detail and really does the demonstrations the best I think. He does have a very boring voice though bless him… If you can persevere with his videos they’ll be sure to benefit you.

    I also recommend you build virtual machines to play with while you watch your videos, especially since you sound like you learn more from hands on experience. You can easily set this up for free if you go about it the right way. You can get Virtual Box, a freeware product from Oracle to allow you to set up and use virtualised Operating Systems to play with. You can get that from here http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/server-storage/virtualbox/downloads/index.html . If you install that and then download yourself a trial version of Windows 8.1 Enterprise, you will be able to have a version of Windows 8 to learn from and you can go through the objectives while watching the videos to perform some of the tasks. You can do this for as long as you want to really, once the trial expires you can just make another machine or use the command sysprep /generalise to reset the trial time (you can only do this 4 times mind).

    In regards to the Exam Ref book you’ve got, I would read that after you’ve watched the videos, you’ll be able to visualise it better that way I think. I wasn’t too keen on it though and it didn’t seem to benefit me very much so I think reading that through just the once would suit you just fine. Once you’ve got a better idea about the course objectives, I think the best thing you can do is get a piece practice test software. You’ll have to be careful where you get this from though as some people prefer to cheat and use what they call Braindumps which are cheats that others have acquired from taking the test at the center. These are not only very inaccurate but if you end up getting caught out, Microsoft will prevent you from taking the test and revoke any previous certs that you have – it really isn’t worth the fuss. The legit way to go about this is to go with software that Microsoft has approved of, there are three of these. They are Measureup (http://www.measureup.com/70-687-Configuring-Windows-81-P5389.aspx ) , Transcender (https://www.transcender.com/practice-exam/microsoft/70-687.kap ) or Kaplan Selftest (https://www.selftestsoftware.com/certtestprep/practice-test/microsoft/70-687.kap ). These are all Microsoft approved (which can be proved on their website) so you can be sure you will be alright with studying from them. They are not free however and can be quite costly so most people pick the one that looks the best to them and go with that ( you can buy from each vendor but one thing to consider is that Transcender and Kaplan are the same company, Transcender has just a couple more questions are costs a little more so I pick one or the other. Measureup is different from the others though so you could combine it with another one if you wish).

    Practice questions are designed to be supposedly be harder than the real exam ( until I take my first exams I can’t confirm this but that’s what a lot of people say anyway), so don’t panic if you get your grade back and it isn’t brilliant, honestly you can freak yourself out by doing that. Use it as a guide and let it just show you what areas you’re weak at and what you need to study up on. The practice exams have detailed explanations as well as links to web articles to explain why each answer is right or wrong. You can also use the flash card mode which is very handy to learn from. I’d recommend you get at least one practice exam to learn from, you’ll really need to know what you’re up against and how detailed you need to be with your studying. If you’ve never taken a Microsoft exam before, trust me on this one – you’ll need this.

    Finally, you’ll want to study from Technet.com on all the areas you are not so sure about. On Technet there is literally an article on everything included in the course (with a bit of searching around).Be sure to use this too, I’m sure I heard a rumour about this being used to conjure up a some of the questions as there is a ton of information on it, everything form commands or Powershell cmdlets to protocols and applications – it’s a gold mine of information. You might also want to use this https://quizlet.com/80251605/70-688-helpful-powershell-commands-flash-cards/ (ignore the fact that it is for the 70-688 exam, these commands come up on both, trust me – I’m studying them both at the same time!). These are all Powershell cmdlets that can come up in the exam ( and do in the practice exams). If youre like me and have never actually used Powershell before, it all looks a bit daunting at first but just use the cards and learn them like that and you’ll be just fine. Microsoft has spoken out and they think that Powershell is the way forward and are going to incorporate them a fair bit in their products and exams so these will help you and they’re important to learn. The videos and books don’t cover Powershell enough and this caught me out when I first started my practice exams so be sure to use Quizlet to learnt these.

    Hope his helps.

    Best of Luck,

    XxNooniexX
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  4. Junior Member Registered Member
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    #3
    Thank you very much for all the information XxNooniexX! I have a month to study for the exam which I'm hoping will be enough. I will definitely be using all the resources you've given me. Again I can't thank you enough for all detailed information you have given me.
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