Crikey how difficult is all this ?

I last did my MS certs in late 1990s (Win 95, NT4 etc) and after a gap of quite a few years where I did something else I decided to get back into computers again.

I took the plunge and started on the Windows 8.1 certification route (MCSA) with a view to using it as a stepping stone to Windows 10 and therefore back up to date again on the desktop side of things.

Unfortunately I hadn't realised MS were retiring the Windows 8.1 exams end of November so that has heaped the pressure on a bit.

I have setup a lab (5 PCs, mix of Hyper-Vs and physically connected boxes, dual boots, all manner of stuff so I can do the hands on.

I have read the 70-687 exam ref book, done the CBT Nuggets 70-687 video, read bits of technet, other articles, labbed a fair bit of the stuff etc etc over the last few weeks. I've been driving myself crazy and it has been hard as I had a lot of catching up to do.

Anyway I've covered all the material needed for the exam but there are sections I need to go over again in more depth.

I purchased the Measureup tests and frankly got a big shock when taking a few short custom tests (5 questions each time).

Some of the questions are ridiculously hard. One example being about storage spaces and using Powershell commands in a particular order to remove a disk in the pool. I looked at Technet and there are dozens of such commands. How do Microsoft expect you to know every powershell command if they can ask questions like this in any of the areas ?

In real life scenarios in most professions even the most accomplished pro needs to refer to a book to get the correct command/setting etc. No-one is expected to have an encyclopedic memory.

Some of the other questions were not covered in any of the official MS stuff I read.

So I have two weeks to go before my first exam (I am self employed at moment so can study full time).

To try to cram the massive amount of facts I obviously have to learn in this time is there anyone that can offer any inspiration on best ways of filling the gaps ? I know this sounds obvious but I feel pretty burnt out now and wondering whether just to read the exam ref again (sigh) and make notes on everything. Or labbing to death which takes a lot of time.

Perhaps I'm just getting too old and the facts aren't sticking any more !

How many hours study can each of these exams be passed with realistically ?

I am fully aware that one single source of training is not enough to pass an exam but I need to know what's best to focus on now with two weeks to go.

Be kind, I'm feeling low !

Cheers,
Gary