Mcsa: 70-410

kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi everyone!

I'll be taking the 70-410 exam on January 12. I just want to know what are my chances on passing this exam because I read a lot of different things online about it. Some say that this is an easy exam. I even saw a 90-day challenge to pass ALL 3. Then I also read about people failing the 70-410 exam 3 or even 5 times. So, I'm not really sure what to believe. icon_rolleyes.gif

Here's a little background about me:

3 years as IT Specialist - Mostly Desktop/Help-desk stuff a little bit of server 2008
9 months as a Jr. System Administrator

I started studying for the 70-410 exam last February (on and off). I watched Eli the computer guy's Window Server videos and CBT-Nuggets. But I didn't really studied that hard. No labs or anything.

It was only last November that I committed myself to studying. To prepare myself, I first took (I also studied before the exam) the Networking and Server Fundamentals MTAs. The reason is that I want to familiarize myself on the type of questions, feel the pressure, and overall feel when taking a certification exam. I didn't have any experience w/ any certifications before. I passed and scored 90 on both exams.

Right now, I have my homelab which has Server 2012 R2 installed and a few VMs to play around with. I'm re-watching Windows Server 2012 R2 w/ James Conrad (CBT-Nuggets), MVA videos, Powershell 3 Foundataions w/ Don Jones (CBT-Nuggets). I also take notes by writing the terms/concepts/or anything that might show up in the exam.

I read online that this is a Powershell-heavy exam. So what I do as much as possible is I try to do things on Powershell/CMD.

Reading books has never been my strength so I never read them even when I studied for my MTAs.

What do you guys think of my chances? Is there a really huge difference between MTAs and MCSA in terms of difficulty?

Thank you and I'll try my best to update this thread as soon as I take my exam.

Comments

  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    I think failing 3 times is a foolish thing. It suggests that you didn't learn from your first two failures, either in figuring out what your areas of weakness were or that you just aren't ready for the exam. If you get less than 600, you probably need to review all domains and take at least a few weeks more study. In the 600+ range, there might be a few areas where you are weak that you can focus on to get a better mark, but even if you get 690+ and fail, it is a sign to do some review before attempting again.

    If you have good Server 2012 experience, and focus on the exam objectives, then you should pass (maybe you fail once, but hopefully with at least 600+). There is more Powershell, but I don't think that it is "Powershell heavy" just a lot more than 2008. One good thing about Powershell is that they are standardising lots of their tools, so it's no longer 67 command line tools with obscure names and different syntax for each. A good approach is for each of the objectives, to know how to also do it in powershell.

    Getting books is worthwhile, particularly the official MS books, generally they have at least one exercise per section with screenshots, so you can just work your way through those. They also have questions which sometimes are very close to the exam questions.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • actionhank1786actionhank1786 Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'll piggy-back on what Octal **** said.

    Personally (it's my plan for when I take the 410) I think if you fail the test 2 times, you should take note of what you struggled on, and spent more time studying before you take it again. I think people get into a rush and want to just take it and get it over with. But if you've failed with no real score increase two times, I think you would be better off "starting from scratch". Just toss all of the notes and start clean with your material. Clear your servers and start re-reading/watching everything.

    That said, since you're not to that point, it sounds like you're on a good path so far. Personally, I've found a mixture of books and CBT Nuggets to be pretty helpful. What I will generally do is to listen to CBT Nuggets at work while my phone isn't ringing and printers aren't breaking, and make notes and get screen snips in my One Note account while I listen. Since I'm not 100% focused with people e-mailing and asking questions, the notes can help when I go back through it all later. Then, when I get home that night, I will try to read up on the thing I listened to at work and go through some practice quizzes/labs in the book. Then I like to re-watch the video and see if there are any things I may have missed, or details that make more sense after going through them all again.

    It can be a bit tedious and slow, but my memorization isn't the best, so for things like cmd prompts and Powershell issues, it's usually the best.

    For my notes, I have a Notebook I use while watching/reading at home. It gives me a nice place to physically write while studying, and allows me to sketch out diagrams to help better understand them. I will do vocabulary words in red ink, and then if I run into a Powershell command I will throw it on the page in blue to make it a bit easier to track down when I go back and read through my notes.
  • netsysllcnetsysllc Member Posts: 479 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Run away from the MS official books, they are terrible. Master Server 2012R2 will help you the most. Search the forums there are tons of links and resources that can help you pass this test. Getting the objectives and studying Technet and MVA will also help. Lab Lab Lab.... is my last piece to pass on.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    netsysllc wrote: »
    Run away from the MS official books, they are terrible. Master Server 2012R2 will help you the most. Search the forums there are tons of links and resources that can help you pass this test. Getting the objectives and studying Technet and MVA will also help. Lab Lab Lab.... is my last piece to pass on.

    You mean the Mastering Server 2012 R2 book from Sybex? Lol. Yeah, I would have recommend to steer away from Sybex. I guess we all have our biases. :) This Sybex book seems to be better than their standard certification guides, in that it appears to be much more complete, and would work as a decent reference after you have the MCSA.

    What I like about the MS books is that they are pretty easy to digest, they cover stuff you need to know, they have reasonably good and clear exercises, and usually also have a path or suggestion to go deeper with the exercises. But I agree, the thing that makes the big difference is labbing. The books just give an easy way to get into the topics, and then it is up to you to explore.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • actionhank1786actionhank1786 Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I've been mixing the two up, personally. I've got the Sybex and Microsoft books. I like to use them to read over the subject from different angles, while also having the CBT Nuggets videos to let me see it in action.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'll piggy-back on what Octal **** said.

    For my notes, I have a Notebook I use while watching/reading at home. It gives me a nice place to physically write while studying, and allows me to sketch out diagrams to help better understand them. I will do vocabulary words in red ink, and then if I run into a Powershell command I will throw it on the page in blue to make it a bit easier to track down when I go back and read through my notes.

    Thank you! That's also what I'm doing. English is not my first language so it really helps me a lot when I write things instead of just copy/pasting them to OneNote or Google Keep.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    OctalDump wrote: »
    I think failing 3 times is a foolish thing. It suggests that you didn't learn from your first two failures, either in figuring out what your areas of weakness were or that you just aren't ready for the exam. If you get less than 600, you probably need to review all domains and take at least a few weeks more study. In the 600+ range, there might be a few areas where you are weak that you can focus on to get a better mark, but even if you get 690+ and fail, it is a sign to do some review before attempting again.

    If you have good Server 2012 experience, and focus on the exam objectives, then you should pass (maybe you fail once, but hopefully with at least 600+). There is more Powershell, but I don't think that it is "Powershell heavy" just a lot more than 2008. One good thing about Powershell is that they are standardising lots of their tools, so it's no longer 67 command line tools with obscure names and different syntax for each. A good approach is for each of the objectives, to know how to also do it in powershell.

    Getting books is worthwhile, particularly the official MS books, generally they have at least one exercise per section with screenshots, so you can just work your way through those. They also have questions which sometimes are very close to the exam questions.

    That's why I'm really excited on taking the exam to see for myself how it really is. I'll be sure to post back after I take it.

    I don't have experience on setting up an enterprise network and system infrastructure from scratch except for lab. But I had an opportunity to setup a WSUS server and the backup VOIP server for my current company. I'm hoping that that experience would help me out with this exam.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    netsysllc wrote: »
    Run away from the MS official books, they are terrible. Master Server 2012R2 will help you the most. Search the forums there are tons of links and resources that can help you pass this test. Getting the objectives and studying Technet and MVA will also help. Lab Lab Lab.... is my last piece to pass on.

    Yeah, I browsed a few threads here and there are really a ton of info and resources here. I'm glad I signed up.

    Also, I found this google spreadsheets in Reddit that really helped me out when studying command line tools and Powershell cmdlets so I think it will really help others: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1_L8SAXFYN1VEANHzjwaas0MYGsthtljyfvhdYfTn7rs/edit
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I took my exam earlier today. I failed with a score of 641. I scheduled my free retake on the 19th. Wish me luck guys! And also thanks for your inputs.
  • powerfoolpowerfool Senior Member Member Posts: 1,649 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I would suggest you make a note of the specific commands that you saw mentioned and go through them on TechNet. Then just study a couple of areas that you were weaker. And lab it up.
    AZ-204 [ ] AZ-400 [X] AZ-500
    2020 Goals: Azure Developer Associate, Azure DevOps Expert, Azure Security Associate
  • actionhank1786actionhank1786 Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    I would suggest you make a note of the specific commands that you saw mentioned and go through them on TechNet. Then just study a couple of areas that you were weaker. And lab it up.

    What sort of report do you get when you finish the test? Does it show you specifically where you missed questions, and which ones? It would be nice to go through and make note of things you missed after you finish, though I do wonder what they let you walk out with.
  • Louie1277Louie1277 Member Posts: 505 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well that's a good score for taking the exam the first time. I know myself I bombed the first time. I'm waiting until end of Feb to take it again. Just taking a break since I studied to hard and got upset the couple times I haven't passed it.
    2018 Goals: 70-410 [X], 70-411 [],70-412 [] :bow: 410- Passed!!!!!!

    My Goal for the Future
    2012 - *MCSA*(WHO KNOWS WHEN) KEEP FAILING!!!! Not enough time to pass the last 2 exams.
    2021 - *Security+*
    2022 - * Pen Tester*
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    powerfool wrote: »
    I would suggest you make a note of the specific commands that you saw mentioned and go through them on TechNet. Then just study a couple of areas that you were weaker. And lab it up.

    Thank you! I'm deleting all my VHDs and starting from scratch. One thing I like about the exam is it really exposes the areas that you are weak. When I encounter a question that I know, it only takes me around 1 minute to read and answer it. For others, it takes a longer time so I know that I really to study on that topic further.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What sort of report do you get when you finish the test? Does it show you specifically where you missed questions, and which ones? It would be nice to go through and make note of things you missed after you finish, though I do wonder what they let you walk out with.

    A report that shows you all the topics covered in the exam as well as how you did on each topic. On the second page of that report, they show you the specific areas that you struggled with.
  • kengjameskengjames Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    What sort of report do you get when you finish the test? Does it show you specifically where you missed questions, and which ones? It would be nice to go through and make note of things you missed after you finish, though I do wonder what they let you walk out with.

    Let's do this together and not give up haha.

    What I put in mind is that there are a lot of things that I had zero idea coming in. But now after studying and taking the exam (and failing lol) I learned so many things about the topic that takes out the frustration a little bit.
  • AdrianITAdrianIT Member Posts: 18 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good Luck, I failed on Monday. Rescheduled my 2nd shot for the end of Feb. Feel a lot better knowing my weak areas
    \\2015: [x]ITIL [x]Become a dad [x]Move out my parents house! :)
    \\2016: [ ]70-410 [ ]70-411 [ ]70-412 [ ]Sec+ [ ]CISSP
  • PiersPiers Member Posts: 454 ■■■□□□□□□□
    AdrianIT wrote: »
    Good Luck, I failed on Monday. Rescheduled my 2nd shot for the end of Feb. Feel a lot better knowing my weak areas

    Funny, I also failed on Monday (the 411 however), and my retake is on the 2nd.. I was certain I'd passed, and throughout the exam felt really confident, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. Glad to know my weaker areas and have 100% confidence for the next time
    :study: Office 365 70-347 / 698 later
  • tmurphy3100tmurphy3100 Member Posts: 154 ■■■□□□□□□□
    guys just failed the 410 again... scored a 605. this test gives me quite the head ache.
    2020 Goals: CCNA R&S, Cysa+, AZ103, Linux+, Pentest+
  • actionhank1786actionhank1786 Member Posts: 34 ■■□□□□□□□□
    kengjames wrote: »
    A report that shows you all the topics covered in the exam as well as how you did on each topic. On the second page of that report, they show you the specific areas that you struggled with.

    That's good. Are you able to take notes and take them home with you? I know they're a bit guarded with not letting people take the actual questions to spread, but it would be nice to be able to say "Well, here's a command I need to get familiar with" and write it down.
  • poolmanjimpoolmanjim MCSE, MCSA: 2016, MCSA: 2012 KC, KS, USAMember Posts: 285 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Pearson has always given me a dry erase board to use during the test. They take it away when you are done and no you're not allowed to copy whats on it down to a piece of paper first.

    When you get your score report, it will list sections you did poorly on indicated by little bars. This gives you a rough idea of how good/bad you did in an area. They also provide a section that lists sections in the objectives you could improve on. This may nor may not align with the bar graphs.

    My advice would be to jot down a quick note about sections you struggled on on the dry erase and then before you leave the room scan those notes and try to determine what they were asking, this is particularly useful if you saw a command you didn't recognize. I would be cautious to avoid looking up the actual question itself but more focus on the topic being discussed and how it relates to the answers given. Some of the answer keys are obscure to say the least.
    2019 Goals: Security+
    2020 Goals: 70-744, Azure
    Completed: MCSA 2012 (01/2016), MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure (07/2017), MCSA 2017 (09/2017)
    Future Goals: CISSP, CCENT
  • Drunk-AdminDrunk-Admin Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    sitting the 70-410 for second time tomorrow - went in to the exam first time thinking Group Policy would be my strongest & Hyper-V my weakest, turns out it was the other way around (according to report post exam)!

    to be honest, I am 50/50 on wether I will pass or not tomorrow but am looking forward to seeing if I have progressed - only got 484 first time round icon_sad.gif

    they are a tough exam, no question about it
  • Drunk-AdminDrunk-Admin Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    & passed :D got the bare minimum, 700 icon_lol.gif but delighted to have passed none the less

    next up: 70-411 icon_study.gif
  • Louie1277Louie1277 Member Posts: 505 ■■■□□□□□□□
    & passed :D got the bare minimum, 700 icon_lol.gif but delighted to have passed none the less

    next up: 70-411 icon_study.gif


    Great job on passing the exam!! Any good material and study habit tips?
    2018 Goals: 70-410 [X], 70-411 [],70-412 [] :bow: 410- Passed!!!!!!

    My Goal for the Future
    2012 - *MCSA*(WHO KNOWS WHEN) KEEP FAILING!!!! Not enough time to pass the last 2 exams.
    2021 - *Security+*
    2022 - * Pen Tester*
  • Drunk-AdminDrunk-Admin Member Posts: 7 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Louie1277 wrote: »
    Great job on passing the exam!! Any good material and study habit tips?
    practice with labs. know powershell!

    I used the Craig Zacker book & the Sybex. Everything it tells you do on your lab, both through the GUI & again via powershell. I failed the first time round & focussed on the areas it told me I was weakest, this helped.

    At the end of the day, I had a bit of luck on my side, I guessed a couple questions (Hyper V SAN stuff & ipv6 (I'm very weak on ipv6)) so this may have been lucky guesses that pushed me up to 700, who knows.

    I was also lucky in that I was able to grab an hour or two in work to study (getting time is the hardest part) & as I have access to our servers, etc.. I was able to have a look at an actual production version of the stuff I was studying which help hammer home some points.

    If I can do it, you can do it, believe me!
  • Louie1277Louie1277 Member Posts: 505 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you very much. I have the same material. I am starting to make time now at work. I get a least 1hr or 2 on watching videos and some reading. Trying to take the exam in March wish me luck.
    2018 Goals: 70-410 [X], 70-411 [],70-412 [] :bow: 410- Passed!!!!!!

    My Goal for the Future
    2012 - *MCSA*(WHO KNOWS WHEN) KEEP FAILING!!!! Not enough time to pass the last 2 exams.
    2021 - *Security+*
    2022 - * Pen Tester*
  • KainWiredKainWired Member Posts: 6 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I scraped though the 410 yesterday with a score of 700 using my second shot. I used the MS Training Guide and the Poulton Cert Guide as recommended by many users here. They were very useful for labs and theory respectively. I also used the Boson practice exam which I also found very valuable. Thank you everyone here for the various threads recommending study materials btw! I tried watching some videos but they didn't seem worth the time invested - it's easier for me to scan text for valuable information than video.
    I took the test after a couple of months of study and failed with a score of 680 and took the second shot after a few more weeks of study. I improved a lot between tests but the second test questions were *much* harder than the first.
    I haven't worked in IT for 7 years and my study time probably averaged out at about an hour a day (although that was mainly in 2 hour blocks several times a week) so it's definitely achievable if you focus on it (and if fortune smiles on you with the test questions).
  • Louie1277Louie1277 Member Posts: 505 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Well that's good. I just started to have more time at work. it's been almost a month since I took the exam. I have studied here and there just been busy with work, and family. But like right now i have time at work. Going to start studying hopefully 1 or 2 hours then going home and staying up late to study some more.

    The Paulton Cert book is good that's the one i'm working on right now. I started to watch the cbt nugget videos too and following those too. I know i need more but seeing for me someone else do it and following it helps me understand more.
    2018 Goals: 70-410 [X], 70-411 [],70-412 [] :bow: 410- Passed!!!!!!

    My Goal for the Future
    2012 - *MCSA*(WHO KNOWS WHEN) KEEP FAILING!!!! Not enough time to pass the last 2 exams.
    2021 - *Security+*
    2022 - * Pen Tester*
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