40-710 Exam preparation (MCSA 2012 R2) advice.

kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi all,
have a question about it(I know that there are a lot of topics regarding this but anyway decided to create mine).
So Im planning to get MCSA 2012 R2 and first of all want to ask if the following study materials are enough:
1) MCSA Windows Server 2012 R2 Complete Study Guide Exams 70-410, 70-411, 70-412, and 70-417 by William Panek
2)Minasi M. and others - Mastering Windows Server 2012 R2
3) CBT Nuggets videos
4)TechNet Library(not sure about it - cause I cannot read from monitor for long time)
5) I have also inside out books for 2012 R2 but it is just for reference is any topic will be to difficult for undestanding

So my plan is to read this 2 books even before I pass first exam: 70-410. It will take about 6 months I suppose.
And after that to re-read panek book for just 70-410 exam. And all the time labbing as much as possible.
Does it worth to spend so much time for it?
For me knowledge means more then just passing the exams and getting certification.
Working in IT for 5 years-first technician/installer and for past 1,5 year 1 level helpdesk(creating users in AD/Exchange and giving some access - thats all I do in servers environment).

So waiting for your advices.


  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Hello, I have some input for you in response to your questions. I'm currently studying for the MCSA 2012 cert as well and have taken and passed the 70-410 and am going to be taking the 411 in a few weeks.

    1. I found the Complete Study GUide by William Panek to be almost worthless. It doesn't go into nearly enough detail to help you pass the exams and the labs it has aren't really relevant. Also, the online practice tests it gives access to are 100% worthless. I read it through once and thought I had a good grasp on the concepts but when I started using other study materials I found the Panek book to be completely sub par compared to everything else I used.
    2. I've never used the Minasi book but I've heard good things from others on this forum
    3. Never used CBT Nuggets either, but again have heard good things. The videos I used for the 410 and have been using for the 411 are the Pluralsight videos by Greg Shields and also the Infinite Skills videos by John Savill. I think both of these are GREAT resources and have been extremely helpful.
    4. Technet is CRUCIAL to passing the exams. I wouldn't have passed the 410 if it hadn't been for doing some of my own research on Technet and Googling various topics I needed a better explanation on. If you're in doubt about anything you've studied or don't feel like any of your study materials went into enough detail on a subject then absolutely look it up on Technet.
    5. I've never used the Inside Out books either but I've heard conflicting reports on them so I'm not sure what to say

    I also use the Exam Ref books which are good for labbing. They don't go into a whole lot of detail on WHY a technology works specifically but they help to give a step by step of how to do a particular task and they are also good at giving several Powershell examples as well. Speaking of Powershell, you've probably already read this somewhere as well, but MAKE SURE YOU KNOW YOUR POWERSHELL BEFORE SITTING FOR THE EXAM. I'm not trying to scare you, but the exam is very heavy on Powershell. I had 0 Powershell experience before I took the 410 but was able to pass it on the first attempt because I took the time to learn the Powershell before I took it. I also used Pluralsight and Infinite Skills training videos on Powershell to learn the basics and then for the 410 objectives I would learn how to do a task first in the GUI and then learn how to do it in Powershell and then repeat the process several times. I will have to say that had I not learned the Powershell I would've probably failed.

    I spent a total of 11 weeks preparing for the 410 and was able to pass on the first attempt but I studied a minimum of 4 hours a day 5 days a week and usually closer to 6-8 hours a day on my days off studying.

    As for labbing, YES, lab as much as you can. Don't just learn HOW to do it but also learn WHY it works the way it does. The MCSA exams have a decent mixture of theory and practical knowledge so it's important to get a good grasp on both.

    I hope that help and good luck in your certification path!
    All the best,

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
  • DojiscalperDojiscalper Member Posts: 266 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I will say that I have the inside out book on the 70-410 and it's a huge book with huge sections devoted to things like how the registry works in great detail but has very little about the exam topics.

    I'm still studying for the 410 and I picked up the William Panek complete study guide and after reading it my measure up practise test scores have improved significantly.

    My biggest hurdle is the PowerShell and knowing which is the correct answer when several would work.
  • kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Thank you for your replies:)
    Panek book causes some doubt - some says it is bad and some that it is good. Dont know what to do with it. Exam ref and training guide have also 50/50 reviews like panek book.
    Minasi book is very huge but it will be good for even MCSE level exams I think and most probably will read the whole book.
    Deffinetely will use Technet as a lot of people says that it is very very useful.
    For power shell - maybe will get power shell in a month of lunches.
    As I said inside out books are for reference not for preparing for exams - for me they are written in dry language.

    For labbing will use all resources which will able to find.

    Maybe anyone has more suggestions?
  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've heard the month of lunches was good for Powershell. I also used the Transcender practice exams for the 410 and they were great. However, I got them for the 411 and they're not very good at all so I got the Measure Up and am looking at getting the Boson in the next week or so. Definitely take some practice tests before you take the exam. They're extremely beneficial
    All the best,

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
  • kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
    thank you once more. Mostly everything is clear and main question is what book/books to use except Minasi book.
  • kosta-kkosta-k Member Posts: 32 ■■■□□□□□□□
    thank you,
    mostly everything is clear, but question is what book/books use for exam preparation except Minasi.
    Panek/Exam Ref/Training Guide or maybe all of them?
  • sheikysheiky Member Posts: 69 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have attached my Resource List PDF for 70-410. Hope it will be useful.

    70-410 - Resource List.pdf
  • ZebiZebi Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Anybody tell me the price of MCSE 70-410 exam fee where can i find the price and any discount voucher. Please help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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