70-410, scored 303/700

abdulandtechabdulandtech Registered Users Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
LOOOL, before you all laugh at me give me a chance to put it into context. icon_lol.gif

Last month I was debating which cert to make my first to get into the IT field. Normally people will go for the Comptia threesome, but I did a lot of research about the helpdesk/1st line support job market in the UK, and it's very very rare for an employer to ask for Comptia certs. The ones that came up the most were MCSA, ITIL, and Citrix, but generally employers asked for experience and they bullet pointed the skills they sought; Windows 7/8/10, Active Directory, Hardware/Printer knowledge, MAC experience, etc. So I thought "let me go for an MCSA in Windows 7", only to find out it was retired. Crazy right?! "Okay, maybe Windows 8 then", again retiring very soon. That left me with Windows 10, which didn't have proper resources. I was baffled. Then towards the end of the month I learned about two things, MCSA Server 2012 R2 and Microsoft Booster Packs.

I have dabbled with Server 2012 in the past. On the very last day of last month I went out on a limp and bought the booster pack. One exam plus four retakes for the price of one and half exams, not bad. On the same day I booked an exam for 70-410 for the 17th of october. I knew it was impossible to pass this behemoth within 17 days, but I had 5 tries and wanted to motivate myself to study so I booked it early. Now I'm back home after getting a poor score, which I expected, but I feel very sad.

The exam itself was hard but not hard. The questions were straighforward and uncomplicated, but they weren't things you would see on Pluralsight or read in a book. They were on simple every-day things you would come accross if you actually were a sys admin. I think you have much better chance of passing if you read technet, but you could spend an entire month on technet reading about one topic. I really don't see how I'm going to pass this exam. I scored 0 points in Active Direcory eventhough that's what I knew best. Honestly, out of the 47 questions there wasn't a single one I knew. It was all guess work. I wanted to guage the exam and I can say I'm petrified. The recources I used were Pluralsight; in the beginning it was good and I could follow easily, but in the middle it gets really muddled up. I also used Panek's complete study guide, I would say this book is good for a beginner but pretty useless when it comes to passing.

Now I'm considering whether I should take a step back and get a couple of MTA certs under my belt. I believe the booster pack expires 6 months from the day of your first exam. So If I get two MTA certs within two months, I can start applying for helpdesk roles, and still have 4 months left to pass the 70-410.

What do you think lads.


  • Dinesh90Dinesh90 Member Posts: 26 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I would not go back. I would continue to read the books,TechNet, and watch the videos. This will explain the technology. Now the important part, LAB LAB LAB. Get your hands on AWS, AZURE, or an extra computer. Install Server 2012 R2 Install Hyper-V. In Hyper-V install two R2 Servers and one client (7,81,10) and do all of the exercises in the book. I think if you start now, you should be able to pass the 70-410 in 6 months. You already have an idea of the exam so just focus on the core of the exam.

    Good luck.
  • alfred06alfred06 Member Posts: 96 ■■□□□□□□□□
    you just need time and really understand how things work. It is hard but pretty sure you can pass it. but I'm with you, I wouldnt make this my first cert. I'd go for the easy ones first because this may take a while to get seeing that get their MCSA 2012 either 6-12months time.
  • OctalDumpOctalDump Member Posts: 1,722
    MTA Server wouldn't be a step back, since it is foundation knowledge that you need for the MCSA Server.

    Also, you have to Lab. You need hands on experience. You need to play with every service, and you need to be familiar to do things remote, core install, full install and powershell. But it's not enough to lab, or to read a book, or to watch videos. You need all of these together.

    You will need some Hyper-V and some Azure to pass the MCSA, so use those to lab with.
    2017 Goals - Something Cisco, Something Linux, Agile PM
  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Honestly, if you haven't been working the IT field previously I would still get a CompTIA cert or two before going for the MCSA Server 2012 cert. The main reason being is that even with the MCSA cert if you don't have experience to back it up it's still going to be relatively difficult to find employment with that cert alone. I personally don't think the CompTIA certs are useless; I got my first IT job with just having A+ and worked my way up from there. Also, having the knowledge of the topics I learned from A+, Net+, and some of Security+ really helped me while studying for the MCSA because a lot of the MCSA study materials assume you already have the fundamental knowledge of things like TCP/IP, subnetting, etc. If you decide to stay on the MCSA 2012 route make sure you lab everything dozens if not hundreds of times. I had several years of experience when I started studying and it still was difficult for me and I had to study several hours a day for weeks to pass each exam. Good luck to you, I wish you all the best!
    All the best,

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
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