So I go for it. A begginer's log in 70-461

ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
Hello everyone.

So I have decided to go for it. I am still waiting for my kit but have already started during holidays studying from a downloaded copy.

My previous experience in certification tests was when i tried to become a CIA (certified internal Auditor) and it was not good.
That one was a 4 examination certification, and i also attended seminars for it.
After studying (not much) for the first part, i failed for just a bit. instead of retrying i continoued to the second part studying much more than the first time. I sit for the second part examination. Not only have i failed but i failed with a much lower result. completely dissappointed i retired from trying. But to be honest with everyone, I did not study much.

Now, i am trying something that i feel really enthusiastic about. SQL. I am surely a begginner but i have done pretty nice things in Access and i know some Visual basic so i am not completely away. So this will be my log over my experience with the book and the whole certification process.

I have downloade the SQL server Studio and I am ready to jump right in.


  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have completed Chapters 1-4 .
    Then made a quick recap , and then proceeded to chapter 5.

    WOW! how many things i have learned! so many fundamental things.
    I try to understand everything that i read before continouing further. In some parts i really feel that i dont understand what its being written but the examples help a lot and then the theory is more easy to digest.

    Up to the end of Chapter 5 i can say that i feel ok and that everything is clear.
    my biggest fear is that i proceed and find myself to a point where things are so complicated that i cannot proceed anymore.
    What if i pass 461 and then the next one is much more complicated and i cannot go on??? hope i wont stumble on a dead end.

    I have to say that the book is perfect! i love the way it goes so far.

    i feel even more enthusiastic. Studying because i want to and not because i have to, at last. Its so different.
  • jazz_01jazz_01 Posts: 56Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    To understand and pass the exam firstly you have to be very clear with the objective of the MCSA/MCSE exam. Also beside study from the kit I think you should also try out some labs and simulators too. While preparing for my Microsoft exam I studied from uCertify labs, their labs are very good and explanation for each questions are very well explained. The best part is that they also provide 15 days free access to their all courses and labs. You can check out by exploring at www (dot) ucertify (dot) com. Also try out some video tutorials that will too help you alot[h=1][/h]
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your guidance. regarding the videos i am sure to watch many of them. But the price of the labs are a bit too high. i will reconsider trying them after i will go for my first examination attempt . I am sure these will be more than usefull
    thanks again
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Posts: 114Registered Members
    The various topics in the 70-461 exam (basic SQL, XML, full text indexes, etc.) are not strongly dependent on each other, so it's unlikely you will come to a point where you can't proceed.

    Also, if you go on to take 70-462 and/or 70-463, they cover different areas (adminstration and data-warehouses), rather than being more "advanced" versions of 70-461. If you can pass 461, then you should be able to pass the other 2 if you want.

    One thing I like about 461 is that it tries to use ANSI-standard SQL where possible, so the stuff learnt could also sometimes be relevant to Oracle and Access.
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    EagerDinosaur your words sparkled a bit of hope in my big attempt.
    The problem with 462 (especially) is that it covers administration concepts which are totally strange to me and i might not find it as much fascinating to learn as the things in 461.

    Finished Section 6 and the first lesson of Section 7 (xml stuff) . Amazing things i have learned again!
    I have also noticed in the first page of the book that some lessons are not actually required in the examination.
    But i also read a tip at a point in a book that "even this lesson is not required in the examination , a question could rise indirectly.

    I am sure to study all of the book but the question is should i treat those lessons the same; should i just get a grasp of the general ideas;
    How much attention should i give to these parts?
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am really turning my brain in jelly with this XML Chapter. Gotta go on .
    I will come back to this of course but i really feel i am still quite confused.

    I just got a grasp of the overall procedure of creating, editing ,validating shredding an xml file.
    however, i found the questions of the book (the ones at the end of every lesson) quite easy to answer
  • RHONEDOGRHONEDOG Posts: 24Registered Members ■□□□□□□□□□
    ektorakos - how are you getting on?
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    oh Thanks for asking.
    Studying studying studying.

    I finished reading (carefully) the whole book . i think that i have understood quite the whole thing. The XML section is the most difficult for me as well as the indexes chapter.

    now i am going from the beggining spending time practicing all sort of queries

    I am also watching some preparation videos (with a guy called chad)

    when i finish practicing i will rego through the whole book again. finally i will do some tests and schedule the exam.

    I started 20/12 and as i see it i will not be sitting for the exam before end of /march.

    i learned vast amounts of precious things but i am not confident on taking the exam yet.
    during christmas i had more time to study but now its more difficult.

    You are going really fast . did you manage to get the third one as well?

    One more question please.
    as i am reading there are going to be questions in the exam where you have to write queries. How is this going to be actually?
    is it going to be on an actual sql management studio thus being able to check if the query is giving the correct results or just write the query in a blank box???

    also is it going to be easy (like a simple select query with a simple where filtering and a simple order by) or as complex as it can get.
    i am going to use **** but i would like to know in advance.
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    ok i have finished the second reading of the book and have done many exercises.
    Am i ready to sit for the exam?
    i dont think so.
    i still do mistakes when i write queries.

    there are exercises in the book that are about a page long.
    is it possible that i will have to write such queries?
    cause even if i can do them it would take 25 minutes to think about such a solution and have it ready.
    can somebody give feedback regarding the type of query questions that could be in the exam?

    just give me an example question.
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Posts: 114Registered Members
    It's a while since I took the exam, but I remember there being several questions where it was necessary to write "free-hand" SQL statements. I think a list of SQL keywords was provided in most cases, and I also remember a "check syntax" button, which helped. It was not possible to see the results of the query.
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    thanks for the feedback.

    How big where the queries? could it be sth like the proc that uses an iterative solution to back up all the databases? this is about a page long.
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    hmmm. ok i wanted to check the book cd questions only after i felt completely ready but i did 10 just to see whats in there.
    i did 8/10 correct with one stupid mistake.

    i found the 10 questions rather straitforward and simple. meaning that they were easy for someone that has studied.
    i somehow feel that the questions in the real exam wont be that simple
    if these book questions are a simulation of the questions in the exam then there should be no problem (i suppose)
  • EagerDinosaurEagerDinosaur Posts: 114Registered Members
    I remember most of the questions in the exam requiring fairly short answers. On average, there's only about 2 minutes for each question, so that limits the complexity of the answers.
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I have a question over an exercise in the book regarding XML (what a pain but also very interesting) . If anyone could help...

    I cannot replicate the xml used in the example of page 231 regarding shredding xml.

    Could anyone write what query would produce such xml? i tried many combinations of for xml Auto or xml Path (which gives more freedom) but i cannot do exactly what is shown in the example (which then becomes subject for shredding).
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    ok got it!

    select Customer.custid as [@custid],
    Customer.companyname as [companyname],
    (select [Order].orderid as [@orderid],
    [Order].orderdate as [orderdate]
    from Sales.orders as [Order]
    where Customer.custid = [Order].custid
    and [Order].orderid %2 = 0
    Order by [Order].orderid
    for xml path ('Order'),type)
    from Sales.Customers as Customer
    where Customer.custid <= 2
    order by Customer.custid
    for xml path('Customer') , root('CustomersOrders')
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Ok , i am about good to go.

    I have scheduled the exam date which is going to be in less than two weeks.

    The book's questions are almost useless. these are too easy , they don't cover almost anything.

    i have faith in myself but i also bought the retake exam thing.

    I have watched many videos , done all excercises, i am confident in writing simple queries.
    i believe (and hope ) that if i fail I will not be far from the pass.
  • ViolatedViolated Posts: 31Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Good luck on your test!
  • Chev ChelliosChev Chellios Posts: 341Registered Members
    Good work on your SQL learning journey and best of luck for the exam!
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    I did it!! With no real working experience on sql I managed to get 800! I will analyze the experience a bit when I am back home !!!
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    was as hard as i thought it would be.
    absolutely nothing to do with the book questions.
    i found 3 questions i could not even understand what they were asking. if these were the first 3 questions i would think that there has been a problem with my test and that they probably mixed it with another exam.

    during the test there was a connection problem and i had to wait until reconnection. no time lost because of that.

    there were questions that required coding , click and drag and some that had multiple questions in one .
    . the button checking the syntax sometimes it helped sometimes it was confusing.

    I found the time to be just enough. i had 41 questions , after the first pass i had 6 unanswered and 5 to be rechecked and the time left was 35 minutes. at that point i thought that time was more than enough. however these were unanswered because they required more thinking so they took much time . when i finished there was 6 more minutes in the clock.

    i just ordered the 462 book but i dont know . 461 was really fun and really useful. but i know nothing about administration and maybe this one will be more difficullt

    the journey continues!
  • ViolatedViolated Posts: 31Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek Senior Member Posts: 202Registered Members ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nicely done ektorakos. Great job!
  • ektorakosektorakos Posts: 47Registered Members ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks a Lot.

    I forgot to write that i was Really surprised that i performed best in the category of

    Troubleshoot and Performance!! . i thought that this category would be the reason i would fail
  • kazsyedkazsyed Posts: 1Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello every one...

    i am interested in SQL ADMINISTRATION path.i have no clue or any background of database.what would you suggest for me,what exam should i take as beginner.

  • Chev ChelliosChev Chellios Posts: 341Registered Members
    Congrats on the pass, good work!
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