Wanting to take 70-291 as first MSCE exam

StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
I guess I am looking for some advice here. I am wanting to make this my first test in persuing my MCSE. I was wondering if anyone has any advice on this. I have 2 and a half months to study for it and can dedicate atleast two hours a day, work in a Server 2003 environment, etc. Should i look at the 70-290 before this one or does it matter?
Thanks in advance
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Comments

  • keatronkeatron Posts: 1,208Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Well, here are some key questions and some things you need to consider.

    1. You work in a 2003 environment. How long have you worked in this environment?

    2. What do you actually do in this environment everyday? I've met people who work in a 2003 environment, however they couldn't do things like set up MX records and prioritize them, set up and configure conditional DNS forwarders, troubleshoot replication and zone tranfers, etc etc etc. So my point is, if you can't do all these things, then you'd need to get pretty efficient at doing them. Keep in mind this is only the DNS part of the exam (which you will most likely see more of than anything else). Read the objectives and give yourself an honest self evaluation as to whether or not you can do all the things in the list of objectives. Some big things are DNS, Terminal Services, SUS, RRAS, DHCP, Security Templates.

    Bottom line, I would suggest that most people start with 270 or at the most 290 if you work with servers every day and don't touch workstations. Good luck and let us know what you decide.
  • StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks so much for your input. My familiarity levels with those things that you brought up (RRAS. MX records, DNS etc...) is beginner level. I do tend to work with workstations more everyday than servers, however i do have a good test environment that i can play around with ( and break). I am really interested in this stuff, and i really feel that i could do it. I have only taken COMPTIA exams up to this point and i know that the testing schema is a bit more rigorous on the Microsoft side. The EXAM CRAM book makes the testing subject matter look a bit easy.... I also plan on using the Microsoft Press book for this exam as well... i have done well on the practice tests i have taken so far... However i will re-evaluate...Thanks again.
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  • kalebkspkalebksp Posts: 1,033Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I to think you'll have a better time if you at least start with 70-290. 70-291 is considered one of the harder exams offered my MS and I wouldn't recommend it as your first MS exam.
  • keatronkeatron Posts: 1,208Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Thanks so much for your input. My familiarity levels with those things that you brought up (RRAS. MX records, DNS etc...) is beginner level. I do tend to work with workstations more everyday than servers, however i do have a good test environment that i can play around with ( and break). I am really interested in this stuff, and i really feel that i could do it. I have only taken COMPTIA exams up to this point and i know that the testing schema is a bit more rigorous on the Microsoft side. The EXAM CRAM book makes the testing subject matter look a bit easy.... I also plan on using the Microsoft Press book for this exam as well... i have done well on the practice tests i have taken so far... However i will re-evaluate...Thanks again.

    Yes, and from what I've heard and read many times here on techexams is that the Exam Cram books are useless for 70-291. I didn't use them for it, so I can't speak from experience. However, I do put good trust in the general community here at techexams.
  • StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    i appreciate your advice and i will heed it. i will switch gears and study for the 70-270 ( it is the information that i am most familiar with.) This question should probably be posted on the 270 forum, but i will try it here since we have established this conversation so far. What would you guys recommend i use to study for this exam.... i have used the exam cram books for a+ and Net+ and they have been okay....but from perusing through the MICROSOFT PRESS books over the weekend they look to be a little more in depth. I appreciate ya'lls help.
    Thanks Again
    The world is flat
  • kalebkspkalebksp Posts: 1,033Member ■■■■■□□□□□
    I was satisfied for the most part with the MS Press book, it was the only one I used so I can't comment on any others. I learn things better visually so I like to use CBTs as well, I find CBT Nuggets to be the best. Whether you should use CBTs is dependant on your learning style. Other than that I would always recommend setting up your own lab to practice with. When I was studying for 270 I had a hard time remembering all the unattended and remote installation information, so I ran though it a few times and it became easy.
  • StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Bought the MS Press self Paced training kit....i really appreciate ya'lls advice on this. Thanks
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  • OlajuwonOlajuwon Posts: 356Inactive Imported Users
    If you really want to know the stuff, start with 270 or at least 290 and go from there. :D
    "And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years"
  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Posts: 455Member
    Stuff for 270 leads into 290 which leads into 291...

    I would say do it in order.
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for all the input. I am studying for the 70-270 instead... any tips for studying?
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  • eurotrasheurotrash Posts: 817Member
    Thanks for all the input. I am studying for the 70-270 instead... any tips for studying?
    read > practice.
    witty comment
  • skully93skully93 Posts: 321Member
    I've found the MSpress books for 2k3 are pretty decent.

    The difference you'll notice from MS to Comptia is that the questions are usually worded really well. You spend more time solving the ? as opposed to figuring out what the hell they're talking about. I know my Network+ exam was worded so poorly that I got a mediocre score, even though I was scoring really high on every practice exam I could get my hands on.

    The 270 and 290 really aren't that bad, and will warm you up nicely for the 291.

    Good luck!
    I do not have a psychiatrist and I do not want one, for the simple reason that if he listened to me long enough, he might become disturbed.

    -- James Thurber
  • StanimosityStanimosity Posts: 15Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the encouragement and advice skully.
    The world is flat
  • TrailerisfTrailerisf Posts: 455Member
    Yeah, I did crappy on my Network+ exam compared to my MS scores...

    But in all fairness, a high score doesn't get you anything other than personal satisfaction. A pass is a pass.

    Comptia could really stand to make "thinking" questions without trying to confuse you with garbage.
    On the road to Cisco. Will I hunt it, or will it hunt me?
  • plazticsoulplazticsoul Posts: 9Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I started with 290 with zero server experience, passed on first attempt with a 747 after 2 1/2 months of study. In retrospect, it would've been much easier to start with the 270, but probably like you, I wanted a real challenge. I now am going straight to 291, but that's only due to MS's second shot offer. I figure since I use XP regularly and W2K3 is still very fresh in my mind, it's worth attempting 291 NOW and then going back to take the 270. ONLY because 290 is already under my belt.

    Needless to say, there is a reason these exams have a recommended order. 290 was not an easy subject without prior knowledge of any server environment. And if I would have started with 291, I probably would have used the MSPress book as a doorstop. It's pretty intimidating. Not necessarily HARD, but it's just SO much stuff. And it's very dry.
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