People who have passed on first attempt.

Eightn9neEightn9ne Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hi All,

First time poster here but long time lurker!

For those who passed their exams first go, I was wondering how long did it take for you guys to study? And for those who have had to re-attempt, how long did it take for you to pass it on your second, third etc. attempt?

I just recently passed the 70-410 first go but I started studying 'seriously' just before Christmas last year so it took me roughly 3+ months just to feel 100% confident. 'Seriously' meant actually building VM's/labs, tearing them down, rebuilding etc. and understanding the concepts and why I was doing what I was doing in the labs. Prior to that, I'd used to just watch CBT Nuggets and read the exam reference book on the commute to and from work.

I'd like to think works helped played a significant part as well being a System Admin and having the resources available to me (colleagues and environment) and spending as much free time I could playing around in my VM environment.

I only just had a poke through 70-411 and yep, this is going to take me roughly a few months at the very least (the Christmas break helped me a lot with the 410).

While I'm at it...I might as well ask this as well while I'm at it too! (lol) for those who already have their MCSA 2012, how long were the gaps roughly in between the 3 exams you took?


  • UncleBUncleB Member Posts: 417
    I found it takes one week of spare time to read the material and highlight relevant facts, another week to work on practice questions, re-read the highlighted notes and catch up on some technet articles.

    I never found the need to actually use the technology with Microsoft exams - they are very predictable with the question techniques and style of questions so after about 10 exams, they became fairly straightforward.

    Most technologies become like this with enough exposure, but it can take a long time to build this up.
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek Member Posts: 342 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I bought the 410 book in Jan 2016 and read it cover to cover and then put it down and didn't read it again or really lab until September 2016. Took it and passed on 21 Oct. Started studying beginning of Nov for the 411. Took 1st attempt 21 Dec, was laid off on 23 Dec, took 2nd attempt 11 Jan, got new job on 16 Jan and really didn't get enough quality study time at all due to change of schedule and the new job. Booked 3rd attempt on 31 Jan 2012 and passed it.

    Now I don't know if I want to take the 412 or 70-462 (SQL Server 2012/2014 Admin) as I was certified under SQL 7.0 and have worked with it constantly since. More and more of our customers are running SQL Server 2008R2 so it would be nice to have that certification. I could always circle back for 70-412.
  • Eightn9neEightn9ne Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    UncleB wrote: »
    I never found the need to actually use the technology with Microsoft exams - they are very predictable with the question techniques and style of questions so after about 10 exams, they became fairly straightforward.

    Most technologies become like this with enough exposure, but it can take a long time to build this up.

    Funny you say this. A few of my senior colleagues here at work had a shot at some of the questions in the exam reference book and they ended up doing pretty well without having to really know the content in and out and they said the same thing. 'You get used to the Microsoft exams...' lol I don't think I ever will.
  • AvgITGeekAvgITGeek Member Posts: 342 ■■■■□□□□□□
    The questions on exam reference books are nothing like the real thing. The mentality of the Microsoft way is still there, after all this is a Microsoft certification, you still had better know your way around the GUI and PowerShell. No way in hades will someone pass these exams never touching DFS-R, NPS, NAP, BitLocker, etc.
  • jertsyjertsy Member Posts: 14 ■■□□□□□□□□
    It took me around 2 months of study for the 410, a few hours each day for 5 days a week. I have taken quite a few MS exams over the years and I agree that you do get the feel of them, the more you do. I have followed the same for the 411.
  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Welcome! I passed all 3 exams on the first attempt so here's my insight to you.

    I too work as a SysAdmin and found the experience to be very helpful while studying/preparing for these exams. The 410 took me about 12 weeks or so of intense studying. I studied every spare moment I had - before work, during my lunch break, after work, weekends, etc.

    I got a little impatient while studying for the 411 because I found the content to be more difficult and ended up only studying for about 10 weeks utilizing the same methods I used for the 410 before I decided on a whim to go ahead and sit for the exam. I had the booster pack with the 4 "free" retakes so I figured I'd go for it. I just barely passed but I feel like if I had an extra couple weeks with it I would've done better. Either way a pass is still a pass and I'm proud of my accomplishment after only 10 weeks of study.

    Rather than take the 412 due to the fact that most of the topics didn't align with what I am currently doing in my job now, nor do they interest me with anything I want to do in the future, I opted to take the 409 on Virtualization instead; especially seeing as how I'm in the process of Virtualizing a lot of my infrastructure. There were a lot less resources available as far as study materials go but what I was able to find was really good. I had gotten through all of the content in about 2 and a half weeks and after another 2 and a half weeks of studying I, again on a whim, decided to sit for the exam after a total of 5 weeks of study. I passed on the first attempt with a decent score I was satisfied with, but as with the 411, if I had taken another couple weeks I probably would've done a lot better. No regrets though.

    When all was said and done, I had started studying Jan 1st of last year and I took my last exam in the middle of July so altogether it was around 6 and a half months to get the certification. I did take a week off completely from studying in-between each exam to let my brain rest before going onto the next one and I think that certainly helped me out a lot. I also maintained a good diet and exercised frequently which was good and really helped to clear my head.

    Your SysAdmin experience will definitely help you out and it sounds like you're moving in the right direction with labbing everything. These exams are completely passable on the first attempt if you're willing to dedicate the study time into it. Good luck and again, welcome to the forum; don't be a stranger!
    All the best,

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
  • greg9891greg9891 Member Posts: 1,189 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Initially I studied on and off for about a year then crammed hard about 3 weeks up to my first attempt of 70-410.I failed my first attempt but came very close so I took a week to study and passed the second attempt. Hope this helps!
    Upcoming Certs: VCA-DCV 7.0, VCP-DCV 7.0, Oracle Database 1Z0-071, PMP, Server +, CCNP

    Proverbs 6:6-11Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways and be wise, Which, having no captain, Overseer or ruler, Provides her supplies in the summer, And gathers her food in the harvest. How long will you slumber, O sluggard?
    When will you rise from your sleep? A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep, So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler And your need like an armed man.
  • Eightn9neEightn9ne Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Appreciate the warm welcome!

    Such a shame the 74-409 doesn't count towards the Server 2012 MCSA otherwise I would've opted for that too.

    I've already spent the past couple of weeks getting the hang of the 411 content which doesn't seem as bad as I thought it would be that I kinda feel confident sitting it soon already. However, I don't want to be to over confident and just randomly go in there and go 'ah crap I think I got to cocky with this!'. So I think I'll be going over it a few times but I do get impatient as well and I'd probably just randomly book it in.

    The 70-410 is the first Microsoft Certification I've got. Prior to that, I did attempt the Configuring Windows 7 one a few times and failed so I never got it since I just completely gave up (this was a few years ago when I wasn't as serious and dedicated as I was today. No labbing etc. and just going in there with the only form of study was skimming that blue text book going 'hey it's just Windows 7!').

    I'll probably end up doing the 74-409 since it's something that I've been doing heavily at work and I guess there's no harm with having another Certification on your transcript.
  • Eightn9neEightn9ne Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Appreciate the warm welcome!

    Shame that the 74-409 doesn't count towards the 2012 MCSA anymore since it's something I would've done straight away since I do a fair bit of it at work already.

    I've already labbed a few things from the 411 modules and they don't seem to bad. Anything else, I've been asking my colleagues about and they'll just show me here at work then I'll just RDP into my home lab at home during lunch and start playing around. I guess the advantage of my workplace is, nothings locked down and we've got access to pretty much everything.... We've pretty much got a cowboy environment lol

    I definitely won't be a stranger around here since I'll be here for the long haul! :)
  • kriscamaro68kriscamaro68 Member Posts: 1,186 ■■■■■■■□□□
    The 74-409 Does count towards the MCSA. That is actually how I got mine. I took the 70-410, then the 74-409, and the 70-411. If you are wanting to do the 74-409 do it as it will count.
  • drakerdraker Member Posts: 54 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I studied for about 4 months on the 70-410, passed first attempt. First cert ever actually.. But I also work as a SysAdmin in a large enterprise. So that experience helped.

    I am hoping to knock out the 70-411 in about 3 months. We'll see! I just started studying this week after taking a week off from the 410.
    Break time..!
  • Eightn9neEightn9ne Member Posts: 24 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Nice one Draker. I've been studying for the 411 already and going through labs on areas i'm not to sure on.

    The new CBT nuggets by Garth and the virtual labs they've got now are great too.
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