I passed 70-697 Configuring Windows Devices! This is what I did.

HowlinghawkHowlinghawk Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
Greetings everyone,

I passed 70-697 yesterday morning. I only passed by a few questions but I still passed and it's a great feeling of accomplishment! I've been working in the field for 13 years but this is my first MCP. Back in November I started going through an online Global Knowledge video course and the current CBT Nuggets course. Not long after I read Panek's book once, and then in January I read through Microsoft's exam reference guide once. Half way through January I began doing nothing other then studying in my free time, and I truly believe this is necessary as you are approaching the test date.

As others have said, CBT Nuggets really helps a lot but does not always go deep enough into certain subjects, but the overview it gives you is really really solid and I definitely recommend using the Transcender practice test that it comes with and also Measure-UP. I got the Measure-up test at half price during their Black Friday sale, which was just lucky timing actually. I did some online labbing but if I could do it again I would set up a server and configure things like App-V and Workfolders ect. I believe this would have pushed my score a lot higher, just a tip.

These are my thoughts on the study material. Panek's book has good information, but it is long and has a lot of fluff throughout that won't appear on the exam and the review questions are too easy. To be fair, it came out in 2016 when the exam was still really new, and since the topics of 697 are really broad, I wonder if he covered certain things to hopefully avoid leaving something out but in the end I spent too much precious time reading it from cover to cover. Unless you are new to IT, I do not recommend it. The Microsoft exam guide is better because it really targets key exam topics and gets right to the point before moving on, and it's sprinkled with exam tips and links to Technet articles throughout. Some have complained about the Technet links in the book, but given how broad this exam is its a good idea to at least read through the main information within them, just dont go overboard and follow every single link within the pages. If you dig through Google enough, there are even people posting their own Technet finds on a page they used to pass the exam.

The Global Knowledge course I went through called M20697-1 covers most of the topics, but its meant to be done in conjunction with a 5-day instructor lead course which is really really expensive so I just did the videos. It has lab access and the instructor covers the topics pretty thoroughly but I didn't see anything about Intune on it, which you will definitely need to pass! He also never mentions the exam so their really pushing to have you sign up for the 5 day boot camp class. This is how I discovered CBT Nuggets. I recommend watching it once through while only completing the quiz's, and then watching it again and taking notes on everything he covers in a Word document(it will be long). I read that word document over and over for several weeks while working out at the gym. I also hit Trancender and Measureup repeatedly during this time. The practice tests are somewhat harder than the exam, but some of what showed up on the exam was only in the practice tests. My advice is to read the explanations and even look them up when you don't understand them. You will be frustrated as you get a lot of practice questions wrong, but the important thing is to just learn that content.

About a week before my test I started doing the thing that I never felt like doing, and that was pasting the blueprint from Microsoft's website into a word doc and ticking off topics as I went through Technet articles and my own notes. I believe this is a really good approach, and I wish I had done it 3 or 4 weeks before my exam instead of 1 week. I almost rescheduled the exam to give myself more time to do this.

Learn all of the content in CBT Nuggets, read Microsoft's official study guide and then use it as a reference tool when you are weak in a certain area. Hammer through Trancender and Measureup tests repeatedly. Finally, go through the blueprint and look up the topics on Technet. You will find that you already know a ton from your other study materials, and it will help it feel less overwhelming as you search the Technet library. Also, as you go through the articles, write down the stuff with paper and pen that jumps out at you as being important. You really dont need to go back and read it after jotting it down because just jotting it down should keep it in your short-term memory. I think this is the reason I liked going through the blueprint last, because I did this writing after already having a solid foundation from the study materials right before exam day. I passed on my first take, and if there is one more piece of advice I can give you it is to relax. If you fail you can take it again at a reduced price because of Microsoft's current exam promo and you will know what to expect next time.

Eliminate the answers that you know aren't correct, i'm positive that guessing some of them with a 50 50 chance was crucial to me passing. Eliminate all the extra content in the question designed to throw you off and intimidate you. Trust your gut when its a trick question and you want to pick something other than what your gut is telling you. The hardest questions you will encounter are the "what three things should you do and in what order?" questions, this is why you definitely want to get the easier questions right.

Now i'm off to tackling 70-698. I'm happy to hear it's a lot easier and hopefully I will be an MCSA by the summer. Good luck everyone :)

Comments

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 822Mod Mod
    Congrats on the pass and thanks for the very detailed review! :D I'm planning on taking this exam soon and I like to hear peoples study methods and what they thought was the best for them. I used CBT Nuggets to pass my 70-698 without any other resource, apart from the odd lab or two and MeasureUps, but I know I'm going to need a lot more resources this time around. I'm hoping to have my MCSA by the summer too!

    Some advise from me - the 70-698 is easier but you still need to be prepared for some difficult questions that will pop up that you probably weren't expecting. It's difficult but fair, as mentioned by Anthony Sequeira. Make sure you're clued up on PowerShell. You don't need to be an expert, but at least know the basic cmdlets for each subject you are training on. For example, you know how to create VHDs within Disk Management but make sure you know the PowerShell equivalent.

    Congrats again and good luck with your 698 training!
    Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. - Richard Branson
  • logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Posts: 137Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats! I'm starting to study for this exam as well. I'm just waiting for the 2nd edition of the Microsoft book to be delivered. I've already started the CBT Nuggets videos.
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 822Mod Mod
    I've been keen to start my training but I made sure I would take a long break during the Easter break as I put a lot of time and money into the 698. I've already purchased the CBT Nuggets videos, just waiting for 16th April to begin my training.
    Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to. - Richard Branson
  • HowlinghawkHowlinghawk Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hi Skyliinez92 and logisticalstyles! Thanks for the feedback, although my post might have been too long :) To Skyliinez92, I plan on writing down every Powershell command I come across for 698 as I'm studying. That way I will have a list of them by the time my notes are complete. I only saw a few Powershell command questions on the 70-697 test and most of them were covered in the training. I think there where one or two that I had to guess at, but I think eliminating the answers that I knew were wrong helped.

    Congrats on passing with only CBT and Measureup! I'm running through the Global Knowledge course once before putting down money for the 30 day CBT Nuggets and class, I got the Global Knowledge classes free through my former employer so I might as well run through them at least once first. I noticed the CBT Nuggets course is 10 hours! The 70-697 course is only 6 or so. I'm betting 698 is still going to be tough, so thanks for the reminder.

    My three weakest areas on the 70-697 score report were Manage Remote Access, Configure Storage, and Plan and Implement an Intune Device Management Solution, but the first two were the weakest overall. I signed up for the Intune trial and played with it and I definitely recommend that you do that too. It's not super hard but it's a lot of information to remember so the trial helps a lot. After those it was Configuring Networking and Manage Apps that had a lower score overall and the remaining four groups where around the 800 range. I got a 712 on the test, and I dont know if these areas are typically easier than the others I mentioned but it might be worth looking into as you are studying.

    Did either of you use the first edition book for 698? Its cheap to buy on amazon and I might go ahead and get it since I want to take the test no later that May.

    Good luck in your studies!
  • logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Posts: 137Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I used the 1st edition for 698. I'm getting kind of anxious about the book for 697. I'm waiting for the 2nd edition to ship.
  • HowlinghawkHowlinghawk Posts: 7Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I figure I should get it because its pretty cheap now, the new one doesn't come out until July. You know they pushed back the release date for 70-697 to May instead of April?
  • logisticalstyleslogisticalstyles Posts: 137Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I was wondering why I hadn't gotten a "Shipped" email from them yet. I guess I'll be getting the 1st edition then. Thanks for the info.
  • backtrackerbacktracker MCSE CP&I, MCSA Server 2016, MCSA Windows 10, MCSA Server 2003, Security +, Network + Posts: 91Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Congrats!!

    Someone already mentioned it, but I will second pulling down the latest objective domain document from the MS website. Make sure to cross check through all the topics listed there vs. what you covered in your study materials. Lookup and practice every last thing you might have missed. I've started printing this document for any test I'm working on early on and constantly reference it to make sure I'm covering the areas included on the exam.
    MSM-ISS (Information System Security)-'07 Colorado Tech.
    MCSE | MCSA X3 | Security + | Network +
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