70-740 failed 605/700

N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior MemberPosts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
It went a bit better than I expected to be honest, as taking the practice exam that was provided as part of the CBT nuggets package only netted me 32% as far as their scoring was concerned.

My background is an AS in IT and coming up on 3 months of professional IT work experience. I have never set up a Windows Server before, nor worked much more intimately with them beyond creating and disabling user accounts in AD, testing backups(which usually means restoring one text or image file from a week ago and opening it), and glancing at the event viewer logs with glazed eyeballs.

I was admittedly under-prepared for this exam as I feel I would have needed another month to really lab it up. About a month or so into the job I was told that everybody needs to schedule an exam for one cert or another before the end of April, so given that I already had the 3 basic CompTIA certs that everyone else(with years of experience) were going for, I decided something higher level like the MCSA would be beneficial given that I didn't feel I had a good enough proficiency with networking in general to be taking CCNA.

I finished the 14 hours of CBT Nuggets video on the series about 3 days before exam day, got about 1/3 of the way through the study guide by William Panek that the guy who told us to get certs lent me, and barely managed to rack up many lab hours because the CBT labs were slow, unresponsive, and anything involving Nano Server was broken because Microsoft changed something and now they can't communicate with the network in the virtual labs. I was still configuring my own Windows Server 2016 in a Hyper-V environment in a PC I had just built when exam day rolled around and time was up.

I felt I scored pretty close given the gap in knowledge and experience I had, and hopefully this might be a good baseline to judge the preparation needed, which to me consists of:

-Videos to briefly introduce you(over 14+ hours) to the concepts.
-Reading to soak in the fundamental concepts.
-Labbing to apply everything you learn and pick up also(hopefully) what are the wrong ways to do things when something inevitably breaks or doesn't work and you need to fix it.

I don't recommend trying this if someone else is going to determine when you're going to take the exam. Even if I got close this time I'm feeling little appetite to try again until my employer understands the simple fact that not all certs and exams are equal in difficulty, hence why you can't dictate from the top down when someone takes an exam.
MCSE: Core Infrastructure
MCSA: Windows Server 2016
CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE

Comments

  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandPosts: 419Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Are you going to retake the exam? If you need any study tips let me know.

    I don't understand this thing where the employer tells you need to do an MS cert. We never get any sort of pressure like that here in the UK.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 360Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Are you going to retake the exam? If you need any study tips let me know.

    I don't understand this thing where the employer tells you need to do an MS cert. We never get any sort of pressure like that here in the UK.
    I was going to hold off until me and my employer can come to an understanding that scheduling needs to be done according my timetable and not theirs. As I understand it, the other 2 exams needed are progressively more difficult, so getting arbitrary deadlines to take these exams only wastes my time and money (we get reimbursed, but only if we pass) and stresses me out because I have nothing to show for it.

    Also, we were not pressed to get MS certs, but rather any certs at all. This motivated most of my coworkers to pick up basic certs like Net+ and Sec+ which don't really benefit folks with years of experience in the IT field.
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandPosts: 419Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    That's crazy if you only get reimbursed if you pass! As these certs aren't cheap, especially if you need to do retakes.

    I would tell them, if they want me to do certs then they can pay for me to do so. None of this reimbursed rubbish, they are a business earning enough money, they can afford it.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco ■■■■■■■■□□ Posts: 1,772Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    I use the same study method as you.
    videos, read, then lab.

    I feel the videos give me an overview of what I am expected to learn but there is no substitute for reading. I have an exam schedule for a few weeks from now to keep me motivated but I don't expect to be prepared on exam day. I am currently 1/3 through CBT Nuggets videos and 1/3 through a book on my kindle. Unfortunately I am only starting to spin up the lab environment now. I have the VM ware server in place but I don't feel I am going to have enough time to practice breaking and fixing any of the servers I create.

    I purchased a second book "MCSA 70-740 Cert Guide by Anthony Sequeira" that I hope to read as I am labbing. Given the short time frame I expect this to actually be my study guide for the retake.

    Hopefully if your boss is open to feedback he will be willing to access the difficulty in choosing arbitrary deadlines. Unfortunately I know from past experience that it's a lot harder to negotiate acceptable terms so many bosses adopt hard and fast rules to simplify there life. Sometimes it is not worth the effort to try and override the bosses choices as it usually leads to resentment on one or both sides.

    Good Luck! Jon
  • bornwithbornwith ■■□□□□□□□□ Posts: 21Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    That's crazy if you only get reimbursed if you pass! As these certs aren't cheap, especially if you need to do retakes.

    I would tell them, if they want me to do certs then they can pay for me to do so. None of this reimbursed rubbish, they are a business earning enough money, they can afford it.


    Thats is how it is at my company too. They will remeburse only if we pass.
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