Study Tips

bacchusbacchus Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
Hi there

I've just started studying for my MCSA for 2016. Just wondering if anyone has any good study tips on how to best learn all the material. Maybe let me know what you did that helped you. I'm also working full time in first line support, so can only study in my spare time and weekends. Anyone else in a similar situation?

I've been going through some of the practice labs from Measure up, which are ok, but find they don't really give you much understanding of what it is you're actually doing. It's like you just go through the motions of doing a task but don't really learn about. What is other peoples thoughts and experiences with the Measure up practice labs and exams?

Think this thread could help others starting out to study for their MCSA.

Cheers

Greg

Comments

  • bacchusbacchus Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Cool cheers mate. Let us know how you get on with the exam..
  • nisti2nisti2 Member Posts: 502 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Amazing thanks for sharing! @Skyliinez92
    2020 Year goals:
    Already passed: Oracle Cloud, AZ-900
    Taking AZ-104 in December.

    "Certs... is all about IT certs!"
  • forrest031forrest031 A+, MCSA Win 10 Member Posts: 3 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thank you, Skyliinez92!
    This is awesome! I'm planning to start studying 70-740 early next month. Most likely, I will use your study tips/guide to push this through. Please keep us updated and let us know how your exam goes later. Cheers, man!
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Member Posts: 1,770 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I always take the same approach.
    Watch videos - This gives me an idea what I'll be studying and shows me.
    Read a book - Books go into detail and I think are a must if you want to understand something
    Lab - It is nice to actually get to do something. I never feel like I know something until I have successfully done it at least once. This lets you link all of the videos and reading into an actual result.

    I know that is pretty basic but it works. Pick an exam follow the three steps and you will be 80% there.

    Ultimately I think a lot of people lean heavily on videos because they are so easy. Hit play and lean back. I put most of my trust in the books. Once I finish the book I usually test within weeks no matter where I am on videos and labbing. If possible I pick up two books but I don't alway read them both. Sometimes I skim one and read only sections I am struggling with.

    I use to take practice tests one to two weeks before an exam. Recently I have been leaning towards 4 weeks ahead of the exam. I don't want to memorize the questions but I do want to have time to study and find the correct answers. Just getting a feel for how they will ask questions about a topic is really the most important part. It prepares you to answer them at test time.

    I have picked up one trick that I absolutely love to use when taking a practice exam.
    Any time I come across something I don't remember on a question or answer I write it down on a list. This could be anything from an abbreviation I don't recognize or a feature I am not familiar with. This is an honest list showing my weak spots. See when your reading something that is right in front of you it's easy to believe you know it. Your looking at it. But if you are reading a question and you don't understand the question or one of the possible answers then you know for certain you need to look that up again.

    Good Luck on your study. I am slowly trudging through the 70-742 I have just started labbing this month and hope to test sometime next month.
  • bacchusbacchus Member Posts: 12 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Nice one cheers @Jon_cisco, thanks for sharing. I'm pretty much doing the same. Just gone through the book and now doing labs, which I'm almost finished, then I'll start going through practice exams.

    I'm using Measure up, What's everyone else's experience with measure up test exams or maybe some other test exams?

    Cheers
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Member Posts: 363 ■■■■□□□□□□
    edited February 2019
    There are 3 general study materials:

    Videos - CBT Nuggets

    Books - Sybex Study Guides are pretty good IMO.

    Labs - Either a cloud lab like what CBT might have or your own lab.


    I attempted the 70-740 with only the CBT Nugget videos, some of their labs, and about 1/3 of the Sybex Study Guide.  I failed that first attempt with a score of 605 (700 is passing).  Tried again after finishing the Sybex Study Guide and doing labs on my PC using Hyper-V and passed with a 753.

    I believe hands-on experience is essential to passing this exam, as coming from the CompTIA trifecta the Microsoft exams don't seem to be just "book exams" so to speak.  

    Now it depends on your own learning style, but I believe all videos and CBT Nuggets can be entirely cut out of it, as I didn't use either for my 70-741 and passed with a 777 score (even higher than my first).  The reason being that there is too much depth in the material for a video to adequately cover it.  That and their labs felt a bit too restrictive and sluggish, I assume it might be a nested VM.


    My suggested strategy is this:
    1) Review the Microsoft documentation on the objectives for the exam.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-740.aspx

    This tells you what to expect scoring wise (for example, Windows Containers is weighted very lightly).  It also has the most up-to-date list of the current objectives, so looking at it tells you that you don't need to learn nano server even if the study guide covers it.

    2) Read through the Sybex Study Guides. 
    They dedicate each chapter to an exam objective (so typically 6 chapters).

    3) Follow along the study guide material in a virtual lab. 
    I found it worth it to use Hyper-V on a Windows 10 Pro computer.  Specs of 8 virtual cores, 16GB RAM, and a 500GB SSD should get you far.  You'll want to familiarize yourself with Hyper-V anyway since that is Microsoft's hypervisor technology that you'll want to know.

    4) Review Microsoft's Technet Documentation.
    The study guides aren't perfect and may miss some things.  You'll want to frequently review the exam objectives, see what wasn't covered by the study guide, and cover that gap with Microsoft's documentation.
    OSCP
    MCSE: Core Infrastructure
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+ | Network+ | Security+ CE
  • kaijukaiju Member Posts: 422 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I used the official study guide for each test and loaded made my own Server 2016 lab. Create a solid foundation by reading as much "useful" material as possible and then supplement that with lab work. Test your retention level with a test engine like measureup or Boson so you can locate your weak areas. Reinforce your weak areas by referring back to your study material and then retest. Do this until you feel comfortable. If you have a good test engine, I think score in the 90% range will lead to a solid passing score on the actual exam. Do not be satisfied with just getting the correct answer. You also need to understand why each incorrect answer was not correct.

    Good luck.
    Work smarter NOT harder! Semper Gumby!
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