Just took my 70-740 exam

Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 WizardPosts: 758Mod Mod

So I took the 70-740 today and failed. Scored a 680, 700 needed to pass. To be honest, I'm not that disappointed that I failed. Over my final few weeks of study, I was going over objectives that I still didn't fully understand. I ended up reading over something two or three times, and a week later I may have forgotten something from it. Even if I pushed myself a little more to scrape a 700, I still wouldn’t have felt that I deserved it.

It’s not enough to just use videos or books to pass this exam. Labbing is essential to know what the technologies are and how to configure them. I thought I had done enough just by using the CBT labs with a little bit if exposure at work, but boy was I wrong. If you are new to Windows Server as I am, then you’re going to have to practice this a lot. This exam covers a lot of content to absorb. I know some people may be reading this and think that this is an obvious point I’m making, but I think it’s important to know how much you need to practice based on your experience.

A little bit of background on me - I started as a Sysadmin 6 months ago, and only really started using Failover Clustering and VM Migration recently. I’ve got basic Server Admin skills and worked in IT for around 7 years. Passed all my CompTIA and Microsoft OS exams first time. Unfortunately, the same technique didn’t quite work this time.

I’ve got a retake which I’m going to schedule for the end of September. This first take has given me a good insight into the exam and what areas I'm weak in. I’ve got a wedding to plan for in the meantime and I think it would be beneficial to set up my own labs at home and just practice the content repeatedly. Once September comes around, I’ll then smash out my revision again and hopefully obtain a pass. As I’m working as a Sysadmin, I want to do more than just pass a test, and actually knowing how to configure these technologies will be important in my role.

Hope this helps anyone currently going for this exam or any of the others in the MCSA 2016 group :smile:

There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.

Comments

  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member UKPosts: 392Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Dame, sorry to read that. 

    If you need any extra material let me know, i think I archived all my 70-740 videos I used. 
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Thanks dude but I should be good. I've got all my notes, books and videos, it's just a lab I need to set up now to practice the content. Any tips on lab setups would be appreciated though :smile:
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,645Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Very close!

    I totally respect you taking a long break to get other stuff done. Certifications can be almost addicting and they never stop. There is always another test to take.

    70-740 was my first Microsoft exam also and I had no experience at all. Labbing was a must for me and still I feel like I barely scraped by. Good Luck with the certs and the wedding.
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Thanks man. Yea I decided to leave it for now due to other life commitments. I think the length of time should also be enough to just lab in my own time and get use to actually using the technologies rather than just reading about it. I'm in the role that I want to do now anyway so there's no rush. How did you set up your lab? Once I get in I can start playing around, but I wanted to know how you guys started off? 
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member UKPosts: 392Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited March 5
    Use Hyper-v, don't use anything else as when it comes to Hyper-v questions in the exams they be easier to answer.

    I built a separate computer for my labs, cheap 8 core AMD cpu, 16gb Ram, 120gb ssd and 1tb slave drive. Everything running Server 2016. 
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,645Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    A few years back I picked up a HP rack mount server and installed vmware esxi 5.5 on it. I used that to create my main domain and dhcp server.

    However when I started 70-740 I decided to add another server and install Hyper-v server on it. This hypervisor is free to install. It was a Dell R710 with 48 Gigs of ram and I used it to create all of my test severs. I really should have created a new domain for each exam but I just kept adding servers to it all year.

    For a lot of the basics you can use Windows 10 Hyper-v I just prefer to go overboard with my lab since I just keep adding stuff along the way.
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    I'm planning on getting a new PC in the next few months as mine is old and still running 3rd gen tech with a 256gb SSD and only 16gb RAM. I'll then probably use it as a Hyper-V host (as well as my primary day to day machine) with nested virtualization and just create a few servers and link them together. With each objective, did you guys rip apart your setup and start over each time or jut add on additional servers? 
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,645Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I just added servers but there were a lot of times I just added more features onto the existing machines. If you have CBT Nuggets still you can see they demonstrate everything with only a few machines.

    Don't over think it. The important part of labs is to actually see the concept work. This helps you understand and remember what your reading. You don't need them to work perfect you just need to understand the concepts.
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Thanks Jon. Just booked my retake for end of Sept but may move it to an earlier date depending on how labs go and once my honeymoon is finished. I might even be able to smash out the 741 before the end of the year. I have more exposure to DNS and DHCP currently and retained a lot of knowledge from my Network+ exam, so I might find this a little easier once I've grasped the general concept of the 740. Either way, I won't be taking a break after my second 740 attempt to make up for time lost.
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • PseudonymPseudonym Senior Member Posts: 335Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    I'm planning on getting a new PC in the next few months as mine is old and still running 3rd gen tech with a 256gb SSD and only 16gb RAM. I'll then probably use it as a Hyper-V host (as well as my primary day to day machine) with nested virtualization and just create a few servers and link them together. With each objective, did you guys rip apart your setup and start over each time or jut add on additional servers? 
    Unlucky. Good thing you're re-evaluating your preparation. You should get it next time. 

    Checkpoint your VMs after you've installed them, then roll back when needed. I don't think I've ever needed more than 4 VMs at a time. 16GB RAM is plenty.
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I
    Working on - RHCSA
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member UKPosts: 392Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I rebuilt my VM's after each exam I passed. 

    I found it got messy after a while, especially when dealing with IPAM as its a pain to get setup.  Once working, you never want to mess with it again.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • forrest031forrest031 Posts: 3Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Sorry to hear that, Skyliinez. You'll surely get this next time! I will still follow your study guide from your previous post. I'll make sure to lab a lot before I take it in the future. Good luck!!
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Thanks Forrest. I think my theory was in the right area with the resources I used, but definitely add labs especially if you're new to the server world. Spoke to my boss after my exam and they're going to give me a bit more exposure and training in the workplace with things like fail over clustering and VM management which is great.
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • dandadynamitedandadynamite Posts: 26Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    What was the exam like? I take mine next week and I wanted to know how you felt about it 
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    What was the exam like? I take mine next week and I wanted to know how you felt about it 
    Personally I felt that it started off fairly difficult but got easier as I got through the questions. Time wasn't an issue for me as I had 30 minutes left over at the end. The only annoying part is the first 10-12 questions or so you can't review or go back, so you have to put an answer and move on. A few questions later I remembered what one of the answers should have been but it was too late by then. 

    The exam itself is more situational than anything. You need to know why technologies might be used in different scenarios. 

    Also labbing is a must. I did barely any for this exam and just missed the mark. Going to spend the next month or so building my own and practicing the content. I'll see how I feel around the end of April/early May and might reschedule for then, but due to other life commitments right now my deadline is September.
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • november24november24 Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have a quick question, is there any "Choose all that apply." questions type in the exam?

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    These are the types of questions you can expect to see:

    - Simple multiple choice – least common.
    - Scenario-based multiple choice – most common.
    - Drag and drop steps in the correct order – e.g. select the three steps needed and order them correctly out of 7 possible steps.
    - Select the correct command or parameter from a drop-down.
    - Select the correct command or parameter using drag and drop – basically the same as the above
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • november24november24 Posts: 28Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    These are the types of questions you can expect to see:

    - Simple multiple choice – least common.
    - Scenario-based multiple choice – most common.
    - Drag and drop steps in the correct order – e.g. select the three steps needed and order them correctly out of 7 possible steps.
    - Select the correct command or parameter from a drop-down.
    - Select the correct command or parameter using drag and drop – basically the same as the above
    Thank you very much for the thorough information, I have another quick question if you allow me, how long is the exam duration? the exam website mentioned is 150 min, is that correct?
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    You could purchase a used server, or if your regular computer is high spec enough and runs at least Windows 10 Pro, you could just spin up Hyper-V on that.  I made use of differencing disks to ensure I wouldn't run out of space as I would often spin up at least 5-6 VMs.  Also much faster to setup since the basic stuff is included(patching, maybe RSAT tools for my Windows 10 client machine).
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Just wanted your opinions on my current lab setup that I will be deploying soon:

    I'll be using my own PC with Hyper-V and create an Internal virtual switch for all VMs. I plan on having around 4 servers for my environment:
    - 1x DC (GUI)
    - 2x Clustered servers for FC, Storage Replica etc (GUI)
    - 1x Core server that might join the cluster at a later stage
    - 1 or 2 client machines running Windows 10.

    I plan on utilizing the majority of roles on the same servers to avoid having loads of VMs, and I'll create various checkpoints to roll back when needed.

    Obviously the real learning will happen when I build these VMs and things may change as I go along, but as a starting point from those who have already created a lab environment, would you say this is sufficient for now? Is there anything I could change or do differently?
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • nealeneale Posts: 16Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    Better luck next time.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,645Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    I think that will work. Keep the domain controller clean and just keep adding services to the other machines. That way you can just revert or delete them as needed. For the most part clients are optional.
  • PseudonymPseudonym Senior Member Posts: 335Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Just wanted your opinions on my current lab setup that I will be deploying soon:

    I'll be using my own PC with Hyper-V and create an Internal virtual switch for all VMs. I plan on having around 4 servers for my environment:
    - 1x DC (GUI)
    - 2x Clustered servers for FC, Storage Replica etc (GUI)
    - 1x Core server that might join the cluster at a later stage
    - 1 or 2 client machines running Windows 10.

    I plan on utilizing the majority of roles on the same servers to avoid having loads of VMs, and I'll create various checkpoints to roll back when needed.

    Obviously the real learning will happen when I build these VMs and things may change as I go along, but as a starting point from those who have already created a lab environment, would you say this is sufficient for now? Is there anything I could change or do differently?
    I'm sure this will be fine. You can always go back and change the placement of roles if it makes sense to do so, if you've made well placed checkpoints. Remember to shut down your VMs before you checkpoint them too. Good luck!
    Certifications - A+, Net+, Sec+, Linux+, ITIL v3, MCITP:EDST/EDA, CCNA R&S/Cyber Ops, MCSA:2008/2012, MCSE:CP&I
    Working on - RHCSA
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Jon_Cisco said:
    I think that will work. Keep the domain controller clean and just keep adding services to the other machines. That way you can just revert or delete them as needed. For the most part clients are optional.
    Lol, a great idea.

    I just kept tearing down the entire environment and rebuilding it from scratch (went from the GUI to eventually only using Powershell and Server Core).  Ah well, not the most efficient, but it taught me how to do it by heart.
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    So I'm debating whether or not to take this exam in May. I'm not keen on the idea of pushing it all the way until September as I feel I would be starting all over again with my studies. Most of the wedding tasks have been completed so April/May is looking pretty clear, apart from my stag which I'll make sure does NOT clash with the exam as that could have some dire consequences!

    It all depends on how April goes. On my last attempt I was cramming so much into 6 weeks with little labbing. I don't want to put myself under that pressure again, so I've devised a little plan that might help:

    I've reconstructed my exam objectives into a short list, which can be found here if anyone wants to use it. I like having something displayed clearly that I can follow with ease. I've then grouped these together and will spend each day going over the objectives through the day (I have some free time at work that I can utilize) e.g. on a Wednesday I will focus purely on all Dedup objectives, and a Thursday I might do Storage Pools. I found that I was getting lost in must studies at times and kept forgetting things. I'll then put what I learned into practice in the evening, maybe just an hour or so using my lab I've built.

    I've still got my MeasureUp test until August so I might do one or two tests at the end just to refresh my knowledge and get back into exam mode. If all this goes well I'll retake the exam in May.

    I'm not in a rush to get my MCSA personally, and my workplace doesn't require it. My only worry is knowing Microsoft COULD retire these at some point in 2020, although nothing is confirmed yet. If I can get my 740 and maybe 741 by the end of the year, I'll only have one exam left and I'll feel at ease knowing I'm not in the danger zone. I don't want to be in the position where I've only done one exam and MS then decide to switch the MCSA over to something else, similar to what they've done with Windows 10. They might not for a while, but you never know. 
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member UKPosts: 392Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    edited March 22
    MS don't retire exams until they go out of support.  That's what applies to the Server OS's anyway.  Makes sense with Windows 10 retiring the older exams because Windows 10 wont be surpassed by another desktop OS, so they need to keep the exams in line with their yearly updates.

    My rule I have is to book a retake no longer than 6 weeks after.  Everything will be still fresh in your head and you can brush up on the sessions you didn't do well on easier.
    Certifications:
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP

  • Skyliinez92Skyliinez92 Level 99 Wizard Posts: 758Mod Mod
    Yea I hope that's the case. 2012 has been around for a while so it seems likely, however I have seen mention of MS moving all their exams to role-based certs. Whether or not that includes server is down to them I guess. Either way I'm going to try and stay on top of this so I don't forget too much from the 740. A retake 6 weeks from now seems likely, then I'll start my 741 in September.
    There are 10 types of people in this world; those who understand binary and those who don't.
  • Jon_CiscoJon_Cisco Posts: 1,645Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    edited March 22
    I would not worry about the cert expiring. I have not looked into it but I believe Microsoft keeps a running list of when you earned cert. What you are showing employers is that you gained the experience and have been working on career progression.

    I list my 2002 A+ cert that is grandfathered in as a lifetime cert because it shows a history of doing computer work even if my job title/description does not include it.

    edit: I also think you would be better off taking it sooner rather then later.
  • N7ValiantN7Valiant Senior Member Posts: 342Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    If your employer doesn't require it, I wouldn't rush it more than you need to.  The only expectation for this certification seems to be for Senior roles.  It's otherwise useless if you don't have the experience.
    MCSA: Windows Server 2016
    CompTIA A+, Network+, Security+
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