Any Suggestions

fredefrede Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
I failed for the second time today with a 679. It was like getting hit in the jaw cause I was 100% sure on 37 of the 40 questions. I don't get it. Got 95% on Name resolution and RRAS, looks like around 75% on Infrastructure and Security. The lowest one was IP Addressing - looks like around 50%. Funny cause I got 100% on IP Addressing on the first failure. I guess one section can fail you....

Any suggestions on what I should do to get this exam behind me. I prepped with Nugggets, MS-Press and Syngress?

Signed,
Failure Fred

Comments

  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    How have you been preparing so far and how long have you been studying (how many hours per week?)
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • fredefrede Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Been studying for 10 weeks. Min 8 hours per day on Sat/Sun, and min 2-3 hours every night. Also used 15 of my vacation/personal days and studied min. 8 hours each of those days.

    I have worked very hard. I have almost completly blown off my wife, my 1 yr old son, and 3 yr old daughter for 10 weeks, which is why today's failure was like a stab in the heart.

    We all leave tomorrow for a 7 day family vacation to the Carolina's. I plan to rethink my career while I am there.

    Feeling really fried and really low.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    It sounds like you have plenty of study material, and you seem to have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to pass. I'd suggest looking at how you're studying. Really focus on the areas you're weak on, maybe make up some flashcards for yourself. And one thing that's easy to forget about when you're working with books and with the CBT Nuggets is that hands-on study is really the key to passing these tests. If you can, try run through some of the exercises suggested in your book and try finding some other labs to do.

    Aside from any of that, I can give you an idea of how I studied for the exam:

    I used several main study materials:
    - CBT Nuggets
    - TestOut
    - The MS Press book, along with the lab manual, since they were being sold at the school. (I recommend finding the book that works best for you. Go to the bookstore, get a cup of coffee, and begin paging through all the books on the subject you're studying, until you find the one that you find the most readable.)
    - (And the technotes from this site, they really do help.)

    I started out by initially reading the book, but that wasn't really "serious". I got started with the CBT Nuggets when I really got down to it. I watched the whole series, back-to-back, to give me an idea of what I was getting myself into and to pick up some of the initial ideas of each topic. After watching the Nuggets, backing it up with some reading in the book again, I'd get started on the TestOut course, which includes both videos and hands-on labs. I'd try to do each section of the TestOut, since it's broken up into essentially the same topics as the test, and I'd try to back it up by watching those same sections of the Nuggets again, as I went. It'd be, for example, the entire section on DNS in the TestOut, so I'd watch all the DNS Nuggets around the same time, and I'd go looking for notes and reading on it, then move on to the next topic.

    I'd basically take myself through the brunt of my studying that way, all the way up to the test. This is how I usually prepare for tests, using any and all study material I can get my hands on. And, one thing that might sound silly, is to leave the main book you're reading in the bathroom, once you've read it all the way through. You'd be surprised how easy it is to pick things up when you're . . . eh. . . "a captive audience."

    As for hands-on work with the actual Server product, I tend to do that before I start this process, and try to get to it as I go along. This is especially important when I get stuck on something I don't quite get or that I'm having trouble with, but I don't "schedule" lab work the same way I do with the CBT Nuggets or the TestOut.

    I hope that helps, and I wish you luck on your next test. If you have any specific questions about my (mad, mad, mad) methods or any of the study materials I use, drop me a pm.

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    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    I wouldn't give up so easily. Have fun during your vacation and take a breather. Perhaps try getting the cbtnuggets for the series and mix it in with book study if you haven't already. Perhaps get a notebook and when you are diving into deep concepts, try jotting it down. Every few days, refer back to your notes and make sure you remember previous material. Topics that seem a bit sketchy to you, put a sticky note on the top of the page and refer back to it every 2-3 days and make sure you learn that topic. There's all sorts of little things you could do to make sure you remember stuff. Technet and help & support tools are very helpful materials for areas books do not explain well and you want to have a better grasp.

    Like I said, have fun during your vacation. Don't let the exam bring you down. People make mistakes and there are always hurdles that we must go through. Don't quit if you like the IT field, just evaluate what you've been doing and adjust some things.

    Also, make sure you have a lab and practice practice practice! If you don't have a spare computer, try buying vmware or virtual server and use a free server 2003 evaluation software.

    Good luck to you and have fun on your vacation!
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • fredefrede Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks to all for taking time to respond. The only product that I have not used is Testout.

    Drilling down a bit more on my prep: I usually read a book - 3 on this prep because they all stink for this exam IMHO - books used were MS-Press, EC2 (real bad), and Syngress. While reading, anything that I do not understand, or have not seen during my 7 year Net Admin career, I down write in a notebook. Once I am done with the book, I read the notes that I have taken and make flash cards. After doing that, I felt like I was a bit unready to sit, so I bought Nuggets. I have 4 computers in my home lab a Duel boot XP/W2K, W2K3 Server and a second W2K3 server and a XP Home which is mainly used to RDP and for Technet lookups. And yea, the books are in the John with me on many days.

    I need to change jobs because a BIG company bought us, and stuck in a big pipe in that goes to THEIR datacenter. They have now started taking services out of our datacenter - Exchange is gone, SMS is now gone, SAV console gone... migrating us off our AD and on to theirs right now. I think you get the picture.

    I have poked around a bit but everyone around here (Princeton NJ) wants the experience AND certs. I currently have MCP for SMS 2.0 and 70-290. I need at least MCSA to maintain my current salary level. I have the family and the bills and all that.

    I have no choice but to take a week off. If bring the books on vacation, my wife will leave me for sure.

    Writing this has been good therapy. I means a lot that you geeks (i mean that in a nice way) have my back on this. Thank you!
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Maybe you need a change of pace? You could always try to go and do the 70-270 test first, get that out of the way. You might even feel a little better about testing, if you go for an "easier" test, and have at least that pass under your belt. Might put some of the fire back in your pursuit of the beastly 70-291.

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  • fredefrede Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks Slowhand. I don't know I posted this, but I passed 70-290 on the first shot before I started working on this test. I feel that there is so much to pack in on this test that I fear I'll forget it. I am stubborn - I must beat this #$%@. Guess I need to think about it.
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    I know that feeling. I tanked this test the first time around, and it sucked. Saving the 70-270 for last isn't a bad idea either. It's what I did, and it really did take the pressure off, and didn't make the push for MCSA quite so. . . grueling. Take some time, relax on your vacation, and get back to it when you're ready. You'll get it.

    Free Microsoft Training: Microsoft Learn
    Free PowerShell Resources: Top PowerShell Blogs
    Free DevOps/Azure Resources: Visual Studio Dev Essentials

    Let it never be said that I didn't do the very least I could do.
  • blargoeblargoe Self-Described Huguenot NC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Just enjoy your vacation. You going to the mountains or the coast?
    IT guy since 12/00

    Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
    Working on: RHCE/Ansible
    Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...
  • geekiegeekie Member Posts: 391
    Stick with it Frede, you're almost there!! Enjoy your break and then come back and tear the arse out of 291! :)
    Up Next : Not sure :o
  • SWMSWM Member Posts: 287
    After failing twice and all that study, I think its time to put the books down and get your teeth into a practice labs and totally concentrate on hands on. DNS DNS DNS, DHCP RRAS, set these up on a test server and break them and fix them, set up stub zones, forwarders etc etc. Its the only way to make things sink in to the grey matter.
    Good luck next time
    :)
    Isn't Bill such a Great Guy!!!!
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    SWM wrote:
    After failing twice and all that study, I think its time to put the books down and get your teeth into a practice labs and totally concentrate on hands on. DNS DNS DNS, DHCP RRAS, set these up on a test server and break them and fix them, set up stub zones, forwarders etc etc. Its the only way to make things sink in to the grey matter.
    Good luck next time
    :)

    What material do you suggest for practice labs or do you just go install them and just mess with them? MSPress' labs just aren't cutting it.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • geekiegeekie Member Posts: 391
    MSPress' labs just aren't cutting it.

    I agree. I tend to setup different senarios and test from there. This strategy helped me loads with RRAS policies which I found a rather hard concept to grasp at first!
    Up Next : Not sure :o
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