Almost done with the MS Press book, not progressing

dtechiedtechie Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
When it comes to knowing I'm learning new things- yes, I'm definitely learning. Despite using XP since it was released and still using it for at least 2 years in an Active Directory environment, I'm not doing well on practice exams.

I've been reading the MS Press book for a couple months now (slow reader/time constraints) and despite feeling like I'm more or less very fluent with XP (when comparing myself to other people i know in the field and work with), the practice exam scores just aren't increasing. I tend to score around 50% on a 15-20 question practice.

Its not even "pay attention to detail" type things- whats getting me is I've always been a bad test taker. I see 2 possible answers and then my mind goes blank and none of them stand out.... or sometimes I know I have the right answer, and then it was off slightly and I see the answer and say, "oh, damn! I should have known that!" where most of the time- I DO know the answers... they just don't come to me because its very tiny detailed answers that seems like unless I memorized the book word for word, I just won't be able to learn every single detail needed.

What gets me even more is how I know of many people who can simply crack this book very slightly to skim through, go in, and pass the test... or people who simply read the practice questions and pass.. or people who have never had any REAL hardcore on-the-job XP experience, and pass... meanwhile, I've grown up on Windows, used XP since its release, use it in my job EVERY day, yet I can't pass practice exams included with the MS Press book (the one everyone seems to say is the most accurate to THE test)

Has anyone else had this issue? Where they KNOW they know the material, but when it comes to knowing the minor details, they just can't pinpoint how to put it into words?

I'm starting to get pretty frustrated and discouraged here icon_sad.gif

Comments

  • sthomassthomas Member Posts: 1,240 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I am also not a very good test taker. I usually setup a lab along with reading the books when studying and that helps me understand the material better. Even if you have a good amount of experience with XP if you setup a lab it may help you. The Microsoft Press books are usually pretty dry anyway, you may want to check out another book like the Sybex book. Also, what pratice questions are you using other than the ones in the MS Press book? Not all pratice questions are good. I have never been a big fan of using pratice questions to study but that is just me. Good Luck!
    Working on: MCSA 2012 R2
  • Nishesh.PrasadNishesh.Prasad Member Posts: 185
    hey buddy ... the only reason i would see someone getting confused over a multiple set of answer is when the person is not confident of his own concepts and job experience. No offence to anyone, but if u have been presented with a set of answers you have got to cancel out the ones that do not fit in. Some are too close where as some are just too odd, so there you go. For ex, if the question pertains to a user authentication failure on a domain controller, you cannot possibly have the Local Security Database play any role in the scenario, so thats out automatically.

    So its not about knowing the right answers, its about knowing how to find them.
    MCITP: EA 2008| VCP4| MCSE 2003 | CCNA | MCSA 2003: Security | MCDST | Security+ | ITILV3
  • dtechiedtechie Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    sthomas wrote:
    I am also not a very good test taker. I usually setup a lab along with reading the books when studying and that helps me understand the material better. Even if you have a good amount of experience with XP if you setup a lab it may help you. The Microsoft Press books are usually pretty dry anyway, you may want to check out another book like the Sybex book. Also, what pratice questions are you using other than the ones in the MS Press book? Not all pratice questions are good. I have never been a big fan of using pratice questions to study but that is just me. Good Luck!
    Thanks!

    I've thought of trying out the Sybex books or the ExamCram2 books- I've heard good things about both. I went with the MS Press book to begin because a few people told me it'll be the most informative and relavent to the test since its their test.

    However after basically finishing it, I see theres lots of redundancy in it and too many details they don't point out that I end up seeing are very important/useful ones. Again, I've definately learned many details about XP I haven't known before (I've always known how to get the job done- but I mean knowing how to do things to the book now).
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I'd throw in the Transcender practice exam and/or CBT Nuggets as well.

    I typically do MS Press Book (lab exercises are good), another well reviewed book, CBT Nuggets, and Transcender practice exams. If you're just using the one resource, you're not very well prepared. I don't think anyone would do well with only the MS Press book, unless they had previous experience. I felt it didn't go into several important topics.

    Also, the 270 just sucks in general. I thought it was going to be a piece of cake since I had used XP for so long, but you really have to learn much more obscure facets of the OS. Despite 5 years of heavy use, I had never performed RIS installations or setup printer pools. I actually took the 290 first, and I would suggest that others consider doing the same. The 290 really gave me a broader understanding of how XP worked in a directory environment, and there was significant overlap, such as permissions, performance monitoring, etc.

    Just keep plugging away, and I'm sure you'll get it nailed down soon!
  • KGhaleonKGhaleon Member Posts: 1,346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I have to schedule my 70-270 soon, and I'm pretty nervous. I've used XP heavily over the years too, and I don't know a single thing about installing with RIS. Hell, I've never performed Disk duplication or unattended either. I'm going to need to set some time aside to practice with them.

    It's intimidating. It's hard to keep all this system-related stuff together with the security/networking knowledge I learn. I'm seriously stressed.

    KG
    Present goals: MCAS, MCSA, 70-680
  • SieSie Member Posts: 1,195
    As others have mentioned I would get a different book or a different style of learning (IE CBT Nuggets).

    I know personally i prefer CBT nuggets and a hands on lab for my study with the book as extra resource material. Im not saying the book isnt great but it can be quiet hard to just sit and read if your not passionate about that type of learning.

    Try a few things and see which suits you better.

    Which practice exams are you taking??

    ps: Keep it up you'll get there!! icon_thumright.gif
    Foolproof systems don't take into account the ingenuity of fools
  • dagger1xdagger1x Member Posts: 55 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I read the MS press book front to back 3 times and practiced those questions only to go in and fail. I went back to the comptias and picked up net + and security + because I think I lacked fundemental knowlege on those subjects that 270 expects you to have. I also didnt give my best effort and like everyone here says you have to have more than one source, a lesson I learned the hard way.

    The MS press book isnt something I can learn from but it is an invaluable tool to have along when going to work on an XP box.
  • allmightypcallmightypc Member Posts: 22 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello Dtechie,

    It's very important and powerful if you can figure out "how" you learn best. Only you can figure this out. It is a little different for everyone. Personally, I have to "do" the exercises to really "recall" anything. I know there are alot of people who are like my daughter, who are capable of reading something today and recalling it verbatim 6 months from now. Unfortunately, I do not possess this type of gift.
    For test taking tips I reread the following before testing:

    • Read every word of the question carefully.
    • Read the answers before reading the question. This will help you to anticipate correct answers.
    • When reading the questions, think of the correct answer before re-reading the choices.
    • Watch out for qualifying words; statements that use absolute terms (never, always, only, necessary, must, etc.) are rarely true; statements that use relative terms (like, often, seldom, perhaps, generally, etc.) are often true.
    • Re-read the question as you read through each choice. Look for specific hints.
    • Watch out for double negatives ("There is no time when this is not true").
    Don't be misled by jargon or familiar phrases used in an incorrect statement.
    • Always choose the "best" answer; this is often the answer that uses a word or phrase specific to the course.
    • When in doubt, eliminate all wrong answers and then guess (there is NO penalty for wrong answers).
    • Answer short questions first. All questions (or at least most of them) have the same score weight. Answering a 5-second question will give you the same points as will the 10-minutes teeth breaking question. When you see those LOOONNNGGG questions - mark them and return to them later, after answering all the short questions.
    • Cross out wrong answers (i.e. use a process of elimination).
    • Select answers you learned. Do not choose an unfamiliar term just because it is unknown.
    • Most exams allow you to redo questions you’re not sure you have answered correctly. This is NOT true for the ADAPTIVE tests.
    • If your answer includes "Dragging & Dropping" or other "Select & Place" type of answers - re-reading your answer will probably cause your answer to be erased! Remember what your answer was BEFORE pressing the view button. Don't spend all that time on a question only to find out that you have to re-answer it...
    • Start by answering all the questions you’re absolutely sure you know the answers to. The questions you’re not sure of mark with the MARK button at your upper left corner of the screen.
    • Don't change your choice unless you are absolutely sure!
    • When you get to the last question go back and answer the marked questions that you have a clue as of how to answer (Unmark each question as you answer it).
    • Now you can make another round of answers and unmark more questions.
    • Finishing your exam with marked questions will not cause you to lose points (unless the marked questions were left un-answered or had wrong answers).
    Never Give Up, Never Surrender!
  • BabietechBabietech Member Posts: 53 ■■□□□□□□□□
    sthomas wrote:
    I am also not a very good test taker. I usually setup a lab along with reading the books when studying and that helps me understand the material better. Even if you have a good amount of experience with XP if you setup a lab it may help you. The Microsoft Press books are usually pretty dry anyway, you may want to check out another book like the Sybex book. Also, what pratice questions are you using other than the ones in the MS Press book? Not all pratice questions are good. I have never been a big fan of using pratice questions to study but that is just me. Good Luck!

    Hi sthomas

    You are saying Sybex books are good books to use for practice exercises and for studying?

    I'm thinking about purchashing the MSPRess 70-270 book. I'm currently reading the Exam Prep 2 70-720 book. Are there any typographical errors in Sybex books you know about or have heard?

    I know there were errors in other books, but I haven't heard about MSPress books.
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    270 is not as easy as most think. There is a lot of stuff that people would never think of using in an OS thats covered in the exam. Most everyone has used XP in some form or another, including myself. I even took a college course. All my practice tests were coming back 68% or LOWER. Studying off one book wont do it for most tests. I stated in another post that 2 books, CBT nuggets, and practice exam software is a good combo, because you have more than one reference point and multiple types of studying. Having a little XP lab wouldnt be a bad idea either. I found that some stuff (ie installing XP and its different options) I couldnt grasp until I had hands-on experience doing it.

    try and snag some more study material, and just be confident. Once you accomplish those, you'll nail it.
    **** ARE FOR CHUMPS! Don't be a chump! Validate your material with certguard.com search engine

    :study: Current 2015 Goals: JNCIP-SEC JNCIS-ENT CCNA-Security
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