Self Esteem is Destroyed

Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
I have been working in the field since 1995. Got my NT 4.0 MCSE in 1999 and then was too busy working to worry about updating my certifications (should have made the time.) Well, I am in between contracts right now so I decided that it would be a good idea to update my MCSE to 2003. Figured it would be two fold for my resume and also to refresh my brain on all the subject matter. Well, I started with the 70-270. I didn't study a whole lot for it, but I managed to pass. Then I took the 70-290. For this test I studied my brains out for it. I spent about two weeks. Remember, I am not working right now so I get up in the morning and study all day like it's my job. Anyways, I took 70-290 and passed it with a 885. I felt pretty good when I left and my confidence was sky high.

Most of my recent professional work has been related to managing the desktop environment. I use GPOs to manage user and computer settings, WSUS to get updates out, package bad MSIs using Installshield Admin Studio to make them into MSIs that AD likes. Also create images and pass them on to junior techs who use them to make machines. I have gone out and performed disaster recovery for clients, installed and configured servers to perform a wide range of duties.........you get the picture. So, I never really messed with DNS in the field. It was either already configured, or somebody elses responsibility.

Enter the 70-291. I am psyched up to study the material. It's always fun to learn things that you are not 100% on. I get an exam cram book, study the material, set up a lab and go to work. I study about three weeks, 8 hours a day. I am passing measure up practice tests with 100% and all the transcender tests with a 100%. I feel pretty good, so I schedule the test. I complete the test with an hour and a half left and don't bother to review any questions. I am THAT confident that I passed. Wrong. I got a 678.

This is a huge blow to my ego. I have never failed a microsoft exam. I buy a sybex book, download tons of literature on RRAS, DNS and IP Sec and study my brains out for five days in a row non stop, often until late at night. I am using my lab, making everything work. I even buy more practice tests. I went in yesterday and took the test again. I felt good. I had an hour and a half left at the end, and this time I used it to review every single question. I got the same sims as the first time. One of them I even got wrong the first time, but correct the second time (how to order MX record priority, the first time I thought priority was opposite like printer priority).

Long story short, I failed it again.....with the same score 678. I seriously don't know what to do. I know the subject matter, or at least I thought I did. Can anyone point me in the right direction. I feel horrible today. Totally defeated.

Comments

  • bighornsheepbighornsheep Member Posts: 1,506
    Where are you having problems the most? DNS & RRAS? These two services in Windows 2003 is most critical (as you probably already know from working with it), but also they are HEAVILY tested on 29x exams because of their core nature in AD.

    Even though this is not MS published material, I strongly recommend reading it because it clear explains DNS, inside and out. With that DNS background out of the way, you just have to see how AD-integrated DNS zones are different (and they aren't really).

    For RRAS, I'm going to take a poke and guess that IPSec is your weakness?

    And I'm not sure if you know about this thread, but all of those articles are also good for 291!

    dont give up!
    Jack of all trades, master of none
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    That book looks good. Im going to buy it today. I really appreciate your input. Yeah, I'm weak on RRAS too. I mean, I thought I knew it, but the test said different.

    The bars on my test sheet looked like this:

    Implement, Manage and Maintain IP Addressing: bar was one inch from very end.

    Implement, Manage and Maintain Name resolution: bar was at half way point

    Implement, Manage and Maintain Network Security: bar was one inch from very end.

    Implement, Manage and Maintain RRAS: bar was just a little more than half way.

    Maintain a Network Infrastructure: bar was at halfway point (this same bar was almost 100% the first time I took the test).
  • doom969doom969 Member Posts: 304
    One problem might be that given your experience in the field, you answer based on your personal experience and not the microsoft way. You have to remember that on ms exams you really have to brainwash yourself to answer everything the microsoft way. This is very important. Say, if you encounter a question reagrding raid, you might be temted to answer based on a hardware controller but you have to remember that ms wants you to think about the softwware raid capability of w2k3.

    Also, sometime working too much with practice tests can hurt cause you tend to learn the question pool and begin answering by heart, so if you get a similare question on the exam but not exaclty the same... It can lead to avoidable errors.

    What where your scores in the different categories ?
    Doom969
    __________________________________________________________
    MCP (282 - 270 - 284 - 290 - 291 - 293 - 294 - 298 - 299 - 350)
    MCTS (351 - 620 - 622 - 647 - 649 - 671)
    MCSA / S / M - MCSE / S
    MCITP (EST - EA ) - MCT
    A+ - IBM - SBSS2K3 - CISCO_SMB
    CompTIA : A+
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doom969 wrote:

    What where your scores in the different categories ?

    Look up a couple posts for my individual category results.

    Yeah, some questions are flat out insane. Like you are trying to reason with a crazy person. I read one on a brain **** site regarding subnetting and choosing the right net mask. It went something like "You need to plan for future growth, but must use the minimum amount of hosts." To me, you either plan for growth, or you use the minimum. You can't do both.
  • doom969doom969 Member Posts: 304
    Sanger80 wrote:
    Yeah, some questions are flat out insane. Like you are trying to reason with a crazy person. I read one on a brain **** site regarding subnetting and choosing the right net mask.

    Yeah, using brain **** are likely a reason why you failed. Those are often wrong and "may" help you memorize things, but not understand them.
    Doom969
    __________________________________________________________
    MCP (282 - 270 - 284 - 290 - 291 - 293 - 294 - 298 - 299 - 350)
    MCTS (351 - 620 - 622 - 647 - 649 - 671)
    MCSA / S / M - MCSE / S
    MCITP (EST - EA ) - MCT
    A+ - IBM - SBSS2K3 - CISCO_SMB
    CompTIA : A+
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doom969 wrote:
    Sanger80 wrote:
    Yeah, some questions are flat out insane. Like you are trying to reason with a crazy person. I read one on a brain **** site regarding subnetting and choosing the right net mask.

    Yeah, using brain **** are likely a reason why you failed. Those are often wrong and "may" help you memorize things, but not understand them.

    Don't get me wrong, I didn't use them to study, I just wanted an idea of what I might expect on the exam. I have read two books, and I just ordered my third. I also have a lab set up at home.

    By the way, I see you passed the 293 test. How was it? I am working on it now, since I have to wait a month until I can take another crack at 291.
  • doom969doom969 Member Posts: 304
    If I have to say, i'm gonna say that 291 is harder. But only because 291 is the first of that serie of exams. 293 rely heavily on knowledge from 291 but adds PKI, CA's, Clusters, NLB, IpSec more in depth, etc...
    So if you master stuff from 291 its not that hard, but if you dont it can be a disaster.

    Sorry for the crack about Brain ****, but using them is cheating, wether you just read them or study them. The whole principle of learning an answer but not why is also very wrong, it leads to false assumption and also the writer might be plain wrong.
    Doom969
    __________________________________________________________
    MCP (282 - 270 - 284 - 290 - 291 - 293 - 294 - 298 - 299 - 350)
    MCTS (351 - 620 - 622 - 647 - 649 - 671)
    MCSA / S / M - MCSE / S
    MCITP (EST - EA ) - MCT
    A+ - IBM - SBSS2K3 - CISCO_SMB
    CompTIA : A+
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    doom969 wrote:

    Sorry for the crack about Brain ****, but using them is cheating, wether you just read them or study them. The whole principle of learning an answer but not why is also very wrong, it leads to false assumption and also the writer might be plain wrong.

    Ok, here is the deal. I failed yesterday. I couldn't sleep because this test was on my mind, so at 3:30am I got up and was basically searching all over the net about the 70-291 test. I found the **** sites, and I also found this site. Before I took the test, I did not look at the ****. I agree with you 100% about the ****. You should be proud to have an MCSE or MCSA, or whatever you are shooting for.......and you certainly can't be proud if you cheated to get it. I just stumbled upon the **** and was curious and wanted some feedback.......which eventually led me here.

    In 99 shortly after I got my NT 4.0 MCSE, I was really upset that so many people were able to achieve an MCSE by merely studying the cram books and taking the practice tests with no real world experience or field knowledge. In fact, I was starting to think that the certification itself was becoming meaningless. Don't even get me started about those MCSE two week boot camps.......

    I read on the MCP site that approximately 390,000 people have an NT MCSE, 250,000 have a 2k MCSE and a mere 91,000 have the 2k3 MCSE. Obviously Microsoft is doing something to make the certification a bit more challenging to obtain.

    Thanks for your feedback.
  • jbaellojbaello Member Posts: 1,191 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It's the trick I believe is causing you to flunk I was in the same boat with 270 and 291, I was so confident that I thought I got 900+ wrong I got 598.
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I am sitting here studying for the 293 and a lot of the DNS theory is sinking in a little better than the first time around. Especially concerning when to use a Primary, Secondary, Stub or Delegated zones. Almost sort of wish I studied for both tests before attempting the 291. Questions where they wanted you to specify what zone to use confused me.

    (Removed by moderator)
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Had to remove part of your last post - you can't reveal a test question due to the NDA.

    Anyway, good luck on your studies and next attempt. icon_cool.gif
    All things are possible, only believe.
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    sprkymrk wrote:
    Had to remove part of your last post - you can't reveal a test question due to the NDA.

    Anyway, good luck on your studies and next attempt. icon_cool.gif

    That's ok. For the record I was talking in general, test exams, study questions etc.......
  • vwtechvwtech Member Posts: 68 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Damn, I hope that doesn't happen to me.

    I read the sybex study guide and I'm going to be using Transcender to study.

    I have used that method of reading the study guide, using a home lab to complete all of the chapter exercises then use either Preplogic or Transcender (the help with the simulations).
    Transcender is better hand down because I fell it somewhat teaches vice having you to meriorize that answers.

    I've never had to retake a test but haven't sat 291 yet, plan to do so in two weeks.
    How ever I'm glad that I have a free retest when I schedule it.

    At the moment you should just update your resume and continue to study.-I know thats easier said then done.

    Your story scares me a little bit man, but that just gon to have me studing harder.
    Don't tell co-workers your going for a Cert that they don't have. They may think your trying to take their job.
  • snadamsnadam Member Posts: 2,234 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I have heard many times you MUST know DNS inside and out, or there is a good chance you will fail this exam.

    Just keep studying, and stay the hell away from ****, period. If you want something similar to the exam, and its legitimate, use Transcender practice exams.

    an FYI, **** are frowned upon in this community. Ill give you a mulligan though icon_wink.gif


    GOOD LUCK!
    **** 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
  • Sanger80Sanger80 Member Posts: 49 ■■□□□□□□□□
    vwtech wrote:
    Damn, I hope that doesn't happen to me.



    Your story scares me a little bit man, but that just gon to have me studing harder.

    Get the book everyone on this forum recommends from MS Press for the 70-291 test:

    http://www.amazon.com/MCSA-MCSE-Self-Paced-Training-70-291/dp/0735622884/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/102-7267259-9971342?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1194388171&sr=1-1

    I just got it and plan to retake the test in a week or so. I will let you know how I do.
  • dan101dan101 Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Hi everyone:

    Just need some advice here as to what my next step will be? Presently enrolled in a 3yrs Computer Systems Technology Program (Community College) off for the summer now, I already have my A+ and Network+ certification, and completed the Cisco Networking Academy (Exploration-option) CCNA 1 to 4, and completed some CCNP course, but failed the BSCI course (NOT the Certification exam), was planning to take the BSCI course again on my own maybe online or something? I was also planning to take the CCENT and CCNA boot camp in Toronto (Centennial College) since they have the testing center near by, once I have gone throught the trainning, I was going to use the boot camp as a refresher since I already done the CCNA 1 to 4 courses. Any suggestion or comments are welcome, if this is a good plan of action?

    thx

    Dan L.
  • mrmcmintmrmcmint Member Posts: 492 ■■■□□□□□□□
    dan101 wrote: »
    Hi everyone:

    Just need some advice here as to what my next step will be? Presently enrolled in a 3yrs Computer Systems Technology Program (Community College) off for the summer now, I already have my A+ and Network+ certification, and completed the Cisco Networking Academy (Exploration-option) CCNA 1 to 4, and completed some CCNP course, but failed the BSCI course (NOT the Certification exam), was planning to take the BSCI course again on my own maybe online or something? I was also planning to take the CCENT and CCNA boot camp in Toronto (Centennial College) since they have the testing center near by, once I have gone throught the trainning, I was going to use the boot camp as a refresher since I already done the CCNA 1 to 4 courses. Any suggestion or comments are welcome, if this is a good plan of action?

    thx

    Dan L.



    Hi and welcome to TE :D

    Dependant on cost/circumstances, I would recommmend you perhaps sit the CCENT and/or straight for the CCNA if you feel comfortable with that before sitting CCNP exams/courses; I'm not sure how doable that is for you, It's just what I would do.
    You would also probably be best to start a new thread instead of digging up a 3 yr old one ;)

    All the best

    EDIT:- Just noticed your join date!
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,214 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Problem 1: Never be that confident. Always double check if you have time left.

    Problem 2: Practice tests can fool you. After seeing the question once or twice your mind will start to memorize the answer. That is likely why you got 100%.

    Or maybe you just drew a bad test. It is fairly random (at least of my understanding, which isn't much since I didn't write the test and Microsoft keeps that under lock and key). But it seems to be random which adds in some luck. Maybe you just got the hardest questions?

    Study a bit more, and go back at it. Missing a pass by 22 points shouldn't be the end of the world. That translates to just a few questions. So hop back up on that horse and get it done.

    Good luck

    EDIT: Just noticed that this thread is quite old. Why did it get bumped up?
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • phoeneousphoeneous Go ping yourself... Member Posts: 2,333 ■■■■■■■□□□
    Sanger80 wrote: »
    I had an hour and a half left at the end

    Really?
  • MicernestMicernest Member Posts: 69 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'd say you are answering based on your experience from the old OS u were using and not from what the new windows want.
  • mrmcmintmrmcmint Member Posts: 492 ■■■□□□□□□□
    This is the problem with digging up an old post ;)
  • AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlord Member Posts: 1,799 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Locking this one, it confuses the hell out of people and they start replying to ghosts :).
    Dan101 please create a new post if you don't mind.
    We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?
This discussion has been closed.