Just Passed 70-284

bjstickbjstick Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey everyone, new poster here.

I just passed the 70-284 today on my first try. The only exams I had taken prior were the A+ and the 70-270. I didn't find the 70-284 too difficult, but there were a lot of questions that made me feel I should have taken 70-290 and 70-291 first. However, now that I have 70-284 out of the way, would it make sense to pursue the 70-285? Ultimately, I am going for my MCSE: Messaging specialization. I am the Exchange administrator where I work which is why I opted to take the Exchange test so early.

How would the difficulty of the 70-285 compare to the 70-284?

Thanks for your help!
Current Track: MCSE 2003: Security

80.0% complete. WIP: 70-299

Comments

  • Daniel333Daniel333 Member Posts: 2,077 ■■■■■■□□□□
    The design exam (70-285) will talk a lot server roles and networking equipment. It's really going to drive it in. You should complete at least 70-291 or even the rest of the MCSE first. Most people I have talked to say this exam was much harder than 70-284.
    -Daniel
  • danclarkedanclarke Member Posts: 160
    Firstly, congratulations on passing 284 at the first attempt. I found this to be a tough exam - and failed on my first attempt.

    Your success is obviously a tribute to the experience which you have built up with exchange.

    285 is tough also - but in a different way. The design exam format can be a bit daunting at first: although the Transcender / Self Test Software practice exams give a good flavour for it. I had already got by MCSE so I had taken 297 which uses the same sort of format.

    However, I found 285 to be a long, hard slog. Most exams I finish with plenty of time to spare. I think I took 2 1/2 hours over 285 and felt mentally drained afterwards.

    You're experience will probably stand you in good stead again. There aren't many trick questions. However, sometimes you do have to review the case study notes in detail which can be some very rapid reading of a lot of text.

    Good luck with it.
    -- Dan
  • jetfanjetfan Member Posts: 112 ■■■□□□□□□□
  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,163 Mod
    Congrats on the pass, first of all, and welcome to the forum. :D

    Having looked at the topics for the 70-284 exam, as well as those of the 70-285 exam, it's definitely recommended that you have 70-290 and 70-291 under your belt beforehand. Since you've already got the one, you're in good shape, but I'd say it's probably a good idea to hit the core exams before going on to the Exchange design test. In addition to Microsoft, themselves, recommending the MCSA core requirements as prerequisites to the Exchange tests, we've had a couple of users of this forum report the same when they've gone to take these tests without the Windows Server 2003 and Active Directory experience already in place.

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  • bjstickbjstick Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I used a combination of the Microsoft 70-284 course book and TestOut to review the material and used practice tests from Transcender. The only training material I can find for 70-285 is the CBT Nuggets video. I'm not sure how they compare to TestOut, but I throughly enjoyed the TestOut format.
    Current Track: MCSE 2003: Security

    80.0% complete. WIP: 70-299
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    I find the CBT Nuggets to be excellent videos.
  • HeroPsychoHeroPsycho Inactive Imported Users Posts: 1,940
    Keep in mind that achieving you 70-285 doesn't get you anything without having your MCSE first. At least getting your base certs done first will get you MCSA:Messaging.
    Good luck to all!
  • bjstickbjstick Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Update:

    After a long debacle I have passed 70-285 with a score of 868. I failed it the first time with a score of 675 because I wasn't really ready for it. I had it scheduled for the beginning of December, but my testing facility was not able to bring up the test due to some error with their system. I waited around for almost two hours before I had to leave to get to work. The next available date wasn't until a full month later! I felt I was prepared for the original date, but I got really lazy during my month long break and didn't even study.

    This time I spent the whole week before the test re-watching my CBT Nuggets series, taking Transcender practice tests, and reading over the net fresco notes... making sure I had a good grasp on all of the terms and concepts. Result: I smacked the test around pretty well!

    So, now I can begin the Server 2003 tests that I probably should have taken before these Exchange tests, heh. However, with being an Exchange Administrator being a big chuck of my current job, I felt I'd be able to jump right into them. It's good to be done and be on to something different!
    Current Track: MCSE 2003: Security

    80.0% complete. WIP: 70-299
  • rjbarlowrjbarlow Member Posts: 411
    I'm wondering how these two can be passed without having taken before at least the 70-291. Anyway being an Exchange admin definitely helped you; so, congratulations on Your passes!
    How You found the Transcender tests documental compared to the real 70-285 experience?
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    WIP: 70-236, 70-293 and MCSE.
  • bjstickbjstick Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    The Transcender tests are very similar in nature to the actual test. The problem I had with the Transcender tests is that after taking it, I essentially just memorized the answers and subsequent testings didn't do much more than test my memory. If score 80% plus on the Transcender tests on the first try, I'd say you are golden. I was in the high 60s low 70s on the first tries, and my first real test experience was around the same.
    Current Track: MCSE 2003: Security

    80.0% complete. WIP: 70-299
  • rjbarlowrjbarlow Member Posts: 411
    Thanks much for the info man and good luck for Your next steps.
    Pork 3
    Maindrian's music

    WIP: 70-236, 70-293 and MCSE.
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