Fastest anyone has slayed "the beast"

jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
Serious question..... what is the fastest that anyone here has ever taken and passed the 291 after starting studying for it? 1 week? 2 weeks? 3 weeks? ect....


I have only been studying for 7 days, but I feel like it is really realistic for me to take the exam next week sometime and feel good about my chances of passing.....trying to gauge things from my peers (that would be you guys)
A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
MCSA:M, MCSE:S
(MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)

Comments

  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    It really depends on your experience. Someone starting from scratch is going to be completely different than someone who has been working with those types of technologies for a decade. There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer.
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I actually have no experience (working) but I have been a full time student in a technical school since april....my progress is listed in my signature....but I have been given the impression that the 291 is considerably harder than the other MS exams, and I wonder if I should play it on the safe side and take a little longer or just push through it and see how I do. Its hard to know because people will say that they found the 270 and 290 hard also, and I didn't feel like that was the case for me, but everyone seems to say that the 291 is "the beast".....I haven't found my studies to be anymore difficult than the other Microsoft exams. I am using the Microsoft learning courses (2276 & 2277) as well as Testout CBT's.

    I guess I was hoping to hear others experiences with it and their relevant background before taking the test themselves to use as a barometer
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    My question is, why is it called the beast if somebody can knock it out in a few weeks? Maybe kitten, or small unassuming mammal would be a better term?
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I will have to get back to you on that one after I take it.......I am all about small unassuming mammals!
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • brad-brad- Member Posts: 1,218
    After i finished 290, i took off a week or so because i also did a sort of certificate gauntlet, then started studying 291. I studied it for about a month before I gave up. Got too busy at work, but like you I had no prior knowledge of 291...it probably would have taken me 2 more months. I have the CBT for it, it's just hard to watch...very dry. Having no interaction with the material, and not using much of it at work...slow learning.
  • bertiebbertieb Member Posts: 1,031 ■■■■■■□□□□
    You may want to take a bit more time on this one. I didn't find it that hard, but you'll want to make sure you really get to grips with the topics as a) there are lots of them in significant depth! and b) a lot of the info you'll learn is foundational to MS networking and is invaluable if moving on to the other MCSE exams and in the real world.
    The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never tell if they are genuine - Abraham Lincoln
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for the advice.....I just expected this material to be way more difficult going into it based on the comments of others in the forum. Maybe I am underestimating the difficulty? Would you say that the material was difficult to learn for most people, or are the comments more of a reflection of how the exam is written?
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • ULWizULWiz Member Posts: 722
    Well i am sure someone could pass the 291 without any study time. This would all depend on their past experience though. I recently took 290 with about 9 hours of study time. Failed it the first time by two points and passes it the second time. I had no real world experience besides my own server downstairs.

    So anything is possible.

    Wish you the best of luck
    CompTIA A+ Nov 25, 1997
    CompTIA Network+ March 7, 2008
    MCTS Vista 620 June 14, 2008
    MCP Server 290 Nov 15, 2008
    MCP Server 291 In Progress (Exam 12/28/09)
    Cisco CCENT In Progress
    MCP Server 291 In Progress
    C|EH In Progress
  • AldurAldur Juniper Moderator Member Posts: 1,460
    jnwdmb wrote:
    I will have to get back to you on that one after I take it.......I am all about small unassuming mammals!

    lol, we're of the same mind
    "Bribe is such an ugly word. I prefer extortion. The X makes it sound cool."

    -Bender
  • gorebrushgorebrush Member Posts: 2,741
    Took 291 and failed it (The only exam I've ever failed) because it was the 2nd exam I had ever taken.

    Got stung by that badly. Came back 3 months later and slayed it though.
  • rubberToerubberToe Inactive Imported Users Posts: 56 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I'm looking to start on a 2003 MCSE, I figure I can knock out the 270 easily and then work on the core networking.

    icon_confused.gif: My question is for those who have an MCSE 2003, how long did it take you realistically?

    icon_arrow.gif Working steadily I think I might be able to finish it in over 2 years.
  • ULWizULWiz Member Posts: 722
    just from my own observations from being a member on this board. The two hardest exams for most people seems to be 270 and 291.
    CompTIA A+ Nov 25, 1997
    CompTIA Network+ March 7, 2008
    MCTS Vista 620 June 14, 2008
    MCP Server 290 Nov 15, 2008
    MCP Server 291 In Progress (Exam 12/28/09)
    Cisco CCENT In Progress
    MCP Server 291 In Progress
    C|EH In Progress
  • jnwdmbjnwdmb Member Posts: 99 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I can certainly agree with the 270 being difficult.....I am not sure if it was because of it being my first MS exam and not being used to the format or if it was something else but it was not to be taken lightly. The 290 to me was a breeze in comparison.
    A+ IT Technician, Network +, Security+
    MCSA:M, MCSE:S
    (MS 270,290,291,293,294,298,299)
    MS Exchange 2003 (70-284)
    MCTS: Server 2K8 Virtualization(70-652 & 70-403)
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Member Posts: 1,637
    2 weeks

    From my MS Transcript:
    297 Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure Dec 21, 2007
    294 Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure Dec 11, 2007
    293 Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure Nov 26, 2007
    291 Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure Nov 19, 2007
    290 Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment Nov 05, 2007
    270 Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional Oct 18, 2007

    0-MCSE 2003 in 63 days, but...
    My NT4 MCSE counted as an elective so I had one fewer test to take
    I had been in IT for 10 years - 4 of which were in a 2003 corporate environment that I designed
    I took the TCP/IP exam as an elective for NT4
    I had a CCNA
    I test well

    The two easiest exams for me were 290 and 294, while the two hardest were 270 and 297. I completely underestimated 270 and got my second-lowest score. I hate the MS design test format and I failed 297 the first time, but passed it 3 days later. Fortunately I have test centers close to work and home so I could alternate between them when scheduling exams around work obligations.
  • amp2030amp2030 Member Posts: 253
    I'm giving it about a month of full-time study. I gave 270 a month and it was overkill, 620 and 290 each got two weeks. I'm taking my time with this one because it lacks focus and seems to be all over the place when it comes to topics covered.
  • motogpmanmotogpman Member Posts: 412
    It does seem that the study material for 290 is a lot of overlap from 270. I haven't taken the 290 yet, next week its scheduled, so we will see for sure.

    Either way, I think what is most important aspect is not the time it takes to get certified, but how much you retain the information. I see a lot of posts on time frames and how quick someone can cert, but not how long it takes to actually retain the information after getting the cert, if that makes sense.

    Some people are better at learning, retaining, testing then others, but 2-6 months from start to finish (MCSE) seems hasty, just my 2 cents.
    -WIP- (70-294 and 297)

    Once MCSE 2k3 completed:

    WGU: BS in IT, Design/Management

    Finish MCITP:EA, CCNA, PMP by end of 2012

    After that, take a much needed vacation!!!!!
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    291 was the hardest for me. I read 3 books, a class at New Horizons, and used transcender. It took about 3 months to pass.
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • drthtaterdrthtater Senior Member Grand Junction, COMember Posts: 120 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Is the 291 that difficult?

    I'm planning to sit that one in a few months....
  • St3yrSt3yr Member Posts: 13 ■□□□□□□□□□
    When I finally decided to get qualified, I did some transcender tests for 270 and scored pretty well so I just booked myself in. Scored 94% which was pretty good. Next I did 290 and only study was smashing transcenders. Scored 86%. Next I did the 291; scored 71%.

    It was here I decided it was time to study! I studied MS press for Exchange 70-236; failed with around 52%. Re-studied, hard, with CBT nuggets. Scored 96% which I was stoked about. Exchange exam so far has been my hardest.

    Tomorrow I sit my 293; I'll let u know how I go :)
    WIP: VCP vSphere 4.0
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Member Posts: 2,475 ■■■■□□□□□□
    St3yr wrote:
    When I finally decided to get qualified, I did some transcender tests for 270 and scored pretty well so I just booked myself in. Scored 94% which was pretty good. Next I did 290 and only study was smashing transcenders. Scored 86%. Next I did the 291; scored 71%.

    It was here I decided it was time to study! I studied MS press for Exchange 70-236; failed with around 52%. Re-studied, hard, with CBT Nuggets. Scored 96% which I was stoked about. Exchange exam so far has been my hardest.

    Tomorrow I sit my 293; I'll let u know how I go :)


    good luck!
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • steve_fsteve_f Member Posts: 97 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I did it in 6 weeks. I started the day after I passed 290, and used CBTnuggets and the MS book.

    I don't recommend doing it this quickly, it was hell!!!

    I watched the CBTnuggets 3 times in all, picking up new things each time. I also read the MS book twice, and did almost all of the exercises in the book.

    I set up a VMware lab with a DC, a WSUS server, an RRAS server, and an XP client.

    I watched the CBTnuggets on my phone going to and from work. I studied for my lunch hour every day in a spare meeting room. I studied from 10PM to 1AM about 4 nights a week.

    Finally, I took a week off work before the exam, and studied like crazy. The Measureup tests showed me which areas I was weak in.

    The single thing that helped me the most was the VMware lab.
    DOING things is so much better than reading about them. My boss also talked me through the DNS and DHCP setup we have in work, and I remoted into some of our clients' servers to see how they were set up.

    RRAS was a pain to study because virtually nobody uses this in a corporate network. I just felt it was a waste of my time. Also, I wasn't able to do the exercises which required a dial-in connection.
  • kmfinegan1kmfinegan1 Member Posts: 27 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I did it in 17 days. Knocked off the beast as my first M$ exam.

    It really depends on your experience. If you live in the stuff 9-5 day in and out you should not have a problem.

    If you are not as experienced, seriously take your time and be as thorough as possible.

    Taking these exams is NOT about how fast you can knock them out or even about who scored what. It is all about learning how to be a competent IT Professional and knowing what to do when the sh*t hits the fan.

    I have found these forums to be VERY helpful along my cert quest. Reading real life experiences and key areas to focus on has helped me exponentially.
    In Progress 70-431
Sign In or Register to comment.