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How does the 70-536 Exam Compare to MSP Practice Tests?

xr280xrxr280xr Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
Hey guys,I'm taking my MCTS tomorrow. I've studied by ready the Microsoft Press book and taking the practice exams. Didn't really do much of the labs but I use a lot of this stuff all the time. Anyway, for those of you who prepared the same way:
  • How does the real test compare to the practice tests that came with the book?
  • It is 45 multiple choice questions right?
  • Are there screens where you point and click on a simulated UI (such as the .NET 2.0 configuration tool practice questions)?
  • Does there seem to be more focus on some topics than others?
  • Are there many questions focusing on specific method signatures; the order and types of parameters? (Those questions are so dumb!)
  • Does the test include both VB and C# code together? I find that confusing in the sample tests.
    Are there generally other people in the same room?
  • Last one, is the testing interface similar? Previous/Next button, you can revisit answers before submitting, and you are scored immediately?
Thanks! icon_study.gif
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    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,041 Admin
    Some of your questions cannot be answered because it would violate Microsoft's NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) to do so. What can be said is:

    * There are around 50 exam items, both multiple choice and other types.
    * You get 2-2.5 hours to complete the exam.
    * A passing score is 700.
    * You choose at the beginning of the exam if you want all of the code examples to be shown in VB.NET or C#.
    * Expect the questions to be more detailed than the ones available in practice exams.

    I am not sure if details like how the exam functions (are you immediately scored, can you review/change questions, etc.) are covered by the NDA. I've never found those details on microsoft.com, and they are subject to change.
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    xr280xrxr280xr Member Posts: 2 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Thanks for your feedback. I passed the test but it was pretty hard! Here's my response to my questions in a way that won't violate the agreement because it's focusing on my experience and not test specifics:

    How does the real test compare to the practice tests that came with the book? Hard to explain w/out specifics. It's of a similar nature but just more difficult. There are some topics that, when studying, I was guessing wouldn't be focused on on the test because they are not used very often or are easy to look up when you need them. Now that I've taken it, I think everything is weighted equally in the eyes of Bill Gates (who I'm sure came up w/ the certification) and fair game to be tested on. For instance, and I'm just making this up, you could very well be tested on the syntax of correctly using a StringCollection. I would think "pshh...StringCollection. Generics make that a relic". Don't be scared off though, I'd rate the practice test questions as easy and the real ones as intermediate.

    It is 45 multiple choice questions right? I guess I can't say but here's what's important: there was plenty of time. I had time to review all my questions after finishing and I'm a very slow tester.

    Does there seem to be more focus on some topics than others? Depends on the luck of the draw I think. There were questions from all categories though. Interestingly I don't think I got a single interop/mailing functionality category question correct but still passed. I'd recommend reading up on interop from more sources than just the MS Press training kit book.

    Are there many questions focusing on specific method signatures; the order and types of parameters? This area was easier than the practice exams. The practice exams leaned more toward trick questions/answers which could confuse you into forgetting what you already knew. That wasn't an issue for me on the real test.

    Does the test include both VB and C# code together? No, one or the other.

    Are there generally other people in the same room? This probably depends on your testing facility. At mine, there could be other people in the same room.

    Last one, is the testing interface similar? Previous/Next button, you can revisit answers before submitting, and you are scored immediately? Probably another one I can't answer but it was easy to use. If you're comfortable with the practice tests you'll be fine. I got my score right after finishing the test!


    P.S. Two last things I want to add.
    1. I studied (off and on) for this test for 14 months. The last thing I wanted to do after work was come home and read about the .NET framework...afterall, I want to be a good father to Tivo and give it the attention it needs. Needless to say, I really struggled with preparation. What really worked for me in the end was to go through each chapter a second time, and outline the important stuff in a word document. I ended up with about 12 pages (I skipped a few chapters) of notes rather than 700-800 pages of fluff. Then I just reviewed my notes, took practice tests, added to my notes, took practice tests ...etc. In the end, there's no substitute for "doing" so the BEST thing you can do is use as much of the technology as you can by doing the labs or even better making up your own labs.
    2. As I was taking the test, I totally thought I was failing. Don't get psyched out! Focus on each question as if it's the only one.

    I hope this helps save someone time in prep and gives you confidence it taking your test. Good Luck!
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    JDMurrayJDMurray Admin Posts: 13,041 Admin
    Wow! Congratz on the pass and thanks for the great review! I learned a couple of things from it myself.
    xr280xr wrote: »
    The last thing I wanted to do after work was come home and read about the .NET framework...
    Boy, I sure empathize with this. Studying for the .NET MCTS was the least fun I'd ever had trying to get a cert. I put it off for so long that I'm now a Java programmer, but Sun's Java cert exams are way more expensive than Microsoft's MCTS exams, so I won't be getting those anytime soon either.
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    RobertKaucherRobertKaucher Member Posts: 4,299 ■■■■■■■■■■
    xr280xr,

    Thanks for the info on the test and your study methods. I am having the same issue in preparing. Just a boring topic, but I am trying to specialize in SharePoint technologies so I really need to get this test done. Mine is scheduled for the middle of June. Once this is done I'm on to the 528. What's your next test?

    I just pray I am done with these before the next version of SharePoint comes out in 2010... Cause then it starts all over again! icon_wink.gif
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    MidLiveUpgradeMidLiveUpgrade Member Posts: 29 ■□□□□□□□□□
    xr280xr,

    I am trying to specialize in SharePoint technologies so I really need to get this test done. Mine is scheduled for the middle of June.

    Hi Robert,

    I am also looking at trying to specialize in SharePoint as I am looking for an edge to leverage my .NET programming skills.

    Is exam 70-536 needed to aquire a SharePoint certification?

    What exams are needed for SharePoint certification?

    Thanks,
    Dave.
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