Passed 70-649 today – Hard!

That was exhausting. I got a 700. Talk about escaping with the skin of my teeth!

My scores:
640 AD: 700
642 Net: 850
643 Apps: 880

First 19 questions were Apps, which is what I thought would be the hardest. Next 20 questions were Net, which I thought I’d do OK at, and did. Last was 9 questions for AD, it seemed like I had to get 7 right to pass, but I must have gotten 6 1/2 to end up with a 700. Yow.

I’ve read where several who’ve taken this exam in the past found it to be easy, even enjoyable, and said it was like a review of W2K3 with some new stuff. Mine was anything but! I usually mark about 8-10 questions on a 40 question test, and solve those at the end. Not this time. I had about 60% marked on all three sections.

I studied the MS Press kit, did all the labs, played around with W2K8 on the VMs I set up, and passed all the Measure Up and Transcender practice tests. I felt I had a pretty good handle on things, and expected to pass without getting a hernia. As soon as I got going though, I was seeing questions and possible answers which honestly, I’ve never seen before. Definitely not mentioned in anything I studied. I felt like I was going to tank before too long.

When I went back and reviewed Apps and Net, I finally saw through the fog on most of these questions and I think I got the right answers most of the time, which shows in the 880 & 850. The AD section was another story. I’ve passed a few AD exams over the years, and these questions were just way out there. I had 6 of the 9 marked, and when I was finally ready to call it a day, I didn’t think I had the needed 6 or 7 correct answers to pass. I actually put head down and just took a breath when I was done, and was rather stunned to see “Congratulations” when I looked up. I am still pretty amazed I passed this monster. I don’t think the test I took today is the same pool of questions MS was using 3 months ago.

Well, that makes 16 MS exams in a row for me. Even if this one was rather unpleasant from the start, a pass is a pass, as they say.

If I had to do it over again, what would I study more of? Good question. So much minutiae in this stuff. Drill down deeper into things like Terminal Services, NPAS, security protocols, LDS and AD FS.

I’m going to lighten things up a bit and take 70-620 next (Vista), which I actually studied but never took last year, and then finish up with 70-647.
MCSE: NT, 2000, 2003
MCSA: 2000, 2003


  • wheezwheez Member Posts: 74 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Oh man, you almost scared me off with that review.. :o

    Congrats on passing!
    WIP: Considering cert path.. :-)
  • dfosbennerdfosbenner Member Posts: 106
    I hope I wasn't too "doom and gloom"! I usually find these exams hard, so take that into consideration.

    I think that having only 9 questions in the AD section makes it especially hard, because there's a very thin margin of error. I can't for the life of me figure out why MS did that.

    Thinking about it for several hours now, I realize that even if I had my 100 pages of notes in the exam room, it wouldn't have helped me, because I was asked things that just weren't in my notes. If I were doing it over, I'd get more hands on, that would have helped me out in some spots.

    One of the exam techniques that probably made a difference in my case was using process of elimination to toss out the wrong answers, which usually left me having to pick between two answers, or pick 2 out of 3.

    I know that some people use the software in labs or in production and take the exams some time later, but I've always taking the exams first before doing any real work with the software, so that's probably another strike against me.

    Just take the exam when you think you're ready. Worst case: if you don't pass, you've now had a taste of it, and you can target your study to succeed on take two.
    MCITP: SA & EA
    MCSE: NT, 2000, 2003
    MCSA: 2000, 2003
  • EssendonEssendon Member Posts: 4,546 ■■■■■■■■■■
    Congrats on the pass. That would have been an exhausting exam. Partly why I am taking the 642 and 640, individually, rather than the 648 (which is the upgrade from MCSA).

    Good luck on the 620, should be a breeze.
    NSX, NSX, more NSX..

    Blog >>
Sign In or Register to comment.