Failed 70-640 (first test ever)

ouchrisouchris Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
I just began my 4th year in IT this January. I wanted to start my certification path and just took the 70-640 exam today. I got a 575 which to me is pretty poor. Here is what I did:

(sorry kind of a long post but I needed to get this off of my chest)

I read the Sybex study guide some 9 months ago. LIfe got crazy and I got married so I took a break. I then got back into it about 3 months ago and read the McGrawhill (not sure the exact title) book by Dennis Suhanovs. So, I've been studying quite a bit off and on (though mostly on for the last 2 months or so).

My problem is that I feel it's so much detailed info that I'm almost not sure how to remember every single detail. For instance, I did most poorly on the DNS section (which surprisingly had quite a few number of questions - I would guess 8-10 out of the total 40). The DNS portion of info was at the beginning of both books i.e. the matierial I studied last. While I went over the broad views again, I didn't go in depth. That means I'll be studying DNS in depth for when I take the exam again, but doesn't that mean Ill just forget the material I studied before?? (I do have a general concept of all areas, it's just the amount of detail is somewhat intimidating .)

Thinking back over the exam, it wasn't impossible but here are my beefs:
* Wording can be tricky and confusing. Whatever happened to just asking a straightforward question? Maybe the material makes it like that but it seems there are better ways to do it. I'm REALLY bad at the questions that have more than one answer. That increases the chance of failure by a huge amount.
* I've never come across a complete study set. It seems everyone recommends different books for different things: Read the sybex book for it's DNS content but read the MS press book for the AD GPO stuff (or something to that effect.)
*Making a case for point two, I got a question on the exam that one of my books pretty much told me I didn't need to know. What's up with that? Of course that's going to happen when you have 10 different publishers printing books on the same thing. The material needs to come from a more definitive source. (I'm not sure how much I can divulge but the question had to do with offline defragmentation of the ntds.dit DB. The Suhanovs book says you really shouldn't do offline defrags and thus didn't show the steps!)

I'm going to try and take this again in about a week so the material I know well is fresh on my mind and the stuff I don't know as well (DNS in this case) I can study for.

Well, that's all. Thanks for letting me breathe!


  • neathneathneathneathneathneath Posts: 438Member
    Welcome to the world of Microsoft Certification :)

    The wording on some exams can be awkward but microsost has actually made their exams more user-friendly by making the question detail shorter (you may beg to differ).

    May be worth trying a practice test such as MeasueUp, Transcenders or SeltestSoftware to see where your at.

    I'm trying to brush up on my weaker points for the 70-646 exam second shot. I failed with a 550 this month icon_sad.gif

    I would just concentrate on your weaker points and if necessary delay the exam until you feel you are ready. I'm resitting soon due to the 30th June second shot deadline, otherwise I would have waited a little longer.
  • ouchrisouchris Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Yea I hear ya. The questions were a little shorter than I thought they would be. In the end I just wasn't prepared enough but at the same time it seems I got a lot of questions that I just didn't know as much about as other areas. That's just my luck though!

    With only 40 questions I was surprised about 25% was on DNS. But, if that's the case I'll just be sure to study it well.

    Yea, due to the second shot I'm probably going to take it in the next week or so. That way the stuff I remember well I shouldn't forget. It's mainly the little "where would you check this box at" detailed questions I sometimes forget.
  • rogue2shadowrogue2shadow CISSP, GXPN, OSCE, OSCP, OSWP, eMAPT, CEH, CNDA, A+, Network+, Security+ Posts: 1,501Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Vendor tests can definitely be rough. Now that you've seen it first hand, the second time will not be as bad; you know where you're strong and you know where you're weak. Keep to your plan and I am very confident you will destroy the 640 on your next attempt! icon_cheers.gif

  • texasittexasit Posts: 147Member
    sorry to hear about the fail bro.Now you have a feel for the test you can do very well next time.I would suggest definitely using some practice tests like measureup that comes with the MSpress books.setting up a little lab would help too.Since you feel DNS is a weakness for you I would practice DNS alot.Create some forward lookup zones, create some secondaries, a few stub zones, a conditional forwarder,create a child domain like and delegate the zone from,practice! good luck
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    One of the biggest reasons to learn DNS really well now is that it's on the 70-642 also. Right, you'll see it again. The 642 MS Press training kit actually covers DNS much better than the 640 test did. I was already studying for the 642 before taking the 640 and studying that area in the 642 book helped a lot.
    Never take an author's word about something not being on the test.
    You didn't do that badly and now have an idea of what you need to work on. As others said before me, get a good practice test to help you pinpoint what areas you need work on and, I might add, look at some technet articles to get a better understanding of the material.
    Check out Claymoore's sticky for 70-640 resources as it had a lot of good info which will help.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • beany101beany101 Posts: 20Member ■□□□□□□□□□
    I think it must really depend on the question set you get - I have done a couple of the MS exams recently (70-680 for example) where I was confident, and failed, after getting a horrid set of questions.

    Today I just took the 70-640, wasn't too confident, and passed with 875 - so keep persevering and doing those practice questions - you will get there.

    Good luck.
    MCSA and MCITP:EA - hooray!! (29th July 2010)

    70-270, 70-290, 70-291, 70-680, 70-640, 70-642, 70-643, 70-647

  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    beany101 wrote: »
    Today I just took the 70-640, wasn't too confident, and passed with 875 - so keep persevering and doing those practice questions - you will get there.

    Good luck.
    Congrats on the pass.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • ouchrisouchris Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have a question if anyone knows:

    1.) How do you tell a DNS server to only replicate with certain other servers? So, if I have 5 DNS servers but only want three of them talking to each other how do you do that? Is the only way to create a DNS app partition and then set the replication to "all DC's in the scope of this directory partition" or is it as simple as selecting the "only to the following servers" button under zone transfers.

    I remember a question like this on the test that I'm pretty sure I missed.
  • earweedearweed Posts: 5,192Member ■■■■■■■■■□
    If you're talking about zone transfers then, yes, you can specify a list of secondary servers you can allow zone transfers to. In the zone transfers dialog box click on the zone transfers tab and you have a choice of listing the secondary servers you allow zone transfers to. This is covered better in 70-642.
    Hope this helps.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • ouchrisouchris Posts: 6Registered Users ■□□□□□□□□□
    Well, I took the test this past Saturday again and I passed! Got a 775 which was much better than my original 575.

    Thanks to all who posted!
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Posts: 4,212Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • skylineskyline Posts: 135Member
    Congrats icon_thumright.gif
    Goals for '11

    MS press book 70-680
  • za3bourza3bour Posts: 1,062Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Like every one said DNS is covered better in 70-642 and I did get around 10 questions about DNS in my exam but I'm wondering why would microsoft ask you again about DNS and from what I know there no much more about DNS in 640 than 642 ?

    Congratulations on your pass it's always nice to have a first pass, i remember mine back in 2004 I was much younger and was in US for a trainning period so I took the chance and did my first Microsoft exam it was 70-210 and it was pretty snowing hard so they called me from the center and said that I can reschedule if I want but i did it anyway and passed. It felt good :D
  • it_consultantit_consultant Posts: 1,903Member
    I am an active directory EXPERT, like..never even used NT 4.0 or any of that pre-Server 2000 stuff. I passed the network infrastructure test with a perfect score, my CCNA really helped with that.

    Really, whens the last time you had a thought in your head about a bridgehead server or anything like that? This is one of those that you just have to study really hard for to get to greener pastures.
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