300 hours of Labs per exam?

AhriakinAhriakin SupremeNetworkOverlordPosts: 1,800Member ■■■■■■■■□□
Time taken is subjective. Your existing experience and your own natural ability to soak up the material will influence it greatly. I think for each of my MCPs I spent maybe a max of 15-20 hours on them. But like I said it varies.

Also I've never been a fan of estimating or using time spent as a goal or milestone, I think it's completely irrelevant when assessing your readiness. If you feel confident enough to take the exam after 10 hours why wait until 20. It's too artificial imho, trust your instincts instead and allow for some flexibility in your timeframes.
We responded to the Year 2000 issue with "Y2K" solutions...isn't this the kind of thinking that got us into trouble in the first place?

Comments

  • ITVinceITVince Posts: 143Member
    Ahriakin wrote: »
    Time taken is subjective. Your existing experience and your own natural ability to soak up the material will influence it greatly. I think for each of my MCPs I spent maybe a max of 15-20 hours on them. But like I said it varies.

    Also I've never been a fan of estimating or using time spent as a goal or milestone, I think it's completely irrelevant when assessing your readiness. If you feel confident enough to take the exam after 10 hours why wait until 20. It's too artificial imho, trust your instincts instead and allow for some flexibility in your timeframes.


    Great advice. Everyone's different, you have to assess yourself and where you're at. Someone with no expereince at all with AD for example may require 100+ hours where as another with 2-3 years of expereince who already in a working enviornment daily may only need 10+...just depends.
    Currently studying for:
    MCTS 70-642 Network Infrastructure
  • citinerdcitinerd Posts: 266Member
    I probably spent a total of 300 hours labbing for my entire MCSE. Now working on the MCITP track and I seriously doubt that much has changed and I need to put in that many hours.
  • AlexMRAlexMR Posts: 275Member
    I am working with 4 windows 2k8 servers, about 70 users, ISA servers and will probably be installing soon Exchange 2010 and Sharepoint.

    I think the time is right forme to start labbing and practicing in order to take the exams for the MCITP: SA cert. I read a few threads whre peopl e are saying 300 hours of labbing is a good estimate of the time you need to be fully prepared, for each exam.

    I think that is an insane amount of hours, based on my previous experience with the technologies and the time i studied them several months ago.

    Is it really 300 hoursof labs per exam a realistic estimate to prepare for each of the Server 2k8 exams?

    300 hours of study/labs seem like a good estimate for preparing and passing the CCNA with no previous experience but some networking essentials knowledge. The CCNA material seems way harder than most of the concepts in both the Network Infraestructure and Active Directory exams. Maybe I just need to see the exams in order to understand the level of difficulty OF THE EXAMs and be able to compare to the CCNA, but based in what I study so far, which is both ms press books for each exam, 300 hours seem way too much.

    Opine please. :)
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • AlexMRAlexMR Posts: 275Member
    Guys, thank you for your answers. Very useful as usual.

    Ahriakin, the question was because I am setting up my study plan as a project. I read 300hours in another thread and saw other posters backing up the claim and I felt like asking.

    As i said, based on My past experience studying for Cisco exams and based on what i saw when I read the MCTS books, the 300 hours seem an overkill. Just wanted to find out what most people believe to be mentally prepared for the journey.

    I generally lose track of the time and end up only with a guesstimate. I tend to go overprepared to this kind of exams because I want to read from as many sources as possible to clear small doubts.

    Again, thank you.
    Training/Studying for....CCNP (BSCI) and some MS.
  • Daniel333Daniel333 ■■■■■■□□□□ Posts: 2,077Member ■■■■■■□□□□
    Microsoft Press books are pretty good, they will actually list how much time each chapter will roughly take. As a secondary estimate I often look at cbtnuggets web site and see how many hours the material is lectured on, and triple it. (I watch, then I lab while watching, then I watch again).

    Having already had my MCSE, the MCITP:SA took me about 30-40 hours an exam.
    -Daniel
  • ClaymooreClaymoore Posts: 1,637Member
    AlexMR wrote: »
    Is it really 300 hours of labs per exam a realistic estimate to prepare for each of the Server 2k8 exams?

    No, unless you have never seen a computer before. 300 hours is almost 2 months of labbing full time and that is overkill.

    Here is the Audience Profile for the 640 exam (emphasis added):
    Audience Profile
    The Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) on Windows Server 2008 credentials are intended for information technology (IT) professionals who work in the complex computing environment of medium to large companies. The MCTS candidate should have at least one year of experience implementing and administering Windows Server 2008 R2 in an environment that has the following characteristics:
    • 250 to 5,000 or more users
    • multiple physical locations, multiple domain controllers
    • network services and resources such as messaging, databases, file and print, firewalls, Internet access, an intranet, Public Key Infrastructure, remote access, remote desktop, virtualization, and client computer management
    • connectivity requirements such as connecting branch offices and individual users in remote locations to corporate resources, and connecting corporate networks

    If you meet those requirements you should be able to pass the exam with a few hours of labbing your weak areas as you work through the recommended reading.
  • Todd BurrellTodd Burrell Posts: 280Member
    I agree with citinerd's comments above - I doubt I spent more than 300 hours TOTAL labbing for passing all 8 of the tests for my MCSE:Security. But I agree with all of the other comments too - it all depends on your level of experience.

    I come from a background where I have been a mainframe systems programmer for over 20 years. I decided one day to get my MCSE with absolutely no server experience - but I did have a tremendous about of computer and problem solving experience as well as extensive user experience with Windows XP. It all depends on your level of comfort with IT based material and how well you study and take tests. I also had just completed taking and passing my PMP - so the Microsoft exams seemed short and easy compared to the beast the PMP was.

    I always felt that as long as I was fairly familiar with the different screens and how to do most basic functions on the server then that would suffice for a Microsoft test. After all you do not memorize the whole periodic table for taking a chemistry test in general.

    I would recommend at least having a server up and running so you can play around and you can know how to do most basic things. But 300 lab hours seems high for most Microsoft exams - but I would say that I probably spent 100-200 STUDYING and taking practice exams for each test.

    Overall the MS Press books and CD's with tests do a pretty good job preparing you for most exams. The 70-640, 642, 643 and 647 exams are a bit of a problem right now with the influx of 2008 R2 material. You need another source for that material and the 2008 R2 Unleashed book is excellent as well as the links from this forum.

    Good luck.
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