how difficult are the MCDST exams?

dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
I'm curious to get people's opinions on how difficult the exams are. I've been a programmer for almost 10 years now and have somewhat tired of that arena so I may try to move towards a network admin position. Even though my title has been programmer at most companies I've ended up, like most people, wearing differents like help desk, pc tech, and some minor network stuff as well. Since I don't have any certs I thought I would start with A+ which I am studying for now, then Network+. After that, it's sort of up in the air. I'm wondering if going for MCDST might be worth the effort before I start in on MCSA. Do most people find the MCDST exams fairly easy when compared to other certs?


  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    I don't think anyone can truly answer that for you. It depends on your background. Beginners seem to find these tests difficult I guess simply because they are beginners. The tests require analytical thinking as used in troubleshooting. You have been programming for a while so I suspect some of the answers will be common sense for you.

    This cert concentrates on user support problems. One test is heavy into installation problems and one test is heavy into application failure problems mainly Office, Explorer and Outlook. Mobile user problems and security are also covered. Your best bet is to get the objectives from Microsoft's site and go over them. Secondly MS has a free on-line study course that you can sign up for and use for six months I think.

    I took the two tests as a beta with a lot more questions, many bogus I assume and with no study material. Supposedly around 300 of us passed in that group as indicated by the program manager. My background is both hardware and programming.

    As to if you wish to try it the advantage is you get both a MCP and the MCDST quickly with only two tests and it can be used as an elective for MCSA 2k3. It can not however be used as an elective for MCSE.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • dsa1971dsa1971 Member Posts: 52 ■■□□□□□□□□
    thanks for the reply shadow. I don't want to get too far ahead of myself and think about MCSE just yet. I don't have too much network experience so I want to get A+, Network+, and now possible MCDST to get my foot in the door somewhere that will allow me to gain some more network experience. I'm hopeful since I've used XP for a few years now and with my background along with some studying that I won't find the exams too difficult. First things first though. I want to get past A+ and Network+ first.
  • ITGuy88ITGuy88 Member Posts: 12 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Could you give me a link to that free ionline study course? I searched Google and Microsofts home website and i didnt find anything. Help would be appriciated.

  • TheShadowTheShadow Member Posts: 1,057 ■■■■■■□□□□
    Sure no problem

    You get to use it for 180 days after you enroll.

    It seems pretty decent training from the few hours that I played around with it. I know two people that went all the way true it and were satisfied. Microsoft did put some effort into it because their stated intent while in development was to push their larger customers to use it for in-house training. That was something that came up in the beta test taker debriefings on how to make the cert popular. At I know that our little group asked what was to mindshare increasing plan. Considering that the number of people that passed seemed to increase rapidly after it became available something must be working. It took forever to get past 1,000 certs then it started increasing much faster.
    Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of technology?... The Shadow DO
  • D-boyD-boy Member Posts: 595
    MCDST is a good start, it's mainly based around XP and MS office, which is a good intro into the world of XP, if you don't already know it by the back of your hand. I mainly did MCDST because I was interested in learning abit more about XP without going too in depth like the other XP client exams.

    I did my cert's in this order MCP 210, A+, Network+, MCDST, MCP 215... I have one more for MCSA 2000, which I am currently studying for...

    MCDST exams will give you the feel of how MS exams are...
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