Guidance - MCSA 2012

chininochinino Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
Hi gang,

I am currently working supporting a NetBackup Enterprise infrastructure, but I want to expand my coverage to be a Server Engineer, I am trying to study for the MCSA, first, and then MCSE, but I am on my late 40's and I have been out of school for a while, together with the family, and a bit of ADD, it has been a hard one.

I was wondering if someone can shed some light on study habits: how many hours a week? I have tons of materials (CBT Nuggets, books, TechNet Docs, etc.). I just seem to jump from one source to another, and I'm not sure if I am really sucking in all that it is needed to pass the exams (70-410, 411, and 412).

I appreciate your feedback.
My 2014 Goals:

MCSA Windows Server 2012: 70-410 [ ] 70-411 [ ] 70-412 [ ]
VMware Certified Associate-Data Center Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
CompTIA Storage+: SGO-001 [ ]

Comments

  • mokaibamokaiba Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I study from 4am to 12am on my days off and during my work shift randomly study then study from 2pm to 12am the rest of the day.
    I am currently studying for 74-409 and 70-410/411/412. I take 409 wed and 410 friday. I will finish my 409 studying today and will finish CBT nuggets 410 video by Thursday (hopefully) along with 410 study questions from measureup then repeat process each week until I finish 411 (next friday) and 412 (28th). why crazy study hours--> I want to leave next month for vmware vca and rhcsa studying then in may ill start back up at wgu to work on comptia linux+ and actually take the rhcsa exam.

    ...such a busy year for me.

    edit: im 32 btw.
  • chininochinino Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Thanks, mokaiba. Wow, that's some schedule. I would be like talking to myself if I grab a schedule like yours icon_smile.gif
    Good luck with all your tests. I will try to get the VCA, as well, by year's end...if possible.
    My 2014 Goals:

    MCSA Windows Server 2012: 70-410 [ ] 70-411 [ ] 70-412 [ ]
    VMware Certified Associate-Data Center Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
    CompTIA Storage+: SGO-001 [ ]
  • MSSoftieMSSoftie Security+, ITIL v3 Foundations, MCSE Cloud Platform Infrastructure Charlotte NC areaMember Posts: 190 ■■■□□□□□□□
    For me - I find consistency works better than marathon sessions. I prefer to study 2 to 3 hours a day for a few weeks. I try to schedule my time so that my family knows what I am doing and I usually do it after the kids have gone to bed if possible. I like to watch a video first if one is available on the topic I am focusing on that day and then read or lab. Two hours isn't a lot of time to do this so while I schedule two I often spend 3 to get what I want done completed. I will also schedule days to go back and refresh topics previously studied periodically.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    3 days a week, I study 1-2 hours after the kids are in bed. On weekdays that I don't have the kids, 2-4 hours and weekends without the kids 3-6 hours.

    I agree with MSSoftie. I get better results when I'm consistent and avoid the long cram sessions.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • jsojso Member Posts: 61 ■■□□□□□□□□
    mokaiba why rhcsa? There is more than enough jobs dealing with exchange and sharepoint than having to jump across to the linux world. I don't know of many jobs that require both skills that pay well (plenty of dogs bodies jobs that have a few aging windows and linux servers to keep alive).
  • KorovievKoroviev Member Posts: 44 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Jim Rohn wrote:
    Success is nothing more than a few simple disciplines, practiced every day.

    Well, that^, and there's other good advice in this thread. Make studying a habit. Don't marry yourself to a specific book/series/etc. That being said, some references are certainly better than others and you should not settle for the mediocre ones when you have options.

    I have gained the most knowledge and insight from the Infinite Skills series by John Savill as compared to Pluralsight and CBT Nuggets with respect to MCSA. I like to take notes on the videos, come up with my own lab scenario (and ideally, all of the scenarios tie in together), and take a moment after each video to note which objectives I covered by watching the video (and should hold myself accountable to remember). I add all of this in an email template that I send to myself to keep track of my progress. Once I have completed the lab, I have a separate template to detail what I did and what PowerShell cmdlets I used.

    I have also done quite a bit of reading, although I do not track this with notes. I would rather read from several different sources until I am comfortable with a concept as opposed to copying (or inadvertently emulating) the wording from one reference.

    I would not get too hung up on tracking hours. I have to do this pretty obsessively at work, so I find that I get less done, concerned that I need to have an ideal, distraction-free environment (like work) before I can start tracking the time. Determine when you want to sit for the exam, then budget your time against the objectives accordingly.

    Also, don't snub the content of the "lower" exams. While I do not plan to sit for it, MTA: Security covers some important ground. And it's definitely _not_ a lower exam, but I have used CCNA ICND1 material to get more comfortable with networking. :)
  • ayubjonayubjon Member Posts: 33 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I started with 70-410 exam objectives. Go one by one. Read the objective, search the internet for resources, (usually technet), watch video, and most important, take some notes on the topic. I use OneNote. It's not about copy-pasting, you actually need to type what you've learned. That way you will learn more effectively.
  • stryder144stryder144 Senior Member Member Posts: 1,684 ■■■■■■■■□□
    I agree with ayubjon. Like you, chinino, I am in my forties and have ADD with a tinge of hyperactivity, to boot. While I am not studying for the same thing, I try to follow the exam outline. I research it, read up on it, watch videos, etc. All keyed to those objectives. Otherwise...squirrel time, baby!
    The easiest thing to be in the world is you. The most difficult thing to be is what other people want you to be. Don't let them put you in that position. ~ Leo Buscaglia

    Connect With Me || My Blog Site || Follow Me
  • chininochinino Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Excellent responses guys, thanks for sharing your personal experiences. stryder144 --> LOL
    My 2014 Goals:

    MCSA Windows Server 2012: 70-410 [ ] 70-411 [ ] 70-412 [ ]
    VMware Certified Associate-Data Center Virtualization: VCA-DCV [ ]
    CompTIA Storage+: SGO-001 [ ]
  • mokaibamokaiba Member Posts: 162 ■■■□□□□□□□
    jso wrote: »
    mokaiba why rhcsa? There is more than enough jobs dealing with exchange and sharepoint than having to jump across to the linux world. I don't know of many jobs that require both skills that pay well (plenty of dogs bodies jobs that have a few aging windows and linux servers to keep alive).

    Many System Administrator and NOC-related jobs list windows and linux certs as requirements for the jobs. Knowing how to administrate windows and linux machines can only help me for job searching as I would not be limited in what I could apply for.

    edit:

    "I don't know of many jobs that require both skills that pay well"

    What salary range are you referring to? Compared to my current job, anything in both those areas or only one of each pay better than what I currently make.
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