What is a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the 70-410, 411, 412, and 243?

KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
What is a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the 70-410, 411, 412, and 243? I am currently a service desk analyst with about 6 months of experience. My goal is to end up as an SCCM administrator, and have decided to go through the Server 2012R2 series before I hit the SCCM exam. I'm about to start working in an environment where I will have the opportunity to learn from others, and should I do well, be in a great position to achieve the job. The timeline for this is looking to be about 6 months when I will want to look as attractive to employers as I can.

I have gone through the server classes at tech school, have watched some videos, dabbled in home hyper-v practice labs, and have a beginner/rookie knowledge of servers.

What is a reasonable amount of time to prepare for each exam?

-Kiyori
"Ad astra per aspera"

Comments

  • SlowhandSlowhand MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2003/2012/2016, CCNA Routing & Switchi Bay Area, CaliforniaMod Posts: 5,161 Mod
    If you're studying daily, at least an hour or two a day - with more time on the weekends - then 1 - 2 months for each exam is completely reasonable. If you're putting in more time, finding yourself picking up the topics faster than you expected, etc., it might go faster. If you're finding that things are taking more time/labbing to sink in, then it might take longer. Keep in mind, some exams *will* take longer than others, that's why a lot of people refer to certain exams as "beasts".

    I see you've taken the Windows 7 exams, these server exams will be very similar. There might be more topics to cover here and there, but the structure and level of difficulty will be similar, so use that experience as your measuring stick.

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  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It really depends on how much you study and how quickly you pick up on the topics. The main thing is to make sure you lab everything out and learn all of the Powershell equivalents to everything you can do in the GUI. Since you've already taken some MS exams you've got a head start in that you know how the exams are structured and should know how to study. Spend as much time as you can studying from multiple resources. Good luck!
    All the best,
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  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    So, just based on some quick browsing of the material, I'm thinking that I might spend around 2 months for the 70-410. Then, hopefully once I get more and more used to the server material, I can do the 70-411 and 70-412 quicker. I will base my timeframe for the 70-243 based on how I do on the first 3 exams.

    Thoughts?
  • AndersonSmithAndersonSmith Member Posts: 471 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Kiyori wrote: »
    So, just based on some quick browsing of the material, I'm thinking that I might spend around 2 months for the 70-410. Then, hopefully once I get more and more used to the server material, I can do the 70-411 and 70-412 quicker. I will base my timeframe for the 70-243 based on how I do on the first 3 exams.

    Thoughts?

    That makes sense. As long as you keep your study habits consistent with all 3 exams that seems reasonable
    All the best,
    Anderson

    "Everything that has a beginning has an end"
  • HAESONGHAESONG Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have been studying for 3 months, and im taking the exam next week =X
    Study material has been CBT Nuggets, PluralSight. Transcender Practice test
  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Good luck on your exam, HAESONG! I started the first week of January, and am outlining the MCSA 70-410 Cert Guide book by Don Poulton and David Camardella. I'm also using CBTNuggets, MeasureUps, and the PearsonVUE CD that came with the book. I wish there were Cert Guide books for the 70-411 and 70-412!
  • shochanshochan Member Posts: 958 ■■■■■■■□□□
    My gripe with Microsoft exams is that they can print an official study guide, but you have to invest in MANY study materials to pass their exams. So, how much does the typical Microsoft exam investment do you spend to gain that 1 certification? $500, $1k? What should be a fair investment costs per certification? I know they all differ due to different levels of expertise. I am speaking on behalf of ppl who spend their OWN funds, not company funds. I think $500 is fair, I suppose...that is usually the cost of a 3 or 4hr course at a local college (class+book).
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  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I spent $45 for the book, the exam will cost $165, CBT Nuggets $84 (1 month), and MeasureUps are $119....in total about $413. That's if you are buying everything brand new. There are plenty of free resources, discounted books (or borrow from a friend), and I'm sure you can find some online sales to make things cheaper like Black Friday/Cyber Monday.

    Honestly, I don't consider money spent to learn a subject relevant as compared to the cost of my time. Working full-time, going to college full-time, trying to maintain some semblance of physical fitness...my time is what is expensive.

    And I also consider what's next after I earn the certs - like getting hired on at a company that is willing to help pay for personal education and training. Spend $413 to get a MS cert, then get hired on at a company that is willing to give up $1500 (for example) to help me keep growing and improving myself? Easy decision right there.
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    shochan wrote: »
    My gripe with Microsoft exams is that they can print an official study guide, but you have to invest in MANY study materials to pass their exams. So, how much does the typical Microsoft exam investment do you spend to gain that 1 certification? $500, $1k? What should be a fair investment costs per certification? I know they all differ due to different levels of expertise. I am speaking on behalf of ppl who spend their OWN funds, not company funds. I think $500 is fair, I suppose...that is usually the cost of a 3 or 4hr course at a local college (class+book).

    It entirely depends on the certification. Some certifications are only 1 exam, others can be 4 or 5. With exam prices alone, you'll quickly be flirting with that $500 budget. Books can be cheap, but they can also be very expensive. I really liked the Microsoft Press book, but since they are being geared at college text books then publishers think they can get away with charging college text book prices. Recently I've read a couple of the "Learn x in a month of lunches" books. While these aren't specifically geared at obtaining certifications they are good ways to grasp concepts without breaking the bank ($20-$30 per book) and I do enjoy the layout of them, at least the ones I've read. There are also books that are more geared at certification that don't carry the $100+ price tag, and some of them are probably just as good as the "official" books while some probably are not.

    There are also a number of free materials out there. Youtube often contains walkthrough's on concepts of things that you might be trouble grasping. There are also blogs and technet articles, forum posts, free ebooks, ect. If you're capable of learning without being spoonfed (and absolutely nothing against that, I'd rather have a 1 stop shop when preparing for an exam) then you can probably do all of the studying you need without paying a cent. In theory, the more you spend the better informed you'll get (assuming that you give the proper attention to each source), but at some point the law of diminishing returns applies and spending $100 on a new book is only going to teach you 1% more and you'll have to decide when it isn't worth it anymore. So you'll have to decide what the price of a certification should be.
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  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Kiyori wrote: »
    I have gone through the server classes at tech school, have watched some videos, dabbled in home hyper-v practice labs, and have a beginner/rookie knowledge of servers."

    Any chance you're still in tech school? Microsoft provides discounts to students. I believe all you need is to set up your profile with your .edu address and confirm that you are a student and then you can take the test for $91.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Not in tech school anymore, but still in college and get a .edu address. I'll go check the discount out, I may be able to get vouchers from the tech school though.
  • KiyoriKiyori Member Posts: 40 ■■■□□□□□□□
    It looks like there will be some jobs opening up at work - one of the jobs requires the 70-409. I'm about halfway to testing for the 70-410 (life got me delayed a bit), and am thinking about doing the 409 before the 411. Do you guys think it would be better to do it like this, or the 411, then the 409? The timeline is sometime around June/July, tentatively of course.

    Also, I looked at it a bit - I see the 74-409, is that the 70-409?
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