The road to MCM: Exchange Server 2010

I am going to attempt to tackle the Microsoft Certified Master: Exchange Server 2010 program. There are currently only 77 people in the world with this certification. This thread will track my progress on this journey.

Along the way I will pick up a few other certifications, some of them are prerequisites to this certification. Others will be just because it'd only take me 1 or 2 extra exams to get them, so why not?

The prerequisites are:

I am going to build a road map that will show what order I plan to take all the required exams in, as well as what study materials I plan to use. While I am fortunate enough to have free access to all of this stuff, I know a lot of people don't, or may need to show costs to get their employer to pay for it, so I will be tracking the cost as if I did have to pay for it, as well as how much time it takes.

I plan to take a practice test for each exam BEFORE doing any studying for that particular exam at all, then another one after completing study materials, to try and get an idea of how effective the study materials are. I will use study materials and practice tests from the same provider whenever possible to try and keep things consistent.

These will be the first Microsoft certifications I've done in over a decade (last one was Windows 2000 Pro MCP).
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Comments

  • vsecgodvsecgod Posts: 48Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    Going for MCM Exchange while only having Sec+ and god knows how much experience you really have under your belt. First glance, it sounds like someone aiming too high. I hope you understand how coveted that exam is.

    Of course that could all change if you respond back with "I have 20yrs exp from exchange 2000 to 2010 etc."
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    I have 13 years experience ranging from Exchange 5.5 to 2010, and I work for Microsoft as a Premier Field Engineer, specializing in Exchange. ;)
  • tr1xtr1x Posts: 213Member
    Good luck, man. I hope you get it. How long do you think it's going to take?
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    tr1x wrote: »
    Good luck, man. I hope you get it. How long do you think it's going to take?

    Thanks. At least a year... I'm trying to figure that out now as I put together my road map. I know my boss said it will be next year at the earliest before I can go to the MCM training. I'd like to get all the prerequisite certifications out of the way before I go to the training. They will send me to it without doing them first, but I won't get awarded the cert until they're all done.

    Also the training is not currently required to get the MCM for Exchange 2010, so I may try to get it without going to the training, and save my MCM training for Exchange 15 when that comes out... actually it will be MCSM for that version. So if I can get my MCM on Exchange 2010 before the MCSM for Exchange 15 comes out, I can just upgrade to it.
  • fly2dwfly2dw Posts: 122Member ■■■□□□□□□□
    I look forward to your feedback on this and best of luck to you!
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    Ev this thread is exciting. I am going to follow this thread very closely. Good luck I brother I wish you the best!

    Everyone quick question. Do you need feel you need the server operating system certifications to learn exchange messaging and adminstration?

    If you have a solid understanding of Windows server/client environment
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    vsecgod wrote: »
    Going for MCM Exchange while only having Sec+ and god knows how much experience you really have under your belt. First glance, it sounds like someone aiming too high. I hope you understand how coveted that exam is.

    Of course that could all change if you respond back with "I have 20yrs exp from exchange 2000 to 2010 etc."

    MS pays him more than many CCIEs make. He is only even on this path because he works for MS. Almost all MCMs work for Microsoft, with a few working for enormous enterprise partners (e.g. HP).

    Everyone, I think you'll knock it out of the park.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    N2IT wrote: »
    Ev this thread is exciting. I am going to follow this thread very closely. Good luck I brother I wish you the best!

    Everyone quick question. Do you need feel you need the server operating system certifications to learn exchange messaging and adminstration?

    If you have a solid understanding of Windows server/client environment

    IMHO, the only time you "NEED" a certification, is if it is required for your career advancement. You do need the knowledge those certifications are a check for if you want to be really good at it.
  • N2ITN2IT Posts: 7,483Inactive Imported Users
    I meant experience but didn't capture that in my question. Thanks for the answer.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,848Mod Mod
    Subscribing. This should be fun. Best of luck!
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    I created my "Roadmap" in Excel, which isn't something I can attach here, so I'm going to try and copy and paste it... if that doesn't work out to well, I'll throw it up on my web server and link to it.




    Certification

    Exam
    Study Material

    Practice Test
    Pre-Study Score
    Post-Study Score
    Final Exam Score
    Estimated Time to Completion
    Actual time to Complete
    Cost


    MCITP: Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010












    MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring
    70-662: TS:Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00




    10186AE: Configuring and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010




    20

    $399.00



    70-663: Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00




    10186AE: Configuring and Managing Microsoft Exchange Server 2010




    20

    $399.00




    10197AE: Upgrading Core Skills to Microsoft Exchange Server 2010




    12

    $239.99




    10204AE: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010




    20

    $399.99


    MCITP: Enterprise Administrator











    MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration
    70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00


    MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring
    70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00


    MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Application Infrastructure, Configuration
    70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00



    70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator







    $125.00





    MeasureUp





    $109.00


    MCTS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment
    70-681: TS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying







    $125.00





    N/A








    Microsoft Certified Master: Exchange Server 2010














    N/A










    3 Week Classroom Training in Redmond? (Optional)



    $18,500.00



    Knowledge Exam







    $500.00



    Lab Exam







    $2,500.00


    Totals:
    9 Exams





    72

    $24,466.98














    Extras











    MCSA: Windows Server 2008
    70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator







    $125.00




    MeasureUp






    $109.00


    MCSE: Private Cloud
    70-247: Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012







    $125.00



    70-246: Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012







    $125.00




    I was planning on using the Microsoft E-Learning as my main source of study material, however it seems that isn't available for all the exams, so I may have to figure something else out for those. I may end up just using TechNet and MSDN. I'll come back and add links to whatever resources I do end up using. For right now I just want to get started.

    The "Extras" are exams I may or may not take depending on time. They aren't required for my end goal. I am anticipating having a waiting period between finishing the prerequisites, and being able to take the MCM, so these will just be filler while in that waiting period.

    I have a lot of time available for this between now and May 18th, so hopefully I can knock as much of this out as possible before then. After that, it will be more difficult for me to find days I can schedule tests on, and study time will be limited to evenings in hotel rooms after finishing up with customers for the day.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Just a thought, but I created an Excel roadmap with the slightly different purpose of mapping out when I'll take what. The A row was quarters and the rows below that were what I'd do. Like so:
    Q1 ......|...... Q2 ......|...... Q3 ......|...... Q4 ......|...... Q1 ......|......Q2......|
    70-643.|....70-647....|......SSCP.....|......CCNA...|......ITIL F....|......70-xxx...|
    ..........|..................| College....................................................................................

    It was just a nice way to budget out exams based on quarters based on how long I thought each exam would take me.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • jonenojoneno Posts: 257Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    vsecgod wrote: »
    Going for MCM Exchange while only having Sec+ and god knows how much experience you really have under your belt. First glance, it sounds like someone aiming too high. I hope you understand how coveted that exam is.

    Of course that could all change if you respond back with "I have 20yrs exp from exchange 2000 to 2010 etc."

    How dare you question Everyones competence? :)...just kidding! Seriously though, he is on another level. I've read some of his past post.
  • cyberguyprcyberguypr Senior Member Posts: 6,848Mod Mod
    ^^ What he said. Everyone can school a lot of us any day.
  • erpadminerpadmin Posts: 4,165Member
    Everyone has just become a Chuck Norris Meme. icon_lol.gif

    No for real man, I wish you the best of luck. I had no idea you worked for MS itself...I could have used you for the third paper I had to write this semester on corporate culture...guess which company was highlighted? LMAO. (I had to find a credible source for Microspeak....lmao......)

    Best of luck brother! Look forward to hearing more about this.
  • onesaintonesaint Posts: 801Member
    I saw the thread title and knew this would be good.

    Best of luck to you Everyone. You're a great example of what one can achieve in IT.
    Work in progress: picking up Postgres, elastisearch, redis, Cloudera, & AWS.
    Next up: eventually the RHCE and to start blogging again.

    Control Protocol; my blog of exam notes and IT randomness
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    That'll be fun - good luck. Very inspiring.
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    ptilsen wrote: »
    Almost all MCMs work for Microsoft, with a few working for enormous enterprise partners (e.g. HP).

    I was curious so I looked it up... out of the 77 people that have the Exchange 2010 MCM, 36 of them work for Microsoft, so that's roughly 47%.
    erpadmin wrote:
    Everyone has just become a Chuck Norris Meme. icon_lol.gif

    No for real man, I wish you the best of luck. I had no idea you worked for MS itself...I could have used you for the third paper I had to write this semester on corporate culture...guess which company was highlighted? LMAO. (I had to find a credible source for Microspeak....lmao......)

    Best of luck brother! Look forward to hearing more about this.

    Quick, write an IT version of "The Expendables", I'll play myself. ;)

    I've only been working for MS for about a month now, I think it was about 2 months ago that I announced that they had hired me. We actually have an internal glossary for "Microspeak"... I've had to reference it a few times already. :p

    Now back on topic...

    Thanks all for the encouragement...

    After talking to a few co-workers, I have decided to use both Self Test Software AND MeasureUP for practice tests. I'll do 1 of each before and after studying. I am going to try and take a Self Test Software (they are easier for me to access) test today, and if I can get access (I have to register and request it) to MeasureUP today, I'll take one from them too.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Everyone wrote: »
    I was curious so I looked it up... out of the 77 people that have the Exchange 2010 MCM, 36 of them work for Microsoft, so that's roughly 47%.

    Really? I was under the impression that most were MS employees. Still, the lions share work for MS.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    I took a 70-662 Practice Test from Self Test Software today... scored 66%. This is without doing any studying at all.

    I was not a fan of all the "Choose all that apply" type questions, I hope the real test doesn't have so many of these. I'd get 2/3 or 3/4 choices correct on them, but it seems to score those as 0 points for the question which lowers overall score.

    Definitely need to study the Edge Transport role, and Federation. I've never used either anywhere before, and got pretty much every question related to either wrong.

    Going to try the MeasureUP practice test before I start studying to see what I score on that one.
  • the_erickeethe_erickee Posts: 74Member ■■□□□□□□□□
    I wish I had about $25,000 to do the MCM.

    Plus, the exams are $150 now. Up from $125
    Erick Marshall - @erickbm

    MCSE,MCITP x2,vExpert 2015,VCAP,VCP5 x2,MCSA x2,MCTS x3,MCP x2,UCP,Network+,A+
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    I wish I had about $25,000 to do the MCM.

    Plus, the exams are $150 now. Up from $125

    Are they? I'll have to update that... They're all free for me. icon_cool.gif
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    If you got an iPhone / iPad .. get yourself the Visual Cert designer .. you can create your own exams .. instead of making notes, create questions while you reading the book. You can also get a client for iPad and iPhone so you can keep studying "on the go" ..
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    If you got an iPhone / iPad .. get yourself the Visual Cert designer .. you can create your own exams .. instead of making notes, create questions while you reading the book. You can also get a client for iPad and iPhone so you can keep studying "on the go" ..

    I don't have any Apple products. I currently have an old Droid X, and I'm required to replace it with a Windows Phone.
  • jibbajabbajibbajabba Posts: 4,317Member ■■■■■■■■□□
    Everyone wrote: »
    Thanks. At least a year... I'm trying to figure that out now as I put together my road map. I know my boss said it will be next year at the earliest before I can go to the MCM training. I'd like to get all the prerequisite certifications out of the way before I go to the training.

    Shockingly, the training isn't even a pre-requisite anymore, makes me wonder if there is anyone able to pass the lot without seeing those 900 slides and doing 25 labs and tonns of coffee in the blood :)
    My own knowledge base made public: http://open902.com :p
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    jibbajabba wrote: »
    Shockingly, the training isn't even a pre-requisite anymore, makes me wonder if there is anyone able to pass the lot without seeing those 900 slides and doing 25 labs and tonns of coffee in the blood :)

    I know, but everybody tells me the training is really good. If I can go to it for free, why not? I have a limited number of free attempts at the exams. Under the instructor led training, it says I get 2 free attempts. Under the self paced, it says 1 free, then I get charged for each additional one. I need to get clarification. I want to find out if I fail taking it under the self paced program, do I still get 2 attempts if I switch over to the instructor led? If so, I will probably give it a go self paced first. If I pass, I'll save that training time for something else. I get 160 hours for training every year.

    Also, even though the training isn't a prerequisite for the certification anymore, I think it may be required for the position I have, but I'm not sure yet.

    The other thing about doing it without the training... I have yet to find any legitimate study material for the 88-974 and 88-975 exams. I'm going to have to ask around and see if I can find anyone who has passed it without taking the training, and see what they did to prepare.
  • jamesp1983jamesp1983 Posts: 2,475Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Everyone wrote: »
    Are they? I'll have to update that... They're all free for me. icon_cool.gif

    Very nice. Good luck man!
    "Check both the destination and return path when a route fails." "Switches create a network. Routers connect networks."
  • EveryoneEveryone Posts: 1,661Member
    The unexpected failure of my stupid Verizon MiFi wireless hotspot has put me a week behind. Last week I was out of state and onsite with a customer shadowing another PFE, and the MiFi was my only means of getting online. It decided it didn't want to work, so I had no way of getting to the practice tests or study material. Need to figure out if I can make some of this stuff available offline to avoid running into this again when I'm on the road. Sucks being in a hotel room with nothing to do but watch TV. Wanted to get some studying done.
  • ptilsenptilsen Posts: 2,835Member ■■■■■■■■■■
    Everyone wrote: »
    I know, but everybody tells me the training is really good. If I can go to it for free, why not?
    I'm about ten years behind you in Exchange, and I would still jump at the chance to go for free. Even if half of it went over my head and only half of the remaining info stayed in my brain, that's a lot of great information.
    Working B.S., Computer Science
    Complete: 55/120 credits SPAN 201, LIT 100, ETHS 200, AP Lang, MATH 120, WRIT 231, ICS 140, MATH 215, ECON 202, ECON 201, ICS 141, MATH 210, LING 111, ICS 240
    In progress: CLEP US GOV,
    Next up: MATH 211, ECON 352, ICS 340
  • RomBUSRomBUS Posts: 699Member ■■■■□□□□□□
    Hi Everyone,

    Just wanted to wish you luck on this! I will be watching your progress because you're an inspiration plus I always read your posts and keep up with the blog too! I hope to as well take exams of this level one day as well, I am determined but financially uncertain at this point in my life. Thats awesome you get to take this for free and good idea taking advantage of it. I am surprised you've not taken an MS exam since way back when but also impressed that you didn't need that to get to where you are now. Good luck my friend!!
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