Friday, September 13, 2013

Just an Update

Hey all. This post isn't a troubleshooting, from-the-trenches post, it is just an update post due to the sad fact I haven't posted anything in more than a month. What am I doing? Well I'm still studying in my time from work for the MCSA: Server 2012 certification. I'm actually studying for all three exams before I take an exam; a studying tip from Ed Liberrman of Trainsignal. At first I wasn't sure about that method but now I completely understand his advocating that method. Studying for all three exams before taking the exams will give you a full understanding of Server 2012, which is what Ed suggested and I know this to be true now that I'm applying his method to my study time. Having studied Active Directory at the 70-411 and 70-412 levels has helped me to understand Active Directory better at level 70-410! It's just a great study method I think.

Study Tools
I'm using the Server 2012 certification book from Sybex that is authored by William Panek (an excellent tech writer) for all three exams. I have and am also using the Exam-ref book for 70-410 from Microsoft Press and the 70-410 Training Guide from Microsoft Press by Mitch Tulloch (another excellent tech writer). An additional and amazing study tool I'm using is TrainSignal. I can't recommend their videos and practice exams enough. Their practice exam for the 70-410 exam let me know quickly that I wasn't ready to take that exam. Ed Libberman is a great teacher too. His personality is engaging and you can just tell he knows what he is talking about. What about the books? The questions at the end of each chapter in the Sybex book are great questions in that they are scenario based and make you actually think instead of just matching the correct definition with the term. Also in each chapter are exercises which is always nice. The Exam-Ref book is a good book for giving you information for exactly what Microsoft requires you to know on the 70-410 exam. The author doesn't go any further than that and he doesn't exactly go in the deep end either so I can't say that book alone will prepare you for the 70-410 exam. There are practice exercises peppered throughout each chapter which, again, is nice. The 'Training Guide' form Tulloch is a very nice tool. He goes deeper on the exam objectives and his practice exercises are fun, challenging and helpful. This guide is a nice companion to the Exam-Ref book.

Is this study method and are these tools a great approach to earning the MCSA? Well I guess I'll see when I go in and take the 70-410 exam. I can't see how my current study method with all the tools I'm using is setting me up for failure. If I fail it will be because of me.

For work, I'm currently doing the day-in and day-out stuff. I'm not doing anything special but my current job is what it is: entry-level. Hopefully after earning the MCSA, along with my continued experience will land me an exciting System Administrator job elsewhere.

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