As promised and update : I took the 640 test yesterday and did not pass, so that’s going to throw a monkey wrench into my timeline. I’ll have to figure out how to push the schedule a little to still meet my deadline but I think it is still possible
Couple of things that I learned from the experience
New and Varied Materials
The questions on the test took me by surprise as they were nothing like the questions that I had been using for practice. I have been exclusively using my LabSim TestOut software and it is now apparent that I need more sources to prepare for the exam. The difference in question types really threw me off my game, and might have contributed to my lower score (for the record it was close). My goal now is to reach out to my fellow #60Days2MCSE folks and find what is working for them as far as prep tests. Also, with the death of my iPad I lost access to my Safari books, specifically the Exam Cram books, I think this also was a contributing factor. Also, there was waaay more powershell on that test than in any of my study materials, if you don’t know powershell and how it works, you WILL need to learn it, at least the basics. I remember one question that the correct answer specifically hinged on using powershell correctly to pass a variable through a pipe.
Time to Change My Ways
My entire life, I have been an intuitive test taker, meaning that either I knew the answer or I did not, and my first reaction was always the best. I believe that some of the questions on the test tripped me up because I reached for the first answer that I thought was correct. There are a lot of details in the questions and nuances in the answers that I think that had I spent more deliberative time on the question. Would love to hear some feedback from others in the challenge about that thought
I knew I was weak on add on AD roles (LDS, CS, RMS) and the test results proved that to be true. I said it before that experience is the best teacher and because of project load I didn’t have much time to spend working in my lab environment, that will need to change before the next attempt. A few of the questions revolved around command line tools and their use, so I’ll need to brush up on the server core version of doing things a bit more as well as I choked on a few of those
Holy crap was I depressed when I didn’t pass! I work with AD every day in a very complex environment and not passing that test felt like a direct shot to my ego. Best thing I did was share the fact that I didn’t pass. The well wishes and encouragements from your friends and your fellow candidates can you carry you through that and re-energize you to get back in the ring (special thanks to @shih_wei and everyone else in the community!).
Re-energize and Ready to Go!
I had my 24 hours to decompress, now its time to enact those changes. I’ll have to readjust my timelines a bit and maybe do some crossover training with 642 but I think the goal is still within reach. I already have 246 and 247 scheduled for the week of MS TechEd and plan to be ready as ever for those. I’m hoping that those of us involved in the challenge will set aside some time to collaborate and brain storm as I would love to see 10 or 20 freshly minted MCSE : PC ‘s come out of TechEd. Just a heads up on that, if you are attending TechEd, the 246 and 247 exams are free and they have even more steeply discounted exams available as well. Check it out at http://northamerica.msteched.com/certification#fbid=WykbJC8flcg
Well good luck to everyone else working on the challenge and I look forward to hearing your stories as you make your way to MCSE! As always, if you want to follow along with the more day to day discussions you can follow the challenge on twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/search/%2360days2mcse or for in depth discussions and list of resources to help you to your goals you can check out http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/60days2mcse/default.aspx