I took another certification exam today:
Let me offer a few general test-taking suggestions:
- Test-taking computers don't always work (the infamous "computer problems" excuse), so don't be disappointed if you need to reschedule. (Exam attempt #1.)
- You really do need to take a photo ID in order to take an exam. (I forgot my wallet that day, and sob stories to the attendant don't do any good at all. Exam attempt #2.)
- Don't be late. (Prometric generally won't allow you to start the exam if you are more than 30 minutes late. Fortunately, I was only 29 minutes late - finally something goes my way with exam attempt #3.)
- Review the exam preparation guide before taking the exam, not after.
There were a few points during the exam that I wondered if I would actually pass, and failing would be just too embarrassing to admit. Fortunately, my final score showed that I passed with flying colors. I guess I guessed well. (OK, maybe you can call it "deductive reasoning." I always thought "what you know" exams were overrated. I'm still waiting to see an exam that measures how well you can figure things out - being able to quickly and effectively find the answers is a crucial skill.) Some areas covered in the exam:
- The new Windows Vista task scheduler. (How many of you have actually used this? There's quite a lot of new functionality.)
- Issues you might encounter with IPsec, Windows Firewall, Windows Defender, and secure communication, and knowing what issues each can cause.
- Troubleshooting issues with the Windows Update Agent, including interaction with WSUS.
- Group policy, including software restriction policies, software installation, UAC settings, loopback processing, folder redirection and troubleshooting.
- Plenty of network troubleshooting (DHCP issues, IPv6 configuration, wireless security options, wireless troubleshooting, IPCONFIG, NBTSTAT, etc.)
- Investigating issues with security templates.
- Application Compatibility Toolkit and User State Migration Tool.
- Internet Explorer 7 configuration.
It's a pretty broad exam - real-world experience would certainly help. Even though I've been removed from the real world for last couple of years working at Microsoft's Redmond campus, I feel like I at least still have a strong connection to the real world 🙂
With this exam and the previous 70-620 exam, I now have a new certification:
Of course now I notice that I could have just taken exam 70-621 to upgrade my existing MCDST certification to the new MCITP: Enterprise Support Technician certification. But this way was more fun 🙂