Getting certified…


So how did you prepare to take a certification test?  Did you use the MS Press study guides? Exam Cram series?  Other non-study-guide books?  Hands-on experience?  Sample exams?  Newsgroups?  MSDN?  GotDotNet?  Quickstarts?  WWW.ASP.NET?  Other?  Did you buddy-up with anyone or go it alone?


What worked for you?  What didn’t work for you?


Just curious…


Follow up: So far, the comments I’ve received all say that practical experience beats the study guides every time.  I found that to be true, too.  I opened one Exam Cram book for about 15 minutes before I re-took 70-300.  The other tests I took to pass the MCSD .NET I did without specific studying for the tests.  (There was plenty of time in MSDN Library, newsgroups, and getting my hands dirty in code, though.)


I do think the study aids do have their place, though… if nothing than to help focus your studies before taking a test.


What do you think?

Comments (6)

  1. I walked in and took my MCSA/MCSE stuff off experience. I, personally, believe that you don’t actually know the stuff if you’ve never actually done it (just read a book about it).

  2. Ryan LaNeve says:

    Six years experience and a quick browse through the <a href="http://www.microsoft.com/MSPress/books/6716.asp">MS Press guides</a> has gotten me past exams 70-315, 70-316 and 70-320 in the last two weeks. I agree with Brian: if you know it from experience, you know it. If you know it only from reading a book, you actually know nothing.

  3. A lot of experience, a quick read (MS Press books are for beginners, but they cover all the things so it’s easy to review your knowledge on them) and some practice on the free demo tests (Transcender, SelfTest, etc…)

    p.s. if you want to review your knowledge and don’t want to buy a book you can use the studyguides at http://www.cramsession.com

  4. James Avery says:

    I usually take a couple of the practice tests out there(Transcender), or look over any study guides I find. But mostly I just bank on experience. The MS Press books are pratically worthless…..

    -James

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