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Would using the MS Press books be sufficient?


Would using the MS Press books be sufficient?

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samalex
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After being an MS SQL DBA for over a decade I'm finally looking at getting some certifications. Unfortunately though it'll be on my dime so I'll have to be out of pocket for exams and materials. So due to this I wanted to ask if I only use the MS Exam Training Kits/Books provided by MS Press is this sufficient? I can't afford the week long training courses, so I wasn't sure if this would work or if there are other resources to help me practice.

I'll probably pick-up Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 this week and start reading through it to prepare for the 70-461 exam, but is there some other place I should look?

Edit: Well I just noticed the book isn't out yet... so I guess I'll have to use BOL only? Are there any other resources or practice exams I should look at for 70-461? Also the book description on Amazon says it comes with an Exam Voucher, so does that mean the cost of the test is covered? NICE if so, and makes this book a good investment.

Thanks for any advice.
bjcharles
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1. Mspress books did help me in getting certified for 2005 & 2008, and I'm going to wait for the 2012 kits too. I'm an experienced DBA but I find that the kits guide me on what I need to focus on, as I tend to get carried away when I use books online. Of course, I do cover the book very quickly since I already know most of the topics, but rigorously practice on new features, like AlwaysOn in 2012. Some people simply find the exams outlines sufficient enough. If you're very experienced with the product, then you should be fine.

2. The exam vouchers enable you get some sort of discount or offers. You have to wait to see what types are offered. The 2005 one, for example, offered me a chance to retake the exam and also a 20% of the actual price of exam itself.

Charles
GilaMonster
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Books Online is sufficient. It's not the easiest way, but it does cover everything.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

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Ells
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You may also want to look at 70-433 book which was a similar exam for SQL 2008. Not saying its the same but looking at whats on the MS site for the two exams they are very similar.

Regards
M
Steven.Howes
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Only 70-462 training kit is available right now the other two come out in november. 463 Nov 1st and 461 on the 15th. I've got the 462 one and I like how it's laid out. A brief synopsis and then links to MSDN for more detail. Some of it has be taken with a grain of salt. Like the section on shrinking DBs and Logs...
cppwiz
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I strongly recommend buying some test preparation software in addition to the MS Press book. While you may already know the material, the exams require some test taking skills as well. For example, one type of question asks you to “select all the correct answers” with five choices. By using some test preparation software, you will have practice eliminating the obvious incorrect answers and focusing on the potential correct answers. You will only have about 90 seconds per question to read, interpret and answer the question.

You must be quick and accurate and some practice with the exam format and question style is recommended in addition to the knowledge of the content. While the books include a practice test on the CD, this sample test is nothing like the real test. I recommend Transcender practice tests because I used them to pass my exams in the past. The other alternative is to register for the Second Shot promotion and plan on using your first attempt as a practice test.



GilaMonster
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cppwiz (10/25/2012)
You will only have about 90 seconds per question to read, interpret and answer the question.


The exams are 3 hours long and have 30-40 questions in them.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass


samalex
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GilaMonster (10/25/2012)
cppwiz (10/25/2012)
You will only have about 90 seconds per question to read, interpret and answer the question.


The exams are 3 hours long and have 30-40 questions in them.


Wow, I thought the exams were longer than that, 30-40 questions each exam? That's like 4-6 minutes per question.

Also are the exams on paper or on the computer? And if on the computer are they adaptive depending on how the questions are answered?

But even if 3 minutes per question that's not too bad since I'm sure some questions can be answered quickly where others might need more time. Also do they allow scratch paper?

Sorry if this is getting off topic, but I've yet to hear anyone talk about this aspect of the exams before.
George M Parker
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I concur with cppwiz that you should invest in some type of test preparation software. While there is no substitute for hands on experience, the practice tests come pretty close to simulating the actual exams. The more test questions you can get access to, the better.

While it is focused on the SQL Server 2008 exam, Buck Woody has an excellent blog with notes on the topic that you might want to check out. Just Google Buck Woody, 70-432. Many of the topics are also relevant to SQL 2012.
GilaMonster
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samalex (10/25/2012)
GilaMonster (10/25/2012)
cppwiz (10/25/2012)
You will only have about 90 seconds per question to read, interpret and answer the question.


The exams are 3 hours long and have 30-40 questions in them.


Wow, I thought the exams were longer than that, 30-40 questions each exam? That's like 4-6 minutes per question.

Also are the exams on paper or on the computer? And if on the computer are they adaptive depending on how the questions are answered?

But even if 3 minutes per question that's not too bad since I'm sure some questions can be answered quickly where others might need more time. Also do they allow scratch paper?


On computer. You get dry-erasable boards, no paper.

Gail Shaw
Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server, MVP, M.Sc (Comp Sci)
SQL In The Wild: Discussions on DB performance with occasional diversions into recoverability

We walk in the dark places no others will enter
We stand on the bridge and no one may pass


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