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Certification Rumors and Tips


Certification Rumors and Tips

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Brandie Tarvin
Brandie Tarvin
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Comments posted here are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/btarvin/3052.asp

Brandie Tarvin, MCITP Database AdministratorLiveJournal Blog: http://brandietarvin.livejournal.com/On LinkedIn!, Google+, and Twitter.Freelance Writer: ShadowrunLatchkeys: Nevermore, Latchkeys: The Bootleg War, and Latchkeys: Roscoes in the Night are now available on Nook and Kindle.
Sachin Samuel-286731
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Hi Brandie,

Nice article and thanks a lot to clarify the rumors.

I have a question. I am MCP. Cleared one exam(70-228) from MCDBA sylabus. Can I upgrade to MCITP? I mean will I get any benefit of my old certification in terms of number of exam I will have to appear in new module of sql 2005 exams?

Thanks,

Sachin


bledu
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Sachin,

If you had finished the MCDBA course you would be eligible for one upgrade exam. But as it is, you will probably have to sit for all the exams in the MCITP: Database administrator.

-------

and just to second what has been said in the article, practise, practise and more practise please. And also to mention that the exam fees varies depending on the region you will be sitting the exam. e.g. in UK its £89 (i think), in Africa its £56, but the good news is its still the same exam




Everything you can imagine is real.

Rob Farley
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My big exam tip is to just try it. The exams are designed to test what you know as part of your job, not what you can learn in books. If you go in there to find out where your weak areas are, you might surprise yourself and pass without study! In fact, the best (IMO) SQL exam there is is 70-431 (I should know, I wrote many of the simulation questions). These questions are hard to study for, brain dumps are far less useful for them, and they really seem to test whether or not you use the product.

Since I blogged about my experience in writing the simulation questions, I have been pestered by cheats. They use brain dumps and still fail. My kind of exam. People who use the product say that it's too easy. Again... my kind of exam.

There's a big discussion going on at Howard Dierking's blog about the source of community questions. I've blogged about it too, so you should be able to find the discussion and jump in.

Rob Farley
LobsterPot Solutions & Adelaide SQL Server User Group
Company: http://www.lobsterpot.com.au
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winston Smith
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the Exam insurance is no longer availiable as of the end of June. Im told there will be similar programs availiable by september, but at present , you only have one chance at the exam ( In Ireland anyway).
Andy Warren
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I agree that you don't have to buy a book, but I think its absolutely worth buying at least one book per exam. Most of the people I've seen that fail badly do so because they look at the exam title and prepare based on that, rather than looking at the requirements that MS has assigned to the exam. The book goes one level deeper by trying to teach you only what you need to know to meet those objectives. $40 for a book is not a huge investment, and you can probably make back $10 selling it used. The books usually contain sample questions which while probably not as good as the Transcender ones, arent bad either.

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Rob Farley
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True... books can be good. But I see lots of people stress out totally about doing exams. They should just try them and see how they go. Most people who know their stuff will pass. If not, they'll get a really good feel for what they can study next.

And yes, it's worth trying to take advantage of insurance or retake offers.

Rob Farley
LobsterPot Solutions & Adelaide SQL Server User Group
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Leeland Clay
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I have to agree...back in 99 when I got my MCSE I didn't buy any books or anything. The way I looked at it, I'd been doing the job for a LONG time and if I didn't know enough to pass, then there was a major problem. Went in and passed all but one of the exams with 940+. The one that I failed was the IIS exam (didn't do a lot with extending IIS so I missed a few there). I boned up on the parts I was weak on and went back 2 weeks later and passed with flying colors.
WILLIAM MITCHELL
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Great article. I agree that some books can be a valuable reference, long after the exam. I bought the original SQL Server 7.0 Exam Cram (70-029) and it's still on my desk, I have yet to find a more concise reference for the basics.

OTOH the newer Exam Cram books (now pub. by Que) don't go deep enough - the one for MCTS (70-431) is very superficial and doesn't cover all the exam objectives. Instead, I'm trying to get through the Sybex MCTS book which covers the basics, plus all the new 2005 features which are certain to be on the exam. I just hope I get around to sitting for the exam before Katmai :-)

In my experience, MS certification exams are written to be difficult and tricky, making the cert worth more IMHO. I've passed the MCSD series for VB6, and the .NET solution architectures (70-300) but with each exam they became more difficult as MS tries to separate the brain-dump-memorizers from those who really know their stuff. As others have said, there is no substitute for hands-on experience.


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Sometimes I wonder what is the purpose of getting the cert. There are companies out there would not hire a DBA without microsoft cert. Do they think those people are smarter than the one without a cert or a cert a kind of an insurance to the company that the person definitely knows SQL Server?

In my previous job, all the field engineers required to pass the MCSE exam. They just read the book and all of them passed because they needed to keep their job. The most ironic thing was 9 out of 10 did not even know how to spell 'COMPUTER'.(a joke) Even the supervisors knew the exam did not help and even the supervisors joked about how useless the exam was but it was company's policy and you could not argue.


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