I'm fairly new to SQL. 0 IT experience before a year ago, and now I'm the (accidental) DBA for our 2008 R2 instance. I have to get the MCSA cert. I studied for 461 for a couple of months. I was seeing most of the material for the first time when reading through the training kit by Ben-Gan. I took the test and failed with just under 500 points (I know, abysmal), but I don't think that's too bad for someone who's fairly new to this.
Anyway, my issue is that I'm more of a hands on learner. I realize there are free resources out there, but the one's I've found are not really useful nor effective. I haven't even looked at the practice tests that came with the 461 training kit because I know they're nothing like the real thing. I also know there are classes you can take. The problem is, while I'm willing to take the class, I can't afford it and my company will not pay for it.
So, anyone have the 'low-down' on some effective and free training material for the 461 exam (preferably hands-on)? Even close to free would do....