Step 1 would be to download the SQL Server Developers Edition (free and same as the Enterprise Edition with special licensing and it'll work with regular windows. No windows server needed.), SSMS (free), and Books Online (local help on the disk instead of on the web so the help is more "dedicated" to what you're looking for).
And yeah... even MS states in most of their training manuals that you should have at least 2 years of hands on before going for a cert.
As for decent practice exams especially for free, I can't help you there.
Having started out as an accidental DBA myself, I have to welcome you aboard. You've become a member of one of the finest technical communities in the world.
is pronounced "ree-bar
" and is a "Modenism
" for R
First step towards the paradigm shift of writing Set Based code:
________Stop thinking about what you want to do to a row... think, instead, of what you want to do to a column.
"If you think its expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."--Red Adair
"Change is inevitable... change for the better is not."
When you put the right degree of spin on it, the number 3|8
is also a glyph that describes the nature of a DBAs job. 😉
How to post code problems
Create a Tally Function (fnTally)