70-461... free practice tests/labs, etc that aren't total garbage

  • scarr030

    SSCommitted

    Points: 1528

    Hi All,

    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....

    Thanks!

  • j500sut

    SSC Enthusiast

    Points: 192

    Microsoft's website usually has the companion documentation and lab files available for downloading for their training courses related to most exams. Have a look here.  This might help also. The majority of the free resources i.e. exam "dumps" out there seem to be complete scams and outdated material. Best of luck.

  • Jeff Moden

    SSC Guru

    Points: 994238

    scarr030 - Monday, February 13, 2017 2:36 PM

    Hi All,

    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....

    Thanks!

    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.

    --Jeff Moden


    RBAR is pronounced "ree-bar" and is a "Modenism" for Row-By-Agonizing-Row.
    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. 😉

    Helpful Links:
    How to post code problems
    Create a Tally Function (fnTally)

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