20 Nov 2000 »
Don’t try this at home
I passed my Win2K MCP upgrade exam (070-240) this morning. I thought it was a one hour exam. It turned out to be four one hour exams. Whoops 🙂
Don’t try this exam without the same level of preparedness as myself: I’ve been using NT 5.0 since October 1997 (and Win2K since they renamed it in late 1998), and NT since the 3.5 days. It was a tough exam for those who have never touched a box, and I was glad they tossed in some curly questions that required you to have actually done the stuff rather than just read it in a book.
I liked the new style exams: there’s situational exams that require you to drag and drop the answers to make the correct solution. It was all too easy to stuff up if you’ve never seen it before, whereas the old multiple choice questions you had a pretty good chance of eliminating half the answers on logic alone, and then using the balance of probabilities to pass on the remaining two.
The MS Press self-study book for this exam doesn’t exist yet (it’s coming out later this month or early next), so I had to self study. I read the encompassing exams’ objectives and just played on my box at home for the last two days with stuff I’ve not touched before: RIS, Backup, state backup/restore, and the recovery console (which some of you linux bigots will find hard to believe – I’ve never needed to use the recovery console because Win2K has been stable for me). I also gave myself a little study time on site replication stuff, but as that’s a descendant of the Exchange site replication stuff, I felt I was okay. And I was.
I didn’t like the questions that rely entirely on English semantics for the correct answer. They test your parsing ability not your product knowledge. I left a rather nasty comment for them to translate the question into another language and get someone who speaks that language to answer the question. The only correct answer is the one that contains the word “seize”, which is in English and in the ntdsutil utility. The other three alternatives contain English synonyms of seize. Bad question.
I also felt the preponderance of IPX / Netware questions in one of the exams to be a pointless waste of space. I’ve never used NW Gateway in production, and I used to be in Netware-first networks when Netware was the primary NOS for desktops. One of the questions had only one “correct” answer that would be wrong if a Netware savvy Cisco engineer had designed and implemented IPX/SPX correctly in a routed environment.
I’ve got three more exams to finish my MCSE upgrade. Again, the MS Press books for these topics don’t exist yet, but since I’ve completed 4/8 of my exams without using one yet, I’ll continue to try and just do self study.