My experience with the 70-640

I decided early last year it was time to update my MCSA to the MCITP:SA (which is actually being changed back to MCSA next July). Upon reviewing the material, I saw they were now including R2 information. Since I didn’t feel like relying solely on Technet for R2 material, I figured I would wait another year and give Microsoft time to get a revamped R2 book out there.

Earlier this year we had a budget approved to upgrade our infrastructure to Server 2008. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to purchase the Server 2008 R2 books and crank through the material via labbing and through real life experience.

Over the next four months, I put my mind into exam mode. I’ve developed a pretty solid system ever since I began taking certification exams back in 2005. I first read through a chapter, go through the chapter again taking handwritten notes, convert the notes to digital form, and end with studying the digitized notes each day until the exam. I’ve found by the time I near the end of the book I’ve memorized a good portion of the first half or two-thirds of the book.

The exam required a ton of labbing. I focused on ADCS, ADRMS, and ADFS since those were the three technologies I had the least amount of experience with. DNS has always come easy for me, so I didn’t spend much time on it. After a few months, I had grasped the material and was ready to take the exam.

I heard Microsoft was changing the format of the exams to make them a bit more difficult, and the changes were noticeable. I won’t go into that because I don’t want to violate the NDA. However, there is a video out there from the head of Microsoft’s certification department that talks about the planned changes.

At the end of the day, I scored 858/1000. I was hoping for something in the 900s, but a pass is a pass. I’ve made my notes available here for anyone who is interested.

On to the 70-642!

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