Passed Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist exam 70-649

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Phew! Another one down – earlier today I passed the Microsoft exam for upgrading from Windows Server 2003 MCSE to Windows Server 2008 Technology Specialist (70-649), which takes me one step closer to updating my Microsoft certification from MCSE (on Windows NT 4.0, 2000 and Server 2003) to MCITP: Enterprise Administrator. This week’s blog post drought may have been welcome relief for some but it was largely caused by many early starts and late nights cramming my head full of Windows Server 2008 information.

As usual, I’m not publishing any exam details (test details are under NDA, yada, yada) but it’s public knowledge that this is an amalgamation of exams 70-640, 70-642 and 70-643 and it seems that it was my applications infrastructure score that dragged me down (I did OK on the AD portion and scored quite well on configuring network infrastructure)… not bad for someone who doesn’t get much of an opportunity to play with technology at work any more! I will say that I put way too much effort into my revision though… I’ll write a follow up post on the online training that I used from Microsoft Learning.

I have one more exam planned for this year (I plan to take 70-647 on Christmas Eve) – and that will complete the transistion from MCSE 2003 to the equivalent 2008 qualification (I’ve already passed 70-624).

Incidentally, I couldn’t get in to the test centres that I usually use (QA-IQ in Milton Keynes or Global Knowledge in Coventry) so I went to Computer Associated Decisions in High Wycombe. If anyone is thinking of taking a Prometric test there then I’d urge them to reconsider as it’s absolutely the worst testing experience I’ve every had. The test centre is one half of a retail unit on a housing estate and the cheap wood laminate flooring and thin plasterboard walls mean that sound is echoed and amplified around the unit so you can hear the people in the shop next door (at one point someone was in the shop with a small child and it was like having my 4 year old in the room with me whilst trying to think…) as well as the office behind (where the people working seem to think nothing of shouting – even when asked to pipe down by the receptionist). Unfortunately, that’s where I have to go back to on the 24th…

5 thoughts on “Passed Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist exam 70-649

  1. Congratulations!
    I did my last test at Global Knowledge in Coventry as was pleased with the facilities

    Especially when compared to the place i’d been to before which was basically a broom cupboard with two computer crammed into it!

    Good luck for the 24th

  2. Thanks Andy (I was originally scheduled to take this at Global Knowledge in Coventry – where the testing facilities are pretty good – but I moved the date of this test and they were full :-( )

  3. Congratulations! How many Microsoft exams have you passed over the years?

    Saying you plan to take another test before the year is up (in what, 1-2 weeks?) is astounding to me. I am working on my 1st Microsoft exam, working towards MCITP Enterprise Admin. How much a day/week do you study for these exams, and how much of the information that you study for an exam do you already have somewhere in your head?

    Merry Christmas!

  4. Thanks Brad – to answer you question, I took my first MCP exam in 1998 and then worked up to MCSE (NT 4.0), then I’ve taken the upgrade exams to Windows 2000, Windows Server 2003, and now I’m working towards the 2008 qualifications – plus a few others on the side. According to my transcript that’s 16 Microsoft exams in total (I’ve also taken some VMware and Red Hat ones).

    I’ve been working with MS-DOS since the mid 1980s, Windows since 1990 and NT-based systems since 1995 so I am building upon a broad base of experience – and alot of the new learning for me each time around is about new features, or about features that I don’t use very often. Researching and writing for this blog helps me a bit too but I do tend to just cram like crazy before each exam (after which I probably forget a lot too) rather than taking the sensible approach that you suggest of a few hours each day/week. I’m fortunate that my work means I have to acheive a particular resource utilisation target and I’m over target right now so I’m taking some time for personal development – effectively I have a solid couple of weeks (minus e-mail, phone calls, and other work-related interruptions) to study and take these exams.

    Each of us learns in different ways, but I find writing helps me to cement key concepts in my head. Ideally I’d spend a couple of hours each day over a month or so preparing for each exam – in reality I’ve done very little but revise Windows Server 2008 topics for the last two weeks. After taking 70-649 last week I was pretty much burned out but I’m back in the test centre tomorrow for 70-647 (and I’m hoping there will be a fair amount of overlapping content).

    Good luck with your first exam. Once you’ve taken one then you’re up and running. If I were you, I’d use the second shot offer to retake the exam for free if you’re not successful first time – and then just go for it. That way you can get a feel for what’s involved and you won’t lose out financially either.


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