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BlueWolf's Howl

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January 31, 2004

Hard at study...

I took the plunge and scheduled the 70-214 test for this Monday!

I've been through the material a couple of times and now I'm down to the part where I just practice answering questions. Reading the question and understanding "the trick" or the idea that they're trying to test is half the work of a Microsoft test.

The chapter tests are going smoothly. I'm getting 65 on some chapters and 90 on others. So I review the material and practice more. [I still have another day of studying, so I should be on target by testing day...]

I've found that using a laptop to study has been a wonderful idea. I installed W2K Server on the laptop and promoted it to a domain controller. This allows me to look at all the Active Directory stuff and click around on the settings without having to worry about messing up my "regular" computer. I've been able to follow along with the examples in the book with ease. The other benefit is that it's not connected to any network (private or public). This means I'm not distracted by playing in my email or surfing the web while I'm studying. Ditto with installing the book's CD on the laptop. I can concentrate on the tests and don't have the option of wandering off to read something on a site...

Note: this works well with 120-day trial versions of software. It gives you enough time to learn and study and then you just reformat when you're done. Cost = $0. And I'm using a laptop only because that's what was available to me. You can also do the same thing with an extra computer and monitor. You can get a bare-bones computer or someone's old throwaway...as long as it meets the minimum install requirements. I suggest putting it in an area away from your regular, connected computer. The laptop is in the kitchen and my "real" computer is in the living room.

The plan for tonight is to finish all the chapter tests until I'm 100% on each chapter. Tomorrow's plan is to go over the Assessment Test and two Bonus Exams. Once they're under my belt, I'll surf around for some free practice quizzes and exams. I should be ready by Monday morning.

From what I've seen on cert sites, this test is a "medium" difficulty exam. It's supposed to be about as hard as the Security+ exam. Luckily, I have a lot of hands-on experience with implementing some of these security measures at work, so those sections are easy. From what I've looked up, the test should have 50 questions and give me 120 min to complete them. 700 is the passing score. It looks like I'll have plenty of time to work through the questions and won't be rushed. I should do fine (yes, I'm trying to convince myself of that...)

I'll be updating the "pages read" and "books read" stats on Monday evening after the test. That way I can update the entire sidebar (hopefully with another exam done too). My next set of goals (after passing this test and getting my MCSE:Security) will be to finish up the last two Cisco exams and get that Ethics exam completed. Thanks to some timely info from a fellow BS/CIS student at Excelsior, I will be able to afford the Ethics exam sooner than expected. It seems the DANTES exams are *much* cheaper and count for the same credit. Thanks Merill!!!

Posted by BlueWolf on January 31, 2004 10:00 PM