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BlueWolf's Howl

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June 01, 2004

The Speed of Light

Well...I finally passed the 70-292!

I made a significant improvement in speed. Here are some things that helped:

I practiced recognizing blocks of sentences. The "scenarios" that are set up are pretty finite in number. Recognizing a group of sentences as a unit (as opposed to reading each individual word) helped to save time. Also, if you're used to seeing "XX Windows 2003 Servers, XXXX Windows 2000 and XXXX Windows XP workstations," you will quickly notice a "bump" if they slide "NT" in the middle of it. If you practice enough, you can scan the question and still read it correctly -somewhat "bouncing" onto the significant words.

On a long question... skip the first paragraph or two. If you need to really know it, you can go back. More often than not, you don't need that info to answer the question. In a nutshell, the first paragraph is the computer equivalent of "Once upon a time in a land far, far away...."

When you get a question with multiple frames or a scroll bar, take the scroll bars and scroll them all the way down and all the way to the right. THEN read the question. Skip all the exhibits until after you've read the question. I had the habit of viewing the exhibit in the middle of the question and trying to fix the diagram in my mind while trying to read. SCROLL, READ the question, LOOK at the exhibits (and scroll them as soon as you open them and *then* look at them). Last time I took this exam, I wasted quite a few minutes (that I didn't have to spare) when I tried to click to the next question. After a few seconds, an error message pops up that warns you about not having seen the entire exhibit or entire question. This will continue until you "view" the entire screen -- including all the white space around the edges of the diagram. These "helpful warnings" not only waste your time, but also add to your frustration and can be distracting to your "flow." You will spend time (that you don't have) cursing at it instead of racing to the next question. If you scroll first, you've eliminated that obstacle and can face the question as you would a problem at work: Know the situation, look at the pertinent screen, fix it. Looking at the exhibit in the middle of the question is like watching a powerpoint briefing. If you read the full question first, you'll know the full situation (and what you're looking to make happen), then you look at the screen shot and can zero in on it quicker.

Play Tetris on a very high level. Seriously. It works. It trains your mind to find patterns quickly and react as fast as possible. Once the mind is in that mode, it does many things in that manner. [Note: Do NOT try this before sex -- it can be hazardous to your health (your partner may go upside your head)]

Well....only one more miserable Microsoft test and I can go back to knocking out the Cisco exams. The Cisco material is harder and you have to know more material, but the testing itself is just plain and simple. Do you know it? Put it down. Go to the next question. I guess the material itself is the challenge and luckily Cisco doesn't feel such a need to play tricks with time or wording to "raise the bar" on their exams.

Good luck and thanks for all the well wishes while I studied to get this one!

Posted by BlueWolf on June 1, 2004 10:55 PM