punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,
punkwalrus
punkwalrus

Going to be getting my MCI/TP, what's the exam environment like?

So, due to some silliness at work I couldn't explain without some serious sarcasm, apparently to be a Microsoft Certified shop, one has to have Microsoft certified employees on site. I know, right? Having one certified employee who has an expired MCSE (2000) cert seems to be a problem my company has not addressed since the last Windows admin quit a few years ago. I'd rather not explain the politics, but the current end result: I got to get Microsoft certified, and fast. The company is paying for my exams (well, reimbursing me for any that pass) and any textbooks (via a company Safari account), but not any actual real training. Yes, they should pay for real training, I am aware of that, I have barked up that tree with no results, so before I get into this pointless rant, let's move on without getting mired in The Land of Shoulda.

I am a Linux admin, but I am not a fanboy about it. I don't mind getting an MCI/TP at all, heck, it seems like fun, and I have never gotten a cert in something that I later regretted. Currently, I am on the fast track to get the MCI/TP "Server Administrator" Cert which involves 3 exams, which I plan to take in the following order:

Exam 70-646: Windows Server 2008 Server Administrator
Exam 70-640: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring
Exam 70-642: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring

Now, I am certified in a various sundry of Linux and networking pedigrees. I have taken CompTIA, LPI, Novell, Cisco, and Red Hat exams. I am familiar with multiple choice, fill-in-the-blanks, and simulation tests. I am also rather familiar with Windows itself, from install to maintenance, as part of my daily job. I have worked extensively with Windows 2000 and 2003 with a history of training in MCP for Windows NT 4.0. I have worked a lot with with DNS, Active Directory, IIS, and a little Exchange and MS SQL up to 2005. I am pretty confident around Windows, but have no real training since NT 4.0 was out. So I won't be starting from nothing, just filling in a lot of gaps where my experience hasn't taught me something.

So far the documentation on what the exams are like are lacking, but I think a lot of it is that my Google-fu is clouded with a bazillion websites trying to sell me certs, cert prep courses, brain dumps, practices tests, and a lot of outdated MCSE information. Oddly enough, the textbooks I have for these exams (the Microsoft Press ones) are very lacking when it comes to "what the exam environment is like." So here are my questions:

1. Are those exams (and thus, my self-studying) in roughly the right order? I am trying to learn the base installs from the ground up to fill in missing gaps.
2. Are the newer exams multiple choice, fill in the blank, lab simulations, what?
3. What are the Prometric testing centers like? How long is the exam?
4. Any tips on exam taking?
5. Any links and other good resources that are free or nearly free?

I could use the help, I am being thrown to the wolves, here.
Tags: mcitp, microsoft, windows
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