I want to ask about an important question that is in the hearts of all beginners of the MCSE 2000 track. The question is: How should we prepare for the exam? I am taking the prep for this test from an authorized institution of Microsoft in Pakistan. But I still don't know how I should best approach the tests.

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The short answer to your question is: study, learn, practice, assess; repeat as necessary. To be more informative, those terms should be interpreted as follows:
  • Study: take courses, read books, perform labs and hands-on exercises to get familiar with the subject matter.

  • Learn: work your way through sample test questions, problems and so forth to make sure you're understanding the information you need to know to pass the exam.

  • Practice: take one or more practice exams until you can pass them with ease; then, you should be quite ready to tackle the real thing.

  • Assess: examine your practice test scores and performance to identify areas in need of further study, hands-on work, reading, or thought.

  • Repeat as necessary: repeat the four preceding steps until you can attain a passing score on the exam that is at least 10% greater than the minimum passing score (this helps you compensate for "exam anxiety" when you take the real thing, which usually results in lower scores than in a less stressful situation).

You will also find lots of good advice and preparation tips, in general, and for specific exams at quality exam preparation sites like www.cramsession.com, www.certcities.com, and so forth.

HTH, --Ed--

This was first published in April 2002

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