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What books would you recommend to prepare for Microsoft Certified Professionals certification?

I'm a recent graduate about to start studies for my Microsoft Certified Professionals certification. Before that I would be doing A+, but I want to know which book you would recommend I use to study from for my MCP certification exam?

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There are many MCP exams you can take to pursue that credential, and which one you choose depends on your ultimate target credential, especially as it pertains to Windows Server 2003 (MCSA, MCSE, MCAD, MCSD, MCDBA, and so forth) or the forthcoming Windows Vista and "next-generation" credentials (MCTS, MCITP 'admin', 'database' or 'programming'). With over 50 potential exams to choose from, I am unable to recommend one specific book across the board. If you want to go looking for a specific exam that interests you, and post again to identify it, I'll be happy to make a more specific recommendation.

For the moment, I'll simply suggest an identification strategy to help you choose such a book for yourself. Using the Microsoft Exam code as a search string at Amazon.com or your favorite online bookstore, look for those titles that earn the best reviews and get the highest rankings as reasonably reliable indicators of what works and what doesn't. If you're still not sure, look for online forums that cover the exam subject matter (such as those at www.cramsession.com or at www.mcmcse.com and so forth), and ask for input and advice from the user community.

This was first published in May 2006

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