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Step 8: Prepping for individual exams (The self-study prep approach)

When it comes to pursuing Microsoft certifications, nothing beats well-rehearsed preparation and practice. Though the details involved in pursuing the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification differ somewhat from those involved in pursuing the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credential, the same general approach works well in both cases. This learning guide provides a step-by-step approach to helping you prep for certification.

There are lots of tools that certification candidates can use to help them prepare. The two most common exam prep approaches are self-study (no classes) and class-driven study (one or more classes of some kind).

The self-study prep approach has the advantages of being entirely self-driven and the most inexpensive overall strategy by far. The primary disadvantage is that self-study candidates don't have access to an experienced, knowledgeable instructor or mentor who can help them solve problems, answer questions or clarify matters as needed.

The ingredients required for self-study prep are as follows:

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