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Microsoft certification exams: Transcender kits?

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Microsoft certification exams: Transcender kits?

Old 01-28-04, 05:37 PM
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Microsoft certification exams: Transcender kits?

I've been using Microsoft's textbooks to study for the first of the MCSD exams (Windows application development.) I've done OK so far, but not as well as I'd like.

A friend is recommending that I pick up the Transcender packs. To my surprise, I find that they're much more expensive: the Microsoft prep kit cost me $140 for the texts for four exams, but the Transcender kits run $490!

What's the deal? Are they that good?

For those of you who have previously taken these exams (MCSD/MCSE/MCDBA), what did you use to study, and how did it go? What can you recommend?

- David Stein
Old 01-28-04, 05:56 PM
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I've used them for NT4 tests and they were great. I passed all the tests without touching an NT server. After I got experience I don't need them anymore.

Personally braindumps are the same thing and cheaper. There have been rumors circulating for years that trannies sent people in to take the tests and to remember questions. A lot of the questions on the NT4 tests were either word for word or too close to the tranny questions to be a coincidence.
Old 01-28-04, 06:06 PM
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I'm a little leery about letting trannies prepare me for an exam...

Hey, it is Microsoft after all; maybe that has a nugget of truth about it...

- David Stein
Old 01-28-04, 06:23 PM
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Transcenders were instrumental in helping me pass 2 MS certification tests. I plan to use them for my next exam. I recommend them highly. I also believe that they sent people into the MS exams to see what the questions were like. The only difference between MS tests and Transcenders is that the Transcenders are about 35% harder than the MS tests (they - the transcenders, really try to trick you so you have to know your shit). If you can pass the Transcenders with an 80%, you will pass the Microsoft exam. It costs more, but then again, you could just keep paying for exams as well.
Old 01-28-04, 06:33 PM
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Did you think of emailing Julie Wa... Oh, sorry. I thought you said "transgender".
Old 01-28-04, 07:02 PM
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Well, this thread has taken an unexpected turn...

Seriously, any more advice? I'd be grateful.

- David Stein
Old 01-28-04, 09:33 PM
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They're worth the money, especially if you get them as part of a package deal.

I passed 10 MCP exams in a six-month period with no failures, and Transcenders were instrumental in that success.

RD (MCSD/MCDBA/MCSE)
Old 01-29-04, 01:41 AM
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Originally posted by DivxGuy
I passed 10 MCP exams in a six-month period with no failures, and Transcenders were instrumental in that success.
That's impressive. I'm hoping to complete 12 in 12-18 months.

Some questions:

1) How familiar were you with each topic before you cracked open the Transcender stuff? It's my understanding that they just tune your skills to the exams - you're supposed to know everything beforehand. I've never touched a SQL Server or a network administration install, so virtually all of this I'll be learning from scratch.

2) How much prep did each exam take you, on average? I'm planning on spending about 60 hours total for each exam, accounting for reading all of the material, doing all of the labs, and prepping for each exam. Is that about right, or way overkill?

- David Stein
Old 01-30-04, 03:42 PM
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Note that the speed was due to my having devoted full-time

How familiar were you with each topic before you cracked open the Transcender stuff?
Pfft...I had barely the most cursory knowledge of many of the MCSE subjects. It's amazing how much you can learn in two weeks, if you're willing to study hard. Raw analytical skills help, too.

As a point of note, the MCSE exams tended to be easier than some of the development ones. The SQL Server design exam was the hardest of all and it took months of full-time study to get up to speed on it.

For the six Win2K exams, I didn't spend more than two weeks on any of them (including the hardest one, 70-216).

What did I use for prep? Books, mostly mail-order, but including a Sybex box set I picked up from CostCo, MSDN library edition, and the Transcenders (I bought most of them through package deals).

The Transcenders are expensive, but note that they're roughly equivalent in price to a single failure at the real thing.

RD
Old 01-30-04, 04:27 PM
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Originally posted by DivxGuy
It's amazing how much you can learn in two weeks, if you're willing to study hard.
That's my ace in the hole. 18 months ago, when I was studying for the bar exam, I studied 6+ hours a day after work, and all day on Saturday and Sunday, every day for three months. My friends kept asking my girlfriend if I'd been kidnapped.
Originally posted by DivxGuy
As a point of note, the MCSE exams tended to be easier than some of the development ones. The SQL Server design exam was the hardest of all and it took months of full-time study to get up to speed on it.
Interesting. Yeah, I'm starting with the Windows applications one, and the sample questions that I've seen have been extremely picky - i.e., "what are the parameters in a Connection.Open call?" It's kind of bogus, since Visual Studio lists them for you when you type in the function call...
Originally posted by DivxGuy
For the six Win2K exams, I didn't spend more than two weeks on any of them (including the hardest one, 70-216).
That is outstanding news. I was basing my study plan on my experiences with the Windows applications exam, which, altogether, will have taken about a month of prep (and this is for a topic I already knew quite well.) So it's great to hear that these less-familiar topics are considerably easier.

You've sold me on the Transcenders. I'll be ordering my set probably this weekend...

- David Stein
Old 01-30-04, 09:24 PM
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I spent several months of prep on 70-029, three weeks on 70-100, and one month on 070-015/70-016.

The networking exams didn't cover as much area, and thus didn't require the same kind of effort as the development ones.

One thing I learned was that it can be self-defeating in taking too long to prepare (knowledge fades and has to be re-learned).

Good luck!

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