As we get started I want to talk just a second here about Practice Exams. Now the first thing that you need to understand about Practice Exams is that you need to use them. They are an excellent way to kind of finish up and really dig into and find out if you're ready for this Exam. Now you should use these Practice Exams as your last step in preparation. You're not going to be able to find any one single piece of exam prep material that will actually get you ready in all areas for these exams and if you've ever taken a Microsoft Exam then you will understand what I'm talking about. But they don't just ask you for things that you've memorized and they don't even ask you things necessarily that you know, say, about Group Policy. They will ask you a question that for you to get to the correct answer you have to understand not only how Group Policy works but how it works in relation to other parts of Active Directory so you have to kind of intimately know two or three technologies and how they work together to be able to figure out the correct answer. While courses like this will help you understand what to do, how to understand various technologies, it's almost impossible to anticipate everywhere Microsoft can go with questions. There's approximately, you know, 100 million questions they could possibly ask you. Normally they're pulling from a pool of probably three to four hundred questions, but they've been very meticulous in the way they have built these questions, so these Practice Exams really, really help you. I will give you a couple of suggestions here, but I'll strongly suggest that you go out and do some searching on the Internet, talk to some friends who have taken exams and see what test prep software they used. The first one is Self Test Software, this is at www.selftestsoftware.com. These people are endorsed by Microsoft. As a matter of fact, if you go to Microsoft's site and start looking under Training and Certification that you will see them listed as some suggested test prep material. Same thing for MesaureUp - www.measureup.com. These people have demo practice exams you can take, they have practice packages that you can purchase. Some of them have study sheets, they have a lot of things that will help you. But now let's talk about exactly how to use these practice tools to get ready for the exam. First of all, do just what you're doing right now. Watch videos like this one, go out and grab some of the third party books and go through them, but you want to get your hands on the software and, more importantly than anything work with the software, do some very focused study, go out to Microsoft's site and look for the things that they say are important; the things that they're going to cover. And once you think you've got your hands around it and you think you're pretty well understanding things, take your first practice exam. Now most of these exams will have a number of questions and they will randomly pull questions from that pool so you won't get the same questions over and over. But you don't want to take these exams too often because you will kind of tend to fool yourself because you're actually memorizing the questions. Now when you take the practice exam the first few times pay attention to what you're missing. Don't make it an ego game about how many I can get right. Watch and see the ones you're missing, pay close attention to why you missed it and these exams will show you why the wrong answers are wrong and why the right one is right and so you want to pay close attention there because you want to see where you're missing something. Pay attention to why you're missing the questions. Did they misdirect me? Did I get confused? Did I assume something? Do I have something confused here about some particular technology? Don't panic. The first time you take a practice exam you will fail it and probably fail it miserably. It's just because of the way they're putting the things together and a lot of times they'll force you to think about technologies and the way they fit together in a way that you haven't before. Now here's what you want to do. Take the practice exam the first couple of times paying close attention to what you're missing, to where you're getting confused and then go study that stuff, get your hands on it. Now how do you know when you're ready? When you can take a practice exam and score 85 percent or above you should be fine for the final Microsoft Exam. Now that's a generality and it's hard to give you specifics here but don't take this practice exam like 200 times and memorize questions. However, when you answer these questions on the exam make it kind of a point to look at the answers and say OK, no, no, no - A is wrong because. B is wrong because, because you can't have ASP.NET on Server Core, right? Those kinds of things. C is correct because and you know why it's correct and D is incorrect because. So make sure you fully understand as much as you can off these practice exams and again, when you hit a place where they're constantly tripping you up, come back into this video, look at that topic, go chase it down on TechNet, go get your hands on some other third-party books out in the bookstores, but I will strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to purchase a practice exam. It's basically the same price as failing the real exam the first time for most of these products, so it's well worth the money.
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