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  • Mike Rodrick

    Hey @Daniel-Loyer ,

    First, don't get down on yourself! It's a lot of work, but you can do it!

    Second, forget about the 70-697 exam. You are just adding unnecessary pressure on yourself. If you were 98% ready for the exam, I might recommend trying to get it done before it retires. Since you are not ready, lets move on. All of your studying will still apply to the new exams! So you haven't lost any time.

    There is no advantage in getting 70-697 vs the new MD exams. In fact, I would like the newer certs on my resume anyways! Either way, you are showing a potential employer you are skilled at managing Windows 10 clients.

    So let's focus on the MD-100, and go from there.

    As for your studying, I see a lot of books and videos. I'll admit I'm a little biased, but ITProTV should be first on your list ;)

    All kidding aside, it's good to use multiple sources for your studying. The thing that worries me is I don't see any type of hands-on learning. What are you doing for practice??

    Don't underestimate the importance of hands-on practice. It will help enforce the information you are reading/watching. Especially now, with the new exams having more practical/apply your skills type questions. Take advantage of ITProTV's Practice Labs. Set up your own virtual labs. Do both!!!

    I can't stress the hands-on enough! Read about something, and then try it! If the video shows you how to do it in the GUI do that first. Then try to do it with PowerShell!! Anything you can do in the GUI you can do in PowerShell. Then try do it without the step-by-step instructions. Then do it again, lol. The point is, you have to practice, not just read about it or watch someone else do it. You watch someone to learn how, you practice it to remember how and get good at something.

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  • Mike Rodrick

    1. The new microsoft exams may also have case studies

    From MIcrosoft:

    The case study exam format uses complex scenarios that more accurately simulate what professionals do on the job. Scenario-based questions included in the case studies are designed to test your ability to identify the critical information needed to solve a problem and then analyze and synthesize it to make decisions. You can refer to scenario details as often as you’d like while you are working on questions in a case study.

    1. Some screens you cannot go back and change your answer(s).

    From Microsoft:

    You may review the questions in a case study until you move to the next case or section of the exam. Once you leave a case study, however, you will not be able to review the questions associated with that case. When you complete a case study and its associated questions, a review screen will appear. This screen lets you review your answers and make changes before you move to the next case study.

    So in the end, yes the exams are not easy, this is by design. Case studies and performance based questions are different, and will take some getting used to, but they more accurately determine if you truly understand a concept, and can perform certain tasks, which is what the certification is supposed to do. When an HR person sees you are certified, they know you can walk the walk, not just talk the talk, lol.

    Books are still a big part of my studying process. I have found myself buying more eBooks however. Many print books come with access to an electronic version. Most have a website where they can post new or changed information, or errata.

    Hope this helps, make sure to watch our webinar ;)

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  • Mike Rodrick

    Hey @Daniel-Loyer,

    Microsoft exams are not easy, and they never have been. If they were, then everyone would be certified and the certification wouldn't be worth much ;)

    That being said, with the proper preparation and studying, you will be successful!

    I did a webinar recently with @Cherokee-Boose , where we discuss many of the questions you are asking. Check it out here: Microsoft Certification Test Prep

    1. They discussed that the Microsoft Exam Objectives can be changed within the 60 days period?

    From Microsoft:

    We review our cloud-based exams every two months. Any changes that affect the objective domain and the existing questions are incorporated into the exam. Specifically, technically inaccurate questions are removed from the exam; some items are modified, and new items may be created to assess new, but related, skills.

    So yes they can (and probably will) change the exam over time. This doesn't mean the entire exam is rewritten every 60 days. They make small changes to keep the exam current and accurate, if necessary. If you have prepared properly, and understand the listed objectives, a change to a question or two is not going to mean the difference between passing and failing. You do not need to get a 100% to pass the exam either. Usually 700 out of 900, or around 78%.

    1. They are saying that performance based exams are longer (180 mins or 3 hours?)

    From Microsoft:

    Yes. These exams may take longer to complete than exams that do not contain performance-based items; however, our research suggests that most candidates complete tasks more quickly than they complete other item types. The amount of time allotted for each exam takes this into account.

    So yes, the exam does allow more time, that doesn't mean you have to use it all. If you get done before the exam timer expires, there is no penalty. But if you need more time, it's available. I would much rather have too much time, so I could spend extra time on a question I was struggling with, rather than have to Christmas tree the last ten questions because I was running out of time. Less pressure is a good thing ;)

    1. May require a bigger monitor?

    Not sure about this one. Some test centers might be using older equipment. If they are still using 15" monitors, they might need to upgrade. A 15" monitor might be fine for a standard format exam, but if you are going to be given an actual desktop to work from, it won't be sufficient. Take your Windows 10 machine and set the resolution to 800x600. It will warn you that the resolution is too low and some items might not be displayed. So yep, if they are using CRT's at your test center, they will need to upgrade. I have seen some pretty crappy test centers, so it might be a good idea to scope out the test center before you register.

    1. Might have to take it at home since most testing centres might not have bigger monitors

    Taking a test from home is an option for many Microsoft exams, but I can tell you from personal experience, it's not as easy as it sounds. There are a lot of requirements to ensure you are not trying to cheat on the exam. I find it much easier to go to a test center that has already been certified. I had to find a room with no windows or blinds on the windows. You have to use the camera and do a 360 of the room so the proctor can verify. It has to be quiet. They are listening (and watching). If they hear anyone else, they can end the exam. Even talking out loud to yourself can be a problem. (I always talk to myself during an exam, lol)

    to be continued...

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  • Mike Rodrick

    Hey @Daniel-Loyer ,

    The MCSA: Cloud Platform has retired, as of December 31, 2018, and you are right about 70-346 and 70-347 exams, and the MCSA: Office 365 certification retiring in April, 2019. Things are changing fast!

    IMHO, I wouldn't worry about trying to take any of the tests that are scheduled to retire. Everything you have learned in your studies so far will apply to the new exams, so no time or effort lost :)

    Role-based certification is the new model for Microsoft certifications. I agree with @Richard-Naylor , this is a welcome change, as the exams were getting really broad in subject matter.

    As for your certification path, it really depends on where you want to end up. It is important that you have a long term goal in mind. It sounds like you want to focus on cloud-based skills. I would definitely recommend the Comp-TIA Cloud+, as a good starting point.

    As for Microsoft certifications, I would recommend looking at the Microsoft Certified Azure Fundamentals This is Microsoft's new entry-level Azure certification. You only need one exam, AZ-900.

    After that, you might look at Microsoft 365 Certified Fundamentals. Only one exam for this as well, the MS-900.

    Once you have these fundamental certs done, you will need to decide whats next. Hopefully by working on the fundamental exams, you have realized what you enjoy and what area you would like to focus on. Try browsing to Microsoft's role-based certifications and choose Associate from the 'Certification Level' filter and pick what's next!

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  • Mike Rodrick

    @Daniel-Loyer

    One thing I have found with my own laptop, is disk contention quickly becomes a bottleneck. My laptop's original configuration was
    256GB solid state drive, where OS was installed
    1TB spinning drive for storage (VMs)
    32GB RAM, thank you ITProTV :))

    What I found, is that if I ran more than two VMs at the same time, performance took a hit. Memory and CPU weren't the problem. When I monitored performance, I was seeing 100% disk utilization on my D drive (the 1TB spinning disk)

    Then I upgraded my spinning disk to a 1TB Samsung SSD 860 EVO. WOW! No performance issues when running FIVE VMs at the same time!

    So my recommendation would be to use SSD for all drives. They are a little more expensive, but well worth it. Even if it means smaller drives.

    For the OS, look at 250GB SSD. You could use a 120GB SSD.

    For the storage drive, as much SSD as you can afford. 500GB can store a lot of virtual machines. (My VMs average around 50GB each)

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  • Mike Rodrick

    @Vincent-Houckham

    Yes you can! If you compare the exam objectives from 70-697 and 70-698, you will see a lot of overlap with MD-100 and MD-101. There is of course some new objectives as well, but much of the knowledge you gained in preparing for the MCSA:Windows 10 will apply.

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  • Mike Rodrick

    @Daniel-Loyer

    The MD-100 exam is no longer beta. It is one of the required exams to earn the Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate (MD-101 is the other).

    The MD-100 is still in production, so there are exam objectives that we have not covered yet (should be finished soon).

    You will need to take the MD-101 exam before you receive a certification. (Microsoft 365 Certified: Modern Desktop Administrator Associate)

    From MIcrosoft:

    The Microsoft Certified Professional certification is no longer available. When you pass an MCP exam, it will be added to your transcript but you may not be able to take advantage of all program benefits until you successfully earn your first certification. You can review all certifications associated with the Microsoft Certification Program on the Microsoft Technical Certifications page.

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  • Mike Rodrick

    @Daniel-Loyer ,

    The 70-697 was one of the required exams to obtain the MCSA: Windows 10 certification. It will be retired on April 30, 2019.

    The MCSA: Windows 10 retires on April 30, 2019.

    From MIcrosoft:

    The Microsoft Certified Professional certification is no longer available. When you pass an MCP exam, it will be added to your transcript but you may not be able to take advantage of all program benefits until you successfully earn your first certification. You can review all certifications associated with the Microsoft Certification Program on the Microsoft Technical Certifications page.

    So to answer your question, no, you will not receive an MCP Certification. You will, however, be considered an MCP, and it will show on your transcript. You will not be able to access the MCP site until you complete your first certification.

    Very confusing, I know. MIcrosoft is changing a lot in the certification area, we just have to wait and see whats next.

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  • Mike Rodrick

    @Daniel-Loyer ,

    Thanks for pointing that out, they should be available now.

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