Category Archives: Exams


Following some late night cramming yesterday, this morning I headed off to my local Prometric center to sit my latest exam, Configuring Windows 2008 Active Directory, aka 70-640.

Aside from playing around with a couple of VM images a couple of weeks ago, and reading through the Microsoft Press book, I had done relatively little to prepare for this exam. I was especially weak in Certificate Services and Federation Services, having not really had any hands on experience with either technology. I was considering post-poning the exam until I could get some more hands-on time under my belt, but in the end decided to bite the bullet.

This is the first exam I’ve done for a while which I’ve come away from feeling physically exhausted! I passed with a respectable 820, although I’m not entirely sure how as many of my answers were … well, lets call them educated guesses.

Anyone sitting this exam should make sure they’re intimately aware of the ins and outs of Certificate Services, Federation Services and Group Policy. I also had several questions on disaster recovery, permission delegation and DNS. Actually, thinking back, the questions seem to cover pretty much every area in the syllabus. One upside I found was that there wasn’t as much command line or powershell stuff as I was expecting.

In hindsight, 9:30 on a Monday morning is not a good time for an exam!!

So glad this one’s behind me, I think I’ll take a week or two off before starting on my next one, 70-642 Configuring Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure.

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Posted by on August 23, 2010 in Exams


70-680 Configuring Windows 7

Today I sat 70-680 (Configuring Windows 7), which is my first Microsoft exam since, well, all the Windows 2000 ones I guess.

I’d spent quite a bit of time reading the official Microsoft study guide, and equal amounts of time getting hands on experience with Windows 7 in preparation for this exam. Even though I have had a lot of practical experience with OS’es since Win2000, I was still nervous about actually sitting this one, as there are a lot of new topics ripe for examination, included a lot of command line stuff (not that I mind that, being a Linux fan-boy!).

Having postponed the exam once, I finally sat it this afternoon and passed with a score of 833. Many of the 50 questions seemed to test skills I would consider to be very basic, such as looking at a network diagram and deciding what you should set as the default gateway for a given PC. There were a few questions that made me think, mainly because they covered topics I’m not well versed in yet (such as IPv6), but on the whole, this was a very basic exam. While there were a few questions on system deployment, there was only one that dealt with the dism.exe command.

Oh well, heres hoping that the Server 2008 exams pose a bit more of a challenge!

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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Exams


Post-Exam Thoughts on the UCP

Took the exam for my Ubuntu Certified Professional this morning.

My main thought, having passed the exam, was that it seemed a bit…well, easy. A prerequisite of sitting the UCP is that you’ve previously passed the LPIC-1. Because of this, I was expecting the UCP to be a step up from the LPIC-1. Sadly, it wasn’t.

I found the content to be fairly simple, many questions were basic enough that pretty much any Linux sysadmin would have got the question right with no hesitation. Stuff such as knowing what /etc/exports is used for, how to create an alias and so on.

My other gripe with the exam is with the logic of one or two of the questions. For example, I had a multiple choice question with five possible answers. The question was good enough to tell me that I needed to select the 5 correct answers. But…the question had only given me 5 possible options, so clearly they were all correct.

Anyway, I shouldn’t complain too loudly, I passed and now have another cert under my belt.

Next up, 70-680 – Configuring Windows 7.

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Posted by on February 22, 2010 in Exams


Pre-Exam Thoughts on the UCP

Having run out of reasons why I can put off booking my Ubuntu Certified Professional exam any longer, I finally made an appointment at my local training center to sit the exam.

I have to say, I’m a little nervous about this one. Not because I’m expecting the exam material to be particularly tricky. It’s just that the objectives cover quite a wide area, and there is a lot (and I mean a lot) of potential for nasty little questions. The sorts of questions that would have any sysadmin reaching for the man pages just to double check the exact syntax of the command switches.

Unfortunately, the number of questions on the exam also seems quite low. While you might think that’s a good thing (who wants to sit a really long exam, right?), it does mean that if I get several questions on areas I’m not so strong on, it could have quite a large negative impact on my overall score. At least with a higher number of questions, I’d stand a better chance of ironing out any bumps caused by a few bad questions!

The other thing that’s concerning me is that I’m still not entirely sure which Ubuntu the exam is actually based on. I’ve installed and used every release since 6.06, the book I’ve been studying from uses version 7.04 and the latest version is 9.10. Given that there are various differences between each release, such as commands disappearing or appearing, updated GUI tools, syntax changes etc, it’d be nice to know that the exam focuses on one specific version of Ubuntu. I’ve worked my way through the objectives (several times), but they are quite vague so I often find myself unsure of how far into a given area I should be reading.

Oh well, things could be worse. I could be preparing to sit a Microsoft exam armed only with a fundamental lack of knowledge about the exam topic (good luck with that Chris!).

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Posted by on January 26, 2010 in Exams