Guy’s Revision Techniques
Let us suppose that you have not lifted any weights for a year, or that you have never run more than 10 yards since you were 18. What would you expect from your first training session? How near would you be to lifting 200 lbs or running 2 miles non-stop? My guess is that you would feel tired and frustrated in equal measure.
The feelings and strategy are somewhat similar when you revise for an MCP exam. It’s normal not to be able to concentrate on more than 10 questions the very first time you revise. It’s quite O.K to get half of the answers wrong. In fact, 50% would be an excellent result on your very first try.
Just as athletes build and exercise muscle, so you need to develop your ‘thinking muscle’ and your ‘exam sinews’.
Get Practice Questions
As a veteran who has helped over 200 people through the exams, I have never met anyone who has not used example questions to prepare for their exam. So, we will take it for granted that you will get a stock of exam questions. These practice questions will be your most valuable revision resource, so do not squander them. It is much better to read through them slowly, than race through and peek at the answers. Just as athletes, warm up gradually, take 3 minutes each for your first few questions; even do a little research from TechNet or help, before you take a stab at the answer.
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What have to learn to do is read, slowly, savour each phrase, keep asking; ‘what was the clue there? How was that relevant? For example:
Q) In amongst a huge complicated domain structure, there were 6 member servers in a Workgroup. How would configure an audit policy.
A) Put the 6 servers in an OU, apply a policy template
B) Use Active Directory, default domain policy
C) Create a Policy Template and import to each server
D) Configure the policy settings manually on each server
Now I have condensed the question to highlight the significance of the phrase ‘in a Workgroup. Why did the examiner tell us that? Because he can introduce 2 red-herrings that only exist in a domain.
Set your self targets. For example:
1) How many questions can you attempt before looking at the answers. 15, then 25 then a full exam set of 45 questions.
2) Record how many careless, silly mistakes you make. It still surprises and annoys me, that half of all the questions that I get wrong, are not lack of knowledge, but because I did not read the question properly. I know this is a disgrace, I must do better! How are you on careless errors?
3) When you do find a new or obscure area of knowledge, do a little research read around the topic.