I’ve just completed exams 70-667 and 70-668 yesterday and today, making me an MCITP: SharePoint Administrator 2010. Woohoo! But this is not an own-horn-tooting exercise; I have a tip to offer on sitting these exams.
As I started preparing for these exams last week, I was under the misapprehension that there was very little in the way of guidance on the Microsoft Learning site. I think I perceived things this way because there wasn’t much to go on when the exams were first launched. But when I checked again last week I was happy to find a link to a learning plan from the Preparation Materials tab of the 70-667 page. Unfortunately, the 70-668 page does not contain a link to a learning plan (it’s listed but unlinked), but it does exist! I just searched for it on the Training Catalogue.
I also had a look at other resources, such as the Accelerated Ideas free practice tests, Paul Grimley’s post and Benjamin Athawes’ very thorough review. While I found each of these resources helpful in different ways, I opted to stick strictly to the learning plan, focusing purely on TechNet for the remainder of my study time. I basically clicked through to every link from the Learning Plans – many of which contain many more links. I’ve just looked at my browser history for the last week. There’s 267 TechNet pages in there. Obviously, this is a huge amount of information to take in (my brain really hurts), but the quality is great and it’s very well targeted for a crash course/review like this.
Probably most importantly, I learned loads! A lot of this content didn’t exist when I was focused on learning SharePoint 2010, so I (re)acquainted myself with lots of topics that I really should have known more about before starting this process. While there are other more exam-specific approaches to preparation, I feel like I got a great tuition out of this process. I’ve been marking many links to revisit when I have more time, I’ve validated some things I was unsure of and I’ve corrected some misunderstandings. All of this is really valuable for improving quality and for gauging what we do and don’t know.
I managed to pull this off with a little over three days of study (for both exams, in total). About a day of that time was spent figuring out where to start, getting distracted, etc., but I was also able to skip quickly through some content that I was already familiar with, so I reckon 3-5 days is probably a decent estimate of how long it will take to prepare from these learning plans. Keep in mind: I’ve been working with SharePoint for seven years, and I’ve been on the Ignite training for SharePoint 2010, so I may be taking some things for granted.
How did I do? I got a 950/1000 on 70-667 and a 930/1000 on 70-668. 700 is required to pass. In retrospect, this may be over-preparation, but I neither know where else I might draw the line of sufficient preparation, nor do I have any regrets about the additional knowledge I’ve acquired. SharePoint is a complicated beast. Exams like these are sometimes the only catalysts for learning broader/deeper than our daily duties allow.
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