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An Exam Tip for MCSE 2003 Candidates

Many of you are in the process of earning your Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credential in Windows Server 2003. I have an insider's tip that may shorten your certification path somewhat.

Here's the deal, friends: to fulfill your client OS exam requirement for the MCSE 2003, you can take either of the following two tests:

  • Exam 70-270: Installing, Configuring, and Administering Windows XP Professional
  • Exam 70-620: TS: Windows Vista, Configuring

Even if you know little about Windows Vista, I would strongly encourage you to study for and pass the 70-620 exam instead of the 70-270? Why?

I have inside information, that I am happy to pass along to you, that Microsoft has been outsourcing much of their certification exam content development to India, at FAR less cost then what they spent hiring American MCTs to write the MCSE 2003 exams a handful of years ago.

How does this bit o' trivia translate for you, the test-taker? Essentially that you get what you pay for, and the 70-620 exam is, in my opinion. completely "Mickey Mouse."

I have taught the Microsoft Official Course (MOC) for 70-270, and it frankly does not cover all of the objectives that are presented on the live exam. That is, I have taught stellar students who then went into the test room and spectacularly failed their exam because they weren't prepared for detailed questions on, say, Active Directory and Remote Installation Services (RIS).

The 70-620 exam is very "CompTIA-like," inasmuch as you'll get a series of very straightforward multiple-choice exams, none of which run for longer than 100 words or so. Crazy, huh? Anybody who has taken 70-270 can tell you that each item in it can easily run 3-4 times that length. In point of fact, some have accused the MCSE 2003 exams as being more about reading comprehension than they are about validating technical skills.

So there you have it, friends. I hope you use this information for your professional benefit. Have a great day, wherever you are!