MCTS Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance

I passed the exam for the BI Development and Maintenance this morning so I’m now MCTS two times over!  This test felt a little different than the database development test.  It was fifty questions long, although it stated that there were some questions on it that were being used for statistics and to test them out or something and that they wouldn’t count.  I’m guessing that there were five questions that didn’t count.

Unlike some other reviews of the test which I have read, it seemed like most of the questions were pretty well blocked together into SSIS, SSRS and SSAS questions.  Perhaps two or three sections of each tool.  There were a few questions with "exhibits" but you didn’t even really need to look at these to get the gist of the question.  Other than that, it seemed like it was standard fair: Multiple choice, a few questions that were choose multiple from the list, etc.

All in all, I spent on average about three to four hours each day over the past three weeks.  I read through the Training Kit, as well as looking at some of the Books Online Entries.  I also took about four or five of the "certification" style exams from the practice tests that came with the book.  Furthermore, I also went through every question one evening in an attempt to make sure that I was covering all of the material.

Aside from the training kit, I read through about half of the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Reporting Services book by Brian Larson.  I think I’ll probably continue on with this as it seems like a pretty in depth tutorial.  I certainly wouldn’t use it as a reference as the book suggests (well, perhaps the appendixes), but I do think that it does a much better job of taking the user on a tour of the various applications for which Reporting Services can be used than the training kit.

Last, I read through about a third of the Analysis Service Unleashed book earlier this year, although I only reread one chapter recently (The first chapter on MDX Queries).

Unlike last time, the registration process with the Prometric site went off without a hitch.  The people at the local test center (Computer Tutors) were nice and the conditions were good.  All in all, it was a fairly intensive, but pleasant experience. 

For now, I’ll take at least a month off form the intense after hours studying.  After that, I am going to try to finish off the MCTS SQL Series by obtaining the Implementation and Maintenance certification later this year.

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