I have been preparing for this test for some time and really the thing that I was the most concerned about was the fact that I had probably forgotten a lot of the information that I had reviewed early on in the process. As such, I figured that I should go back and review for a bit. I went ahead and reread a few sections but was still feeling a bit nervous. When I had prepared for the MCTS certificates I had the opportunity to review the material through the practice tests included in the Microsoft Press Prep Kits. I was feeling a bit ill prepared without them here, even though I knew that it was probably overkill. So, I compared a few of the options and decided to purchase the 30-day version of the Kaplan Selftest practice tests. Overall, I was happy with this product, even though I felt extremely foolish after taking the first practice certification and scoring right at 90% (You need a 70% to pass the certification). Well, at least I felt more comfortable now and I was able to use the flash cards to help out some.
I finally took the test on 2011-03-10 bright and early in the morning (I signed up for the earliest time slot at 9AM). The test location, Private ConsulTech Institute of Technology in Jacksonville FL, was nice with a good lab area. The test itself was about what I expected: multiple choice, 50 questions, with three hours to finish. It took me about 45 minutes to complete; I realize that this is very fast for this certification. About the only gripe that I had was that I was a little disappointed with the wording of some of the questions. Perhaps I should have gone back and reread the questions, but I felt confident.
In any case, I’m very happy to have taken the time for this certification. I really feel like I learned a lot over the course of the last 9 months. I also feel like I have accomplished what I wanted to in attempting to provide something of value to the community. I’m not sure how many people it will help, but if it even helps a few people I’ll be happy. So, now that it’s over I’m not quite sure what’s next… I’ll continue on with the MCM Videos. I might attempt the MCITP for the database administrator side of things, since I am working as a DBA now (instead of a B.I. guy). But, for now, I’ll take at least a few months off from certifications. Instead, I’ll try to provide some more general tips and tricks. Perhaps get back to some posts on SSIS. Maybe I’ll get some posts out that aren’t straight technical jargon and allow my writing voice a chance to shine a bit. In any case, if you’ve been following along I hope that you’ve enjoyed it.