Microsoft Certifications are one of the most widely pursued and acclaimed professional certifications in the IT industry. Preparing MS certification tests, however, is a significant undertaking whether you're just out of college or have been in IT field for years. IT professionals are continuously demanded to acquire new knowledge in order to perform well on their jobs as new technology in the IT industry emerged at a pace that has never been seen before. Regardless what certifications (Microsoft Certified Professional or MCP, Microsoft Certified System Administrator or MCSA, Microsoft Certified System Engineer or MCSE ) you are pursuing, a thorough planning will increase the chance of success.
1. Pick the Right Certification
There're two questions to answer while pursuing a MS certification:
a) Whether a particular MS certification helps the long-term and short-term goals of your career path. If your passion is in IT consulting, MCSE certification is likely more valuable than a MCSA certification, which may help you land a system administrator job at companies which are MS shop.
b) Whether you have both sufficient knowledge and hands-on experience to pass a series of tests for the certification. You may want to talk to your friends who have taken the tests before, or examine the questions from previous certification tests to identify the gap between what you've known and what you need to know. Braindumps or actual test questions from past exams will help learn the format and the scope of the tests.
2. Gain Hands-on Experience
Besides the official certification guide and reading materials published by vendors or authorized organizations, there're numerous other helpful learning materials available online or in print. A few years ago, we've heard the stories that employees with MS certifications who couldn't do their job. They passed MS certifications with little hands-on experience but a lot of knowledge on paper gained from purely studying practice test questions and braindumps. As certification vendors improved the test questions and introduced new test formats, it's almost impossible to pass those tests without years of hands-on experience. The real value of hands-on experience is to prepare you for the job, not just to gain a certification.
3. Consolidate Knowledge with Training
The value of hands-on experience can not be replaced with studying sample certification tests, and systematical knowledge of a particular subject can't be replaced by hands-on experience either.
Use of Computer Based Training software is a very effective way to speed up your Microsoft certification preparation. For instance, many companies offer vendor-co developed CBT or Computer Based Training for IT professionals to have a comprehensive understanding of Microsoft products and practice.
4. Take Sample Exams
Once you have both systematical knowledge and hands-on experience of Microsoft software products, you'll still need to know the format and style of certification test questions to perform well in the exams. Use of sample tests and braindumps will often further improve your test score.
5. IT certification exams.
Microsoft certification exams, like other major IT certifications - Cisco, Oracle etc, are administered by independent testing organizations at major cities worldwide. Registration can be done online or via phone. More important than anything else is to relax and have a good night of sleep before the actual test date.
Copyright @2005, Bruce Zhang
You have permission to publish this article electronically free of charge, as long as the bylines and links in the body of the article and the bylines are included.
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