When the beta exams for Business Intelligence showed up in January, I immediately signed up, wrote both of them, and found out after 4 months that I failed both. :) Considering I didn't have any time to study (I was on a heavy client engagement), didn't have a lot of knowledge around the data mining aspects of Analysis Services, whipped through the questions at light speed, and ate a big lunch beforehand, I was more surprised that I didn't fall asleep than failing. Plus, since they were beta, I'm sure some of my answers were correct and it was the questions that were wrong!
Today, after putting a bit of effort in, I passed 70-445, the implementation & maintenance exam with flying colors. The betas were brutally long - this one didn't seem half as bad, though as usual the test computer was slow and there was a bunch of outside distractions & banging ductwork in the room.
My studying strategy:
- Get the outline from MS's site.
- Export it to Excel and select the items I'm not familiar with.
- Bring them into One Note.
- Create tabs for each item to expand on.
- Cross them out as I get the research.
- Google 70-445, 70-445 filetype:ppt (pdf, doc, etc.) to get things like course outlines & demo exams.
- Search Blogsearch & Technorati.
- Search for the specific items I'm not familiar with using the same wording as the ms outline.
- Read the books.
My pretesting strategy:
- Always write the exam on a Friday at 1:15pm (a happy day!)
- Have a light lunch.
- Have a coffee and a quick jog around the block.
- Show up a bit early.
My testing strategy:
- Don't spend more than 1 -2 minutes per question, mark it for later.
- When in doubt, pick the answer that matches the text of the question, or is the opposite of the question, or C.
- Watch for the yahoo question writers who stick in those trick questions involving percentage calculations or not logic.
Here's one statistic that blew me away. I didn't realize that BI was such a niche. There have been only 71 MCITP + BI certifications since June. Perhaps because the exams are only a couple of months old? Next will be the BI Requirements & Design exam 70-446. Sounds like case studies to me....
The Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCP) program was established in 1992. To date, more than 2 million people have achieved Microsoft Certification worldwide.
Based on customer feedback, we have updated this list to include both the credential and the number of professionals on each release or certification. Because the MCP program is constantly growing, you may not see your most recent certification listed. We will add accurate data as it becomes publicly available. These numbers are current as of June 27, 2007.