One of my goals that I set for myself at the beginning of the year was to take a Microsoft Certification exam. I eyed the 70-431/2005 exam mainly because I have been working with SQL Server 2005 for several years now and felt comfortable with this version.
In a previous post I discussed what books I used for studying for the exam, they’re all good, but for me the biggest thing was getting my hands dirty. I setup a test machine at home where I could try and work through a lot of the features that I was less familiar with (like End Points and Service Broker). This helped me get a better understanding of those features. For me this is how I learn. If I read it and don’t actually do it, I won’t understand it.
I finally got serious this last month and arranged my exam for July 31st. It was set and there was no turning back. I think that I get a little more serious when there is a deadline or goal to accomplish.
On the test day I slept in and had a nice breakfast. I did some last minute cramming on XML and End Point (yuck), and did a last minute practice test. I shouldn’t have done that. I failed miserably, let the self-doubt begin.
I arrived an hour before scheduled test and spent the time studying in my car. I finally went into the testing site and took the test. You know where all that old computer technology goes, it goes to these testing sites.
I took my time during the test and did not go back and review any answers. Once I hit the next button my answer was stuck in stone. I don’t like going back and reviewing my answers, this causes me more self doubt. I say let it ride.
Got to the last simulation question hit the next button and then the big finish button popped up. I took a deep breath and clicked. It was like an eternity, I could hear the computer grinding and churning. The results came up on the screen, but I didn’t initially see it. I saw the possible score 1000, the passing score 700, and then my eyes finally found my score. Bada Bing! Passed! Felt like the world was lifted off my shoulders.
Walked up to the front desk trying not to show my joy and got my results. Went out to the car and sent a couple of texts to the wife and drove home. To celebrate I took the family to Red Mill Burgers in Ballard. Best burgers EVA! My plug for the community. Also, I like good food.
Next up 70-432/2008. I am initially planning on late October – Mid November to take that test. Over the weekend I wiped my lab computer clean and started a fresh build for my SQL 2008 labs. Let the party begin. Wahoo! I am certifiable.