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Introduction

Introduction

Welcome to the 70-291 Exam Cram 2! Whether this is your 1st or your 15th Exam Cram 2 series book, you'll find information here that will help ensure your success as you pursue knowledge, experience, and certification. This introduction explains Microsoft's certification programs in general and talks about how the Exam Cram 2 series can help you prepare for Microsoft's Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) and Microsoft's Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) exams. Chapter 1, “Microsoft Certification Exams,” discusses the basics of Microsoft certification exams, including a description of the testing environment and a discussion of test-taking strategies. Chapters 26 are designed to remind you of everything you'll need to know to take—and pass—the 70-291 Microsoft MCSE/MCSA certification exam. The two sample tests at the end of the book should give you a reasonably accurate assessment of your knowledge—and, yes, we've provided the answers (and their explanations) to the tests. Read the book and understand the material, and you'll stand a very good chance of passing the test.

Exam Cram 2 books help you understand and appreciate the subjects and materials you need to pass Microsoft certification exams. Exam Cram 2 books are aimed strictly at test preparation and review. They do not teach you everything you need to know about a topic. Instead, I present and dissect the questions and problems I've found that you're likely to encounter on a test. I've worked to bring together as much information as possible about Microsoft certification exams.

Nevertheless, to completely prepare yourself for any Microsoft test, I recommend that you begin by taking the Self-Assessment that is included in this book, immediately following this introduction. The Self-Assessment tool will help you evaluate your knowledge base against the requirements for a Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) or Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) certification under both ideal and real circumstances.

Based on what you learn from the Self-Assessment, you might decide to begin your studies with some classroom training, some practice with Windows Server 2003, or some background reading. On the other hand, you might decide to pick up and read one of the many study guides available from Microsoft or third-party vendors on certain topics. We also recommend that you supplement your study program with visits to www.examcram2.com to receive additional practice questions, get advice, and track the MCSE and MCSA program.

I also strongly recommend that you install, configure, and play around with Windows Server 2003 and the various services that you'll be tested on because nothing beats hands-on experience and familiarity when it comes to understanding the questions you're likely to encounter on a certification test. Book learning is essential, but without a doubt, hands-on experience is the best teacher of all! Many of the chapters include step-by-step instructions on how to perform various tasks in Windows Server 2003 to assist you in getting familiar with the product. A CD also accompanies the book and contains the PrepLogic Practice Tests, Preview Edition exam-simulation software. The Preview Edition exhibits most of the full functionality of the Premium Edition, but it offers questions sufficient for only one practice exam. To get the complete set of practice questions and exam functionality, visit www.preplogic.com.

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