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Tim’s MCSE Journey: 70-332, Part 2

Editor’s Note: CBT Nuggets trainer Tim Warner is taking the exams required for MCSE certification for both Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012. When all is said and done, he will have taken five exams in five weeks! Tim is blogging about his experiences and providing valuable insight and advice for other potential test-takers. Here’s part 2 of his second blog post of the series.

Content Strategies

Let me share with you a grab bag of content-related impressions with you. These suggestions denote what I call “exam alerts” and should be studied very carefully before you enter the exam room to pass the 70-332 test.tim_blogpost_BLOG

The exam tests non-trivial PowerShell skills. In other Microsoft certification exams, PowerShell-related questions usually required that I identify the appropriate cmdlet. That’s no longer the case, at least with the 70-332 SharePoint test.

You need to know specific PowerShell syntax; you can possibly fail this exam if you don’t know the parameters that go with “common” SharePoint PowerShell cmdlets.

You also need to know how to create references to SharePoint objects and access properties and methods, all by using PowerShell syntax. My best advice here is not only to study my 70-332 CBT Nuggets training course, but also to research and try out every procedure I show you using the GUI tools as well as using PowerShell.

The exam contains some editorial glitches. To me there is nothing more frustrating about a cert exam context than seeing editorial mistakes in the exam. It’s such a feeling of powerlessness because I know that I’ll likely lose points on the test due to proofreading and/or tech editing errors.

I saw a couple errors in the 331 exam, and a couple more in 332. We’re talking about some spelling mistakes (which are relatively trivial), as well as references to information that is missing in the case study (totally non-trivial). One interactive item I dealt with asked me to configure the topology for such-and-so servers, but I was almost 100 percent positive that it was a mistake, and Microsoft actually referred to other servers mentioned in the case. GRRR!

The exam includes ‘Choose all that apply’ items. As a certification exam item-writer myself, I find the “choose all that apply” approach to authoring multiple answer multiple choice (MAMC) questions to be somewhat of a cheat. The item should be sufficiently difficult that telling the examinee in advance how many choices are correct is not giving them an advantage.

That said, most of the MAMC items in the 332 do indeed tell you how many correct choices there are. On the other hand, I saw a few items that used the dreaded “choose all that apply,” which produces (rightly) great anxiety in many test takers.

The exam covers a great deal of SQL Server stuff. Remember that the S in MCSE stands for “solutions.” Accordingly, you need to know a good deal about SQL Server Management Studio and Transact-SQL in order to succeed on the 332 test.

This makes sense for the 332 test because of its great emphasis on backup/restore and SharePoint upgrade. As you know because you’ve practiced it (right?), you must have SQL Server proficiency in order to be an effective SharePoint 2013 administrator.

Parting Thoughts

Having taken and passed both SharePoint 2013 admin exams, I can say confidently in hindsight that they do in fact accurately test the examinee’s knowledge of the product. The bottom line, friends, is that you absolutely, without fail need to log “hands on” practice time with SharePoint and its associated products (Project Server, SQL Server, Office Web Apps, etc.).

You can use CBT Nuggets’ virtual labs, or you can set up your own virtualized practice lab by using evaluation software. Again, I can’t stress this enough: the 331 and 332 exams require you to know step-by-step configuration procedures; these are best learned by actually doing the work yourself multiple times.

Good luck! Please feel free to share your experience with the 332 exam in the comments section. I look forward to chatting with you about it.


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