MCTS Learning Resources

A Microsoft-certified colleague today pointed me towards some learning resources that could be useful for the MCTS SQL Server 2008 Database Developer exam 70-433 that I’m going to sit next week.

Both Transcender and MeasureUp offer 30-day online access to mock exams. Allegedly, they are even harder than the Microsoft questions, so if you can pass these, then you really know your stuff.

They are expensive, though, and I’m not sure I can justify the cost. Prometric already charges £99 to sit the exam itself.

MeasureUp charges £52.00 for 150 covering the following SQL Server knowledge areas:

Implementing Tables and Views – 21 questions
Implementing Programming Objects – 24 questions
Working with Query Fundamentals – 31 questions
Applying Additional Query Techniques – 23 questions
Working with Additional SQL Server Components – 17 questions
Working with XML Data – 18 questions
Gathering Performance Information – 16 questions

Transcender charges $109.00, which today on XE.com is about £68, for a similar offering:

168 practice exam questions
298 free TranscenderFlash cards
3 year license
Pass Guarantee

The Pass Guarantee claims “Pass the Exam the First Time—Or Your Money Back!”.

Today Amazon is selling the official Microsoft self-paced training kit for £35.74. The official kit includes a CD with the same software used at the test centres, with sample questions set by Microsoft. I already have a copy of this, and think it’s all the resource I need to pass this exam specifically.

The questions on the exam demo CD show you the areas your knowldge has to cover. It’s up to you to discover the answers in external resources.

Books Online is usually the first stop, because it’s Microsoft’s official documentation for the product. For a deeper understanding of fundamentals, Itzik Ben-Gan’s T-SQL Fundamentals is essential.

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