It is clear that anyone who wants to go far in the world of Information Technology should be ready to earn some certifications. Beyond the knowledge gained from the study process, there is an opportunity to elevate one’s status and the numerous career potentials that are top among the reasons to consider attaining an IT credential. Besides, the certificate validates your knowledge and it can make a lot of difference in your career advancement. If you are just starting out in the IT industry, a certification is a great way to find a job in the field. However, with the benefits also come some downsides. First, it is not a real test of your knowledge. Anything can make the individuals perform woefully in a test setting and not necessarily because they don’t understand the concepts and ideas of the certification exam. Besides, it is very easy to cheat in the exam. Many people use various means to get prepare for their tests without taking time to understand the exam content and obtain practical skills.

Irrespective of the downsides in terms of taking certification exams, it is still an integral part of your career advancement. Having this understanding, I decided to pursue the MCSE: Data Management and Analytics certificate. I started with the Microsoft 70-764 exam. In this article, I will discuss my preparation with PrepAway training materials, the exam taking process and the outcome.

My preparation for the Microsoft 70-764 exam

I understood that taking the Microsoft 70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure exam will need a lot of reading to achieve my desired scores. I read series of blogs describing people’s experiences about this test and I discovered that many of them have one or two negative things to say about it. The general idea I got was that the exam is difficult and it is hard to pass it at the first attempt. Well, I didn’t have the money to burn and I couldn’t afford to take it more than once. To ensure I pass the test on my first try, I made up my mind to do a thorough study.

The first book I got was by Victor Isakov. As far as my preparation went, it was of great help to me because it didn’t just teach me about the exam objectives and scope; it gave a detailed analysis of what should be expected from the 70-764 test. Although there are some errors here and there in the book, it helped my study significantly. In addition to the book, I used the practice questions available at PrepAway. By the way, I first took some free tests on the site before purchasing a package and I believe the materials I got from this platform also helped me and gave me an insight into the exam pattern. I dedicated two weeks straight to answering the questions and understand every single part of it. I discovered that the questions in the practice test were very similar in pattern to the questions I came across during the exam and this really made the real test easy for me.

While taking the practice test, I made sure I answered the questions first before looking at the answers. It is very tempting to cheat during your preparation, but doing so would only have a negative impact. I focused on the questions and made sure I got 95% at the last time I worked on it. With this score, I knew I was ready to take the actual exam. PrepAway also offers simulation exam, which makes the preparation very effective. It is designed like the real exam questions with the actual time. I did a lot of practice with the simulation to get used to the time management during the test taking process and this helped me a lot.

How I scheduled my Microsoft 70-764 exam

Many people advocate scheduling the exam before you are ready for it. Well, I didn’t believe that would work for me because I didn’t want to put myself under undue pressure. I had to prepare myself and be sure I was ready before I schedule the test. Thus, after a month of my preparation, I scheduled my exam date. I already have a Microsoft account, so I just logged on to Pearson VUE to register and schedule it. The process was pretty straightforward and there is really nothing much to say about the registration. I should point out that the candidates have to pay the exam fee of $165. You should note that this fee is valid for only one exam. This means that if you fail the test, you will need to pay another $165 to retake.

My exam day experience

I was a bit anxious on the exam day and woke up quite early. I rolled around a bit on the bed and finally jumped out into the shower. I tried to do other things to use up the time, but it seemed the time stopped. I finally left home 1 hour before the exam time and I got there 45 minutes early. Finally, the exam started. To pass this test, you have to know its content. If you don’t, you may fail the exam. Thankfully, the simulation test I took with PrepAway really helped. I got 50 questions and even though the practice questions I used were not the same, I was able to answer because there were some similarities in the concepts. I scored 815.

I was quite excited about my success and decided to share. I believe it will help someone. I am currently preparing with PrepAway for the second phase of the exam series, Microsoft 70-765.

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