Tag: exam

Book Review: MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft Office SharePoint

Note: Wow, this article was in a nearly finished state for nearly a year now (last edit: March 2012)….better late than never!

Back in May 2011, I took the beta exam for Microsoft Office Specialist – SharePoint 2010 (77-886), and heard in July that I had passed. Later that year (2011), I got the ebook MOS 2010 Study Guide for Microsoft® Office SharePoint® by Geoff Evelyn from O’Reilly, here’s my review:

The Study Guide here is, as the name says, intended to help people prepare for the Microsoft Office Specialist – SharePoint 2010 exam. It is not meant for people who are new to SharePoint, but rather targets an audience that already has some experience with SharePoint (for example as a site owner). It helps them by following the “Skills Measured” section of the exam  in exact detail. All items listed on the exam page are covered with step-by-step instructions in the book, when needed with some additional background information as well. Geoff explains everything in simple to understand terms, and avoids technical jargon as much as possible.

Understandably, what this book does not do is explain in detail how you can set up your own test environment (this goes way beyond the skillset that one may expect from someone taking this exam, though the book does provide a link if you want to), and simply suggests to use an externally-hosted environment. This is where I would have preferred to see a little more information, as some people may not know where to turn to in order to prepare for the exam.

All in all, the book should provide anyone (still) planning to take the exam a very good preparation in order to pass the exam.

AIIM Certified Information Professional

End of March, I took and passed the AIIM Certified Information Professional exam. After having received some questions on twitter that require a longer response than 140 characters, I decided to write down my experiences.

Why I decided to take the exam

Simply said, I wanted to show that I have experience with managing information, and the CIP seemed like a very good choice as it’s an exam that covers all important areas of Information Management. Additionally, I wanted to learn a bit more about some of these areas (records management, e.g.), and preparing for the exam would give me a good reason to look at these in more detail. The exam doesn’t go too much into detail, more breadth than depth. If you want to get certified in an area with more depth, there are of course the other certifications provided by AIIM, for e.g. for ECM, ERM, etc.

How I prepared for it

The most important thing I was “using” during my preparation (and also the exam) was experience. Having worked in IT for several years, and specifically in some of the areas covered by the exam, most of the content wasn’t new to me, and I already had a very good basic knowledge of the majority of topics.

In addition to that, I went through the videos at first, and later onwards worked my way through the slides (can be requested if you’re an AIIM member).

The Exam

The exam consists of 100 questions with either one or multiple possible answers (have a look at the test exam), for which you have 120 minutes to complete. Some of these questions are fairly easy, anyone who has been working in the information management area for a while should have no problems answering these (I basically selected the answer and clicked “Next” within seconds). For the majority of questions, it’s important to have gone through all relevant topics (videos and/or slides) in detail, it’s definitely not enough to just know the topic roughly. There were a few topics that I only browsed through during my preparation, only to realise during the exam that the question asked goes much more into detail, and that my knowledge was insufficient. For some I could still deduct the right answer, for others I had to guess (after narrowing down my choice)’ and for one I had absolutely no clue at all… So, just because you think you know a topic, don’t assume that you know it well enough! I would categorise the last group of questions as “best practice questions”. You are given a small scenario, and you need to decide how to best proceed. These are the questions I thought about the most during the exam, as the answer is not immediately clear, and I felt that you need to have a certain amount of experience to answer these (for 1 or 2 I really thought about how I would go about it).
I think the difficulty of the exam is about right. It’s certainly not too easy, so browsing through the slides ones is not enough (unless you have many years of experience, then you might still make it). But it’s also not too difficult, with the right amount of experience and preparation it should be possible to pass the exam without any trouble.

Would I recommend the exam?

That largely depends on your job scope and experiences, and if you think that it would provide some additional value to your personal profile. The quality of the exam itself is certainly quite good, and there are definitely benefits for oneself just from preparing for it.

Passed 70-667 exam “Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring”

Today, I took the Microsoft SharePoint exam “Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Configuring” (70-667), and managed to pass it within 20 minutes (50 questions) with a passing score of 950.

I’m definitely not someone with lots of SharePoint administration experience, I never managed a server on my own except for my own virtual machines, so I didn’t quite know how well I’d do in this exam. As you can see, my knowledge was really enough to pass easily.

As for my preparation, I did it mostly with two things:

  1. Reading MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-667): Configuring Microsoft SharePoint 2010 (Training Kits) by Dan Holme and Alistair Matthews, and going through most of the practice examples (skipped a lot which I’ve already done before and felt proficient enough)
  2. Practising a lot in my own SharePoint 2010 virtual machine. What I didn’t know or had never done before, I did in here. As I already did the SharePoint 2007 exams (70-631 and 70-630), there was already a lot of content that I already knew as I had practised it back then. Other things (mostly the newer stuff such as service applications, for example) I had a closer look at to be more or less well prepared (didn’t know how much this exam would different from the 2007 versions)