How do I Prepare for the Visual Studio 2008 Exams?

I am being asked this question quite often lately, and of course it is a perfectly valid question.  Where are all the MS Press Training Kits?  What can you use to prepare for the exams if you want to take them now?

If you visit my post back in August around the release dates for the training kits, you will see that some are released already, while others won't be available until early 2009.  You will also notice that not all of the MCPD exams will have training kits.  Sorry, but this is a business decision we have had to make.

So, let's get back to the real question.  How do you prepare for these exams?

Here is my recommendation that I give to people who ask.  It has served me well on the exams I have taken and I think it will serve you well also.

1) Visit the web site for the prep guide.  These can be located on the Visual Studio certification page at Microsoft's Web site.  These prep guides will tell you what areas of the product will be covered by each exam.  Use this to determine what you need to study.

2) If possible, take a practice test from MeasureUp or Self Test Software. My strategy for these practice tests is to use them to determine where you need to study more.  They can clearly show you what areas you are weak in before you take the actual exam.

3) Locate and use existing training kits for Visual Studio 2005.  Often, these training kits will still prepare you for a good portion of the 2008 exams.  However, use point 4 below to complete your preparation.

4) Use existing resources such as MSDN online and the many links available there, or the MSDN documentation that comes with Visual Studio to help you fill in the missing gaps in your knowledge.

I wish you all the best of luck in your exams and hope this helps a little bit with your preparation for the new exams.

As always, if you have any questions or comments, they are welcome.



Technorati Tags: Certification,Visual Studio 2008,Microsoft Certifications,MCTS,MCPD,Developers,Software Developers