70-291 Help in Excruciating Detail

Syngress' companion book/DVD is aimed at novices and experienced Windows 2003 pros who've set their sights on passing this core MCSA/MCSE exam.

Need help preparing for the 70-291 Windows Server 2003 networking exam? I looked at two books at with two different missions. While the relatively short book from Sybex (click here to read that review) is designed for established Windows networking pros, the longer Syngress title, which I review here, is better suited for those with limited Windows networking experience. And although I like the Sybex book, the Syngress authors have what it takes to explain difficult topics in an easy-to-read and -understand format.

This book features comprehensive coverage of basic networking, and Windows 2003-specific networking. The authors are not afraid to consume pages at expense to the publisher and truly have the reader in mind. The result is a book that weighs in at over 1,000 pages, with a DVD that includes a recorded instructor review of each chapter in an abbreviated format. You can also access additional review questions at www.syngress.com/certification.

The DVD with instructor review doesn't really add much value to this book. In looking at the DVD, all I observed was a female instructor reading the displayed slides. While it would cost more, substantial value could have been added by using live lab systems and demonstrations. Be sure and practice everything you read and hear in your own lab!

For the Windows 2003 MCSA/MCSE candidate, this book meets all the requirements of a self-study guide. It includes all resources the self-study candidate will need to be successful.

As with the related Sybex review, only the reader can decide whether an abbreviated or elaborated writing style is preferred.

About the Author

Andy Barkl, MCT/MCITP/MCSA, A+, Network+, Security+, CCNA has been studying technology for 30 years. Of the last 15 years, he has spent much of his time parting the knowledge and experience he has gained through IT exams, over 300, to help others be prepared and successful. He teaches classes in Phoenix, Ariz. where he has lived most of his life. He can be reached by e-mail at andy.barkl@gmail.com.

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