Passing Exam 70-290 the Syngress Way

This book released last year is designed to help IT pros prepare to pass the new Windows Server 2003 networking certification exam.

This book released last year is designed to help IT pros prepare to pass the new Windows Server 2003 networking certification exam. The author's easy-to-follow writing style and the feel of this book is a perfect choice for those with limited Windows networking experience. The authors have what it takes to explain difficult topics and do so in a very easy to read and understand format.

This book offers comprehensive coverage of Windows Server 2003 administration. The authors are thorough with their explanations and detail, and are not afraid to consume pages at the publisher's expense. They truly have the reader in mind. In fact, the book weighs in at almost 1,000 pages and includes a DVD with recorded instructor reviews of each chapter in an abbreviated format. If it wasn't for the plentiful exercises, review, and labs, this book would compare in size to many of the other self-study guides available.

Unfortunately, the included DVD with instructor review doesn't really add much value. In my review of the DVD, all that I observed was a female instructor reading the displayed slides. And not everyone has a DVD drive just yet! Although the investment in time and resources would have been much greater, 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.

The inline Notes, Exam Warnings, and Test Day Tips are right on target. There is a unique balance where the authors have laid out and formatted each page for clarity and flow.

This book is technically accurate on all topics and won't lead you astray. Although there are a few typographical errors in some of the exercises, and small grammatical errors throughout the text, this book is still very strong in many respects. And although this book is almost 1,000 pages, the inline chapter labs with explicit step-by-step labs add lots of value for the new MCSA or MCSE candidate.

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

If you need a 70-290 self-study guide, you'll have to decide for yourself if you like the author's elaborate writing style, and what works best for you. I would recommend for your money that you also check out similar Sybex and Microsoft Press guides.

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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