It's a Reference! No, It's an Exam Prep!

The truth is, O'Reilly's MCSE guide works well as either.

Looking for a great reference for the Windows 2000 core exams? Look no further than O'Reilly's MCSE in a Nutshell. This pint-sized book covers each of the Win2K MCSE core exams in fewer than 500 pages and does a rather thorough job. Each chapter is devoted to one of the core exams, with an exam overview that ties Microsoft's exam context with the pages of this book. So whether you're taking the Accelerated Exam or taking each exam in turn, this book is an excellent way of preparing.

Can you use this book as your only guide to the MCSE exams? Possibly, if you've enough real-world experience and are willing to use a fine-tooth comb when reading this book-and you answer all the practice test questions and case studies. For most people, however, this book will be a wonderful outline to the exams, along with research and real-world experience, to fill in the gaps.

MCSE in a Nutshell can serve as an informative reference for Win2K if you aren't preparing for the Win2K MCSE exams. It has quick descriptions of many aspects of Win2K, from Win2K Professional to Win2K security. So, if you're looking for a quick answer to a question, keep this book on your shelf.

Two features of this book that readers should keep an eye out for are "On the Exam" and "In the Real World." The "On the Exam" sections are great if you're using this book as a study guide- so be sure you pay attention to these sections. The "In the Real World" sections are a wonderful bridge between the practicalities and the theories of Win2K.

Make sure you spend time going through the practical exercises, practice tests and case studies. The case studies are the one area to which the authors should have devoted more time. There's only one case study chapter per exam, so if you're using this book as your study guide, be prepared for many more case studies on the exams than you'll find here.

I highly recommend this book as a great start in preparing for the Win2K exams. I suggest that you also plan to keep this book around as a good resource after the exams. The authors have done an excellent job of fusing the theory found on the exam with real-life experience.

About the Author

Yolanda R. Reid, MCSE, CCNA, works closely with Win2K, Windows NT, and BackOffice products. As an employee of USI, her specialty is enterprise systems and designing Win2K infrastructures.

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