Well-Rounded Education

Microsoft stays true to its self-paced training kit roots with this MCSA offering

The MCSA Self-Paced Training Kit is an 814-page hardcover book that includes a glossary and index designed to help the beginning student learn the skills necessary to successfully pass exam 70-218.

Microsoft Press has the self-paced training kit format down to a science, and this book follows that formatting closely. Series elements include a lesson followed by an exercise, review and summary. Each lesson maps to a specific skill tested on exam 70-218, and several lessons are grouped into a single chapter.

The book is written by Craig Zacker, who has either authored or co-authored 11 other computer books. The writing style is smooth and easy to read. In addition, there are answers to all questions in the back of the book, allowing students to check their own answers against Microsoft's. This book meets every expectation of a self-paced training kit, and I was unable to find anything negative about it.

To help the student learn this material, Microsoft includes a 120-day evaluation copy of Windows 2000 Advanced Server. It's invaluable to have the software needed for practicing labs while you're learning the material.

I've always found the self-paced training kits from Microsoft to be excellent for learning what's necessary to pass the corresponding exam. In addition, though, these kits hold nuggets of knowledge that even an experienced administrator will find helpful. I recommend this tool to any person interested in passing exam 70-218.

About the Author

Bill English, MCSE, MCT, CTT, is an author, trainer, and consultant specializing in network security and the Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint platforms. He owns Networknowledge, (www.networknowledge.com) a consulting and training business, and has co-authored four books on Exchange 2000 Server, including The Exchange 2000 Server Administrator's Companion (Microsoft Press) and Exchange 2000 Server: The Complete Reference (McGraw-Hill/Osborne Media). He's currently working on a new book from Addison Wesley on SharePoint Portal Server 2001.

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