The Sybex Guide to Surviving Exam 70-290

This Sybex book will help you prepare to pass the new Windows Server 2003 administration certification exam.

Like the Syngress book I also reviewed this month, this Sybex book will help you prepare to pass the new Windows Server 2003 administration certification exam. Released last year, the Sybex book is aimed at those with more advanced experience with Windows networking; look elsewhere if you're looking for a book aimed at novice or intermediate-level administrators.

What I like most is what is included on the CD-popular exam-prep software, lots of practice questions, flashcards, WinSim 2003 simulation software, and the entire book in PDF format. There are also two bonus exams included.

The authors use their high level of experience to explain complex topics, and the end of chapter review questions are thought-provoking additions.

This book is technically accurate on all topics and won't lead you astray. It does include inline labs, author tips, notes, and canned Real World Scenarios. It covers managing drives, maintaining a server environment, disaster recovery, and more.

Although there are a few obscurities and lack of detail, all exam prep content is present and formatted in digestible form. This book also lacks the inline exam warning and test day tips found in many other popular study guides.

What concerns me is this book's abbreviated format. The Syngress book that I reviewed at the same time as this book contains 1,000 pages-this book has only 600 pages. Given the choice, I would choose this book only if you have previous Windows administration experience. By this I mean if you are already MCP certified and familiar with the idiosyncrasies of Windows administration, then buy this book specifically to prepare for the new exam.

For the Windows 2003 MCSA/MCSE candidate, this book meets the requirements of a self-study guide. I would recommend this book for an instructor-led class. Hopefully the instructor can embellish on the topics as needed. There's nothing worse than learning from one source, in an abbreviated format, only what's included in the printed text; which is why you may need to read both this book and one of the other popular self-study guides in combination for the best exam preparation!

When you need a 70-290 self-study guide, you'll need to decide for yourself if you like the author's abbreviated writing style, and what works best for you. I would recommend your money that you also check out similar Syngress 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 [email protected]

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