8 Study Tips for MCITP Certification

mcitp_tipsWe have prepared 8 mcitp study tips for you so you can tackle your MCITP certification study in the most effective way.

1. Plan your MCITP certification path

Gaining a MCITP certification may be the ultimate goal, but which flavor? Most people aim to get MCITP: Server Administrator or MCITP: Enterprise Administrator, but these are only a couple of the MCITP specializations on offer. It is important to set a goal, and then you can choose the best exam path to reach your goal. There is more than one way to get each MCITP qualification and most require you to pass one or two elective exam of which you choose from a list. If you are planning on at some stage in your career to broaden your knowledge and skills(which you should be!),  a bit of future planning  can be helpful so you  choose elective exams which may count towards subsequent MCITP certifications.

2. Set yourself a deadline on sitting the MCITP exam

It’s all too easy to decide you want to sit an exam and begin studying for it only just to loose motivation a couple of weeks down the track. When you set yourself a deadline, you have more chance in achieving your goal as you won’t be able to put off study.Decide which mcts exam you are going to sit and draw up a study plan giving yourself a reasonable amount of time to prepare for the exam. Set the date and book it in at a mcitp testing centre. At the time of booking usually you will pre pay with a credit card, which helps as no one likes to see money wasted, so stick to the DEADLINE.

3. Study in small manageable chunks

Decide what you want to study in how much time. Perhaps it’s a chapter per day, or per week depending on how much time you have on your hands to study. Either way, make sure you have given yourself a realistic amount of time which includes plenty of breaks. Most people’s attention spans won’t be able to cope with studying for 4 hours non stop in front of a computer screen or book so splitting that time up with breaks will make it more manage able. For instance, after 50 minutes of study take a 10 minute break  – go rest your eyes, make a coffee and if you must check your facebook(but don’t get too carried away!). Check out the MCITPGUIDE facebook page here.

4. Read the books before watching videos

There is a plethora of MCITP study material out there that will aid in your understanding each topic. You will come across books/ebooks, videos, audio books, virtual labs and practice exams all of which have their place in your study plan, but in order for them to be effective you have to use them in the right order. Here’s an example –

  1. Begin your study with reading an through a MCITP book. We recommend the official MCITP Self-Paced Training Kit. These are endorsed by Microsoft so you know they are going to be a complete, quality study tool.
  2. The next step is go watch some mcitp training videos. Videos are good for recapping over things you have already studied and already have a good understanding of the concepts. Watching videos before doing a decent amount of reading should be avoided as videos can be vague and lacking vital information which may give you a false sense of understand and knowledege in your particular MCITP topic if you havent done all the hard reading beforehand.
  3. Audio books are a good resource to have playing in your car while you’re driving, or on your iPod while on the bus or train. They can be listened to multiple times without much hassle or effort on your part and do a great job of hammering ideas into your head.
  4. Virtual labs are good, but do not take the place of an actual computer lab. Having knowledge in your head is one thing, but you also need the skills to apply this knowledge in a real world environment. Setting up a VMWare computer lab is an easy task if you have a computer with enough resources to run a few virtual machines simultaneously.
  5. MCITP practice exams should be the final part of your study and not used until you have finished. The reason being for this is the human memory is very good at remembering answers to questions so you can really only use each practice exam ONCE for accurate scoring and to show how complete your knowledge is. Incorrect answers should be looked over and study material re-read to strengthen your understanding in the syllabus areas you had trouble with.

5. Set up a decent computer lab

As mentioned above, a computer lab is one of the best tools for your study. Being able to apply your new learnt knowledge and skills in real life environment is invaluable to your mcitp study. Most of us won’t have the luxury of having the money nor space to set up a physical computer lab for studying, but building a virtual computer lab is well within the realm of possibility. There are many virtual hypervisors out there available for free but the most popular is VMWare Server and it seems to do just the trick. All you need is a spare computer with a decent amount of CPU and RAM and in essence you split it up into half a dozen virtual computers which is more than enough for a decent lab set up.

6. Sit as many MCITP practice tests as you can

When you feel that you have studied the material and have a strong understanding in all topics, sit as many mcitp practice tests as you can. With each exam you sit go over your incorrect answers straight away and use study material to understand why you got each particular question wrong and how to correctly answer in the future. Repeat this process until you are scoring at least 90% in each exam you are sitting and you should be well prepared for a pass mark on your real mcitp test. We have a few practice tests available for you here MCITP Practice Tests.

7. Don’t use MCITP brain dumps

There are two types of people who want to gain MCITP certifications – the ones who genuinely want to greater their knowledge and skills in a particular area and are willing to put the effort into achieving this goal; and the ones who just want the piece of paper and will go about anyway to get it. Generally the latter of the two head straight for the brain dumps and will gain a MCITP certification with little effort but have very little actual understanding and knowledge. Going down this route will only make things harder in the long run and will most likely lead to problems with the future of your IT career. It will be fairly obvious to your employer and colleagues that you lack the technical knowledge when the times get tough  There are no short cuts for quality study!

8. Take advantage of Microsoft offers such as second shot

Every now and then Microsoft will run promotions such as “Second Shot”. Second Shot gives you the oppourtunity to resit an MCITP exam for free if you are unfortunate enough to fail on your first attempt. Although you should always be aiming to pass on your first attempt, it does remove a lot of stress leading up to your exam. Seeing your results and sectional scoring from your first attempt will make it clear exactly which areas you need to work on which allows studying before you re-sit easier targeted directly at your weak spots. Check out Microsoft’s latest offers.

There you go, 8 useful MCITP study tips to give yourself the best chance in passing your exam first time around. Also check out our 7 tips for during your mcitp exam here MCITP exam tips.