This week's book giveaway is in the OCPJP forum. We're giving away four copies of OCA/OCP Java SE 7 Programmer I & II Study Guide and have Kathy Sierra & Bert Bates on-line! See this thread for details.
How I did it:
I used the MS press book .NET Framework 2.0 Web-Based Client Development and the MeasureUp testing software it came with. I studied for about 2 months on and off summer '08, then stopped and studied ibm cert and started Fall school sememster. Then I studied again from mid-Dec until 01/04/09, as i sat and passed the exam 01/05/09. I use C# at work so I'm familiar with visual studio and such, but not ASP, though I've used ti for personal projects.
The real test:
The real test, like all MS tests, was a nasty one indeed. Questions are not worded very well and the length of them leaves you wondering if you'll ever get through - not the even test, just a single question! The testing software that comes with the book is decent, but not really as close to the real exam as you might expect vendor approved testing software to be. The real questions often ask a lengthy question/problem statement with multiple choice answers (they tell you how many to choose) where "each choice represents a step in the final solution", or something like that. The measureuop software with the book has zero question like that. Single choice answers on the real exam were similar to the ones on the book's testing software, though. There are 45 questions on the real exam, with a passing score of 700. 700 out of what you ask? Who knows. The questions are weighted and since you don't know which ones you missed it's impossible to determine exactly how the test is scored. You get 2.5 hours to finish the exam. You also get to choose either VB or C#. Anyone studying should already know this, but you really don't need to know c# or VB, so long as you know Java and or C++; Many of the programming snippets you need to know are easy enough to understand as long as you know most any C-derived language. However, knowing c# or VB first will of course make your life easier, especially when implementing real-world work.
What I think about the exam:
I thought the book was very useful in learning the conepts. The real test just plain sucks with many strange questions in my opinion. Overall I think the process of learning to pass the test is very beneficial. Of course I knew nothing more about the material after I took the test, so you don't have to take the exam to learn ASP or to use the book to do so. I think MS exams are hgihly regarded by many, so the cert as well as the studying process, i think, will be useful for me. Given that, if you are new to ASP.Net or web-dev, then the 70-528/book might be for you if you are heading down the Microsoft road. Of course if you are just starting out with MS and ASP.Net, you may want to pursue the newer ASP.net exam: 70-562
Also, this is one of two exams for the MCTS. The other one being the 70-536, which you do NOT need to take prior to testing for the 70-528/70-562. The 70-536 is a language fundamentals exam. Passing it does NOT get you MCP status. Passing the 70-528 does (last I read), which is good to know if you do not plan on taking the 70-536 (probably not a good idea, but hey, that's your deal) and achieving MCTS status.
ho, ho, ho
subject: Passed Microsoft exam 70-528 for the MCTS