Preparing For MCITP Certification

by QuickCert on December 13, 2010

Preparing For MCITP Certification

Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP) certification can be a golden goose ready to lay eggs.
Average salary ranges anywhere from $77K to $82K… off the strength of the MCITP alone. Plus, it’s
focused on burgeoning technologies, meaning it will only increase in value over time. Throw in some
other lucrative certs (think CISSP or ITIL) and you have an explosive – and profitable – foundation to
build on.

But getting your MCITP isn’t a walk in the park. Our goal here is to make your stroll a bit easier. So,
briefly, let’s talk about the most effective preparation methods available.

On Knowing What to Expect

First of all, make sure to read up on the MCITP before going for the exam. Some think thing that
experience/real world knowledge is preparation enough. It isn’t. The exam has a particular structure,
and not being verse with that structure is like going into a gun fight with a plastic knife. On the MCITP,
expect to see the following types of questions:

1. Case Studies – To flex your analytical muscles.
2. Simulations – To emulate the real world.
3. Virtual Labs – To test your skills in hypothetical situations.

Question styles include multiple choice, active screen, drag and drop, hot area and list reordering. Many
questions will be asked in various ways, in order to elicit similar answers as a demonstration of your
deep understanding of the topic. Pay special attention to the wording used on questions… it can be
tricky. I’ve heard that the ‘what meets the required’ type question is a common stumbling block.

How to Study

There’s a myriad of studying materials out there to choose from. What it boils down is your best
method of learning, and your discipline level.

The most expensive option is usually onsite training, followed by virtual classrooms. Then there are
online training courses, at-home study packages, CD courses, and mountains of books.

I’ve found that online MCITP training courses are usually your best bet. This is simply because the price
is right, they’re interactive to promote faster learning, you can access them anywhere you have Internet,
and the syllabi prepares you for what you’ll find on the actual test.

Studying Tips

Tip #1 – Spaced repetition is your friend

It’s one of the most potent methods for grasping and understanding technical terms. While the details
are beyond the scope of this article, I will say that spaced repetition leverages the mind’s natural
processes
to turn data into useable information. Look up free software such as Mnemosyne or Anki to

Tip #2 – Build Experience

Book smarts isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Sit down and toy around with the concepts you’re
learning in your training. It will go a long way when you’re faced with those Simulations and Virtual
Labs.

Tip #3 – Walkthrough the Test

This relates to my earlier comment about familiarizing yourself with the MCITP exam structure. Many
online courses will contain sample exams. Practice with them and give yourself a time limit. And
remember, spaced repetition is your friend.

One Last Note

Be smart about your studying; a teacher is only good as his materials… even if you’re teaching yourself.
Save yourself time, effort and money by grabbing the best material you can get your hands on. It’ll be a
hard grind, but holding a MCITP certification will make the effort worth it. Good luck!

Image found at Flickr