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MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-431): Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Implementation and Maintenance (Pro-Certification) 1st Edition

53 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735622715
ISBN-10: 073562271X
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Key Book Benefits: - Comprehensive study guide written by exam-certified authors - Deeper, more focused coverage of exam objectives and sub-objectives—plus instructive case studies and troubleshooting scenarios to enhance your performance on the job - 300 practice questions on CD, with a test engine that enables customized testing, pre-assessment and post-assessment, and automated scoring and feedback - Complete objective-by-objective review section, plus a tear-out exam-mapping grid - Exam tips based on real-world test experience - 180-day evaluation version of SQL Server 2005 Enterprise Edition - 15 percent exam discount voucher from a leading authorized testing center (limited time offer) - Microsoft Encyclopedia of Networking, Second Edition, eBook - Practice files on CD - Entire study guide in searchable eBook format

About the Author

The mentors at Solid Quality Learning combine deep technical expertise and real-world implementation experience to provide advanced solutions and training for the Microsoft SQL Server database platform.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 992 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (June 28, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 073562271X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735622715
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,295,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

78 of 82 people found the following review helpful By Jose on July 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Taking the test which this study guide is focus to is a very important step before give any content's feedback (i'm still preparing myself for the test) But i will give my 1st impression about the book anyway.

Very well organized book. Chapters and content are divided in small chunks of information (lessons). For busy people (like me) or those which like to do self study at own pace this is a big aid.

I like the writing style also. Not boring, not too technical altought you should have a previous SQL 2000 background if you want to take full advantage of this book.

I did like chapter 11, the backup and restore processes. This is a must for every SQL admin. and it is well covered. The same for the Maintenance Plan and Job topics (Ch 14)

The 15% off in the test price is a good bonus. You should consider this if you're in a low budget.

Cons or critics:
The test engine is an added value but... i don't know ... after taking a few custom tests ... i am not pretty sure about their content's difficulty. I mean, IMO, questions seems too easy for me. I've took a lot of Microsoft tests before (i'm MCSA) and i've never seen easy questions like these in most of them. You must read a lot and think well before mark an answer and i don't feel that when i'm taking this book's test engine. Do not misunderstand what i'm saying, a free Test Engine is a nice bonus, i just want to give a non parcial review. I'm a customer too and we must rely in good study sources to avoid test failures.

Chapter 5: just a brief T-SQL review; use a Sybex SQL 2000 Design book for better preparation or buy the Ben Forta book instead (ISBN: 0672325675), you won't regret and it will help you a lot.

Chapter 12: hey! what happened with the pics here? ...
Read more ›
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Moore on December 6, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I just passed 70-431. I'm a DBA w/ experience on SQL 2005 and SQL 2000. This book and the accompanying CD were the only tools I used to study. I read the book cover to cover, although I skipped the actual practices. (I would only recommend skipping the practices if you have a lot of real world experience with the product.) Then I moved on to the practice tests on CD, and had pretty mediocre passing scores on three practice tests in certification mode (45 questions, answers scored at end). Finally, I used the practice test in study mode, where you could review your answers as you went to drill down into areas that I needed more work on. Having the accompanying practice test (295 questions) makes this kit a great value. I felt as though I learned a lot during all of this and wasn't just "studying for the test". One word on the test format itself -- there were plenty of simulations to do -- everything was not multiple choice.
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34 of 41 people found the following review helpful By MarriedRhombus on June 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
These 2 extras alone is worth more than the price of this book: First, there is the 15% discount on MCP exams. This translates to about $15. Then, there is the practice test software with 295 questions which is very similar to other commercial practice tests (cost at least $59). NOTE: I bought this book from other site because this book was already available there a week earlier than here at Amazon. The price of this book in Amazon is about $8 lower.

This is a hard bound book (I'm very impressed of the cover design). The papers are white and of high quality.

The contents are organized by exam objectives (there is also a card you can tear from the book that outlines the exam objectives and tells you what chapter and lesson you will find the objective discussed in the book). Every lesson has its summary and review questions. Reading some lessons and browsing through the pages of the book, I believe this is a comprehensive study guide for this exam and is, by itself, sufficient to prepare you to pass the exam.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Clyde LeBonz on February 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Outstanding technical book. It covers many areas of a very rich and complex product, and covers almost all of these areas well. The writing style and presentation is excellent. It will be useful to DBA's whether or not they go for the Microsoft certification. The extremely thorough chapter on XML is particularly impressive.

I am a SQL Server developer and instructor for Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005 certification courses, and recommend this text to students who plan to take MCTS cert exam 70-431.

I recommend reading the book straight through, performing practice labs as desired, then using the Transcender practice exam to reveal your weak areas. If you set yourself a goal of 20-30 pages a day (hard to absorb much more), you'll finish in a month or two.

I passed the MCTS exam with a high grade, but thanks only in part to the practice exam that comes with this text. The text's one weakness is that the practice questions are not at all like those on the real cert exam; they are more like flash-card type questions. Even the Transcender exam was not up to their usual standards, but it is much better than what is included with the book.

The quality of the book itself, however, aside from the practice questions, is excellent. Highly recommended.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By J. Tocci on August 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I installed the evaluation edition of SQL Server that came with the book. Then I went through the book, read every page, did every sample test and more than half of the practice items (many were redundant).

Then I went to take the test and I was shocked. Many, many questions were not covered by the material in this book! I have a very good memory, and read the book while laid off so it only took me two weeks to get through it, so my memory is not the issue here. Microsoft produced a book and represents it's purpose as prep for the test, but it doesn't cover all the material the test does!

Most of the questions were covered so it is possible to pass from this book, but I couldn't.

One particularly galling question on the exam involved a port number that was not in the book, I checked.

Needless to say, I am disappointed. I hope that if I need another certification the kit is more representative of the exam content.
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