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MCAD/MCSD Self-Paced Training Kit: Microsoft (2nd Edition) .NET Core Requirements, Exams 70-305, 70-315, 70-306, 70-316, 70-310, 70-320, and 70-300 box vol. set

3.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 079-0145192554
ISBN-10: 0735619255
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 2704 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press (May 21, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735619255
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735619258
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.2 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,300,251 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Three things struck me about this set as soon as I received it and started working through the material. First, these books can be used for both learning and preparing for the certification exams. Second, if you buy the set from Amazon and you intend to take the exams, your cost will be a fraction of the published cost. This is because of the four 15% off exam fee vouchers that are included in the set. In the end, you will get almost 75% off the published price! Be careful when you buy this set as a used set from someone as the vouchers have discount codes that can only be utilized once. Third, these same books can be used whether you are interested in the VB.NET track or VC#.NET track.

This set is best suited for basic and intermediate level users of the .NET technologies. The four books in the set are focused on helping you learn - windows based programming, web based programming, XML web services and server components, and solution architectures. Each book takes a lesson style approach by splitting each chapter into multiple lessons. Each lesson focuses on teaching a unique skill and can be worked through individually. But I found that you need to stay with the sequence of lessons in order to get the maximum benefit.

I am new to taking Microsoft certifications so I was pleasantly surprised when I saw the way the material is presented. Each lesson has an estimated time of completion which I found to be a bit too optimistic but not too far off. The relevant concepts are explained first and these are followed by step by step instructions on how to perform a specific task. Example code related to the task being described is included.
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(This review is a variation of my review for the individual 70-315 "redbook")
Microsoft approaches certification exams the same way that the Educational Testing Service approaches SAT, GMAT and GRE college entrance exams.
ETS discourages people from using SAT preparation classes and books and, rather, encourages people to just work on their verbal and quantitative skills. They suggest that doing so is enough to do well on the exams. We all know better.
Microsoft takes the approach that, if you have a good mastery of the subject being tested then that is all you need to pass the certs. The Microsoft Self-Paced Training Kits (known as the "redbooks") do a reasonable job of teaching you the concepts of ASP.NET (and WinForms and the VB.NET/C# language and other tested topics), but they do a poor job of preparing you for the certs.
It's true that, if you review vocabulary words a lot and practice intermediate algebra and 10th grade geometry problems in the weeks preceding your SATs you may improve your score by 3 or 4%. But if you use that time to review sample test questions and analyze the structure and logic behind SAT questions using Princeton Review or Kaplan etc., then you will improve your score by considerably more than a few percentage points. The same goes for Microsoft certs. If you master the topic being tested (in this case, Web apps, ASP.NET), you may still pass the exam or, at least, slightly increase your score. But knowing the topic is not enough. You must know the exam, as well. This thinking goes against Microsoft's view of their own certification exams. Microsoft's thinking and point-of-view is reflected in their "redbooks."
Therefore, if all you want is to learn ASP.NET using either of the dialects of the VB.
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I'm a long-time .NET developer, since it was in Beta. I love the .NET Framework, and I wanted to get certified to grow professionally.

If you are trying to pass the certs, DO NOT BUY THIS SET.

The practice exams in this set are a joke- I was getting 90+ scores on the practice exams, only to find the real exams covered substantially different materials, kept a totally different time pace (these are timed exams), and were presented in substantially different style.

I bought books from Microsoft Press because I didn't want to mess around with anyone else- I trusted the name. I am furious with Microsoft Press- they've cheated me. Don't let them take you.
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If there's anything I've learned in my years of programming, it's that you need more than one book to achieve a Microsoft programming certification. Usually MS Press (recently affliated with/purchased by McGraw Hill) books are the gospel, but their theory goes much further than their hands-on, which is far from extensive. In the past I have used Sybex's books, which have much better hands-on examples, allowing you to explore all of the features of the environment.

These books are very helpful to me, but I certified in VB5 and 6, and have been working with .NET since Beta 1. These books will not be helpful to someone who is "new" to Visual Studio languages, or new to programming altogether.

If this is your first MS programming cert, be sure to pick up other books as well to ensure you cover the breadth of material necessary.
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