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Training Kit (Exam 70-461) Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Kit) 1st Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 171 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0735666054
ISBN-10: 0735666059
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  • Training Kit (Exam 70-461) Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Kit)
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  • Training Kit (Exam 70-463) Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (MCSA) (Microsoft Press Training Kit)
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dejan Sarka is a mentor with SolidQ and focuses on development of database and business intelligence applications. He is a frequent speaker at international conferences such as TechEd, SqlDevCon, and PASS. He is the founder of the Slovenian SQL Server and .NET Users Group. As main author or coauthor, Dejan has written nine books about SQL Server. He has also developed three courses for SolidQ: Data Modeling Essentials, Data Quality and Master Data Management, and Data Mining.

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Product Details

  • Series: Microsoft Press Training Kit
  • Paperback: 752 pages
  • Publisher: Microsoft Press; 1 edition (December 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0735666059
  • ISBN-13: 978-0735666054
  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.6 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,521 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I just passed the exam with a score of 831 on my first try at 62 years of age. This book was my primary study guide, but I vacillated between giving 3 or 4 stars. Here's how I arrived at four:

The book itself would have been a solid five except for numerous editing errors, which I find somewhat inexcusable especially when you take the quiz at the end of a chapter only to find that the book had some wrong answers. I'm glad I had a later edition so I didn't have to put up with scrambled chapters. I've written books myself so I am at a loss as to how so many errors could have slipped by. I'll blame it on the editors (or lack thereof) - just make sure you print out the errata page from the O'Reilly site as a reference. So for bad editing, I subtract .5 stars.

And then there's the practice exam...
This has got to be the worst practice exam out there for this test. The questions bear little resemblance to the real thing in either format or difficulty. If you barely pass this exam YOU WILL NOT PASS THE REAL THING. I was getting about 95% on the MeasureUp exam and then bought the Transcender exam after reading some of the reviews here. My 95% was worth 60% (FAIL) on the Transcender exam, which is much closer to the real exam in difficulty. I am not trying to sell you on Transcender as I feel it was over-priced considering that it too has accuracy issues.

Bottom line, I was ready to deduct two stars for the worthless exam (which another reviewer did) but decided to view it as a flawed bonus, like those coupons that print on your grocery receipt for items you just bought. So another .5 deduction - four stars seems about right. I would prefer that they didn't include the test as it could raise one's confidence unjustifiably.
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Format: Paperback
The book is good. It covers everything on the exam, gives good tips, has lots on info and points to great links when it doesn't have space to give pages and pages of detail.. Content all seems accurate to me. It's a bit of a tome,but its all good and necessary info.

If your buying for the practice exam that comes on the included DVD, don't. Questions have zero representation to the actual exam. They are way too simple and short and have no resemblance to the exam in structure, content or difficult.

As the book is good, and if this review was for the book alone, I'd give full stars, but it loses 2 stars as the practice exam (a big reason I got the book) was so rubbish.

Conclusion- great book, crap sample exam.
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Format: Paperback
I bought the e-book version. Very well written and easy to follow. It has excellent hands-on practice tests the end of each chapter. If you're like me somewhat new to SQL, I recommend to start with Itzik's Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals book. Having read both books and went over SQL syntax from Microsoft MSDN, I was able to write the 70-461 test and passed it. 70-462 is next!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me preface by saying this. I am currently a senior SQL Developer for a fortune 500 company. I have been in and around IT for the last 10+ years.

I recently went and took my 70-461 and failed it. Actually quite miserably. I've read this book cover to cover. I've read certain more challenging chapters more than once. I've done all the examples. I've worked through the practice test included from Measure Up at least a dozen times. On topics requiring a bit more depth (i.e. format number memorization for CONVERT, Transaction Isolation Level details, Physical Storage topics/techniques, and Indexing) I spent a healthy amount of time on the MSDN libraries expanding on the book. All with confidence in my understanding and a rehearsed command of the knowledge in my work environment.

This book is written expertly. Hands down. The authors are extremely knowledgeable and the book is well written.

Given that the title of this book is a training kit and targets specifically knowledge geared towards passing the 70-461, and the fact that I could not pass the test on this content alone I cannot rate this book more than a 3. The test examples included on the CD-ROM are lightyears less complicated than the test questions. And the test itself goes into nuance memorization that departs from recommended standards.

To me Microsoft has really missed the mark on this exam and the book doesn't do what it suggests it might.

As my title suggests... Be prepared to be much much better at your job and real life application. But don't buy this book thinking you will pass the exam. I am proof.
2 Comments 34 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1st, a small disclaimer...

At the time of this review, 12/13/12 I have not finished reading or studying this book yet; as a matter of fact, I challenge any person or reviewer saying he or she has finished the book, as frankly speaking would be difficult or impossible to believe. However, I decided to jump ahead and give my honest review from what I've read so far. I have no business relationship with any of the authors whatsoever.

Having said that, I like this book so far. It is way, way better than its previous version. It goes more in-depth and gives a more holistic approach to T-SQL. I'll explain that in a few.

So far, i've read: Chapter 1, which is an intro to what set theory is. Chapter 2, which is about SELECT statements. Chapter 15, which is about Indexes and Chapter 17, which is about optimization. All those cover the basics and more about what you need for your day to day job and to fully understand T-SQL and their proper usage. The Index and Optimization chapters have plenty of illustrations and the concepts are exposed in a clear but concise manner.

Each chapter, as the typical MS cert books, has questions an answers but there are also lot of labs with exercises and T-SQL queries to play with. You only need a SQL2012 instance (any flavor) to practice.

I consider this book a hybrid between Itzik's bestseller, T-SQL fundamentals and previous SQL query book from Microsoft. This new version keeps its simplicity while going more in detail and giving a non proprietary and holistic approach to what T-SQL is or should be.

I've been reading Itzik's books for several years now and he has improved his writing skills a lot.
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