This book is published by Wiley and available on Amazon or http://www.wiley.com/college/Microsoft
- Publisher: Wiley
- Published: 1/1/2013
- Rating: B-
I recently signed up on DreamSpark (the academic version of BizSpark from Microsoft) to download a full (and free) version of Visual Studio 2013. While I was signing up on DreamSpark I found a link to Microsoft Virtual Academy (MSVA). MSVA is an interesting website that gives students points based on how many online classes/tutorials they take on Microsoft products. While I was looking around MSVA, I found a link to Microsoft Certifications vouchers at discounted prices. It was late and for whatever reason I felt that work and school weren’t hard enough, I was going to push myself to get certified as an MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate) by taking the .NET Fundamentals exam 98-372. I followed the links and purchased the voucher at a discounted price ($57.00 instead of $130.00). Next, I found a Prometric testing center about an hour drive away and scheduled the exam on a Friday 3 weeks from that day.
I felt pretty good right then, but I needed something to study so I flipped my browser over to Amazon and started searching. I found this Wiley published book that fit the bill nicely. On top of that, I could rent it at a discounted price ($25.00).
I’m going to spoil the ending… I passed the test. Everything seems so far so good, right? Then why did I give the book a B- rating?
The book well organized and I liked the way important points were emphasized with side bar annotations. The writing was well articulated and the examples were easy enough to follow. There were exam-like questions at the end of each chapter that helped the reader verify they were taking away the most important terms/ideas from each chapter. So what was the problem?
I had a couple of issues with this book:
- The book did not contain an answer key for the end of chapter questions. This was infuriating. In most books, I’ve found not only answer keys, but descriptions as to why the other answers weren’t correct. I scrambled online looking for the answers a few days before the test but eventually gave up. Wiley offers answer keys to teachers using a sign-up process that includes a form of vetting that I was unable to Social Engineer my way into. This was thoroughly disappointing. All I wanted was to take the end of chapter “test” and have my answers verified. I’ve always felt that taking “Practice Tests” is a great way to study for exams.
- The content, while well organized didn’t cover a large number of questions that popped up in the test. This as far as I’m concerned is unforgivable. The test was 35 questions, and on at least 10 of them, I was completely clueless. Luckily, the test is all multiple choice and I’ve been developing with .NET for several years. Unfortunately, Microsoft made me sign an NDA before the test, so I’m unable to be more specific about the questions I encountered.
Overall, the book was worth the $25.00 rental because I passed, but only just barely (thus the B-). If another book existed, I would recommend trying that instead but this is the only study guide that shows up on an amazon search for “.NET Fundamentals” or “98-372”.
Capt. Rochefort (Certified Microsoft Technology Associate)