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Top Ten Tips for Passing a Microsoft Certification Exam

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Preparing for a lengthy certification exam can be a daunting task; the exams are long and cover a great deal of detailed material. However, there are some great tricks and tips for turning your studying into a passing mark on Microsoft certification exams. David Leaver offers his ten tips for success.
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When you are working towards your Microsoft certification, you are often working in your own time, and you have to set your own goals. If it is your first exam, you may not have a clear plan for how to study the information effectively or what resources are best. In order to make the study and exam processes a little easier, browse the list below for some helpful tips and advice on passing your Microsoft certification exam.

1. Always have a plan.

This is the key to any learning process—have a study plan and stick to it! In most cases, when you are studying for a Microsoft examination, you are doing it from home and in your spare time. I know from experience that this requires a lot of self discipline and motivation. You don’t have a teacher standing over your shoulder giving you deadlines; that’s up to you. And in truth, it is all too easy to give yourself the night off; perhaps you’re too tired or you fancy watching that TV program instead. Before you know it you’ve gone a fortnight without so much as browsing the first topic and you slip into a cycle of ‘I’ll look at that tomorrow’ or ‘this weekend I’m getting five topics done.’ Inevitably you don’t do either.

The first step to take when constructing your study plan is to be realistic; you are going to need a break some days and you do have a life so don’t be too hard on yourself. However, don’t be too easy either; otherwise, you will still be studying for the same exam a year down the line.

The second step is to ensure you get everything covered. Give yourself the time on each topic to get the information down properly.

Thirdly, make sure you fit in the revision stages. This is covered in more detail below, but in brief—make sure you review each studied topic daily before studying a new one, this helps maintain the information you have already learned.

Lastly, set yourself a goal. My favorite way of doing this is to schedule the exam. I know it can be cancelled, but I never feel good doing that unless it really is down to something unforeseen. This gives you a deadline, and it makes you get up and study as if you were at college and working to a proper timetable. Without a goal in mind, you will just amble on without really any pressure on yourself to get the studying done and the exam taken.

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