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Preparation Hints

Preparation Hints

When preparing for this exam, make sure to focus on the basics. This is not an expert level exam, so don't waste your time studying topics such as DSN and DSN-less connections and using Access as a backend database for a Web site.

While there is no substitute for hands on product experience, there are lots of study resources available for this exam. I have listed some of the better study resources in the next section, but it is also worth noting that Microsoft offers a 7 hour online learning class that is specifically designed to prepare you for this exam. At $14.99, this class is a real bargain, especially when compared to the cost of retaking a failed exam.

As stated earlier, this exam focuses heavily on the basics. That being the case, let's start at the beginning. First off, make sure that you know what a primary key is and what it does. You should also know how to add, change, or remove primary keys, as well as the types of circumstances that warrant such actions.

You will also need to know how to work with database records. You should know how to enter a new record, edit an existing record, and how to delete a record. Make sure you are familiar with the effect that deleting a record has on a primary key.

Although you can expect to see a few questions related to basic records management, the bulk of the exam focuses on using the data within an access database. That being the case, it is important to know how to locate the data that you need any given situation. Specifically this means knowing how to sort and filter various types of data. You should also know how to perform a search and replace operation within a data set.

The exam also places an emphasis on external data sources. Make sure that you know how to import data from external sources such as Excel spreadsheets. Conversely you will also need to know how to export data from an access database to an external data source. You should also know how to save a database object as an alternate file type.

One of the areas within the exam objectives that is easy to overlook is the section on creating and modifying queries. If you look at the official exam objectives, you will see that they merely state that you need to know how to create queries and how to modify queries. As simple as these statements sound, it is important to remember that they make up one sixth of the entire exam objectives. If the exam that you take ended up having 50 questions then you could potentially see as many as eight questions on the topics of creating and modifying queries.

Another area that you will need to be familiar with before you take this exam is that of the database structure. Specifically, you will need to know how to define table relationships as well as how to create and modify tables. According to the official exam objectives you will also need to know when it is appropriate to split a database and how to perform such a split.

You can also expect to see a few questions related to data types. You should be familiar with the types of data that are supported within Microsoft Access 2007, and you should know how to pick the data types for use within a table.

Microsoft also expects you to know how to analyze large data sets. You should know how to create and modify charts, and how to create reports.

Finally, it is important to remember that most users will not be entering data directly into an Access database. Typically there is a front-end application or a database form that is used when populating the database. Microsoft doesn't require you to know how to link a database to an application, but you are expected to know how to create database forms.

Recommended Study Resources

There are a number of study resources available for exam 77-605. Some of the better study resources include:

uCertify Guide for Microsoft Exam 77-605

Microsoft Office Access 2007, Exam 77-605 (Microsoft Official Academic Course Series)

Microsoft Office Access 2007, Exam 77-605 Student CD-ROM and Six-Month Office Trial CD-ROM with Certiprep Access-App License Set (Microsoft Official Academic Course Series) by Microsoft Official Academic Course

Access 2007 Training

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