Microsoft's MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) program is a rigorous testing and certification program for Windows NT system and network administrators. To achieve certification, one must pass four required exams and two elective exams. Close to twenty potential elective exams exist, although only nine of them are current electives covering the most recent version of a given product. Microsoft has also just introduced the MCSE+Internet certification, which requires passing seven required exams and two elective exams. There are four current elective exams to choose from to attain this certification.
MCSE: The Core Exams in a Nutshell is a comprehensive study guide that covers the required exams offered in the MCSE certification. The companion book, MCSE: The Electives in a Nutshell, covers the most important and popular elective exams for the MCSE certification and also covers the other required and elective exams for the MCSE+Internet certification.
The required exams covered in this book are:
- Networking Essentials
- Windows NT Workstation
- Windows NT Server
- Windows 95 (you must choose either the NT Workstation or Windows 95 exam)
Each chapter in the book covers one exam. It includes:
MCSE: The Core Exams in a Nutshell
- A summary of the key areas covered by the exam
- A description of the format and difficulty of each exam and tips for passing it
- Definitions of key terms
- Sample test questions and answers
is a detailed quick reference designed for the administrator who already has some experience with Windows NT or is currently administering a different platform such as UNIX, and wants to learn what is necessary to pass the required exam portion of the MCSE certification. While no book is a substitute for real-world experience, this book will help you codify your knowledge and prepare for the exams.
Any administrator who is serious about passing the required exams needed to acquire MCSE certification will find this book an invaluable tool.
MCSE: The Core Exams in a Nutshell scores lots of points through its recognition of key facts about the "core four": there's lots of overlap among the exams. Rather than repeat the same information in multiple sections (or multiple volumes, as is becoming standard), Michael Moncur devotes a section of the book to what's unique in each exam, referring to other sections as needed.
Each portion of the book starts with an overview of the exam and a list of the chapters' objectives. The chapters conclude with a list of tasks to perform, a complete sample test, and a sort of condensed statement of key facts, suitable for last-minute cramming.
The author touches on all the topics that Microsoft mentions in its various Microsoft Certified Software Engineer (MCSE) exam specifications. However, readers should be warned that coverage in MCSE: The Core Exams in a Nutshell is less elementary than that of many other MCSE texts. You'll find hardly any step-by-step procedures, for one thing. If you're an experienced Windows NT hand and you have the ability to do a lot of experimenting with the procedures described, this book will be all you need. For anyone below an expert level, you may want to supplement this book with a text that wades through the exam material at a less breakneck pace.