A couple of people asked me if it was difficult. Well, yes and no.
First, the ‘No’: I’ve been working with .NET full-time for a year and a half. I worked on several .NET projects while I was in Microsoft Consulting Services. Fortunately the projects spanned WinForms, ASP.NET, Web Services and .NET Remoting. So I ended up with a lot of hands on experience, which was invaluable to passing the test. As a result I didn’t study for any of the 3 MCAD exams I took. (But believe me, I did my share of studying, puzzling through things, etc. while I was working on those projects! I just didn’t use any of the study guides or review any of the ‘topics to be tested’ for the exams. (From that standpoint, I appreciated the exams: they tested things I had used in real life (or could figure out based on the wording of the question and answers 🙂 ))) (I need parenthesis nesting highlighting in my blog editor. I don’t know how Rory keeps his parenthesis matched up so well… (But that’s a topic for another blog entry.))
Second, the ‘Yes’: The exams can’t be taken lightly. There’s a lot to .NET, and a lot of things that can be tested on. Since I just took the 70-300 exam for the second time, I’ll talk about it for a moment… It exam seemed to have a number of loaded (some people may say ‘trick’) questions. That was the only exam I had to retake. The first time I didn’t study and I thought I had done quite well on it. Bzzzzt! Wrong! This time I glanced at one of the Exam Cram books for about 15 minutes, just to check on a couple of topics I thought I might have missed the first time around. This time through (today) seemed much easier than the first. There didn’t seem to be as many trick — uh — loaded questions. There were still some that required rereading about 10 times, though.
Should you do it? Yes! Go for it. .NET is fun. Get a book, or get some hands on experience, or take a class, lurk in the newsgroups, and take an MCP exam for MCAD. You’ll be glad you did.