Today I passed the Microsoft IT Professional(MCITP) 70-446 “PRO: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure by Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005” exam.
This makes me one of the 337(January, 2008) Microsoft Certified IT Professionals worldwide! (Nr. of MCP’s worldwide)
To try the 70-446 exam its required to gain the 70-445 MCTS certification first. I have passed the 70-445 exam in November last year.
The first conclusion I can make is that, strangely, I found the 70-445 exam more difficult than the 70-446 exam. I scored 70% on the 70-445 exam and managed to score 93% on the 70-446 exam. Partially this is because I gained more work experience in the last months and partially it’s because the 70-446 exam contains easier question types.
The exam topics of exam 70-446 (full list: Microsoft Learning)
The following list includes the topic areas covered on this exam. The percentage indicates the portion of the exam that addresses a particular skill.
· Planning BI Solutions (15 percent)
· Designing SSIS Solutions (21 percent)
· Designing SSRS Solutions (14 percent)
· Designing SSAS Solutions (22 percent)
· Deploying and Optimizing SSAS Solutions (15 percent)
· Designing Data Mining Solutions (13 percent)
If we compare this with exam 70-445 we see that data mining is still quite important. Further we see that SSRS gets less attention in exam 70-446.
70-445 vs 70-446
|Planning BI Solutions||–||15%|
Just like with exam 70-445 data mining is an important topic of the exam! It’s important to know when to use the different algorithms that are shipped with SSAS.
Unfortunately there is no training kit available for this exam. You can find the book on some online bookstores but all with the following message: not available. After some research I found out that this book will never come out. I think MS Press will wait until the 70-446 exam for SQL Server 2008 is available.
Number of questions and completing time
The exam contains 6 case studies with each 9 or 10 questions. You have 30 minutes for each case, any remaining time from a case won’t go to the next case, so just use your 30 minutes. The 30 minutes were enough for me. I did not study the entire case study in detail before I looked at the questions. I think this is the best thing to do; quickly scan the case study, then look at the questions and then scan the case study for required information regarding the question.
Just like the 70-445 exam you will require a minimum score of 70% for the exam to pass.
I already mentioned that the 70-446 exam question types were easier than the 70-445 question types. In this exam I only found the question type below, where just one answer can be selected. 70-445 had another 3 question types that were a lot harder then the one below.
Some useful tips
· Make sure you know exactly how many cube processing types there are and how they work.
· You need to be able to read database schemes.
· The different OLAP types, check this blog of me for more information.
· Data mining is important!
What should you study
The lack of a training kit and other study materials designed for this exam makes your studying difficult. What should you study and where should you start?
Microsoft does have a preparation guide for this exam on the Microsoft learning website. On this page you’ll find the following interesting topics:
Preparation tools and resources
This section contains links to classroom courses, Microsoft E-learning resources, Microsoft Press books and practice tests.
I did all the classroom courses and they helped me prepare for the exam! If you have the possibility to take those courses you definitely should!
I personally don’t advise you to buy all the Microsoft Press books to study. It’s just too much information and it will cost a lot of study time.
Practice tests are very useful as preparation, I would advice everybody to purchase a set of preparation questions.
Skills being measured
This list contains all the possible exam topics. If you want to prepare yourself efficiently you should just study every item on this list. Search on Google and books online and you will find enough information! I think this way of preparing for the exam is the best way!
How did I study
I studied all the topics of the Skills being measured list that you will find in the preparation guide. Next to studying the Skills being measured, I followed all Microsoft Official Courses that are recommended as preparation for this exam:
Course 2794: Designing a Business Intelligence Solution Architecture for the Enterprise Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 (two days)
Course 2795: Designing an ETL Solution Architecture Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Integration Services (two days)
Course 2796: Designing an Analysis Solution Architecture Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Analysis Services (three days)
Course 2797: Designing a Reporting Solution Architecture Using Microsoft SQL Server 2005 Reporting Services (two days)
Below some links to other useful sites/weblogs about the 70-446 exam:
If you have any questions, leave them as a comment and I will answer them, if I can. Also, if you have any information regarding the 70-446 MCITP exam, please leave a comment.