This is a quick update on my MCM progress as yesterday (5th July) I took the lab portion 88-971. I am afraid this post will not go into any content detail as it is all covered by NDA, but I thought I would post my thoughts on my exam experience.
If like me you live/work in the UK there is currently only one location that you can take the exam which is at the Manchester Prometric site. (The London site is currently unavailable).
I decided to travel up to Manchester the night before which would give me plenty of time to relax. It’s funny how nervous I get, but I think that some people are just not exam orientated.
My head was trying to recall just about everything I could about SQL Server while trying to remember to eat, sleep and talk to people…lol
Anyway my accommodation was straight forward and a 12 minute walk from the exam center itself. I choose the Salford Quays Travelodge, but there are more hotels in the area and the tram runs by the exam center if you wanted to look further away. Id rather rely on my feet for transport tho, so close is best for me.
The exam center is same as the others with standard sign in, plus fingerprints like the knowledge exam. Its clean and not too sterile and doesn’t feel too overbearing. I remember sitting exams in big halls and it is amazing how disconcerting that is, compared to a nice office cubicle.
The exam itself was challenging in many ways and requires a broad detailed in-depth knowledge of SQL Server. The knowledge exam is a big step up from the MCITP prerequisites, the lab exam is a bigger step up again and perhaps even a leap for some.
One thing I will add is that even if you have no intention of sittings the MCM or any of the prerequisite exams I would still highly recommend studying for it. The amount of good quality material out there is too good to pass up.