So I finally reached my goal. Today I completed the test 70-536 Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation, and with the earlier completion of 70-562 Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development (see my prior posting), I can now call myself a “Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) – .NET Framework 3.5 ASP .NET Applications”. Yes, I am really glad this is over for now – and so is the wife and children 🙂
The test today (70-536) was harder than I initially anticipated. Like last time, I prepared by reading through the Self-paced training kit and taking notes in Notepad++. After reading through the book I then took a closer look at the test’s online curriculum and used MSDN to supplement my notes with relevant information. In the end I had 4662 lines of notes to be exact! Given the chance again I would probably look at the curriculum before reading each chapter of the book since it clearly tells you which skill set the chapter is covering. You should then be able to see if it covers everything you need.
For some odd reason the book doesn’t cover every skill mentioned in the curriculum. The classes ProtectedData and ProtectedMemory come to mind, although I can’t recall getting any questions about either of them. Apart from an early run, I didn’t use the practice tests on CD-ROM since I consider the question quality lacking, some times annoying, and some times plain wrong! If I had even more time I might have used a bit more time here, but I think playing with MSDN and testing examples gives higher value. Let me add that the CD-ROM practice tests I had installed applied to .NET 2.0 – some of the answers had changed for .NET 3.5. The test itself claims not to be .NET version specific.
My overall experience of taking this exam was a positive one. I learned an awful lot, but the questions on the test are made to make you uncertain. Simple things that you thought you knew well are now the source of uncertainty. Compared to the Certified Java Programmer exam (which I took a few years ago) this test does not delve deep in to the details or syntax of the C# language, but stays in the world of the .NET framework – as the title says.