Yes, today I passed the 70-284 exam, also know as "implementing and managing Microsoft Exchange 2003". Due to personal reasons, nice weather, an exchange server that went down sunday night and a visit to the dentist, my preparation wasn't as good as it should have been. This resulted in a score of a meagre 700 which happens to be the passing score for this exam. :-) (Now, doesn't that fit nicely in the microsoft idea of "minimal amount of administrative effort"?)
To prepare I had three days in a classroom with an instructor. One day with a guy I can recommend if you need a good exchange instructor, Alex de Jong. In addition to that I had a Microsoft Press book a Transcender CD. The Microsoft Press book was better than previous ones I've used. Less clutter, a lot more to the point. As adviced previously by the people at transcender I download the latest version of the exam from their website instead of using the CD. Finally, transcender again as I've come to know and love. Good questions, close approximation of the real thing and good explanations (but still check with the web or the knowledgebase when in doubt).
What to study:
- Installation requirments (forestprep, domainprep, rights, etc)
- SMTP connectors
- SMTP virtual servers
- Front-end/back-end designs
- Clustering (pay specific attention to what needs an IP address and how users should access a cluster)
- Connecting Exchange and Notes and Groupwise (free/busy information!!)
- Scenarios when another company is taken over
- Routing groups and especially redunancy and routing costs
I'd expected some more legacy Exchange questions, I've only seen one. I think I lost points on routing group redundancy, what to monitor and installatin. Some practice exams suggest that domainprep is not a seperate preparation action if you are going to install servers in the domain anyway. I'm not entirely sure if that's correct.
The previous exams could be done by stuying theory only although that would be hard. I'd advice against trying that for this exam. In order to pass this you really need some hours at a console setting up and administring an exchange server or two (or more).
Seeing what I scored on this exam I think I won't try to do the 70-285 exam just yet, instead I'll hit the books and see what I missed on this one.