Thoughts on taking the 70-346 exam

Recently I took the 70-346 exam from Microsoft to further my knowledge and skills about being able to administer an Office 365 environment.

It was a difficult test and in the end I did not pass on my first try, but I got close to passing (maybe about 2-3 questions close by my calculations). But as the old saying goes “Close only counts in horse shoes and hand grenades…”.

One area I think that really kept me from passing this exams was I was not as prepared on knowing how important the specific DNS settings for setting up the O365 environment was. I had a general idea on it but I wasn’t super familiar with things on certain services like port numbers and other items that I am starting to go back and refresh my knowledge on now.

Another area I struggled with was the different admin roles and how extensive the settings are for Rights Management in O365. Once I go back and retry for this I will review this area as well.

For those that are curious my method of prep here has been through an online resource that gave video training and remote labs in order to go through scenarios to learn each content area. One of the main frustrations I am dealing with is everything right now around Office 365 in general, which is how do you train on something that changes constantly?

For example I have content in some of my training right now that discusses DirSync and ADFS 2.0. Yes, 2.0… As of today (February 2018) ADFS is somewhere in the neighborhood of version 3.0 or 3.1 if I remember correctly. And it doesn’t stop there. I recall one area that tripped me up in knowing the different icons on the service health dashboard in O365 and what they mean.

Well, as it stands right now the study content I have reviewed and what is representative in O365 today is miles apart.

Now they do go into describing things about AAD Connect and how that is used so thankfully at least that helps out to be relevant in this section.

So my main advice when getting ready for this exam is know your Office 365 history. If you are new at all in getting into O365 from an admin perspective, hit up YouTube or other resources like MVA or others I have mentioned in my previous post to get an idea of where Office 365 has come from and where it is now.

The key here I think will be to refresh on core items that won’t change like domains and other important topics, but keep in mind and look to older content if necessary so you don’t get tripped up and hopefully that will give you an edge to pass it on the first time, unlike me having to go back and try to prepare for a second attempt.

Enjoy!

Update 03/06/2018: Just found out today that the MS Learning folks @borntolearn updated a bunch of resources for getting prepared on this exam and other tests. Hit this link to check it out:

https://borntolearn.mslearn.net/b/weblog/posts/spotlight-on-five-new-certification-exam-prep-resource-pages

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