Whoah! So finally I managed to clear my Microsoft Certified IT Professional exam in SQL Server 2008 BI after procrastinating it for almost 3 months. Well, ever since I cleared my MCTS exam in SQL Server 2008 BI, I was itching to get my hands on the the next title and so I scheduled my exam sometime in the first week of March. But as the doomsday appeared, I sort of started getting apprehensions whether I was actually prepared to write the exam as I had done no extra preparations (come on, there was no official book specified for the exam like the MCTS one. And no, don’t even start calling the reference books specified in the home page as official books) and I had no clue what sort of questions would be asked. Anyways, finally got the guts to write it yesterday and I cleared :).
Now speaking about the exams, I would have loved to discuss the questions but then there is a non-disclosure agreement because of which I would not be able to divulge the questions, but then I will try to give a general feel of the exams.
This exam can be cleared by anyone who has got a decent 1 year hands-on experience in the tool. Most of the questions are related to development of the solution, and on top of that, the official book - MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-448): Microsoft SQL Server 2008-Business Intelligence Development and Maintenance is pretty much detailed. My view is that even if you don't have the experience to back you, studying the book will definitely help you pass the exam. Number of questions were around 36 and data mining related questions were few and simple. Mostly it was centred around SSIS, SSAS and SSRS.
As for my preparations, I had around 3 years of experience and just read the complete book as I would read a novel in 3 days and wrote the exam. Mission cleared!
The sort of questions which were asked in this exam were completely design related. So if you have been designing BI solutions for 2+ years, this should be a breeze for you. Unfortunately for me, I had been designing only the OLAP part in my company and hence had to ponder a bit more in the SSIS part. Some of the questions really made me think, and even after that, I would be stuck with 2 answers. But the SSAS and SSRS parts were pretty decent which makes me re-affirm what I said before – you would find the parts easy if you have sufficient experience in it. In the end, I scored around 90% in the sections related to SSIS, SSAS and SSRS, but scored a 0 in the data mining part. There were only a few questions related to data mining, so guys, no need to get scared if you don't have experience in data mining like me. Worst case, you can still pass after getting a zero in data mining like I did ;). Number of questions were around 66.
As for my preparations, I would say a bit of extra reading in SSIS and of course yes, reading tits and bits from my favourite SSAS guide - Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Analysis Services Unleashed for maybe 3 days. Mission cleared!
Now I can finally display the MCITP logo in my profile :D