Has anyone bothered with the MSDST exam?

I have an MCP in 70-210 and am studying for 70-215 and after that am debating whether to do the MSDST - http://www.microsoft.com/traincert/mcp/MCDST/default.asp

Has anyone taken the exam yet as its new, and is it particularly difficult or easy?  
After reading it, it doesn't appear too difficult but just wondered if anyone has first hand experience comparing it to other MCP exams.

I'm not even sure its worthwhile going for it as I'm trying to do the MCSE 2000, although a few extra qualificiations along the way would be nice.

Any thoughts?
LVL 15
Rob StoneAsked:
Who is Participating?
I wear a lot of hats...

"The solutions and answers provided on Experts Exchange have been extremely helpful to me over the last few years. I wear a lot of hats - Developer, Database Administrator, Help Desk, etc., so I know a lot of things but not a lot about one thing. Experts Exchange gives me answers from people who do know a lot about one thing, in a easy to use platform." -Todd S.


I have my MCSE in Windows 2000. Personnally speaking I would not recommend MSDST. I know a friend of mine who took these exams and told me that they are faily easy exams. They serve as elective for your MCSEs, note that MSDST have 2 exams and count as 1 elective for your MCSE.

I would recommend that you pursue your 70-215 as you will learn a lot more that giving these MCSE exams. The server exam is lot more real world oriented which you will use on daily basis.

further more, i have read your comments here in EE and I dont think you need to take MSDST exams as I felt it is more for novices and not you. Plus pal, it is 2 exams that means more money. But if at all if you decide to take the exams, it will be a cake walk for you I guess.

Experts Exchange Solution brought to you by

Your issues matter to us.

Facing a tech roadblock? Get the help and guidance you need from experienced professionals who care. Ask your question anytime, anywhere, with no hassle.

Start your 7-day free trial
Rob StoneAuthor Commented:
Cheers mate :-)

I did think they sounded a bit easy but my mate was on about them who is studying for the 70-210 and he was raving about them a bit.

Only problem I have is I'm not allowed to touch the servers in my job as they are administered centrally not at local sites so I only have a test rig - and we are only on NT4 so thats not much cop anyway!  

My company does pay for the exams so I'm alright there, but its whether I can be bothered to go for these exams knowing that they aren't really going to help me.  Still time to ponder anyway, I won't be ready for the next exam for a few months yet (I like to be sure before I take the test).

Cheers, will keep it open to see if anyone else has any input but will increase the points by 50 per person that gives good replies and grade it as A.
I am currently in school studying for a BS in Computer Engineering and have been working with computers for 4-5 years now, and when I saw the MCDST certification I thought exactly the same as you did.... It looked too easy! I have not taken any other MCP tests yet, but I have taken and passed the Comptia A+ and Novell's Certified Novell Administrator (CNA) exams.

I purchased the 800 page book released by Microsoft press for the 70-727 exam to get a feel for what exactly will be covered on the test. I finished reading through the book in 3 days and can honestly say that I did not learn anything new. The exam basically covers the most common issues you would find working as an entry level help desk support technician. Basic things like how to customize toolbars, setup email accounts, troubleshooting issues with internet explorer, and work in a multi-user or networked environment. The only difficult part is memorizing the different security settings and options menus in Microsoft Office and Internet explorer.

The MCDST is designed to be in the same market as the Comptia A+ exam. It might help if you were applying for a help desk or entry level computer technician position, but the 70–270 exam “Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional” would teach you a lot more about XP.

The main reason why I am going for an MCDST is because of time and money:. The exams are $125 a piece and the books are $35 each (from Walmart) so for under $350 I can add MCP and MCDST to my resume. I figure it will take about 3 weeks to finish both tests.

If you are really interested in getting your MCDST I would advise trying the sample tests offered through Measure Up at:

If you find them helpful then defiantly buy the self paced training books published by Microsoft Press (from walmart.com of course) as they use the same software for practice tests. I have found that the test software is much more helpful then the book, and it has over 400 practice questions. Sorry for the long reply, but I hope it helps.

Greg Bray
Rob StoneAuthor Commented:
Cheers for the reply Greg.

Since I posted this i've done nothing on exams since, not even done the 70-215!!

However, work have said I can go on a free course for the MCDST so I'll be happy to get a free qualification under my belt to go with the 70-210 and then it might get me into gear to carry on with the MCSE 2000 before it expires!!

I wanted to avoid the XP MCP exam as I have the W2K pro one and was planning on doing the whole shabang and then doing the upgrade path to get both.

Oh well, in a month I'll get my arse in gear again!
Rob StoneAuthor Commented:
Well done the MCDST exams and they were a joke. Very very easy. Spent about 4 hours revision on each one and got 85% and 89% in both tests.

Told M$ that I think they have devauled the MCP qualification in the comments as anyone can pass these with very little knowledge or effort.

The only good thing about taking them was I got a whole day off work for a 1 hour exam on both tests and I can add it to my CV. I feel like I've downgraded my qualifications though!

I just hope that employers will know that the 70-271 & 272 don't mean much compared to the 70-210/270 but I doubt they will know the difference. MCP on the CV looks good whatever and thats where I feel M$ have cocked up.

Oh well.  At least it will get me back on the study track and I actually feel I'll do the 70-215 in the next month!!
It's more than this solution.Get answers and train to solve all your tech problems - anytime, anywhere.Try it for free Edge Out The Competitionfor your dream job with proven skills and certifications.Get started today Stand Outas the employee with proven skills.Start learning today for free Move Your Career Forwardwith certification training in the latest technologies.Start your trial today
Windows XP

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.