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I already had a lot of experience, but these exams always cover a broader area than your normal work - I never get involved in internationalization or writing setups, for example. This book filled the gaps very well. It's not perfect, but it helped me pass first time with a good score so I was very pleased with it. I would have no hesitation buying other books by the same authors.
If you are looking for a quick and dirty way to gettin' going on your MCAD then you have found the right book.
This is a light-weight study guide that covers only the essentials. Because of this, you don't get full treatment on a lot of subjects (such as delegates), but that's not what this book is for. If you are newer to .NET and C# then it's probably wise to get the big ol' MCAD/MCSD Exam 70-316 by Amit Kalani (one of the authors for this book).
There are ten questions at the end of each chapter to help reinforce your knowledge. There are also two test exams and a CD with a PrepLogic practice exam. In addition, there is a handy pull-out card that will help just before taking the test. There is a lot crammed into this little book!
There is only one downside that I can think of: At the end of each chapter there are 10 questions right... well that's all fine and dandy, but each question has the answer right below it, making it easy to accidently cheat. I have to use a folded piece of paper to make sure I don't accidently see the answer. This isn't a huge deal at all, but it wouldn't have taken anymore effort by the author to just throw the answers at the end of the ten questions... this is just being picky (and not really worth dinking a point... this book is still darn good).
If you found yourself needing to pass the exam in just a matter of weeks (maybe your boss is making you do it... like in my situation) then this book is perfect, especially if you already have at least a little bit of experience developing windows apps.
There is no question about it -- the 70-316 is a tough exam. I studied for 2 months, about 10 hours per week, and passed the exam with a score of 900 out of 1000. I used both this Exam Cram book and the "MCAD/MCSD Training Guide (70-316)" by Amit Kalani. In short, I found that this book was the most efficient study guide and allowed me to learn the most material in the shortest amount of time.
My recommendation for anyone studying for the 70-316 would be to gain a solid foundation through the "MCAD/MCSD Training Guide" but then once you feel comfortable with the basic features of Visual Studio and .NET, ditch the "MCAD/MCSD Training Guide" and switch over to this book. You will learn a lot faster by using this book as a general outline and making up your own examples in Visual Studio and doing your own research on the topics presented in each chapter. If you simply try to memorize everything then studying for the exam will be boring, frustrating, and difficult.
I definitely had fun once I started using this book and working through my own examples. It also helped to work backwards from the practice tests, by going back to Visual Studio and actually writing code to help understand any difficult or confusing questions. The practice tests in this book generally provide a good indication of what the real test will be like, although I found they contained fewer questions of medium difficulty than the real exam. The practice tests contained more questions that were either trivially easy or extremely difficult. On the real exam, most of the questions were of medium+ difficulty. Unlike the practice tests in this book, the real exam had very few easy questions and only a few questions that I would rank as "very difficult."
There were only a few questions in this book (maybe 1-2) that contained mistakes, but this wasn't a big problem, especially if you go back and work through the questions in Visual Studio. I did not use any of the Prep-logic tests included on the CD, but from reading other reviews, I understand that they are of dubious quality. I also didn't particularly care for the way the book displays answers directly under each question. Even if you use a piece of paper to cover the answers while you read the questions it is sometimes possible to slip and "accidentally" see the answer. Overall my complaints are minor and the book still deserves the 5 stars I am giving it.
I used this in conjunction with the Microsoft MCAD/MCSD self-study kit and Transcender's MCSD pack. I found the book too shallow in detail compared to what I found in my other study references and what was actually asked on the test. I thought the Cram Sheet in particular was pretty useless fluff.
The code examples were somewhat helpful, just for simplistic practice's sake if nothing else. I was also happy to see the discussion of the testing methodologies at the back of the book. Microsoft's testing approach has changed since I got my MCSE back in '98 and it was good to have some idea of what I might face.
Still, those two good points aren't enough to balance out the weak, shallow content. It's an OK guide if you've got access to other material; otherwise, look elsewhere.
I reviewed three books for the exam; Microsoft's, Chris Sells', and the Exam Cram book. I could have passed the exam with this book alone. Be aware that this book is only good for passing the exam, though. If you want to write a real Windows-based Application, you'll have to implement many more complicated topics than are covered here. As usual, the accompanying practice exam on the CD is not useful, but the content of the book more than makes up for it.
This book was exceptionally helpful in preparing me for the exam. If you want to pass 70-316 and you were only going to have one resource, this is the book you should have. I also studied the MCAD book and the combo was more than adequate (862 on the exam).