11 Jan

Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012

70461

70-461 Training Kit
Available at amazon.com
Click here to get it.

As I just took this test, and passed, I thought it might be worth reviewing the book, especially since there are no other study resources.

The book itself is a pretty standard Training Kit effort. It’s 17 chapters with 2 or 3 sections each. Each section tells you that you need to know some SQL, etc. and will take anywhere from 15 minutes to 60. further each section comes with 3 test question and each chapter includes a couple of scenarios. I have to be honest and say that I really hate this format. This book is 700 pages and could easily be cut by at least 100 pages.

My version of the book had a couple of bonuses. First, chapters 13 and 14 are out of order. The book goes 12,14,13,15. Further there is some content missing that at release wasn’t on the CD or on the website. The author has indicated that all of this is to be fixed in the next printing of the book. Based on what I see at Amazon you can no longer buy it except from price-gougers. This will probably change soon and it should be available at around $37.00.

Structural problems aside, this is a very good book. It’s an excellent introduction to T-SQL and SQL Server. There is a lot of content, it’s well organized and with a couple of minor exceptions that aren’t worth mentioning, presented very well. I would recommend the content in the book to anyone who wanted to brush up on T-SQL. I would also rate it as the best Training Kit, even with the printing problems, that I’ve read. The author deserves a lot of credit.

But, that isn’t really the question, the question is does the book get you ready for the test and I think the answer is “yes”.

The test itself isn’t that hard. There were no major topics that were a surprise although there were a handful of specifics that I wasn’t certain about. Any regular user of T-SQL should pass and with this book they should easily pass. I come from a MySQL background so I had to fight in a few places. I think another week with the book and I would have cruised through it.

I would score the book as follows: 5 stars for the writing, 1 star for the construction (come on, chapters out of order) and another 5 stars for passing. Overall, rounding up I would give it 4 stars.

Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012