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After 6+ years of .NET development, I decided to take the exams and get my certifications to fill in the gaps in my knowledge.

I'm taking exam 70-536 (.NET Framework Development Application Fundamentals) in 18 days.

Taking the practice exams, I notice that these questions are about minute details of dealing with the BCL libraries the exam focuses on. They aren't so much about "Here's your scenario. Which classes or approach is appropriate". It's more like "One of these (4) choices executes correctly. Which one?" Fine and all, but this is stuff that I could look up on MSDN in two seconds, but the exam is requiring you to memorize them!

These questions could come from any of the thousands of classes that are covered in this exam. This is hard-core memorization. Are there any suggestions for memorizing so much information? Any patterns in the way the classes are developed that I could leverage in educated guesses in case I can't remember the exact syntax?

For what it's worth, I have spent a lot of time preparing for this exam, so I'm not just trying to pass and get through it, I have learned a ton. But to pass, I need to have a LOT memorized, not just an understanding of the BCLs.

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the idea is to know how things work, not just to memorise things you have no idea about what they actually mean in order to pass the exam and then claim you're an expert. –  jwenting Apr 28 at 8:00
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Hey, that's a nice way to make money: I'll implement a framework, ask people to memorize it down to the smallest detail, and then sell certifications. –  Giorgio Apr 28 at 18:53
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1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Here's a no-memorizing opinion: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/cdnsoldevs/archive/2011/05/13/not-studying-for-a-certification-exam.aspx . I think the more you use the material you're being tested on, the less memorization you need.

Simply doing the practise exams, looking things up on MSDN or firing up Visual Studio and trying a few things, should help cement things in your mind.

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the link to thecodersblog is dead, would you mind editing to account for this? –  gnat Apr 28 at 5:52
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@gnat thanks, replaced with a more permanent link to the same blog entry. –  Kate Gregory Apr 28 at 12:41
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