So how did you prepare to take a certification test?  Did you use the MS Press study guides? Exam Cram series?  Other non-study-guide books?  Hands-on experience?  Sample exams?  Newsgroups?  MSDN?  GotDotNet?  Quickstarts?  WWW.ASP.NET?  Other?  Did you buddy-up with anyone or go it alone?

What worked for you?  What didn't work for you?

Just curious...

Follow up: So far, the comments I've received all say that practical experience beats the study guides every time.  I found that to be true, too.  I opened one Exam Cram book for about 15 minutes before I re-took 70-300.  The other tests I took to pass the MCSD .NET I did without specific studying for the tests.  (There was plenty of time in MSDN Library, newsgroups, and getting my hands dirty in code, though.)

I do think the study aids do have their place, though… if nothing than to help focus your studies before taking a test.

What do you think?