Studying for Microsoft Exam 70-217

OR Preparing To Intergrate with the Hive Mind
I have spent a great deal of time in the great complex that is the Active Directory Group Policy utility over the past few years. Now it is between me and that utility for me to become an MCSE. I have been looking over the test-prep tools for test 70-217, and not finding much comfort in them. I think for once I am going to hone my knowledge by improving the in-place-network practice that I have. If there is something I should be doing for the exam, I should be able to do it on my network for a similar purpose and have it make sense. One of the most unusual things I have run across so far in preparing for the test is modification of the schema to include custom objects. I have never done that before, nor have I felt the urge to do it. I’m not sure what I can be practical about adding to my domain schema, but there must be something with the way I like to over-organize things. Perhaps a listing of a “database” object to keep up with the changes I make to my MySQL databases, something which currently cannot be tracked using AD (unless I use MS SQL). I consider myself highly knowledgeable of Windows and Active Directory, but there is a lot I still need to learn about it. I want to learn this material and be able to become a competent Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer, not just a paper-certified moron incapable of performing what he has been certified to do.
I now have a Linux system present in my native network environment, this causes some oddity, but also a great opportunity for me to learn to get Linux (with Samba) and Active Directory to work together.
My final two exams are both on Active Directory, so I need to learn this material well and know what I am doing. I want to be able to enter the 70-219 (Designing Active Directory, my final exam) feeling just as confident as when I entered the room for 70-215 (I, A, and C Windows 2000 Server). It has been a long time since I began this journey, starting back on April 10, 2003. I had thoughts of stopping with my MCP certification, because that was the easy thing to do. I didn’t take any other exams after I had exhausted my supply of exam vouchers for over a year until I was challenged by my school’s network administrator to complete the next certification by the time I graduated. On May 19, 2004 I recieved the status of Microsoft Certified System Administrator. I shouldn’t have had to rely on an outside challenge to get me to finalize that goal in my life. I am usually so much more self-motivated than that. This time I am going to be self motivated and pass both of my remaining exams on the first try (especially important for 219). I am this close to my certification goal, I can complete the goal in 2 exams and then close the Microsoft era in my life forever if I decide to do so.
More certifications are likely in my future, but not in the Microsoft realm.