When I study for Microsoft certification I use the following resources:
First I use CBT Nuggets. I start by watching the videos in double time. Then in single time I go through and make notes using OneNote. I find it good to paste from the screen straight into OneNote, make my own notes and create links to relevant resources like Technet.
Next where there are procedures I go through and do them on servers that I provision on AWS. I used to use VMware for this but I am limited on how many servers I can bring up at the same time. Having said that I do use VMware for anything relating to hyper v as it is not possible to install on an AWS instance.
After I have made my notes from CBT Nuggets and done the examples I go and buy a practice exam. Whatever questions I get wrong I make notes on and anything that involves a procedure I make sure that I do on a virtual machine.
When I am scoring around 95% consistently then I go sit the exam.