Microsoft Certification Training: 5 Test Prep Tips For The IT Pros

Most IT professionals pursue the Microsoft certification training for a promising career. You need to undergo the program’s updates and changes to become certified.

These changes include Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 integration in MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate), MCSD (Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer), and MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert) credentials.

To help you prepare, here are 5 tips to help you.


microsoft certification training


5. Look for Credential Changes


Microsoft certification took a shift after the development of Windows 8 and Server 2012. Replacements were made with the 3 once popular certification programs.


The MCSA (Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator), MCSE (Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer) and MCSD (Microsoft Certified Software Developer)  are now known as Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate, Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer, respectively.


Changes include the integration of both operating systems together with the reinvention of Microsoft certification credentials. Remember that MCTS (Microsoft Certified Technical Specialist) and MCITP (Microsoft Certified IT Professional) are no longer available.




4. Check the New Topics


Aside from bringing back the old certification credentials, Microsoft included new topics to focus on. They lean more on the cloud technology, emphasizing its importance and its tools.


You need to pass 4 – 7 exams to prove intermediate and advanced knowledge in the program. MCSE candidates must take 3 exams from MCSA and 2 exams from MCSE to get their credentials. MCSA candidates must only take 3 exams but you can go for MCSE by taking the other 2.


If you already have MCITP credentials, then we suggest you look for 60Days2MCSE community program. It is a challenge designed to help you pull off the new MCSE in 2 months. If you have the old MCSE credentials, then you must only take 1 – 2 exams to move up.



3. Prepare for 70-417 Exam


You must take the 70-417 test to advance to the new MCSA of Windows Server 2012. This test covers all the base exams in MCSA, including 70-412, 70-411, and 70-410.


This Microsoft certification training test focuses on the installation and configuration of new operating systems. It also covers the advanced configuration of Windows Server 2012 like storage and file solutions, recovery, services, and access or identity solutions.


Since it has all 3 base-level tests, you need to review the configuration and installation of Windows Server 2012 (70-410), Windows Server 2012’s administration (70-411), and Windows Server 2012’s Advanced Configuration (70-412).


We suggest that you take the Second Shot program. This allows you to take the 70-417 exam again should you fail it in your first attempt. To get it, you must request it during your registration.



2. Check These Study Resources


The gap between Windows Server 2012’s and Windows 8’s development is wide. This means that study materials for Server 2012 are many than Windows 8.


We recommend the bundle of exam references written by O’Reilly of Microsoft Press. Sybex also published one volume of study guide last July. You can look for any related publication of McGraw-Hill and Syngress too.


As for Windows 8, you can go for 70-687 references of O’Reilly. Sybex published 70-688 references which is also a good book. The first, and rushed, publication is that of ExamFOCUS which you can use for Windows 8 review as well.



1. Check These Books Too


This year, Microsoft Press released their MCSA: Windows Server 2012 Certification Preparation Pack which is a huge boost for you. The book contains test references for MCSA including the 70-412, 70-411, and 70-410 tests. You can use it to review infrastructure packages of Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.


Aside from MS Press, other publishers have their books as well. Look for Pearson Publishing because they own the famed prep bundle entitled Exam Cram. John Wiley and Sons publication now owns Sybex so expect good references from them too. Of course, we have good references from Syngress Media and McGraw-Hill as well.


These tips will serve you well as you prepare for certification program. If you have suggestions, then don’t be afraid to share them with us. Post additional books and references in the comments section below. Let’s all help one another and pass the Microsoft certification training.

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