Showing posts with label mcsa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mcsa. Show all posts

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

10 tips to pass Microsoft’s MCSA 70-740 Exam

Microsoft’s 70 740 exam: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the first exam of three exams you are required to pass to achieve the MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certified. 

Passing this exam proves you have the skills and knowledge to:

·         Install Windows Server 2016 in host and compute environments
·         Implement storage solutions
·         Implement Hyper-V
·         Implement Windows containers
·         Implement high availability
·         Maintain and monitor server environments

Once you’ve passed this exam, you’ll be able to move on to exams 70 741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 and 70 742: Identity with Windows Server 2016.  

This exam is currently in the beta phase of development meaning it is not yet available to the public. In preparation for its release, however, we've gathered the 10 most useful tips and resources currently available.

1. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy


Microsoft offer a free learning resource, called the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Here you can find videos, presentations and learning materials for the full range of Microsoft technologies, including Windows Server 2016. These resources not only introduce you to the key exam information but also provide helpful and educational insights into many key topics.

For Windows Server 2016 and your 70 740 exam there are a host of useful resources that can bolster your knowledge. The What’s New in Windows Server 2016 provides an in-depth introduction of the changes you’ll see from the previous Windows Server 2012 and features that have recently been added to the Windows Server 2016.

The content in this free resource is an excellent starting point for your exam prep and alongside our other tips will ensure you’re ready to ace the exam!

The recent release of the MCSA 70 740 exam means the content currently available is limited. While we wait for Microsoft to populate the Virtual Academy with relevant information we've found this excellent 70 740 exam prep resource to keep you busy. 




2. Use a revision guide


Study guides can act as incredibly useful resources that allow you to structure your revision in a way that best appeals to you. Revision guides point out key areas you should focus on and will guide you through the knowledge you need to know for the exam. Below are two of the most useful revision guides, which we believe you will largely benefit from.

Exam Ref 70 740 Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the newest 70 410 book from Jason Kelington and the Official study guide for this Microsoft certification. “Featuring concise, objective-by-objective reviews and strategic case scenarios and Thought experiments, exam candidates get professional-level preparation for the exam”.    

You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-0735698826




A second resource and one that’s equally helpful is the bestselling MCSA Windows Server 2016 Study Guide. This guide covers 100% of all exam objectives and “goes far beyond concept review with real-world scenarios containing expert insights, chapter review questions, hands-on practice exercises and a searchable glossary”. Written by William Panek, a Microsoft MVP, you can be sure that the content will be closely aligned with what you’ll face in the exam.

You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon here. The ISBN is 978-1119359340 



3. Join a forum 


What better way to prepare for the 70 740 exam then to join other like-minded individuals preparing for the same exam. Joining a forum is an excellent way of accessing this community. You’ll be able to work through challenging aspects together, ask questions and bounce ideas of each other. You’ll also hear from what others who have both passed and failed the exam have to say.

The TechNet forums are an excellent resource in this regard and offer guidance and information that can be insightful for those that are both looking to get certified or simply resolve technical issues. There’s a wide range of topics and with so many active members there’s a high chance somebody has already answered your questions.

There are articles on all aspects of Windows Server as well as your specific exam or areas you may be struggling with. Currently there is no Windows Server 2016 forum but there remains plenty of information about the Windows Server 2016 in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server General Forum, which can be found here.


4. Take a practice test



Practice 70 740 test questions are useful resources to familiarise yourself with the exam format, and prepare you for the types of questions you’ll get when you take the exam. Even more importantly, however, it’s a great way to identify gaps in your knowledge that you can then work on.

GoCertify offers 70 740 test questions. Once you’ve done some revision and feel you have a good understanding of the exam material, this is an excellent way to test your knowledge and identify areas that need improvement.

MeasureUp is a similarly useful resource and as the provider of official Microsoft practice tests it offers a far wider range of questions and different packaging and pricing options to get you started. With the exam still in the beta phase, however, MeasureUp do not have practice questions live on their website. We suggest you check this page regularly as they’ll no doubt be looking to update this as soon as the exam becomes available.


MeasureUp’s practice exams are well-respected and are a great way to dig your teeth into some meaty and useful revision. 

5. Take a course


At the end of the day there is no real alternative to immersing yourself in a training course led by certified instructors with a wealth of knowledge and experience on your specific certification.

You’ll sit in a classroom, away from any distractions, with peers that are focused on passing the same exam. You’ll also benefit from hands-on experience and invaluable instructor knowledge.

Firebrand offer an accelerated 11 day MCSA: Windows Server 2016 course. Firebrand also offer courses aligned to the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams individually.  




6. Avoid Brain Dumps


You should look to avoid brain dumps at all costs. Not only are these illegal in the context of examinations, they are also entirely useless in giving you the skills you’ll need to apply your MCSA Windows Server 2016 in real-world scenarios. If its discovered that you have been using a 70 740 brain dump, you will be disqualified from your exam.

7. Download a trial session of the software


An excellent way to prepare for the exam is to get familiar with the software you’ll be tested on. You can download a trial version of the Windows Server 2016 software here

The trial version limits you to 180 days, which is more than enough to get experienced with some of the features. Focus on experiencing parts of the software relevant to 70 740 exam and this software will offer useful practical revision that will certainly help when it comes to the exam.

Follow the exam objectives as a guide for what to revise. 


8. Join a study group


The value of joining like-minded individuals as you prepare for your exam should not be underestimated. Study groups allow you and others to share tips, experiences, challenges and questions with one another.

Born to Learn is a training and certification community that discuss relevant certification news and articles.



Under the “Study Groups” tab you’ll be able to select the technology and the subsequent exam you’re focusing on. Here, you’ll be able to start discussions or add to on-going discussions with others that are interested in the same software and exam as you.

Unfortunately, there is currently no study group available for the Windows Server 2016. There’s no doubt Microsoft will be looking to introduce this soon, so keep checking this page! 


9. Do some practice labs


Practice labs are an excellent way to get familiar with software in an environment that allows you to make mistakes.

While training courses such as Firebrand’s offer practical tasks with the supervision of an instructor, MeasureUp have a series of practice labs you can complete by yourself. These practice labs are aligned specifically to the different exams. Although currently unavailable for the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams, check back at a later date.
   
It’s also definitely worth heading to TechNet Virtual Labs where you can access labs aligned to Windows Server 2016. Best of all, this resource is entirely free so make the most of it!



With the Windows Server 2016 exams currently in the beta phase, it’s just a matter of time before we see these practical labs become available on MeasureUp.

10. Follow an Expert

A good way to keep up-to-date with the latest Microsoft developments is to follow an expert's blog. Robert Smit is a Senior Technical Evangelist and Microsoft MVP as of 2009 and updates his personal blog on all things Windows Server/System Center and Azure. 

Smit uses this platform as his own personal notebook as well, so although some of the content may appear to be Smit thinking out loud - it is an excellent resource for your Windows Server exam prep. 

Keep up to date with this blog and you'll get the inside scope on a wide range of information helping with exam preparation and developing your skills once you're MCSA certified!

Monday, 3 October 2016

Massive changes to Microsoft Certifications

Just yesterday Microsoft surprised the IT Pro industry with a complete revamp of their technical certifications. They launched five new Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certifications, three new Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications and will be retiring 13 existing certs. It was also announce that the way you certify is changing, a change that is important you understand.  

This blog will look to dissect the changes made by helping you understand what’s new, what’s retiring, how you can achieve these new certifications and the process of recertification.


What’s new?


New Certifications:
On September 26th Microsoft launched eight new certifications, and announced the retirement of 13 older certifications and changed the way you recertify. Let's take a look at what this means for you and your certifications:

The new certifications have been listed below:

  • MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure - focusing on skills validation for Windows Server and Microsoft Azure 
  • MCSE: Mobility - focusing on skills validation for Windows Client and Enterprise Mobility Suite 
  • MCSE: Data Management and Analysis - focusing on skills validation for both on-premises and cloud-based Microsoft data products and services 
  • MCSE: Productivity - focusing on skills validation for Office 365, SharePoint, Exchange, and Skype for Business 
  • MCSD: App Builder - focusing on skills validation for Web and Mobile app development 
  • MCSA: Cloud Platform - focusing on expertise in Microsoft cloud-related technologies 
  • MCSA: Web Applications - focusing on expertise at implementing modern web apps  
  • MCSA: Universal Windows Platform - focusing on implementing Universal Windows Platform apps that offer a compelling user experience 

The new certification process:

In addition to the new certifications, Microsoft have now changed the way you certify. This is a throwback to the past where historically you could certify via a series of elective exams, rather than a set pathway.

Attaining a new MCSE/MCSD certifications can be achieved by holding the prerequisite MCSA certification and passing one elective exam from a choice of 5 to 10 options. Effectively Microsoft have now made it easier to secure MCSE and/or MCSD certifications as there is just one exam to pass, where previously there would have been two. Furthermore, all new MCSA exams require you to pass two elective exams from up to a choice of five.

MCSA: Cloud Platform
Step 1. To earn the MCSA: Cloud Platform, you must pass two of the following exams.
Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
Not yet available

MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
Step 1. Earn one of the following Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications:
MCSA: Cloud Platform
Step 2. Pass one of the following elective exams.
Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
Implementing Microsoft Azure Infrastructure Solutions
Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
Not yet available
Securing Windows Server 2016
Not yet available
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing a Server Infrastructure
Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud
Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud
This MCSE certification can be re-earned every calendar year by passing an additional elective exam.

MCSA: Web Applications
Step 1. To earn the MCSA: Web Applications, you must pass two of the following exams.
Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3
Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications

MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
Step 1. To earn the MCSA: Universal Windows Platform, you must pass two of the following exams.
Programming in C#
Developing Mobile Apps
Not yet available

MCSD: App Builder
Step 1. Earn one of the following Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications:
MCSA: Web Applications
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform
Step 2. Pass one of the following elective exams.
Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services
Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Core Solutions
Developing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 Advanced Solutions
Universal Windows Platform – App Architecture and UX/UI
Not yet available
Universal Windows Platform – App Data, Services, and Coding Patterns
Not yet available
Administering Microsoft Visual Studio Team Foundation Server
Take MVA course
Software Testing with Visual Studio
Not yet available
Delivering Continuous Value with Visual Studio Application Lifecycle Management
Not yet available
This MCSD certification can be re-earned every calendar year by passing an additional elective exam.

MCSE: Mobility
Step 1. Earn your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA): Windows 10 certification.
Step 2. Pass one of the following elective exams.


Deploying Windows Desktops and Enterprise Applications
70-695
Administering System Center Configuration Manager and Intune
70-696
Planning for and Managing Devices in the Enterprise
Not yet available
70-398
This MCSE certification can be re-earned every calendar year by passing an additional elective exam.

MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
Step 1. Earn one of the following Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) certifications:
Step 2. Pass one of the following elective exams.
Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
Not yet available
Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
Not yet available
Developing Microsoft SQL Server Databases
Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server
Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server
Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server
This MCSE certification can be re-earned every calendar year by passing an additional elective exam.

MCSE: Productivity


Step 2. Pass one of the following elective exams.


Designing and Deploying Microsoft Exchange Server 2016
20345-1
70-345

20345-2
Managing Microsoft SharePoint Server 2016
Not yet available
Deploying Enterprise Voice with Skype for Business 2015
Not yet available
Core Solutions of Microsoft Skype for Business 2015
Core Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
Advanced Solutions of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013
Core Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
Advanced Solutions of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013
This MCSD certification can be re-earned every calendar year by passing an additional elective exam.


The recertification process:


Recertification is dead. The requirement of passing a recertification exam every two to three years to keep you credential in the Active section of your transcript has been scrapped.

You will no longer need to recertify the new MCSE/MCSD credentials, they remain on the Active section of your transcript once gained. You do however have the option to re-earn your certification every year by passing an additional elective exam. Whilst not a requirement this validates both your growth in Microsoft product knowledge, keeping pace with rapid advancements of Microsoft technologies – where new features are launched weekly.

As a result of this switch, recertification exams are retiring will be retiring. Multiple new electives will launch on a yearly cycle to ensure you can re-earn your certification relevant to the latest technology upgrades.

Retiring certifications:


Additional to the 8 new certifications, Microsoft have announced the retirement of 13 current certifications. The list of certification set to retire is listed below:
  • MCSE: Server infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  • MCSE: Messaging
  • MCSD: Application Lifecycle Management
  • MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Azure Solutions Architect
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications

Although these 13 certs are set to retire on the 31st of March 2017, some of the exams that make up these certifications will not. What this means is that although the Microsoft certification portfolio has been restructured, you will still be able to take some of those same exams, just as an elective for a new MCSE/MCSD certification.

You May Have a New Certification Already!


Microsoft have sought to make the transition between certifications as smooth as possible as they “recognise your efforts in keeping your existing certifications up-to-date”. If you currently hold an active MCSE and/or MCSD certification from the list below, then you’ll automatically earn the corresponding new MCSE or MCSD certification. You won’t even be required to pass any more exams!

  • MCSE: Server infrastructure
  • MCSE: Private Cloud
  • MCSE: Data Platform
  • MCSE: Business Intelligence
  • MCSE: Enterprise Devices and Apps
  • MCSE: SharePoint
  • MCSE: Communication
  •  MCSE: Messaging
  •  MCSD: Universal Windows Platform
  • MCSD: Web Applications
  • MCSD: SharePoint Applications


Additionally, if you have completed a qualifying elective exam since January 1st 2016, then you will be eligible for the new MCSE or MCSD certifications without taking any additional exams, on the condition that you meet all the exam requirements.

If you currently have an inactive MCSE or MCSD certification, you have the choice of taking a recertification exam or a new exam from the electives list corresponding to that specialist certification.

Below we’ve offered some practical examples of certifications you may hold and the new certification equivalents you may have just earned:

Old Certifications
New Certifications
MCSA: Universal Windows Platform + MCSD: Application Builder
MCSE: Cloud Platform
MCSE: Cloud Platform
MCSE: Productivity
MCSE: Data Management and Analytics
MCSA: Cloud Platform + MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure
MCSA: Web Applications + MCSD: Application Builder