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Tim’s MCSE Journey: 70-417, Part 1

Editor’s Note: CBT Nuggets trainer Tim Warner is taking the exams required for MCSE certification for both Microsoft SharePoint Server 2013 and Microsoft Windows Server 2012. When all is said and done, he will have taken five exams in five weeks! Tim is blogging about his experiences and providing valuable insight and advice for other potential test-takers. Here’s part 1 of his third blog post of the series.

 Hello everybody! This is an important blog post because it answers questions that many of you have concerning Microsoft Exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012.tim_blogpost_MCSE_BLOG

The main questions that everyone seems to have are: “What’s the deal with the R2 updates? Are you going to update your CBT Nuggets training courses?”

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have everything you need to know regarding the 417 test under your belt, and you’ll be in a much better position to study the newly-added material.

Exam 70-417: A Quick Schematic

First of all, know that Exam 70-417 isn’t for everybody. This is an upgrade exam that is intended as a way for people who are certified in Windows Server 2008 to shortcut their certification track to a variety of current-generation Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE), titles, including the following:

The 417 is a composite exam that consists of three separately-timed and separately-graded testlets. You’ll see a grand total of approximately 75 questions; this means that each testlet includes approximately 25 multiple choice and interactive questions.

You may ask, “Where does the 417 exam content come from?” As it happens, the three testlets in Exam 70-417 spring from three “feeder” exams:

You have approximately 30 minutes to complete each testlet. Once you submit answers from one testlet and proceed to the next one, there is no going back.

The passing score for the 417 test is the same as it is for all other Microsoft IT pro tests (700/1000) with one important twist: The three testlets are graded separately, and your overall pass/fail score is taken from the lowest of your three testlet scores!

You heard me correctly! This means that if I scored 840 on the 410 material, 730 on the 411 content, and 650 on the 412, then I would fail the 417 test. Dang, that’s harsh!

A big of good news that is sure to please some exam candidates is that there are no case studies on the 417 test. Instead, you’ll see the typical assortment of exam item types, including the following:

  • Single answer multiple choice (Choose the best answer)
  • Multiple answer multiple choice (Choose 2, Choose 3, etc.)
  • Interactive: Place the Target (click in the appropriate area of an interface screenshot)
  • Interactive: Build List and Reorder (choose so many blocks from a list and rearrange them in the correct sequence)
  • Interactive: Fill-in-the-blank (Fill-in-the-blank sentences in which you choose the missing element by using a drop-down list control)

I cannot stress enough how important it is that you gain practice with taking computer-based certification exams. To that end, remember that CBT Nuggets’ annual subscriptions include access to Transcender practice exams.

Up next: Tim discusses the 70-417 exam content focus areas and the R2 updates!


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