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Tim’s MCSE Journey: 70-417, Part 2

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 2 of his third blog post of the series. 

tim_blogpost_MCSE_BLOGExam Content Focus Areas

I’ll make this section of the blog post short and sweet. If you don’t study heavily to master the content from the following exam domains, you will fail the 417 exam:

  • Remote management (especially as it relates to managing Windows Server 2008 from Windows Server 2012)
  • IPAM (keep an eye on R2 enhancements)
  • AD FS (Microsoft really, really wants you to understand this technology deeply for some reason)
  • Hyper-V (again, keep an eye on R2 new features)
  • Failover Clustering (especially as it relates to VMs)

The 410, 411, and 412 exams deal with implementation rather than design. Therefore, you need to have hands-on experience with the technologies before you sit for the exam of you’ll find yourself potentially hopelessly lost.

We at CBT Nuggets are slowly rolling out virtual labs, which provide you access to a safe, sandbox environment with which you can gain that practical experience with the technology.

 The Dreaded R2 Updates: What to Expect

Of the 70-odd questions that comprise the 70-417 test, I saw only six or so questions that I knew pertained to the newly added Windows Server 2012 R2 content.

For those who are late to the party, Microsoft Learning announced via their Born to Learn blog (please read that blog regularly; it’s important) that in late January 2014, it would add content to the core Windows IT pro exams covering new and changed features of their latest product versions:

This decision was controversial to many Microsoft Certified Professionals, myself included, because of the following two factors:

  • Microsoft released these updates less than one year after the RTM product entered the market
  • More importantly, Microsoft itself had not updated its study material to include the R2 content

Like it or not, friends, the new content exists in the 417 exam, so you need to be prepared for it.

Almost every reference to Windows Server 2012 in the exam questions now says Windows Server 2012 R2. As far as R2 content areas that you have a high likelihood of seeing on your test, consider the following:

Recommended Study Plan

My colleagues and I are hard at work updating our CBT Nuggets training content for the Windows Server 2012 MCSE to reflect the R2 changes. Here is a list of who does what:

Please stay tuned to the following CBT Nuggets communication channels to be notified when the updated content is ready:

Lastly, let me provide you with a few resources to give you jump start in mastering what’s new and what’s changed in Windows Server 2012 R2:

I hope that this blog post has been helpful to you, and I want to thank you for reading!


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