Certifications / Microsoft

Tim's MCSE Journey: 70-413, Part 1

by Team Nuggets
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Published on February 11, 2014

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 fourth blog post of the series.

Hey everyone! Today I would like to walk you through Microsoft Exam 70-413, Designing and Implementing a Windows Server 2012 Server Infrastructure. This is a tough exam for a couple of reasons that I will explain throughout this blog post.

Essentially, when you combine design-oriented subject matter, the case study format, with some verbose and (perhaps overly) picky questions, you have a recipe for an exam that you'll find yourself relieved to pass.

What Kind of Exam is This?

Exam 70-413 is part of the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) track for Windows Server 2012. All MCSE candidates must pass this exam to earn their credential, regardless of whether they qualify for the Exam 70-417 upgrade.

The focus this time around is on design instead of implementation of Windows Server 2012-based solutions. Don't be fooled, however, you will have plenty of questions that require you to flex your Windows Server 2008 skills, especially in to regards functional levels, FSMO roles, and capabilities per Windows Server product version.

Consequently, the goal here, at least from Microsoft's perspective, is to validate that you know how to interpret case study data and map Microsoft technology features to specific client requirements. This means that you'll be tested on your reading comprehension and logical reasoning skills, as well as your knowledge of Windows Server 2012 and related technologies.

Exam Structure

As I've already mentioned, Exam 70-413 uses the case study format. You can expect to see approximately two case studies in the exam, which are partitioned from each other. In other words, once you finish one case study and proceed to the next part of the exam, you cannot return to a previously completed case to review your answers.

Each of the two case studies includes approximately 8 questions using all of the typical non-interactive and interactive item formats:

  • Single-answer multiple choice (Choose the best answer)

  • Multiple answer multiple choice (Choose all that apply)

  • Interactive: Drag and Drop (Essentially a matching exercise)

  • Interactive: Place the Target (Click on the image in the appropriate spot)

  • Interactive: Build List and Reorder (Stack some procedure blocks and put them in the correct sequence)

The entire exam consists of approximately 51 questions to be completed in 130 minutes; therefore, I'm sure you are wondering what the remaining questions consist of. The third section of the test consists of a battery of standalone interactive and non-interactive items.

Be forewarned, there is quite a bit of reading to be had in both the case studies, as well as in the item stems of the standalone questions. Make certain that you register to take this exam localized in your native language if at all possible.

Up next: Tim covers content areas that are heavily emphasized on the 70-413 exam, as well as tips/tricks for taking the exam!


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