Currently I am working towards my MCSA 2012 certification, and yesterday I passed the Microsoft 70-410 exam for Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 with a score of 984/1000, or 59/60 questions correct unfortunately just off 100% – not that it matters as a pass is a pass in the Microsoft certification world.
In this post I’ll cover the materials I studied to pass, as well as why I’ve changed over to studying for the MCSA 2012 instead of completing the MCITP Server Administrator (MCSA 2008) which I was previously working towards.
At the moment I have completed 1 of the 3 exams:
70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 – Complete!
70-411 Administering Windows Server 2012
70-412 Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services
Update April 2015: I have updated the links to refer to the updated R2 materials, as this exam now covers the R2 version of Windows Server 2012.
To study for this exam I made use of the following materials:
- Trainsignal (Now known as Pluralsight) video course by Ed Liberman
- CBT Nuggets video course by James Conrad
- Exam Ref 70-410 Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 R2 (MCSA)
I ended up watching the Trainsignal videos through once, the CBT Nuggets videos twice, and reading through the book recommended for the exam by Microsoft twice. I started with the Trainsignal videos as in my experience I’ve found these take a more basic and simplistic approach to the material in comparison to the CBT Nuggets videos, so I think they are a better place to start for beginners. The book was also essential as it has so much more detail that is required to understand after the videos that they simply don’t have the time to get into that level of information.
All up I spent about 5-6 weeks in my own time outside of work preparing for the exam.
Change from studying MCSA 2008 to MCSA 2012
If you’ve seen my recent posts you will know that I have been working towards the MCITP – Server Administrator. I was 2/3 exams through completing this (70-640 and 70-642), had started studying for my final exam (70-646) and then decided to stop what I was doing and change, here’s why:
- I found that I really did not enjoy learning the content in the 70-646 exam and did not want to waste time on something I didn’t feel was worth while for me.
- The certification is a little old, and almost obsolete now. As of July 31st 2013 it would no longer exist, instead it would become the MCSA 2008 – I felt this would devalue what I was trying to achieve. Being in IT you need to keep up to date with the latest technologies and I was keen to move from the Windows 2008 world to 2012. In short, new and exciting things over older and boring ones.
- I could have proceeded and completed the MCSA 2008 then taken the upgrade exam to MCSA 2012, but I was not keen on taking the upgrade exam which would include contents from all 3 exams required for the MCSA 2012, I preferred to take the slightly longer path, learn the contents more in depth and not have to be worried about a single important exam.
I know a lot of people would prefer the shorter option as by doing this I needed to complete 3 exams rather than 2 if I had finished 70-646 + the upgrade exam, not me apparently. I don’t look at it as a loss, but an opportunity – both the Active Directory and Network Infrastructure exams I’ve passed already I found valuable and useful, I learned a lot and is that not the main purpose of the whole process? Additionally I found a lot of the past learning from 2008 was built on in the 70-410 exam process while learning about all the changes to 2012 which made things easier.
Once I get the next two completed perhaps I’ll look towards an MCSE certification.