Passed 70-743. MCSA Again.

blargoeblargoe Self-Described HuguenotNC, USAMember Posts: 4,174 ■■■■■■■■■□
I have to say that making a brute effort to prepare for this test right after finishing the MCSA 2012 was helpful.

The test was very challenging, but it wasn't quite as gruesome as I thought it would be. It could go very differently for the next guy, I think it just depends on which questions they select for you. I really expected more questions, being a combo upgrade exam. There weren't many more than a regular exam. I think they do still dock you for missing too many questions out of the pools from the three individual tests because of the way the score sheet was presented (I was only shown graphs correlating to how I did on 740, 741, and 742 topics rather than the posted topics of the 743 exam).

It goes without saying... Know Powershell. Just having experience with typical Powershell syntax and how to interact with other systems using cmdlets from various modules is good for at least a few points, because you can quickly rule out an answer or two that are just syntactically incorrect in a scenario where you do not know the application role in the presented scenario as well as you could. But knowing how to deploy and support an application isn't enough. You have to know how to do it in Powershell.

It would also be safe to assume that Microsoft wants everyone to know all of their emerging technologies that directly compete with the 800-pound gorilla market leaders, backwards and forwards. Some great improvements have been made, they are playing nice with the *nixes, and they want everyone to know all about how they are joining the party.

That is all I can think of to say because I want to be careful not to violate the NDA.

I prepared for this test using:

- Recent studies for the MCSA 2012
- took the official Upgrading Skills to MCSA 2016 course (this was almost worthless, other than giving me topics to Google for the most up-to-date info, and easy access to the associated online labs for the course)
- I did the 7-day trial of and watched several videos to supplement the above during my week off taking the above mentioned MS course
- Transcender tests that came with the 7-day trial of
- MeasureUP practice test that came with the Exam Retake bundle (didn't need the retake). Transcender tests were much better.
- Build a VM lab for manually building docker, Storage Spaces Direct, SoFS, going through the motions of enabling SET, etc using Powershell
- Took as many notes as possible documenting the things that changed between 2012 and 2016 that I thought I might be tested on... system, OS, hardware, AD, etc, requirements for roles and their components
- ITFreeTraining on YouTube has the best series on understanding AD FS out there for people who have never worked with it. I watched this for the 2012 test, and watched it again for this one, then added TechNet reading to pick up the changes for Server 2016.

That said, I do not think I will be taking any more "Windows" exams. This is it for me unless I run into some unforeseen requirement to upgrade my certs. I had to pick up most of the Windows work at the current job for the time being, including leading the migration/upgrade project, and figured that I might as well re-cert since I'm having to put so much unwanted focus into Windows. Almost a year later, I have the 2012 and 2016 certs, and I do feel like it was a big accomplishment. However, if I had known how arcane these new tests were and how much time I would be spending completing this, I might have worked on something else to help move me forward in my career, rather than updating my out of date MS certs.

Sorry for the long post. Onward to the next goal!
IT guy since 12/00

Recent: 11/2019 - RHCSA (RHEL 7); 2/2019 - Updated VCP to 6.5 (just a few days before VMware discontinued the re-cert policy...)
Working on: RHCE/Ansible
Future: Probably continued Red Hat Immersion, Possibly VCAP Design, or maybe a completely different path. Depends on job demands...


  • malachi1612malachi1612 Senior Member SwitzerlandMember Posts: 430 ■■■■□□□□□□
    MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure, MCSA: Windows Server 2016, ITIL Foundation, MCSA: Windows 10, MCP, Azure Fundamentals, Security+.

  • djrabesdjrabes Member Posts: 66 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Jesus, that was quick. Well done :D
    Certifications: CompTIA A+, MCP, MCSA: Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2016, Windows 10
    Studying: Exam 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure
    Want: MCSA: Office 365, MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Exam 70-414: Implementing an Advanced Server Infrastructure), Network+, Security+
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