Which core exams to take first?

For someone who hasn't taken a test yet toward the MCSE (except Security+), which of the core exams would one start with? You have them for the networking systems, the client operating systems, and the design exams. Where to begin? My friend here in the NOC also told me that in pursuing the MCSE, one automatically obtains the MCSA on the way. Seems I've read that that's not necessarily true?

I saw the suggested requirements for the 70-298 exam - "Designing security for a Windows Server 2003 network," and it said one needed at least a year of experience implementing this kind of work. Well, duh. If I had a job doing this, I wouldn't need to take and pass this test. But even mentioning this makes me wonder if I need to take other tests before this one?

Some overall suggestions would be quite helpful. Thanks.


  • Tyrant1919Tyrant1919 Member Posts: 519 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The core exams 290, 291, 293, and 294 should generally be taken in that order. I believe most people take them in that order as they generally build upon each other.

    Client exam you'll need 70-270 or 70-620. XP and Vista respectively. Either one will work, just take whichever one you feel liketaking :^). I heard 71-680 may meet the client requirements too, but I'm unsure.

    Design exam doesn't require any experience at all. It just gives you a hint of what level it may be at I guess.

    If you get MCSE and not MCSA, there's something wrong. The only real way to do it is to ententionally try and take lame elective exams. If your elective exam is one of the ones listed below, you will not recieve MCSA.

    70-301 Managing, Organizing, and Delivering IT Projects by Using Microsoft Solutions Framework 3.0
    70-285 Designing a Microsoft Exchange Server 2003 Organization
    70-282 Designing, Deploying, and Managing a Network Solution for a Small- and Medium-Sized Business
    70-281 Planning, Deploying, and Managing an Enterprise Project Management Solution
    70-289/70-287 if you take another design exam as an elective... seriously... just try something else.
    MCSA:03/08/12/16 MCSE:03s/EA08/Core Infra
  • colebertcolebert Member Posts: 79 ■■□□□□□□□□
    I would take the Vista exam unless you just hate Vista and don't ever want to get MCTIP:EA/SA certs. (Vista counts towards them but XP does not.)
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,312 ■■■■■■■■■□
    Like Tyrant said, you might want to wait until the Windows 7 exam is out and see what, if any, requirements that may fulfill. That should only be a month or two, so 290 would be a good place to start.
  • TopTechTopTech Member Posts: 37 ■■□□□□□□□□
    If I was you, I'd take the 70-620 Vista exam first. It's a quick easy test and gets you into the study / exam mode and produces a cert straight away. Also it won't expire as fast as XP. Windows 7 is based on Vista core components. so 620 is not wasted effort and it may be a while before the W7 exam is out anyway.
    Then take the core exams in order: 290 - 291 - 293 - 294 plus design and elective afterwards.
    I don't think you can get the MCSA automatically along the way without taking an extra exam which does not count towards MCSE.
  • mad82mad82 Member Posts: 18 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TopTech wrote: »
    I don't think you can get the MCSA automatically along the way without taking an extra exam which does not count towards MCSE.


    That will get you your MCP, MCTS:Vista, and MCSA. Then you just need 293, 294, and 297/298 for the MCSE.
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