70-461: Study Notes/Information

Hey guys,

Currently studying for the 70-461 exam which I am due to sit end of the month. I've seen a few people asking about this exam so I thought I'd make a "Study" guide on it hoping this would be the first stop for people looking into taking it.

Querying SQL 2012

Skills Being MeasuredThis exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below.The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam.The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.

The information after “This objective may include but is not limited to” is intended to further define or scope the objective by describing the types of skills and topics that may be tested for the objective. However, it is not an exhaustive list of skills and topics that could be included on the exam for a given skill area. You may be tested on other skills and topics related to the objective that are not explicitly listed here.

Create Database Objects (24%)

  • Create and alter tables using T-SQL syntax (simple statements).
    • May include but not limited to: create tables without using the built in tools; ALTER; DROP; ALTER COLUMN; CREATE
  • Create and alter views (simple statements).
    • May include but not limited to: create indexed views; create views without using the built in tools; CREATE, ALTER, DROP
  • Design views.
    • May include but not limited to: ensure code non regression by keeping consistent signature for procedure, views and function (interfaces); security implications
  • Create and modify constraints (simple statements).
    • May include but not limited to: create constraints on tables; define constraints; unique constraints; default constraints; primary and foreign key constraints
  • Create and alter DML triggers.
    • May include but not limited to: inserted and deleted tables; nested triggers; types of triggers; update functions; handle multiple rows in a session; performance implications of triggers
Work with Data (27%)
  • Query data by using SELECT statements.
    • May include but not limited to: use the ranking function to select top(X) rows for multiple categories in a single query; write and perform queries efficiently using the new (SQL 2005/8->) code items such as synonyms, and joins (except, intersect); implement logic which uses dynamic SQL and system metadata; write efficient, technically complex SQL queries, including all types of joins versus the use of derived tables; determine what code may or may not execute based on the tables provided; given a table with constraints, determine which statement set would load a table; use and understand different data access technologies; case versus isnull versus coalesce
  • Implement sub-queries.
    • May include but not limited to: identify problematic elements in query plans; pivot and unpivot; apply operator; cte statement; with statement
  • Implement data types.
    • May include but not limited to: use appropriate data; understand the uses and limitations of each data type; impact of GUID (newid, newsequentialid) on database performance,when to use what data type for columns
  • Implement aggregate queries.
    • May include but not limited to: new analytic functions; grouping sets; spatial aggregates; apply ranking functions
  • Query and manage XML data.
    • May include but not limited to: understand xml datatypes and their schemas and interop w/, limitations & restrictions; implement XML schemas and handling of XML data; XML data: how to handle it in SQL Server and when and when not to use it, including XML namespaces; import and export xml; xml indexing
Modify Data (24%)
  • Create and alter stored procedures (simple statements).
    • May include but not limited to: write a stored procedure to meet a given set of requirements; branching logic; create stored procedures and other programmatic objects; techniques for developing stored procedures; different types of storeproc result; create stored procedure for data access layer; program stored procedures, triggers, functions with T-SQL
  • Modify data by using INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements.
    • May include but not limited to: given a set of code with defaults, constraints, and triggers, determine the output of a set of DDL; know which SQL statements are best to solve common requirements; use output statement
  • Combine datasets.
    • May include but not limited to: difference between UNION and UNION all; case versus isnull versus coalesce; modify data by using MERGE statements
  • Work with functions.
    • May include but not limited to: understand deterministic, non-deterministic functions; scalar and table values; apply built-in scalar functions; create and alter user-defined functions (UDFs)
Troubleshoot & Optimize (25%)
  • Optimize queries.
    • May include but not limited to: understand statistics; read query plans; plan guides; DMVs; hints; statistics IO; dynamic vs. parameterized queries; describe the different join types (HASH, MERGE, LOOP) and describe the scenarios they would be used
  • Manage transactions.
    • May include but not limited to: mark a transaction; understand begin tran, commit, and rollback; implicit vs explicit transactions; isolation levels; scope and type of locks; trancount
  • Evaluate the use of row-based operations vs. set-based operations.
    • May include but not limited to: when to use cursors; impact of scalar UDFs; combine multiple DML operations
  • Implement error handling.
    • May include but not limited to: implement try/catch/throw; use set based rather than row based logic; transaction management

Passing 70-461 Exam
Use this blog now and then to brush up on some points I didn't really understand while reading my book.

Sample 70-461 Exam Questions (not ****)
Quote from their site:
"Brain ****
We take the Microsoft certification platform very serious. As a result, we do not endorse braindumps or braindump type material. You’ll get better rewards from learning the material yourself and becoming a great technical expert. Remember, you shouldn’t download exam ****, or real exam questions because you’ll end up being a ****"

Katie and Emil 70-461 blog
They list the exam out in parts have articles on each section. They also have a YOUTUBE account.

A great place to visit if you want to be walked through some querying. He explains it clearly and tells you reasons to behind the query.


1. Fundamentals
2. Teach yourself SQL
3. 70-461 Microsoft Book

You can get 24 hour access for like £15 worth it to cram a day before.

As well as all this you also have MSDN blogs to go through. These are amazing and will literally write out the code for you, then you can work out how and why it's doing what it does.

On to of this I will be adding my notes as I go by either as a word doc or by posts.
70-410 [x] 70-411 [x] 70-462[x] 70-331[x] 70-332[x]
MCSE - SharePoint 2013 :thumbup:

Road map 2017: JavaScript and modern web development


  • tcert009tcert009 Registered Users Posts: 4 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Hello knowhero:
    Thanks for sharing your study guide with us. I was just about to post a thread to ask what are the resources used by people who plan to study on their own ans pass the 70-461 exam.

    There are 2 books written by Itzik Ben-Gan:
    Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals
    Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012
    Microsoft MSDN for SQL Syntax
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