It has been a couple of months since I gained MCSA Certification Exam in Web Applications, and in this article, I will share my experience of preparing for and taking the exams. If you’re interested in getting MCSA certification, this article might give you an idea of how long you might need to prepare, and what the process of taking the exams is like. Keep in mind that Microsoft is continually updating the requirements for its certifications. To avoid disappointment I would recommend that you are alert and check their website frequently.
The story started almost a year ago when the CEO of our company and my project manager insisted that I get Microsoft certification. Two exams are required: Exam 70-483: Programming in C#, or Exam 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications. I chose to tackle the C# exam (70-483) first, as I thought it might be the easier option of the two. Nevertheless, the exam syllabus for C# was substantial, and I was determined to take the exam after four months of preparation.
Preparing for the C# Exam
Even though I knew C# quite well, I started the exam preparations from the beginning by watching C# sharp tutorial videos from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SXmVym6L8dw&list=PLAC325451207E3105
I watched all the videos to brush up my knowledge on C# basics, and found it very helpful.
Next, I read the exam guide that covers all the topics from the syllabus. This allowed me to get a grasp of the scope of the syllabus, and helped me identify other helpful resources. Two additional books that I found useful were ‘C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners’ and ‘Programming in C# Jump Start’. One of the best ways to thoroughly prepare for this exam is by going through the Microsoft documentation for C#.
I was lucky enough to have a lot of support at the office. During the time that I was preparing for the exam, I was working on relevant live projects at the office. These were MVC based projects with WEB API and Azure. Working on the project implementation allowed me to consolidate the theoretical concepts from the videos and books. Furthermore, the seniors in the team helped me by sharing their extensive practical experience.
Taking the exam:
You can schedule the C# exam from this link https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-483.aspx. I scheduled my exam at 11:30 AM, on a weekday so I could reach the exam center easily and then go straight to the office. You do also have the option to take the exam from home, but I prefered to go to the Microsoft training center.
The C# exam was MCQ based, and the questions ranged from basic to advanced C#. The majority of the questions were scenario based, and could be flagged and returned to. The exceptions were four problem-based questions which could not be returned to. The exam was not easy, and I believe that some practical experience in C# programming is necessary to pass. I was very pleased to pass the exam on my first attempt.
Preparing for the MVC Exam
I started preparing for the second exam on MVC Web applications the day after passing the first one. I gave myself 5 months to study for the exam. The resources I used for the Web Applications exam were similar to the resources I used for the C# exam. I relied heavily on the exam reference book ‘Exam Ref 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC 4 Web Applications’ to best understand the scope of the exam. Another book I found useful was: ‘Pro ASP.NET MVC 5’. I also used youtube videos, the microsoft documentation, and various other websites linked below.
During the time I was preparing, training was conducted in the office for ASP .Net Core. This was helpful as the syllabus of the MVC exam newly included ASP .Net Core and I had no prior experience with it. Following this training, the project manager encouraged the team to convert a live MVC project to .Net Core. This allowed me to gain valuable hands-on experiences with this new platform.
You can schedule the MVC exam using the link: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-486.aspx.
The MVC exam questionnaire starts with a number of questions about a case study, based on a real-world example. The rest of the questions are scenario-based.
Although I found the exam very difficult, I was really pleased to pass with a good score on my first attempt, and to finally get the MCSA Certification. After I finished the exam I returned to the office, there was quite a celebration in the office and it made my day!
MetaSys has a team of developers working on Microsoft technologies and building dynamic web applications using ASP.NET, ASP.NET CORE and SQL Server. For more info on the kind of projects handled by us https://www.metasyssoftware.com/case-study-dotnet