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Microsoft Beta Certification Exams Available for MCSA: Windows Server 2012

Be among the first to Get Certified on Windows Server 2012 with these FREE study resources

The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) on Windows Server 2012 is intended to certify individuals that have the primary set of Windows Server skills that are relevant across multiple solution areas in a business environment.  This certification also serves as a prerequisite for earning the Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) on Server Infrastructure.

To achieve the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 credential, individuals must pass the following three exams:

  • Exam 410: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 411: Administering Windows Server 2012
  • Exam 412: Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services

As I previously blogged, the Beta for Exam 410 was released in June for scheduling at Prometric testing sites in the US.  As of today, the Betas for Exams 411 and 412 are also now available!  Note that the Beta Exams cost the same amount as the regular exams unless you are individually invited by Microsoft Learning to be a Beta Exam Tester.  If interested, you can also sign up to be considered as an individual Beta Exam Tester for future exams.

Be one of the first to get certified as an MCSA: Windows Server 2012

To schedule your exams, visit the Prometric exam testing site online.  During the Beta exam period, these exams will be listed with an "071" prefix (ie., 071-410, 071-411 and 071-412) when selecting your exam(s).

OK - I'm thinking about scheduling my Beta exams ... But, how do I prepare?

Get started prepping for the Windows Server 2012 exams using these early resources below.  I've found this approach to be very useful personally when I am prepping for new exams:

  1. Download the Windows Server 2012 Release Candidate installation bits.
    The ONLY way you are really going to deeply learn a new product is by spending some time pushing and prodding it, so this is a great first step to get started!
  2. Build your own Windows Server 2012 Lab environment in your shop or in the cloud for FREE.
    After downloading the installation bits, use them to build out your own live lab environment.  Online hands-on labs are great, and I reference them below, but nothing beats an open lab environment like this for being able to test and replicate your knowledge on the real product.
  3. Learn What's New in Windows Server 2012 by Attending the FREE Online Technical Jump Start Course (Level 200)
    Alternatively, check with your local Microsoft Learning partners to see if they will be offering the FREE in-person First Look Clinic and Hands-on Lab sessions for Windows Server 2012.
  4. Deepen your knowledge in the new Windows Server 2012 Roles and Features with these Tech Ed 2012 Breakout Sessions (Level 300 & 400)
    Don't have a myTechEd login ID yet? You can also register for FREE using the link above!
  5. Get a Guided Hands-On Exploration of Windows Server 2012 with these FREE Tech Ed Online Hands-on Labs
    TIP: After exploring each online Hands-on Lab, try to replicate the steps you've learned in your own lab environment that you built in Step 2 above.  This will help to ensure you've mastered these steps without the "training wheels" on. ;-)
  6. Review the Exam links above for the "Skills Measured" by each exam
    Identify the specific skill areas in which you still have knowledge gaps and need some more prep.
  7. Use the TechNet Technical Library for Windows Server 2012 to target knowledge gaps
    The TechNet Technical Library is a great resource for getting that last bit of technical detail that you need for success on each Exam.

Additional Resources
Between now and the end of September, additional Microsoft Learning courses will be released and I'll also be releasing exam study guides for each of these exams that will be similar to my past exam study guides.  However, I think you'll find that the early resources above will serve you well in initially prepping for the new Windows Server 2012 beta exams.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter to be alerted to these new resources when they are available!


Keith | tw: @KeithMayer | in: | fb:

More Stories By Keith Mayer

Keith Mayer is a Technical Evangelist at Microsoft focused on Windows Infrastructure, Data Center Virtualization, Systems Management and Private Cloud. Keith has over 17 years of experience as a technical leader of complex IT projects, in diverse roles, such as Network Engineer, IT Manager, Technical Instructor and Consultant. He has consulted and trained thousands of IT professionals worldwide on the design and implementation of enterprise technology solutions.

Keith is currently certified on several Microsoft technologies, including System Center, Hyper-V, Windows, Windows Server, SharePoint and Exchange. He also holds other industry certifications from IBM, Cisco, Citrix, HP, CheckPoint, CompTIA and Interwoven.

Keith is the author of the IT Pros ROCK! Blog on Microsoft TechNet, voted as one of the Top 50 "Must Read" IT Blogs.

Keith also manages the Windows Server 2012 "Early Experts" Challenge - a FREE online study group for IT Pros interested in studying and preparing for certification on Windows Server 2012. Join us and become the next "Early Expert"!

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