7 Tips for Passing Microsoft Certification Exams

Rohan Mathew

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With the widespread increase in Microsoft’s services, technical knowledge about platforms like Microsoft SQL Server and Microsoft Azure is quite demanding. A Microsoft certification provides potential employers with the verification that you possess the core technical skills they require and that you understand the applications of specific tools. Having a certificate in any of the Microsoft online courses means that your knowledge and dedication has been validated by Microsoft. 

Microsoft’s exams are known to be rigorous, even for experienced professionals and thus, taking the exams unprepared is a waste of both your resources and your time. It would help if you had a well-established plan that lets you prepare for the exam while you carry on with your current professional life as well. Here are a few tips that might guide you in beginning your journey.

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  • Review Exam Objectives

These examinations are tough to overcome without a clear understanding of what you might face on the day of the exam. They are very detailed and specially designed to challenge and verify your knowledge. Knowing the objectives and sub-objectives of each exam is a crucial step which might help you structure the topics you need to cover. Microsoft publishes the exam descriptions for all exams, with each of their objectives listed out. Each sub-objective describes the skills you shall be tested on. Use this as your checklist for your preparations. 

  • Create a Study Routine that works for you

It is essential to structure your study time and prioritize different aspects of your preparation as you move forward in your journey to obtain a Microsoft certification. Without an established routine, it becomes very easy to fall back into patterns of procrastination or get overloaded with all the work that is to be done. It is upto you to figure out timings for your study sessions and your timed, periodic practice exams. This depends on your current lifestyle, the kid of distractions you are dealing with, your current professional or academic life etc.

  • Find Study Materials

It is always advisable that you look for study materials from legitimate sources that are sanctioned by Microsoft. You can utilize Microsoft’s companion content, which is published online, and seek out online resources and forums previously used by people who have already taken the exam. 

You may also seek role-based Microsoft certification training from a Microsoft Certified Trainer. Since these certified training companies have access to official Microsoft courseware, the training is highly streamlined to fit the objectives established in the exam descriptions.

  • Notes and Flashcards

Writing down technical details, while studying for any Microsoft Certification exam will not only help you retain the information better, but your notes may come in handy while revising the topics. Microsoft’s exams are notoriously detailed, so a thorough preparation will help you go a long way.  

To keep your notes organized for future reference, consider using any note-taking app which suits your interests the best. There are also apps for post it’s and flashcards that you might refer to for refreshing your memory quickly.

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  • Hands-on Practice Using the Technology

As mentioned before, Microsoft certification courses are comprehensive and detailed. You might need some hands-on experience before you take the exam. Answering questions armed with real-life knowledge of the different functionalities are always better than any theoretical practice you’ve only read about.

Suppose you do not have access to environments like a sandbox data centre to experiment with. In that case, you might want to consider taking a course from a Microsoft-certified training company. This lets you test your knowledge of the product or services in a lab environment. You can also sign up for a trial account to familiarise yourself with a number of Microsoft tools, including Microsoft Azure, Microsoft SQL Server, Windows and Dynamics 365.

  • Take Practice Exams

A major step in preparing for your exam is to attempt timed, practise exams first. Treating the practice exams like real exams alleviates your fear on the actual day and helps you understand the approach you should adopt. Do not let yourself get demotivated if the results are not as good as you expected the first few times. This activity will help you figure out your areas of weakness. 

  • Relax on Exam Day

It is crucial to remember that while these exams are the key to your Microsoft certifications, being stressed out and overwhelmed on the day of the examination will only increase your chances of failing and prevent you from performing to the best of your abilities. Remind yourselves constantly that perfection is not the goal in these exams, completion is. Skipping a question to complete the paper or occasionally guessing the answers is okay and may help you reach your target scores. 

A Microsoft certification could be a strong step when it comes to advancing your career. To earn any of the credible and respected certifications, you have to dedicate the time and energy in preparing yourself for the exams.