Everyone knows today how important is to be certified, whether you work in management, design, security, networking, or cloud. Microsoft as well as other great IT giants, such as Cisco, VMware, EC-Council, Oracle, offers certifications and training courses for candidates with different skill level: from beginners to professionals. Microsoft Certification Path is of great help, as one can choose the track to follow and exams to sit for. Thus, candidates can choose the appropriate certification level to apply for:

  • MTA (Microsoft Technology Associate)
  • MCSA (Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate) or MCSD (Microsoft Solutions Developer)
  • MCSE (Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert)

Areas in which they can get certifications are various: from cloud, mobility to app builder and business applications. All those individuals who set their goal to do their best in working with Microsoft products and services, choose to be Microsoft certified.

Among the certifications chosen by candidates, MCSA: Windows Server 2012 is one of the sought-after if your dream is to make a career of computer network specialist or network administrator. This certification is a stepping stone for getting a credential of the higher level: MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure. Still, in this article you will find all the necessary information on how to pass 70-417 exam and get MCSA Windows Server 2012.

But first, let’s follow the way of being a certified Microsoft professional and start this journey from getting MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification. To get these credential candidates should possess skills to provide such services as installation, configuration, design, operating Windows Server 2012. For that they need to choose the option of how to obtain it. The first variant is to pass three exams, the second one- to pass only one. So, if you choose the first variant, you need to sit for: 70-410, 70-411 and 70-412 exams.

70-410 exam deals with installing and configuring Windows Server 2012. Here candidates should possess skills related to Hyper-V, Active Directory, Group Policy.

70-411 exam is designed to check candidates’ skills to administer Windows Server 2012. This exam verifies that candidates are able to complete the tasks and provide all the services necessary to be done in Windows Server 2012 environment.

70-412 exam tests candidates’ knowledge related to Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services. Skills required to pass this exam are connected with completing advanced configuring tasks with Windows Server 2012 infrastructure.

If you choose the second variant, you need to pass 70-417 exam only. This certification exam covers the topics included in the three previous exams and checks how able you are to apply your skills to provide core infrastructure services in Windows Server 2012. If you have already gained Windows Server XP or Windows Server 2008/2003/2000 certifications, then you are a potential candidate for this exam as well.

After you get MCSA Windows Server 2012 credential you can pass 70-413 exam and obtain MCSE: Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification. For this you should be skillful to design and implement a Windows Server 2012 infrastructure in the highly virtualized environment.

So, that’s it, you’ve reached the top and MCSE Cloud Platform and Infrastructure certification is yours. But let’s see this stepping stone -MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification and how to achieve it in one step through taking 70-417 exam in details.

I recently wrote the Microsoft 70-417 certification exam and I am excited I passed it. Really, I didn’t prepare as I would have loved to for the test, but I still nailed it with a passing score. I am still basking in the euphoria of my success so I decided to share my experience. Why am I happy? Is this the most difficult exam I have ever written?

Well, the answer is no! I’ve written a couple of exams from Cisco and VMware, and I can categorically tell you that I had more confidence about my success in those two tests than I did with Microsoft Windows 2012 70-417 Questions & Answers. The reason for this is not farfetched, apart from the fact that I didn’t study as much as I think I should have done before writing the Microsoft exam, I know that the candidate’s experience with different products of Microsoft has very little to do with writing and passing the test.

The questions are majorly developed around Server 2012 parts that basically no one uses. The only reason I could think for these types of questions is that Microsoft just wants to make the test unnecessarily difficult by asking exam questions in areas that are not used on regular basis. Sometimes, I wonder if the candidates using braindumps are justified by cheating with these sites because studying alone might not ensure passing the test.

No doubt, the use of exam dumps is very common these days for the certification exam, especially for Microsoft tests. Do I blame people using braindumps? Maybe not; and this is because the nature of the exam questions leaves nothing to be desired. I still find it difficult to understand the intentions of Microsoft for coming up with the kind of questions they bring during the test.

Well, I passed the exam in spite of all the shortcomings and I now hold the Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate certification on Windows Server 2012. It is still a long way from where I plan to get to, but it is a great step towards achieving my goals.

Now, while preparing for the exam and during the course, there are some lessons that I learned. Maybe, if I had learned this before attempting the test, I would have saved myself from the irrelevant studies I did at some point in my preparation.

  • The exam does not measure actual skills in Server 2012. Microsoft seems to be more interested in you displaying knowledge on fancy components that are really not used and some other absurd setups.
  • If you are expecting questions on Active Directory that are very common in use today, you might be disappointed (well, I was because I can’t remember answering any questions in that regard). However, you should expect more questions around ADLS and ADFS that are practically no longer in use.
  • Don’t expect more questions on DNS and DHCP but you can be sure that you will come across a lot of fancy questions on direct access and NPS setups.
  • I’m sorry to say this, but using braindumps might be a great idea in the long run. Really, if I had focused on exam dumps to prepare for the certification test, I would have done better than I did and I wouldn’t have spent so much time studying materials that are not actually relevant to the questions.

Like I said, I didn’t study as much as I would because I was not able to cover all the topic areas in full detail. I started studying four weeks before the exam and I tried to get some of the resources I thought would be good for my preparation (I will share some of the resources I used later on). I covered some parts adequately, but there were some other areas I practically skimmed over. Since I was not able to cover every part of the topics, I got nervous and worried about failing the test. Actually, I’ve already zeroed my mind on retaking the exam until I got my result. I was happy I passed it and that it is finally over.

Details of the Microsoft 70-417 Exam

Well, I’m not going to talk about the details of the questions and answers because as you may have known, when taking the exam, you are under a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Microsoft. However, I will write about the general outlook of the test.

The test is in three different parts, each relating to the exams you need to earn the MCSA credential. The total number of the questions on the three parts are 20, 20, and 21 respectively. You are required to answer each section after the other. You can’t go over a section again as soon as you complete it. There is no opportunity to review your answers or change anything on the completed section. Therefore, you have to be sure that you are truly done with a section before you move to the next section. Your final exam score is the lowest of all the three sections. So if your score is something like 800-700-650, then you have failed the test. You have to score at least 700 on your last score to pass the exam. My score was 900-800-750.

One thing when you see ‘Windows Server 8’ in the test, what they are referring to is actually ‘Windows Server 2012’. So, don’t be deceived by the words they use. One other thing, if you don’t know about PowerShell, you have to learn it. You can be sure that you will encounter questions on PowerShell in your exam and without knowing it, you might fail the test.


Getting MCSA Windows Server 2012 certification is not easy but possible with thorough exam preparation. Use the information provided in the article and start your way of making a successful career of Network Administrator. Wish you success!