People pursuing the MCSA certification take four or five exams unless they're pursuing security specialization,...
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which involves an additional exam beyond baseline credential requirements. Messaging specialization restricts eligible exam choices, but requires no extra exams. Those who pursue the MCSE take seven exams, unless they also take the security specialization track, which again adds an additional exam to the mix for a grand total of eight.
10 PREP STEPS TO THE MCSA AND MCSE CERTIFICATION
Step 01: Choose your target Windows version
Step 02: Establish exam choices and order
Step 03: Deal with the desktop first
Step 04: Security options may appeal
Step 05: Digging into server and admin requirements
Step 06: Complete outstanding electives (optional)
Step 07: Completing the Core Exam (MCSE only)
Step 08: Prepping for individual exams (The self-study prep approach)
Step 09: Prepping for individual exams (The class-driven prep approach)
Step 10: Best exam prep practices