Step 6: Complete outstanding electives (optional)

When it comes to pursuing Microsoft certifications, nothing beats well-rehearsed preparation and practice. Though the details involved in pursuing the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) certification differ somewhat from those involved in pursuing the Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) credential, the same general approach works well in both cases. This learning guide provides a step-by-step approach to helping you prep for certification.

Those with MCSEs on Windows 2003, and those with an MCSA but who do not take Security+, need to take a single elective exam. MCSE for Windows 2000 candidates need two electives. Requirements vary across a range of topics except for those chasing messaging or security specialization, where all requirements have a strong topical focus.

Check your options on the requirements pages, and choose the exam(s) that best match your technical interests, experience and workplace needs. I urge you to take only elective exams that have the strongest ratings in all three categories or whose combined rankings outweigh all other options. If you have trouble choosing, ask your manager for input or somebody whose technical savvy you trust.

Requirements pages: MCSA 2000, MCSA 2003, MCSE 2000, MCSE 2003; and see general MCSA and MCSE pages for pointers to specialization requirements details.


10 PREP STEPS TO THE MCSA AND MCSE CERTIFICATION

 Home: Introduction
 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
This was first published in March 2005

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