I passed 70-417, MCSA Windows Server 2012! My Experience


Last week I sat for exam 70-417, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 and I was able to take it successfully.  I am now Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate on Windows Server 2012 and also, this is the first exam when I get the Charter Member Certificate!

What is a Charter Member?

Charter Members are the pioneering group of individuals who achieve a certification within six months following the retail release date of the certification. (People who pass the beta exams will receive the Charter certificate after the certification is commercially released.) Charter Members are recognized by receiving the Charter version of the certificate, acknowledging their early adoption of the technology solution. The Charter version of the certificate has the word “Charter” imprinted across the top.

Here is the new Logo I got :

MCSA Windows Server 2012

My opinions about the exam:

As you know, when you take an exam you are under a NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) so I wont talk or answer questions  about the questions in the exam, however I can say this:
  • The exam is in 3 parts (one for every exam that you usually need for your MCSA 2012) and you have 20-20-21 questions.  You do them one section at a time, and once you finish a section, you cannot go back to review or change the answers.
  • In a question on the exam, they refer to “Windows Server 8” instead of “Windows Server 2012” (I actually made a comment about that at the exam review at the end )
  • Your final score is the lowest score of the 3 sections, so if you score 900-900-680, you fail the exam at 680.
  • The exam software doesn’t warn you that you didn’t read the full question anymore. Before, when you made an answer, and lets say you didn’t read the last 1-2 lines of the question, you had a popup warning you.
  • Lately, Microsoft has been pushing a lot towards PowerShell, and in ALL the new products certifications you need to know about PowerShell.  I don’t know how many PowerShell questions you will have in your exam, but if you don’t know PowerShell, you won’t pass for sure!.
  • The graphics on the new exam are a lot better!

Study Material and Special Thanks

My Certification Path

As I posted a few weeks ago, having the MCSA Windows Server 2012 is required to get MCSE SharePoint 2013, and that is what I want to reach eventually.
Now, that the 70-331 and 70-332 won’t be out until February 5th, 2013  I got time to play around with SharePoint 2013 so when they come out  I will be comfortable to take them.


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  • February 19, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    those few basic, simple questions about ps in the exam have nothing to do with actually knowing powershell …

  • August 1, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    •Your final score is the lowest score of the 3 questions, so if you score 900-900-680, you fail the exam at 680.
    Do you mean
    •Your final score is the lowest score of the 3 “Sections”, so if you score 900-900-680, you fail the exam at 680.

  • September 11, 2013 at 5:26 am

    Hi Vlad,

    Yesterday, I passed the Microsoft 70-417 in 1 shot, but it was dammed close. On 1 topic my score was 700 just enough to pass.

    I have a long MS certification path starting from MSCE back in 2000… This exam is the most ridiculous one I ever taking.

    I’m normaly proud when I pass an exam. Now I feel anger toward the Microsoft Certification team for wasting my time.

    The exam measures not my actual skills around Server 2012, all it did is how well I know fancy stuff nobody uses, or my knowledge of ridiculous setups, contrary their own best practices …

    I had more questions of ADFS or ADLS that no-one uses rather than question around Active Directory, that almost every company have in place.

    I had no questions of DHCP and DNS, but a whole bunch of questions regarding fancy NPS setups, or questions regarding direct access. Does Microsoft really thinks all companies have an IPV6 network in place ? What a joke !

    Microsoft’s inability to make decent exam and provide associated MSPress books (even mostly published months or even years after the exam launch), is really astonishing to me …

    Microsoft has sillently killed it own trustworthy around its certification, starting by re-naming their certification back in 2008, and again in 2012…

    I doubt if I look to Microsoft exams in the future, I’m done with it…

    • September 11, 2013 at 11:48 am

      Hey Tommy,

      Unfortunately I 100% agree with you. Microsoft puts way too much “Cloud/Hybrid” stuff in the exams and things that Microsoft wants us to implement and not what we actually do. Maybe their marketing department is part of the people who create questions!

      However, I will still do MS certifications only for the learning I do before I pass them, and not the certification itself!

  • November 22, 2013 at 1:19 am

    May i know the question pattern? have only questions with option or it have stimulation and troubleshooting like cisco exam
    reply ple

    • November 25, 2013 at 12:12 am

      I am under NDA for the exams, so what I can tell you is only what is public on the MS Learning Website. There are Scenarios, “Multiple Choice”, Put actions in order and also sometimes simulations. Depending on your exam and luck!

  • December 2, 2014 at 9:32 pm
    Miguel G.

    Thanks Vlad. I don’t have a question or input, I just want to tell you thanks for the information. Hopefully I pass.

  • December 19, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    I have to disagree. The tests aren’t for testing common knowledge or common setups. They are certifying you on every aspect of the system you’ve chosen to test on. Yes, they’re hard, and yes, some of the scenarios are out there. But how many companies do you know that in 100% best practice compliant? Microsoft wants to know you can handle the curveballs that get thrown your way because they understand that you may not have control of the parameters of the scenario. Additionally, you should be looking to “test forward”; that is, you should be ahead of the game in IT. We all know that IT is an ever-changing industry and those who don’t change with it are left behind. Companies are beginning to get wise to the tricks the “old regime” employed to secure their jobs and are beginning to move around them. The best way to stay employed is to stay up to date.


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