10 Essential Tips for Passing Microsoft Exams

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #1

Know you are going to pass your exam have no doubt in your mind.

Don’t ever think:

“I’m no good with exams ”


“I’m not sure I’m ready for this”

That’s just rubbish self doubt creeping in! passing Microsoft exams requires nothing more than some dedication, time and effort from you. If you’re the sort of person who wants to be successful but doesn’t want to put the effort in then that’s fine, back down and walk away. However, if you do want to succeed with a career in IT then get into the right frame of mind and get cracking.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #2

Accept you are going to spend 1-2 hours a day of your own time learning and revising. You wont get any where doing 10 minutes here and 10 minutes there. Set aside a minimum of one hour every day, either get up early or spend an hour before bed but you must do it. Failure is not an option.. well it is, but not for you. You are going to put in the time and effort and see the hard work pay off later.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #3

Read the official exam book, each exam has an official Microsoft page dedicated to it. Google “Microsoft exam <exam number>” to find it, scroll to the bottom and locate the Preparation options area then expand the Books section. Buy the book, read it and do the practice labs at the end of each chapter.

Read the book and do the practice labs, don’t skip them!

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #4

If possible get onto an official classroom course. Yes they are pricy but they are amazing and I promise that they are worth it.

QA.com are one of the best, I’ve used them many times in my early career and I’ve never been disappointed. If you’re taking an exam because you have been asked to by your employer then ask if they can send you on a classroom based course. Get away from the office and focus, you will get so much more out of it and meet lots of people while there.

If you’re not yet employed and are trying to get Microsoft certified so it looks good on your CV when applying for jobs then pat yourself on the back! Classroom training may be out of your budget but don’t worry Tip #5 is for you.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #5

If classroom based training is out of your budget then sign up to www.cbtnuggets.com for a couple of months minimum, Its low cost and extremely high in value. They have training courses specifically aimed at passing Microsoft exams and they are very good. I’ve used them to pass several exams, the videos are bite sized and you can even download them to your mobile using their app to view them while out and about.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #6

Get away from distractions. If you have kids or have been given time during your work day to study you must lock yourself away somewhere. Turn off that time wasting smart phone and distracting TV or email, move into another room and get productive!

I like to sit in my home office, put on my headphones and listen to some music. When it comes to doing practice exams, I recommend complete silence, so no music, get used to those exam conditions.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #7

You will need practical experience and as per Tip #3 you must do the Practice Labs from the book. Install Hyper-V to your PC and install some virtual servers and desktops. You don’t need a super fast PC do have several virtual machines running and its Hyper-V is super easy to setup. You can use trial editions which are easy to download and use.

The exams will have silly questions that require you to know where options are in the user interface so hands on experience is vital.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #8

Revising the book content and taking the courses are not enough. It’s unfortunate but veteran Microsoft MCP’s will tell you every time that you must do practice exams. Aim to do a minimum of 20 practice exam questions every day. You can easily do 20 questions in less than an hour. If you sign up to certain CBT Nugget packages they include Transcender exams https://www.transcender.com. Transcender make some of the best and most exam realistic practice tests available. Another provider I really like is http://www.measureup.com/ they also provide really good practice exams and I’ve used them several times in the past.

Working with practice exams is super important and you must do them every day.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #9

When you do a practice exam of 20 questions or more, both Transcender and MeasureUp will let you review your questions. Go through and review all of the questions you got wrong. Take a screen shot or write down on a notepad every wrong question and include the correct answer as this will form part of your revision.

Passing Microsoft Exams Tip #10

Spend the rest of your allotted preparation time reading all of the wrong questions and learn the correct answers. This will build up the gaps in your knowledge. There is no point revising or reviewing things you know, concentrate on the stuff you get wrong, spend time understanding why you got questions wrong and keep taking those practice exams.


After all this hard work you will be getting practice exam scores of 80% and above. At that point you are ready to book in the exam! You can take an exam at a test centre but Microsoft have recently setup a system where you can take an exam at home! it’s a bit of a hassle setting everything up and meeting all of the requirements but it can save you some time and money not having to travel.

Good luck with your exam and remember success is earned, not given away. Put in the effort and you will pass.

Why not get started and pass your Office 365 MCSA!

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Author: Ian@SlashAdmin

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