Quick tip: Study for all 3 MCSA exams before testing

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If we told you to study for three certification exams in a row before taking a single test, would you think we're crazy? You wouldn't be able to remember key study points from the first exam by the time you're done learning the third, right? Wrong! Microsoft MVP and MCT Ed Liberman tells you it's best to prepare for all three Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) exams before heading to the test center.

"IT veterans may have the ability to do these one at a time, but even for them, I would recommend studying for all three before testing. The exams all complement each other and have related information, which allows for better understanding."

The three exams comprising the Windows Server 2012 MCSA include: Installing and Configuring Windows Server 2012 (70-410), Administering Windows Server 2012 (70-411) and Configuring Advanced Windows Server 2012 Services (70-412).

Ed, who was the TrainSignal instructor on the first two courses and tech reviewed the third, says while the 70-410 and 70-411 are more closely related and deal with the getting started with Windows Server 2012, 70-412 covers the more technical side of getting it ready for the enterprise. He likens it to middle school:

"You know how in middle school things start getting harder because they're preparing you for the challenges of high school? That's like the 70-412. It's intense and in a whole different league than the 70-410 and 70-411. It's preparing you to move on to the MCSE exams. And knowing the material on it will give the first two exams context. "

So there you have it. If you're studying for your MCSA, how do you plan to tackle it? Tell us in the comments section below or @TrainSignal.

Related: Breaking down the Microsoft exam changes

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Dana Gagnon

is the Director of Branded Content at Pluralsight. After working for years in Chicago media, she joined the team in 2012 to continue bringing quality news, tips and more to Pluralsight's audience. Find her @ChicagoDana or on Google+.