If you are considering advancing your skills by completing a Microsoft Certification Exam, it is important to take the right steps to make sure that you have a strong understanding of the required material. According to Microsoft, eighty six percent of hiring managers indicated that IT certifications are a priority when selecting potential candidates to fill a job opening. Once you pass a Microsoft Certification Exam, you become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional Community. These credentials are recognized world-wide and will allow you to have a competitive advantage in the employment market. Here are six important things to keep in mind to make sure that you pass your certification exam.
Create a check list. The first step in successfully learning everything that you need to know is establishing a concrete understanding of the material that you will be covering. The MicrosoftLearning website allows you to review the details of each certification. This will give you a preview of the information that you will be required to learn. Keep an eye out for particular concepts as you prepare for your exam, and review the check list to make sure that you have a good understanding of all of the required material.
Invest in training. Enrolling in a recognized training program guarantees that you will be learning information that is accurate and up to date. You will have the ability to ask questions and clarify material that is relevant to your industry. Most training courses provide additional resources such as preparation material and video tutorials for you to review before you take your exam. Countrywide Training offers a comprehensive training program that is available in-class, online or through a condensed boot camp program. Their Microsoft certification training courses cover MCSA and MCSE, and also offer a Microsoft Office training class that helps students prepare for certification exams.
Practice and apply the concepts outside of the training course. Most people learn by doing, so applying the concept that you have learned is essential for you to have a good understanding of the course material. If you find that you are having difficulty applying the new material that you have learned, review the course content until you are confident with your skills. Some concepts may take longer than others, especially if you are learning information that is brand new to you.
Understand the skills. As you prepare for your exam, write down everything that you know about each topic. This will help you to strengthen your understanding of the concepts. Compare your notes with the text book to ensure that you have a complete grasp on each subject that is covered. Review your notes and make an effort to memorize the material as best as you can. Putting the concepts in writing tests your ability to explain the material and will help you identify your strengths and weaknesses.
Take the practice exam. There are several test providers that have been approved by Microsoft as reliable practice exams. Continue repeating the test until you are confident with your results. The practice tests are useful because they offer additional explanations for each correct answer. This will re-enforce the knowledge and prepare to you apply it in an exam setting. Your test results will indicate which areas you may want to dedicate some additional studying.
Clear your head, and approach the test with confidence. Make sure to be well-rested, hydrated, and able to think with a clear mind. Most Microsoft Certification Exams contain between 40-60 questions. Exam time limits vary by certification, they are typically between two and four hours in length. Be sure to read each question carefully. Look for keywords that will refresh your memory of a particular concept, and make sure you understand specifically what the questions is asking before you formulate your answer.
Being prepared is the best way to make sure that you pass your certification exam on the first try. Developing a thorough approach to learning new skills, remembering them, and applying them outside of the course in environment will assist you in continuing to grow as a professional in the IT industry. Your certifications will open doors for you, and increase your earning potential. You will have the ability to make a positive contribution to your work place and stay on top of your field of expertise.
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Travis Adams is a veteran IT recruiter. He enjoys writing about training and advancement on career blogs.