Sunday, January 11, 2015

How I passed SharePoint 2013 Exams - 70-331 and 70-332

Hi All,

I wrote the SharePoint 2013 exams and want to share my experience. My study plan was as follows:

a) Study plan:
Purchased the CBT nuggets for 70-331 and 70-332 from company’s books and DVD study programme for employees. However, I found that somebody has uploaded a few videos on YouTube now.

b) Exam Preparation:
Studied the CBT nuggets and took notes so that I could view them when I travel in Metro. For 70-331 it took me around 3 months and 70-332 took 1 month.

c) My SharePoint technical background.
I am working on SharePoint since 2008 with SharePoint Server 2007 and 2010 versions. I have SharePoint development experience in SharePoint 2007 and SharePoint 2010.

I have around 4 years SharePoint Administration and Infrastructure design (SharePoint 2010 and SharePoint 2013). I have passed SharePoint 2010 development and configuration 2 years back.      
Microsoft has engaged a company called Grandmasters to write SharePoint exams. Earlier Microsoft SharePoint exams (SharePoint 2010 and 2007) were relatively easy. And it is very true. When I wrote SharePoint 2010 Development and configuration, it was mostly multiple type questions with 50 to 55 questions.

However, the SharePoint 2013 are NOT BEGINNER exams anymore. It is tougher than previous SharePoint exams. Microsoft expects us to have at least 4 years of SharePoint experience.  Furthermore, we should be knowing the Windows Server 2012 three exams and then write two SharePoint 2013 exams.  

d) Writing Exams. 
In year 2014, we could write SharePoint 2013 using Prometric. However, from 1 Jan 2015 onwards Microsoft has given to Presonvue.

e) Practice, Practice, Practice
Bear in mind that these exams are tougher than you expect. Build a virtual machines with Windows Server 2012/2008 R2 and SharePoint 2013 Enterprise trail versions. It is absolutely essential that we know all nitty gritty of SharePoint 2013. Without virtual machines, it’s extremely difficult to pass these exams. 

f) References:
I referred to following blogs for my study besides CBT Nuggets:
Borntolearn Blog and SharePoint-Community blog

1.       Exam 70-331
The exam has a couple of case studies and questions could be from any sections from skills measured in the exam.
When I wrote the exam, the exam started with 2 case studies each with 6 questions and a mix of 43 questions. The questions types are of different types: drag drop, screen capture, PowerShell cmdlets etc. 

The CBT Nuggets for SharePoint 2013 for 70-331 is an excellent resource and give a good heads up about exam. It comes with a couple of sections the author gives an exam alert. These hints give useful and extremely for real life SharePoint administration which I have implemented in our company as well. It would be beneficial as the CBT nuggets might not help you alone. This is my honest opinion. Please look for sample questions over Internet so that you are armed with type of questions.
70-331 focus on SharePoint online and Office 365

The CBT nuggets for SharePoint 2013 for 70-332 is again resources and you can expect a few questions as exam alert.

a.       Interactive questions: where a lot of actions are assigned and we need to perform them in sequence.  (8-10 questions)
b.      Drag and drop: (10-14 questions). I found it most tough as questions asks to steps on sequence. Even if a step is missed, the question becomes incorrect.
c.       Part of Central Administration screen capture and we need to answer the specific area. (5-7 questions)
d.      PowerShell cmdlets and especially in search and user profile service application. It’s not required to memorize but usage is and parameters are important. 
e.      Cross-forest authentication, AD FS 2.0, AD FS 2.0 Proxy (Windows Server 2012 70-412 topic)
a question came for cross-forest authentication.  
f.        DNS and Firewall (80, 443, SQL Server 1434) concepts (Windows Server 2012 70-410)
a question about the network firewall in a drag drop type.
g.       Monitoring  : Event level (warning, Information, Verbose) and Trace level (Monitorable,  verbose, Developer Dashboard, Diagnostic logging
4-5 questions in monitoring as case study, developer dashboard etc.
h.      Permissions: 3-5 around questions  
i.        Anti-virus.
A question on Anti-virus.   
j.        Storage suggestions (RAID 5, RAID 10).
A couple of questions on storage multiple type questions and interactive type questions.    
k.       Question on minimum number of content database required
l.        AAM with internal and external URLs . 

2       Exam 70-332

a.       5 Case studies (one with 6 questions, interlaced with 43 mixed questions and four case studies with 4 questions each afterwards). Total number of questions were 65.
b.      No focus on SharePoint Online and primarily on On-Premises SharePoint Environment.
c.       Again you can expect similar kind of questions such as drag-drop, interactive questions, part of SharePoint Central Administration, PowerShell scripts.
d.      Many questions on migrate SharePoint 2010 to SharePoint 2013. One case study asked about steps and also mix type questions such as drag drop. It very important topic.
e.      No networking, firewall concepts questions asked but storage requirements were asked. The questions are tough and needs a through understanding of concepts. 

Wish you all the best!


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