From today (5th January 2015) until the end of May this year Microsoft is once again offering those wishing to sit a Microsoft Certification Exam a second shot at passing the exam if they fail the first time around.
There are of course conditions associated with the offer but these are clear and reasonable such as booking the retake within 30 days of sitting the first attempt.
Full details can be found at the Microsoft Born To Learn blog
Yesterday I sat the Microsoft certification exam 70-177 Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuring for the first time. My overall score was 978 out of a possible 1000. So what can I say about the exam without breaching the NDA.
Studying for the Exam?
Firstly, there’s not much reference or study material around considering how long the product and the associated exam have been out. If you have experience with SharePoint 2010 and previous versions of Project Server then you should be able to answer some of the questions quite easily. I was able to obtain a copy of the tome “Implementing and Administering Microsoft Project Server 2010” by Chefetz, Howard and Zink. It’s a hefty 800 page read but is worth it considering you are probably going to be working with the technology if you are sitting the exam 🙂 We have used Transcender in the past for access to practice exams but they still do not have a 70-177 practice exam available and no news as to when there will be one. The best suggestions I can give you is to study the book above and learn through experience by performing a few implementations prior to sitting the exam.
There were 75 questions in the exam and 4 hours allocated to complete it which includes the student questionnaire at the beginning, review time, comment time and the Prometric questionnaire at the end. To give you an idea of the focus of the exam the exam results are broken down into four sections.
- Installing Project Server 2010
- Managing Resources and Security
- Configuring Project Server 2010
- Administering Project Server 2010
Exam focus points?
There was a fairly even spread across the 4 sections about. When you see ‘Installing Project Server 2010’ you need to read into that the fact that SharePoint 2010 is installed as part of the project server installation process and have a good understanding of this.
- If you’ve never worked with project server before you need to understand the difference between Categories and Groups in project server and how these are used to control access and actions of users. Also how you control access to project sites for users through project server and for users that you don’t want to have access to project server.
- You will need to know what the pre-requisites are for a project server environment and the various options for upgrading from both Project Server 2007 and Project Server 2003 to 2010.
- Now that Project Server requires SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise Edition you will also need to have a good understanding of the bits of SharePoint that are leveraged by Project Server.
- I don’t recall much about the Portfolio Server parts of Project Server 2010 in the exam other that one question regarding upgrading or 2007 Project Server and Portfolio Server environment to Project Server 2010.
As with many questions asked in Microsoft certification exams you need to read the question for what it says and not add you own interpretation. If the question says something like “A PM saves his project” don’t assume they have saved AND published and review the answers accordingly. This exam can easily see you slip up if you dont take the time to read the question, reread it and then refer back to it when looking at the answers. A lot of the time, with a reasonable understanding ot the concept/technology, the incorrect answers will stand out 🙂