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May 18, 2010

Exchange Server 2010, Configuring (Exam 70-662) MCTS Certification Guide

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Most enterprises around the world leverage Microsoft’s Exchange Server for their messaging and collaboration needs. With paperwork gone to the bins, communication relies significantly on this technology. This makes MS Exchange a crucial component for companies to manage communication.

For organizations, the people who man vital solutions such as Exchange are critical resources. Exchange administrators draw high salaries however, the number of technology refreshes and required certifications is demanding.

The latest in the queue being TS Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring: Exam 70-662. If you are familiar with Microsoft certifications, this one is coded Exam 70-662, the suffix TS abbreviates Technology Series, and the exam will earn you MCTS certification. Passing this exam will also adds credit towards Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010 certification.

Overview of Exchange Server 2010 MCTS Certification

Microsoft Exchange Server 2010You could consider this a certification that will test your basics in Exchange 2010 environment. The technical details will not be too riveting and the exam hovers around testing your competency in handling and maintaining MS Exchange server.

The exam will not focus on intricate details of Exchange Server but will assess your administration and maintenance skills in the enterprise environment. Some typical activities that fall under the certification include adding and deleting users, creating and deleting groups, and delegating roles amongst others.

Job profiles that you may bag post certification are most likely Exchange Administrator, Desktop Engineer, Systems Administrator and Server Support Analysts.

If you believe that you don’t belong to this league, the next in line in the professional series is the Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 certification which is Exam 70-663. I will discuss this certification in more detail in an upcoming post.

Exchange 2010 Exam 70-662 Prerequisites

This is a technology based certification and not a professional one; although Microsoft has not specified any definite prerequisites, you should have at least a couple of years of hands-on experience with Exchange 2007 and 2010 in order to pass the exam.

If you don’t have the prior experience with Exchange, my advice is to work in the environment and try to understand the system as much as you can before attempting the certification exam.

If you rely on understanding concepts and processes through text and visualizing them in your mind, Exam 70-662 might be one of the toughest exams you will face. Hands on experience is a vital component in preparation for this exam.

Exchange 2010 Exam Topics Covered

MS Exchange 2010 is an upgrade of Exchange 2007. The core features of Exchange 2010 have not changed.

Microsoft added, modified and removed certain features from the 2007 version in its new release. If you are familiar with 2007, you need to identify the changes, unlearn what you already know and cram the new set of features.

The 2010 exam covers sections and weights as follows:

  • Installing and Configuring Exchange Servers – 15 %
  • Configuring Exchange Recipients and Public Folders – 14 %
  • Configuring Client Access – 15 %
  • Configuring Message Transport – 15 %
  • Monitoring and Reporting – 13 %

All of the sections on the exam are even, as far as points distribution is concerned. This most necessarily means that you have to prepare in all the above mentioned sections if you want to have a realistic chance of passing the exam.

More detailed information on the skills measured can be found at Microsoft Learning.

Exam 70-662 Study Materials

Although the 70-662 exam was announced just a few months ago, there are already a few study materials available.

Exchange Server 2010 Training

Train Signal is preparing to release their Exchange Server 2010 training which features comprehensive 70-662 exam coverage in multiple file formats for convenience.

Taught by Exchange guru J. Peter Bruzzese, the training will help you gain hands-on experience by walking you through everything including the installation, configuration, maintenance, etc.

And as a bonus you’ll get a free practice exam to test your skills.

Exchange Server 2010 books
Two popular book options that are starting to get recommended by those who passed the exam are:

  •   Exchange 2010 Administrator’s Pocket Consultant by William Stanek and

  •   MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-662) Configuring Microsoft Exchange Server 2010 by Orin Thomas and Ian McLean.

The former addresses the ‘how’ part rather than the ‘why’, which is in line with the exam objectives. Also, the chapters are stacked according to the skills being measured on the exam.

However, the books can only take you so far, especially when hands-on, practical skills are concerned. Plenty of practice and classroom training or an equivalent, like video training, would do a world of good if you are serious about understanding the nuances of Exchange 2010 and passing the exam.

Practice exams are also a great way to prepare for the exam. Transcender, MeasureUp, and a few others offer comprehensive and quality practice exams that will help you make sure you’re ready to sit for your exam.

Exam 70-662 Logistics

Like all other Microsoft exams, this one is outsourced to Prometric as well. You are required to register on the Prometric website, choose the examination you want to take, in this case Exam 70-662, then choose your preferred location and proceed to payment.

The cost of this exam is $125, which is moderate at best. And if you didn’t know already, this is a proctored exam so beware — you are being watched!

Exchange 2010 Exam Details

The 70-662 exam contains 64 multiple choice questions generally, with some rare cases where candidates have received 68-70 questions. Different weights are assigned to each of the questions, and it amounts to a total of 1,000 points. To pass the exam, you need a minimum of 700 points and, you have 3 hours to complete the exam.

The average scores hover around 800+ for IT professionals who have taken this exam in the past month and a half.

From what I have seen and heard, if you have excellent knowledge of Exchange 2007, you will probably be able to answer many of the questions on the 2010 exam. I also heard that the updated exam covers much less PowerShell and that 3 hours is plenty of time to complete the exam.

How Should You Prepare for This Exam?

If you’re new to Exchange, start with the theory and once you understand it try relating it to what you already know. Practice is key for this exam, so make sure you get plenty of hands-on time with the technology in order to build up your skills. This will also come in handy on the job, trust me.

This is definitely one of the harder MS exams, so make sure you prepare well. Take a couple of practice exams to build up your confidence and celebrate once you complete your cert!

About the Author

is a veteran in service and in project managements. He advises businesses, organizations and enterprises on how to build service management framework and deliver value. He is currently penning a book on communication in organizations, specifically aimed at IT departments. He holds PMP, ITIL© V3 Expert and Cobit 5.0 certifications and is an accredited ITIL© trainer.

Author's Website: http://abhinavpmp.com/


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