Top Tips to Get MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 Certification and Become Top SQL Developer


Computers and technology have brought immense changes to the field of data storage in organizations, institutions, and businesses. And of course, the world of IT would not be what it is without Microsoft. This company is known worldwide for its numerous IT products and credentials that are intended for the specialists working with Microsoft technologies. After getting Microsoft certificationsone can build a career of Server Administrator, Engineer, Developer among many others. Having such credentials makes the candidate visible for employers and it's a significant factor to get a better position and a higher salary.

SQL Server is one of the database management systems that are commonly used to create databases and modify data. To increase the knowledge and skills of the SQL Server professionals, Microsoft introduced MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 certification. This is one of the most popular Microsoft credentials which has no prerequisites. However, there are three exams (70-461, 70-462, 70-763) that the candidates need to pass in order to attain this credential:

  •  70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014. This exam is focused in creating of database objects, working with data, troubleshooting and optimizing SQL Server and more (see details below).

After passing exam 70-461, you need to pass two more tests to finish MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014 credential path. These exams are 70-462 and 70-463. Both of them covering different skills related to SQL server.

  • 70-462: Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 Databases is all about configuration installation, and maintenance. This exam is quite complex, so you might be interested to learn more about it on the official website of Microsoft.
  • 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 covers the tasks linked to warehouse implementation and data cleansing.

In this article, we will concentrate on 70-461, the first exam leading to MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 credential so you get the picture of how the credential process goes.

What does Microsoft 70-461 certification exam include?

Microsoft 70-461 exam is intended for system engineers, database administrators, and developers to test their capability to work with the SQL Server. The candidates are required to be able to perform tasks such as the creation of database objects, working with data, and troubleshooting. The target audience needs to have at least 2 years of working experience to qualify for this exam.

Exam 70-461 can be passed to attain MCP, MCSA and MCSE certifications related to SQL Server.

Microsoft 70-461 exam covers four main areas:

  •  Database objects creation e.g. alteration and creation of the tables - this covers 20-25% of the exam.
  •  Working with data (using of SELECT statements to query data) - covers 25-30%.
  •  Data adjustments such as working with functions - this covers 20-25%.
  •  Troubleshooting and optimizing e.g. error handling implementation - covers 25-30%.

Why should you become Microsoft 70-461 certified?

  •  Career advancement

Earning Microsoft 70-461 certification takes your career to the new level. You join a group of the professionals that can help you to pass the test and enhance your career growth.

  •  To acquire skills and knowledge

During the preparation for Microsoft 70-461 exam, you read a lot of books and involve yourself in the practical experiments. This leads to the improvement of your skills and knowledge.

  •  Achieve the income goals

MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 certification makes you stand out from the other employees. You can be assigned bigger roles which come with a substantial payment.

  •  Job opportunities

Getting a job nowadays has become hard since almost everyone is now well-educated. For you to be considered for a job post, you have to be ahead of others, and the best way of doing it is by acquiring MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 certification. In such a case a wide variety of job positions open the doors for you: Windows and Linux Server Engineer, SQL Database Developer, SQL Administrator, SQL Developer, Cloud Services Engineer, etc.

Why is Microsoft 70-461 certification exam so popular?

  •  It leads to MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 certification which is recognized worldwide
  •  SQL Server is one of the database management systems that are widely used to create databases in different organizations. This means that there is a high demand for certified specialists.
  •  SQL Server is complex to learn and work with, so it requires the expertise. Not every candidate is suitable for the work with SQL Server, and MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2016 certification helps the employers to find the individuals who possess the real skills.

How to pass Microsoft 70-461 exam?

  •  Study consistently
  •  Prepare a study plan
  •  Review the exam objectives
  •  Take the notes while studying
  •  Set specific goals before you start each study session
  •  Discuss what you have learned with a friend/community member

Microsoft 70-461 exam details

Microsoft 70-461 exam usually consists of 40-60 multiple-choice questions. The passing score for 70-461 is 70% (700 points out of 1000 possible), but it can change according to the number and the difficulty of the questions. The test can be taken in English, German, Chinese (Simplified), Portuguese (Brazil), French, and Japanese languages. You are given two hours to complete the exam. The cost of the test is $165. More information about exam topics and subtopics can be found on the official website of Microsoft.


Tips for passing Microsoft 70-461 certification exam

  •  Do practical experiments

To pass Microsoft 70-461 certification exam, you have to know how to work with SQL Server. The easiest way to do this is to install the SQL Server on your computer and practice using it.

  •  Practice tests

Another awesome tip that can help you pass Free Microsoft 70-461 Practice Test is taking practice tests. Practice tests give you an idea of what the actual test is like so that you can set your study goals according to what you have already learned. Make use of the practice questions to know how to complete your exam within the allocated time.

  •  Eat healthy during the exam preparation period

It is advisable to eat healthy snacks and special foods that boost your brain activity. This keeps you healthy and helps your brain to absorb the information. This also helps you remember what you have studied for a long time.

  •  Balance study with leisure

During the study period, make sure you involve yourself in some leisure activities. Preparation is not all about study and more study. Take a break once in awhile and engage in some physical activity. This will help you to relax and prepare for a new study session.

  •  Take a course

Enrolling in a course can help you understand the exam topics better. You can also learn some strategies of approaching the exam questions from your trainer. Search for the official Microsoft courses as they provide the most reliable materials for 70-461 exam preparation.

  •  Allocate enough time to prepare

It takes time to understand the SQL Server database management system. Make sure that you take enough time to prepare and attempt as many practice tests as possible.

My personal experience of passing Microsoft 70-461 exam

I have been a database administrator for two years when I decided to take Microsoft 70-461 certification exam. I wanted to advance my career and achieve my income goals. The fear of the failure had always been with me, but this time I had fully made up my mind on taking the exam.

I gathered the reliable materials I needed to study including video courses and practice tests. After a while, I learned that practice tests suited me the most, so I chose to stick with them. Since I had reviewed the exam objectives I knew what topics to focus on.

I studied for 4 months, 30-60 minutes each day. I mostly studied in the mornings because I was exhausted in the evening after work, and it was hard for me to concentrate. I was lucky to come across some pretty good website called PrepAway, so I was able to test my knowledge concerning 70-461 exam and see if I am ready to take the exam.

A night before the exam I played video games and watched my favorite TV show. This helped me to relax before the test. I also went to sleep at 10:00 p.m. so that I could be able to wake up early enough to prepare well for the day. The easiest way to pass Microsoft 70-461 exam is practice, practice, and more practice.

Microsoft 70-461 exam dumps, are they helpful?

Exam dumps can be misleading if not used wisely. Train hard and get the sense of the questions. Do not memorize the answers but understand what the question is about. Each new certification exam may come with some percent of the new questions. Moreover, the previous questions can be slightly modified. This fact can completely change the correct answer. However, exam dumps are helpful. Through them, you familiarize yourself with the structure of the exam questions and also learn how to approach them. Ensure that you have a proper grasp of the exam objectives even if you use reliable exam dumps. Such updated prep material can be found on ExamSnap, ExamCollection, Exam-Labs websites.

What's next?

If you want to broaden your skills in SQL or top up basic knowledge, you may consider the following SQL-related exams. Both these exams are included in MCSA credential path, so you can use them as an alternative for the tests mentioned above if you want to attain SQL-based certification on the associate level:

  •  70-761: Querying Data with Transact-SQL. This is one of the exams that lead to MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification. It covers managing data,querying data, and programming databases with Transact-SQL.
  •  70-764: Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure. This is one of the exams that lead to MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Administration certification. The test is intended to examine the skills related to disaster recovery and high availability management, auditing and data access configuration and more.


If you are looking for a certification to help you advance your IT career or you want to learn more about SQL Server, Microsoft certification is the right choice for you. You will learn new skills and receive great job opportunities and promotions. MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014certification with its 70-461, 70-462, and 70-463 exams is a great way to ensure that you will enjoy all these privileges. If you'd like to consider some alternative way to receive your MCSA, you may sit for 70-761 or 70-764 exams and complete some different credential paths on the associate level. We wish you good luck with your certification exams!

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