10 Tips To Pass Microsoft’s MCSA 70-740 Exam

Microsoft’s 70 740 exam: Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the first of three exams you must pass to get MCSA: Windows Server 2016 certified.

Passing this exam proves you have the skills and knowledge to:

  • Install Windows Server 2016 in host and compute environments 
  • Implement storage solutions 
  • Implement Hyper-V 
  • Implement Windows containers 
  • Implement high availability
  • Maintain and monitor server environments

So, to help you pass first time, these are our 10 tips to pass the MCSA 70-740 exam:

  • Use the Microsoft Virtual Academy
  • Use a 70-410 revision guide
  • Join a Microsoft forum
  • Take a 70-410 practice test
  • Take a MCSA 70-740 course
  • Avoid brain dumps
  • Download a trial version of Windows Server
  • Join a Microsoft study group
  • Take a Windows Server practice labs
  • Download a Microsoft study app

Once you’ve passed this exam, you’ll be able to move on to exams 70 741: Networking with Windows Server 2016 and 70 742: Identity with Windows Server 2016. Already studying for exam 70 741? Take a look at our 10 Tips to Pass Microsoft's MCSA Exam 70-741.

1. Microsoft’s Virtual Academy

Microsoft provides a free learning resource, called the Microsoft Virtual Academy. Here you’ll find videos, presentations and learning materials for the full range of Microsoft technologies, including Windows Server 2016.

These resources not only introduce you to the key exam information but also provide helpful and educational insights into many key topics.

For Windows Server 2016 and your 70 740 exam, there is a host of useful resources that can boost your knowledge. The What’s New in Windows Server 2016 provides an in-depth introduction of the changes you’ll see from the previous Windows Server 2012 and features that have recently been added to the Windows Server 2016.

The content in this free resource is an excellent starting point for your exam prep and alongside our other tips will ensure you’re ready to ace the exam!

The release of the MCSA 70 740 exam means the content currently available is limited. While we wait for Microsoft to populate the Virtual Academy with relevant information we've found the following excellent 70 740 exam prep resource to keep you busy.

2. Use a Microsoft revision guide

Study guides are incredibly useful resources that allow you to structure your revision in a way that works best for you. Revision guides point out key areas you should focus on and will guide you through the knowledge you need to know for the exam.

Exam Ref 70 740 Installation, Storage and Compute with Windows Server 2016 is the most recent 70 410 book from Jason Kelington and the official study guide for this Microsoft certification. This book features concise, objective-by-objective reviews, strategic case studies and even thought experiments. You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon.

A second resource that’s equally helpful is the bestselling MCSA Windows Server 2016 Study Guide. This guide covers 100% of all exam objectives and “goes far beyond concept review with real-world scenarios containing expert insights, chapter review questions, hands-on practice exercises and a searchable glossary”.

Written by William Panek, a Microsoft MVP, you can be sure that the content will be closely aligned with what you’ll face in the exam. You can purchase this 70 740 study guide on Amazon. 

3. Join a Windows Server forum

What better way to prepare for the 70 740 exam then to join other like-minded individuals preparing for the same exam.

Joining a forum is an excellent way of accessing a unique community. You’ll be able to work through challenging elements of the Microsoft curriculum together, ask questions and bounce ideas off one another. You’ll also hear from what others who have both passed (and failed) the exam have to say.

The TechNet forums are an excellent resource, providing guidance and information that can be useful for those that are both looking to get certified or simply resolve technical issues. There are a wide range of topics and with many active members there’s a high chance somebody has already answered your niche Microsoft questions.

There are articles on all aspects of Windows Server as well as your specific exam or areas you may be struggling with. Currently, there is no Windows Server 2016 forum but there remains plenty of information about the Windows Server 2016 in the Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server General Forum.

4. Take a practice test

Practice 70 740 test questions are useful resources to familiarise yourself with the exam format and prepare you for the types of questions you’ll get when you take the exam. It’s also a great way to identify gaps in your knowledge that you can then work on.

GoCertify offers 70 740 test questions. Once you’ve started your revision and feel you have a good understanding of the exam material, this is an excellent way to test your knowledge and identify areas that need improvement.

MeasureUp is a similarly useful resource and as the provider of official Microsoft practice tests, it offers a far wider range of questions and different packaging and pricing options to get you started. With the exam still in the beta phase, however, MeasureUp do not have practice questions live on their website. We suggest you check this page regularly as they’ll no doubt be looking to update this as soon as the exam becomes available.

MeasureUp’s practice exams are well-respected and are a great way to dig your teeth into some meaty and useful revision. 

5. Take a course

There is no real alternative to immersing yourself in a training course led by certified instructors with a wealth of knowledge and experience on your specific certification.

You’ll sit in a classroom, away from any distractions, with peers that are focused on passing the same exam. You’ll also benefit from hands-on experience and invaluable instructor knowledge.

Firebrand offers an accelerated 11 day MCSA: Windows Server 2016 course. Firebrand also offers courses aligned to the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams individually.  

6. Avoid Brain Dumps

Avoid brain dumps at all costs. Not only are these illegal in the context of Microsoft examinations, they are also rarely useful in providing any real-world skills.

Plus, if its discovered that you have been using a 70 740 brain dump, you will be disqualified from your exam.

7. Download a trial session of the software

An excellent way to prepare for the exam is to get familiar with the software you’ll be tested on. Download a trial version of the Windows Server 2016 software.

The trial version limits you to 180 days, which is more than enough to get experience with some of the features. Focus on experiencing parts of the software relevant to 70 740 exams and this software will offer useful practical revision that will certainly help when it comes to the exam.

8. Join a study group

The value of joining like-minded individuals as you prepare for your exam should not be underestimated. Study groups allow you and others to share tips, experiences, challenges and questions with one another.

Born to Learn is a training and certification community that discuss relevant certification news and articles.

Under the “Study Groups” tab you’ll be able to select the technology and the subsequent exam you’re focusing on. Here, you’ll be able to start discussions or add to on-going discussions with others that are interested in the same software and exam as you.

Unfortunately, there is currently no study group available for the Windows Server 2016. There’s no doubt Microsoft will be looking to introduce this soon, so keep checking this page!

9. Do some practice labs

Practice labs are an excellent way to get familiar with software in an environment that allows you to make mistakes.

While training courses such as Firebrand’s offer practical tasks with the supervision of an instructor, MeasureUp have a series of practice labs you can complete by yourself. These practice labs are aligned specifically to the different exams. Although currently unavailable for the 70 740, 70 741 and 70 742 exams, check back at a later date.

It’s also definitely worth heading to TechNet Virtual Labs where you can access labs aligned to Windows Server 2016. Best of all, this resource is entirely free so make the most of it!

With the Windows Server 2016 exams currently in the beta phase, it’s just a matter of time before we see these practical labs become available on MeasureUp.

10. Follow an Expert

A good way to keep up-to-date with the latest Microsoft developments is to follow an expert's blog. Robert Smit is a Senior Technical Evangelist and Microsoft MVP as of 2009 and updates his personal blog on all things Windows Server/System Center and Azure. 

Smit uses this platform as his own personal notebook as well, so although some of the content may appear to be Smit thinking out loud - it is an excellent resource for your Windows Server exam prep. 

Keep up to date with this blog and you'll get the inside-scoop on a wide range of information helping with exam preparation and developing your skills once you're MCSA certified!