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Microsoft Certified Specialist Is Here: How I Passed Microsoft 70-463 Exam?


I have always had the goal of passing the Microsoft 70-463 exam so that I could receive my certification. Here is an explanation of how I did it.

In order to pass the Microsoft MCSA 70-463 Questions & Answers , I began by gaining a detailed understanding of how this test is structured. I had taken some exams from the company in the past, so I knew that they do provide a study guide to help the candidates decide which areas to pay most of their attention. As I reviewed the guide, I came to learn that there is a specific structure of questions that Microsoft maintains for this test. Generally, the questions were divided into five different sections; each section assigned a certain percentage weight. I knew that the weight was an indicator of how many questions would come from that particular section.

The five categories from which questions in the exam are sourced are:

Image: Joxemai (CC BY-SA 4.0)/Wikimedia Commons
  • Extracting and transforming load – 20% to 25%

This part is focused on designing data flow, implementing data flow, defining connection managers, managing SSIS package execution and implementing script tasks in SSIS.

  • Building data quality solutions – 15% to 20%

The questions asked from this section were tailored towards determining if I could perform installation and maintenance of data quality services, creation of data quality project for cleaning data and implement master data management solutions.

  • Designing and implementing data warehouse – 10% to 15%

Here, the questions concentrated on my ability to design and implement dimensions, as well as design and implement fact tables.

  • Configuring and deploying SSIS solutions – 20% to 25%

The exam questions particularly dealt with installation and maintenance of SSIS components, deploying SSIS solutions, configuring SSIS security settings, troubleshooting data integration issues and implement auditing and event handling.

  • Load data – 25% to 30%

A considerable number of questions were sourced from this section. The examiners were interested in seeing whether I could design control flow, implement control flow, implement script components in SSIS and use SSIS variables to implement package logic.

Throughout my preparation for the exam, I maintained a keen attention on the sections. I made sure that I dedicated more time to the areas with higher weights and less to those with low. However, I valued the role played by each section.

Image: Jasmine Wong/Wikimedia Commons

Preparation for Microsoft 70-463 Exam

  • Creating a time plan

I am a full-time IT professional. Therefore, you can imagine the sacrifices I had to make just to get some few hours of studying. Normally, I used to leave my home for work at 7 a.m. That meant that I used to wake up at around 6 a.m. to get ready. However, with a certification commitment coming a long, I had to adjust my waking time. I started waking up at 4 a.m. so that I could have an extra two hours of studying which would prove essential for my excellence.

While at work, I do get about 1 hour and 30 minutes of lunch break. There is no way I was going to let this time go for free. Immediately I restricted myself to taking my lunch within 30 minutes. The remaining one hour was set aside for studying. I also looked into the evening hours. However, since I knew the presence of traffic jam made this time unpredictable, I did not classify it as an official study time. However, I knew I would use it to quickly read through my book. And talking of books, there are some resources I chose for my preparation.

  • Find the best resources

Creation of a time plan required that I have a set of resources that I would use to prepare for my exam. My chosen resources were self-paced training courses, books, exam prep videos, practice tests and the Microsoft Community.

Self-paced training courses: This was offered through the Microsoft Virtual Academy. It entailed numerous courses which I could decide how fast or slow I was going to study them. The fact that I was aware time constraint was a major thing for me, I could not risk enrolling for the instructor-led training that restricted me to complete it within 5 days. Self-paced training gave me all the freedom that I needed. That does not mean I decided to just lazy around because I had control of my study pace. The truth of the matter is that I covered the course material much faster than I would have if I had been timed.

Books: I bought the Training Kit (Exam 70-463). I preferred this since it had been prepared by the Microsoft experts. That means, they had factored in all necessary elements that the main exam entailed, without unnecessarily leaving out concepts which could be of great help. The book allowed me to study at my own pace through numerous lessons and practical exercises. While on a ride back home, I would easily get it out in a traffic jam and get going with the studying.

Image: Microsoft Corporation/Wikimedia Commons

Exam prep videos: This resource required less than 6 minutes to complete. I watched to the certification experts from Microsoft explain what to expect from the certification and the skills I would have gained at the end of the preparation process. The video acted as a catalyst, motivating me to look forward to taking my Microsoft credential.

Practice tests: This preparation tool allowed me to have a quick look into how the exam questions are set. I was able to gauge the knowledge and skills gained with the aid of numerous practice tests that Microsoft provided through its partner – MindHub. The official Microsoft practice test is sold as a bundle at a cost of $109, comprising of questions, answers and references.

Microsoft Community: I regularly came here whenever I had a question which was hard to find its solution elsewhere. I was surprised the most by how resourceful the community members were and how eager they responded to as many questions as I could ask.


As you can see, my tip how to passthe Microsoft 70-463 exam is simple: get the right resources, find time to study them andpass your certification test.

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