Passing microsoft exam 70-483: Programming in c#
I took the programming in c# MCP exam over a year ago, and failed it with a of score of 687 (while the passing score is 700)! No it wasn’t hard luck! It was that I runned out of time when answering the questions and did other exam-taking mistakes that made me fail the test but learn the lesson, and pushed me to write to you about taking such exams in this old article (which I obviously do recommend you read carefully before starting with this one). Luckily, a couple of weeks ago I retook and passed the exam. So I thought why not share my experience passing it in this article.
This will be a follow up to what came in the “Preparing and studying section” of the old post: I will adapt the same tips of that section to this specific 70-483 exam, and simultaneously provide resources and links to help you prepare (there is no need for an exam-resources article similar to this one).
Know what you need to know
I previously mentioned that preparing Microsoft certifications, you have to check the objectives list from the exam’s description page, and prepare each one well. And you have to use the right study guide in addition to other study materials such as practice tests, blog posts and forums. Now let us relate to the programming in c# exam:
• The objectives list is available here. I suggest you print it out. You will need to look at it often, as it will help measure how far you went preparing for your exam. This is the summary score sheet you will get at the end of the exam, it shows how you score by exam objective, which means ‘how you prepared by exam objective’.
• The study guide you need to get to prepare this exam is the Exam Ref 70-483: Programming in C#. This book covers the exam’s objectives one by one.
• Forums are also an excellent tool for ‘getting ready’ to pass this exam. They are very informative, you’ll know about the technical tricks for preparing and passing as well as the exam-taking skills you need to survive through the 90 minutes and pass. I suggest the Born to learn study group for the Windows store apps using c# path. The msdn forums are helpfull as well.
• You can also rely on other books apart from the reference guide to prepare, the MCSD certification toolkit (exam 70-483: Programming in c#) book is an excellent option. Also, if you’re totally new to c# and you need time learning before preparing the specific exam topics, the c# 6 and the .NET 4.6 framework book is recommended by the community and very enriching.
Turn theory into practice
In this section of the Taking Microsoft exams in Tunisia post, I wrote about “doing the stuff listed on the objectives, not just reading about it in a book“. Which means looking for tutorials and projects depending on exam’s objectives and designing your own solution. It also means taking practice tests. For those, I already mentionned MeasureUp and SelfTest as the two officially approved test engines from Microsoft. And for the labs to perform, I provide you bellow with a list of links for tutorials, code samples and labs online to make you practice the skills learned :
• Sample codes for the MCP exam 70-483 from the Tunisian MCP Houssem Dellai on GitHub: these cover a good set of the topics in the exam. Few easy topics like LINQ & PLINQ, exceptions and reflections, and other relatively difficult topics like garbage collection and the finalization process, symmetric & asymmetric data encryption and JSON & XML serialisation.
• This pluralsight training is very rich as usual. As I already mentionned, pluralsight courses are not free, but you can always make the most of the trials.
• And we can not list a microsoft exam’s prep ressources without mentionning the Microsoft Virtual Academy courses: this Programming in C# Jump Start course on MVA is very intresting.
• Sample codes by chapter for the first four chapters of the exam ref.
• Official documentations on MSDN: you can search msdn for any exam topic. You’ll find code samples within all msdn pages. For example, if you’re studying the exam objective “Implement multithreading and asynchronous processing“, you can use these MSDN links: Task Parallel library: ParallelFor, Plinq, Tasks | continuation tasks | spawn threads by using ThreadPool | use async and await keywords | manage data by using concurrent collections.
Work on your test-taking skills
I strated this post telling you that I failed the exam because I runned out if time! The reason was I focused on preparing what came in the two previous sections that I forgot to prepare for questions format, test timing, and (even) managing exam stress. Trust me, those are not the kind of tips you want to skip. Read very carefully what came in this section from the previous post, and apply it when you are taking the exam.
To wrap up, I would tell you to use the right ressources, in a right way, and do what’s right during the 90 minutes you’re taking the exam, and everything would go right !
Good luck !