What to expect with Microsoft’s first Windows Vista exam aimed at MCTS candidates.

Exam 70-620 is one of among several exams that Microsoft will release this year that are aimed at IT admins who want to prove their knowledge of supporting and managing Windows Vista machines. (The others are 70-621 Upgrade: MCDST to MCITP Enterprise, and 70-623 Pro: Desktop Support, Consumer, which are in beta, and then 70-622 Pro: Desktop Support, Enterprise, all of which also will require some solid Vista knowledge.) Pass 70-620 and you’ll earn the Microsoft Certifiied Technology Specialist: Windows Vista certification.

I took this exam while it was in beta and was given 180 minutes to complete 56 questions. The final version, which was released well after I took this exam, is fairly similar, with 90 to 120 minutes for about 50 questions.

This exam was wide in scope and tests knowledge of all aspects of supporting users with configuration needs with Windows Vista, for users both in the home network and enterprise in these key areas:

  • Installing, upgrading Windows Vista
  • Configuring, troubleshooting post-installation system settings
  • Configuring Windows security features
  • Configuring network connectivity
  • Configuring applications included with Vista
  • Maintaining and optimizing systems that run Vista
  • Configuring and troubleshooting mobile computing

My first recommendation for study material falls under the category of hands-on. If you are new to Windows Vista, you need some time at the controls. And it’s always time well spent!

There will be self-study guides published, official courseware, and even practice exams, but if you want to pass this exam sooner, I recommend that you check out http://www.windowsvista.com/, which has links to information for consumers, developers and IT professionals like us. Click that link and you’ll find yourself at the Microsoft Technet site. There you’ll find all the printed study information you’ll need. I highly recommend you peruse the Windows Vista Product Guide document.

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