Home > MS SQL Server Denali > Passed 70-461 Exam : Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Passed 70-461 Exam : Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012


Yesterday (Nov 15th 2012) I went through this exam and passed it. From long back I was looking an opportunity to give at least a single SQL Server Certification Exam to check my worth.

Just a week back I scheduled a slot for this Exam (for yesterday). I was looking for some reading material for the same but I couldn’t get any. Though there is a book from Microsoft Press i.e. “Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012″, but it was not available at my nearest.

As I maintain this blog on SQL Server and also evangelize on SQL Server 2012 latest features from long back, so I thought to give it a try and wow I went thru in a single shot!!!

Here by this post I want to provide my readers some information and knowledge about this Exam, so that they can plan well for this and look forward to take up this exam.

–> Exam Highlights:

- There were total 54 Questions
- Total time to attempt the paper was 3 Hrs.
- Total Marks: 1000
- Passing Marks: 700
- The Questions in the Exam were:
1. Mostly Objective Type.
2. Some were Subjective: where you’ve to write code, like SELECT statement and/or View Definition, etc.
3. And very few were Multiple Choice.
4. A few Question were where you’ve to pick up the appropriate code snippet and arrange them in correct sequence.

–> The Exam is divided into 4 modules:
1. Create Database Objects
2. Work with Data
3. Modify Data
4. Troubleshoot & Optimize

You need to brush up on following Skills in the these Modules:
-:Check links with the below items for more information:-

–> Create Database Objects | 24%
- CREATE/ALTER/DROP TABLE/COLUMN
- Data Types (XML, DATETIME, SPATIAL, VARCHAR)
- Constraints (Primary Key, Foreign Key, Unique, Check, Default)
- Calculated Column
- Views
- Indexed Views (SCHEMABINDING, COUNT_BIG(*), CLUSTERED INDEX)
- Stored Procedures, [link].
- DML Triggers (INSERTED, UPDATED, UPDATE function) vs CHECK Constraint
- TRIGGER for VIEWS (INSTEAD OF)
- UDF (Functions), [link].
- SP vs UDF, [link].

–> Work with Data | 27%
- New Functions in SQL Server 2012 (IFF, TRY_PARSE, CONCAT, FORMAT), [link].
- FETCH-OFFSET, [link].
- SEQUENCE, [link].
- Ranking and Window Functions (ROW_NUMBER, RANK, DENSE_RANK, NTILE), [link].
- JOINS (INNER, OUTER LEFT, OUTER RIGHT, CROSS), [link].
- APPLY Operators (CROSS APPLY vs OUTER APPLY), [link].
- CTE and Sub-Queries, [link].
- PIVOT, [link].
- ROLLUP, CUBE & GROUPING SETS, [link].
- Dynamic SQL
- ANY, SOME, ALL
- CASE vs ISNULL vs COALESCE, [link].
- FOR XML RAW/AUTO/PATH [ELEMENTS], [link].
- Implementing XML Schemas and Handling of XML data

–> Modify Data | 24%
- Stored Procedure (with EXECUTE AS, RECOMPILE)
- MERGE Statement (TARGET, SOURCE, WHEN MATCHED, WHEN NOT MATCHED, OUTPUT), [link].
- EXCEPT vs INTERSECT
- UNION vs UNION ALL, [link].
- SCALAR vs TABLE Valued Functions.
- Use of APPLY with UDFs, [link].
- VARCHAR(MAX) and .WRITE(), [link].

–> Troubleshoot & Optimize | 25%
- Using Statistics
- SQL Internal JOINS (NESTED – Small, MERGE – Large Sorter, HASH – Large Unsorted), [link].
- TRANSACTIONS (BEGIN, COMMIT, ROLLBACK, XACT_ABORT, TRANCOUNT), [link].
- ISOLATION Levels (READ UNCOMMITTED, READ COMMITTED, REPEATABLE READ, SNAPSHOT, SERIALIZABLE)
- TRY/CATCH, [link].
- RAISE vs THROW [link]
- CURSORS (Row-Based) vs SET Based Approach
- Table Hints (UPDLOCK, ROWLOCK, TABLOCK, …etc)
- Query Hints (OPTION (OPTIMIZED FOR … [UNKNOWN]))

–> You can visit following Study materials to prepare for this Exam:

Microsoft Link for this Certification: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-461

Book “Training Kit (Exam 70-461): Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012″ on AMAZON.com: http://www.amazon.com/Training-Kit-Exam-70-461-Microsoft/dp/0735666059?tag=651998669-20

Book “Microsoft SQL Server 2012 T-SQL Fundamentals” on AMAZON.com: http://www.amazon.com/Microsoft-Server-2012-T-SQL-Fundamentals/dp/0735658145/ref=sr_1_3&tag=651998669-20

All The Best!!!

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  1. December 22, 2012 at 1:19 am | #1

    When you say that most of the questions were “Objective type” what does that mean. Could you elaborate please.

    thx

    • January 2, 2013 at 11:40 am | #2

      Objective Type means, you will get 5-10 choices and you’ve to select 1 correct answer. So, most the questions in my paper were of this type. Few were Multiple choice and Subjective type.

  2. SDubs
    January 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm | #3

    Hi, i’m not sure I understand what you mean by objective type? 5-10 choices sounds like multiple choice to me. Can you explain further, thank you

    • January 8, 2013 at 11:22 am | #4

      As I said earlier, with both Objective & Multiple choice you get multiple choices as answers, difference is with first you’ve to select just one, with later you can select multiple answers. For Objective responses you get radio buttons, so you cannot select more than one. With Multiple Choice you get check-boxes, so you can select more than one.
      Check following link for more info: http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20090805235905AA6Kztf

  3. Sagar
    January 30, 2013 at 5:48 pm | #5

    could you please elaborate more on the subjective question. would we be asked to open SQL Server Management Studio with a database and write queries to fetch data according to the requirement in the question?
    Thank you.

    • January 30, 2013 at 6:32 pm | #6

      Hi Sagar,

      There will be no any SSMS client, but yes its a multiline text box where you’ve to write SQL code. It’s like writing code in plain-text notepad.

      But yes there is a button to verify if the syntax is correct for the SQL you’ve written. And you cannot verify the SQL query results.

  4. Simon
    April 22, 2013 at 6:53 am | #7

    Is it just pass/fail, or different grades of pass?

    • April 22, 2013 at 10:08 am | #8

      Yes, it is just Pass/Fail.
      Passing mark is 750 700 out of 1000.

  5. Srikanth
    April 29, 2013 at 7:21 pm | #9

    Hello Manoj, As u said that we have 54 questions in the exam, Is that same for everyone or will it change?
    And the pass mark u mentioned is 700 at one place and 750 in the above comment, Can u plz confirm the pass mark?

    Thanks in advance
    Srikanth

    • April 29, 2013 at 9:44 pm | #10

      No Srikanth, the number of questions can vary. I got 54 questions and 3 hrs to finish. Some of my friends got the same, but some got lesser questions with less time, like 40 questions in 2.5 hrs.

      Sorry, for the confusion, the correct passing mark is 700. I’ll update my comment above. Thanks for pointing it out.

      Thanks for reading my blog :)

      • Srikanth
        April 30, 2013 at 5:26 pm | #11

        Thank You Manoj for the confirmation..
        What I understand finally is the maximum number of questions will be 54
        I scheduled my exam on May 2nd and hope I ll get through it with all the information you gave which helped me a lot.

        Thanks,
        Srikanth

      • tapir
        February 22, 2014 at 12:02 am | #12

        180 min / 54 = 3 min 20 sec
        150 min / 40 = 3 min 45 sec

        Time for one question can’t vary – can you please tell us true info?

  6. Narda
    April 29, 2013 at 11:20 pm | #13

    Hello, Thank you so much for the information you have posted, I really need to get my certification. I am a SQL Novice and would like to make a career change. I want to schedule the exam first for motivation to study the material. How much time do you recommend I give myself to study?

    Thank in advance,

    Narda.

    • May 4, 2013 at 10:41 pm | #14

      Narda, sorry for getting late to you on this.

      Well, what all Dirk mentioned below, you can go with it.

      To add, do not think to skip any of the topic and at least try to prep with practical SQL queries and hands-on.

      all the best!!!

  7. Dirk Fabricius
    May 4, 2013 at 10:07 pm | #15

    Hi Narda, I’d say I’ve average knowledge regarding SQL Server. Of the topics microsoft listed maybe 15% were completely new to me. I learned for 1 and 1/2 months (parallel to work – min 30 minutes per day and on the weekends maybe 5 full days total) and now think I’m ready for the exam.

    • Narda
      May 9, 2013 at 1:51 am | #16

      Hi Dirk, Go luck on the exam, keep us posted and thank you for the information.

      • June 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm | #17

        Passed with 925. No questions where I had to write code (those I was afraid of, because I feared a simple forgotten “;” would strip me of all the Points). I strongly recommend studying and trying out ALL there is to “FOR XML” also. The questions aren’t really evenly distributed among the study material and not everything was answered in there – I’m thinking of “merge”.

    • Narda
      June 20, 2013 at 1:26 am | #18

      Congrats again Dirk, wow I started studying and fell off track, can you share some of your studying materials? What material did you you to study.. I need to get back my motivation.

  8. Matt Simpson
    June 6, 2013 at 6:58 pm | #20

    Hi there, just wanted to thank you for your post as it was the single most useful resource I found for the exam. For info to others REALLY go deep on things like ranking functions and FOR XML. The press kit exams and measure up exams arent enough, get out your TSQL and I used a DB I had already been working with and practiced a lot.

  9. Srikanth M
    June 10, 2013 at 1:18 pm | #21

    Hello Manoj,
    Today I have passed the 70-461 exam with all the support and guidance u gave here.
    Thanks a lot , i expect this to continue with you ahead in future.

    Thanks,
    Srikanth M

    • June 10, 2013 at 1:46 pm | #22

      that’s gr8 news Srikanth :)

      … congratulations on passing the exam!!!

      • Srikanth
        June 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm | #23

        Thank You Manoj,
        I have one quick qsn,
        As i wrote 70461 and passed it, now can i jump to 70463 (BI) and then write 70462 , or should we go in order given by Microsoft?

        Thanks in advance..!

  10. June 11, 2013 at 1:09 pm | #24

    Yes, you can jump to 463 directly, there is no specific order to give exams. You can also start with 462/463… its just a matter of preference and expertise.

    • Srikanth
      June 11, 2013 at 1:45 pm | #25

      Ok, Thank You Manoj..!

  11. Gaurav Saxena
    June 14, 2013 at 4:02 pm | #26

    How to enroll for this exam and what is the cost for enrollment ( in india ) ??

    • Srikanth
      June 14, 2013 at 4:23 pm | #27

      Hello Gaurav,
      You need to register yourself at Prometric (https://www.register.prometric.com/Login.asp ).
      Once you are successfully registered then you need to login and schedule your exam as per your convenience.
      The cost for this exam (70461) is 80USD.

      Wish you all the best..!!!

      ..Srikanth

  12. Anusha
    June 16, 2013 at 4:04 am | #28

    Thanks everyone for the updates here… I have been looking for such info since long time…

    Srikanth, Congratulations firstly, have 2 questions for u.
    1. u mentioned that the 70-461 exam cost is 80USD, but it shows 150USD in prometric… Did u use any coupon? Just wanted myself to be on the right window :)

    2. What was the passing % for u? Is it the same for all 700/1000?

    Manoj, are u really sure that we can skip an exam and directly go to 70-463 after 70-461, because when I spoke to one of the customer care executives of Microsoft they said we should take the certifications in sequence…

    Also, do anyone have any dumps available for this exam… I’m planning to give this exam on 28th June.. If anyone can share that would be of real help for me…

    Thanks everyone in advance…

    Anusha.

    • Anusha
      June 16, 2013 at 4:36 am | #29

      Srikanth got an answer for the first question myself :) It is 80USD in India and 150USD in US… Thanks

    • Srikanth
      June 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm | #30

      Hello Anusha,

      The pass percentage was 70% for me i.e., 700/1000.
      Yes,it would be the same for everyone even though the number of questions change.

      Wish you all the best for ur exam..

      Srikanth

    • June 24, 2013 at 1:54 pm | #31

      Hi Anusha, Yes, you can give the 3 exams in any order. You don’t need to give 461 in order to pass just 463 or 462.

      Please don’t look for any dumps, study and prepare well yourself for the exams, they are not very tough. Otherwise it will defeat the purpose of certifications and your self-belief.

  13. Srikanth M
    June 17, 2013 at 3:28 pm | #32

    Hello Manoj,
    How are you doing?

    I need some info about getting the certificate after passing the 70461 exam.
    I recieved a mail from Microsoft with MCID and other details to access the MCP site.

    But I need to know whether we will get any hard copy from Microsoft for passing the exam.
    Can you please let me know the process of getting the certificate?

    Thanks in advance..!

    Srikanth M

    • June 24, 2013 at 1:49 pm | #33

      No Srikanth, they have stopped sending hard copies now.
      You can download the PDFs from the site, and can get them printed.

  14. Ramu
    July 8, 2013 at 6:08 pm | #34

    Hi Manoj,

    I am also planning to write 70-461 exam can you please suggest any book for exam.

    Thanks
    Parashuramu .F

  15. Ramu
    July 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm | #35

    apart from Microsoft

  16. Nikki
    July 10, 2013 at 10:54 am | #36

    Hi,
    Is it worth buying dumps to prepare for these exams?

    Thanks,
    Nikki

    • July 10, 2013 at 3:10 pm | #37

      Do NOT rely on DUMPS. This will defeat the purpose of taking certifications and knowing your self-worth.

      Study books, online blogs, MSDN and practice. You will definitely pass.

  17. Neha
    July 30, 2013 at 2:40 pm | #38

    Hi Manoj,
    I am a SQL developer. I have good 3-4 years of experience working with SQL Server 2005/2008. I am planning to take certification exam (Exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server) now. My question is can I take an exam on SQL Server 2008 rather than SQL Server 2012?
    And how much time would it take to prepare for this exam if you have a good experience working on it?

    Thanks,
    Neha

    • July 30, 2013 at 3:01 pm | #39

      Hi Neha,

      SQL 2008 is old now and obsolete compared to 2012, and also SQL 2014 is going to release in next year, so go with SQL 2012 certification only. Its simpler 2008 and is fun to learn the new features. Check my blog and prep on the topics I’ve mentioned above.

      All the best!!!

      ~Manoj

  18. Neha
    July 30, 2013 at 3:47 pm | #40

    Hi Manoj,

    I appreciate your quick reply. Could you please suggest me in context to following:

    I am majorly working into SQL Server Reporting Services 2005/2008 with SQL Server 2005/2008 as back-end. Also, working on Integeration Services and Analysis Services.

    As I explained you above that am planning for a certification.
    Actually, I would like to do a certification in Business Intelligence; could you please guide me what all necessary exams I would require to take in order to get BI Certification?

    Also, what should be the sequence of exams?

    Thank you very much!

    Neha

    • July 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm | #41

      Hi Neha,

      For BI certification you need to give 70-463 only, which is “Implementing a Data Warehouse with MS SQL Server 2012″. There is no sequence, you can give any exam in any order. You can give 70-461 & 70-462 later on. All 3 exams will award you MCSA.

      To take MCSE in BI, you will need to give 70-466 & 70-467. For these 2 exams above 3 MCSA exams are prerequisites.

      ~Manoj

  19. kesav
    August 2, 2013 at 12:16 am | #42

    Hi Manoj,

    Thanks for sharing data with all of us ,I am planning to write 70-461 Exam ,Can you please explain me how to schedule the exam means how to pay the exam fee and how many attempts for one time payment..Is there anytime period to write the exam after paid the exam fee.

    • August 2, 2013 at 10:38 am | #43

      Hi Kesav,

      You can contact any nearest prometric center at your location. There you will get all the details about the exam schedule and mode of payment.

      You will get a voucher, which is valid for some months, and there is only one attempt for each voucher. But sometimes Microsoft comes up with some deals like free retake of exams, but very often.

      Best of luck!!!

      ~Manoj

  20. Fahim
    August 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm | #44

    Nice Inormation keep up the good work

  21. Mike
    October 3, 2013 at 3:48 pm | #45

    Hello I have a question about typing code questions in 70-461 exam.
    Is there only one possible way to answer those questions right?
    For example if I wrote alias to sum() function in query or wrote column names without table name?
    Another question is there would be any mark that my query at least has right spelling?
    Thanks in advance!

    • October 3, 2013 at 9:22 pm | #46

      Yes, there will some questions where you will have to write queries, and there is a syntax checker button to validate you’ve written correct query. I hope this answers your question.
      ~manoj

  22. Mike
    October 4, 2013 at 10:46 am | #47

    First of all thank for the quick responce! Yes it answers my second question.
    Do you have any idea about the first one? I’ll give some additional examples:
    I can put parentheses after RETURN when I create an inline table-function, but it’ll work fine without them, I can use alias or real column name in order by, I can use Max() function in inner join select instead of main select, my point is that if there is more than one exact way to write a query(even after following all their requirements) is the correct result of the query will by checked or the specific code?

    • October 4, 2013 at 11:17 am | #48

      For your first question, I can’t confirm on this. As when I appeared for this exam, I just wrote the SQL Queries, used column alias also like you mentioned, and validated the syntax and submitted the answers. I think whatever query you write, they might generating the output of the query & validating this against their own o/p, provided your query syntax is correct. Just what I think, but I’m not sure.
      ~manoj

  23. Mike
    October 4, 2013 at 11:38 am | #49

    Thanks a lot, again!

  24. David
    November 7, 2013 at 3:14 am | #50

    Goodday good people,
    I have a few questions , Do you know the result immediately after the exam, Anyone know how the scoring is done 45-55 questions 1000 ???

    • November 7, 2013 at 1:20 pm | #51

      Yes, you will know the result of the exam immediately and receive a hardcopy with the seal of the prometric center on it.

  25. November 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm | #52

    Hi Manoj,

    I’m from b’lore India, i need to give this exam 70-461, I’ve registered on prometric site, but it’s asking me to pay in USD currency, is this the same way you made the payment.

  26. November 12, 2013 at 2:31 pm | #53

    Hi @Vishwanath, I didn’t made any payment as these exams are free for MS FTEs. Will check and let you now.

    • Srikanth M
      November 12, 2013 at 2:45 pm | #54

      Hi Viswanath, I paid the money in the same way.
      We can use any of our CreditCards to pay the money and the respective bank will convert the money into USD.

  27. Edison Oliveira
    November 18, 2013 at 6:02 pm | #55

    Hi, Manoj!

    I’m from Brazil and I have made the exam in the last friday, november 15. I follow your script, and read the book “Training Kit”. After this, I have practiced a lot with the Transcender’s simulations and tests. My score was 902.

  28. vinoth
    December 5, 2013 at 5:24 pm | #57

    Hi Readers,
    I would like to Write SQL Certification Exam (Microsoft SQL Server 2012 ) can i know the COST of this Exam. As per Indian Rs?????????????

  29. vinoth
    December 6, 2013 at 9:20 am | #59

    Thank you Sir.

  30. mo_84_van
    December 17, 2013 at 5:35 am | #60

    Hi,

    Can anyone please tell me whether there are any questions on DMO and whether you need to know the different ones? also how in depth will it go into optimization and what typical question should I expect for optimization?

    Thanks you in advance so muchhhh! :)

  31. December 19, 2013 at 10:45 am | #61

    No, there will be no questions on DMO or any other admin related questions.

    As the title’s name the exam is totally based upon TSQL querying and Performance Optimization. More focus will be on TSQL 2012 new features. For details what will be asked in exam check my post above.

  32. December 26, 2013 at 8:51 pm | #62

    Hi,

    I am planning to get certified. Is this book good enough:http://www.amazon.com/Training-Kit-Exam-70-461-Microsoft/dp/0735666059?tag=651998669-20 I donot want to be using too many references

    • January 9, 2014 at 10:46 am | #63

      Yes Vineeth,
      The book is good and will be enough to crack the exam passing mark of 700, but to get top score you will have to do some hands-on also.

      ~manoj

  33. Pulkit
    January 9, 2014 at 12:29 am | #64

    Hi Manoj,

    My name is Pulkit and I am working as Software Tester from past 4 Years. Can I also appear for exam 70-461 querying microsoft sql server 2012 ?

  34. Sandhya
    January 9, 2014 at 9:29 pm | #66

    Is there a prerequisite for this MCSA?

  35. January 12, 2014 at 12:47 am | #68

    hello manoj , hope ur doing well.. i m currently a 3rd year student frm chennai
    This month i.e on 26th jan .. i am planning to give my 70-461 exam.. meanwhile i’ve a doubt .. that whether this certification wil really help me to boost up in my career ??
    like does this certification keep me apart frm a normal student during placements ???

    • January 12, 2014 at 2:22 pm | #69

      Yes, Prashanth,
      Doing certification not only boost up your career, but your self confidence. Certifications helps you to give yourself a different identity among others. Go ahead to clear up your exam and good luck.

  36. Sumit kumar
    January 15, 2014 at 5:15 pm | #70

    Hello manoj , i have to take this before 31st.. can you send me some materials to me sumitkum383@gmail.com specially the 70 461 training kit book in pdf.. i am not getting it , i know SQL and i will prepare thouroughy from now. i guess 15 days is ok .

    • January 15, 2014 at 6:36 pm | #71

      Hi Sumit, The eBook in PDF you can get it from the book CD itself and you will have to purchase it, its illegal to pass/multiply the eBook soft copy. Sorry, but you can also prep from the item list I’ve provided above with links to read from msdn/this blog.

      Thanks,
      Manoj

  37. RADL
    January 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm | #72

    Hello Manoj – I would just like to drop you a note to say thank you for this very helpful post. I passed my 70-461 exam just today :) Wish you all the best!

    • January 16, 2014 at 3:27 pm | #73

      Thanks @RADL !!!

      and congratulation on passing this exam, best wishes for your next certifications and career.

      ~manoj :)

    • draj
      January 26, 2014 at 11:44 am | #74

      Hello @RADL,
      Congrats!!
      I had a question regarding the exam. Did you get any question where you had to write the code

      • February 3, 2014 at 10:58 am | #75

        Yes @draj, there might be 4-5 questions where you will have to write SQL queries.

        ~Manoj

      • Zdenek
        February 3, 2014 at 8:00 pm | #76

        I was sitting this exam on 31st Jan and no questions with writing the code.
        I also attended training course recommended for this exam and we have been told that they take off all questions with writing the code.
        I would like to take this opportunity to thank Manoj for this website, I found it quite helpful while preparing for the exam(pass 887)

        Zdenek

      • February 4, 2014 at 10:26 am | #77

        thanks @Zdenek, congratulation on passing with excellent marks… few of my friends who took this exam also did get code to write, but some get like me.

        So, all the best for your next certifications in the path.

        ~Manoj

  38. Patrick
    February 1, 2014 at 4:12 am | #78

    Hi Manoj,

    I’ve only been using SQL Server 2012 for 5 months and passed the test with a 793 today. I used your advice on here coupled with the 70-461 Training Kit Book. Thanks for the insight!

    -Patrick

    • February 3, 2014 at 10:57 am | #79

      This is good passing mark @Patrick… way to go for next level of certifications… all the best.

      ~Manoj

  39. Shaik Feroz
    February 1, 2014 at 1:07 pm | #80

    Hi guys, I don’t have any working experience on SQL. Can I clear exam with Training Kit.
    what is the cost of training kit for 461, could you please suggest.

  40. Sumit kumar
    February 2, 2014 at 8:11 pm | #82

    thanks manoj.. my 2nd cumment here. really helpful post.. passed in second shot wid 756..

    • February 3, 2014 at 10:53 am | #83

      This is gr8 Sumit… congratulation on earning the certification… and best of luck for next ones.

      ~Manoj

  41. Abhishek
    February 12, 2014 at 11:01 am | #84

    Hi Manoj ,

    Which Version of sql server i have to select for exam ? (2012 or 2014.) . I have started preparation from this month.

    From which book i have to start reading.? bcz i have three to four books ..so confused from where to start !!

    • February 12, 2014 at 11:55 am | #85

      Go with 2012, what all books do you have?

      • Abhishek
        February 12, 2014 at 2:02 pm | #86

        Thanks for your reply . i have a books listed bellow.

        1) beginning_microsoft_sql_server_2012_programming
        2) microsoft_sql_server_2012_step_by_step
        3) professional_microsoft_sql_server_2012_administration
        4) training_kit_exam_70_462_administering_microsoft_sql_server_2012_databases
        5) introducing_microsoft_sql_server_2012

  42. February 12, 2014 at 2:10 pm | #87

    For 70-461 you can start with Book no 1, 2 or 5. Books 3 & 4 are for 70-462 Cert.
    But if you have training_kit_exam_70_461 book then it would be the best to crack the exam.

  43. Guy
    February 12, 2014 at 11:50 pm | #88

    Hey Manoj, I’m Guy.
    I took my exam 70-461 last week and I failed. I used the training kit “Querying SQL server 2012″ and some others books, but apparently it was not enough. So I would like to have some advices . I just read here that people used in addition to the training kit, the transcender’s practice exam simulator, the measure-up and you said that we don’t have to rely on dumps in order to succeed.
    How do I work with the training kit? do I buy the extra resources? what about the dumps? do I need to pay the same amount in order to retake the exam?
    Thank you already for advices,
    sincerely
    Guy

    • February 13, 2014 at 10:14 am | #89

      Hi @Guy, sometimes when you are not familiar with SQL at all and have no prior experience with basics, then just reading training kit won’t help. You will have to do a lot of hands on, exercises, work with realtime scenarios and really delve in TSQL coding.

      I would not suggest you to go through any other training or practice exams or dumps. Now you’ve given the exam ad know what they ask, prepare from beginning and follow what I said above. Go thru all the links I’ve provided above, and do lot of coding for each topic you read. You will definitely pass this time.

      All the best.

      ~Manoj

  44. February 19, 2014 at 2:54 am | #90

    Hey, Manoj thanks for the detailed information about the test format. I hear different things from trainers regarding what I should focus on for this test…a lot of it is conflicting. Nice to have the particulars from someone who actually took the test.

    • February 19, 2014 at 9:46 am | #91

      Thanks @De-Dragon for your comments.

      Yes, you are correct, trainers would say these things because they want you to get trained by them. But the best source to get correct information is always the MSDN/Technet forums. And I’ve collated all information from there only with my own experience after giving the exam.

      ~Manoj

  45. Poonam
    March 13, 2014 at 9:44 am | #92

    Hi Manoj! Could you please throw some light on the difficulty level on the ‘Optimizing SQL Queries’ part of the exam 70-461?How hard are the questions for this subset of the exam? I have enough of experience working on SQL queries. But, I have nil experience in optimizing SQL queries and having difficulty preparing for the same. Thanks in advance!

    • March 13, 2014 at 10:23 am | #93

      Difficulty level depends upon your experience, for a novice it would be high. But as you mentioned you have fare knowledge of TSQL queries, it would be moderate for you. The Optimize module weightage is 24%, and with a little prep you can pass the exam. To score cent-percent you should have good knowledge in all modules. You just need to do lot of hands on and go through all the topics, not missing anything.

      Best of luck.

      ~Manoj

      • Poonam
        March 14, 2014 at 11:10 am | #94

        Thanks for the quick reply, Manoj! I am trying my best to do demo practice on Optimization module too. But, I just don’t know what kind of questions are asked for this module. For example, if they ask what execution plan iterator will be used for a specific query. I am scared I wouldn’t be able to answer these kind of question correctly. I have been passing the simulated exam with above 90% given in the Training Kit of Exam 70-461…but I am not sure if these simulated exam are at par with real exam.

        Anyways, Thanks!

  46. kailas satpute
    March 26, 2014 at 1:01 pm | #95

    Hi manoj
    can you send me some materials to me on satpute.kailas@gmail.com for 70-641 course.
    Thanks.

  47. March 27, 2014 at 8:33 pm | #96

    Any thoughts about “code non regression” ? This is listed in the 70-461 subject list

  48. Sagar
    March 31, 2014 at 1:21 pm | #98

    Hi Manoj,

    Please let me know the procedure to apply for 70-461 exam second shot.

  49. Prakash
    March 31, 2014 at 5:48 pm | #99

    Nice blog Manoj,

    Keep the good work……..

  50. April 3, 2014 at 11:58 am | #100

    In section “–> Troubleshoot & Optimize | 25%”, “- Query Hints (OPTION (OPTIMIZED FOR … [UNKNOWN]))” should be “- Query Hints (OPTION (OPTIMIZE FOR … [UNKNOWN]))”

    there is no “D” in OPTIMIZE clause :)

  51. Daryl
    April 10, 2014 at 5:35 am | #101

    Hello guys, I wish to ask if the multiple choice questions found in the Training Kit can really help one pass this exam.

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