MCAD: New Paths to Certification

If you are an MCAD, and are working with Visual Studio 2005, we have news for you. We have created two new paths to help you earn a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) credential so you can prove to employers and customers you have the skills they can rely on to develop .NET 2.0 applications.


If you are focusing on:

*  Windows application development then exam 70-558 is the one for you. MCADs who pass this exam will earn an MCTS: .NET 2.0 Windows Applications certification. Visit the Preparation Guide for 70-558 to learn more about the exam.

* Web application development then you should check out exam 70-559. MCADs who pass this exam will earn an MCTS: .NET 2.0 Web Applications certification. Visit the Preparation Guide for 70-559 to learn more about the exam.

Why did we create these two new exams?

Previously the paths for transitioning from MCAD to a .NET 2.0 certification were geared toward those wishing to earn a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential. We created these two new paths because we know there are a lot of you out there that would rather make the jump to MCTS first, and then work on your MCPD later if that is your ultimate goal. One of the best things about updating your certification to MCTS on .NET 2.0 is that you’ll only have to take a single exam to earn an MCTS credential on the new .NET 3.5 tracks.

· Visit the Visual Studio 2008 certification overview page to learn more about the .NET 3.5 tracks.


So, does this mean that exams 70-551 and 70-552 are going away?  Absolutely not.  If you are an MCAD and you want to attempt these exams, by all means feel free to do so.   We recommend that MCSD candidates take these exams but that MCAD candidates concentrate on the 70-558 or 70-559 exams.

Part of the reason for this change is to help make these certifications a little more clear.  The original upgrade story appeared to be a somewhat limiting.  Also, keep in mind that the MCAD and MCSD certifications will have their requisite exams retired in March of 2009.  That means you will no longer be able to acquire the MCAD or MCSD credential.  If you don’t have it already, or maybe you are part way there but ready to give up and just go the “start my 2.0/3.5 from scratch” route, reconsider that and look at these upgrade exams.  This could help shorten your certification path.


As always, comments and suggestions are welcome.



Comments (100)

  1. You MCAD holders who weren’t that jazzed on the upgrade path to .NET 2.0 MCPD (with exams 70-551 and

  2. Thiago Monaco says:

    In the last year I’ve been upgraded my MCSD credential doing the 70-553 and 70-554 exams. But with this exams we don’t earn the MCPD Web Developer neither MCPD Windows Developer Certification. Why?

    So, if I would like to migrate to .NET 3.5 MCPDs Certifications, I’ll need to do the 70-566, 70-567, 70-568 and 70-569 exams?

    Is that correct?

  3. This is a great news… thanks for this decision.

  4. Hi Thiago,

    In order to upgrade to MCPD, you would need to take the existing 70-551 or 70-552 exams.  Those were and still are the upgrade exams for MCSD or MCAD to MCPD on Windows or Web.   We don’t recommend that MCAD candidates take the MCPD upgrades but rather the new MCTS upgrade exams.

    You can still choose whichever exam you want to achieve the desired credential, we just found that MCAD certified candidates were not passing the MCPD upgrade exams, or were choosing not to take them.  


  5. Sean says:

    Hi Gerry,

    As a sys engineer who is certified on a number of Windows and application is this a true upgrade exam? I guess I mean do you have to have a previous MS programming cert in order to complete the 70-559 exam and earn the MCTS: .NET 2.0 Web Applications certification?

    I’m finding the lines blurring more and more from a sys admin vs development areas. I mean I think to be a good administrator these days you need to have some basic programming experience.

  6. says:

    Also Thiago can earn his MCPD:Win&Web by passing 547 and 548 exam.

  7. Thanks Ulugbek,

    Although those two exams can be used to acquire the Windows or Web MCPD for 2.0, Thiago was referring specifically to upgrade exams, and the two you mention are not upgrade exams.  You will need to pass 70-536 plus the appropriate MCTS exam before you can acquire the MCPD by taking one of the exams you mention.

    If you are an MCAD or MCSD, it is a shorter path to take the upgrade exams.

    Also, Thiago mentioned passing the Enterprise upgrade exams and wondering why the Web and Windows weren’t awarded as well.  I missed that the first time around but the answer to that is simply because the coverage of the Web and Windows topcis are not as complete in those upgrade exams as they are on the others.


  8. Hi Sean,

    These exams are a true upgrade however, you must have either an MCAD or an MCSD before you can be awarded the credential after passing one of these exams.

    Yes, the lines are starting to blur somewhat and I agree with your statement that a good Administrator should know some basic programming skills.  ADSI, WMI, VBScript and PowerShell force the admin to understand programming constructs in order to be successful in automating their environment using these scripting tools.

    I also believe it is important for the developer to understand some administrative concepts as well when it comes to authorizations for users and applications.



  9. says:

    Hi Gerry,

    AFAIK MCSD.NET + 553 + 554 + 547 + 548 = Full MCTS&MCPD .NET 2.0 (at least in my case it worked). That’s why I suggested to Thiago to pass only 547&548 exams, because they’re more focused than 551&552.

  10. Sean says:

    Thanks for clarifying Gerry. Totally agree. I have developed good scripting skills in the past but now I work a lot with Sharepoint and other web based apps I find that I need to be looking into code more and more to try to find the cause of different issues.

    I have been pondering taking the following two exams in order to demonstrate to potential new employers (and myself) that I have skills across both dev and admin areas.

    Exam 70–536

    Exam 70–528

    Currently work in an 3rd level app support role supporting MOSS 2007, Exchange 200x, SQL 2000/2005 and a hoard of other 3rd party apps (CRM, etc). Have about 10 years sys admin exp with MCSE NT4/200x, MCTS, MCITP. Have also completed training with Ed Wilson on scripting techs.

    Have about 12-18 months working with VS 2005. Your thoughts?

  11. Ulugbek,

    Yes, those will provide all those certifications.  They are NOT and upgrade path however.  And that is the original question.

    You are talking about 4 exams where I am talking about one or maybe two.


  12. Hi Sean,

    I say go for it.  You sound like you have some dev experience with Visual Studio and that is a great start.  70-536 is not an easy exam but if you use the prep guide and gain experience in those areas, you are well on your way to be a programmer in .NET 2.0.

    Sounds like you have researched this well and know what you want. You have chosen the correct path for being more proficient on SharePoint developing as it is based on Web technologies.  Don’t forget to download the SharePoint SDK too.

    If I can help with further questions let me know.


  13. Joe A. says:

    I am a MCPD- Enterprise Application Developer – .Net 2.0, so based on the Microsoft web site information, I think I will have to take 70-568 and 70-569 to upgrade to MCPD Enterprise – .Net 3.5.

    Do you have any idea of when these exams will be available in Beta form?

    Thanks for the information.


  14. Hi Joe,

    When it comes to developer certifications, I know it all.  🙂

    These exams are a composite of the requisite TS and Pro level exams.  This means their timelines are based on the completion of the requisite exams.

    Now, because they are a composite, they are comprised of items from exams that have already gone through a beta phase which means these exams will not have a beta period.  They will be launched in their live format.

    You should see them on or around January 19, 2009.


  15. David W. Dee says:

    I’m an MCPD Windows developer.  I see that there is now a 70-566 exam planned to upgrade to .NET 3.5.

    When will this test become available, and what sorts of topics will be included?

    Also, it looks like there isn’t an MCPD test for Windows Presentation Foundation.  Is that correct?

    Thanks much.


  16. Hi David,

    Exam 70-566 will comprise components from both the MCTS and MCPD exams for the technology.  As a result, it will be available around the same time as the release of exam 70-505 and 70-563.

    The prep guide will show what topics will be covered, I won’t list them here.

    You are correct, there will not be an MCPD for WPF.  We are looking at changes in the timeframe of .NET 4.0 which may see Windows Forms not exist in terms of an exam or certification but that remains to be seen at this time.


  17. David Dee says:

    Thank you.

    I don’t have anything against WPF – it looks fabulous in many ways – but it’d sure be nice if there was some upgrade path/test to move from Windows Forms over towards WPF somewhere down the road.

  18. David Houliston says:

    I tried the previous upgrade exam to VS 2005. It was horrible. I imagine that the new one is pretty much the same. For VS 2005 I had to write 3 one hour exams back to back.

    I don’t recommend MCAD holders follow this route. For MCTS you only have to do two exams – paradoxically this is a lot easier than doing 70-552 or 70-558 in one shot. It also refreshes in your mind the material you learnt for MCAD and now long forgotten (unless you use ALL these technologies all the time in your current job, of course)

  19. David,

    For someone who hasn’t seen the new exam, that is a pretty bold statement to make.

    The reason we created these new exams are mainly because MCADs were failing the upgrade exams to MCPD.  In my opinion, it is because they are not ready for the Pro level exams.

    The new exam allows them to upgrade to MCTS which is more in line with the skill set of an MCAD certification.

    One exam compared to two, is a no brainer.

    Also, the upgrade exam you took, and these, are composite exams.  This means that the content is taken from the existing MCTS and MCPD exams.  As a result, they are essentially the exact same exams combined.


  20. Jay says:


    I have a question. I don’t have any MS certification yet and I am interested in getting a MCAD status.

    I don’t have any experience in programming and have just started reading the following book –

    Wrox – Beginning MS Visual C# 2008.

    I had plans to take the following exams –

    M70-315,M70-316 and M70-320.

    I believe that all these exams are retiring in March 2009 🙁

    I don’t know if I will have the time to study, practice and take up these exams by this time.

    I am so confused and lost. Can you please advice as to what I should do?

    Thanks for your time,


  21. piers7 says:

    Hey Gerry,

    I might be missing something, but why would anyone bother with the 70-558 upgrade exam, rather than just take 70-526 straight off?

    Similarly to 70-559 vs 70-528

    Both seem to have the same result.

  22. piers7 says:

    A quick MCSD upgrade question:

    Is there any difference in taking the two MCSD upgrade exams (70-553 + 70-554) versus upgrading via the MCPD route (70-551 + 70-552 + 70-554).

    I’m just thinking the latter route – whilst more exams – might be a bit less full-on (in terms of having to swot up on less at any one time). However I wasn’t sure if the latter route included the MCTS Distributed Apps cert.

  23. Hi Jay,

    Yes the MCAD certification will retire in March of 2009.

    If you are studying using the Wrox book on C# 2008, why not consider starting with the .NET 3.5 certications and Visual Studio 2008?  You will be much further ahead by going this route and will not need to worry about upgrade exams or pressing timelines.

    Is there a reason you want to acquire MCAD instead of MCTS?


  24. Hi piers7,

    That is actually a valid and good question.

    Basically the advantage is that you don’t have to take 70-536.  Either Windows or Web developer MCTS on 2.0 requires two exams.  70-536 and then the appropriate MCTS exam.

    The upgrade path is one exam.


  25. Hi again piers7,

    Your exam numbers are incorrect in your upgrade path above.

    MCSD to MCPD Enterprise is two exams, 70-553 and 70-554.  That part you have correct.

    However, for the latter part you indicate taking 551 (MCAD to Web) and 552 (MCAD to Windows) and then 554.  Unfortunately, this will not work.  70-554 is part 2 of a two part upgrade process.

    To go the route you suggest, MCPD, you would need to pass 70-551, 70-552, then 70-529 and finally 70-549.

    The easier path is to take the two part upgrade exams, 70-553 and 70-554.


  26. Jay says:

    Hello Gerry,

    Thank you very much for your reply.

    I did some more research after sending you the first message and like you said, I would rather go for the MCTS certification. This is my plan. Please do let me know if I am on the right track.

    a) First, complete the C# Beginner’s book and get comfortable with the basics.

    b) Read the ‘MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (Exam 70-536): Microsoft® .NET Framework Application Development Foundation, Second Edition’ that is going to be released in November 2008.(I hear that there are very many errors in the previous edition that was released). I just pre-ordered this item in Amazon and will get it around Nov 14th. Hopefully by this time, I would have a good idea of the .NET framework and C# coding.

    c) Appear for the M70-356 exam –  Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation exam.

    d) Learn ASP.NET and aim for the next step.

    e) Appear for the MCTS: .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Applications exam after successfully completing the foundation exam.

    I sincerely appreciate your time and advice.

    Thanks again,


  27. Hi Jay,

    Your research is right on the money.  That is exactly what I would suggest you do.

    Remember that experience with the appropriate areas indicated on the prep guide are the most important for passing the exam.  The prep guide and the exam author’s perspectives may differ so the questions asked may not be exactly what you find in a training kit so ensure you understand the concepts well and can apply them through practical use.

    That will provide you with the best preparation for the exams.

    Best of luck.  If I can be of further help, just let me know.


  28. Jay says:

    Thanks Gerry. Have a good day and a great weekend!

  29. Bruce says:

    Yo Gerry,

    I am a long time Microsoft certified developer – since VB4 and Access 2.0 days.  I have several certifications including MCSD that are no longer very relevent technically to match what I am actually doing for work, and am upgrading my certifications now while I have some slow time for work.  I have already earned MCTS in Windows and Web for 2.0, and am considering taking the Distributed TS exam and the 2.0 Pro Exam for Enterprise, then upgrading with the 568 and 569 tests in January.  Is there any other path that would make sense, that would allow me to start working toward 3.5 certification?

  30. Hi Bruce,

    It sounds like you’ve really done your homework in researching the certs.  If the Enterprise is the one you want to end up with, the path you have outlined is the shortest to get there.

    The only other considerations might be if you wanted to add WPF or Workflow to you skill set, as they are not covered in the Enterprise, but I would save those for after you have achieved the Enterprise Pro on 3.5.


  31. Ken says:

    Hi, do you know when exam 70-567 will be release?

    Thanks 🙂

  32. Hi Ken,

    Current schedules put it around mid to late January.


  33. senthil says:

    i am fresher2008 batch,i am planned to do certification in dot net,can you tell me what are all exams are required,send me exam code.

  34. Complete your Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer

  35. Roy says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I am planning to take up the new 70-559 Exam to upgrade my MCAD TO MCTS. So do you think reviewing the books and outlines for 70-528 and 70-536 will cover all the topics for 70-559?

  36. Caio Proiete says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I just saw the "Price reduction on retiring exams" post on Trika’s blog, and thought: "What a great opportunity to upgrade my SQL 2000 MCDBA!"

    But, when reading the 70-447 Prep. Guide, I noticed that there’s ONE upgrade path, from MCDBA to MCITP: Database Administrator, but NOT one for MCITP: Database Developer.

    Am I correct? If yes, then why is that? I remember doing 70-229 (Developer) and 70-228 (Admin) in order to get the MCDBA… So why not offer two upgrade paths for MCITP?


    Caio Proiete

  37. Hi Senthil,

    Please read through the information on these pages,

    There is no code for the exams, you must register and pay for them at


  38. Hi Roy,

    Those books will not cover all the appropriate areas for 559.

    Check out this link, where you can find out exactly what topics will be covered on the exam and the recommended training materials.

    I don’t believe the two books you mention will cover sufficient ADO.NET concepts for that portion of the exam.


  39. Hi Caio,

    Unfortunately, I can’t comment on the rationale behind the decision not to include an upgrade path to Database Developer as I was not in this role at that time.

    I suspect it might have to do with anticipated number of candidates who would take the exam.

    You are correct that SQL 2000 exams offered two seperate tracks where the 2005 exams did not offer Database Developer in the MCTS track but did in the MCITP track.

    That has been changed in the certifications for SQL 2008 because I found it made more sense to have both tracks.  As a result, I have changed the SQL 2008 certifications to more properly align with the DBA, DBD and BI roles in use.

    Unfortunately, you cannot update your MCDBA to an MCITP on SQL 2008.

    The good news is that I have also reduced the exam numbers compared to SQL 2005.  You now only need one for MCTS and one for MCITP.


  40. soso says:

    hi iam mcad certified but iam working now up to 100% on .net 3.5 projects. my question: is there an direct upgrade path from the 1.1 mcad certificate to 3.5 equivalen? or is the shorthest path to "upgrade the upgrade" ?

  41. Sorry, no direct upgrade from 1.1 to 3.5.

    Upgrade to 2.0 first, then to 3.5.  The reason is mainly due to the changes and additions to the technology.


  42. Amit Sharma says:

    I have completed two exams 70-315,70-310. Which exam I should take to go for MCPD. Do I need to take MCAD first and then  upgrade or direct upgrade is possible.

  43. Kashwaa says:

    Hi Gerry

    I’m MCAD and working with .net 2.0. But I’m planning to take 70-552 to be MCPD.

    I almost have no knowledge in Adminstration, and I think I need to learn about it.

    I want some help to decide which topics I will need to learn? and I want aslo some references to these topics.

    Thank you!

  44. Ian says:

    Hi Gerry,

    There isn’t a single book that addresses 70-552, you have to get several books to cover the material.  So, you have to cover whats in 558 & 559 to stand a chance of passing 552 it’s probably still better to attempt 1 exam (552) rather than 2.  You still have to have the knowledge of 558 & 559.

    I think the lack of material specifically addressing 552 is why so many fail it, but you just need to look at what the exam covers.

    I’m currently MCAD and I still think I’ll at least attempt 552 and see how I get on.



  45. Mark says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I have my MCSD from about 2 years ago and looked into the upgrade path with 70-553 and 70-554 but was put off by hearing that the 70-553 exam was 4 hrs long.  Is this the case?

    Also, is it still worth taking these exams as it might make more sense to skip the .NET 2 exams and go straight for the 3.5, starting from scratch with the 70-536?

  46. Bordi says:

    Hi Gerry,

    This was very useful, especially since it showed up in the MCP flash, else I would have not known about your blog.

    I am a MCSD, and have been working on the 2.0 web platform now for over 2 years, and thinking of upgrading to the next level of exams. The upgrade to MCPD Enterprise with 2 exams (553 & 4) seems enticing, but I will have to study a lot more material which i do not really need, as it also covers Windows, plus it will not give me MCPD Web, where as 551 will give me MCPD web, but not give me MCTS windows or distributed.

    Just trying to make up my mind on which route to take, could you please suggest. Either ways I am starting with the 528 prep kit.

    Thanks a ton.

  47. Hi Amit,

    With only completing the two exams you mentioned, you are not an MCAD yet.  You must complete an elective exam in order to acquire the MCAD.  Please see this page for the requirements,

    Once you have completed your MCAD, you can upgrade to MCTS by taking exam 70-559 or if you choose to seek out the MCPD certification, you can attempt exam 70-551,

    This is all based on the assumption that you want to acquire your certification for Web technologies.


  48. Kashwaa,

    Can you explain to me first what you mean by Administration?  I can’t provide any direction on topics for at this time until I know more about what you are looking for.


  49. Hi Ian,

    You are correct that there isn’t a single book to cover this exam.  We, Microsoft Learning, do not typically publish single titles to cover one exam due to the size of the text that would be required.

    You need to view the preparation guide for the exam and use the appropriate materials to study for it, whether it be one book or multiple.  We do create training kits that comprise multiple books for a certification however.

    I’m afraid I can’t agree with your statement about the lack of material as the reason people fail it.  The lack of experience is, in my opinion, the reason people fail it.  It’s not an easy exam.

    Best of luck to you on the exam.  I’m sure with adequate preparation, you will be successful.


  50. Hi Mark,

    Yes, this exam has a seat time of 4 hours.  That doesn’t necessarily mean it will take you 4 hours, but that is the time alotted.  There is a lot of material to cover and that is why the exam is long, and there are two parts, 553 and 554.

    As for starting from scratch, that is an option.   The choice is ultimately yours to make.  I suggest you take a look at how many exams you would require for each path you are considering and then comparing that, along with costs, to make your decision.


  51. Hi Bordi,

    Glad you found my blog.

    If you don’t require Windows developer certifications then I wouldn’t worry so much about them.  Concentrate on your Web technologies and get the MCPD with the upgrade exam.

    Unless you really need to prove your skills on everything covered by the Enterprise, it’s not always the best choice of certification to acquire.


  52. Ladislav Mrnka says:

    Be aware of these exams!!!

    They behave differently than older upgrade exams. I have passed the exam 70-558 and received MCTS:Windows applications. I assumed I will only need to pass 70-528 to receive MCTS:Web Applications because the exam 70-536 was part of the upgrade exam. This is how it works with older upgrade exams and how it works with these exams if you want to achieve .NET 3.5 certifications but for other .NET 2.0 certifications (Web and Distributed applications) you will have to pass exam 70-536 again because the certification planner does not use new upgrade exams as I expected. I spend three weeks discussing this with MCP support without any solution (I guess main requirement to work there is to be the biggest bonehead in the world). After that I passed (and paid for) 70-536 "again" and received other certification.

  53. Hi Ladislav,

    I will be checking into this today to see what is wrong with the credit toward certification.

    A little more respect is in order for the MCP support group however.  They work with the information they have at hand.  Because you haven’t indicated what the conversations were or why they couldn’t resolve your query, I am not able to see what information they need to ensure they are educated on these requirements.


  54. subram says:

    Hi Gerry

     I have my MCAD ,planning to take up 70-559,is there any single book that would cover the all topics for the exam 70-559 or do i have to read and practice all the books listed in the preparation guide.

    Thanks in advance

  55. Hi Subram,

    I’m sorry to say there isn’t one book that covers this exam.  We don’t typically have single text books that cover upgrade exams.


  56. Hi Ladislav,

    Can you please use the Contact Me link at the top of the page to send me an email to discuss the 70-536 issue?



  57. Jay says:


    I am a MCAD and I don’t want to take the short path upgrade 70-551. I just want to know if I can do the tests separetly (70-528 70-536 70-547) to upgrade and get the MCPD?


  58. Hi Jay,

    You most certainly can take the three exams seperately if that is your choice.  There is no requirement to take the upgrade exams.

    The three seperate exams will cost you more but of course, the decision is ultimately up to you.


  59. Announcements Ready to prove your skills on Microsoft SQL Server 2008? (Worldwide) Exams will be available

  60. Zoltan Zajzon says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I still work with Vs.NET 2003 and .NET 1.1 . If I start the MCSD track and take 70-315 70-316 70-320 and 70-300 before expiration in March 2009 and after March 2009 I take   Exam 70-431:TS: Microsoft SQL Server 2005 – Implementation and Maintenance as ane elective exam, would I be able to get my MCSD credential?



  61. jobinvavrghese says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I have gone though the Comment posted.

    I have competed my MCAD and has been working for 2years in 2.0 .I want to upgrade my Skill by doing certification,

    Should i need to choose.MCTS or MCPD

    if MCTS :70-559 or MCPD:70-551

    But both this are in 2.0 framwork,

    Can i later further upgrade it to MCPD /MCTS  3.5 framework and if so which is that paper.

    Please suggest.


  62. David Murray says:


    Everyone seems to be very knowledgable of the Microsoft Certifications, so if possible I would like to ask for some advise on what I path should take to achieve the MCPD Windows Development certification.  My current status is I have passed my core exams for the MCAD and now require to pass an elective exam.  Initially I was going to study for the 70-330 exam but as it will be be retired in 2009 I’m leaning towards 70-431, do you think this is a good idea?

    Once I have obtained my MCAD I initially planned to take the upgrade exam to acquire the MCPD, but having read some of the comments should I now study for the MCTS before the MCPD?

  63. Hi Zoltan,

    That is the theory, yes.

    I wouldn’t count on it beyond the March 2009 date though.  In the event we make changes in the system that don’t reflect this, you could be left without options.


  64. Hi jobin,

    If you are still working on 2.0, then you can look at certifiying on that version.  If your goal is to be certified on 3.5, I would suggest you concentrate on that instead.

    You will require an MCTS certification before you can get an MCPD certification so the answer is simple in that case.  

    If you decide to go with .NET 2.0, yes, there will be MCPD upgrades available to move up to 3.5.  Remember, that even in 2.0, you need the MCTS first before you can get the MCPD.

    You can also only upgrade MCPD to MCPD.  There is no MCTS upgrade path.


  65. Hi David,

    I’ll let others comment on which path you should take as that is something I try to stay neutral on.

    However, your question about studying for the MCTS before MCPD I can answer.

    Because the upgrade exams contain components from the MCTS and MCPD exams, it’s a good idea to be knowledgeable on both.  You can study them at the same time, or one after the other.


  66. jobin says:

    Dear Gerry,

    Thanks for the reply.

    But still by one small doubt i.e,

    If a Paper number 70-551 which is Direct updgradtion of MCAD to MCPD when why MCTS.

    And when i enquire Propmetric Exam center they told me

    i need to write only one Paper which would of 4 hrs duration and it would fetch me MCPD.

    Is the information true?

    Yes my aim is a certification 3.5 so for that is it maditory that i need to first certify 2.0.

    Please guide.


  67. Hi jobin,

    Sorry that I wasn’t more clear.

    You are correct, if you take 70-551 and pass it, you will bypass the need for the MCTS and get MCPD directly.  My comment was more that the MCTS is a requirement to get an MCPD.  The upgrade path, offers the MCTS at the same time.

    Yes, it is mandatory that you do 2.0 first.  You cannot upgrade to 3.5 directly from MCAD.


  68. Habeeb says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Happy to see a good discussion on .NET certifications is going on and being clarified from a reliable source.

    My situation is similar to Jobin’s. I concentrate more on Web technologies.

    I have done my MCAD is .NET 1.1 two years back. I have worked on 2.0 for sometime and currently I am workin on 3.5.

    Right now I wish to get certified as MCPD because of the shortcut – 70-551.

    As far as 3.5 is concerned, I wish to delay it for some time till I master any of the areas like WCF or WPF(Right now its ASP.NET 3.5 and C# 3.5 that I am workin on).

    Now what I would like to know is that, will there be upgrade from MCPD2.0 (70-551 in my case) to MCPD/MCTS3.5; atleast in the future?


  69. Hi Habeeb,

    I understand your desire to delay the 3.5 certifications and you rationale makes perfect sense.

    AS for the upgrade question, yes, there will be an upgrade path from MCPD 2.0 to MCPD 3.5.  The exams are almost complete now.

    There is no upgrade to MCTS 3.5 however for a simple reason.  If you already have an MCTS or MCPD on 2.0, you have satisifed the requirement for exam 70-536 and only need to take one exam for an MCTS.  There is no benefit in having an upgrade exam in this case.


  70. Habeeb says:

    Dear Gerry,

    That was a very satisfactory explanation from your side.

    A new query has popped up when I went through 70-536 in url:

    In that, the section named "Credit Toward Certification" says that 70-536, will count as credit toward  some listed certification.

    Can you please help me on the idea that the site was trying to convey here?



  71. Hi Habeeb,

    What is meant by that statement, "credit toward certificaton", is to imply that the exam, in this case 70-536, is one of the requirements for that listed certification or certifications.

    For example, in order to earn an MCTS on any technology for .NET 2.0 or .NET 3.5, say for example an MCTS for ASP.NET 3.5, you will need to pass exam 70-536 plus exam 70-562.

    70-536 is a prerequisite exam for any MCTS certification on .NET 2.0 and 3.5.   Therefore, by itself, it does not give you any certification.


  72. Roy Cotton says:

    I have an upgrade question below this:

    Previously the paths for transitioning from MCAD to a .NET 2.0 certification were geared toward those wishing to earn a Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD) credential. We created these two new paths because we know there are a lot of you out there that would rather make the jump to MCTS first, and then work on your MCPD later if that is your ultimate goal. One of the best things about updating your certification to MCTS on .NET 2.0 is that you’ll only have to take a single exam to earn an MCTS credential on the new .NET 3.5 tracks.

    Does this mean if I get either the 70-558 or 70-559 mcts 2005  upgrade exam

    it will stand (substitute for) the 70-536 2008 MCTS exam. Then I can take 1

    additional 2008 MCTS exam (70-502, 70-503, 70-504, 70-505, 70-561, 70-562)

    for the 2008 MCTS.

  73. Hi Roy,

    You are correct.  Passing either 558 or 559 provides you with an MCTS certification.  This certification implies that you have completed the requirements for 70-536 so the system will see that as a credit for 70-536 and when you take one of the new MCTS for .NET 3.5, you will be awarded the MCTS certification upon passing that exam.


  74. nidhi says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I want to Give 70-559 but i can’t find basic info. like how many questions will this paper have n what will be the duration of the paper.



  75. Hi Nidhi,

    The exam allows a maximum time of 2 hours, which includes review time at the end of the exam.

    I cannot tell you the number of questions on the exam for two reasons,

    1) That information is not allowed to be released publicly, under NDA.  Other sites will have that information but it is not supposed to be revealed.

    2) It depends on the version of the exam that you get.

    Hope that helps a bit.


  76. Nidhi says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks a Lot for the info.


  77. Ian Bugeja says:

    Hi I’m a bit confused and need some clarification..

    I have the MCAD certification and decided to upgrade to MCPD .NET 2.0 Windows Developer so I sat for the 70-552 exam and passed yesterday

    my transcript basically shows the following exams

    70-316, 70-320, 70-229 – For MCAD

    and now 70-552 for MCPD

    but under the certification section I still don’t have mentioned MCPD

    did i sit for the wrong exam :S

  78. Hi Ian,

    You sat for the correct exam, but you only passed it yesterday.

    You must wait for all the stars to align, the meteor’s to break apart and the solar eclipse.

    Seriously though, the certification update can take up to two weeks.  If you don’t see it reflected correctly in two weeks, make a call to your regional service center.  If you still have problems with it not showing up, let me know at that point.


  79. Manish says:

    Hi there,

    I don’t know whether it is relevant to ask here or not.

    Pls do not mind if its not so.

    I am working as developer on with vb.

    I have never attained certification.

    Could you please guide me which certification i have to take first?

    I am working on web applications.

    Thanks in advance.



  80. Hi Manish,

    It is relevant to ask here, yes.

    Which certification you should take first depends mostly on which version of the .NET Framework you are using.

    For .NET 2.0 and Visual Studio 2005 you can achieve an MCTS certification with these two exams;



    You can also get an MCPD for Web development by taking exam 70-546 after you have completed the above two exams.

    If you are interested in getting certified on .NET 3.5 and Visual Studio 2008, then you should look at these exams for the MCTS;



    And this exam for the MCPD: ASP.NET developer, 70-564

    Hope this helps


  81. Manish says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks alot for your reply.

    I am working on .Net Framework 2.0 so i will take those exams you mentioned.

    Thanks heaps for your time.Much appreciated.



  82. susarla says:

    i am actually thinking of writing 70 315, can anybody tell me about the exam pattern, and how long does it take normally to prepare for the Exam.

  83. Selvaraj says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I am confused.

    I have MCAD certification and want to upgrade to 3.5 certification. I understand that I cannot directly take 3.5 upgrade exams and need to take 2.0 upgrade exams.

    To upgrade to 2.0 which exam I have to take 70-551 or 70-559. What are the advantages/disadvantages of taking only 70-551 or 70-559?



  84. Hi Selvaraj,

    The answer to your question depends on which certification you intend to acquire.

    If you want to upgrade to an MCTS, then you can look at taking exam 70-559.  That will upgrade your MCAD certification to MCTS Web Developer .Net 2.0.

    However, you do say you want to get to .NET 3.5 so I also assume you want MCPD.  If that is the case, you should take exam 70-551.  It will be harder, but will mean less exams to take during the upgrade process.  

    Basically you would need to take 70-551 to get MCPD 2.0 and then take 70-567 which is the upgrade exam for Web Developer 2.0 to ASP.NET developer 3.5.


  85. Selvaraj says:


    Thank you for your prompt response. I appreciate.

    i have cleared 70-551 and now want to take 3.5. I will take 70-559. But to get MCTS which paper I should take.


    Selvaraj K.

  86. Selvaraj,

    If you have passed 70-551, then you have an MCTS in 2.0.  Congratulations.

    If you take an pass 70-559, you will get an MCPD in .NET 2.0.

    You have two choices after that.

    1) Take the MCTS for 3.5 of your choice, such as 70-562 for ASP.NET 3.5

    2) Take the upgrade exam 70-567 to get MCPD ASP.NET 3.5 and MCTS ASP.NET 3.5 all at once.  This upgrade exam will provide you with two certifications.


  87. gianntt says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I have developed some VB scripts, initially using record macro, then developed extensively -i do have an Associate of Science Degree in Programming. The scripts are running in MS-Excel ( i have passed Excel Expert certification) and in MS-Project to generate automated reports, create data tables and print scripted charts. These VB scripts are in daily use on the company’s network through customized menus.    

    I was planning on doing the 70-306 exam (Developing and Implementing Windows-based Applications with Visual Basic.NET and Visual Studio.NET) to retrospectively support the development element in my role with a certification.

    This exam is retiring in March 2009. The advise is clearly to evolve onto the new path instead. Which is the best exam/s to prepare to certify on instead of the above, using Visual Basic 2008 ?


    Theo Giannoukos.

  88. Hi Theo,

    Based on what you indicated in your post, I would suggest you take a look at exam 70-505 which is the Windows Forms exam for .NET 3.5.  It would be the equivalent to exam 70-306 that you were looking at initially.

    You can find the prep guide for that exam here,  It will be available in February.


  89. wcfman says:

    How many questions are on the 70-503 exam? And how much time do you have to take it?

  90. wcfman,

    The number of questions is NDA information so you will know when you get to the exam.

    Prometric allows a timeslot of 2 hours total.  This includes your comment period.


  91. SomeGuy says:

    I have a question about the difference between the WebDeveloper Exam and the .NET 3.5 ASP exam.

    The reason being is that I have some resources for the 2.0 exam but none for the 3.5 one. Are the two so far removed that I would have to do allot of additional study to pass the 3.5 exam?

  92. Hi SomeGuy,

    No they are not so far removed.

    You need to answer your own question however by visiting the web site for the prep guide for exam 3.5 and determine what is covered on that exam.

    This will help you determine what is not covered in your current study materials so that can ensure you are up to speed on the deltas.  The current material you have for study will serve you well for the items that haven’t changed.

    SomeOtherGuy aka Gerry

  93. M CadiddleHopper says:


    I appreciate your expertise with the cert path discussion.

    I have a couple MCP exams from 3 years ago and decided to take one more to attain MCAD. Now I primarily work in 3.5. Is there any advantage in me upgrading with the 70-558/559 or would you advise going straight to the 3.5 MCTS suite? Thanks!

  94. Hi Hopper,

    I think that mostly depends on where you want to go with the cert.  What I recommend people do is to look at their end goal and then count the number of exams required to get there by upgrade or fresh start.  The cheaper path is usually the better on the pocketbook although not necessarily on the learning path.

    I wouldn’t waste what you already have and complete that path with the upgrades, then upgrade to 3.5.

    Just my opinion.


  95. Neil says:

    Hi Gerry

    I’m one exam away (70-320) from obtaining my MCSD.NET credentials, but we’re nearing the end of March 09 when that credential expires.

    I would like to upgrade to MCPD via the MCSD upgrade path – 70-553 + 70-554.

    Can I take the upgrade path AFTER March 09, or do I have to get all three exams done before March 31?



  96. Hi Neil,

    Even though the exams to acquire MCAD and MCSD will retire at the end of March ’09, the upgrade exams 70-551, 70-552, 70-553, 70-554, 70-558, and 70-559 will continue to exist as they are part of the .NET 2.0 technology.  They will only retire when mainstream product support ends for that technology by Microsoft.


  97. Robert Wilhelm says:


    I just passed 70-551 for .net 2.0 certification.  I have two questions about .net 3.5 certificaton.

    1. Is exam 70-567 the correct next step?

    2. Is 70-567 a composite exam like 70-551? if so, what books should I use to study?



  98. Hi Bob,

    if you want to upgrade to Web 3.5 then yes, it is the next step.

    It is a composite exam as well.

    Microsoft did not create any training materials specifically for this exam so I don’t have a book recommendation for you.

    Use the preparation guide, to determine what is covered for preparation.

    I typically use MSDN when other books are not available.


  99. rwilhelm says:

    Thanks Gerry.  One more question; since the regular route to "MCPD: ASP.NET Developer 3.5" includes exams 70-536, 70-562, and 70-564, would it be safe to assume that questions in 70-567 come from those exams?


  100. Hi Bob,

    It would indeed.  🙂


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