Dates Set for Visual Studio 2010 Exam Design

October and November will be busy months around here as we start design on the Visual Studio 2010 exams.  These sessions will be a little different than what we did for VS2008 as we are working with our Portfolio Design team on a combined effort using our USD 3.0 processes.

USD stands for Unified Skills Domain and its main purpose is to ensure alignment across the entire portfolio for exams and training.  The sessions create an exam design known as an Object Domain(OD) and a complete portfolio document set, the USD.  The OD goes on to be the guidance for exam writers to create content for the exam and the USD goes on to be guidance for content writers for training.

This is a great mechanism for creating content and exam designs that are in sync and benefit our customers and trainers.  If you are an expert on any of the below topics and are available during the indicated dates, drop me a reply.  We are recruiting for Subject Matter Experts to help in these sessions.  If you are expert in these areas, get in touch.

October 19 to 23

70-511 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Applications Development (WPF)
70-515 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Web Applications Development

October 26 to 30

70-513 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Windows Communication Foundation Development
70-516 TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 4, Accessing Data with ADO.NET

November 2 to 6

70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET 4
70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4



Comments (43)

  1. Rod says:

    OMG!… it is to fast, the VS 2008 Exams this educative curve is impressively high… I have no more than 2 months with the MCTS (70-502) and now I’m out of date… well, early to…

  2. Israel Aece says:

    Hello Gerry,

    Maybe I can help you.

    Here is more information about me:

  3. Thanks Israel,

    I only speak English so I can’t really read all of the page you linked to.

    Please contact me directly at gerry.obrien@ the last part is obvious and left off to prevent email farming.


  4. You can put me on for the ASP.NET ones .. I think I signed up for this on the site too

  5. Crap!  I thought we cut the Internet links to Scandinavia.  🙂

    Now let me see, where do I know you from again Niall?  :0

    You know your name is on the list.


  6. Niall says:

    Way to make a guy feel wanted there Gerry 🙂

    We have really strong wires here in Norway, just in case!!!

  7. Nope, Scandinavia is still connected. I’ll send you an email for some as well.

  8. Ravi says:

    Let me just congratulate you guys on the work, looking forward to taking the Web MCTS! Any ideas when the offical book for them will be available to revise and roughly when they will be out for the UK?

  9. Hi Ravi,

    I cannot offer any dates on books.  They are completely dependant on the completion of the exam design and then author schedule.

    I will share news about those, when I have it.


  10. Michael says:

    What about approximate dates for beta exams?

  11. Yes, what about them?

    When they are scheduled, an announcement will be made.  That’s the best I can offer for now.


  12. Elias Markelis says:


    you can write me down for

    Windows Applications Development (WPF)


    Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using Microsoft .NET 4


  13. Stuart says:

    Good luck with the exam development. I hope the new processes result in study guides that actually cover all of the exam requirements, including the material that the practice exams cover. I haven’t done the 3.5 exams but the study guides for 2.0 and missed a lot of material that the practice exam authors seed to have access to. (sorry if I’m ranting 🙂

  14. Hi Stuart,

    This is not a new process.  We have been using this process for almost 4 years now.

    I has nothing to do with ensuring that a training kit is created or not.  Nor does it ensure a 100% mapping of training content to exam questions.  That will never happen.

    The exam questions are developed in isolation from the training content.  It has to be that way for many reasons.  The foremost, of which you have heard me say on this blog before, is to ensure that someone can’t take a study guide, sit down with it for a couple of weeks and then pass the exam, without having any experience using the products.

    If that is what you are hoping for, then I am sorry to say you will be disappointed again.  The exam are designed to validate knowledge and skills, not that you can memorize someone else’s questions and pass the exam as a result.  It’s no better than a brain dump.

    (sorry if I’m ranting)  🙂


  15. Hi Elias,

    Thanks for your interest.

    Please forward a current CV to me at gerryDOTobrien@ and you can figure out the rest.


  16. Kris says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I’ve some question.

    Is there any place yet?

    And is it open for not native English experts?!?

    And what about the "distance"? 🙂

    Is there any tele-work, or how does it work?



  17. Hi Kris,

    These sessions will be held in Redmond, Washington.

    It is open to anyone who is an expert on the technology and is able to converse in English.  You don’t need to be a native English speaker but you must be able to make your point understand in English and be able to participate in an all English environment.

    Not sure what you mean by distance but see my first answer above.

    No tele-work.  These are in person sessions.  They are compensated opportunities and travel is reimbursed.  No further details can be given unless you are selected.


  18. Stuart says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Thanks, you weren’t ranting. Just correcting. 🙂

    I take the point about not being able to just use a study guide to pass the exam and that they should’t match the questions. I hadn’t thought of that, but I don’t actually want that, and besides that just waters down the value of the certification (which is already challenged by cheaters).

    I think I’m a good developer, but I don’t always remember the minute details of some of the more obscure commands and API calls that the exams require you to know, and I have found it frustrating when the evaluation of my skills comes down to remembering details that in practice I would simply look up in the excellent MSDN documentation. So when it comes to study guides I really rely on them to point out the specific details that I don’t already know.

    Anyway you can’t please all the people all the time.

    Keep up the good work!


  19. Igor says:

    I have earned ALL (9) developers certifications MCTS & MCPD for .NET 3.5

    So I can help you with any/all of the subjects. I do extensive development using all the aspects of .NET framework.

    Let me know how I can help you.

  20. HI Igor,

    Please send a current CV to me at gerryDOTobrien@ and you know the rest.



  21. André Steinmetz says:

    Hi Gerry,

    i´am missing a new exam for the wf 4.0.

    will be such an (new) exam?



  22. Hi André,

    It’s not possible for you to be missing an exam on WF 4.0 yet as they are not released.

    If you are referring to the fact that WF is not listed in the above exams, then that is correct.  At this time, there will not be a Workflow exam created.


  23. Robert says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Will 70-536 survive as a core exam for MCPD or not?

  24. Hi Robert.

    It will but it won’t.  It will still be required for the .NET 2.0 and 3.5 versions of the cert but not moving forward for 4 and above.

    My intention is to build the core .NET foundations into each question on the other exams.  This will provide a check of the knowledge of core .NET, but as it pertains to each technology such as ASP.NET or WCF, etc.


  25. Kris says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Is it to late to sign up for this?



  26. Hi Kris,

    We are working through our contracting vendor right now to identify a few more people for ADO.NET, WCF and the Pro Windows and Web.

    Please send your CV to me at gerryDOTobrien@ you know the rest.  We’ll evaluate and get back to you.


  27. Kurt says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I also sent you my CV, hope you received this correctly. Nice to read that selections are still open. Hope to hear you soon.


  28. André says:

    Hi Gerry,

    is there current a beta exam which is free?

    Or there are a list of free beta exams?



  29. Hi Gerry! Just a quick question. Perhaps I missed it out but I cann’t find any information about exams on SQL Server 2008 R2. Would this track be updated to upcoming release? Thanks!

  30. Hi André,

    There are currently no beta exams for developers.  We are starting the design of the Visual Studio 2010 exams today.  This means beta exams are still a couple of months away.

    I will make an announcement on this blog when the beta exams are ready.  The announcement will include the code to register for free.


  31. Hi Leonid,

    We did not update any exams or create new ones for SQL Server 2008 R2.  The changes in R2 were primarily a BI refresh which would have impacted only two exams of the current 6 for SQL Server 2008.

    After discussions with the SQL Server folks and budget considerations, we opted not to update the exams.

    There will be new exams for the next version of SQL Server but I have no timelines on that just yet.

  32. Jimmy Boyd says:

    Hi Gerry,

    What are beta exams? Are they worth a real exam or will I need to re-pass a real exam afterwards? Thanks and keep up the (very) good work

  33. Hi Jimmy,

    Beta exams are what we use to validate exam questions prior to them being released in a final version.  Typically you would see approx. 100 or more questions over a four hour period.

    If you pass a beta exam, you get the same credential as if you passed the release version.


  34. Babur says:

    Hi Gerry

    I wanted to ask if there are any plans inline for the new MS PROJECT 2010 certifications

  35. Hi Babur,

    None that I am aware of at this time.  Not to say they aren’t, it’s just that they sit in a different division from me.


  36. Noel says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Probably not your area but do you know if the SharePoint exams will be released at the same time?

    Also, keep up the good work.


  37. Hi Noel,

    The SharePoint exams won’t be too far off.  We will have four exams this year, two for developers (MCTS and MCPD), and two for IT Pros (MCTS and MCITP).

    The IT Pro exams will go into design the week of the 16th.

    We had the developer exams set for design next week but the SharePoint folks want to help drive the design for these and with all the conferences et al, we decided to move the OD sessions for the developer ones to the week of Dec. 7th.

    This means a small slip in the release date of the exams but we are tracking well to have the beta version available around release for SharePoint with live versions to follow shortly after.

    I think this will be an interesting time in SharePoint development.  We have had requests in the past for an MCPD on SharePoint and this year we will create one.   It will also lead into the complete certification story for SharePoint by providing MCTS, MCPD, and MCM.  A complete path is nice.  🙂


  38. Hi Gerry,

    We’re looking to continue our MCPD-education – What would you recommend at this point with regards to the upcoming updated exams?

    We’re looking to make a decision on going forward with our 2.0 exams (possibly upgrading our books to 3.5) or waiting for 4.0.



  39. Hi Rune,

    How far along are you in your 2.0 certification path?  The reason I ask is that there will not be a direct upgrade path to 4 from 2.0.

    It might be prudent to see how many exams are required to get 4.0 certified from scratch as opposed to updating your 2.0 to 3.5 and then 3.5 to 4.0.


  40. Duck says:

    How long until these exams are actually available?

    How does the upgrade from 3.5 to 4.0 work (What’s involved in it)?


  41. Hi Duck,

    These exams will be available this summer.  I’m hoping for the end of June.

    As for the upgrade from 3.5, it’s a simple process.

    1) You hold an MCPD in Web or Enterprise on 3.5, you take the upgrade exam for MCPD Web for 4.

    2) You hold the MCPD in Windows or Enterprise on 3.5, you take the upgrade exam for MCPD Windows for 4.


  42. swati says:

    Could you please let me know how if i can give any certs for .NET 4 without any of previous cert .

    I have not given any exam like MCTS or MCPD so how should i go about.

  43. Hi Swati,

    If you intend to get certified on .NET 4, then you only need to focus on the exams that are part of the .NET 4 track.  They will be in beta shortly and will be live around the end of June, 2010.

    You do not require any previous certifications unless you intend to take an upgrade exam.

    Full paths will be provided shortly before the exams go live and prep guides will be posted prior to beta.


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