Announcing the Exam Ref series from Microsoft Press

Ken Jones here. Last week we announced the first book in a new certification series from Microsoft Press – the MCPD 70-519 Exam Ref: Designing and Developing Web Applications Using Microsoft .NET Framework 4. Today, we’d like to talk more about the new series – what it is and why it was developed.

If you’ve ever taken a Microsoft Certification exam, you most likely know about Microsoft Press Training Kits. The Training Kits provide a self-paced and comprehensive way to develop skills and study for an exam. These products are called “kits” because they include an exam-prep guide plus practice tests that help prepare you for the exam. Each kit also includes a valuable exam discount voucher and a fully searchable copy of the entire book in digital format.

The Training Kit can be a key component in your training and study plan and is not going away. These books have helped hundreds of thousands of you prepare for Microsoft exams and get certified. So, given the success of Training Kits, why a new Microsoft Press certification series? The simple answer is that Training Kits are great for comprehensive skills development and exam prep, but not a “one-size-fits-all” solution. This is especially true for candidates who are already MCTS-certified and are now studying for their MCITP or MCPD certification. If that’s you, you likely already have at least two to three years of real-world experience applying those critical skills in a complex technical setting, according to the prerequisites for almost all Professional-level exams.

Based on your feedback, we designed the Exam Ref series to meet your needs:

  • Exam Ref is organized by exam objectives for focused, efficient study. There are several objectives you may already know very well based on experience. The Exam Ref structure allows you to quickly find and review those objectives you’re not so sure about.
  • Exam Ref focuses on the critical-thinking and decision-making skills that are tested on the Professional-level exams. The series introduces a new element, called “Thought Experiment”, which provides strategic, what-if scenarios to reinforce the design-level thinking required to master the exam objectives and the job role.
  • Exam Ref is concise. It includes just the information you’ll need to prepare for the exam at your level. But we include “More Info” links to the basic background material, generally covered on the TS-level exams, just in case.
  • Exam Ref includes the same exam discount voucher that we include with Training Kits for Microsoft Certifications. Getting a good deal is nice no matter what level you’re at.
  • Practice tests for the exam are not packaged with the book, but will be available later as an option for separate purchase if you want them.

The MCPD 70-519 Exam Ref is the first book in the new series and will be available this week. We have two more Exam Ref titles coming out in December – one for the MCPD Windows Developer exam 70-518 and the other for the MCITP Exchange Server 2010 exam 70-663.

We hope you’ll give the new Exam Refs a try. And please let us know if you have any suggestions on how well they fit your needs. Send your feedback to Ken Jones, series acquisitions editor. Or to provide feedback on a specific book in the series, please take our survey (anonymous) at

Btw, if you’re wondering about the tool on the Exam Ref series covers – it’s a plumb-bob, not to be confused with a Sponge Bob:



Comments (2)
  1. will s says:

    SpongeBob! Oh and nice work on the new series too 😉

  2. mosaic says:

    Is there any commitment from Microsoft to produce an Exam Guide as well as an Exam Ref? It's now more than two years later and still no Exam Guide for 70-518

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