Where’s my Training Kit for Windows?

There’s been a lot of talk about the changes to the Microsoft certification tracks for Windows Server 2012 and Windows 8 on the Born to Learn blog.  There are changes afoot with the Microsoft Press portfolio of certification books as well. In order to get you more information earlier in the exam release cycle, we’re discontinuing Training Kits and transforming them into two distinct series: Exam Refs and Training Guides. We plan to produce Exam Refs for the majority of Microsoft certification exams. Training Guides focus on job-role-specific expertise—the skills that Microsoft certification helps to keep relevant, applicable, and competitive—and they are the perfect add-on resource for less experienced professionals.  We plan to produce them for the more fundamental job roles.  Some certifications will have both an Exam Ref and a Training Guide so that you can mix and match your book choice based on the depth of your experience.

673045.indd Exam Refs are designed to give experienced professionals an exam objective-by-exam objective tour of the certification exam.  They help the skilled candidate identify all the topics that require mastery without rehashing the fine details of the topic.  In addition to providing an overview of each objective, the chapters include exam tips, notes, and more info references.  Each chapter also provides a summary and review, a set of multiple-choice questions to check your knowledge, and a thought experiment to explore the topic with critical thinking scenarios.  We think the Exam Refs will be a very effective way for technically adept candidates to validate their skills prior to sitting the exam.




673106.indd The new Training Guide series is a wonderful orientation to the job role for a less prepared candidate. It helps creates a foundation of skills which, along with on-the-job experience, can be measured by Microsoft Certification exams. It explores the tasks and topics deeply from a role perspective, providing lessons with practices and reviews. Most readers will use these titles to enhance their job skills for the topic technology or to prepare for an upgrade to a new product version.  The Training Guide can be used to supplement your exam preparation and will cover a minimum of 80% of the topics on an exam, but more attention is paid to the daily work of the role and getting the job done right the first time. 



Whether you are new to the topic or an experience professional seeking a credential upgrade, either the Exam Refs or the Training Guides will be the right solution for you.  The first of these new series will be available later this month in our new prePress format (watch this blog for more news on that too) and in hard copy in November. Let us know what you think!

Comments (14)
  1. Jeroen Proost says:

    Ok, let's say I am not an experienced professional, or I am a novice planning to get a certificate (Windows 8 ?) to get promoted or a better job, which one should I use for my exam preparation ?  The Exam Ref or the Training Guide (which "only" "cover a minimum of 80% of the topics on an exam").

    Thank you very much.

  2. Anneham says:

    Hi Jeroen,

    The first place to start is with the Training Guide.  It will help you get grounded in the topic conceptually and it provides a wealth of real-world scenarios to get you thinking about how to apply the technology.  It provides more information and background so that you can build a good foundation.  That, combined with hands-on experience gets you to the knowledge base you need to be successful on the certification.  Once you get to that level, then the Exam Ref is the perfect resource for checking your mastery of each exam objective, and points you to additional resources to help you round out any knowledge gaps.  The two work together to provide a great solution. Those with more experience will find the Exam Ref deep enough on its own. Those new to the topic will want to build their knowledge first with the Training Guide and hands-on experience to gain mastery of the job role and then use the Exam Ref to hone skills and identify any knowledge gaps prior to sitting the exam.  HTH.



  3. Jonas says:

    Is there a list of the upcoming exam ref and training guides somewhere public?

  4. Do you know when 70-417 Exam Ref and a Training Guide will be released?

  5. Rajesh Patel says:

    Do you know when Exam 70-486 Ref and a Training Guide will be released?

  6. damian says:

    Igor I have the 417 exam ref on pre order from amazon.

    They have given me a delivery date of the start of December.

  7. Anneham says:

    yep, 70-417 is set to ship in November, meaning it will be generally available in December.  More details coming soon!

  8. Michael says:

    ah … well ……. good bye training kit or tk …….

  9. scam says:

    seems like a good way to charge us for 2 books instead of one, no one is fooled

  10. Rick says:

    Ah, man, I feel conned. I have been waiting for that Self-Paced Kit for almost a year now. You could have communicated this better you know, my actual Google Search to find this thread was "Self-Paced training kit Windows server 2012  -sql -2008 -2003 -2000".

    I've actually asked Microsoft Press about it, "When will there be a Self-Paced Training Kit Windows Server 2012", "In April 2013!" they said. To study you need a clear path, a ladder to climb; not a merky pile of Training Refs and Exam Refs. I can't afford 3000 euro's fasttrack classes, what are you doing?

  11. Brian says:

    When will  MSoft BI Exam Refs and Training Guides be available?

    I want to start preparing for these exams but want to use the latest recommended training material.


  12. Jude says:

    Hi: What's best self-paced kit for 70-410, 411, 412? I used MSPress for my MCITP:SA Windows 2K8 Cert, but now I don't see this in your publications? When is the plan?

  13. Chris says:

    I too agree with the last few posts: waiting for the Self-Paced Kits. (There are few classes near me where I live).

    I've found that they Self-Paced Kits from Microsoft Press are superior than other producers of Certification & Training Books/Courses.

    If you can't purchase the Self-Paced Kits from Microsoft Press, where do you get the training?  I can't afford a time and travel expense for a week long training. Self Paced Kits are the only way to go for me.

  14. Mosaic says:

    People who use certification as a structured way to stay current or learn new technologies will now have to buy two books instead of one, and likely have to wait a looooong time until *both* are available. Also (as far as I can tell) neither book includes a training voucher. More expense, less convenience. Is this progress?

    Quote from blogs.msdn.com/…/announcing-the-new-microsoft-press-exam-ref-series.aspx

    "The Training Kit can be a key component in your training and study plan and is not going away."

    Quote from blogs.msdn.com/…/where-s-my-training-kit-for-windows.aspx

    "we’re discontinuing Training Kits and transforming them into two distinct series: Exam Refs and Training Guides."

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