What’s Up With the New MCPD Exams?

What’s Up With the New MCPD Exams?

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There was a question posted over on Trika’s blog about the new .NET 3.5 pro exams based on the Prep guides.

Michael basically asked,

“In .net 2.0, Pro exams there was a heavy focus on testing, design and the theoretical part of software development. When I check the prep-guide for the .net 3.5 pro exams, I don't find any of those in there.

Did MS completely remove those aspects of the pro certification in .net 2.0?”

Well, technically, the pro level exams never did include content for software testing nor did they really cover the SDLC.  What you see on these exam prep guides is the result of your peers, sitting in a focus group/design session, and determining what is important for testing candidates on in the real world in relation to that technology.

Keep in mind that these exams are not the equivalent of 70-300 nor are they intended to be.  The Pro level exams are intended to test a candidate’s ability to make technology decisions for a specific product implementation or software application project.   They need to understand the technology from a hands-on perspective prior to taking these exams.  The Po level exams are designed to test the when, where and why style of decisions and questions.

We are already working on plans for an exam(s) aimed at software testing, security for developers and MSFv4.   As a result, you will not see those topics covered or to any great length at least, on the MCPD exams.


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  • Thanks, Gerry, for answering the question :)


  • I think the new MCTS / MCPD (both .Net 2.0 & .Net 3.5) are much better than the old MCAD/MCSD format.

    I hope you guys keep using the MCTS / MCPD format in the future versions of .Net as well and resist the urge to revamp things for the sake of revamping :).

  • I have a question about the training materials, or lack there of.  I would like to start preparing for the MCTS / MCPD certs, but the first exam that I would like to take, 70-564 doesn't seem to have any training kits or anything out there...should I start with the 2.0 stuff and wait for the 3.5?  What's the best next step for me?

  • Hi Jim,

    The training will likely always lag behind the certification for very specific reasons.  The Training Kits especially, that MS Press creates, are dependent on the exam design documents.  They can't get started on their development process until we have an exam OD for them to use.

    As a result of the fact that we typically start and exam process ahead of training, they get started later than we do.  Also, their development cycles are a little longer than the exam dev cycle is.

    There are always other factors as well such as budgets, author availability etc.  Regardless of this, we are striving to have training and exams within specific timelines of the product releases from the rest of Microsoft.

    If you haven't started on the 2.0 path yet, then I would concentrate more on the 3.5 path.  Take note that the exam you have listed above is the Pro level exam for ASP.NET.  You will need to acquire your MCTS ASP.NET 3.5 before you can earn the Pro level cert so before I offer a recommended path, I would need to know what certifications you currently hold.


  • I almost have my MCPD:Enterprise, will there be an upgrade path for 3.5?

  • Hi John,

    If you are an MCPD Enterprise on 2.0, there will be an upgrade path to 3.5, yes.


  • Hi...

    I am already certified on the .NET 2.0 platform (MCPD: Enterprise Apps). I want to know when will the Upgrade Exams for .NET 3.5 (70-568 and 70-569) be available?

  • Hi Anuj,

    Those exams will be available in mid January of 2009.


  • Hi Gerry,

    Thanks a lot for the information...



  • I'm kind of new to all this. Been working on an Automation testing/monitoring team. I want to go the Software Testing QA Automation route. I was thinking of taking a C#/VB class at a continuing education center for beginner through Advanced level. They also ofer a beg, int, and advanced class on ASP.NET 3.5. I was wondering should I take the ASP.NET class instead and  go for the MCTS.NET cert for 3.5?



  • Hi beach,

    Sorry for the delay in responding, this one only showed up in my inbox today.

    The language courses will prepare you to use C# or VB in the managed code world of .NET.  Because you need to take exam 70-536, which is .NET Framework foundations knowledge, along with the proper MCTS exam, before you can be awarded a certification, the language courses may be a good idea as a starting point if you are not familiar with them.

    The ASP.NET exam is designed for someone who will be creating Web applications on the .NET platform so if that is the type of software development you want to focus on, then you should work toward that exam for sure.   And it would be a good idea to concentrate on the 3.5 version if you are just starting out.

    If you have any other questions, don't hesitate to ask.


  • Gerry

    >>> We are already working on plans for an exam(s) aimed at software testing, security for developers and MSFv4.

    Any information/status on these exams will be helpful.



  • i want to know that can i do mcpd directly or i have to do MCTS first and i want to know that will i do my certification in 3.5 or 2.0 ,i want to do my certification in web,plz solve my query

  • Hi Titus,

    The short answer and the only one I will give at this time is, no.

    There is no new information at this time.


  • Hi Mukesh,

    You must complete the MCTS first, unless you already have a certification in 2.0 but based on your question, I assume you do not have a certification already.

    If that is the case, you must complete the MCTS first and then you can take the MCPD.

    Please refer to these pages for information on the exams and requirements.




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