My Success Story: How to Pass Microsoft 70-463 Exam at the First Attempt?

My Success Story: How to Pass Microsoft 70-463 Exam at the First Attempt?

Microsoft is a successful company, and its products are widely used all over the world. Probably there isn’t a single person who has not heard of Windows OS. Microsoft is well-known not only for its software but also for the IT certifications it offers. The company offers a broad variety of certificates that cover a full spectrum of technologies and skills that are used by organizations across the globe, which makes the credentials issued by Microsoft universally accepted. I took the Microsoft 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL 70-463 Real Answers exam and I passed it on my first try. In this blog, I will share my experience and thoughts related to thiscertification test in the hope that you may take guidance from it.

Some words about Microsoft MCSA certification and 70-463 exam

One of the most famous certifications offered by Microsoft is MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014. You can receive this credential by passing the following three exams: 70-461, 70-462, and 70-463.

The 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014 testchecks your ability to transform, extract, and load data, and configure SSIS solutions. The exam covers the following areas:

  • Data warehouse design and understanding

This area had questions that were confusing and not very clear, and it did not contain many questions related to design, which I think is all right as the 70-763 exam is concerned with SSIS and SQL products. It contained questions related to the following topics:

  • Snowflake and Star Schemas

  • Develop and Implement Dimensionsand Fact Tables

  • Managing Performance of a Data Warehouse

  • SSIS knowledge

This segment is more interactive, it includes drag and drop questions. The questions focus on configuration, development, and deployment. There were lots of questions about transactions and a series of questions with the same answer options. This made it more difficult and very confusing. You cannot randomly guess or use the elimination method in such questions. It covered the following topics:

  • Deployment of SSIS Solutions

  • Preparing Data for Data Mining

  • Configure SSIS Security Settings

  • Troubleshoot Data Integration Issues

  • Data Mining Task and Transformation

  • Install and Sustain SSIS Components

  • Implementing SSIS Fuzzy Transformations

  • Implement Logging, Auditing, and Event Handling

  • Data Quality Services (DQS)

There were a few questions regarding DQS, installation, and usage. I personally liked these questions because I think DQS allows you to handle data quality issues. The questions covered the following areas of Data Quality Services:

  • Install and Maintain Data Quality Services

  • Create and Maintain a Knowledge Base

  • Make a Data Quality Project to Clean Data and Improve Data Quality

  • Using DQS and DQS Cleansing Transformation

Master Data Services (MDS) coming under Master Data Management (MDM) was also covered. The questions were about implementing the MDM solutions and using MDS add-in for Excel.

Some questions cover the following key points:

  • Design control flow

  • Performdata flow with transformations

  • Make package logic by utilizing SSIS variables and parameter

  • Implement control flow

  • Implementation of Script components in SSIS

  • Slowly changing dimensions

  • Prepare a package for incremental load

  • Define connection managers

  • Implement Data Load options

  • Control flow tasks and Containers

  • Design data flow

  • Operate SSIS package execution

  • Implement Script tasks in SSIS

  • Package transactions, event handlers, checkpoints

Duration and number of questions

To answer all the questions can be tough especially if you face questions that you hadn’t covered or seen during your preparation. You can even have some time to review your answers if you are prepared well to solve the questions. Microsoft usually doesn’t provide an exact information about the number of questions, but you can’t expect that so many subjects to be covered in few questions. This also increases your chances of passing the exam because the percentage of questions you would know will be greater than the percentage of thosethat you don’t know. I had to answer 40 questions within 90 minutes.

Key points during my exam preparation

I have many years of experience in working for Business Intelligence, Data Warehouse, and SSIS development departments. My main source of preparation was working for these departments and the projects they offered me.It has been a great learning experience. I personally focused on polishing my skills and learning the new features in 2012/2014 and areas, which I haven’t covered in the projects, such as Project Deployment, SSISDB, environments,Change Data Capture (CDC), parameters, Master Data Services (MDS), data mining, Data Quality Services (DQS), Change Data Capture (CDC), Transactions, fuzzy transformations, checkpoints.

I made sure I covered all the points mentioned in the list of skills at theMicrosoft official website. I spent a lot of time thoroughly going through them and making sure I had a strong grip on each and every topic. I invested in the Training Kit book, which was worth the money. I did all the exercises, practice questions, quick check questions, lesson review questions, and case scenarios provided in the book, and only having skipped those questions I was confident of already knowing.

The practice tests helped me identify my weak points, on which I spent extra time. I also finished the Implementing a Data Warehouse with SQL Server Jump Start on Microsoft Virtual Academy.

My piece of advice

It is a well-known fact that all the Microsoft certification exams, including 70-463: Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014, are not a child’s play. They require effort, determination, and proper preparation. You should take all the courses, master all the skills measured, and do as many practice questions as possible. In addition to these things, stay well hydrated and make a proper night sleep before the test. Read carefully the complete question instead of jumping to a conclusion right away. You can easily pass the exam if you properly plan your study, use good resources, and stay committed. Good luck!

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