The Microsoft 70-463 certification exam is designed for the professionals working with ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) and Data Warehouse.
The test is often taken by those who work on the creation of business intelligence solutions, such as ETL and Data Warehouse administration, as well as data cleansing.
According to Microsoft, the exam is aimed at the individuals whose major roles include the following:
- Mastery of data utilizing Master Data Services
- Scheduling Extract, Transform, Load (ETL)
- Configuring, managing, and implementing SQL Server Integration Services packages
- Ad hoc data transformations and manipulations
- Data synchronization
- Cleansing of data utilizing Data Quality Services
- Extract, Transform, Load package development
- One-time data/application migration
When you pass the Microsoft 70-463 certification exam, you can progress to earn any of the following certifications:
- MCSA: SQL Server 2012/2014
- MCSE: Business Intelligence
- MCSE:Data Platform
The 70-463 test contains from 45 to 55 questions in total. It is important to note that this number can change at any time since Microsoft doesn’t publicize the information on such matters. The exam format usually comprises multiple-choice questions with several answers and scenario-based questions.
To pass the test, you are expected to score at least 700 points out of the total 1000. It is essential to mention that scoring 700 does not automatically mean that you score 70% of the exam. This is because the percentages allocated to each section of the test differ.
If you give a wrong answer, you don’t have to worry about being penalized, as no points are deducted from your final score. So, feel free to guess the answer, even if you are not completely sure about it.
The total time allocated to the completion of the exam is exactly 2 hours (120 minutes). All not mentioned details can be found on the official website: https://www.prepaway.biz.
Major focus areas
Just like any other IT exam, this one consists of different topics that vary in difficulty. To minimize the chances of underperforming during the test, it is recommended that you cover all the topics of the exam objectives. Integration Services of Microsoft SQL 2012 is a platform for developing enterprise-level data transformations, solutions, and data integration.
Therefore, understanding Integration Services will go a long way in helping you resolve intricate business problems. Integration Services can transform and extract data from a wide range of sources, including relational data sources, flat files, and XML data files, before loading the data into one or several destinations.
There are various aspects that have been improved in the 2012 version, such as troubleshooting and management, deployment, performance, development enhancements, and data quality.
It is critical that you know how to run the SQL Server services through the use of the smallest possible permissions. This can be achieved by connecting SQL Server with low-level Window accounts of local users. You might also achieve this through the use of the domain user accounts.
It is also important to understand that high-quality data is crucial to the effectiveness of any enterprise. The data solutions offered by Data Quality Services allows the developer to sustain the quality of his data and guarantee that the specific data is used according to the needs of the specific business.
Data Quality Services is a knowledge-focused solution that offers both interactive and computer-assisted methods to sustain the quality and integrity of the data sources. This knowledge will come in handy when you want to perform data profiling, matching, and cleansing.
In addition to this, you can also control the cloud-based services of data operators in a Data Quality Services project. DQS offers a wide range of features to solve different issues regarding data quality.
These features include profiling, matching, monitoring, data cleansing, and Reference Data Services.
How to prepare for the test?
When it comes to preparing for your Microsoft 70-463 certification exam, the first step is to review and understand its objectives. The test is aimed at the professionals who have a comprehensive understanding of the tested area.
You can access the exam objectives for Microsoft 70-463 through the official certification website. After reading and understanding the areas to focus on during your preparation for the exam, the next step is to look for various training materials.
There are so many blogs and websites that offer detailed information on the test topics that you can explore. However, it is crucial to be cautious when researching information on Microsoft exams because some sources might be outdated since all certification tests are subject to change and development.
This is why it is important that you read the latest exam objectives first, so that you know if the resource material you are currently using is relevant or not.
One of the most common mistakes that many candidates make is looking for the sites that offer practice questions and answers for the exam before reading the objectives.
This can be detrimental to your success in the exam because if you don’t know what relevant topics to study, you won’t be able to get the credential.
It is also important that you clearly understand the skills and abilities that will be measured during the exam before you attempt taking any mock tests.
After completing your preparation, the next step is to choose the day and place of your test and apply for it. While writing the exam paper, it is important that you read the questions properly.
Do not hurry to answer them, because Microsoft is known to always include some irrelevant information in their exam questions to confuse the test takers.
It is important that you check any question twice before you write down your answer, even when you think that it is completely clear.
The Microsoft 70-463 certification exam is quite challenging but with the proper study, you can be sure of acing it. There are many resources that you can explore to enhance your study.
As mentioned above, before you choose any preparation tool, be sure to comprehend the exam objectives, so that you do not waste your precious time on reading irrelevant materials.
One of the ways to get the right sources for your study is to check the Microsoft Virtual Academy. For a complete list of official preparation materials, click here: https://mva.microsoft.com/.