Friday 28 November 2008

Exam tips for 70-536

Ahhh exam 70-536 .. .NET Framework - Application Development Foundation. The only exam I have ever done more than once. Three times in fact. And not because I failed it, it was part of the upgrade exams from MCSD/MCAD to MCPD which I did way back.

It is a bit of strange one this one. It is one of the exam requirements for a whopping 15 different certifications. These include the MCTS and MCPD certifications on 2.0 and 3.5

So if you want to get certified on .NET 2.0 and/or 3.5 you need to have passed this exam. And you only need to pass it once.

So where do you start? Well I would suggest that you take a look at my previous post on preparation for this exam.

Now information directly related to the exam.

If you are already certified on .NET 2.0 (MCTS or MCPD) then you don't need to read this as you already the requirements for any of the 3.5 exams.

Now if you are not certified on 2.0 or 3.5 yet but would like to, then read on.

The exam itself covers the base of the .NET Framework. You know everything that it is inside the System namespace. That is where this exam is aimed. Do you know your foundation stuff.

The blurb from the exam landing page suggests that you have 2 to 3 years experience on any version of the .NET framework. Does that mean you have to have it?. Nope. Its only a suggestion, but its to ensure that you don't have a massive amount of learning to do to pass this exam.

Recommended reading. I liked the MS Press training kit though do make sure that you check the errata pages (list). You will probably need to supplement this with some reading from MSDN, Blogs and the like though the book does go through a lot of what you need to know. It may not explain it as clearly as I would like but at least if I didn't understand it, I could always pop onto the web and get more information. Before you rush off and buy it read the next bit first

Other information: Microsoft have a nice training series called the MSDN RampUp which is a free online training course for .NET. Now its free but that not all. You also get a few goodies when you finish the training. You get
  • 25% off the cost of the 70-536 exam (and a free retake)
  • 50% of 2 eLearning course (5160 and 5161)
  • 30% off the MS Press training kit listed above

So its good value and a great place to start plus the bonus stuff is very handy!

At TechEd 2008 in the US there was a session on the exam hosted by Trika (who was at the time at MS Learning) and Susan Ibach which gives some great tips. You can get the slide deck here and the live recording is here. Both are very good resources!

About the exam. We are very limited in what we can actually discuss. And that includes the format of the exam. The passing mark is 700 out of 1000 and there is no set amount of questions though on average it can be around the 45 mark. You will be told how many questions on your exam when you take it.

Tools you need. For this exam it is not essential to have the Pro edition of Visual Studio as this exam is version agnostic but other exams need you to know some of the tools. You can see a comparison of the SKUs here.

Good idea to have it installed either locally or on a virtual machine so that you can play with the code and see what all the command line tools do.

UPDATE September 2009: Added a series of posts on 70-536 that have links to the MSDN in relation to the objects. Posts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7

That’s about it.. hope it helps


Anonymous said...


Great blog. Keep it up and good to see you in the moderated Microsoft newsgroup!

Look forward to your assistance.

Michael D. Alligood

Ashish Nijai said...

Hi Niall,

You have a nice helping blog.

I want to give MCTS 70-536.

I am sure that Microsoft e-learning courses will help me lot.

But they are expensive.
Do you know any site from where I can download them?

Waiting for your response.

Ashish Nijai

Nikhil said...

hey man!
i am from india
I simply liked the way u've gathered the information
Thanks a Lot

Unknown said...

Thanks Niall.
I'm halfway through my prep for this exam and welcome your thoughts on this exam. Keep up the good work.