If you are thinking about taking your Microsoft Project 2013 certification but don’t know how and where to start, you’ve landed on the correct page.
I recently took my Exam 74-343 exam and this is how I prepared for it.
By taking the exam, not only you’ll be getting the passing credentials but also you’ll automatically be an MCP (Microsoft Certified Professional).In a business world dominated by Microsoft, I don’t need to stress the importance of having Microsoft credentials working on your benefit.
My approach to MCP was through Microsoft Project 2013. This was the right path for me as my career progress my interest towards Project management grew and this is was the right path for me.
As I narrowed in and identified my Exam 74-343 was my course of action, I first looked for professional training on the subject.
I then found ONLC. This gave me the exposure and the familiarity I needed with the MS Project software itself.
NOTE: if you are an expert user of the software you’ll be fine without the course. However, if you are a novice or an average user I recommend looking into a course as this is a software well thought out through and through. Not the product is hard to use or understand, it just simply compacts many features that you sure will need to perform your Project Management tasks.
Once that’s done registering for the exam.
Depending on your location you may be eligible to take the exam online with an online proctor or you can take the exam at a designated location/provider.
I’m not experienced with online exams so in my experience taking the exam online with an online proctor could be intimidating. You are nervous enough now you have to take the exam knowing that someone is constantly watching you through a webcam and giving notices if you go off their frame for more than 3 seconds. No thank you, call me old school but if going to a location feasible I’ll take that option.
I think this is where it’s getting tricky and most probably the reason why are reading this blog post.
Before preparing for the exam, I think it’s better to get to know how and what the exam looks like and what it tests.
If you go to the Exam 74-343 page, Microsoft has done a good job explaining what it is and how it will look like. The exam is structured to test how you’ll be using MS Project in the scenario they’ve given.
Exam details : 54 questions, 150 minutes and passing score is 700.
It’s a not an exam that will test your skill on definitions or theory / principles. It’s actually an exam that tests your knowledge of the software and how you use the software to overcome the task. In other words, if you have hands on experience, you are golden.
If you think about it’s that’s true. unlike a PMP exam, this is an exam to test your skills using a software. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to know the theory/fundamentals. Everything it’s always good to have the background pat down.
So does that mean if you are not using the software every day you are out of luck? no not really. It sure will make it easier but by attending a course as mentioned about you’ll get the exposure and practise you need.
Also, regardless of your exposure the software something I highly recommend is doing practise exams. By doing practise exams, you’ll understand the question structure, which is important. So make sure you lots and lots of practise exams. And also don’t be surprised to find those questions and answers in the actual exam itself ;-).
Just google for sample exam questions you’ll find ample.
When I was getting ready for the exam I couldn’t find article / blog to give me some insight about the exam. I was hopeless. I was then determined that after I pass the exam I would write up my experience so that it will help some other poor soul just like I was before.
Also, if you are interested learning MS Projects full potential, take a look at the office support page. Just search for Project. You sure don’t need to know all of these in this detail but for me these articles helped me better understand some stuff that weren’t very clear from the class.
My two favourites are, Pick the right report in Project 2013 and How Project schedule tasks: Behind the scene.
Hope this provided what you were looking for. And if you are taking or thinking about taking the exam, good luck and wish you all the best.