A core exam for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) on Windows Server 2003 is Exam 70-290 (Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment). It became available on the 14th of August, 2003 targeting IT professionals who are experienced in managing a Windows Server 2003 environment. This exam is designed to test the candidates ability to configure Windows Server 2003 to work and operate efficiently over a network of computer systems.

Just like any other core exam, passing Exam 70-290 gives the candidate a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) certification. There are no pre-requisites for this type of exam. But then again, candidates must be adept with the necessary job skills before taking it. Such skills can be attained through proper training and exposure to the Windows Server 2003 environment. Candidates can use online resources for review or better yet, attend classroom training courses being offered by IT-centered institutions located around the globe.

Exam 70-290 will costs candidates US $125 for each attempt, so it is very critical to pass the exam on the first try. Candidates will be given 90 minutes to complete an exam with 50 to 60 multiple-choice, fill in the blanks or simulation type of questions. Exam questions may change every year and to pass, candidates should obtain a minimum score of 700 in 90 minutes. However, this type of certification expires after around 4 to 5 years, especially when new Microsoft products are released in the market.

To register, you can drop by any Pearson VUE or Thompson Prometric center. Exam results are usually delivered immediately after test completion as scores are generated from a computer-based testing (CBT) system.

For IT professionals who would like to pursue on getting a certification for Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MSCE) and are experts in implementing successful Windows Server 2003 network in an existing Windows environment or on a totally new network, then they can take the Exam 70-291 (Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure). As a core requirement, this exam will test a candidates thorough knowledge of the Windows Server 2003 operating system. It features analysis and simulation questions to prove ones proficiency of the several job skills needed in carrying out MCSE functions.

Introduced on August 14, 2003, Exam 70-291 has to be completed within 90 minutes with 700 as the passing mark. To take the exam that consists of 50 to 60 questions, candidates must register first on any Pearson VUE or Thompson Prometric center. On each attempt, candidates have to pay US $125, though there are times that discounts can be availed through exam vouchers. Passing the exam also means achieving Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) status and gaining a notch towards MCSE certification. However, this MCP certification expires after around 4 to 5 years once new Microsoft products become available.

To assess ones knowledge and preparation for the exam, a candidate can take advantage of exam simulation software applications being offered on various web sites. These simulators feature questions that were asked on previous exams. Since it is a fact that exam questions may be changed each year, there is still a big possibility that some of these will be given again. This is indeed a good way to review topics that matter before the exam proper.

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