Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA)
The term Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate refers to a program designed for candidates wishing to pursue a career in information technology (IT). The Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA) exam is designed to test the candidate's ability to accurately complete certain technical tasks.
The MCSA is a mid-level certification program that assesses the candidate's ability to perform tasks typically completed by a company's IT support department. The examination is subdivided into four broad areas: Windows operating systems (desktop), Windows servers, SQL servers, and Office applications. The program is designed for individuals that may have already received their MTA and may eventually pursue a MCSE certification.
The electronic exam is offered in test centers throughout the year. MSCA certification can be obtained in a number of specialty areas, including:
- Windows Server: configuring and managing availability, file and storage solutions, business continuity and disaster recovery, configuring network services, active directory infrastructures, and identifying and assessing solutions.
- Windows Desktop: installation and upgrades, configuring hardware, network connectivity, access to resources, remote access and mobility, monitoring and maintaining clients, configuring systems, and data recovery.
- SQL Server: installation and configuration, maintaining instances, optimizing and troubleshooting, managing data, implementing security, and ensuring high availability.
- Office: provisioning, planning and implementing network security, managing cloud identities, implementing and managing federated identities, and monitoring and troubleshooting availability and use.
Examinees are given 50 minutes to answer 40 to 60 questions; test results are available immediately following the exam. The results of the examination are scaled such that a passing score is 700. If a candidate does not receive a passing score, they may retake the test in 24 hours. If a passing score is not achieved on the second attempt, the candidate must wait seven days before making subsequent attempts. After the fifth unsuccessful attempt, the candidate must wait 12 months before starting the exam retake process again.