Microsoft Exams –  MCSA 2003

Introduction to MCSA 2003

The key letter in MCSA is the A for administrator.  This is a chopped down version of the MSCE.  The worthy idea of this qualification is to concentrate on the day-to-day tasks performed by those who look after the server.  Whilst you take the very same exams as for MCSE, they are fewer in number, for instance, you only need the 70-290 and 70-291, but not the 70-293.

Another way of looking at the MCSA is a stepping stone to the MCSE.  Pass 4 exams, take a breather, then see if you want to test yourself further by taking another 3 exams and thereby upgrade to MSCE.

  1. Microsoft to not administer the exams!  No, they delegate that to companies like Thompson Prometric (Sylvan Prometric) or VUE.
  2. There is no one-to-one relationship between MOC training courses and the exams.  For example MOC Course 2275 does NOT completely prepare you for exam 70-291 (or any other particular exam).
  3. Microsoft were prone to changing the rules, especially with NT 4.0.  Also the exam format varies from regular fixed 45 questions, to adaptive with 35 questions which change depending on you answer to the first question. 
  4. Early in 2004 they have returned to giving pass marks – hooray!


TrainSignal - Recommended Training VideosAs an MCT trainer, I can thoroughly recommend TrainSignal, I particularly liked their provide practical hands on training.  In addition TrainSignal cover all the topics needed to succeed in your MCSE / MCSA exams.  To make learning enjoyable, TrainSignal vary the methods with, instructor lead, video and of course text material.  See more about the training materials here

MCSA 2003 – Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator

There is one exam on the upgrade path for those who are MCSA 2000 qualified 70-292 (Also on the MCSE upgrade Path)

For those not MCSA qualified there are 4 exams:

One Client – XP (70-270) or Windows 2000 (70-210)

Two Networking – Managing, Maintaining Server (70-290)
Implementing, Managing, Maintaining Server Network (70-291)

One Elective –  The 3 most popular electives are SQL (70-228), Exchange (70-284) and  ISA (70-277). Other electives are SMS, Windows 2003 Security.

Note: the MCSA Electives appear to be fewer than the MCSE electives.

Note: CompTIA exams also count as one elective.

Other qualifications similar to MCSA

MSCE 2003 / MCSE 2000


Simply passing any exam makes you a Microsoft Certified Professional.  Most people then get the bug and go on to pass more exams and become MCSE or MCSA

MCSDBA – Microsoft Certified Database Administrator

MCSD – Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer

MCSD – Microsoft Certified Applications Developer

MCT – Microsoft Certified Trainer (Have to be MCSE first)

MCSE NT – Certified on NT 4.0 exams



When a user recovers a file with Shadow Copy what tab do they see?
Shadow Copy
Volume Shadow
Previous Version

Free sample exam