Studying and preparing for the 70-761 can be intimidating. There are many topics you need to cover, but with so little time. It can be overwhelming! So why not create a 70-761 study plan and reduce that stress?
The plan will help you in understanding what topics to study, the study order, and how many weeks it will require.
Having a realistic plan is a great way to measure your progress, avoid any last minute cram sessions, and the stress that comes with the last-minute studying.
To get started I would recommend you grab a copy of my 70-761 Study Guide. It details which topics to study, and in what order. It can save you time just figuring out this part alone!
Here is the plan put together in a couple of steps:
- Calculate your 70-761 Certification Study Budget
- Identify Topics and Lesions
- Create a schedule
- Commit to Success!
Once you have gone through the steps, then you will know what to study, how long it will take, and your exam date. So, let’s get to it!
Once you’ve completed your 70-761 study plan, you’ll see the certification is not so intimidating after all.
Calculate Your Study Budget Set Aside for This
Before we start considering when to schedule your certification exam, we need to understand how much time you need to study. Part of this would depend on what topics you know. The other is on how much time you can afford or are willing to study each week.
Let’s start with the easier question as to, “How much time can you spend each week studying?”
First, don’t just say you can study 6 hours a week. You really need to think when you will study and if you can commit to it:
- Will it be for an hour at work?
- Or for an hour during your child’s soccer practice?
If you just think about study time in the general sense, you will not know when to study, fail to carve out specific blocks of time, and generally commit to study for a large amount of time.
Identify Specific Days You Can Study
Let’s break it down into the number of hours you can spend in studying on a daily basis and how many hours you can study.
Assume that you can study three times a week for two hours each day. From that information, we can calculate your weekly study budget as follows:
- Write down your commitment
- When can you commit to study
- Make sure to mark these times on your calendar
It is vitally important you don’t let “life” get in your way.
Identify Topics and Lessons
You probably noticed that some topics are more complicated than others. For instance, there are seven lessons in the Built-In Function topic, and only two in Error Handling.
Given this, it is not wise to think that we can spend the same amount of time on each topic and expect that you learn everything. Instead, start focusing on your lessons and use those to plan your sessions.
Note: If this doesn’t make sense, check out my plan. It logically breaks down the topics into lessons. It is a huge time saver; grab a copy of my 70-761 Study Guide.
Let’s just say that some topics are quite complex and we’re all busy. Plan on spending anywhere from 10-20 minutes on each lesson. On average, consider spending fifteen minutes on each lesson. This means, you should plan to spend an hour to complete four lessons.
Print out the study guide and cross off those items you already know. That is, cross off the items you know you don’t need to study. What should remain are the lessons you need to study.
Count the number of items remaining.
In my case, when I ran through the list, there were about 80 I felt I should study.
You may be freaking out now. But, it’s OK. We’ll take you off the ledge shortly… ?
Do you have a ton of topics to study? Before you start to stress out, let me share to you my story:
Back in 2002 I heard a piece on National Public Radio talking about normal people, like you and I, running Marathons. This really got my attention! I just couldn’t see how someone that wasn’t an Olympic trained athlete could possibly run 26.2 miles.
What I learned was that each participant followed a plan. The plan was gradual. It helped the runner build their endurance and confidence to complete the race.
Like running a marathon, taking and passing the 70-761 may look impossible. Yet, I’m here to tell you that with a plan, it isn’t.
When we look at taking the 70-761, it might look daunting. There are so many topics to cover and most of us have limited time.
I’ve looked at all the topics covered and have identified over 100 topics within 23 different subjects that you need to master to be able to pass the 70-761. So, being organized is a must!
For most folks, passing the 70-761 isn’t something you decide to do on Monday and achieve on Friday. It actually takes time and careful preparation to be ready to take this certification.
In my opinion, preparing for the 70-761 is like training for a marathon. Both may seem very impossible to achieve, but in reality they really aren’t. In fact, last 2009 I ran my first marathon following a training plan.
Today, try to walk through the plan I created for you, identify the lessons you need to study, and then figure out the number of hours you need to study.
Once you have completed that, then you are ready to create your 70-761 study schedule.
Create a Schedule
In order to create a schedule, we are going to first calculate the number of weeks it takes to study the lessons you identified in the previous section. We will then create a calendar to show the days you plan to study.
Calculating the number of weeks is pretty much straightforward. Just divide the number of hours you know you need to study according to your study budget.
Using our example below, you will see that we will need to study for four weeks.
Based on the information above, let’s map it out so you can get a better idea of your plan:
One good idea is to enter this into your electronic calendar. This way you can see the time and days you plan to study on your phone and plan other events around those times. Of course, life can get in the way, so when it does, be sure to reschedule your study time.
Just as a gentle reminder, don’t blow it off! If you do, you might fall behind, and get frustrated. So, better stick to your schedule.
Speaking of your schedule let’s commit to success by locking in an exam date.
Complete Your 70-761 Study Plan
Commit to Success
The best way to be sure to take a test is to pay for it. You must commit if you really want your 70-761 certification.
So right now, since you have your schedule planned, let’s settle on your testing date. It’s easy really.
Commit to start studying for your exam next week. This will give you some time to get prepared, find a good study area, get software downloaded and ready, and mentally get you pumped up.
Now that you know you’re going to start studying next week, add on the week you know you need to study.
Now, give yourself a two-week buffer to go over the material and decompress a bit.
The next week is the week you need to take your exam.
Using our example so far, I know I need four weeks to study the topics.
- Start Studying – So, assuming today is June 14th, 2017, then I’ll plan on studying the week of the 18th.
- Study Weeks – Since I need four weeks to study, I’ll be studying the week of June 18th through the week of July 9th.
- Prep Time – Add two weeks of prep time, and you see the 70-761 study plan says our test week is July 30th.
- Exam Week – July 30th
Now you know your exam week.