Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Tips and tricks on taking the 70-536 Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation exam

One thing I noticed in this exam is that the details of the exam can save you from failing, and the details actually make it easier for you to guess correctly if you don’t know the answer for a question. These are things you would easily notice if you did the exam without a time limit and in your own living room, but as soon as you’re a bit stressed out they’re easy to ignore.

These examples might help you out if you’re absolutely stuck on a question and don’t know what to do.

Example #1:
All the answers for a question look similar, but if you take a good look at them you’ll see that one or two of the answers have nothing to do with the question whatsoever. Let’s say all the answers are lines of code containing a method, and inside the method something is done (it doesn’t matter what). The natural thing to do is to focus on what is done inside the method and how the method is declared, that’s where you assume you’ll find the answer.

But what about the name of the method? I know for a fact that I usually don’t pay attention to the method name unless it’s in a larger context, but you really should. What if, in one of the answers, the method is called SerializeDataSet(…) and the question has nothing to do with serialization? Then you can probably eliminate this answer and you’re one step closer to where you want to be.

Example #2:
As far as I’ve seen, this exam does not contain any trick questions (questions that lead you in the wrong direction). So if a question tells you that you have a variable ‘x’, and one of the answers does not use this variable, you can be pretty sure the answer is wrong.

Example #3:
Make sure you read the questions carefully and more than once. If a question states that a collection should be strongly typed, make sure the answer you choose in fact is strongly typed. If a question asks you to encrypt a file, make sure you choose the answer that encrypts (not decrypts) it. If you’re in a rush, details like these may be easy to ignore.

Last but not least, mark all the questions you are unsure of for review. The other questions in the exam might give you a clue on the way, so you should always go over the questions more than once. And if you don’t know the answer for a question, and you’re not able to eliminate any of the answers, go with your first hunch. Statistics show that your first hunch is more likely to be correct than choosing an arbitrary answer.

Good luck!


  1. useful tips...


  2. Hi Karoline! I'm a spanish guy just arrived to Oslo. I've tried to contact with some companies to do the 70-536 by email but no answers about it. Where did you do it???? Thanks in advance!!!!

  3. Sorry i just want to clarify the last post. It's: .... tried to contact with some norwegian companies by email to do the exam in paper format :-P

  4. Hi,

    I don't think you can do the exam in paper format, but there are several test centres in Oslo where you take the exam on a computer (in english). Try contacting one of these companies: Software Scenario ( or Knowledgegroup (

    Good luck on your exam!

  5. Hi,
    I contacted with them and i already have the information and the date for it. Thank you!!!!