I will explain quickly my experience regarding the Exam 70-743, Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA: Windows Server 2016 exam from Microsoft I took last April.
It’s been a while since I took an exam from Microsoft (the latest was in 2013 I think) where you probably know that these kind of exams are multiple-choice or single-choice.
Through my career, I saw a lot of people cheating with these exams by memorizing the questions you can find on the internet and finishing it in just 20 minutes.
Despite I envied these persons because they weren’t putting the same effort as I did, in the end, this was translated in almost no knowledge about what they practiced nor familiar with all the features that Windows Server offers.
So, I encourage you to study the materials and practice in order to learn and bring value to yourself if you want to use these technologies from Microsoft.
The blueprint and webpage for this exam is the following one: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/exam-70-743.aspx
About the exam
In my case, although I am experienced with Windows Server this kind of upgrade exams, which consists in a 3 in 1 exam, can be scary for someone who’s new or hasn’t touched many roles that Windows Server has.
Even I installed almost all roles from Windows Server 2016 there are some of them that aren’t so common and you should practice it in a homelab (best way to stick in your mind).
There are around 60 questions (the quantity may differ) chosen from the following exams:
Regarding the questions there is a mix of Drag and Drop, Radio buttons, Checkboxes, …you know, the usual ones in this kind of exams.
Important: Be aware that the feature “Nano Server” was removed/deprecated in Windows Server 2016 time ago, here is the official post from Microsoft: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/get-started/deprecated-features
Also read the changes that this exam suffered, in the official change document that Microsoft provides (is in the blueprint): https://query.prod.cms.rt.microsoft.com/cms/api/am/binary/RE2IoQP
So, even if you see a lot of information about Nano Server in guides or courses in my case I didn’t find any question in the exam related to it (as it was deprecated years ago).
Resources and suggestions
As a resource, I mainly used this course from Pluralsight (not free): https://app.pluralsight.com/paths/certificate/upgrading-your-skills-to-mcsa-windows-server-2016-70-743
There are a lot of videos there, I checked the ones I felt more insecure and practiced in the lab. Also, I do recommend that you use Powershell to install and configure everything you can and in this way, you will get used to it.
As this is a 3 in 1 exam, the range of features and roles to know is huge, knowing a bit of everything will help you to pass but, without practice, you won’t get anywhere…
Having experience helps a lot but if it’s not your case, focus on the roles and features you never used or are not used to use (ADFS, NPS, RRAS, Hyper-V, etc.).
To conclude, I can say it’s a fair exam and a bit challenging maybe but if you practice a lot with all the roles that Windows Server 2016 offers and know the differences from Windows Server 2012 R2.
Also, the most important I think…practice with Powershell. It won’t only help you with the exam also, in your future!