There has never been a better time to study for and pass the 70-659 exam because we here at Microsoft Canada are determined to get as many Canadian system admins, network admins, IT managers, IT job seekers, and whatever-else-you-want-to-call-yourself certified on Window Server virtualization as possible.
Why? Virtualization is the foundation for private cloud and dynamic IT infrastructure. Being certified is how you prove your skills. And now you can take the exam for free and get $75 for passing!
Here’s what you need to do:
1. Contact D’Arcy at CTE Solutions (firstname.lastname@example.org) and get an exam voucher. This voucher allows you to take the 70-659 exam for free but only if you take the exam before May 31, 2012 (more details).
[UPDATE March 28] We've had such great response to this post that we ran out of vouchers! However, never fear, more have been requested and are coming within the next few days!
[UPDATE March 30] We've gotten 200 more vouchers which should (hopefully) last us until the end of the promotion.
[UPDATE April 13] We've had a HUGE uptake on this promotion and are currently backlogged - way more than we anticipated. I'm working to get CTE Solutions more vouchers to fulfill all current requests but your patience is appreciated.
[UPDATE April 16] We are now OUT OF VOUCHERS. I don't have an exact count but I believe we gave out 600 vouchers just in the last few months, which is about about 500 more than I anticipated!
However, not to worry because the good folks over at Microsoft Learning have come up with another great promotion - 2 for 1 Exam Vouchers. Purchase and take one of the qualifying exams (70-659 qualifies) between April 11, 2012 and June 30, 2012 and you will be emailed a voucher valid for the next version exam of your chosen technology path. So for exam 70-659, you would request a voucher number from the Windows Server 2008 / Private Cloud technology path and use that voucher number when you book your full price exam with Prometric to have your second free voucher sent to you.
The good thing is, it's all done online so you don't have to wait for me or D'Arcy to work through any backlogs!
2. Book your exam with Prometric. Yes, book it now – then you’ll be motivated to buckle down and get studying! Here are some resources you can use:
- Register for a virtual study group that meets online over the course of a few weeks for 12 hours total going through the material. More on this will be coming with specific dates – we’ve been running a pilot study group and I’m now pulling together group leaders for subsequent groups. The cost is $75CAN which goes towards local user groups. Email me if you’re interested in participating.[UPDATE March 29] Added link to information on the virtual study groups.
- Sign up for the Microsoft Virtual Academy for free and work through the virtualization modules.
- Download free evaluations of Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Virtual Machine Manager 2008 R2 to build out your study lab.
- Download and read Mitch Tulloch’s free ebook “Understanding Microsoft Virtualization Solutions”.
- Purchase and read the book “Windows Server 2008 Hyper-V Resource Kit”.
- Take a 1 day online Jump Start class for $99USD on April 12th or May 9th.
- [UPDATE March 28] Another great resource - check out Joseph Yedid's blog series on what you need to know to pass the exam.
- [UPDATE April 1] Free one-hour exam preparation webcast for exam 70-659
3. Write the 70-659 exam and get $75 for passing.
- If you pass – Email me your Transcript ID and Access Code so I can verify your transcript using this tool along with your mailing address, and I’ll send you a $75 gift card (see legal stuff below). Yeah – it’s a pretty sweet deal – you pass your exam AND get a gift card!
- If you don’t pass – don’t fret…if it was easy, everyone would do it. Many people don’t pass it the first time around but still go on to pass it on their next try. At this point you have the option to register for course #10215 at CTE Solutions (for a fee) and retake your exam using the same free voucher you got from CTE Solutions in step 1. Or you can go back to step 2 but pay to book your second exam. Either way, once you pass your exam, be sure to email me for your gift card!
[UPDATE March 28] Folks have been asking how many gift cards I've given out so I'll keep an update here. To date, there have been 6 - ONLY 6! C'mon, folks - if you've passed your exam I wanna hear about it and give you free money! 94 more gift cards to go.
[UPDATE April 1] I've given out 2 more gift cards! 92 left.
[UPDATE April 8] 11 cards given out, 89 cards left and 53 days to pass your exam!
[UPDATE April 13] 18 cards given out, 82 cards left! Less than 53 days to pass your exam. 🙂
[UPDATE April 16] 22 cards given out, 78 left!
[UPDATE May 1] I left for a bit of vacation and came back to an inbox full of emails! I was hoping to offload all this to my colleague but I guess my Out of Office message telling people to contact him for gift cards went to everyone's spam folder. Anyhoo - I've given out 45 gift cards now, with 55 left! I'm still working through the backlog but it looks like there might be about 10 more in there which I'll get to tomorrow. Still time to get your gift card if you pass your exam soon!
[UPDATE May 15] The emails keep rolling in! I've given out 74 cards so far. Only 26 left and 18 days to email me your transcript information. Keep them coming!
[UPDATE May 22] Only nine days to go and only 9 gift cards left to give out! Remember to email me your transcript ID and access code along with your mailing address. Don't worry if it's not showing up yet on your transcript - I check them in the order they come into my email and if yours isn't updated, I'll just keep it in queue to check the next day.
[UPDATE May 29] I just gave out the LAST GIFT CARD! Congratulations to everyone who passed the exam whether you got a gift card or not - it's not an easy thing to do. I got many emails from folks thanking us for the program (free vouchers, study groups, gift card incentive) as it was the kick in the butt that they needed. But the learning doesn't end here! Build on your knowledge by working towards your MSCE Private Cloud. Your 70-659 exam can be substituted for 70-247 to count towards your Private Cloud certification! Keep an eye on this blog and sign up for the TechNet newsletter to keep informed with news, information and future incentives.
Important legal stuff about the gift card promotion (aka Terms and Conditions):
* Offer good only in Canada to legal residents of Canada. Offer runs from 12:01AM EST, March 1, 2012 until 11:59PM ET, May 31, 2012, or when all the 100 gifts have been awarded. To participate in the offer and be eligible to receive the gift, individuals will be required to successfully pass exam 70-659 and email their transcript ID, Access Code and mailing address to email@example.com by June 1, 2012.
There is a cost associated with taking the exam. More information on the exam can be found at:
To schedule your exam, please visit the exam provider here:
Upon successfully passing exam 70-659 and emailing the required information to firstname.lastname@example.org, the first 100 individuals will receive a $75 American Express gift card. For Terms and Conditions of the gift card use, please visit http://www.americanexpress.com/canada/en/giftcards/terms-conditions.html. There will be a limit of one (1) gift per person. The gift card will be shipped to the address provided by the individual.
This offer is non-transferable and cannot be combined with any other offer. This offer is not redeemable for cash. Taxes, if any, are the sole responsibility of the recipient. Any gift returned as non-deliverable will not be re-sent. Please allow 6 – 8 weeks for delivery of your gift. We reserve the right to substitute a gift of equal or greater value.
Have you already passed your exam since March 1? Did you read all the legal stuff above? Well then you know that the promotion started as of March 1 so you get to go directly to step 3 and get your gift card without further ado. How do you like them apples? 🙂