MCSM: SharePoint Recommended Reading

I've received a LOT of inquiries for a recommended reading list for MCSM: SharePoint over the past couple of months. Our prior pre-reading list (which is still a great but exhausting read on SharePoint-related topics) deservedly received a lot of attention as an essential tool for preparing for the course and the exams. The new reading list will continue to play an important role in candidate preparation, but it's important to provide some additional context so those of you pursuing the certification know how (and how not) to use it.

The "master plan" (pun intended) for MCSM: SharePoint is this list that I posted a few months ago - it's what drove the developent of all of our training content, our labs, and our exams. It'll attain a more official status when it is posted to the Training Catalog in the very near future, but those pursuing MCSM: SharePoint should consider it to be the comprehensive list of topics for the course.

The recommended reading list posted in this blog entry is a sampling of those topics. It's an important sampling derived from references provided by our instructor team, but it's certainly not 100% coverage of the topics. You'll need to use the reading list and the topics list together to guide your preparation.

Without further ado, you can download it here.

Below is a "rude FAQ" that provides additional guidance for using the list.

How should I use the recommended reading list?

This should be a supplement to your overall preparation, which should include both theoretical knowledge hands-on experience. Use the readings listed below in the following

  1. If you haven't already, consume the SharePoint 2013 Training for Developers and  SharePoint 2013 Training for IT Pros ("Core Knowledge" category).
  2. Review the content of the Resource Centers ("Core Knowledge" category) that relates to our course topics list. This will be a majority of the topics in these resource centers.
  3. Review the remaining articles in the recommended reading that you haven't encountered during steps 1 & 2.
  4. If you don't have hands-on experience in the topics covered in steps 1-3, start practicing! The more you know before you arrive, the more you'll get out of the course. 

Is this an exhaustive list of everything I need to know to pass the exams?

No. 🙂

Then why should I bother to read it?

This is a compendium of links that our instructors identified as useful either as preparatory or additional readings for the various labs and lectures in the course. Being familiar with these readings will help you get more out of the course and may help you prepare for the exams.

OK, so what's the best way to prepare for the course and the exams?

See the game plan provided above. Review the topics covered by the course and exams and ensure that you have both theoretical and hands-on knowledge  in all of them. This is the "master plan" that our exams, labs, and lectures are based on. Our labs will give you practical experience across a wide range of these topics, but the more you know before you arrive, the more efficiently you'll be able to use the finite amount of time you'll be able to commit to the  training.

Some of these are for SharePoint 2010/SharePoint 2007/Windows 2003/SQL 2008 - why are they here?

Because they're still useful! 🙂

What's the rationale behind the categories?

With the exception of the "core knowledge" category, they're used only to make the list a bit less unwieldy. Many readings span multiple categories. Don't fret over the "rough fit" of the taxonomy.

There are a lot of readings on {insert subject here} - does that mean it's weighted heavily in the exams or the course?

Nope. We just happened to gather a lot of additional recommended readings on that topic. Same applies for topics that are underrepresented in the list - don't assume that a weak showing in the reading list is indicative of skimpy coverage in the course or the exams.

Anything else worth noting about the content in the list?

Readings that pointed to API documentation are deliberately excluded, as familiarity with SharePoint APIs is assumed for all candidates as part of their MCSA/MCSE/MCSD credentials.

Recommended Reading List.xps

Comments (2)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Despite the fact that the award has been retired, this is still very much a valid reading list.  Thanks for posting.

  2. Rainier van Slingerlandt says:

    Thanks, I'm not sure if I'll go the entire way but I will promise that I'll read whatever is on that list.

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