Preparing for Microsoft C# Certification Exam (70-483)

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Simon Mclellan

Writer, developer.

When preparing for the Microsoft C# Certification Exam, it is important to remember that this exam will put your C# skills to the test. While some people believe that they can simply “just wing it”, it is highly recommended to put in the time and effort to prepare for this examination. Especially if you want to pass the first time. If you are thinking of taking the Microsoft C# Certification Exam, then this article will be a great help in getting you better prepared and more aware of what will be covered on the exam.


First of all, the examination is formally known as the Microsoft 70-483 Certification Exam and it tests your technical skills. This is a 120 minute (two hours) exam and you will most likely need the entire allotted time to complete the exam. Individuals study for months to prep for the test and even then there are some tricky technical questions thrown at you that you were not expecting. That is why it is wise to truly prepare yourself before the exam. One way is to read books on the Microsoft 70-483 Examination. There are a lot of resources and books to choose from to study for the exam. But you also need to investigate what sections make up the examination before you start studying. The exam is divided into four categories: Manage Program Flow, Create and Use Types, Debug Applications and Implement Security, and Implement Data Access. Each category is weight evenly, and each makes up 25-30% of your total score.

The contents of the exam are broken down below in more specificity.

Skill / Test AreaPercentage (%)
Manage Program Flow25-30% of your grade
Create and Use Types25-30% of your grade
Debug Applications and Implement Security25-30% of your grade
Implement Data Access25-30% of your grade

Manage Program Flow

This section of the exam tests your skills and knowledge on multithreading and asynchronous processing. Essentially this tests your knowledge on utilizing the Task Parallel Library and managing data. You will also need to know how to implement program flow and evaluate expressions. Another important aspect of this section is how to create and implement events, as well as callbacks. For example, recent questions have asked exam takers to create event handlers and create delegates. A final part of this section that is usually tested on is implementing exception handling. Study closely SQL exceptions, network exceptions, and create custom exceptions (to name a few). Asynchronous programming with Async and Await, threading, and selection statements are vital study topics to passing the first section of the examination.

Create and Use Types

Create types is a large part of this section and would be beneficial for you to study all the elements that entail creating types. When preparing for this section of the Microsoft C# Certification Examination, you will want to familiarize yourself with how to create value types, including structs and enum; generic types, constructors, and other such parameters. You must also know how to consume types, enforce encapsulation, how to enforce encapsulation with accessors, how to create and implement a class hierarchy (i.e. by designing an interface), how to manage the object’s life, and how to create and apply attributes. Another segment of Create Types is also knowing how to find, execute, and create types at runtime by utilizing reflection.

Create types also covers how to manage unmanaged resources by implementing and interacting with IDisposable and how to manipulate strings. Looking at study guides that focus on Types, classes, and structs, and object-oriented programming would be a beneficial starting point in studying for this second section. Do not worry if you are not familiar with all of these topics, this article will later share with you some very powerful and helpful studying tools for your C# programming examination.

Debug Applications and Implement Security

In the third section, you must be ready to answer questions on the following topics within debugging applications and implementing security. You should know how to validate application input, perform symmetric and asymmetric encryption, manage assemblies, debug an application, and implement diagnostics in an application. A good suggestion would be to look over research C# Programming materials on validating data and .NET Framework (read our comprehensive guide on how to become a .NET developer) regular expressions, because these are important areas to study to capture all the material in this third section.

Implement Data Access

In this fourth section you will need to familiarize yourself with file system and the registry in order to get a broad overview of topics in this section. The topics covered in this section are how to perform I/O operations, retrieving data from a database and updating the data within the database (also known as consume data), query and manipulate data and objects by using LINQ, serialize and deserialize data, and finally, how to store data in and retrieve data from collections.

Preparing for the Microsoft C# Certification Examination: What Tools You Need to Succeed

Now that you understand how extensive the four main sections of the examination are, you are ready to discover what resources and tools are available for you to pass this rigorous test. Guidebooks, video tutorials, and prep work are the essentials for a passing score on this C# Programming exam.


Guidebooks are an essential resource for those hoping to pass the Microsoft C# Certification Examination because they layout explanations and dive into previous examination questions that give you a real feel for what to prepare for. The top three guidebooks available on the market today are:

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  • The C# Programmer’s Study Guide (MCSD): Exam 70–483
  • MCSD Certification Toolkit (Exam 70–483): Programming in C#
  • Exam Ref 70–483 Programming in C# (MCSD)


The Microsoft Official Course (also referred to as MOC), is another type of guidebook available on Microsoft’s website. This is a great resource to utilize because Microsoft creates the examination and they have guidebook “courses” online for you to use while studying. It is recommended not to solely rely on the MOC because not everything on the test is covered in great detail. You are expected to already know a lot of aspects to the examination. For those who need a refresher on certain ideas or sections, then please refer to the guidebooks listed above. They truly will help you in passing your exam!

Video Tutorials

Video tutorials are another excellent learning resource for the C# Programming examination. One recommended resource is Pluralsight. Pluralsight is an online learning platform that teaches you all the fundamentals of C# Programming and is tailored toward passing the Microsoft C# Certification Examination. Previous test takers who have reviewed Pluralsight (link to the Pluralsight Review article) as a resource have positive things to say about the website, including how high quality the videos are and how relative the content is. Pluralsight is definitely a resource you should consider to achieve a passing score on your examination. Pluralsight is not a free resource, however, they currently have a 33% deal off of their C# Programming courses. These courses are guaranteed to providing you with a passing score and if you are willing to purchase guidebooks, you should also invest Pluralsight.

Another video tutorial resource worth mentioning is Channel 9 MVA. There are videos on this website that are also tailored toward C# Programming and the Certification exam. There are two videos to take note of and to include in your studying lineup. The first one is C# Fundamentals for Absolute Beginners by great Bob Tabor. The video goes over the fundaments of C# programming and .NET, which are the cornerstones of the examination. Please take note that if you have only been learning C# for a few months and are a true beginner on the subject, do not try to take the exam. These videos are helpful, but they will not prepare you enough if you are just starting out on programming. The second video on Channel 9 MVA is Programming in C# Jump Start, by a pair known as Jerry Nixon and Daren May. This video is not for beginners and it is a course related to C# topics that will be found in the Microsoft C# Certification Examination.


Pluralsight’s C# Programming Learning Path

As mentioned above, the Pluralsight’s C# learning path is part of an extensive learning platform. Pluralsight is an online learning platform that contains not only C# courses, but also courses for many other programming languages, technologies, and related skills. Essentially, Pluralsight is a technology related online learning platform. Find out why Pluralsight is the best premium quality online learning resource.

You access Pluralsight’s C# learning path here.

Other learning platforms, such as Udemy (link to a comprehensive Udemy Review article), will charge you per course or lesson. Pluralsight is more affordable and more accessible than other platforms. Purchasing a Pluralsight subscription (choosing Pluralsight subscription guide) will not only help you pass the Microsoft 70-483 examination, but it will also keep you up to date on technologically related topics that you will need to stay relative on.

Other fantastic websites and guides for C# Programming

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Csharp courses and learning paths

Microsoft also has other course videos on their website geared specifically toward prepping for the test. However, these videos are not the most stimulating and not very clear in terms of learning fundamentals of various topics.

Practical Tests

Another way to prep for the exam is to take practice tests as a final hands-on approach. MeasureUp is a prep test resource that has many tests relating to C# programming and the Microsoft C# Certification Examination. This should be taken as the final step in your examination studying because prep tests will test your knowledge of everything you have learned before you take the actual test. A good way to go about this is to study, then take a prep test, and then finally find out where your weak spots are in terms of what you need to reevaluate to pass the test. You should then go over and study the areas that are holding you back from achieving that passing score.

By the way, Pluralsight has a feature called Skill IQ, that will determine how skilled you are in C# programming (and not only in C#). You can read about it in our comprehensive Pluralsight Review article.

Final Takeaways on Preparing for the Examination

Note taking is an important step in passing the test. Take as many notes as possible, whether they are handwritten notes or digital ones. There are a lot of areas to cover and become an expert on to pass this difficult test. Also be sure to combine study resources for this test. Combine video tutorials with guidebooks for a very comprehensive approach. Official exam prep materials do not always cover everything you need to be familiar with on the exam. That is why guidebooks and videos outside of the Microsoft website are recommended to utilize for the best results.

Be sure to practice code. Practicing code is essential when preparing for the Microsoft MCSD 70–483 C# Certification Exam. Please practice as much as you can. Practicing code can be achieved in a couple of ways. As mentioned above, taking practice or prep tests can assist you in becoming familiar with the exam format and what areas you are lacking in to achieve a passing score. Practicing code also needs to be done electronically or by using technology so you have more hands-on experience and can really put your skills to work.

Do not try to download brain-dumps (or exam question dumps), as they are not as beneficial to you as other studying resources. Brain-dumps are also considered an easy way out and may get your certification revoked by Microsoft.

Register for the Exam

Registering for the exam should be done in advance to secure a spot. Remember, this is a two-hour test so please be prepared to be there for at least 2 hours. You will also need ample time to get to the exam. You can register for the examination via Microsoft’s website. The cost of the exam is $165.00 USD.

The night before you take your exam, read over the topics and C# programming areas that have been a struggle for you. This way you will focus on items that may hurt your score and give them a final look through.

Final Thoughts

The Microsoft C# Certification Examination is an important step in the road for those who want to be certified in C# Programming. While the testing and prepping are considered difficult, you will feel so much more prepared if you use resources such as Pluralsight and taking a copious amount of notes. Once you pass this examination, and you will pass, you will be one of the elites in the C# Programming world!