Latest news on 70-431 simulation questions

August 29, 2007

I got some news this week about the core SQL Server 2005 exam. A bit of an update from someone who has recently tried 70-431. He sent it to me having read my previous post on the matter.

“I took the exam last week and got all the M/C questions right, but did horribly on the simulations. I figured out couple of them, but I couldn’t do the others. Ended up with a score of 220. This is the first certification test I’ve encountered that used such a large set of simulations (15 on the test I took).

“Good job! I had no business passing this test, since I know nothing about SQL Server. This will add a degree of difficulty to the certs, but not insurmountable.”

I wish this guy a bit of luck with the exam, but I’m very pleased that despite his knowledge of the multiple-choice questions (he must’ve had inside knowledge to get 100% right) didn’t help him pass.

My tip for you (reader) is: Use the product! And if you have been using the product for a while, just try the exam. Worst case, you fail and can try it again once you’ve used the product some more. Don’t bother cheating – if you’re worth your stuff, you should be able to pass the exam easily.

This Post Has 24 Comments

  1. Paul Turner

    Good to see that all the hard work on the simulations actually works!! Gone are the days that you could download a brain dump and pass the exam.

    He seems like a lucky fellow… I had 20 simulations!!

    Good post Rob.

  2. James Green

    I just did 70-431 and thought the simulations were just spot on. Anything that works to improve the quality of the assessment gets my vote.

  3. ChanChan

    hello I’ll take 70-431 exam at the end of this month..but I want simulations..can u give me??? thanks my mail is

  4. Rob Farley

    Sorry no, that would be cheating. Just use the product for a while and you should be fine.

  5. Pete

    I recently took courses 2779 and 2780 and I have a very good knowledge of MSAccess. The training center where I took the courses has mentioned nothing to me about simulations or what this test entails etc. They told me to play around with the product at their lab. Spending time playing with a product in a lab doesn’t seem like much of a prep for this test. Especially after reading the blogs on this site. I feel like I have been misled a little into thinking that I can pass this test with study alone. I also don’t have the luxury of working with the product since I don’t have access to it at home and I’m unemployed. I’m going to give it a shot but I’m not very optimistic. Any thoughts?


  6. Rob Farley

    Ah, then you should’ve done the courses with me. I have students who have taken 2780 and then passed 70-431.

    I’m not sure you can pass this exam with study alone – that’s not what this exam is designed to test.

    Can you get a copy of SQL Server Developer Edition? It doesn’t have licences for go-live, but you can use it for development (and therefore learning).


  7. Jeff

    Well I took 431 earlier this week, and I must say after reading numerous blogs and write-ups I was expecting a way-nasty exam.

    My take though was;

    1. The 35 multiple choice questions were straightforward. Mine were almost entirely about principles, not syntax, so I didn’t have to remember precise rote statements – just understand the concept. Even if you don’t though, I found that always 1 or 2 answers were obviously wrong, and 1 or 2 looked dubious so simple elimination would probably work.

    2. The 12 simulations I had were quite simple. I confess I had no idea what I needed to do about 1 of them, but the other 11 were simple enough tasks such as ***parts of this comment deleted***, etc. I did a LOT of random clicking on the first simulation to get a feel for the way it works, and that doesn’t seem to have penalised me in my score (11/12 on the graph, assuming they’re equally weighted)

    So in summary, if you’ve used the product and understand the principles tested, the simulations are not hard.

  8. sodabeh

    i need simulation question,i had exam last week and i failed,where can i found these question?
    i had no idea about simulation question.

  9. Chaitra

    I have studied the SQL SERVER 2005 Implementation and Maintanance well and have solved all the exercises. I have taken couple of exams as well. Will this help me pass the exam? I am trying to come up with simulations in my head. For instance dropping snaphots, creating schedules, using sql profiler.Do you think this will be enough? I have worked with SQL Server 2000 3 years ago but had to quite my job because of my little kids. Now I want to go back to work and want this certification so that I have a better stand.

  10. Rob Farley

    To give the typical SQL answer, “It depends”.

    You’re probably close to being a qualified candidate, but I can’t be sure. Good luck either way. Make sure you use the free resit offer that’s currently available.

  11. Ali Shah

    I have prepared my self for 70-431 from test king and Actual test and I have also do the exercises from Pass4sure simulations. is this enough or any change is comming in this exam. Please advice…


    Ali Shah.

  12. Rob Farley

    If you have prepared using TestKing and ActualTest, then you will probably fail this exam. You should use the product for a few months in real situations.

  13. anili

    well, after going through numerous blogs and websites …now i have a bit of understanding on how people felt about this exam. Its ..truely very helping work. I appreciate all the guys. I am about to take the exam in 13days time…I am not a sql guy..first time I took this book a week ago..did lot of reading, simulation questions seems to be tricky.. as lot many of you said we need to use the product..i am going to do that for the rest of the 13days and nights..and give exam..lets see..I will post on the result of my exam

  14. Shweta

    This question is for those who have taken 70-431 exam already. In
    simulation section, on 1 question I was presented with *********sorry –
    I’ve removed part of this question. Rob************** How did you guys
    manage to switch ************?

  15. robfarley


    Sorry for editing your comment – you had written a bit too much about one of the questions.

    To answer you though (carefully) – if you need to move to another part of Management Studio (or whatever you have been presented with), you should be able to just close the dialog you’re in, and move to somewhere else. If you can’t, then you should be able to answer the question sufficiently without doing that.

    The simulations aren’t perfect. The new emulations exams (like 640) should help with this a lot.


  16. John Sterrett

    I just passed the exam in the past few weeks and I found the simulations to be very easy. If you use the SQL 2005 tools you will be fine.

  17. Roy

    I just took the exam, failed. I prepared with uCertify, not help… can someone tell me which practice test matirial is better?


  18. robfarley


    I’m not sure about practice tests. I do know that if you’re a regular user of SQL 2005 (and know a bit about what’s ‘under the hood’, then you should be just fine).


  19. Linda Leslie

    I just took the exam and have been a DBA for 7 years… I just don’t use the gui much and have other tools I use since SSMS isn’t always the best at getting the info I need… passed the Q&A (45 questions) but failed the simulation (12) questions…. not a happy camper.

  20. robfarley


    Sorry to hear that. My recommendation is to look around the dialog boxes that are available to you, looking for something that sounds like the option that you would have set using your scripts.

    And then leave the question and don’t come back. It’s never worth second-guessing yourself.

    Also, try asking Microsoft when they will be switching to Virtual Lab exams for SQL Server. I’ve posted about 70-113 on this blog before, and I really want SQL to move this way too.


  21. D

    Hi Rob, when will MS discontinue these exams for SQL SERVR 2005 (70-431, 70-441, 70-442)? – I am asking seeing that 2008 has already been out for a few months now and I want to do these 3 before the end of 2009. Thnks in advance.

  22. robfarley

    It won’t be discontinued any time soon… I haven’t heard anything about them disappearing, and they tend to give a lot of warning.


  23. David Henley

    I just passed the 70-431 on the first try!!!

    Without giving away test details, I will briefly comment on what assisted me in passing:

    1. Pass4Sure (had very similar questions to exam)
    2. Thomas Moore’s Exam Cram
    3. Microsoft Press Book
    4. 2 years of using MS SQL Server 2005

    The simulation wasn’t too bad as I got a 760. If you don’t know your way around the product, I don’t see how you’ll pass.

  24. suresh

    hi i suresh,i need full dumps for 70-431 .where cani download.i downoaded some but, i am not sure is this for exam questions.plz let me know here 2 get it…thnk u

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