I recently devoted several hours to studying for and passing the Microsoft 70-348: Managing Projects and Portfolios with Microsoft PPM Exam.

Prior to the exam, I had been using Project and Project Web App for about 2 years, but only surface level interactions. I knew the basic commands and how to pull the information I needed, however had to search for answers to deeper questions when they arose. I wanted to know more about the tool and be able to use it more efficiently and confidently. I wanted to be able to have a well-rounded knowledge of the product to handle questions clients may have. I wanted to share my experiences and help others use the tool.

I had passed Exam 74-343: Managing Projects with Microsoft Project a few weeks prior and that was extremely helpful in passing this exam. That exam focused on scheduling techniques quite a bit, and the Microsoft Project Training I took helped immensely.

My biggest concern going in was the fact that this test had only been out for a couple of months as a beta in replacement to Exam 74-344.  Although I spent a lot of time searching for information about the new exam, there was not a lot available about it.

There are two main tactics I believe contributed to my success:

1. I audited a course from edX geared towards the old version of the exam. The exercises in the exam were very important as let me use what I was learning and determine what was more confusing for me.

2. I took screenshots of the ribbons to refer to as I studied. As a visual learner, it was important for me to be able to accurately picture where on the ribbon the commands were to be able to solve the problem from it. I used these images a lot when studying the gaps from the old version of the exam to the new beta version. Microsoft has a list of topics under “Skills Measured” that could be covered on the exam.

The most challenging part of the exam was many the questions were not multiple choice. Instead, a scenario was given and I was asked to solve it. There were about 7 or 8 answer choices on the left side of the answer screen and you had to drag and drop 3-4 of them, in the correct order, on the right side of the screen. Some of the choices were very similar, with only a word or two different, and it was hard not to second guess myself as I went through the exam.

Another concern of mine was that I would not have the results right after completing the exam, as sometimes happens with betas, and would have to wait 6 weeks or until the beta closed. However, as soon as I clicked Submit, I received the “Congratulations, You’ve Passed this Exam” screen!