Pearson IT Certification

Exam Profile 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012


Date: Oct 22, 2012

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This article profiles the Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam (70-461), for SQL Server database administrators, implementers, system engineers, and developers. Pearson IT Certification provides a variety of exam preparation tools to help our customers in their quest for certification, including the Exam Profile series. Each profile is developed based on the testing experience of one of our trainers or authors. You won’t get exact questions or answers, but you will get a real feel for the exam. Each profile describes question forms, trouble spots, hints for exam preparation, and recommendations for additional study resources. Find out what you can expect to see on the exam and how you can better prepare for it.

The 70-461 exam is meant to be taken by SQL Server database administrators, implementers, system engineers, and developers who have two or more years of experience and are seeking to prove their skills and knowledge in writing queries. Microsoft states that the exam is meant to be taken by those whose primary responsibilities may include:

After passing the Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 (70-461) exam, you complete the requirements for the following certification(s):

Exam Details

Trouble Spots

As with any exam, it will vary from person to person as to what is deemed to be difficult. Be sure you are familiar with each of the topics in the exam objectives listed below.

The Order By option in the SQL SELECT statement has been enhanced in SQL Server 2012. Using both the OFFSET and FETCH along with ORDER BY allows you to control paging through a result set.

Full Text Search has also been enhanced by allowing you to search and index data stored in extended properties or metadata. The newest release of SQL Server will allow you to search things such as a PDF document that has properties filled in such as Name, Address, State, etc.

Preparation Hints

Preparation Hints

Review the Exam Objectives below and make sure that you are familiar with them. The Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam is designed for those who have experience in this environment. Always check the Microsoft site for the specific exam you are going to take. In this instance, the site is

There are many web sites and blogs that can help you to research topics, but be careful to fully research the information you read. It is not advisable to try to find sites that list questions and answers for several reasons. First, you don’t know if you will be asked a specific question and second, the answers given in a blog may be inaccurate and third, you need to understand the information to adequately prepare.

When taking the exam, read each question carefully. Microsoft is notorious for adding a lot of unneeded information in their questions. Make sure that when you click on a choice, that it is really marked. Be careful clicking anywhere on the screen. I found that by inadvertently clicking near the scroll bar on the right of the screen, I actually changed an answer. You get a single piece of paper and a marker for writing. You can use a small amount of time before you even start the exam to make notes once you enter the test area. Sometimes there is even a questionnaire at the beginning of the test that does not count against your test time. You can even use this time to write down notes, facts, tables or other information by taking your time between answers.

Recommended Study Resources

Exam Objectives

Exam Objectives

The exam objectives are broken up into four different categories. The 70-461 exam measures your ability to accomplish the technical tasks listed below.

The percentages indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam. The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.

The objectives for Exam 70-461 as stated by Microsoft are as follows:

Create Database Objects (24%)

Work with Data (27%)

Modify Data (24%)

Troubleshoot & Optimize (25%)

Where to Go from Here

After you pass the Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012 exam, you may want to take the following exams:

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