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About Microsoft 70-761 Exam

The Microsoft 70-761 exam is the first of two tests required for obtaining the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certificate. This certification is intended for those individuals who are seeking to become the database professionals for both on-premises and Cloud-based databases. Another exam required for getting this certificate is known as Microsoft 70-762: Developing SQL Databases.

Microsoft 70-761 Exam and Target Audience

The Microsoft 70-761 exam is designed for the specialists holding one of the following positions: a SQL Server Database Administrator, a System Engineer, or a Developer. These individuals must have a minimum of two-year working experience in the field. The candidates for this test also need to possess a general understanding of the Microsoft Windows operating system and its core functionality. In addition, their knowledge of relational databases would be of help.

Microsoft 70-761 Exam and Its Details

According to its internal rules, Microsoft doesn’t open the details of its certification exams to the general public. You cannot be sure about the exact number of questions in the test and its duration before you actually sit for the real exam. That is why it is so important that you mastered all the topics in advance. To develop your competency in the main domains, you can sign up for the paid instructor-led course (Querying Data with Transact-SQL) offered by Microsoft or go for self-paced study materials.

Once you have completed your study, the next step is to schedule your Microsoft 70-761 test. You can do that on the exam webpage after paying the registration fee of $165. This is the price set for the United States. If you are located in another country than the USA, this sum can be lower for you. The certification exam is delivered in the English language only.

Microsoft 70-761 Exam and Skills Measured

To become certified, the candidates need to demonstrate their skills in three domains. These are enumerated below together with their weight in the exam content:

  • Managing data with Transact-SQL (40-45%)
  • Querying data with advanced Transact-SQL components (30-35%)
  • Programming databases by using Transact-SQL (25-30%)

Each subject area contains a set of skills that you need to prove in your Microsoft 70-761 test. Within the first topic, the applicants should demonstrate their ability to:

  • design Transact-SQL SELECT queries (in particular, determine the right SELECT query structure; write unique queries to meet the enterprise needs; determine the query that would return anticipated results on the basis of the provided table structure and/or data; construct results from multiple queries with the help of set operators);
  • query multiple tables with the help of joins (in particular, write queries using JOIN statements on the basis of given tables, data, and requirements; design multiple JOIN operators with the help of AND and OR; define the right utilization of INNER JOIN, LEFT/RIGHT/FULL OUTER JOIN, and CROSS JOIN; write queries using NULLs on joins);
  • execute functions and aggregate data (in particular, design queries with the help of scalar-valued and table-valued functions; distinguish deterministic functions from non-deterministic functions; utilize built-in aggregate functions; define the influence of function utilization to query performance and WHERE clause sargability; utilize date-related functions, arithmetic functions, and system functions);
  • adjust data (in particular, design INSERT, UPDATE, and DELETE statements; design Data Manipulation Language (DML) statements with the help of the OUTPUT statement; define the statements that can be utilized to upload data to a table depending on its structure and restraints; define the results of Data Definition Language (DDL) statements on provided tables and data).

The second domain checks the candidates’ competency in:

  • querying data with the help of subqueries and APPLY (defining the results of queries with the help of subqueries and table joins; assessing differences in performance between correlated subqueries and table joins on the basis of given query and data plans; distinguishing between the utilization of CROSS APPLY and OUTER APPLY; designing APPLY statements that return a given data set based on supplied data);
  • querying data with the help of table expressions (defining the basic table expression components; defining differences in utilization between temporary tables and table expressions; designing recursive table expressions to satisfy business needs);
  • grouping and pivoting data with the help of queries (utilizing windowing functions to group and rank the query results; differentiating utilization of windowing functions and GROUP BY; designing complex GROUP BY clauses with the help of GROUPING SETS, and CUBE; designing PIVOT and UNPIVOT statements to restore desired results on the basis of provided data; defining the NULL values influence in PIVOT and UNPIVOT queries);
  • querying non-relational and temporal data (querying historic data with the help of temporal tables; querying and outputting JSON data; querying and outputting XML data).

The third objective evaluates the following skills:

  • designing database programmability objects with the help of Transact-SQL (designing stored procedures, user-defined, scalar-valued, and table-valued functions, views, and triggers; executing input and output parameters in stored procedures; defining the utilization of scalar-valued or table-valued functions; distinguishing between deterministic and non-deterministic functions; designing indexed views);
  • executing transactions and error handling (defining Data Definition Language statements results on the basis of transaction control statements; executing TRY…CATCH error handling using Transact-SQL; creating error messages using THROW and RAISERROR, executing transaction control jointly with error handling in stored procedures);
  • executing NULLs and data types (assessing data type conversions results; defining the right data types for particular table columns or data elements; defining the correct results of joins and functions taking into consideration NULL values presence; defining locations of implicit data type conversions in queries; identifying the right utilization of COALESCE and ISNULL functions).

Microsoft 70-761 Exam and Career Opportunities

After getting certified, you may be thinking of your career prospects. Out of the many options you will have after obtaining your MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certificate, the most prominent job roles available to you include:

  • Software Developer
  • Database Developer
  • Database Administrator
  • System Engineer
  • System Developer

Acing the Microsoft 70-761 exam and earning the MCSA: SQL 2016 Database Development certification also bring you closer to achieving your income goals. According to the latest report made by, the average salary of Database Administrators ranges from $47,000 to $111,000 per year, while the annual earnings of Database Developers fluctuate between $51,000 and $109,000. If you are searching for another reason to obtain this certificate, these impressive figures must persuade you.


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  • kurt

    Dec 24, 2020, 08:23 AM

Tell you the truth, I have been scouring the Internet for days looking for the free files for the 70-761 exam that can help me learn the content to get the certification. And then, I finally found Exam-Labs. It was like a life saver for me, because had not so much time for the preparation process. Luckily, a friend of mine has your lectures that they used successfully for their test. So, I got this course and managed to cover all the topics in time. The score was not so high as I expected it to be, but I got my cert anyway, so I’m very glad.

  • kylie

    Dec 1, 2020, 08:22 AM

Just sat for the Microsoft 70-761 exam and came out with a totally different opinion about SQL. It seems more difficult than I thought at the very beginning, but the premium bundle with all the required prep materials helped me to get all the important knowledge about the content. Thus, I passed the test with 740 points.

  • hogan

    Oct 8, 2020, 08:20 AM

The material of the prep resources I got from the bundle really delve deep into SQL. I was able to know a lot of new things that I didn’t know about earlier. Thank you, Exam-Labs, I hope I pass the test with your help.

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