Create a 70-761 Study Plan

Getting ready to study for the 70-761 can be intimidating!  There are some many topics to study and so little time to do so.  It can be overwhelming!  So why not create a 70-761  study plan and reduce that stress?

The plan will help you understand what topics to study, the order to study them, and how many weeks it will require.

I think having a realistic plan is great way to measure your progress, avoid last minute cram sessions, and the general stress that comes with last minute studying.

To get started I would recommend you grab a copy of my 70-761 Study Guide It details which topics to study, and in what order.

It will save you tons of time just figuring out this part alone!

We’ll put this plan together in a couple of steps:

  1. Calculate your 70-761 Certification Study Budget
  2. Identify Topics and Lesions
  3. Create a schedule
  4. Commit to Success!

Once you’ve gone through these steps you’ll know what to study, how long it will take, and your exam date.  So, let’s get to it!

Once you’ve completed your 70-761 study plan, you’ll see the certification is not so intimidating.

Calculate your 70-761 Certification Study Budget

Before we can consider when to schedule your certification exam, we need to understand how much time you need to study.  Part of this depends what topics you know, the other on how much time you can afford or are willing to study each week.

Let’s start with the easier question: “How much time can you spend each week studying?”

First, just don’t say you can study 6 hours a week.  You really need to think about when you will study:

  • Will it be for an hour at work?
  • Or for an hour during your child’s soccer practice?

If you just think about study time in the general sense, you won’t know when you’ll study, fail to carve out specific blocks of time, and generally commit to study for full amount of time.


You need to identify specific days you can study.

To answer this question lets break it down into the number of hours you can study each day, and how many days you can study.

Let’s assume you can study three times a week for two hours each day.  From this we can calculate your weekly study budget as follows:

70-761 Study Plan Study Budget

Important!  Write down your commitment.  When will you study.  Make sure to mark these times in your calendar. It is vitally important you don’t let “life” get in your way.

Identify Topics and Lessons

You probably noticed that some topics are more complicated than others.

For instance, there are seven lessons in the Built-In Function topic, and only two in Error Handling.

Given this, it wouldn’t be wise think we can spend the same amount of time on each topic and expect to learn everything.  Instead, I would recommend focusing on Lessons and use those to plan your sessions.

Note:  If this doesn’t make sense, check out my plan.  It logically breaks down the topics into lessons.  It is huge time saver; grab a copy of my 70-761 Study Guide.


Given that some topics are complex, and we’re all busy, I would plan on spending anywhere from ten to twenty minutes on each lesson.  On average, consider spending fifteen minutes on each lesson.

This means you should plan to spend an hour to complete four lessons.

Print out the study guide and cross off those Items you know for sure.  That is, cross off the items you know you don’t need to study.  What remains are the lessons you should study.

Count the number of items remaining.

In my case, when I ran through the list there were about 80 I felt I should study.

70-761 Study Plan - Study Rate

You may be freaking out now.  It’s OK, we’ll talk you off the ledge shortly…  😊

Do you have a ton of topics to study?  Before you start to stress out, let me share a story:

Back in 2002 I heard a piece on National Public Radio talking about normal people, like you and I, running Marathons.  This really got my attention!  I just couldn’t see how someone that wasn’t an Olympic trained athlete could possibly run 26.2 miles.

What I learned was each participant followed a plan.  The plan was gradual.  It helped the runner build their endurance and confidence to complete the race.

Like running a Marathon taking and passing the 70-761 looks impossible.  Yet, I’m here to tell you, that with a plan it isn’t.

When we look at taking the 70-761 it looks daunting.  There are so many topics to cover and most of us have limited time.

I’ve looked at all the topics covered and have identified over 100 topics within 23 different subjects which you need to master to pass the 70-761.  Being organized is a must!

For most folks, passing the 70-761 isn’t something you decide to do on Monday, and achieve Friday.  It takes time and preparation.

I think preparing for the 70-761 is like training for a marathon.  Both seem very impossible to achieve, but they really aren’t.

In 2009 I ran my first Marathon by following a training plan.

Today, walk through the plan I created for you, identify the lessons you need to study, and then figure the number of hours you need to study.

Once you have completed that, you’re ready to create your 70-761 study schedule.


Create a Schedule

To create a schedule, we are going to first calculate the number of weeks it will take to study the lessons you identified in the previous section.

We’ll then create a calendar show the days you plan to study.

Calculating the number of weeks is pretty straight forward.   Just divide the number of hours you know you need to study by you study budget.

Using our example, you’ll see we need to study four weeks.

70-761 Study Plan Study Budget


Given this let’s map it out so you can get a better idea of your plan:

70-761 Study Plan Weekly Schedule


One good idea is to enter this into your electronic calendar.  This way you can see the time and days you plan to study on your phone and plan other events around those times.  Of course, life gets in the way, so when it does, be sure to reschedule your study time.

Don’t blow it off!  If you do, you’ll fall behind, and get frustrated.  Stick to your schedule.

Speaking of your schedule let’s commit to success by locking in an exam date.

Complete you 70-761 Study Plan – Commit to Success

The best way to be sure to take a test is to pay for it.  You must commit, if you really want your 70-761 certification.

So, right now, since you have your schedule planned, let’s settle on your testing date.

It easy really.

Commit to start studying for your exam next week.  This give you some time to get prepared, find a good study area, get software download and ready, and mentally get you pumped up.

Now that you know you’re going to start studying next week, add on the number week you know you need to study.

Now, give yourself a two-week buffer to go over material and decompress a bit.

The next week is the week to take your exam.

Using our example so far, I know I need four weeks to study the topics.

  • Start Studying –   So, assuming today is June 14th, 2017, then I’ll plan on studying the week of the 18th.
  • Study Weeks –  Since I need four weeks to study, I’ll be studying the week of June 18th through the week of July 9th.
  • Prep Time –  Add two weeks of prep time, and you see the 70-761 study plan says our test week is July 30th.
  • Exam Week – July 30th

Now you know your exam week.



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