83-640 versus 70-640: Which MCTS: Windows Server 2008, Active Directory Configuration is which?

February 3, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Posted in Microsoft | 36 Comments
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Editor’s note: from April 21 to May 7, 2010, you can take the Microsoft Learning Testing Center Survey here: http://deploy.ztelligence.com/start/survey/survey_taking.jsp

As a follow-up to our previous post, here are some points to clarify any confusion between the two tests (70-640 and 83-640) for MCTS: Windows Server 2008, Active Directory Configuration.

  • 83-640 will gradually replace 70-640: MCTS: Windows Server 2008, Active Directory Configuration, in 2009. The study objectives are the same for both exams; the content has not changed, just the format.
  • The lab-based exam was beta tested as the 70-113 pilot.
  • Microsoft is using the 83-### numbering scheme to distinguish lab-based exams from the traditional multiple-choice and interactive item-type exams (70-###) and the Microsoft Certified Application Specialist simulation-type exams (77-###).
  • To date, 83-640 has only been rolled out in three countries: Ireland, Singapore, and Canada. There is no word yet on when it will be released in the rest of the world.
  • In areas where 83-640 hasn’t been released, test-takers will take 70-640. Both versions count equally toward certification.
  • The lab-based exam also includes traditional multiple-choice item types. Microsoft does not plan to discontinue that type of question at this time, since some points are better tested in a question/answer format than by demonstrating a technique.


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  1. I tried to take the 83-640 twice last week and the lab kept disconnecting, not allowing me to do the lab portion. When the lab is disconnected your time keeps going. Prometric did reschedule my test at another facility but I still have a fail on my record due to buggy software. Hopefully I can get through it today.

  2. Any luck so far?

    • I think is not fair. How come everyone else can write the old exam but people in Canada has to do the new one?

  3. Actually I have a few problems with this change.

    1. If they’re going to change it, then fine. It’s Microsoft’s choice how they want people certified, but this should have been done before the 70-640 tests were made available. Don’t change it midstream.

    2. For people who are trying to take exams right now (myself included), this is proving to be difficult. I’ve spent time studying and practicing 70-640 material only to find (at least in the U.S.) that I can’t even schedule a test through normal testing centers. It’s either not available or available in limited locations. They should at least keep 70-640 available in all locations until 83-640 is widely available.

    • These would be excellent comments to direct right at the place where it will do the most good:


    • Dave, are you saying that you can’t find a testing center that offers EITHER version of the test, or that you can ONLY find testing centers that offer 83-640? Because the actual material you are studying is the same for both tests. The only difference between the two is that one has the virtual portion. Everything that you are asked to perform in the virtual lab, though, is 100% from the 70-640 objectives.

      • Does anyone know how the labs are scored? Do I lose points for not going to the right spot right away? For example – looking for a tab I know is there, but having to open up a handful of properties windows to find it.

        • Actual scoring methods are, of course, proprietary, but in concept, I don’t think you lose anything by clicking the wrong spot. This is what sets the new breed of virtual lab exams apart from simulations, which only allow a set route through a given scenario.

          Check this post for more info:

          • I took this exam yesterday and passed, but what was disappointing is the labs were still buggy. The first one would not let me use one of the two VM, but I was able to complete it by chooding the other domain controller in the MMC snap ins. The second lab, did not work at all, so they moved me to another computer, that did not work right away either. I had to lock the VVM and unlock it to get it to respond. I hope MS fixes theses buggy labs for future exams.

  4. […] in the actual OS/environment. They forced you to use a specific method, using a specific tool. 83-640 versus 70-640: Which MCTS: Windows Server 2008, Active Directory Configuration is which? The … It would be nice to get the feedback from those who have taken an 83 series exam… Also, I have […]

  5. I agree, I took the exam last Friday and got the 70-640 and failed due to lack of any preperation. Went to retake it Tuesday and got the 83-640 instead and passed. I’d have to say the 83-640 with the labs was buggy for me as well. The range in difficulty of tasks and questions varies wildly. I’d have to personally say to get the 70-640 while you can.


    • Dennis, thanks for commenting. You can comment directly at Microsoft’s Born to Learn blog if you need to pass your opinion along.

      • What is that supposed to mean? This wasn’t an opinion, the test WAS buggy and more difficult as it took over twice as long.
        Maybe you should post YOUR opinion there.

        • The Born To Learn blog is a great resource, because it’s a place to interact with the team that creates the Microsoft certification tests. If you want them to know about your experience, I suggest you comment there. Thanks for reading!

  6. Add the UK to the list of places that you have to take this in too. 4Hrs of a test scheduled time may explain why its not availiable everywhere yet.

    • Must you sit the 83-640 exam in uk?

      • You will need to confirm that directly with Prometric – I would hate to tell you the wrong thing. Good luck!

        • Looks like you have to do 83-640 in UK. I went to the prometric site and I was not able to book the 70-640 in English (its not listed). If you go to the 83-640 it is only available in english.

  7. you can add lebanon to the list
    i`ve taken the exam and passed. it was very easy coz i was well prepared and thanks to formatech who emphasized very much on lab work.
    my question is will this be the same for networking infrastructure????

    • Microsoft hasn’t officially confirmed which tests will be converted to the lab-based format next. We’ll post it here as soon as we know!

  8. Hi guys. Wanted to share my experience. Today I took 83-640 exam in LA, Glendale Prometric facility and I am not sure what happened yet. My worst exam experience ever. It appeared that I completed exam but for some reason I got a message after computer froze for 8 minutes at the end that “Prometric terminating”. Then they couldn’t print my report. They provided me a case number and advised to call them in 2 days to get my results. Now I am not even sure if I was provided with all exam sections. My exam status still pending on Prometric. I hope that I passed it. Good luck to all test takers.

    • Roman, what was the resolution of this issue? Can you share?

  9. Yeah I have been trying to take the 70-640 exam and I can’t cause there is no English version of the exam and also they don’t give the 83-740 as well.So what can we do?This is from Ethiopia though.

  10. I have my exam next Monday and its an 83-640. I will let everyone know how it goes.

    • Hey Joe! How’d you do? Did you pass? Was it a good exam experience?

  11. My experience with the 83-640 exam:
    Went in to take the exam on Monday but the testing center could not load the exam and they informed my that I have to reschedule the exam. Did so for the Tuesday morning. Went in and wrote the exam. All looked well but the testing center could not print my results. They gave me a ticket number to call for my score report but they said I have to wait 24-48 hours. I am not happy with the service at all

  12. my question is how many questions are in the 70-640 ad exams.

    • You can find all relevant exam information on the Microsoft Learning web site.

  13. I was just informed by Prometric as I want to book a date for the 70-640 exam, that it’s not available anymore in english in the UK. They informed me about the 83-640 Virtual Lab exam. Are there any testing centres available in London UK and Did I waste my time to start using the self paced training kit (CURRENTLY ON CHAPER 5)for mcts exam 70-640 which I bought online in January 2010. I would like to book the exam by the end of April 2010.


    • Martin, I’m not sure what you’re asking me. Did you buy a training kit from Transcender? At any rate, the 70-640 and the 83-640 exams have the exact same objectives, and you can prepare for them using the same material. Only the format of the exam has changed, not the focus. You will receive the same credentialing from Microsoft regardless of which exam number you take. I hope this helps, and please feel free to contact us for more information.

  14. Hey everybody i am the most discouraged person having experienced numerous problems with Microsoft 83-640 exam.On 17th April 2010 i did exam and the labs were not loading here in Kenya. Its the First time the exam is being Tested and Probably am the first to experience and do the exam.I was told that the exam needs a lot of internet resources to load is this true?The exam was rescheduled to 24th has anyone out there found solution for this, before i do the exam?

  15. On the 23 of April Prometric and Microsoft sent out a letter to their test centers that the are currently working on these problems and accourding to them they think they will have all resoved by June 2010, You still have to take the 83-640 even though they know it is a problem.

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