To obtain the MCSA certification, an individual must pass four exams in total. Three of these exams comprise the MCSA core, the fourth is an elective that may be satisfied from a list of possible choices.
The MCSA Core exams fall into two categories:
Client Operating System Exams, of which one is required.
Networking System Exams, of which two are required.
I'll cover these next, then present the list of electives and some possible alternatives.
MCSA Client Operating System Exams
MCSA candidates can choose one of two exams to meet this part of the MCSA Core exam requirement:
70-270 Installing, Configuring and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional Note: This exam was made available to the public on October 23, 2001.
MCSA Networking System Exams
MCSA candidates can choose two of four exams to meet this part of the MCSA Core exam requirement:
70-275 Installing, Configuring and Administering Microsoft Windows .NET Server Note: Objectives for this exam aren't available yet, but are expected some time in 2002.
70-278 Managing a Microsoft Windows .NET Server Network Environment Note: Objectives for this exam aren't available yet, but are expected some time in 2002.
To meet MCSA Networking System Exam requirements, candidates can take either 70-215 or 70-275; likewise, they can take either 70-218 or 70-278. There are no restrictions on mixing and matching between Windows 2000 and Windows XP/Server .NET exams, however. Also note that qualified individuals may substitute exam 70-240 for exams 70-210 and exam 70-215 where Core requirements are concerned (to qualify to take 70-240, individuals must have passed three NT 4.0 Core exams: 70-067, 70-068, and 70-073).
MCSA candidates have numerous elective exams to choose from, and can also apply some interesting alternatives. The electives list includes the following exams, of which candidates must pass one to qualify for the MCSA:
70-216 Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Note: Qualified individuals may substitute 70-240 in place of 70-216.
In addition to the substitutions that 70-240 enables, individuals who have earned either the CompTIA A+ and Network+, or the CompTIA A+ and Server+ certifications, may forgo the elective exam for the MCSA.