How to study ...
There are a variety of ways to prepare for Microsoft Certifications, including formal training provided by Microsoft Learning Partners, group study and self-learning and the approach each of us take will depend on our own personal situation.
As I don’t have a lot of free cash to pay for formal training, and I find it difficult to allocate large blocks of free time to anything outside of work and my family, my approach is almost always to pursue self-study although wherever possible I would join a study group if there were one that happened to be running for my topic of interest.
I always keep a look out for anything being run by Julian Sharp who is a Microsoft MVP (Most Valuable Professional) and MCT (Microsoft Certified Trainer). Julian regularly runs study groups on subjects across the Business Applications and Power Platform areas and they are exceptionally valuable for anyone hoping to pass those types of certifications.
On this occasion, there was no study group running when I started to prepare for the MB-230 so I knew I would have to get my head down and get on with the self-study.
What to study ...
The MB-230 is a ‘Functional Consultant’ exam, intended to test an in depth level of knowledge of the processes around Dynamics 365 for Customer Service and how they might be implemented within the product. The skills measured in the exam are as follows;
- Manage cases and Knowledge Management (20-25%)
- Manage queues, entitlements, and service-level agreements (SLAs) (15-20%)
- Implement scheduling (10-15%)
- Implement Omnichannel for Customer Service (30-35%)
- Manage analytics (10-15%)
My first step whenever studying for a Microsoft Certification is typically to log onto the Microsoft Learn website, browse to the certification or exam and download the ‘exam skills outline‘ which gives further detail on the elements that will be tested during the exam.
As there are a lot of features covered in the MB-230 skills outline, I knew I had to be very thorough during my study. This would mean ensuring that wherever additional resources were signposted, I should definitely make sure to use them. Additionally hands on practice would be essential, so I made sure that I had access to a trial environment with all of the relevant features necessary to complete the study.
Microsoft Learn ...
Microsoft Learn is the key resource for learning material to anyone hoping to study for Microsoft certifications. To use Microsoft Learn, it is helpful to have first set up a ‘learning profile’ as the associated Microsoft Certification ID (MCID) will be needed once you decide to schedule your exam. Additionally, your learning profile will help you keep track of what you have studied, enable you to participate in challenges, and provide other motivational features.
Once you’ve set up your learning profile you can browse certifications to find information relating to the MB-230 exam, including the skills outline and the Learning Paths you will need to complete to cover all of the relevant features. For the MB-230 those are;
- Work with cases in Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Work with entitlements and service level agreements in Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Work with Knowledge Management Solutions in Dynamics 365 Customer Service
- Create surveys with Dynamics 365 Customer Voice
As with all learning materials on the Microsoft Learn website, I would recommend always following the links out to Microsoft documentation wherever provided. I would also recommend allowing more time than is estimated on each Learning Path and Module, as it always takes me exponentially longer to work through the resources than is estimated.
Other learning material ...
One of my ‘go to’ resources when preparing for any Microsoft certification, especially around Customer Engagement, is Neil Parkhurst’s blog, and while Neil doesn’t have a guide for the current MB-230 he has one written for it’s precursor, the MB2-718 that contains many of the relevant features.
Additionally there are some ‘on demand’ webinar resources for MB-230 available in the Microsoft Events Catalog, and these can be found by clearing any search filters and searching for MB-230.
Taking the exam ...
Information on the exam itself is available on the MB-230 certification page on Microsoft Learn and the exam can also be booked from there. I would advise anyone new to Microsoft certification to check through the Exam Resources section and to additionally check the information relating to exams and exam question types included on Microsoft Docs.