Shane Bartholomeusz

Geek and lover of all things tech related

Microsoft 70-486 Exam Study Guide

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Hooray, I passed the Microsoft 70-486 exam!

To help others out there I thought I’d share my thoughts and experiences in this blog post.

To be honest … this is probably the most challenging Microsoft exam I’ve sat so far. I spent a lot of time preparing for the exam (probably because I had limited real-world experience at the time).


The 70-486 exam forms part of the MCSD: App Builder certification. The achieve the certification you must pass the following exams.

  • 70-357 – Developing Mobile Apps
  • 70-486 – Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications
  • 70-487 – Developing Microsoft Azure and Web Services

The exam is composed of several multiple choice and drag and drop questions. It also includes several ‘Case Study’ questions which provide questions based on ‘real world’ scenarios, complete with business and technical requirements.

The content covered in the 70-486: Developing ASP.NET MVC Web Applications exam is as follows. Before attempting to complete the exam you should ensure you have knowledge in these key areas.

Design the application architecture (15-20%)
> Plan the application layers
> Design a distributed application
> Design and implement the Azure Web Apps life cycle
> Configure state management
> Design a caching strategy
> Design and implement a Web Socket strategy
> Design a configuration management solution
> Interact with the host environment
> Compose an application by using the framework pipeline

Design the build and deployment architecture (10-20%)
> Design a browser artifact build strategy
> Design a server build strategy
> Design a publishing strategy
> Implement an Azure deployment strategy
> Implement a on-premises deployment strategy

Design the User Experience (15-20%)
> Create elements of the user interface for a web application
> Design and implement UI behaviour
> Design the UI layout of an application
> Plan a responsive UI layout
> Plan mobile UI strategy

Develop the User Experience (15-20%)
> Plan for search engine optimisation and accessibility
> Plan and implement globalisation and localisation
> Design and implement MVC controllers and actions
> Design and implement routes
> Control application behaviour by using MVC sensibility points
> Design and implement serialisation and model binding

Troubleshoot and Debug Web Applications (20-25%)
> Prevent and troubleshoot runtime issues
> Design an exception handling strategy
> Test a web application
> Debug an Azure application

Design and Implement Security (15-20%)
> Configure authentication
> Configure and apply authorisation
> Manage data integrity
> Implement a secure site

My Approach

My exam preparation included:

  • Official 70-486 Microsoft Exam Reference Book
  • Official 70-486 Practice Exam
  • Pluralsight online video training
  • Microsoft Virtual Academy online video training

Official Exam Reference Book

I found the official exam reference book to be invaluable given the sheer amount of content covered in the exam. I wasn’t expecting the exam to cover the number of topics that it actually did.

I’ve compiled a mind map of the key topics to study for using the free online tool Coggle. You can see my exam reference mind map below.

70-486 Exam Reference Image

Official Practice Exam

The official practice exam aims to simulate the real exam and is composed of randomly generated questions – many of which appear in the actual exam. You can find the test exam under the “Preparation Options” sections on the main exam page.

You can sit the exam as many times as you like within a given period of time. I sat the test exam multiple times till I was comfortable. Note: If you pass the test exam and happen to fail the real exam, you can get your money back.

Pluralsight Online Training

For those with a subscription to Pluralsight for online IT training. Have a look at the 70-486 exam video series.

Pluralsight Training Screenshot

I personally didn’t watch the entire series, instead I focused on the topics that I wanted to learn more about, in more depth.


If you’re not already familiar with PluralSight then I recommend you take the free 10 day trial and try it out. It’s a fantastic resource for IT professionals and that’s why I’ve been a subscriber for a long time now.

Microsoft Virtual Academy

Similar to Pluralsight, Microsoft also has it’s own online video training platform called Microsoft Virtual Academy.

I also watched the Microsoft Virtual Academy online video series which is specifically tailored to the exam so it’s certainly worth a watch. Best of all it’s FREE so there is no excuse to not give it a try.

UPDATE: Microsoft are replacing Virtual Academy with Microsoft Learn

Final Thoughts

As I mentioned earlier, the exam covers a number of different topics so take your time and make sure you’re comfortable with the topics that are covered. 

I hope you’ve found this post to be beneficial. If you have any tips or wish to share your experiences, please post them in the comments below.Best of luck!

In the interest of transparency, some of the above external links are affiliate links. If you found this content useful and wish to return the favour, thank you!

MM File Download
Coggle export
70-486 Mind Map
Shane Bartholomeusz


  1. Awesome coggle – anyway you could share it?

    • Shane

      1st February 2016 at 8:07 pm

      @Mark: I’ve added a download link to my Coggle export file. Download it and then import it into your own Coggle diagram. Enjoy!

  2. Free online simulation of the Microsoft 70-486 exam is available here if someone needs Really good to check your knowledge.

  3. thanks 4 shareing infos, i am currently learning for 486

  4. good article, where did they say that they will refund money if we pass Test exam but fail in real exam?

  5. Nice post. Thanks for sharing. Love the Mind Map. Shows how complex and involved the exam actually is. Covers far more than simply MVC.

  6. Thank you so much for help…

  7. Hi everyone. Is this still valid in 2019? I failed once, so looking for some good resources. Thanks.

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