How to pass Microsoft Exam 70-480 (HTML 5, CSS3 and JavaScript) in 30 days

Before you continue reading this blog, you need to be aware of the following; This is not a “quick fix” or an “easy solution”.  I have not discovered some secret formula to guarantee you pass with 100% marks every time.  I am not trying to sell you anything.  The exam is genuinely challenging and the only way you are going to pass is by working hard!  You will not find any brain dumps here!  If you’re afraid of working hard to achieve your goals, you best leave now …

Still Here? Congratulations, you are taking your first steps towards passing the exam.  The purpose of this post is to link to all the resources that I used when revising for the exam myself.

So why 30 days? Well its important to set yourself a target.  Setting yourself a target motivates you.  If you are paying for this exam yourself (like I did), you’ll really want to make sure you give the exam your best shot (after all, £99 is a hefty amount of money!)

Know the exam objectives

Probably the most important thing you should do before starting studying for any exam is to find out what the exam objectives are.  Basically the exam objectives tell you what to study for! There is not much point in learning material that is of no relevance!

You can find the exam objectives under the “Skills Measured” section on the official 70-480 exam page.  You can also find other sites (try as an example) that will try and match the objectives with relevant material.


Books aren’t for everybody, some people find it hard to sit down and read a book … I get that, but you should at least try.  Microsoft really is your friend here, as one of the two books that I recommend reading is provided by them for free!

Programming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScriptProgramming Windows 8 Apps with HTML, CSS, and JavaScript

This book was written by Kraig Brockschmidt.  It attempts to achieve several goals at the same time.

The book is focused on introducing developers to Windows 8 Store Application development using HTML 5, CSS 3 and JavaScript.  It is very detailed and contains a lot of useful code samples and links to Microsoft resources.

Pros; This book is free, gives lots of good sample code, its thorough and its a great resource for anybody looking to write Windows Store applications.  Its also the official Microsoft book of the 070-480 exam.

Cons; Whilst this is the official Microsoft 070-480 exam, it doesn’t target the exam itself.  What I mean is, there is a lot of generic code in this book, and the book does not target the exam directly (unlike the next book)

Programming in HTML 5 with JavaScript and CSS 3Training Guide: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3

This book was authored by Glenn Johnson and was written specifically to help you pass the exam by giving hands on, practical examples, specifically target at the exam objectives.

Each chapter is divided into manageable sections, complete with hands on exercises (usually one or more per chapter).  This book very much helps you learn by doing, which in my opinion, is the best way to learn.

I believe that if I hadn’t read this book, I genuinely believe I wouldn’t have passed the exam.

Microsoft Virtual Academy (MVA) JumpStart

Microsoft has provided some great FREE training videos on the Microsoft Virtual Academy website, so its only polite that you fully exploit these resources.

Depending on what level you are currently at, you may want to start with the HTML 5 & CSS 3 Fundamentals: Development for Absolute Beginners video series.  You will need a free Microsoft account to access the videos.

MVA Website
MVA Website

I also strongly recommend checking out the Developing HTML 5 with JavaScript and CSS3 Jump Start (and the refresher) training courses, brilliantly hosted by Jeremy Foster and Michael Palermo.  By the way, you should also follow the blogs of these people, as they are constantly posting useful information that you may find helpful.

Pluralsight Training Videos

Pluralsight is a subscription (paid for) site offering training material for developers (and now IT professionals as well) at all levels, and in all stages of their careers.  If you don’t already have a subscription (??) you can get a free 10 day trial (up to 200 minutes) to give you a taste.  The subscription starts at a mere $29 (£12.60 ish) a month.

Here are some of the videos I watched whilst preparing for this exam; (Make sure you follow along whilst the presenter is talking!)

And probably the most important video on the site (from your perspective at least ) … HTML 5 Advanced Topics.


It is possible to pass Microsoft exams in 30 days, assuming you have some background knowledge in the subject and are prepared to work (very!) hard.  Microsoft make a lot of training resources available to you for free, and there are online training providers that can help you out as well (for a small fee).  There is no “one size fits all” or “silver bullet”, so you’ll want to try a range of resources to find what works best for you.  Don’t resort to cheating or you will be caught and banned for life!

In case anybody is wondering, I passed the exam with a score of 93% in September 2013.

If you found this article useful, please leave comments below!

  • Anonymous

    MS exams are a piece of ****. If you can read, you can pass em. Its that simple. Plus they are multi choice, you can literally blag each question down to 50/50 (i.e rule out the obvious and be left with 2 extremely similar answers to choose from).

    • Have you ever taken AND passed a MS exam? To me the answer seems pretty obvious… No…

      • Yes I have sat several exams. I regularly achieve scores over 90%.

        Everybody learns at different rates and have varying levels of experience. Some people naturally learn at different rates. I am pleased to hear that you are one of the lucky people who has no trouble learning new things! (And hopefully you don’t cheat! :))

  • Hi Jon, I have a question about your recommendation of study in 30 days: How many hours of daily study do you think are necessary?

    • There are no right or wrong answers, no “do this and you will definitely pass”. You should analyse and review your own skills and decide for yourself. I personally spent anywhere between 1-4 hours a day but this may be more or less for you. Its important to gauge for yourself. I hope this helps.

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  • Saadie

    Hello, Just came upon your site thanks to google search while I was looking for prep tips for Exam 70-486, any particular reason you didnt go for C# 70-483?

    • Yeah i’very done that exam and passed it. I think it’s an excellent exam for new developers with less than 2 years experience looking to level up and perhaps get promoted to mid level developers. In fact I have recommended it to several people.

      • Saadie

        oh great thanks, a question then any such prep tips and guide for that exam? you have on your site? I mean this is pretty useful would love to have something similar for it. 😀

  • whatever

    I have experience in HTML (>5 yrs) & CSS3 (1-2 yrs, medium skilled)… I’m contemplating the idea of studying only during the weekends for 1 month. I was wondering how much time did you take to review or study for JS & JQuery? I have some very basic experience in the last two.

    Thanks 🙂

    • I recommend that you spend some time learning jQuery well first, then learn JavaScript. You should be able to grasp jQuery pretty quick, within a few weeks. JavaScript is a move complicated beast but with daily use you should pick it up pretty quickly.

  • Mary Desilva

    With the help of CertsInside, you can find all the necessary things for yourself that will help you pass the 70-480 exam. You can download the exam preparation material from and pass the exam in the first try. The preparation kit contains all the necessary questions that you need to know.

  • Karthik Sachin

    Good one