Study material for exam 70-761 Querying Data with Transact-SQL

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I want to pass my first Microsoft SQL Server 2016 certification exam, what exam should I take and how can I study for this?


The first exam for SQL Server 2016 is the Microsoft Exam 70-761. It is the first exam related to querying data with Transact-SQL, which is the query language used in SQL Server.

Which exam should I take before this one?

If you want to get a Microsoft certification, we recommend taking this exam first.

Is this exam difficult?

If you have experience using T-SQL, it should not be very difficult.

What is the score to pass?


What other exams are available for the SQL Server 2016 certification?

The 70-762, 70-764, 70-765, 70-767 and 70-768 Exam.

Is this exam similar to the SQL Server exam 70-461: Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012/2014?

It is similar. Some topics are modified, some are in a different order and some were removed. For example, The Troubleshoot and Optimize module was removed in the new SQL Server 2016 exam. One topic that may require extra effort is the JSON topic. This is a new SQL Server 2016 feature that is included in the exam. Another new feature is temporal tables. Please pay attention to these two topics.

Which books do you recommend for this exam?

Unfortunately, there is no Microsoft Training Kit book for this exam yet. However, these books will help you pass the exam:

Do you recommend videos for this exam?

Yes, these books may be useful:

Which courses do you recommend for the exam?

The official Microsoft course is this one:

Course 20761A: Querying Data with Transact-SQL

This course does not include all the topics, but if you prefer a teacher rather than reading books or watching videos, it is a good choice to start.

Other courses recommended are the following:

  • SolidQ is a solid in the Course Catalogue, there are several basic and advanced T-SQL courses.
  • Pluralsight is another company that offers several courses related to T-SQL.

Which links do you recommend to this pass?

Here you have some links that we recommend:

Manage data with Transact-SQL

Query data with advanced Transact-SQL components

Program databases by using Transact-SQL

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About the author
MSSQLTips author Daniel Calbimonte Daniel Calbimonte is a Microsoft SQL Server MVP, Microsoft Certified Trainer and 6-time Microsoft Certified IT Professional. Daniel started his career in 2001 and has worked with SQL Server 6.0 to 2022. Daniel is a DBA as well as specializes in Business Intelligence (SSIS, SSAS, SSRS) technologies.

This author pledges the content of this article is based on professional experience and not AI generated.

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Comments For This Article

Saturday, August 3, 2019 - 3:37:53 PM - Abdel Back To Top (81952)

Hi Daniel

Many thanks for laying all of this out. I would like to ask for some advice.

I am planning to take the EXAM 70-764 - Administering a SQL Database Infrastructure 2016

I want to pursue this path, Do I have to take exams before this 70-761 and 70762 or it is fine if go for the above mentioned. 

I understand it is not a prerequisite but in a real-life would this matter? or after an MCSA one can be employable? 

Monday, October 15, 2018 - 10:54:39 PM - Adriana Back To Top (77955)

 Hi guys!


I have a question! It's possible to get the sample databese that use in the book for the exam? I'm studying but no have the database to copy+paste the querys and run it.




Wednesday, January 3, 2018 - 10:14:34 PM - gulab tejwani Back To Top (74734)


   Use this pratice test for70-761 exam.It will help you clear your concepts.



Wednesday, November 15, 2017 - 9:37:25 PM - Chad Back To Top (69805)

Great article, thank you!

Looks like the Deterministic and Nondeterministic Functions link under Implement functions and aggregate data is pointing to the wrong URL. 


Friday, November 10, 2017 - 4:17:12 PM - Srini Back To Top (69536)


     It’s very useful to the SQL DBAs& Developers to prep for the Certfication Exams.

Thanks for the details.



Thursday, November 2, 2017 - 7:02:08 AM - Kris Wenzel Back To Top (69089)


I put together some resources your readers may appreciate.  They are located at

They will compliment you you listing.

The study guide I put togheter details the various topics you'll need to understand to pass the 70-761.  It is really well organized, linked to helpful articles, and layed out in a logical manner.


Please check it out!

Monday, October 9, 2017 - 9:23:45 AM - Daniel Back To Top (67104)

There are some non-official exams in Google. 


Monday, October 9, 2017 - 8:44:13 AM - Philip Back To Top (67100)

Hi Daniel. I am intending to take the Microsoft 70-761 exam. Is there a practice test that I can use as preparation before I go ? 


Tuesday, July 4, 2017 - 5:54:48 AM - Renu Back To Top (58834)

Microsoft has introduced the book:

Thursday, March 16, 2017 - 4:28:31 PM - Daniel Calbimonte Back To Top (51255)



Thanks, we updated the link

Sunday, March 12, 2017 - 12:44:26 PM - Kyle Back To Top (50892)

Thank you for laying all of this out. Just a quick observation: Your link for Deterministic and Nondeterministic Functions does not point to that, it directs you to joining three or more tables.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 12:07:48 PM - Daniel Calbimonte Back To Top (45571)

 Yes, there is a text search in this web page. Write 70-462 and press the search button. You will find an article similar to this one.


Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 11:40:31 AM - Lau Back To Top (45570)

 Thank you very much for the information. I was a little disoriented because I can not find a study kit for the exam. Do you have information , links or study books for the 70-762 exam?



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