Well, today is a very exciting day for me. I passed Microsoft certification exam 70-573 (first try) to earn my MCTS certification in SharePoint Server 2010 Application Development. This is the first step for me toward getting my MCT certification, which is the ultimate goal.
I can’t say much about the exam itself because I signed a Non-Disclosure Agreement with Microsoft when I took it, but I can tell you one thing: you do indeed need to have a good mix of hands-on experience and academic/book knowledge about SharePoint 2010 to pass this exam. This isn’t an exam you can pass by simply studying a few books and videos and hurriedly coming up to speed on SharePoint in a couple of weeks before the exam. My advice is to take your time and prepare properly. It’ll be worth it.
Here’s a link to Microsoft’s “Skills Measured” page for this exam: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?ID=70-573&locale=en-us#tab2
If you spend the time it takes to learn the topics on that page really well, then you’ll do fine.
UPDATE: If you’re looking for some training videos and study materials for the exam, check out my SharePoint 2010 Resources page. The development section has links to some videos that will help you study, including a couple of “exam coaching” sessions that Microsoft put out a while back.