Study Guide for 70-480 Programming HTML5, JavaScript, CSS3 Certification Exam

There are many benefits to getting certified in a given technology, as it helps to show / prove your expertise. While there are many certifications for various technologies, there are not very many available to get certified win HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3 web technologies. The Microsoft 70-480 exam is a really good exam to get certified as a Microsoft Specialist: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3.

How to get certified and grow your career!

Exam Target Audience

The target audience of the Microsoft Specialist: Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 (exam 70-480) certification is any Web Developer that uses HTML5, JavaScript and CSS3. While the certification exam is offered by Microsoft to compliment the larger MCSD: Web Developer certification with ASP.NET, this exam doesn’t require any Microsoft technologies as it covers standard web technologies.

Skills Measured

Here’s a high level breakdown of the exam objectives:

  • Implement and manipulate document structures and objects (24%)
  • Implement program flow (25%)
  • Access and secure data (26%)
  • Use CSS3 in applications (25%)

Note: The percentage next to each is the approximate break out of how much of the exam focuses on each objective area. As you can see it’s pretty evenly distributed across the 4 areas.

The full exam objectives are listed on the office page for the 70-480 Programming in HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 exam.

Free Video Courses / Training

There are a number of video training courses available online that cover the topics on this exam. However, the courses available over at the Microsoft Virtual Academy are completely FREE, and they are targeted towards this specific exam.


There are many, many books available on the topics of HTML5, JavaScript, and CSS3. However, to better prepare for this certification exam, the following books are especially useful as they are targeted towards preparing for this specific exam.

These are both excellent books to use for studying. If you are looking for a more condensed book then the Exam Ref book is what you’re looking for as it’s a little more brief and to the point on the exam objectives. If you need more training and want a more thorough review that guide you through things more, then the Training Guide is what you’re looking for.

Practice Tests / Exams

One of the most important parts of studying for a certification exam is to take a practice test of some sort that mimics the real exam experience. This will allow you to both get familiar with the overall questions style, as well as get a view of how ready for the real exam you are. Taking a practice exam will give you a really good idea of the areas you need to study further before taking the real exam. Keep taking the practice exam questions, reviewing wrong answers, studying related material, and repeat the process until you feel confident you are ready while also scoring 100% on the practice test questions.

Note: Remember to try your best not to memorize the answers, but rather learn the patterns to look for in determining and remembering the correct answers.

Play Time

When learning something new or just brushing up your expertise, there’s no better method to learn than to just play around. Come up with a sample application or two and just build it out. Also, make sure you build it out utilizing as much material and topics on the exam as possible. This play time will really help drive in the material as you will make mistakes and learn from them. This simulates on the job experience and can really augment as well as add to your real world experience however much you have.

Exam Study Tips

Here’s a few tips of techniques I use when studying and preparing for certification exams:

  • Make sure to go through each exam objective category and study until you're comfortable with that topic.
  • Use at minimum 3 study resources on each topic. The variety and repetition will help you retain everything.
  • Play with stuff. "Book smarts" are good, but practical hands-on experience is better.
  • Make flash cards and/or practice test questions to help memorizing the stuff that can be memorized.
  • Don't be afraid to fail an exam. You will learn what areas you need to focus on better and can always take it again.
  • Give yourself a deadline. Once you're in a comfortable study pace, estimate when you'll be ready for the exam and schedule it.
  • Get your family on board to support you spending a significant amount of time outside of work to study.
  • Choose the online proctored exam option when scheduling the exam. This way you can take the exam in a less stressful environment that is the comfort of your own home.

Good Luck! I hope this resource list helps you pass the exam and earn your Microsoft Specialist: Programming HTML5 with JavaScript and CSS3 certification!