The MCSA requires only four exams, all of which also count toward the MCSE. You were probably planning to take 70-210 or 70-270 (Windows 2000 or XP Professional, respectively) and 70-215 (Windows 2000 Server) anyway. For the MCSA you must also take the Managing Windows 2000 Networks exam, 70-218, as well, along with one elective. If you make that elective 70-216 (which is valid for MCSA) you'll also knock off another requirement for MCSE at the same time. Then, if you ever decide to continue and finish your MCSE, you'll need only three more exams to do the job: 70-217, one of the Core Designing exams, and another elective.
That's what I'd advise anyway. Good luck with your studies, whichever path to MCSA/MCSE you choose.
This was first published in June 2002