A critical part of the exam development process is the beta exam. By taking the exam in its beta format, candidates provide us with useful information to evaluate the technical accuracy, relevance and psychometric characteristics of the questions before we score examinees.
How to participate
Microsoft offers a limited number of beta seats for free. These seats are available by invitation only. Invitations to participate in beta exams are sent by email to qualified members of the Microsoft training and certification SME profile database. This notification includes a registration code that enables you to register for that specific beta exam. Only candidates who have work experience in the technology are sent notifications. For some technologies (like Windows Server and Windows operating systems), we have significantly more qualified candidates in the SME profile database than we have available seats. In these cases, we randomly select an appropriate number of qualified candidates and send the invitation to those who were randomly selected.
If you'd like to take the beta exam but did not receive an invitation or were unable to register for a free seat, you may take the exam during this period by registering as you would for any exam and paying the standard price. Although this exam is not free, we understand that some candidates may have an interest in taking the exam early to meet job requirements or career growth needs or to demonstrate that they are early adopters of (and competent in) the technology. By providing this as an option, we are able to meet the needs of such candidates who, in the past, would have had to wait until the live version of the exam was available.
If there are remaining seats, their availability is posted in Microsoft certification-related blogs.
Note Receiving an invitation does not guarantee you a seat in the beta exam. Participation in the beta is on a first come, first served basis. Due to popular demand, we recommend that you register as soon as the beta registration period begins.
Preparing for a beta exam
In most cases, you will have access to an exam preparation guide. However, this is not always possible. In addition, formal courseware and other training materials are rarely available when the beta exam period begins. People interested in beta exams usually have access to other resources, are experienced with the technology, or work with the beta product. We recommend that you consult peers, community resources and early-adopter articles for support if you need additional preparation materials.
Beta exam scoring
When you complete a beta exam, you do not receive a score immediately because the scoring model for the exam is not yet finalised.
You usually receive your exam score by the time the final version of the exam becomes available – this can be up to 16 weeks after you take the exam. This time frame reflects the comprehensive process used to evaluate the beta exam results.
Note Participation in beta exams is voluntary, and Microsoft makes no promises or guarantees regarding the beta exam process, availability of your scores or the timing of your results.
Beta exam results
After the beta period closes, we statistically analyse the data to evaluate the performance of each question. We also read and evaluate all comments provided during the beta exam.
Passing the beta exam
Passing a beta exam in your certification path counts toward your certification. You do not need to retake the exam in its final version.
If you do not pass the beta exam, you cannot retake the beta exam. If you are interested in earning a certification that requires successful completion of that exam, you must wait to retake the exam when it's live and at its standard cost.
If you believe that your beta score should be available, first check whether the exam delivery provider has posted it online. If it has not, contact the exam delivery provider. (Note that it can take up to two weeks after the final version of the exam is publicly available for your beta score to appear online.) If the exam delivery provider has posted a score, but you do not see the score on your Microsoft transcript, contact your Microsoft Regional Service Centre.