Exam policies and FAQ

Around the world, partners and customers look to Microsoft to deliver the highest quality exams and certifications. Microsoft has developed a number of policies to support the goals of the Microsoft Certification Program, including:

Microsoft has specific policies in place that address the areas of security pertinent to Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exams.

Candidate bans

If a candidate violates any testing rule, exam policy or term within the exam agreement (NDA), or engages in any misconduct that diminishes the security and integrity of the Microsoft Certification Programme in any way, the candidate may be permanently prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams. In addition, the candidate may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Programme and test scores and certifications may be revoked.

Examples of such misconduct, misuse and fraud include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Falsifying score reports, by modifying and/or altering the original results/score reports for any exam record

  • Cheating during the exam (such as looking at the monitors of other exam takers, using an unauthorised device or looking at notes)

  • Providing or accepting improper assistance

  • Bringing non-authorised items into the testing centre during an exam session (such as notes or unauthorised materials and electronic devices, such as mobile phones)

  • Using unauthorised material in attempting to satisfy certification requirements (this includes using "brain-dump" material and/or unauthorised publication of exam questions with or without answers)

  • Falsifying identity or impersonating another individual to gain access to an exam

  • Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis

  • Copying, publishing, disclosing, transmitting, selling, offering to sell, posting, downloading, distributing in any way, or otherwise transferring, modifying, making derivative works of, reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling, or translating any exam in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose

  • Disclosing Microsoft intellectual property (IP)

  • Disseminating actual exam content

  • Using the exam content in any manner that violates applicable law

  • Violating the current exam retake policy

  • Violating the Microsoft non-disclosure agreement (NDA) in any way

  • Violating the agreement with the exam delivery provider in any way

Candidate appeal process

  1. Candidates may appeal their ban by submitting an appeal to mlsecure@microsoft.com.

  2. A candidate may appeal against a ban for falsifying a score report by submitting the original report (no scans or electronic copies) to:

    Microsoft Learning Experiences Security Team
    One Microsoft Way
    Redmond, WA 98052

  3. The Microsoft Learning Experiences Security Team will review all submitted appeal requests and conduct a thorough investigation of each specific case and will communicate directly with the candidate regarding the conclusion of the investigation and final appeal decision.

Exam retake policy

  1. General Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) exam retake policy

    1. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score on an exam the first time, the candidate must wait at least 24 hours before resitting the exam.

    2. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score the second time, the candidate must wait at least 14 days before retaking the exam for a third time.

    3. A 14-day waiting period is also imposed for the fourth and fifth exam retakes. A candidate may not take a given exam any more than five times per year (12 months). This 12-month period starts the day of the fifth unsuccessful exam retake. The candidate is then eligible to retake the exam 12 months from that date. To take a given exam more than five times per year, a candidate must submit a request and obtain prior permission from Microsoft.

    4. If a candidate achieves a passing score on an exam, the candidate cannot take the exam again.

  2. Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) and Microsoft Certified Educator (MCE) exam retake policy

    1. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score on an exam the first time, the candidate must wait 24 hours before retaking the exam.

    2. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score the second time, the candidate must wait seven days before retaking the exam a third time.

    3. A seven-day waiting period is imposed for each subsequent exam retake.

    4. A candidate may not take a given exam any more than five times per year (12 months). This 12-month period starts the day of the fifth unsuccessful exam retake. The candidate is then eligible to retake the exam 12 months from that date. To take a given exam more than five times per year, a candidate must submit a request and obtain prior permission from Microsoft.

    5. If a candidate achieves a passing score in an MTA exam, the candidate cannot take it again.

  3. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exam retake policy

    1. Retake vouchers can only be used to retake the same exam that was failed.

    2. All vouchers must be used prior to their expiry dates, without exception.

    3. Retake vouchers must be used within 30 days of the initial failed exam.

    4. As of 1 July 2014, the retake policy changed to the following:

      1. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score on an exam the first time, the candidate must wait 24 hours before retaking the exam.

      2. If a candidate does not achieve a passing score the second time, the candidate must wait 48 hours before retaking the exam.

      3. A two-day waiting period is imposed for each subsequent exam retake.

      4. If a candidate achieves a passing score on an exam, the candidate may take it again.

  4. MCP beta exam retake policy

    1. Beta exams may be taken only once.

    2. This policy supersedes the general retake policy.

  5. Exam-specific retake policy exceptions

    1. In some cases, Microsoft may have special policies for specific exams.

Testing centre closures due to security reasons

  1. Microsoft may suspend testing at any location where we deem there is a security or integrity problem.

  2. Microsoft may suspend testing at sites that are related to test sites that pose security risks.

Testing centre appeal process

Testing centre owners can appeal a site closure by submitting an appeal to mlsecure@microsoft.com.

Data forensics

Microsoft will use data forensics as a basis for an enforcement action against a candidate. Statistical evidence may demonstrate diminished exam integrity and/or be used to corroborate evidence of improper activity. Exams and scores may be cancelled, candidates may be banned, and testing centres may be closed, based on statistical evidence.

Out-of-country testing

To sit a Microsoft Certification exam at a Pearson VUE testing centre in India, China or Pakistan, you must be a legitimate resident of that country. If you are a legitimate resident of that country, note the following:

Testing centres in these three countries are required to confirm and record that each Microsoft Certification candidate has shown documented proof that he or she is a legitimate resident of that specific country. To verify country of residence status, the candidate is required to present two forms of original (no photocopies), valid (unexpired) IDs – one form as a primary ID (government issued with name, photo and signature) and one form as a secondary ID (with name and signature).

Important: If you are not a legitimate resident of India, China or Pakistan, you will not be allowed to sit a Microsoft Certification exam within that country.

Candidate retesting at the request of Microsoft

  1. Microsoft reserves the right to ask any candidate to retest for any suspected fraudulent activity or anomalous testing patterns at any time.

  2. Retesting will take place at a facility that is selected by Microsoft at a time agreed upon by Microsoft and the candidate.

Revoking certifications

If a candidate violates any testing rule, exam policy or term within the exam agreement (NDA), or engages in any misconduct that diminishes the security and integrity of the Microsoft Certification Programme in any way, the candidate may be permanently prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams. In addition, the candidate may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Programme and test scores and certifications may be revoked.

Beta testing

  1. Inclusion in beta testing is by invitation only.

  2. Microsoft reserves the right to exclude countries and/or testing centres from the beta testing programme.

Right of exclusion

Based on security and integrity concerns, Microsoft reserves the right to exclude specific regions, countries and testing centres from the Microsoft Certification Programme altogether.

Beginning in February 2015, you must verify your student status in order to be eligible for academic pricing for Microsoft Certification exams. You must ensure your status has been verified prior to registering for an exam.

Applying student status through your account profile

  1. Sign in with your Microsoft account credentials.

  2. Select Profile settings from the Account menu at the top of the page.

  3. In the Job function menu, select, or ensure that you have selected, "Student".

  4. Look for the academic pricing notice that appears next to the Job function menu. If your student status has not yet been validated, click "Get verified" to verify your status.

Applying student status when registering for an exam

  1. Sign in with your Microsoft account credentials.

  2. On the exam for which you want to register, click Schedule exam.

  3. On the Confirm your exam registration details page, ensure that the Job function field displays "Student – Verified". If it does not, click "Get verified" to validate your status, or click Edit to change your status.

Verifying your academic status

Select the method you wish to use to verify your status. The methods include:

  1. School-issued email account

  2. School network credentials

  3. International Student Identity Card (ISIC)

  4. Verification code from a Microsoft representative or your institution's administrator

  5. Documentation

Non-Disclosure Agreement and General Terms of Use For Microsoft Certification Exams

Updated: April 2013

This Non-Disclosure Agreement and General Terms of Use (the "Exam Agreement") is made and entered into as of the electronic signature date below by and between Microsoft Corporation ("Microsoft") and you (the "Examinee"). This Exam (the "Exam") is Microsoft confidential information and is protected by intellectual property laws. It is made available to the Examinee solely for the purpose of demonstrating competency in the content area referenced in the title of this Exam.

Exam security and integrity

Efforts to keep Exams secure help maintain the value of Microsoft Certification and help ensure that only qualified information technology professionals are certified.

The Examinee may be prohibited from taking any Microsoft Certification Exams and/or may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Programme if Microsoft believes the Examinee violated this Exam Agreement and/or engaged in any misconduct. Proctors are authorised to take immediate and appropriate measures against Examinees who violate testing rules. This policy is enforced to ensure the integrity of the Exams and Microsoft Certification Programme. Examples of misconduct and/or misuse of the Exam include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Modifying and/or altering the original results/score report for this Exam or any other exam records.

  • Violation of the current exam retake policy.

  • Fraudulently impersonating another to gain access to the Exam.

  • Submission of any work that is not completely your own.

  • Providing or accepting improper assistance.

  • Using unauthorised materials in an attempt to satisfy Exam requirements (this includes using brain-dump material and/or unauthorised publication of Exam questions with or without answers).

  • Disseminating actual Exam content or answers.

  • Possession of non-authorised items at the testing centre during an Exam.

  • Misconduct as determined by statistical analysis.

  • Copying, publishing, disclosing, transmitting, selling, offering to sell, posting, downloading, distributing in any way, or otherwise transferring, modifying, making derivative works of, reverse engineering, decompiling, disassembling or translating any Exam in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose.

  • Using the Exam content in any manner that violates applicable law.

Exam policies

Examinees are solely responsible for understanding and complying with Microsoft's Exam policies and procedures, as well as the Exam provider's policies and procedures.

Examinees can review the Microsoft Exam Retake Policy as well as other Exam and testing procedures on this page.

Examinees can learn more about the Exam provider's policies and procedures at the Exam provider's website.

Student and Faculty Examinees

If the Examinee is registered for the Exam as a student ("Student") or a member of the faculty ("Faculty"), the Examinee must provide the Exam provider with documentation that verifies the Examinee is currently enrolled as a Student or is a Faculty member at an accredited secondary academic institution at the time the Examinee takes the Exam.

By taking this Exam, the Examinee agrees that they are either a Student or a Faculty member at the academic institution that issued the Examinee with the Exam voucher. If it is determined that the Examinee was not a Student or a member of the Faculty at the time he/she took the Exam, Microsoft reserves the right to rescind and invalidate the Examinee's Exam results. If Exam results are invalidated, no Exam refund will be provided.

Important privacy notice

Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy statement applies to the data collected by Microsoft during your exam session (the "Exam"); it does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products or services.

Collection of your information

We collect many kinds of information in order to operate effectively and provide you with the best products, services and experiences we can. Some of this information you provide directly to us. Some of it we get by observing how you interact with our products and services. Some of it is available from other sources that we may combine with the data we collect directly. Regardless of the source, we believe it's important to treat that information with care and to help you maintain your privacy. The personal information we collect may include:

  • Personal information about you, such as your name, email address and MCP ID;

  • Information about the Exam such as your exam score, your time spent on the Exam, your answers given, Exam results and usage data of our Exam website.

Use of your information

Microsoft uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalise the products and services we offer and to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorised. Information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information collected through other Microsoft services to give you a more consistent and personalised experience in your interactions with us.

Once you have earned a Microsoft Certification and are a member of the Microsoft Certification Programme ("MCP"), we may also use the information to communicate with you; for example, informing you when there are changes to your MCP benefits or letting you know when you need to take action to keep your account active.

To learn more about the data collection and use practices of the Exam provider please contact your Exam provider.

Sharing personal information

By taking this Exam, you agree that:

  1. Microsoft and the Exam provider may share the Examinee's information with each other, including personal information and Exam data, in order to administer the Exams, to improve the testing program and experience, to facilitate statistical analyses and to determine if the Examinee passed the Exam.

  2. Microsoft, its affiliates and the Exam provider may contact the Examinee regarding certificates showing that the Examinee passed the test and/or information regarding the Microsoft Certification Programme.

  3. Microsoft may share the Examinee's information, including Exam results, with other Microsoft programmes to verify compliance with the programme requirements.

  4. Microsoft may share Exam results and information with the entity that issued the vouchers or that purchased the site licence if the Exam was made available to the Examinee via one of the following methods:

    • Companies that purchase vouchers and then issue the vouchers to their employees or contractors.

    • Academic Institutions enrolled in the Microsoft IT Academy Programme that purchased vouchers and then issued the vouchers to their students.

    • Academic Institutions or government agencies that purchase a site licence to deliver the Exams.

  5. Microsoft may share Exam results, at an aggregate level with individual identifiers removed, with other Microsoft programmes or partners for reporting or statistical analysis about the Exam itself.

In addition to any sharing described in this privacy statement, Microsoft may share or disclose personal information:

  • With other Microsoft controlled subsidiaries and affiliates.

  • As part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.

  • With vendors or agents. Specifically, we may share it with companies we've hired to provide services on our behalf. When we share information with these other companies to provide services for us, they are not allowed to use it for any other purpose and must keep it confidential.

We also may share or disclose personal information, including the content of your communications:

  • To comply with the law or respond to legal processes or lawful requests, including from law enforcement and government agencies.

  • To protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including enforcing the terms governing your use of the services.

  • To act on a good faith belief that access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers or the public.

Except as described in this statement, we won't disclose personal information you provide for this Exam to a third party without your consent.

Security of your information

Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information you provide on computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities. Additionally, when we transmit sensitive personal information (such as a password) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

If a password is used to help protect your accounts and personal information, it is your responsibility to keep your password confidential. Do not share it. If you are sharing a computer, you should always log out before leaving a site or service to protect access to your information from subsequent users.

Where information is stored and processed

Personal information collected from the Exam may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country where Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the US-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the US-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the US Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of data from the European Economic Area and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor programme, and to view our certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.

Changes to this privacy statement

We will occasionally update our privacy statements to reflect customer feedback and changes in our services. When we post changes to a statement, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of the statement. If there are material changes to the statement or in how Microsoft will use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes before they take effect or by sending you a direct notification. We encourage you to periodically review the privacy statements for the products and services you use to learn how Microsoft is protecting your information.

Contact information

Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you have questions about this statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, please contact us by sending an email to lexprivacy@microsoft.com.

Microsoft Learning Experiences Privacy Manager, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, RTC B5/3394, Redmond, Washington 98052 USA • 425-882-8080

To find the Microsoft subsidiary in your country or region, see http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/.

All rights reserved

In addition to any other rights and remedies provided by law or this Exam Agreement, Microsoft hereby expressly reserves all of its rights and remedies arising out of a breach of this Exam Agreement and/or the infringement of any of Microsoft's intellectual property rights.

Examinee acceptance or rejection of the Exam Agreement

Select Yes to acknowledge that the Examinee has the full right and authority to enter into this Exam Agreement, and accepts and agrees to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Exam Agreement.

Select No if the Examinee does not accept the above terms.

The Examinee must select Yes to continue with the Exam.

This Microsoft Certification Programme Agreement ("Agreement") is a legal document between you ("you" or "your") and Microsoft ("Microsoft") regarding your participation in the Microsoft Certification Programme ("Programme"). The terms of this Agreement apply to (a) any Microsoft Certifications you have attained, and (b) your participation in the Programme, including your access to and use of any Microsoft Certification Programme benefit, Microsoft Certification credential or any Microsoft Certification logo that Microsoft makes available to you as part of the Programme. Please read this Agreement carefully.

By accessing or using a Microsoft Certification Programme benefit, Microsoft Certification credential or Microsoft Certification logo, you accept the terms and conditions of this Agreement. If you do not accept this Agreement, do not access or use any Microsoft Certification Programme benefit, Microsoft Certification credential or Microsoft Certification logo.

  1. DEFINITIONS

    1. "Affiliate" means any legal entity that owns, is owned by, or is commonly owned with a party. "Own" means having more than 50% ownership or the right to direct the management of the entity.

    2. "Microsoft Certified Professional Website" means the Microsoft website solely for Microsoft Certified Professionals.

    3. "Microsoft" means Microsoft entity identified in Section 12.4.

    4. "Microsoft Certification" means passing the requisite Exams, and meeting and maintaining compliance with all certification or recertification requirements to use the corresponding Credential or Logo. The current list of Microsoft Certifications is located at Microsoft Certifications.

    5. "Microsoft Certification Credential" or "Credential" means the full or abbreviated title of a specific Microsoft Certification that is used to signify an individual's compliance with the requirements for a specific Microsoft Certification.

    6. "Microsoft Certification Exam" or "Exam" means a Microsoft certification exam designed to help validate an individual's skills for a particular Microsoft technology that is the subject of the Exam.

    7. "Microsoft Certification Logo" or "Logo" means the specific Microsoft Certification logo designated for a specific Microsoft Certification currently available online at the Microsoft Certified Professional Website.

    8. "Microsoft Certification Programme Logo Usage Guidelines" or "Guidelines" means the current specifications established by Microsoft that those who have achieved Microsoft Certification must agree to abide by in order to use the corresponding Credential or Logo.

    9. "Microsoft Certified Professional" or "MCP" means an individual who currently holds one or more Microsoft Certification Credentials.

  2. MICROSOFT CERTIFICATION

    1. To Obtain and Maintain a Microsoft Certification. To obtain and maintain a Microsoft Certification, you must:

      1. pass all the required Exams and satisfy all certification and recertification requirements for the applicable Microsoft Certification;

      2. accept the terms and conditions in this Agreement,

      3. comply with the terms and conditions in the current version of the Agreement, the Guidelines and all Programme requirements, and

      4. comply with all additional requirements for the applicable Microsoft Certification.

    2. Changes to Microsoft Certification Requirements. Microsoft may, at its sole discretion, change the Microsoft Certification requirements (both initial and continuing) at any time by posting such changes on the Microsoft training and certification website or on the Microsoft Certified Professional Website. You will be allowed three (3) full calendar months from the date Microsoft posts the changes to comply with any additional requirements. Your right to use a particular Credential and Logo may terminate if you do fail to comply with any additional certification or recertification requirements associated with a particular Credential and Logo.

    3. Violation of Exam Agreement.

      1. All Microsoft Certification Exams, including Exam questions and answers, constitute Microsoft confidential information and are protected by trade secret law and by the Non-Disclosure Agreement and General Terms of Use for Microsoft Certification Exams ("Exam Agreement") and may not be disclosed to or discussed with others, or posted or published in any forum or through any medium.

        1. If Microsoft believes you violated the Exam Agreement or engaged in any fraudulent behaviour or misconduct that could diminish or compromise the security or integrity of the Programme in any way, you may be decertified and terminated from the Programme and permanently ineligible to participate in the Programme.

  3. PROGRAMME BENEFITS

    1. Programme Benefits Provided by Third Parties. Some Programme benefits may be provided by third parties. You understand and agree that your relationship with respect to those benefits is directly with the third party and not with Microsoft. Microsoft is not responsible for any Programme benefit provided by a third party and Microsoft does not sponsor or endorse the third-party vendors or their services or products.

    2. Additional Terms. Programme benefits may have additional terms, conditions and licences. You must accept and comply with any additional terms associated with a Programme benefit before you can use that benefit. You may not use a Programme benefit if you do not comply with any applicable additional terms, conditions and licences.

  4. USE OF CERTIFICATION CREDENTIALS AND LOGOS

    1. Grant of Rights. Subject to and expressly conditioned upon (a) your compliance with the terms and conditions of this Agreement and the Guidelines, (b) your successful completion of all current requirements for the Microsoft Certification, (c) your continued compliance with all current and applicable certification and recertification requirements and (d) your acceptance of the Guidelines, Microsoft hereby grants you the right to use the Credential(s) and Logo(s) for which you have obtained Microsoft Certification as indicated in your current transcript (and not the legacy transcript) located on the Microsoft Certified Professional Website in accordance with the Guidelines.

    2. Restrictions. You may not use or reproduce the Credential or Logo in any manner whatsoever other than as described in this Agreement and the Guidelines, and in any applicable artwork provided by Microsoft. You will use the Credentials and Logos in a manner that does not derogate from the rights of Microsoft in the Credentials and Logos, and will take no action that may interfere with or diminish the rights of Microsoft in the Credentials or Logos or damage Microsoft's reputation or goodwill in the Credentials or Logos. You will not use the Credentials or Logos in a way that may cause confusion about whether any products or services you offer are Microsoft products or services.

    3. Ownership. All rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by Microsoft. You acknowledge Microsoft's sole ownership of the Credentials and Logos and any associated goodwill, and that Microsoft retains all right, title and interest in and to the Credentials and Logos. Microsoft is the sole beneficiary of the goodwill associated with your use of the Credentials and Logos.

    4. MC ID Number. Microsoft will assign a unique Microsoft Certification ID (MC ID) number that will be used to identify you as a current Programme member. This unique MC ID number belongs to Microsoft and you may only use the MC ID number assigned to you if you are a current Programme member.

  5. PRIVACY

    1. Personal Information. You acknowledge and agree that Microsoft collects certain information about you to run the Programme and that the Microsoft Certifications you have earned and your Programme activities may be tracked and associated with your personal information. See the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement for more information on how we may collect and use your personal information.

    2. Use of Personal Information. You agree that Microsoft may occasionally contact you to invite you to participate in surveys and research.

    3. Disclosure of Personal Information. You grant Microsoft the right to share your name, contact information (including email address), employer's company name, the Credentials you have earned and your status in the Programme with (i) other Microsoft programmes to verify your and your employer's compliance with other Microsoft programme requirements and (ii) with Microsoft Affiliates and with the third-party exam delivery providers and testing centres that deliver Microsoft Certification Exams in connection with your participation in the Programme.

  6. YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES

    1. Business Practices.

      1. You agree that you will (i) refrain from conduct that could harm the reputation of Microsoft; (ii) avoid deceptive, misleading or unethical practices; (iii) not make any representations, warranties or guarantees to customers on behalf of Microsoft; (iv) comply with all applicable U.S. export regulations and other applicable governmental laws and regulations; and (v) comply with copyright and other intellectual property and proprietary rights protections.

      2. You may not advertise, promote, imply or suggest in any manner that you are employed by, affiliated with, endorsed or sponsored by Microsoft except to state that you have successfully completed all requirements for the particular Credential(s) you have earned. During the term of this Agreement, you will insert the following language in each contract under which you provide services involving Microsoft technologies:

        "Microsoft is not a party to this agreement and Microsoft will have no liability whatsoever with respect to the services that are the subject of this contract. The Microsoft Certification Credential indicates that I have successfully completed the requirements for the corresponding Microsoft Certification Credential. The services I provide are not endorsed or sponsored by Microsoft".

      3. Some states and countries regulate the use of the term "engineer", and you should comply as applicable with any such laws in the event you attained any Credential related to Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer.

    2. Transcripts. You are responsible for reviewing your Microsoft Certification transcript to ensure it accurately reflects the Credentials you currently hold. If you believe your transcript is inaccurate, you have up to one (1) year from the date you passed the last Exam necessary to earn or maintain the Credential in question to submit a request to Microsoft to evaluate the fulfilment of any Credential you believed you currently hold that does not appear on your transcript.

  7. CHANGES

    Microsoft reserves the right to (a) update and change the Agreement and Guidelines, (b) change the Programme or any aspect of it at any time, including the right to withdraw Credentials, change certification requirements, and change Programme requirements and benefits, and (c) discontinue the Programme. Microsoft will post changes on the Microsoft Certified Professional Website. You are responsible for checking Microsoft Certified Professional Websites regularly for changes. Changes are effective on the date the changes are posted. Changes do not apply retroactively.

  8. NO WARRANTIES

    MICROSOFT DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOUR SATISFACTION WITH THE PROGRAMME OR YOUR RESULTS. MICROSOFT AND ITS AFFILIATES MAKE NO WARRANTIES REGARDING THE PROGRAMME, CREDENTIALS OR LOGOS AND HEREBY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES THAT MIGHT OTHERWISE BE IMPLIED BY LAW.

  9. LIMITATION OF LIABILITY

    TO THE MAXIMUM EXTENT PERMITTED BY APPLICABLE LAW, IN NO EVENT WILL MICROSOFT OR ITS AFFILIATES BE LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, CONSEQUENTIAL, PUNITIVE, SPECIAL OR EXEMPLARY DAMAGES ARISING OUT OF OR RELATED TO THE PROGRAMME (WHETHER FOR PROGRAMME BENEFITS, TERMINATION OR OTHERWISE), YOUR MICROSOFT CERTIFICATION, FAILURE TO ACHIEVE A MICROSOFT CERTIFICATION, USE OF OR INABILITY TO USE THE CREDENTIALS OR LOGOS. THIS EXCLUSION WILL APPLY REGARDLESS OF THE LEGAL THEORY UPON WHICH ANY CLAIM FOR SUCH DAMAGES IS BASED, EVEN IF THE PARTIES HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES.

  10. INDEMNIFICATION

    You agree to defend, indemnify and hold Microsoft and its Affiliates harmless from and against any and all third-party claims, demands, costs, liabilities, judgements, losses, expenses and damages ("Claim") (including legal costs and fees) arising out of, in connection with or related to (a) your participation in the Programme; (b) your use of any Credential or Logo in a manner which is in any way inconsistent with the terms of this Agreement; (c) the performance, promotion, sale or distribution of your services; or (d) the termination of this Agreement by Microsoft pursuant to the terms in this Agreement. In the event Microsoft seeks indemnification from you under this provision, Microsoft will promptly notify you in writing of the Claim(s) brought against Microsoft for which it seeks indemnification and, at Microsoft's discretion, permit you, through counsel acceptable to Microsoft, to answer and defend such Claim. You may not settle any Claim on Microsoft's behalf without first obtaining Microsoft's written permission, which will not be unreasonably withheld, and you will not publicise the settlement without Microsoft's prior written permission. Microsoft reserves the right, at its option, to assume full control of the defence of such Claim with legal counsel of its choice. If it so undertakes, any settlement of such Claim requiring payment from you will be subject to your prior written approval. You will reimburse Microsoft upon demand for any expenses reasonably incurred by Microsoft in defending such a Claim, including, without limitation, legal fees and costs, as well as any judgement on or settlement of the Claim in respect to which the foregoing relates.

  11. TERMINATION

    1. Termination Without Cause. Either party may terminate this Agreement at any time, without cause, on thirty (30) days' prior written notice to the other party.

    2. Termination for Cause. Microsoft may immediately terminate this Agreement upon written notice on any of the following events:

      1. you fail to comply with any applicable Certification or recertification requirements;

      2. you fail to comply with any of the terms of the Agreement or the Guidelines;

      3. you misrepresent your Credential(s);

      4. you engage in misappropriation or unauthorised disclosure of any trade secret or confidential information of Microsoft;

      5. you engage in activities prohibited by law, or

      6. a government agency or court finds that the services you provided concerning the Microsoft technologies to which your Microsoft Certification relates are defective in any way.

    3. Automatic Termination. This Agreement will automatically terminate if you lose your status as an MCP or if Microsoft cancels the Programme.

    4. Effects of Termination. In all events of termination of this Agreement, all rights granted to you under the Programme are immediately terminated. You will immediately:

      1. cease all activity relating to the Programme;

      2. stop identifying yourself as a participant in the Programme;

      3. cease all use of any Credential or Logo and Programme benefit; and

      4. destroy any associated materials that you have received as part of the Programme.

    5. Survival. Sections 1 and all other definitions in this Agreement, 2.3, 4.3, 4.4, 8, 9, 10, 11.4, 11.5 and 12 will survive termination of this Agreement. You agree that Microsoft and its Affiliates and subsidiaries will not be liable to you or any third party for costs or damages of any sort resulting from (a) the termination of this Agreement in accordance with its terms and (b) your suspension from or cancellation of the Programme.

  12. MISCELLANEOUS

    1. Notices. Notices may be provided either by electronic or physical mail. All notices to Microsoft in connection with this Agreement will be sent to the Microsoft contracting entity identified in Section 12.4 below, to the attention of the Microsoft Certification Programme. All notices to you in connection with this Agreement will be sent to you at the most recent email address provided by you. It is your responsibility to keep your contact address (email) information with Microsoft updated.

    2. No exclusivity. Your participation in this Programme is voluntary. Nothing in this Agreement restricts you from supporting, promoting, distributing or using non-Microsoft technology.

    3. Relationship. The parties are independent contractors. This Agreement does not create an employer-employee relationship, partnership, joint venture or agency relationship, and does not create a franchise. You may not make any representation, warranty or promise on Microsoft's behalf.

    4. Microsoft Contracting Entity. The Microsoft contracting entity for this Agreement is determined by the country or region in which you are located. See details below:

      1. The Microsoft entity for the following countries or regions is indicated below: Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Cayman Islands, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, French Guiana, Grenada, Guam, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, former Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Saint Vincent and The Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela, Virgin Islands (British) and Virgin Islands (U.S.):

        • Microsoft Corporation
          One Microsoft Way
          Redmond, WA 98052 USA

      2. The Microsoft entity for the following countries or regions is indicated below: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Cape Verde, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Senegal, Reunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Republic of Rwanda, Saint Helena, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City State, Yemen, Zaire, Zambia and Zimbabwe:

        • Microsoft Ireland Operations Limited
          The Atrium, Block B, Carmenhall Road
          Sandyford Industrial Estate
          Dublin, 18, Ireland

      3. The Microsoft entity for the following countries or regions is indicated below: Australia and its external territories, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Micronesia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor‑Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Vanuatu and Vietnam:

        • Microsoft Regional Sales Corporation
          438B Alexandra Road #04-09/12
          Block B, Alexandra Technopark
          Singapore 119968

      4. The Microsoft entity for Japan is:

        • Microsoft Japan Company, Limited
          Shinagawa Grand Central Tower
          2-16-3, 2 Konan, Minato-ku,
          Tokyo 108-0075
          Japan

      5. The Microsoft entity for Taiwan is:

        • Microsoft Taiwan Corporation
          8F, No 7, Sungren Rd.
          Shinyi Chiu, Taipei
          Taiwan 110

      6. The Microsoft entity for the People's Republic of China is:

        • Microsoft (China) Company Limited6F Sigma Center
          No. 49 Zhichun Road Haidian District
          Beijing 100080, P.R.C

      7. The Microsoft entity for the Republic of Korea is:

        • Microsoft Korea, Inc.
          5th Floor, West Wing
          POSCO Center
          892 Daechi-Dong Gangnam-Gu
          Seoul, 135-777, Korea

    5. Applicable law. The applicable law, jurisdiction and venue for this Agreement are identified below. This choice of jurisdiction and venue does not prevent either party from seeking injunctive relief for a violation of intellectual property rights, confidentiality obligations or enforcement of recognition of any award or order. Injunctive relief or enforcement of recognition may be sought in any appropriate jurisdiction.

      1. Generally. Except as provided in Section 12.5(b), the laws of the State of Washington govern this Agreement. If federal jurisdiction exists, the parties consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the federal courts in King County, Washington. If not, the parties consent to exclusive jurisdiction and venue in the Superior Court of King County, Washington.

      2. Other terms. If your principal place of business is in one of the countries or regions listed below, the corresponding provision applies and supersedes Section 12.5(a) to the extent that it is inconsistent:

        1. If your principal place of business is in Australia and its external territories, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao SAR, Malaysia, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Micronesia, Nauru, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor‑Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Vanuatu and Vietnam, this Agreement is construed and controlled by the laws of Singapore.

          1. If your principal place of business is in Australia or its external territories, Brunei, Malaysia, New Zealand or Singapore, you consent to the non‑exclusive jurisdiction of the Singapore courts.

          2. If your principal place of business is in Bangladesh, Bhutan, Cambodia, Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, French Southern Territories, Hong Kong SAR, India, Indonesia, Kiribati, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Macao SAR, Maldives, Marshall Islands, Mayotte, Micronesia, Nauru, Nepal, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Pitcairn, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Timor‑Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna Islands, Vanuatu and Vietnam, any dispute related to this Agreement, including any question regarding its existence, validity or termination, will be referred to and finally resolved by arbitration in Singapore according to the Arbitration Rules of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre ("SIAC"). The SIAC Arbitration Rules are incorporated by this reference into the Agreement. The Tribunal will consist of one arbitrator appointed by the Chair of SIAC. The language of the arbitration will be English. The arbitrator's decision will be final, binding and incontestable and may be used as a basis for judgement thereon in Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand or Vietnam (as appropriate), or elsewhere.

        2. If your principal place of business is in Japan, the following applies: The Agreement will be construed and controlled by the laws of Japan. You consent to exclusive original jurisdiction and venue in the Tokyo District Court. The prevailing party in any action related to this Agreement may recover its reasonable legal fees, costs and other expenses.

        3. If your principal place of business is in Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, Belgium, Benin, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Bouvet Island, Bulgaria, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Cote d'Ivoire, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe, Denmark, Djibouti, Egypt, Estonia, Ethiopia, Faeroe Islands, Finland, France, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Ghana, Gibraltar, Greece, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Guinea-Bissau, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kosovo, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Libya, Macedonia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Moldova, Monaco, Mongolia, Montenegro, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Caledonia, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman, Pakistan, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Cape Verde, Republic of Equatorial Guinea, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Senegal, Reunion, Romania, Russian Federation, Republic of Rwanda, Saint Helena, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Slovakia, Slovenia, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Svalbard and Jan Mayen, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, Uzbekistan, Vatican City State, Yemen, Zaire, Zambia or Zimbabwe, the following applies:

          The Agreement is governed by and construed according to the laws of Ireland. You consent to the jurisdiction of and venue in the Irish courts in all disputes relating to this Agreement.

        4. If your principal place of business is in the People's Republic of China, the following applies. For the purpose of this Agreement, the People's Republic of China does not include Hong Kong SAR, Macao SAR or Taiwan:

          The Agreement will be construed and controlled by the laws of the People's Republic of China. You consent to submit any dispute relating to the Agreement and any addendum to binding arbitration. The arbitration will be at the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission in Beijing ("CIETAC") according to its then current rules.

        5. If your principal place of business is in Colombia or Uruguay, the following applies:

          All disputes, claims or proceedings between the parties relating to the validity, construction or performance of this Agreement will be settled by arbitration. The arbitration will be according to the UNCITRAL Arbitration Rules as presently in force. The appointing authority will be the International Chamber of Commerce ("ICC") acting according to the rules adopted by the ICC for this purpose. The place of arbitration will be Seattle, Washington, U.S.A. There will only be one arbitrator. The award will be in law and not in equity and will be final and binding on the parties. The parties hereto irrevocably agree to submit all matters and disputes arising in connection with this Agreement to arbitration in Seattle, Washington, U.S.A.

        6. If your principal place of business is in the Republic of Korea, the following applies:

          The Agreement will be construed and controlled by the laws of the Republic of Korea. You consent to the exclusive original jurisdiction and venue in the Seoul Central District Court. The prevailing party in any action to enforce a right or remedy under this Agreement or to interpret a provision of this Agreement will be entitled to recover its reasonable legal fees, costs and other expenses.

        7. If your principal place of business is in Taiwan, the following applies:

          The terms of this Agreement will be governed by and construed according to the laws of Taiwan. The parties hereby designate the Taipei District Court as the court of first instance having jurisdiction over any disputes arising out of or in connection with this Agreement.

    6. Legal fees. If either party employs legal representatives to enforce any rights arising out of or relating to this Agreement, the prevailing party will be entitled to recover its reasonable legal fees, costs and other expenses, including the costs and fees incurred on appeal, or in a bankruptcy or similar action.

    7. Severability. If any court of competent jurisdiction determines that any provision of this Agreement is illegal, invalid or unenforceable, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.

    8. No Waiver. Any delay or failure by Microsoft to exercise a right or remedy will not result in a waiver of that, or any other, right or remedy.

    9. Assignment. You will not assign, transfer or sub-license this Agreement, or any right granted under this Agreement, in any manner and any attempted assignment, transfer or sub-license, by operation of law or otherwise, will be null and void.

Updated: December 2013

Each exam item is carefully reviewed by a panel of independent technical and job-function experts who scrutinise each item for technical accuracy, clarity and relevance. If you believe that a specific item you encountered on a Microsoft Certification exam is invalid, you may request an evaluation of the item by following the steps described below. You must submit your request within three calendar days of taking the exam.

Steps for challenging exam items

  1. Download and complete the exam item challenge form.

    1. Describe in detail the specific reasons you are challenging an exam item on the form.

    2. Submit a separate form for each exam item you challenge.

    3. Your challenge will not be accepted for evaluation unless the form is complete.

    4. NOTE: Item challenges will not be reviewed for exams that will be retired within 6 months.

  2. Submit the form by email to MCPHelp@microsoft.com with "Exam Item Evaluation" in the subject line within 3 calendar days of taking the exam.

  3. Your submittal will be acknowledged by email. At that time, you will receive either the result of the evaluation or, if more time is needed for evaluation, an estimate of when you can expect a decision.

The evaluation process exists to help identify and correct problematic questions. In most cases, exams are not re-scored because Microsoft must ensure that candidates who pass exams and earn our certifications have demonstrated the required proficiency level(s) across the skill domain(s). Even if a question is flawed in some way, we cannot assume that you would have answered it correctly if it had not been. In these cases, we provide candidates with the opportunity to retake the exam free of charge.

We value and rely on your feedback to make Microsoft Certification exams as valid and relevant as possible.

Microsoft is dedicated to developing exams that are accessible to everyone.

Disabilities

Requesting accommodation with Pearson VUE

If you have a disability that requires special equipment or other accommodation when you take an exam, please visit Pearson VUE. In the left navigation, choose Test Accommodations. Click the Select your test programme button. In the list, select Microsoft. Follow the instructions, and provide the requested information to process your accommodation request. After your accommodation has been approved, a representative from Pearson VUE will contact you to schedule your exam.

Frequently asked questions

Exam basics

A.

The number of questions in an exam is subject to change as we update the certification exam over time to keep current with the technology. Most Microsoft Certification exams contain 40-60 questions; however, the number can vary.

A.

Because Microsoft continually introduces innovative testing technologies and question types, we do not provide this level of information for each exam. To get a feel for what you might see on an exam, we encourage you to review some possible exam formats and question types.

A.

Exam time varies based on the type of exam you take.

Exam time*

Seat time*

MTA exams delivered by Certiport

45 minutes

50 minutes

MTA exams delivered by Pearson VUE

45 minutes

75 minutes

MBS/Dynamics exams

90 minutes

115 minutes

MCSA exams and exams not specified elsewhere

120 minutes

150 minutes

MCSE exams, any exam with case studies** and upgrade exams

150 minutes

180 minutes

Recertification exams

140 minutes

170 minutes

*Note Exam time refers to the amount of time that you have to complete the exam. Seat time refers to the amount of time that you should allocate for the exam. It includes the time needed to review the instructions, read and accept the NDA, complete the exam questions and provide comments after completing it (if you choose to do so).

**Note Case studies are not timed separately from the rest of the exam. The number of case studies in an exam is noted on the exam introduction screen. Manage your exam time accordingly so that you are able to complete all case studies and all other sections of your exam.

A.

The skills measured in an exam are identified by subject-matter experts external to Microsoft (in other words, they are not Microsoft employees). This list of skills, called the "objective domain", is the basis for exam development. The number of questions that measure each skill area is determined through the blueprinting process; sections of the exam measuring critical and/or more frequently performed skills will contain more questions than those that assess less important or less frequently performed skills.

A.

All learning materials related to exams, including Microsoft training and Microsoft Press resources, are developed independently of exam content, because the exams are intended to assess competence when using the technology, not the effectiveness of training materials or learning. Qualified candidates must have sufficient experience in working with the technology to pass the exam. Training is a great first step in preparing for a Microsoft Certification exam, but it is not required and does not guarantee that you will pass the exam. Experience is required.

Microsoft works hard to ensure that some form of training material exists for all skills that will be measured in an exam. Use the information provided on the exam details page to identify which Microsoft training resources cover the skills assessed in the exam.

A.

The best way to prepare for an exam is to practise the skills listed in the "Skills measured" section of the exam details page. The exam details page also contains a list of preparation tools and resources provided by Microsoft that candidates may find helpful, and Microsoft Virtual Academy may have additional learning materials and resources to help you prepare for an exam.

You may also consider reading about how tasks assessed in the exam are performed (for example, in white papers and on blogs, MSDN, TechNet and so on), listening to others describe how tasks are performed, watching others complete them, and leveraging community resources such as Microsoft Certification Study Groups, to learn more about the skills needed to perform those tasks.

Keep in mind that training is a great first step when preparing for a Microsoft Certification exam, but it is not required and does not guarantee that you will pass the exam. Hands-on experience is required.

A.

Visit the exam registration page to find complete instructions.

A.

Microsoft Certification exams are available in a variety of languages. However, candidates who must take the exam in English rather than in their native language can request an accommodation for additional time. Approval for extra time is provided on a case-by-case basis. Request test accommodations from Pearson VUE or Certiport.

A.

Microsoft is dedicated to ensuring our exams are accessible to everyone, including people with disabilities. For a list of available accommodations, please visit the Accommodation page.

A.

Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) exams typically cost US$150 but are priced according to currency values in specific countries and regions. Exam prices are subject to change. In some countries and regions, additional taxes may apply. For exact pricing for Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams, contact Certiport. For exact pricing for all other certification exams, refer to the specific exam details page on the Microsoft training and certification site.

A.

If you have feedback about an instructor-led Microsoft training course, provide it directly to the instructor. If you have feedback about a Microsoft E-Learning course, complete the feedback form that appears when you finish the course.

Microsoft does not review study materials developed by third parties and is not responsible for their content. If you have questions or comments about exam preparation materials developed by third parties, please contact the publishers directly.

A.

If you have a concern about the technical accuracy of a particular item, please submit an Item Challenge form.

To report a concern about a testing centre or technical difficulties experienced during your exam, please contact customer service at Pearson VUE or Certiport.

To offer other types of feedback, please contact your Microsoft Regional Service Centre.

To report a security concern, please contact mlsecure@microsoft.com.

A.

Yes. Any unused, unexpired Prometric vouchers may be used to schedule an exam in the Pearson VUE registration system after 31 December 2014.

Exam specifics

A.

Microsoft is constantly developing and pilot testing new question types, so we cannot provide this level of information for each exam. However, you can review some possible exam formats and question types.

A.

The case study exam format uses complex scenarios that more accurately simulate what Microsoft Certified Professionals do on the job. Scenario-based questions included in the case studies are designed to test your ability to identify the critical information needed to solve a problem and then analyse and synthesise it to make decisions. You can refer to scenario details as often as you'd like while you are working on questions in a case study.

A.

You may review the questions in a case study until you move to the next case or section of the exam. Once you leave a case study, however, you will not be able to review the questions associated with that case. When you complete a case study and its associated questions, a review screen will appear. This screen lets you review your answers and make changes before you move to the next case study.

Note Case studies are not timed separately from the rest of the exam. The number of case studies in an exam is noted on the exam introduction screen. Manage your exam time accordingly so that you are able to complete all case studies and all other sections of your exam.

A.

No. The skills that are tested do not change; therefore, retesting is not necessary.

A.

Yes. These exams may take longer to complete than exams that do not contain performance-based items. As performance-based questions are added to exams, you may see changes in the standardised exam times. No exam, however, will exceed 200 minutes, and the maximum seat time is 240 minutes.

A.

No. The skills measured remain the same regardless of the format of the question. The knowledge and skills assessed in the exam are listed in the "Skills measured" section of the exam details page.

A.

When a product update is released that changes functionality, we review the changes against the objective domain and the existing questions to determine whether any content areas and/or questions have become technically inaccurate because of the changes. Technically inaccurate questions are removed from the exam. If the change adds functionality that maps to an existing objective, new items may be included to address this functionality without making changes to the objective domain; such changes will be reflected in the "may include" statements. Occasionally, new objectives may be added to cover new skills and/or functionality that subject-matter experts believe is necessary to demonstrate competence with the technology. If a significant number of objectives must be added, a new exam will be created in the case of our Associate exams; however, for Expert exams, the addition of objectives will be handled on a case by case basis – sometimes a new exam may be created, but, in some instances, these objectives will be added to the existing exam's skill domain and to the recertification skill domain.

Microsoft reserves the right to update content for any reason at any time to maintain the validity and relevance of our certifications. This includes, but is not limited to, incorporating functionality and features related to technology revisions and service packs into exam content.

A.

We update the exam details page to notify candidates if/when content related to a service pack and/or revision is likely to be added to the exam. We also include information about such updates in our newsletters, blogs, and through other appropriate communication channels, and we encourage you to sign up for such communications if you would like to know about these types of changes to the exam content.

Because our primary communication with candidates about exam content is through the exam details page, we will update it as soon as we know that exam content will be updated for a service pack/revision; as a result, we strongly recommend that you review it regularly as you prepare to take an exam.

If you are preparing for an exam on a technology that has an upcoming revision or service pack, we recommend that you consider each skill measured in the exam (as defined in the "Skills measured" section of the exam details page) in light of that upcoming release.

When you take the exam, if the answer would be different depending on the product update, we specify the service pack/revision in the question so that candidates have all the information necessary to answer the question correctly.

Microsoft reserves the right to update content for any reason at any time to maintain the validity and relevance of our certifications. This includes, but is not limited to, incorporating functionality and features related to technology revisions and service packs into exam content.

A.

The associated training materials may or may not get revised, depending on the scope of changes introduced by the product update in relation to the training content, and these updates may or may not align to when the updates are incorporated into the exam.

Although Microsoft attempts to align training and exam availability, this is not always possible for a variety of reasons, and a gap between the availability of an exam and related training is likely. Keep in mind that Microsoft exams are not intended as post-tests of any preparation or training product created by Microsoft or any third-party provider. Our certifications are designed to measure experience-based skills without bias in regard to the manner in which candidates obtain these skills. The best way to prepare for an exam is to practise the skills listed in the "Skills measured" section of the exam details page. Hands-on experience with the technology is required to successfully pass Microsoft Certification exams.

Microsoft does not review study materials developed by third parties and is not responsible for their content or for ensuring that they are updated to reflect product updates. If you have questions or comments about exam preparation materials developed by third parties, please contact the publishers directly.

A.

All learning materials related to exams, including Microsoft training and Microsoft Press resources, are developed independently of exam content, because the exams are intended to assess relevant skills, not the effectiveness of training materials. Although training materials are designed to help candidates prepare for the exam – they are a great first step – qualified candidates will have sufficient experience in working with the technology to successfully perform the tasks described in the exam questions regardless of any training that the candidate may have taken.

Microsoft works hard to ensure that some form of training material exists for all skills that will be measured in an exam. A list of these resources can be found on the exam details page.

Scoring and results

A.

Here is some general information about exam scoring:

You will receive notification of your pass or fail status within a few minutes of completing your exam. In addition, you will receive a printed report that provides your exam score and feedback on your performance in the skill areas measured. The exam delivery provider will forward your score to Microsoft within five business days.

Beta exam results: Results for beta exams should be visible on your Microsoft transcript (if you've received a passing score) and on the exam delivery provider's site within two weeks after the final exam is published.

If you pass the beta exam, you earn credit for that exam and any resulting certification. You do not need to retake the exam in its final version if you pass the beta version.

A.

If you do not see your score report online or receive your score report within two weeks after the date when the final exam is published, contact the exam delivery provider for more information on when your results will be processed. If you have questions about your transcript, contact your Microsoft Regional Service Centre.

A.

The score report provides a numeric score for overall exam performance, pass/fail status, and a bar chart showing performance in each skill area assessed in the exam. Using this information, candidates can determine areas of strength and weakness.

A.

The bar chart shows your performance in each section, or skill area, assessed in the exam. On the left of the graph, each section of the exam is listed along with the percentage of the exam that was devoted to it. The lengths of the bars provide information regarding your section-level performance and map to the percentage of items that you answered correctly in that content area. Bars that are further to the left reflect weaker performance, and bars that are further to the right reflect stronger performance.

Because each section may contain a different number of questions, as represented by the percentages provided after the section name, the length of the bars cannot be used to calculate the number of questions answered correctly in that section or in the exam, nor can the bars be combined to determine the per cent of questions that you answered correctly in the exam. This information is intended to help you understand areas of strength and weakness in the skill domain measured by the exam and to prioritise those skills that need improvement.

For a more in-depth description of each section of the score report and how to use the information provided, read the four-part "Dissecting Score Reports" blog series on Born To Learn.

A.

No. Microsoft Certification exams are designed to measure candidates' skills and abilities in this technology, not their ability to study or memorise specific questions that were in the exam. Qualified candidates will be able to pass this exam regardless of the questions asked. As a result, to protect the integrity of the certification process, Microsoft does not share information about the specific questions that were missed.

A.

MCSA, MCSE and MCSD exams do not show a numerical score for each section. The score report provides an overall numerical score to reflect pass/fail status only. As an alternative to providing a numerical score for each section, we provide score bars to show subject areas of strength and weakness.

Upgrade exam candidates: To pass upgrade exams, candidates must pass ALL sections or components during a single exam administration. As a result, candidates receive a numerical score for each component exam.

For a more in-depth description of each section of the score report and how to use the information provided, read the four-part "Dissecting Score Reports" blog series on Born To Learn.

A.

Requiring candidates to pass each section or component of an upgrade ensures that you have demonstrated competence in each of the significant content domains covered by the certification, whether you take each component exam individually or you take the upgrade exam.

A.

Each section of the exam may contain a different number of questions; therefore, the results in individual exam sections might not reflect your final exam result. In other words, there is no one-to-one relationship between the length of the bars and your pass/fail status.

Additionally, a common misconception is that you must answer 70 per cent of the questions correctly in order to pass the exam because the passing score is 700; however, this is a scaled score. The actual percentage of questions that you must answer correctly varies from exam to exam and may be more or less than 70 per cent, depending on the input provided by the subject-matter experts who helped us set the cut score and the difficulty of the questions delivered when you take the exam.

For a more in-depth description of each section of the score report and how to use the information provided, read the four-part "Dissecting Score Reports" blog series on Born To Learn.

A.

Here is some general information about exam scoring:

  • Most questions are worth one point, regardless of what you have to do to answer the question. If a question is worth more than one point, this information will be stated in the question.

  • There is no penalty for guessing. If you choose an incorrect answer, you simply do not earn the point(s) for that item. No points are deducted for incorrect answers.

  • Some questions in the exam may not be included in the calculation of your score. To gather data to update and improve the quality of each exam, we present new content to candidates without counting the results towards their score. However, as soon as we have the necessary data to evaluate the quality of the question, items that meet Microsoft's psychometric standards will be scored. Microsoft will not inform candidates as to which questions are unscored; as a result, you should answer every question as if it will be scored.

Note that this scoring system is subject to change as Microsoft continues to introduce new and innovative question types. Microsoft will indicate if a question is scored differently in the text of the question.

A.

After you complete your exam, the points you earned on each question are totalled and then compared with the cut score to determine whether the result is pass or fail.

A.

MCSA, MCSE and MCSD exams: All MCSA, MCSE and MSCD exams are scaled such that the passing score is 700. Any score of 700 or greater is a "pass". Any score below 700 is a "fail". The actual number of items you need to answer correctly in order to pass is determined by a group of subject-matter experts in conjunction with Microsoft's psychometrician. The passing score is based on the knowledge and skills needed to demonstrate competence in the skill domain, and the difficulty of the questions that are delivered to a candidate.

Microsoft Office exams: All Microsoft Office exam scores are reported on a scale of 1 to 1000. The passing score varies from exam to exam and is provided in the score report. The actual cut score percentage is determined by a group of subject-matter experts using a process similar to that used to set the cut score for the MCSA, MCSE and MCSD exams.

A.

Microsoft reports scaled scores so that candidates who have to retake a certification exam can determine if their performance is improving. The actual cut score (the number of items you need to answer correctly) is based on input from a group of subject-matter experts who review the difficulty of the questions in relation to the expected skills of the target audience. As a result, the number of items that you have to answer correctly varies depending on the difficulty of the questions delivered when you take the exam; this ensures that regardless of which combination of items you see, the evaluation of skills is fair – if you see a more difficult set of questions, the number of correct answers needed to pass is less than if you see an easier set of questions. As a result, providing a simple per cent correct wouldn't provide useful information to someone who had to take the exam multiple times and saw different combinations of questions with different levels of difficulty.

Because the number of correct answers needed to pass varies based on the difficulty of the questions delivered, if you see a difficult combination of questions, your performance may actually be higher in relation to the passing standard even though you answered fewer questions (in other words, a lower percentage) correctly than if you saw an easier set of questions. Scaled scores simplify your ability to evaluate improvements in your performance over time. This is a standard practice across the certification and licensure industry.

For more information about how scaling works, read the "Demystifying Exam Scoring: Translating Raw Scores to Scaled Scores" blog post on Born To Learn.

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If you pass an exam, it simply means that you have demonstrated competence in the skill domain. In addition, scores of candidates who pass cannot be compared to determine whether one candidate is more competent than another; higher passing scores do not mean higher levels of competence. The same is true of failing scores; lower failing scores do not mean lower levels of competence. If you pass the exam, you have demonstrated competence regardless of your score; if you fail, you have not demonstrated competence.

Microsoft exams are designed so that the total test score can be used to make a pass/fail decision (in other words, to show whether the candidate has demonstrated competence in the skill domain measured by the exam). Our exams are not designed with the intent to provide diagnostic feedback about your skills, and steps are not taken during the exam development process to support that level of reporting.

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No. Receiving the same score on multiple attempts does not indicate that the programme computing the results is at fault. It is not uncommon for candidates to obtain similar or identical scores on multiple attempts of an exam. This consistent result demonstrates the reliability of the exam in evaluating skills in this content domain. If this happens for multiple attempts, you may want to reconsider how you're preparing for the exam and seek other opportunities to learn and practise the skills measured by the exam.

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The number of questions that measure each skill area is determined through the blueprinting process; sections of the exam measuring critical and/or more frequently performed skills will contain more questions than those that assess less important or less frequently performed skills. Given that the number of questions varies based on the criticality of skills measured, it is entirely possible for a candidate to answer all of the questions in a section with fewer questions incorrectly.

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A delay between questions does not impact the responses, scoring, or the time remaining to finish the exam. You should expect to experience a delay of up to a minute while your next question loads. The exam delivery provider's software is designed to accommodate this. Your answers are recorded, and the exam will be scored correctly regardless of delays between questions.

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No. The survey that you take at the beginning of the exam has no impact on the exam content or scoring. This is purely an evaluation tool that our exam psychometricians use to ensure the quality, validity and rigour of the exam over its lifecycle.

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Congratulations! To explore next steps and available benefits, see your benefits and exams dashboard. Sign in using the same Microsoft account you used to register for your exam.

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Prioritise the skills that you should practise by focusing on the content areas where your exam performance was the weakest, and the content areas that have the highest percentage of questions. Additionally, you may want to review the resources provided on the exam details page, Microsoft Virtual Academy and Study Group Forums.

When you are ready to retake the exam, schedule an appointment as you would normally. Note that you must pay for each exam you retake and follow Microsoft's retake policy.

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Although Microsoft Certification exams provide feedback about the areas where examinees need to develop their skills further, the exams are not designed to provide detailed or diagnostic feedback. We encourage you to review the "Skills measured" section of the exam details page and honestly evaluate your skills against what is being assessed in the exam. The best way to do this is to actually perform the tasks listed, and note any challenges that you encountered. Practise until you no longer experience those challenges. You may also want to ask others how they perform those tasks. Do they perform the task differently? Understand why they do. Read white papers, MSDN or TechNet to get additional information about the tasks that are included in the exam. Explore the resources provided in the "Preparation options" on the exam details page, Microsoft Virtual Academy and study group forums.

Finally, Microsoft Official Practice Tests are available for some of our certification exams. These may provide more information about your specific strengths and weaknesses. However, passing a practice test is not a guarantee that you will pass the certification exam.

For a more in-depth description of each section of the score report and how to use the information provided, read the four-part "Dissecting Score Reports" blog series on Born To Learn.

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Please refer to the Security and retake policies to view the exam retake policy.

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Because Microsoft must ensure that candidates who pass exams and earn our certifications have demonstrated the required proficiency level(s) across the skill domain(s), the final result of an exam is rarely changed based on a re-evaluation of your exam results. Even if a question is flawed in some way, we cannot assume that you would have answered it correctly if it had not been. In these cases, we provide candidates with the opportunity to retake the exam free of charge. If you have a concern about the technical accuracy of a particular item, please submit an Item Challenge form.

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If you believe that a question on a Microsoft Certification exam is inaccurate, you can request an evaluation of that question using the Item Challenge form. You must submit your request within three calendar days of taking the exam. The evaluation process helps us identify and correct problematic questions and update exams accordingly.

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A Microsoft employee will conduct an initial evaluation. If additional evaluation is needed, an independent subject-matter expert (technical and job-function expert) will also review and evaluate the challenge.

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No. Microsoft applies a rigorous exam development process to ensure the technical accuracy, clarity, relevance and objectivity of our exams. Furthermore, given the credentials of the independent subject-matter experts and the respect they garner from the IT community, we consider their evaluation final.

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To help protect exam security, we keep the rationale for challenge decisions confidential although we will provide a general overview of the result. The evaluation remains a part of Microsoft records until the exam is withdrawn. All feedback is compiled and carefully considered as Microsoft makes decisions on how to improve the overall quality of the exam.

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No. Microsoft does not offer refunds for exams you do not pass or exam appointments you miss.

Exam security and integrity policies

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The Microsoft Certification Program requires candidates to accept the terms of an NDA before taking an exam. The NDA legally requires candidates to keep information related to exam content confidential. Requiring the acceptance of the NDA helps protect the security of Microsoft Certification exams and the integrity of the Microsoft Certification Program by legally discouraging piracy and/or unauthorised use of exam content.

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Cheating is any fraudulent activity that enables an unqualified candidate to pass an exam. This type of egregious misconduct negatively affects the integrity of the Microsoft Certification Program.

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Falsified score reports are reports that Microsoft deems to be unauthentic or that deceive or defraud the Microsoft Certified Professional programme in any way.

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If Microsoft determines that a candidate has falsified a score report, the candidate will be ineligible to take any future Microsoft exams and his or her certifications may be revoked.

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Proxy testing occurs when someone takes an exam for another candidate. In other words, the candidate has passed an exam without actually taking it. Engaging in proxy testing as either the test taker or the person who hired the test taker is a form of misconduct and fraud.

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The primary warning sign of a proxy testing website or organisation is any guarantee that you will pass the exam without having to take it. Proxy testing sites indicate that they will provide a full credential if you send them your credit card information.

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If a candidate engages in proxy testing, that candidate will be permanently banned or prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams and may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Program. Additionally, test scores and certifications, if applicable, may be revoked. These actions may be taken even if the candidate did not intend to defraud the Microsoft Certification Program.

If you believe that a website or company provides proxy test-taking services, please inform Microsoft immediately by sending an email message to mlsecure@microsoft.com

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A "brain dump", as it relates to the certification exams, is a source, such as a website, that contains certification exam content that has been fraudulently obtained with the intention to share it with or sell it to exam candidates. The content included in brain dumps is exactly the same or substantially similar to items appearing in the exam. Because the exam content was fraudulently obtained, using this type of material to prepare for or during an exam constitutes cheating. "Brain dump" providers are in violation of Microsoft intellectual property rights and non-disclosure agreements.

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If a candidate knowingly or unknowingly memorises unauthorised content found in “brain dumps” in order to pass an exam, clearly, he or she will not have the requisite skills to effectively use and manage Microsoft software or systems. Eventually, his or her manager will identify this lack of technical knowledge and skill and take appropriate action. If Microsoft learns that a candidate used a “brain dump” site to prepare for an exam, this candidate will be permanently banned or prohibited from taking any future Microsoft Certification exams and may be decertified from the Microsoft Certification Program. In addition, test scores and certifications, if applicable, may be revoked. These actions may be taken even if the candidate did not intend to defraud the Microsoft Certification Program.

Many "brain dump" providers are fairly blatant in their messaging, descriptions of their products, and the intended uses, while others are much more subtle in their messaging and practices. As a result, candidates should be cautious about using exam preparation material that seems too good to be true.

If you think you have discovered a “brain dump” site with Microsoft content, please inform Microsoft by sending an email message to mlsecure@microsoft.com.

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The testing centres are provided with security policies that must be enforced in order to acquire and maintain testing centre status. Ongoing inspections ensure that each testing centre maintains the security outlined by Microsoft and the exam delivery provider. In addition, proctors at testing centres are authorised to immediately take appropriate measures against candidates who violate testing rules. For specific information about the expectations for candidates, please contact the exam delivery provider. If you have a concern about the security of your exam experience, please send an email message to mlsecure@microsoft.com.

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Testing centre administrators act inappropriately when they fail to follow any security policies of Microsoft or the exam delivery provider. Examples could include, but are not limited to, overlooking inappropriate candidate identification; failing to ask for an ID from each candidate; failing to conduct periodic walkthroughs; failing to keep partitions between testing stations; overlooking the presence of crib sheets or electronic devices; providing answers or aid in any form with regard to any exam item; and allowing the release of Microsoft intellectual property in any form.

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If Microsoft determines that a testing centre has acted improperly or fraudulently, Microsoft has the right to cease delivery of all exams at that centre.

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Send an email message to mlsecure@microsoft.com, and include as much information as possible about the situation and the people involved. Although we appreciate anonymous tips, we often need more information to conduct a thorough investigation; if you are willing, please include your full contact information so that someone from Microsoft can contact you to discuss the details, if necessary. Microsoft has dedicated staff that investigate these tips. Because of tips from individuals like you, several websites have been terminated. Due to the volume of email we receive, you may not always receive a personal response.

Don Field, our former senior director of Certification and Training, describes how a recent $13.5 million judgment resulted from efforts to protect the value of Microsoft Certifications. Read his post, and get ongoing updates on Microsoft certification and training on our Born to Learn blog.

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Yes. All correspondence to mlsecure@microsoft.com can remain anonymous and we will not share your contact information with anyone. If you wish to include your contact information so that we can follow up for more information, we will ensure it remains secure.

Recertification policies

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To ensure that our certifications are meaningful and valuable indicators of candidates' skills, Microsoft has implemented a recertification requirement for the MCSE and MCSD certifications. MCSE candidates are required to recertify every three years, and MCSD candidates are required to recertify every two years.

One recertification option currently requires passing one exam. Recertification exams are currently available for all MCSE and MCSD specialties. Recertification exams cover material from the exams taken to originally earn the credential, with particular emphasis on the most recent technology and process changes.

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Yes. Candidates can now get recertified by taking a series of courses with Microsoft Virtual Academy. Read the list of available certifications, required courses and additional details to get recertified through Microsoft Virtual Academy.

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Recertification ensures that Microsoft Certifications remain meaningful and valuable indicators of candidates' skills. Recertification provides assurance to recruiters and other stakeholders that this person has demonstrated continued competence even as the technology has changed, based on service packs, revisions and new product version releases.

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This requirement does not apply to MCSA certifications.

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MCSD candidates will be required to recertify every two years, and MCSE candidates will be required to recertify every three years.

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If you do not complete the recertification requirement in the required time frame, your transcript will show that the certification is inactive.

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Once you have completed the recertification requirements, the inactive date for the associated credential will be updated by adding either two years (for MCSD) or three years (for MCSE) to the date on which you completed the recertification activity.

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This recertification requirement only applies to MCSE and MCSD certifications. Other existing certifications, including legacy MCSE certifications, are not affected by this requirement.

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Certifications that require recertification will not reference a product version in their titles. For example, the titles will reference "MCSE: Server Infrastructure" and "MCSD: Web Applications". Instead of passing an upgrade exam to earn an Expert-level certification on the next product version, you will maintain it by demonstrating continued competence with the technology (that is, meeting the recertification requirements) every two (for developers) or three years (for IT professionals).

Academic pricing on exams

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No. If you decide to register and pay for an exam before you have verified your student status, you must pay commercial pricing and will not receive a refund. You must ensure that you are verified before completing your registration and payment.

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Yes. Your academic verification is only valid for 12 months. After 12 months, you need to repeat the verification process.

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Yes. You need to follow the same process as a student. In other words, you must select "Student" as your job function in your Microsoft account profile, and you must verify your status through the same process as a student.

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If you have general questions related to exam registration, contact your Microsoft Regional Service Centre. For questions specific to a new or pending verification request, you may contact Support.