Microsoft increasing exam prices on July 1st 2011

Microsoft will be increasing the cost to take any of their technical or developer track exams worldwide on July 1st, the first increase for several years. This change will affect pretty much all their exam tracks except for the top-tier MCM and MCA, the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA – aimed at school and college students mainly), and the Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS, currently managed by a different exam provider anyway).

In the UK this means an increase from £88 to £99, so if you want to save that extra £11 then get your exams done before the end of June. Both of these prices are ex-VAT, so for those of you paying your own way through a certification track that means you will need to find an extra £13.20 from your own pocket, or £15.40 more than a year ago thanks to the VAT increase as well. If you already have pre-paid vouchers which are still valid, you should be able to use these for some time, but read the small print on the page linked below.

More information on prices for other countries, details of voucher eligibility and plenty of FAQs on the Microsoft page about the exam price rise.

UK MCTs will have already seen that their exam discount will increase at the same time by 5% which takes out a lot of the sting here, but early adopters in the training community will no longer get the super-bonus discount for taking exams within the first 90 days of release, which is not such great news.

Passed 70-291 to become MCSA:Messaging

“Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows 2003 server Network Infrastructure”, also known as The Beast has been slain.
Turned out to be a cuddly bunny rather than a beast (a bit like the end of Monty Python’s holy grail only in reverse).

I had put this off for so long because I thought I was weak on a couple of areas and needed some polish, and since everyone says it is one of the hardest I wanted to be sure to nail it.
But I was in the exam centre on Friday anyway (taking my CRM Applications exam MB2-632, also nailed) and I had second shot to back me up, so I figured “what the hell, even if I fail majestically at least I will know much more accurately what to expect on this one next time”.

So I waltzed away with 889 in a shade under half the time available (105 minutes out of 215 – I know some do better than that but I was well pleased with the result). Finally gave me my MCSA:Messaging and only two more to go (293 and 294) to MCSE.

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Microsoft second shot exam offer back again for 2008

It seems that Microsoft have listened to the community and brought back their Second Shot offer much earlier than most people expected. Previously this seemed to run only once each year (albeit for several months at a time), and the last one only closed for taking exams the first time round at the end of May and the retakes by the end of June. Re-opening this in August 2008 and leaving it open right through to June 2009 seems to indicate that this will effectively become a permanent fixture, but you can’t just roll your retakes forward forever, you will have to use the second chance within the year-long programme, which seems perfectly fair.

The same launch page is being used as last time, although until today this was not live for the new offer and still showed the old information.

Microsoft Second Shot Exam Offer 2008

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Microsoft Exams free second chance offer

Soon you will be able to get a free second shot to pass a Microsoft exam. They have run this kind of offer before and it always seems really popular.

Basically, you register for the deal with Microsoft, which gets you a voucher number. You then use this voucher number when you register and pay for your exam on the Prometric site as usual. If you fail the exam when you take it you can re-register to take the same exam again in a fixed timeframe.

The offer should be available from September 15th until January 31st, though whether that end-date is for the first try or your second attempt is not clear yet.

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