Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Sitting a Microsoft exam this year? These changes affect you

By Sarah Morgan

Whether you’re preparing or planning to take a Microsoft exam this year, you need to be aware of these widespread changes.

New exam times

Microsoft is now standardising exam times based on the “type” of exam with the aim of making it easier for students to plan how much time they will need to sit their exam.
The new exam and seat times are below:

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
120 minutes
MCSA exams and exams not specified elsewhere
120 minutes
150 minutes
MCSE exams, exams with case studies and upgrade exams
150 minutes
180 minutes
Recertification exams
140 minutes
170 minutes

*Exam time: the amount of time you have to sit the exam

*Seat time: the total amount of time you should allocate for the exam sitting. This includes the time needed to review your instructions, read and sign the NDA, complete the exam questions and provide comments after completion (if you choose to do so).

Big changes for upgrade exams

Across all upgrade exams you will now be able to spend as much time as you want on each component exam, and no time will be lost once a component is completed.

Upgrade exams are formed of several component exams. Before this update, students were given a set amount of time to complete each component. Microsoft initially introduced this to help direct students to spend an equal amount of time on each component. 

For example, the Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 exam is composed of three component exams (70-410, 70-411 and 70-412) and must be completed in 150 minutes. Previously candidates were given a non-negotiable 50 minutes to complete each section and nothing would be gained by finishing one component early.

Candidates are now allowed to use the total 150 minutes as they wish. They could, for example, spend 60 minutes on 70-410, 20 minutes on 70-411 and 60 minutes on 70-412.  

Watch Microsoft’s ACE NewsByte for more information on these changes or take a look at Microsoft’s Born to Learn blog.

About the Author:        
Sarah writes for Firebrand Training on a number of IT related topics. This includes exams, training, certification trends, project management, certification, careers advice and the industry itself. Sarah has 11 years of experience in the IT industry.