Beta exams

About beta exams

We work hard to ensure our exams are technically accurate and relevant to the real-life situations you might find in the workplace. Beta exams are a critical part of our exam development process. When you take an exam in its beta form, you’re providing us with useful information to evaluate the quality of the exam and its questions. After an exam has been through its beta process and we have incorporated relevant changes, we can use it to certify people in cloud-based job roles and specialties.

How to participate

We need approximately 400 people to take each exam before we have enough information to evaluate its quality and ensure that it’s a valid and reliable evaluation of the knowledge and skills needed to be successful. To ensure that we get a sufficient number of qualified people to take the beta exam as quickly as possible, we offer a limited number of seats at a discounted price during a 3–4-week window. While you can pay the full price to take the beta exam, if you want to take advantage of the discounted rate, watch the Microsoft Learn blog where we post announcements for beta exams when they become available. These announcements will contain a code that allows a limited number of test takers to take the exam at an 80 percent discount. Use of this code is on a first come, first served basis, and the available discounted seats for beta exams tend to be filled quickly. If you want to take advantage of the discount, register as soon as possible.

How the discount works

Candidates who register for the exam using the 80 percent discount code, and who take it, receive a 25 percent discount from the exam delivery provider on their next exam after rescoring is complete, usually about two weeks after the exam goes live. The 25 percent discount vouchers will be sent to the email address that you used when you registered for the exam. If you do not receive your 25 percent discount voucher within six weeks of the exam live date, contact the exam delivery provider’s customer support. If you pay for the beta exam using any other method (e.g., you pay for the exam yourself or use a voucher), you are not eligible for the 25 percent discount voucher. This is not a benefit of simply taking the beta exam.

Increase your chance of taking the discounted beta exam

To increase the probability of getting a seat in a beta exam at the discounted rate, consider adding yourself to our SME Profile database. Qualified participants will receive an email containing a different code from the one posted on the blog. Although the seats are limited with this code as well, because the group of people who have access to it is smaller, the probability of getting a seat using this code is higher than with the one that is generally available via the Microsoft Learn blog post.

For some job roles, we have significantly more qualified candidates in the SME Profile database than we have available seats. In these cases, we randomly select an appropriate number of qualified candidates and send the invitation to those who were randomly selected. If you are not selected, you can still participate by using the code provided in the Microsoft Learn blog if there are seats still available when you register.

If you don’t get the discount, but still want to participate in the beta

If you’d like to take the beta exam but were unable to register for a discounted seat, you may take the exam during this period by registering as you would for any exam and paying the regular price. We understand that some candidates may want to take the exam early to meet job requirements or career growth needs or to demonstrate that they are early adopters of (and competent in) the technology, so you can always take the exam without the discount.

Keep in mind:

  • Only candidates who have experience with the technology should participate in beta exams.
  • The code can only be used for exams delivered during that 3–4-week window. If you attempt to schedule the exam outside that window, the code will not work.
  • Candidates located in China, India, Pakistan, or Turkey are not eligible to participate in beta exams for security reasons.

Pass the beta exam, earn a certification

Passing a beta exam in your certification path counts toward your certification. You don’t need to retake the exam in its final version. Make sure that you take another exam within a year so you can take advantage of the 25 percent discount you earned for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program (if applicable).

If you do not pass the beta exam, you cannot retake the beta exam. If you are interested in earning a certification that requires successful completion of that exam, you must wait to retake the exam at regular cost when it’s live, or you can apply the 25 percent discount that you received for taking the beta exam through our beta exam discount program (if applicable).

If you believe that your beta score should be available (because the exam is live), first check whether your score appears on your Certification Dashboard. If it does not, contact the exam delivery provider. (Note that it can take up to two weeks after the final version of the exam is publicly available for your beta score to appear in your dashboard.) If at least two weeks have passed since the exam went live and it still hasn’t appeared on your dashboard, contact certification support.

Preparing for a beta exam—with no prep materials

You will have access to the Exam Details page that lists the skills that will be assessed on the exam. Although our goal is to ensure that some training exists prior to the launch of a beta exam, it is not always possible to do this. People interested in beta exams usually have access to other resources, are experienced in the job role, or have access to early releases of the technology. We recommend that you consult peers, community resources, and early-adopter articles if you need additional preparation materials.

For more suggestions and ideas on how to prepare for beta exams without preparation materials, see: Just How Does One Prepare for Beta Exams without Preparation Materials?.

Beta exam scoring and results

When you complete a beta exam, you do not receive a score immediately because the scoring model for the exam is not yet finalized.

You usually receive your exam score about two weeks after the exam becomes available worldwide (known as “live”)—this can be up to 16 weeks after you take the exam, depending on when in the beta period you took the exam. This time window reflects the comprehensive process used to evaluate the beta exam results, including statistically analyzing the data to evaluate the performance of each question and reading and evaluating all comments provided during the beta exam. The rescore process starts on the day that exams go live, and final scores are released approximately 10 business days later.

Participation in beta exams is voluntary, and Microsoft makes no promises or guarantees regarding the beta exam process, availability of your scores, or the timing of your results.