Why Microsoft Beta Exams Are No Longer Free

Posted 08 Apr 2019 by Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

This blog was originally published in November, 2017. We are republishing it (with minor changes) to highlight the major change in red.

As many of you know, seats for many of our beta exams fill rapidly, which, in theory, should be a good thing. Quick registration means high levels of interest, which should translate into having a sufficient enough of candidates taking our exams quickly enough that we can perform the required psychometric analysis to identify the good items and remove the bad items in a few weeks.

However, we are seeing an increasing number of no shows. Unfortunately, these seats are "lost," meaning that they took a seat from someone who would have showed up but couldn't participate in the beta because all the seats were taken when s/he tried to register, often requiring us to extend betas. As a result, every no show delays our ability to gather the necessary data to move the exam out of beta and delays the scoring of the beta exam for those who DID show up—because we need several hundred completed exams before we can start scoring.

Because the no show rate is at historic highs, which creates a poor experience for those who do take it as they wait an increasingly long time to get their scores, we need to do something differently with beta exams. Starting on January 31, 2018, we are introducing a model where the beta codes will be an 80% discount off the exam price rather than a 100% discount. If you take the beta exam, the 20% that you paid when registering for the beta exam will be applied to the next exam that you take within one year. It doesn’t matter if you pass or fail the beta exam. If you show up as you said you would for the beta exam, you will receive a 25% discount on a future exam—effectively making the beta free (plus a bonus!) by discounting your next exam. Simply put:

Get 80% off a beta exam. If you take the beta exam, Pearson VUE will send a 25% discount voucher to the same email that you use to register for exams AFTER the beta exam has been scored. You can apply that voucher to your next technical exam registration.

This change helps to ensure that the people who register for a beta exam are serious about taking it.

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