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Microsoft

Originally posted March 26, 2020

 

As the response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to evolve rapidly around the world, the health, safety and well-being of our employees, customers and partners remain our top priorities. Authorities around the globe are responding to the situation with stricter measures that are disrupting normal routines, which changes the landscape in which we operate. With this in mind, we have several updates to share with you today on how Microsoft, together with our partner ecosystem, is adapting to the current environment to ensure that all of you can continue to learn and get certified on Microsoft technologies, while staying safe.  

 

Testing centers closing and online proctoring capacity increasing

Pearson VUE, our exam delivery partner, has temporarily closed many of its testing centers worldwide in response to global government regulations to battle the spread of COVID-19. As an alternative to taking your exam at a testing center, online proctoring is available, which allows you to take your certification exam in the comfort of your own home or office. We’re working as fast as we can with Pearson VUE to expand online testing capacity. Stay up to date with current testing availability information from Pearson Vue.

 

Reschedule and cancellation fees waived

In partnership with Pearson VUE, we are also temporarily waiving exam reschedule and cancellation fees. There will be no charge if you reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours prior to your appointment, rather than the six-day window required under our current policy. More information on this adjusted policy is available here.

 

Retirement of MCSA, MCSD, MCSE certifications and related exams extended

We know many of you are working toward completing your Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), or Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) certification(s). We realize that the current environment could potentially hamper your ability to finish your certification before the original retirement date of June 30, 2020. To address this issue, we are extending the retirement date for these specific certifications to January 31, 2021 to give you more time to complete the exams and earn your certification.

 

Expiring role-based certifications extended

If you have a role-based certification that is expiring between now and December 31, 2020, we are extending your certification by six months. So, for example, if your certification is set to expire September 30, 2020, it will now expire on March 30, 2021. Your certification expiration date will be automatically updated, and no action is required on your part. You will be able to view your updated expiration date in your certification dashboard within the next 30 days.

 

Exam voucher and discount offer expiration dates extended

If you have a Pearson VUE delivered certification exam voucher or discount offer that is expiring between March 26 and August 31, 2020, it will be extended until January 31, 2021. 

 

Academic customers

For our academic customers, we are working closely with Pearson VUE and Certiport to support schools around the world that are experiencing disruption to classes due to school closures and shifts to distance learning.  Academic customers with questions can reach out to their local Microsoft Education team or Certiport support.

 

Moving to virtual training

Both Microsoft and Microsoft Learning Partners are moving in-person, instructor-led training to virtual instructor-led training. Microsoft Learning Partners provide in-depth, technical training solutions tailored to meet companies’ and individuals’ learning objectives with content created by Microsoft and delivered ​by Microsoft Certified Trainers. Check with your local learning partner to find out more and visit Microsoft Events to find a virtual instructor-led training event in your area.

 

Use Microsoft Learn!

As we work with our partners and customers through this challenging time, we want to remind you to use Microsoft Learn as a key component for your skilling efforts. It offers a comprehensive catalog of free, online training at your fingertips, including interactive-coding environments and role-based learning paths that can help you learn about a specific topic area or prepare to earn a Microsoft Certification.

 

Questions? Concerns? Contact us.

If you have a question or concern about any of these changes or need certification and training support, contact us! Please be aware that the customer support systems for both Microsoft and Pearson Vue are experiencing longer than expected response times, so we appreciate your patience as we work to handle all inquiries as quickly as possible!

 

This is an unprecedented time for all of us and we are committed to supporting your learning journey as the global situation around the coronavirus (COVID-19) evolves. We will provide regular updates on any program adjustments or changes through this blog and Twitter (@MicrosoftLearn). Please stay safe and we appreciate your partnership during this time.

 

FAQs

Testing center and online proctoring

  • I need to get certified and exam appointments are being cancelled. What is going on?  Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, Pearson VUE has been closing many testing centers, following local government recommendations and/or requirements. If a test center closes, all associated exam appointments are automatically cancelled. If you want to reschedule or cancel an exam, you can do so via the certification dashboard or by contacting Pearson VUE support. Stay up to date with current testing availability information from Pearson Vue. 
  • If my exam is cancelled by Pearson VUE, can I get a refund? What happens if I used an exam voucher to schedule my exam?  If your exam appointment was cancelled by Pearson VUE you should be issued a refund. If you used an exam voucher, your voucher should be reinstated automatically, and you can use it again to schedule another exam. If you do not receive a refund or are unable to redeem your voucher, please contact Pearson VUE support.
  • Where can I learn more about Pearson VUE online-proctored exams?  For more information about Pearson VUE online proctored exams, visit: https://docs.microsoft.com/learn/certifications/online-exams.
  • Where do I go to get the latest updates on testing center availability? Stay up to date with current testing availability information from Pearson Vue.

Reschedule and cancellation policy 

  • What is the new reschedule and cancellation policy  We have implemented a temporary policy to waive any reschedule and cancellation fees if you reschedule or cancel at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam appointment.
  • If an exam appointment is not rescheduled or cancelled at least 24 hours prior, what happens?  If an exam is cancelled or rescheduled with less than 24 hours' notice, you forfeit the entire exam fee. We strongly encourage candidates to reschedule or cancel as soon possible so their appointment spot can be given to someone else. More information on the revised reschedule and cancellation policy can be found on the Exam Policies page
  • How do I reschedule or cancel an existing exam appointment?  You can reschedule or cancel existing exams appointments through the certification dashboard or by contacting Pearson VUE Support. Please note that currently customer service wait-times are longer than usual.  

 

Certification and exam extensions

  • My role-based certification is set to expire between now and December 31, 2020. What do I need to do?   There is no action required on your part. If your role-based certification is expiring between now and December 31, 2020, it will automatically be extended for six months. You can view the update in their certification dashboard within 30 days of the public announcement. 
  • Do these updates impact the MCSA, MCSD, MCSE retirement announcement made on February 27, 2020?   Yes, we are extending the retirement date for these certifications and exams to January 31, 2021.
22 Comments
Occasional Visitor

Please, add an clarifiaction for the following: the last date to take exams to earn  MCSA, MCSD, MCSE  will be January 31, 2021. But how long will be this certifications valid?

If goverment Agency ask me about the expliration date of my  MCSD certification, what date I must give them ?

Microsoft

@clarebeca - the MCSA, MCSD, and MCSE do not expire. That being said, they will remain in the active section on your transcript for two years after the retirement date. Then the certifications will move to the inactive section of your transcript. We have another blog post that highlights the details about the MCSA, MCSD, MCSE retirement. 

Frequent Visitor

Hello,

I've passed the exam 70-480, 

I want to know if Microsoft automatically send a certification via email or I have to take any action to get it,

Thanks.

Occasional Contributor

Hello @ThienDuong,

 

the Certifications are automatically generated and are made available through your Learning Dashboard webpage, via the center button in the bottom part: "Certificates".

 

JanErikFriedrichs_0-1594028406398.png

 

 

Occasional Visitor

Sollte nicht eigentlich ein Hinweis auf den offiziellen "Learn"-Seiten sein, dass die Prüfungen nur bis 01/2021 abgelegt werden können? Wenn ich jetzt anfange zu lernen, werde ich die Prüfungen nicht mehr ablegen können - heißt: Ich würde alle Kurse und Materialien umsonst kaufen!

Frequent Visitor

Hello @JanErikFriedrichs,

 

I appreciate your help,

And I've clicked the button and it show a totally white page, on both browser Chrome and Firefox,

Then I tried to open the link via Safari on my phone, it show up as a download link and i get a file name 'certificate' without extension,

I've tried to put .pdf extension manually, but it didn't work also.

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

Where can i find a full listing of all my companies certifications?  It appears that PartnerCenter only shows ones that match to a competency.  We have taken many that do not apply right now.  How can i see all of them so we know if they are registered correctly to MS.  Curretnly we have taken about 6 MB-700 tests and i can't see them anyplace.

 

We need the capability to run all certifications for our company.

 

Many Thanks

 

 

Occasional Contributor

Hello @ThienDuong ,

 

did you manage to get your files yet? The format of the file you downloaded should have been ".zip", when I download them I get "microsoftcertificate.zip" out of it. Try that.

 

Otherwise I can only guess that you might have JavaScript or some Cookies of the relevant pages blocked. Perhaps try if you can open the page for the certificates directly, at https://mcptnc.microsoft.com/certificate. I have had issues with the pages regarding blocked "third-party cookies", since Microsoft is using a number of different pages that set cookies, i.e. login.microsoft.com, login.microsoftonline.com, login.live.com, login.windows.net, examregistrationapiappservice.trafficmanager.net, etc. These blocked cookies turned out to block me from accessing the PearsonVUE webpage and others in the past. When I use the webpage, I get quite some redirects which may break the access.

 

Kind regards

Jan

 

 

Occasional Contributor

Hello @julie_L ,

 

unfortunately, there is no complete list that you can draw about passed exams and achieved certifications. In this very recent thread a Microsoft Moderator confirmed that. It seems that you will have to find an organizational solution to this, for instance by having a central person responsible for booking exam vouchers, who acts as a gate- and recordkeeper regarding exams passes.

 

Kind regards

Jan

Occasional Contributor

This is a good development. especially in this difficult time. And i found it very appealing that Microsoft extended the voucher expirations time to January 2021.

 

However, as good and comfortable online proctoring is for many people in advance countries, many would still struggle with this option. Take my country (Nigeria) for example, not all people live in a place with good internet connections, even the portable WIFI procured to do exams might not be strong enough to even make it past the Internet strength test, before the exam started.

 

Moreso, A lot of people - some known to me, even struggle because of their vicinity. my colleagues - at my place of work, were able to get their vouchers back, after encoutering difficulties, with their internet connection while the exam is going on. This was made possible after sending mail to Pearson VUE. but i have my doubt if everybody is liable to do this.

 

I am wondering if the exam can be done without high Uplink strength. i hope this can be looked into. @alexpayn 

 

Occasional Visitor

I planned to do the C# exam (70-483) in April 2021. Is there any exam for C# developer after 31 Jan 2021 to get the C# certificate?

Occasional Visitor

Hello, I was thinking on do the MCSA: Web Applications, but I realized that this certification is going to be retired on January 31, 2021. Is there a new certification to replace the MCSA? What would be your recommendation for an ideal certification instead of MCSA? Thanks.

Occasional Visitor

Hi, I am a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), on the 10th July, I booked and passed the MS-100 exam. I had clicked the link for 75% discount on the MCT Central Web page. I got charged the full amount for the exam. I queried why the 75% discount from the MCT Central page was not applied or at least the 50% MCT discount.

 

The reply I got was as follows

 

‘We have checked your profile and we can see that you are not eligible for 50 or 75% discount offer. Please contact Microsoft directly regarding this.’

 

Have Microsoft stopped the discounts, or is this a mistake?

Microsoft

@Antony_Cook - there has been a change in how you claim your MCT discount. There is information on MCT Support on the new steps. This community is not meant as a support channel. For additional MCT related support issues, please contact MCT Support

Occasional Visitor

Exam voucher and discount offer expiration dates extended

If you have a Pearson VUE delivered certification exam voucher or discount offer that is expiring between March 26 and August 31, 2020, it will be extended until January 31, 2021. 

 

Hello,

Covid is still active worldwide will all vouchers be extended to the Jan 2021 date or just those in this window?  My voucher will expire Sept 19th and many of my colleagues are still in lock-down with unstable internet connections.

 

Thanks

Occasional Visitor

Hello, 

 

I used an azure voucher from an ms event. 

I registered For the Az 104 But I Rather Now take the Az103 next month, am I Allowed To use The Same Voucher If I cancel The Current Exam?

Occasional Visitor

Why 70-483 will be retired? Is there any certification for C# programming language?

Visitor

 

Hi Alex, 

 

Thank you for your helpful articles.  Let me start by saying i been in the industry for near to two decades and i been advocating Microsoft products in every business am blessed to work with.  And i understand Microsoft strategy is to move everyone to the cloud for better profitability for the company which i have no problem with since i want the company to thrive and succeed. However the impact of discontinuing long lasting certificate such as MCSA/MCSE for network administrator is blind and short sighted to say the least. For the following reasons.

 

1 - Even when Microsoft customers moves to the cloud they still need server admins who knows how to maintain and run those servers hosted by Microsoft cloud. MCSA/MCSE been a gold standard on certifying some ones ability to maintain Microsoft servers operating systems.

2 - many IT professionals who own consulting company businesses will start to shy a way from recommending Microsoft to customers and promoting competitive linux with GUI OS for the simple fact we fully understand it in-out.  we as IT professionals understand those products in and out through the comprehensive certificate such as RHCA and RHCE compared to Microsoft role base certificates which leave Huge gapes of systems administrators. MCSA was the goto to understand Microsoft servers in-out.

 

Finally am not against pushing customers to the cloud however MCSA and MCSE is a corner stone Microsoft business standing on and removing this will make IT professionals  starting to love Microsoft less than we would like to and is causing us to recommend competitive products to our customers.

 

Thank you for hearing me and i hope my points gets received.

 

 

 

   

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

 

I have been away from Microsoft certifications for a few years, can anybody tell me what is the Role based Certification? some examples will be appreciated.

 

Maxrdc

Occasional Contributor

Hello @maxrdc ,

 

role-based certifications are based on the concept that the certifications you get (and exams you take) are not simply and only about technicalities of a certain software, etc., but about how they are used in the tasks you may get, so it is just as much about how to practically apply the skills as "where to click to do what".

 

As an example, when taking an exam about machine learning (i.e. the DP-100, and the Azure Data Scientist certificate), you get business examples and are required to make application choices. That means an exam question may be when best to use which platform based on business case, i.e. Azure Databricks plus Azure Data Factory or HDInsight plus Data Lake Storage. The cases in the exam include factors you need to read out as key words that determine which choice would be best, and your learning material will have been made to teach you that in preparation.

 

With this, you should be better suited for using the skills learned for the certificate when having to solve problems in your function. Knowing the tools is one thing, but knowing how to properly use them to achieve the best results is another, especially since the options are plenty. In other words: there are many knifes, and you can use (almost?) all of them to cut cheese, but some will work better than others. You should know which knife to use, whether you filet fish or dice an onion. 

 

Kind regards

Jan

Microsoft

@maxrdc - here is a good blog post that gives some good background on our switch to role-based certification back in September 2018 - https://techcommunity.microsoft.com/t5/microsoft-learn-blog/skill-up-and-stand-out-with-new-role-bas.... Let me know if you have any additional questions!

Occasional Visitor

Hello,

 

    I'm planning to take AZ-103 System Administrator certification in the month of September 2020. But it looks like this certification will be expired on August 31st of 2020.

 

    Will the AZ-103 exam be extended until January 2021? Or Better, I would take the AZ104 exam? Please suggest me.