Microsoft recently announced through a blog post on TechNet that they will be offering developers a free entrance to beta exams. Beta exams, the post explains, are actual exams that are made available at a Prometric testing center, for no charge, as a part of the exam development process. This helps them increase exam quality by having industry experts evaluate each question, by taking the exam, and providing feedback to Microsoft. The feedback is used to fix, replace, or scrap questions from the exams.
Even though the questions are not scored at the time you take the exam, they are real questions and the exam is real. If you pass the exam, you earn the certification just the same as if you took it in a non-beta environment. This means you don’t get a pass/fail or score immediately following the exam, but you do get notified 8 to 10 weeks later because we move slow in getting the final scoring in place.
In the past, beta invitations were sent to a closed group of experts. This time Microsoft wants to expand the beta offerings to industry experts and other developers who haven’t taken an exam yet. The exam is completely free to take.
The beta exams developers can take are:
- 70-511 TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-513 TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-515 TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-516 TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4
- 70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 will not be available in this time frame but should be available in the April time frame.
Exam will be available between the dates of March 31, 2010 to April 20, 2010. Registration will open soon. Interested candidates are advised to keep watch on the Beta Exam blog for further notices.