Exam duration and question types

Exam duration

The number of questions on a certification exam is subject to change as we make updates to ensure it aligns with current changes in the technology and job role. Most Microsoft Certification exams typically contain between 40-60 questions; however, the number can vary depending on the exam.

Exam time varies based on the type of exam you take.

Exam type Exam duration* Seat duration*
Fundamentals exams 45 minutes 65 minutes
Associate and expert role-based exams without labs** 100 minutes 120 minutes
Associate and expert role-based exams that may contain labs** 120 minutes 140 minutes
Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams 50 minutes 60 minutes

*Exam duration refers to the amount of time that you have to complete the exam. Seat time refers to the amount of time that you should allocate for the exam. It includes the time needed to review the instructions, read and accept the NDA, complete the exam questions, and provide comments after completing it (if you choose to do so).

**Because labs can be removed at any time due to Azure outages, bandwidth issues, etc., Microsoft does not provide a list of exams with labs. When you register for the exam, you will be provided with the exam time. When you launch the exam, carefully review the overview pages that provide information about what to expect on the exam, including if labs are available.

Unscheduled breaks on exams

You may take unscheduled breaks during all exams, except Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) exams, without requesting them in advance through the accommodation request process.

Some details:

  • Five (5) minutes have been built into the exam time that can be used for break time. We have removed questions from the exam to accommodate this.
  • While only 5 minutes have been added to the exam time, you can take as much time as you want during the break, and you can take multiple breaks; however, the exam clock will continue while you are on break. If the exam time ends while you are on break, your exam will be scored based on what you were able to complete before the exam ended. If you are unable to finish the exam because you were on a break or took a break, no adjustments will be made. You are responsible for managing your own time.
  • Once a break is launched, you will not be able to return to the questions that you viewed before the break even if they are unanswered or marked for review.
  • You can take a break at any point during the exam except in the middle of a lab or within our problem-solution question sets (where you are presented a problem and asked if the solution provided would solve the problem); breaks can be taken before or after these types of questions but not during them.
  • You can take breaks during case studies, but you will not be able to return to any question seen before the break.
  • IMPORTANT NOTE: You cannot access any unauthorized materials during your break, including your cell phone. If the proctor sees you doing so, your exam will be revoked. To learn more about cell phone use during exams, review the OnVUE guide.

To start a break, select the “Take a break” icon at the bottom of the exam window.

Take an break icon

After selecting the “Take a break” icon, you will be informed of the number of questions you have seen, how many of them are unanswered, and how many are marked for review. Please answer and/or review those questions before starting your break. You will not be able to return to these questions after your break. Once you are ready to proceed to your break, select “Start Break.” If you decide not to take a break, select “Return to Exam.”

Questions answered

Once you have started your break, you will be reminded that the exam timer continues running and informed how many questions are remaining on the exam. You will also see the exam clock.

Exam clock

Take a practice exam

One of the best ways to get familiar with Microsoft Certification exams is to take an Official Microsoft Practice Test. While practice tests will assess your skills and help you get familiar with the exam experience, they aren’t identical to the actual exams.

Question types on exams

To protect exam security and the value of our certifications, we don’t identify specific exam formats or question types before the exam. However, you can demo the exam experience by visiting our “exam sandbox.” We created this experience to provide you with an opportunity to experience the exam before you take it. You will have an opportunity to interact with the different question types that you may see during the exam in the exam user interface. In addition, this experience includes the same introductory screens, instructions, help information, and NDA that you will see on your exam. As a result, using this sandbox should better prepare you for the exam experience and increase your familiarity with the user interface, how to navigate between pages, what action to take to answer each of the different question types, where information about the exam is located (time remaining, questions remaining, etc.), how to mark questions for review, and how to leave comments.

If you use assistive devices, this is an opportunity to understand how those assistive devices can be used in the exam interface, how the keyboard can be used to navigate through the exam, and so on. Additionally, you will be provided with the opportunity to leave feedback on the accessibility and usability of the sandbox exam with your assistive device during the item comment section. These comments will be monitored for future improvements to the experience.

Note that if you use assistive devices, you will need to request an accommodation to be able to use them during the exam. Learn more about requesting accommodations before you register for your exam.

Keep in mind that while this experience is designed to familiarize you with the exam experience and how to navigate through it, the secure browser that will be launched during a real exam is not enabled in the sandbox. When enabled during the exam, it will block all third-party applications, including assistive devices without prior approval; this is why you must request an accommodation if you would like to use one during your exam.

Here are some samples of questions you might see on an exam:

Active screen (0:44)

Active screen

Best answer (0:20)

Best answer

Build list (0:45)

Build list

Case studies (1:13)

Case studies

Drag and drop (0:37)

Drag and drop

Hot area (0:17)

Hot area

Multiple choice (0:37)

Multiple choice

Repeated answer choices (0:20)

Repeated answer choices

Short answer (0:29)

Short answer

Labs (2:58)

Labs image

Mark review (0:33)

Mark review

Review screen (1:36)

Review screen