Certification process overview

Why get certified?

Earning a Microsoft Certification is globally recognized evidence of real world skills. A Microsoft Certification showcases your commitment to keeping pace with rapidly changing technology and positions you for increased skills, efficiency, and earning potential in your professional roles.

  • Thirty-five percent of technical professionals say getting certified led to increased income and twenty-six percent reported promotions1. IT professionals who achieve a relevant, role-based technical certification perform an average of twenty-six percent better than their uncertified colleagues2.
  • Team leaders who support and encourage their teams to get certified can expect a higher performing workforce. Workers are more likely to stay with a company that invests in their skills through certifications3.
  • Getting a Microsoft Certification is also a great way to break into the tech industry. A Microsoft Certification conveys expertise, especially helpful for someone new to the industry.

Getting started with Microsoft Certification

A great place to begin is the credentials overview, where you can explore certifications by role or level. If you already know which certification you want to take, you can filter and search from the browse certifications page.

Click the name of any certification to see the certification details page which lists the exams you must pass to earn it. Some certifications only require one exam, while others require more. On the details page, you’ll also find information about what skills are measured, how to prepare, and links to registration. Each exam also has its own details page covering exam-specifics.

Prepare for your certification exam(s)

For role-based, specialty, and fundamentals certifications, start by reviewing the study guide on the exam details page. For MOS certifications, start by reviewing the skills list on the exam details page. If you already have the skills, schedule the exam. If you’d like more preparation, check out the certification or exam detail pages for options like:

  • Exam prep videos
  • Free online training on Training Services Partner
  • Instructor-led training
  • Practice Assessments
  • Additional preparation materials from Training Services Partner Press and training delivered by Training Services Partners
  • Exam sandbox

To learn more about these and other ways to get prepared, visit: Prepare for an exam.

Register for a Microsoft Certification exam

When you’re ready, register from any exam details page. During the scheduling process, you’ll choose to take the exam in a local test center or online. Local test centers provide a secure, exam-ready testing environment while online proctored exams offer flexible scheduling and the convenience of taking an exam from your home or office. Microsoft partners with multiple exam providers to deliver certification exams for different types of candidates. To learn more about these providers, how to register, and the benefits of online exams versus test centers, visit: Register and schedule an exam.


We’re committed to ensuring that every person who’s interested in taking Microsoft certifications can do so in a way that is fair and accurately reflects their skills and abilities. Visit Request accommodations to learn more about requesting accommodations.

Getting your exam results and certifications

For most exams, you’ll be informed of your results within minutes. But it can take up to 24 hours for results to appear in your Learn profile’s Certifications tab. For more information about exam results and how to access them, visit Exam scoring and score reports.

Please note: if you’ve taken a beta exam or scheduled your exam via Certiport, the exam provider for students and educators, timing of exam results may vary.

Share your success

If you’ve passed all the exams to earn a certification, congratulations! Employers and colleagues will recognize your achievement when you share it on professional networks or embed it in your email signature or resume. It’s your time to shine. Learn more about how you can view, download, and share your accomplishments or share a record of your success on your Microsoft transcript. For more information on transcripts, visit View and share transcripts.

Renewing your certification

Keep in mind that role-based and specialty certifications expire after one year. You can take free online renewal assessments six months before they expire to extend your certification for a year. For more information, visit: Renew your certification.

1IDC white paper, sponsored by Microsoft, “Benefits of Role-Based Certifications,” June 2020.

2Pearson VUE, “2018 Value of IT Certification,” 2018.

3LinkedIn, “2020 Global Talent Trends Report,” 2020.