About beta Certification exams

We work hard to ensure our exams are technically accurate and relevant to real-life workplace situations, and beta exams are a critical part of our development process. When you take an exam in its beta form, your results provide useful information to evaluate the quality of the exam and its questions.

How to participate

We need approximately 400 beta test-takers to ensure a valid, reliable evaluation of the knowledge and skills needed for success. To ensure we have enough qualified people take the exam as quickly as possible, we offer a limited number of discounted seats during a 3–4-week window. We’ll post announcements for upcoming beta exams with an eighty percent discount code on the Microsoft Learn blog. Use of this code is on a first come, first served basis, and the available discounted seats for beta exams often fill quickly. If you want to take advantage of the discount, monitor the Microsoft Learn blog and register as soon as possible.

Note: If you miss the discount opportunity, you can still take a beta exam at full price.

How the discount works

Candidates who register for and take the exam using the eighty percent discount code receive a twenty-five percent discount from the exam provider on their next exam once rescoring is complete--approximately two weeks after the exam goes live. Twenty-five percent discount vouchers will be sent to the email address used to register for the exam. If you don’t receive your twenty-five percent discount voucher within six weeks of the exam live date, contact the exam delivery provider’s customer support.

Note: If you pay for the beta exam using any other method (e.g., you pay for the exam yourself or use a voucher), you are not eligible for the twenty-five percent discount voucher. This is not a benefit of simply taking the beta exam.

Increase your chance of taking the discounted beta exam

To increase your chance for securing a discounted seat in a beta exam, consider adding yourself to our SME Profile database. Qualified participants will receive an email containing a different code from the one posted on the blog. Although the seats are limited with this code as well, because the group of people who have access to it is smaller, the probability of getting a seat with this code is higher than with the one you’ll find on the Microsoft Learn blog.

For some exams, we have many more qualified candidates in the SME Profile database than we have available seats. In these cases, we randomly select an appropriate number of qualified candidates and send an invitation. If you aren’t selected, you can still participate by using the code in the Microsoft Learn blog if seats are available.

If you don’t get the discount but still want to participate in the beta

We understand some candidates may want to take the exam early to meet job requirements, career growth needs, or demonstrate they are early adopters of (and competent in) the covered technology. If you’d like to take the beta exam but did not get a discounted seat, you may take the exam by registering and paying regular price.

Keep in mind:

  • Only candidates who have experience with the technology should participate in beta exams.
  • The code can only be used for exams delivered during that 3–4-week window. If you attempt to schedule the exam outside that window, the code will not work.
  • Candidates located in China, India, Pakistan, or Türkiye are not eligible to participate in beta exams for security reasons.

Pass the beta exam, earn a Certification

Passing a beta exam in the Certification path counts toward your Certification. You don’t need to retake the exam in its final version. Make sure that you take another exam within a year so you can take advantage of the 25 percent discount earned for taking the beta exam through our discount program (if applicable).

If you don’t pass the beta exam, you must wait until the exam goes live to retake it. If you’re interested in earning a Certification that requires successful completion of that exam, you must wait to retake the exam at regular cost when it’s live, or apply the 25 percent discount you received for taking the beta exam through our discount program (if applicable).

If you believe your beta score should be available (because it’s at least 10 days after the exam is live), visit your Learn profile and choose Certifications from the profile menu. If it’s not there, contact the exam delivery provider. If at least two weeks have passed since the exam went live and your score hasn’t appeared in your Learn profile, contact Certification support.

Preparing for a beta exam—with no prep materials

The Exam Details page lists the skills to be assessed on the exam. Although our goal is to provide some training materials prior to launching a beta exam, it’s not always possible. People qualified to take beta exams are experienced in the job role, have access to other resources, or have access to early releases of the technology. We recommend consulting peers, community resources, and early-adopter articles for preparation materials.

For more suggestions and ideas on how to prepare for beta exams without preparation materials, see: Just How Does One Prepare for Beta Exams without Preparation Materials?.

Beta exam scoring and results

When you complete a beta exam, you won’t receive a score immediately because the scoring model for the exam is not yet finalized.

If you’ve taken a beta exam, you’ll receive your score about 10 days after the exam becomes available worldwide or “goes live” -- approximately 10-12 weeks after the beta period begins. This time reflects a comprehensive process including statistically analyzing results and data, evaluating the performance of each question and reading and evaluating all comments provided during the beta exam. As a result, you may not receive a score for 14 weeks depending on when in the beta process you took the exam. Please note that the beta exam process and the time it takes to receive your results may vary.

About Applied Skills beta assessment labs

We work hard to ensure our Applied Skills assessment labs are technically accurate and relevant to real-life workplace situations, and we perform a beta process similar to what we do for Certification exams. Currently, however, this process is not publicly available.