What to expect on your Microsoft Fundamentals exam

with Liberty Munson

Whether you’re a technical professional, student, or business professional, a Microsoft Fundamentals certification is designed to help you accelerate your progress, boost your career, and stay current with evolving technology trends. It can be the first step on your journey for role-based or specialty certifications, but it isn’t a prerequisite for any of them. If you’ve never taken a professional exam, Microsoft Fundamentals exams are a great way to begin.

Visit the Microsoft Fundamentals page for more information.

Highlights and tips from Liberty

  • The exam study guide is your roadmap to preparing for the exam and knowing what skills are measured.
  • At Microsoft, we review and update our exams quarterly. To stay up to date on what’s changing and when, we encourage you to check the exam details pages regularly.
  • As you review the list of skills measured and the associated tasks, ask yourself if you have the knowledge to do what is described in the objectives. Pay attention to the taxonomy that is used in the objectives. Notice how the statements begin with words like describe, identify, define, compare, etc. Those words will give you clues about the kinds of questions you might be asked on the exam.
  • To be prepared to take an exam, engage with our learning resources and practice tests.
  • You can do self-paced training with the learning paths available for free on Microsoft Learn or take a class with a learning partner for a more guided approach to training.
  • We have built the exam sandbox to help you gain firsthand experience with the exam user interface, question types, and navigation. You can also familiarize yourself with how progress through the exam is tracked, where the exam timer is, and practice marking questions for review or comment, and you can even submit comments.
  • Review question types such as build list, drag and drop, and others.

Number of questions on an exam

Most exams have between 35-50 questions. The number of questions can vary between exam attempts because Microsoft regularly updates exams to reflect changes in the underlying technologies and solutions.

Exam time

For Microsoft Fundamentals exams, plan for 65 minutes: 45 minutes to answer questions and 20 minutes for instructions, comments, score reporting, etc.

In addition, Microsoft exams are available in many languages. However, if the exam you plan to take is not available in your native language, you may request to take the exam in a different language.

Use the English as a Second Language form to make this request because you will be given an additional 30 minutes to complete the exam.


Request exam accommodations if you need extra assistance during the exam.

  • We regularly approve requests for extra time for learning disabilities, ADHD, PTSD, or test anxiety, use of assistive technology, and much more.
  • You must request accommodations before you schedule your exam.
  • A request can take up to 10 days to be processed.


If you think you’ll need a break during the exam, we have built time into the exam experience so that you can take one without requesting additional break time through the accommodation process. Five minutes have been built into the exam time that can be used for break 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.

Exam scoring and strategies

Exam scores can range from 0-1000. Each exam has a cut or passing score. This score is used to determine if you have passed or failed. You must achieve a 700 on all of Microsoft exams to pass.

  • Points are not deducted for incorrect answers, so make sure you answer every question.
  • Read the instructions carefully. There may be questions on the exam that you cannot return to or review later. Make sure you don’t skip them.
  • Some questions are worth more than 1 point. Keep in mind that there is no penalty for guessing so you should answer all the questions.
  • If you aren’t sure about an answer, you can mark most questions for review and return to them before leaving the section or exam.