With MS’s new Associate and Professional lever certifications you now need to renew each year. The certifications are valid for one year. Six months before your expiry date MS send you an email…

The email

The email from MS basically tells you when your exam expiry date is and links through to the MS Learn website. You’ll need to link your MS Learn account to your certification account if you haven’t done so before. Once your logged in, you’ll see some learn modules and information about the renewal.

It’s all relatively simple. You work through the modules to get an idea on what the exam will ask you. The exam should be on the newer things that have been added/changed since you took your exam (which is why its a good idea to go through the modules).

The actual exam

When you feel ready you just take the exam from the Learn site. No need to book an appointment and it’s not proctored. You can just do it on your own machine, wherever you what to take it, with whatever you want open on the desktop.

Given the topics that were highlighted in the modules, I really didn’t expect the 45 questions that I got when I started the exam. But, that’s how many there were, all focussed on the three/four topics that had been updated. There’s no time limit and restrictions on resitting are very relaxed.

Questions are of the same format of the main exam, so you get the usual mix of case studies and multiple choice questions.

To recap:

  • open book exam
  • no time limit on the exam
  • can do it whenever you want
  • no need to book

I won’t talk about the questions or topics…mostly because it’s been a few months since I took the exam and specifics have long since been forgotten. The experience was better than taking the initial exam and given that you don’t have to re-learn everything takes much less time to prepare for.

If you get a renewal email, don’t forget to do it. Failing to do so will mean that you will have to sit the full proctored exam again.