Microsoft to Bump Up Exam Pricing Next Year

Twenty-five percent increase expected to be announced on Friday.

Sources say that beginning Jan. 4, 2002, U.S. pricing for Microsoft exams through Prometric and VUE testing centers will increase 25 percent, to $125. Microsoft's exam pricing hasn't changed in about seven years.

The increase comes at a time of global recession, and speculation is that the increase will help to offset the added cost of maintaining the certification program's quality. Andy Barkl, MCT and owner of WeTrainIT in Glendale, Arizona, notices that Microsoft is following suit with other certification programs. "Cisco exams were just raised to $125 also and CompTIA exams always have been more expensive than most."

The increase is likely to affect international pricing. Georges Thibault, an MCT in Quebec, Canada, calls the increase "ridiculous." He notes that the exchange rate can translate to about $200 Canadian. "Why does Microsoft have to make the certification process so expensive?"

Microsoft would not comment on the increase, but plans to officially release this information on Friday.

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Sun, Mar 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

no money no money help no money

Sun, Mar 17, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

no money no money help no money

Sat, Dec 29, 2001 S. Mahtab Karachi, Pakistan

I think it is an extra burdon on a Low-Paid Employee. And I think Microsoft want that no people are entered in the Networking field until he already had lot of money. Please think again on it, also give relex for those who is a MCP and try to completion their MCSE. If nothing can do so please give atleast 3 to six month relexation.

Wed, Dec 26, 2001 UGotToBeKiddingMe Anonymous

Above should have said Vue's computer system has NOT been working properly these last few weeks (also their online digital score authentication system up and down, MOSTLY DOWN; SUPPOSED to tell people pass/fail when registration and validation number is entered online: WHEN DOWN SYSTEM returns "500 Internal Server Error").

Wed, Dec 26, 2001 UGotToBeKiddingMe Dec 26 USA eastern

You got to check this out...Go to the Vue Web site and try to register for exam 70-240. It's listed on the Microsoft exam list as "070-240: Microsoft Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam for MCPs Certified on Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 - $US 100.00"....YES, your eyes did not deceive you, you can register for any day (even past Dec. 31) for $100.00. This is a joke. First, Vue's phone system was on vacation (see earlier post'er). Second, Vue's computer system has been working properly these last few weeks (also their online digital score authentication system up and down; tells people pass/fail when registration and validation number is entered online: returned 500 Internal Server Error). Now this joke where the 240 exam is not even listed as free. How about Prometric? Their site,, is down again currently. HOW ARE WE SUPPOSED TO REGISTER FOR EXAMS? Registration system is seriously flawed and there are very few available times before Jan 1. MICROSOFT, VUE, AND PROMETRIC should get their act together. Extension should be a seriously considered. Note: this info is current as of 8PM eastern USA time on Dec 26. If you don't believe it, try it yourself at I got as far as credit card info before I stopped. EDITORS of this MAGAZINE, Michael Domingo included, how about verifying this for your readers immediately? Hope everybody had a happy, safe, holiday.

Wed, Dec 26, 2001 Eli Florida

It's a good thing all of us don't live on the same planet as Paul - the "Government Planet." "Many" doesn't mean "all," or even "most." It means some. If you ever travel from your planet to ours, you'll see that MOST jobs are not created by government. They are created by small/medium-size, somewhat lame businesses, which don't have unlimited access to taxpayer dollars. So, the rules are much different on most planets with respect to the "Government" planet. :-)

Wed, Dec 26, 2001 Paul Davis Memphis, TN

I don't know what planet these guys who claim certification isn't required for some jobs are living on. Many govt contracts in the US require a minimum number of MCSE's on staff. I know, I work for one that requires three at all times.

In Tennessee, I'd say its more the rule than the exception to require MCSE or some other cert, in ADDITION to a college degree.

And yes, I got a raise after becoming an MCSE.

Currently MCSE NT4, CCNA, BsCS.

Dunno about the rest of you, but I don't seem to have a lot of choice about taking the tests.

Wed, Dec 26, 2001 WINSELY TAIWAN


Mon, Dec 24, 2001 Baris Ankara

Does any one know that the questions will also change?

Sat, Dec 22, 2001 mousse-man sumewhere in central Europe

Buh! If one can pay for a full version of W2k Professional or Server, they can also pay 125$. I for my part, will register early for my 70-221 exam to save 25$. But if Microsoft really intends to sell stuff, it has to get that lots of certified people mean lots of sales of products said people are certified for. Cisco knows how it works.

Sat, Dec 22, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

learn english guys.. how on earth did you get certified in the first place? if you can afford to run windows on your pc, you can afford a few dollars for a certificate, way cheaper than the software you are supposed to be running.

quit whining and go kill yourself

Thu, Dec 20, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous


Thu, Dec 20, 2001 NomaN Pakistan

i have shocked when i read that microsoft double their certification charges...50$ in Pakistan...we at pakistan really shocked and think how can we submit the feess ..:(....Microsoft Plz thinks ... again Plz....

Wed, Dec 19, 2001 CHETAN INDIA

Respected Sir, what will be the price in INDIA. how much can be in INDIAN RUPEE.
is there any discount scheme who has cleared 4 online papers of win2k.

Tue, Dec 18, 2001 Tamer Salah Egypt

Exchange rates here is egypt is rising all the time , I dont belive this is a good move from M$ will be 560 L.E. , Almost half the salary of most ITs here...Thank you again M$

Mon, Dec 17, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

If Microsoft do that i will pass not pass the MCP in the future and i will make the Unix certifs!!!!! (if they are cheaper...).
It a joke how make for find an IT work without M$. But i will balanced more with other system such as Unix or Linux or the deading system Novell, OS/2....

Mon, Dec 17, 2001 Kevin New Zealand

I am spectacularly unimpressed -
the new NZ price is $300, a 62% increase.

However people may be interested to know that Prometric will accept a booking up to Jan 3 at the old price. This booking can be as late as 31 March, and you can defer this another 3 months in March, still at the old price.

Mon, Dec 17, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

The cost of creating and maintaining certification exams is infinitesimally small compared to the sales and licensing fees associated with the products and technologies Microsoft sells. I think the billions of dollars they generate in one quater signifies that people being certified to support their servers and technology helps their bottom line.

Sun, Dec 16, 2001 sanjay india

i have read that miscrosoft is increasing exam pricing from next year but i cant figure out the amount how much they will increase according to indian rupees well if they increase so many of people will left without being mcses so please pay heed to that and please extend the deadline for aceelerated exam (70-240)

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 CJ St. Louis

Oh come on everyone, don't be so harsh! The terrible price of maintaining the certification programs is cutting into their billions!!! I bet you'd be pissed too if those nine nagging states wouldn't roll like the federal government and leave you alone to let you conquer the world. Microsoft can't be expected to pay attention to what its partners and certified professionals want. There are companies to be crushed! Not to mention that vast team of incompatibility engineers they have to bankroll. Someone has to make sure that popular competing software doesn't work w/ the latest, greatest Microsoft OS. So quit your damn whining. Fail your 70-240 exam that you were forced into taking the day after Christmas, well before you could get ready for it, and then just pay the extra hundred bucks(on top of the $400 you'll already be paying) to take the four core exams! That's what I'm gonna do. You know why??? Because I have to!!!

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Stan P. Malibu, CA

Any of you complainers, realize that you can REGISTER for you exams before the 4th, and SCHEDULE them for sometime late next year, therefore locking in this years price??? I think this works both at Prometric and VUE, but I know that VUE has an easy to use web interface that lets you reschedule and even cancel your exams on line. You can even move your exam to a different testing location on line. I just signed up for all of the exams that I think I might take next year. I can always cancel and get my money back. Plus I can take the tax deduction this year.

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Juan Padilla México

Desafortunadamente esto va a desmotivar el querer obtener la certificación, ya que la situación actual del país y del mundo, requiere que seamos muy prudentes en donde gastamos nuestro dinero y desafortunadamente la Certificación NO es garantía de mejora salarial o de conseguir algún puesto de trabajo.
Considero que NO ES EL MEJOR MOMENTO para hacer este ajuste, necesario talvez, pero no ahora.
Esperemos que las repercuciones no sean MAYUSCULAS.

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

It is regrettable that Microsoft/Prometric/Vue feel the need to raise the price of exams 25%. This comes at a time when the economy is in a severe downturn and many people are unemployed. Well, Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away. A friend of mine said to watch out over the past summer when Microsoft was giving a 25% reduction on W2K exams. They are sure to make up for their so-called discount with a vengence. But what other choice do we have?

As long as HR weenies place such high store upon certifications (this is THEIR way to circumvent affirmative actions); and as long as prospective employers insist that certifications ONLY count when you don't have them and that certifications are MEANINGLESS when you DO have them, you are offered no recourse.

A veteran IT professional told me on Tuesday that this is a game to these people. Well, their so-called games are making my family suffer needlessly. I DO hope that there is such a place as HELL, because these humans in name only should have lunch with Satan.

Sorry about the rant, but I guess you get my drift. Life really IS unfair and the only thing one can do is to try and get through it as best as one can.

The higher price for Microsoft certificatiom exams is certainly UNACCEPTABLE, but we are damned if we do and damned if we don't. Don't expect a cave in on this either. You just have to suck it up and drive on.

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Ken J. Delaware

For the last 5 or 6 months of 2001 Microsoft was offering a 25% discount on all W2K exams. If you had capitolized on that offer you would be ahead of the game (I did and I am). If you look at it that way for every exam you got a break on you can take a test under the new pricing scheme and break even. I think that MS tests will still be a bargain when you compare the cost to the CompTIA exams which are close to $200 each (non A+). Most of the exams I have taken I have paid for, some have been re-imbursed by the company (only a few). I think that if you want to get ahead in this field you need to look at the cost of certification exams as an investment in your future and quit squaking.

Fri, Dec 14, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

You are talking about extension for 70-240. What about thousands of those MCSEs (me included) who spent few month already forced to comply with deadline? I can not see any valuable reasons why those people asking for 70-240 extension haven't done it too.

Thu, Dec 13, 2001 Naveed Pakistan

The Price Increase in Pakistan in Not only 25% Microsoft Increase it 100% US$ 25 to US$ 50. This is not Good ..

Thu, Dec 13, 2001 PETER SOUTH AFRICA

I did the mcse nt4 about 2 years ago and found its not worth the paper its written on.I did a alot of Comptia exams and they have brought me more success then microsoft,Yes they are more expensive thats how they make thier living from the exam money and microst have no excuse they sell software whcich is not cheap here in south africa.
At the moment our Rand to the Dollar is about 11 rand to 1 dolllar so here in south africa I will have to do a rethink carefully as it is an investment if you invest you must get back returns which microsoft certifications do nothing for you here.I am doing the 70-240 as it is free if I pass great if not well I wont speed another cent on ms unless my boss continues to pay.So I think its bad idea to put up prices you will kill the demand for exams so there is little demand for them here in the workpalce.

Thu, Dec 13, 2001 krinsh West Virginia

I think that come this time next year we'll find that instead of 'paper' MCSEs, we'll have MCSEs that have nothing better to do than waste close to 1 thousand US dollars on exams for systems they are probably not supporting. As someone in the industry who deals with a lot of (large) organizations, I know of NONE that are migrating from NT4, not just because of the economy and not because of .Net, XP, and the like. They have a decent foundation and are not going to tear the building down for another bell or whistle. How many of you have the money to spend for something you are probably only getting recognized for by yourself? Did your company pay for anything; or only pay for it if you passed? The certification will deteroriate by default; regardless of how high they 'raise the rent'

Thu, Dec 13, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous


Thu, Dec 13, 2001 MCPWench Anonymous

Cry me a river. The price hasn't gone up in almost 10 years and you're bitching now? Don't like MS, don't take their exams, can't get a job? Try a different certification, everyone and his brother is an MCSE, thus little demand or high wage for this cert.

The best part of all this whining is the bastages who are complaining that their impoverished countrymen won't be able to afford the increase...If you can't afford the increase because you need to feed all 13 of your children, then perhaps you need to rethink about where your priorities are. For crying out loud..friggin' idiots.

Wed, Dec 12, 2001 John Virginia

Oracle is also charging $125US, and has been for a long time.

Wed, Dec 12, 2001 Mark UK

The exams are already out of reach for unemployed people, Students or people on a low income that are looking to start an IT career. The board should look at attracting people to their products which already make the huge amounts of money.

Wed, Dec 12, 2001 Eli Florida

I've really grown to regret ever becoming an MCSE, even at $100 an exam, not to mention $125. The whole certification scam is only beneficial to the companies offering it. I am offered the same pay today, as I was being offered a year ago, when I became an MCSE. It is also the same pay I was being offered 2 years ago, when I WASN'T an MCSE.
I agree with the posters saying that one is better off investing in college degrees, which never expire. I run across tons of job openings where a certain collge degree is required. However, I have yet to run into a position where a Microsoft certificate is required. Another truism for me is that if one has experience, the certificate doesn't matter; If one doesn't have experience, having the certificate still doesn't matter.
Since I've already made this lame investment, I'll take the exams to keep it current for a while. However, I'll do it at the slowest possible pace, especially at the higher price.

Wed, Dec 12, 2001 Enos Brazil

Good idea because of braindumps many were just writing and passing and getting certs for free

Tue, Dec 11, 2001 Yunus India

With this demand for certificate holder will increase in near future but students or jobseekers from poor countries like india will suffer more. Here the cost will $50 i.e Rs 2500/- Now most will think about certification seriously & change their mind by avoiding it. So microsoft should think of it because already they are launching too much softwares which will makeup their entire bussiness with much & much more profit.

Tue, Dec 11, 2001 David San Diego

Raise the price, keep the field narrow, that way not everyone and his brother will have the certs and I'll be in even a higher demand!

Tue, Dec 11, 2001 AlreadyCertified EastCoast

Microsoft can kiss by buns! I aint payin

Tue, Dec 11, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Microsoft does have the right to change the price, but they will be discouraging people from taking the exams. I know I will have to reconsider my options.

Tue, Dec 11, 2001 Leo Namibia

I must say the new pricing will make certification close to unaffordable in Africa, with our terrible exchange rate, however I believe Microsoft has valid reason(s) for the US$ 25 increase

Mon, Dec 10, 2001 Colin Campbell Sydney

I just rang ProMetric and they said it would go from $155 to $245 in Australia. Thankfully I will have done 5 of the 6 exams that I want before this comes in.

Mon, Dec 10, 2001 mct malaysia

i guess one good thing to come out of this is that only people serious to do the certification and pass will attempt the exams. i dont think everyone will affected as the exams fees in malaysia now is rm210 which is only us$55.

Mon, Dec 10, 2001 AYO OMOTOSO LAGOS.


Mon, Dec 10, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Microsoft must think about, providing
handsome discount to people doing Microsoft Courses from Certified Centers.
i.e. CTECs. This really will increase quality prifessionals.

Sun, Dec 9, 2001 MCP Singapore

Well, MicroSoft has the right but should reconsider especially in this enconomic downtime. I do agree with Warren from Trinidad about certification and the availability of 70-240 exam at lower cost after the deadline for MCSE on NT4

Sun, Dec 9, 2001 Audrey Benson Oxford, MI

I can not even get a computer job, after my layoff almost one year ago, and they want me to pay a higher price for exams. I have my MCSE in NT 4.0 and certs in other areas as well and still have not been hired. First of all, I think their should be something done about the fraud of advertising the great salary that can be made and that it is an open field. The second thing, once someone has their MCSE certification I believe that there should be something to help with better opportunities than to be competing against 100-200 people for the same job. Microsoft should help the people that have their certs to get a decent job before trying to help others that are not even certified yet. I know they can not guarantee jobs but at least help those that have taken the time and effort to pursue Microsoft recognition. The advertised computer jobs now are much lower pay than two to three years ago for the same job (which by the way I was trying to tell companies and politicians selling their wares). I had just gotten started when the slump hit, how is one supposed to get the experience if they cannot get back into the field and keep up their skills, especially if they are female and older.

Audrey Benson

Sun, Dec 9, 2001 gksmith Texas

Microsoft Givith, and Microsoft taketh away. Microsoft gave back the 4.0 cert and takes away a little more money from us. Plus the fact that as soon as we get certified in something, we have to upgrade the certification.

I read somewhere that the IT industry is not for "one trick ponies" with only one certification. In the time of the current economy, the state of the IT industry, and now the added cost of certification, or re-cetification, maybe it is time to start looking at a different certification and becoming more diverse.

I am lucky to have a "spare" $600 or $700 for certification every year. Time to start looking at a different certification that I can enjoy for a little while longer.

Sun, Dec 9, 2001 Rodrigo New York

Just as I thought, this business of certification is just a way for Microsoft or Novell or others to add money to their bulging coffers. their main objective originally have never been realized - that is, to turn out well-trained and skilled professinals for their particular software or hardware. They make money from books and manuals because they sell software without them and they again make money from forcing you to certify as well as increasing the fee for certification! Just as I said - money is their object!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sat, Dec 8, 2001 ibrahim. m .o lagos

this increase in certification price is sure going to affect the poor it professionals from Africa particularly Nigerians. Microsoft should reconsider their stand

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 dhans india

yes ,microsoft should increase money
then only maintain the quality of exam
and also they should change queitions
frequently ,why means lot peoples are
passing the exams using dumbs from
the site

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 Warren Trinidad

While Microsoft does reserve the right to do this, they should also rethink thier benefit pacakges to existing MCPs or MCSEs. Perhaps they can offer MCSEs on NT4.0 the chance to do the 70-240 exam at a low cost after the stipulated deadline of December 2001.
Microsoft certification is very valuable, but there are also many other more valuable accreditaions such as a Bsc or MBA which have more staying power due to the approach of theuniversities that adminiter them.
Perhaps, Microsoft should follow ACCA and other such bodies where current MCSEs are upgraded at anytime convenient to them by paying low fees to attend special seminars/upgrade seminars or allowing them to sit exams without these stringent deadlines.
Perhaps, Microsoft can ensure that certification is more recognized by adding value to the certification by never expiring a certification. For instance, when you earn your Bsc, you always have it. It does not expire. An MCSE is more proficient at managing a department for I.T than a person doing a computer programming or managerial degree. However, society would have it the other way because of the polidy that Microsoft takes.
Maybe they should rethink expiration and upgrade exams. They are definitely discouraging people from doing these exams and because the market-place is so very dynamic, people simply cannot keep pace with these changes if they are expected to upgrade their skills by constantly writing exams. You'd stand a better chance in the job market forgetting the MCSE exams and doing your MBA. That way you'd have permanent recoginition.
Perhaps they need to rethink pricing, and value!

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 Anonymous Kamloops

I will have to rethink doing any exams. It is not worth the money. Salary do not increase in recessions so what is my pay off for getting certication. Before I was doing it for myself but at this cost increase I will learn matterial for job but not take test which are not real world anyways.

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 Artsky Anonymous

This is definitely not a good move for microsoft, especially in difficult times like these. people will not be convinced to take mcp2k especially that many companies still stay with NT4. Why take the exam if you'll pay for it at a higher price and just practice your expertise on NT4?

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 sanchez Anonymous

the australian half dollar is not going to help the pricing down under either

Thu, Dec 6, 2001 Phil Anonymous

In switzerland, this increase is 43% and not 25% !!
Some of my students says "I don't think pass news exams next years, because I pay myself exams and for my company the certifcation is not really valuable !!"

Wed, Dec 5, 2001 Be Smart USA

What you should do is: 1. Contact MCP program and complain directly. They only care if they hear complaints directly from you. They have changed policy in the past when enough MCP's complained to them and asked for their supervisor. 2. Ask MCP program to extend the testing period for Accelerated Exam, 70-240 (they will do it if enough of you people request it). Good public relations for them especially if they do raise exam prices. 3. Register for your Microsoft exams TODAY for dates past January 4, 2002. You will only pay $100 and have the option of rescheduling exam for free (one business day before test date) or even canceling exam for full refund (one business day before test date). 4. Remember to CALL ASAP at 1-800-636-7544. State that you are a MCP (or higher) and that you want the first two points written above. They have weekly meetings to discuss calls like these. I was told that when they get a lot of complaint calls, especially when you ask for a supervisor or supervisor callback, they have emergency meetings. Remember, complain here only and it's our heartache. Complain to them and it's their headache. Empower yourselves and remember to ask for the supervisor!!!

Wed, Dec 5, 2001 Georges Canada

No it does not sucks to be us Canada. What S.... is international compagnies not taking into account the exchange rate. Actually I strongly beleive in Certification program, but it must stay accessible to all IT workers with the will to certified.

Wed, Dec 5, 2001 Jim LA

I am not surprised. I figured with Cisco raising their prices that Microsoft would be raising theirs soon. You must figure...factor in the cost of living and inflation over the last seven years...taking the test have been a bit of a bargain. Yeah, right.

It sucks to be you Canada.

Wed, Dec 5, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Microsoft has the right to do that. We have the right not to buy...

Wed, Dec 5, 2001 Anonymous Anonymous

Microsoft has the right to do that. We don't have to buy...

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