New Exams Target Competencies

Microsoft has released several exams aimed not at making MCPs; rather, these ones measure competencies of Microsoft Certified Partner members.

With the introduction of new exams for SharePoint Portal Services, Microsoft's Learning Group appears to be taking IT skill assessment in a new direction. Microsoft has released two new exams:

  • 74-131, Designing a Microsoft Office Enterprise Project Management (EPM) Solution.
  • 74-132, Designing a Portal Solution with Microsoft SharePoint Products and Technologies (including Microsoft Content Management Server)

One unique feature of these exams is that none of them will earn those who pass them a Microsoft Certified Professional designation. The Microsoft Learning group has not responded to numerous requests to comment about these exams, but, according to the exam objective guides, these exams fall under what's called "Partner Competency" exams. The guides define these types of exams as those that "validate that individuals in a partner environment are efficient and capable of deploying multifaceted IT solutions to their customer with skills across multiple Microsoft products and technologies."

Microsoft has revamped its Microsoft Certified Partner Program in recent months, and one feature of the new program is the identification of 11 partner competencies: Advanced Infrastructure Solutions, Business Intelligence Solutions, Information Worker Solutions; ISV/Software Solutions, Learning Solutions, Licensing Solutions, Microsoft Business Solutions, Network Infrastructure Solutions, OEM Hardware Solutions, and Security Solutions. Passing some of the new partner competency exams fulfills a portion of the requirements for some of these competencies.

To find out more about the Microsoft Certified Partner program, click here (Microsoft Passport registration is required for access); for Microsoft Competencies, click here.

To find out more about each of the exams, click on the following links: 74-131; 74-132. will continue to follow this story.

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:

Wed, Jul 27, 2005 worried USA


Does any know any good resources for these exams. I need to give it in a couple of days.....plz point me to some good resources


Mon, Jan 31, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

"the problem with MS certification is that it focuses on selling the latest and most useless MS technologies and products," ... uumm.. Hi, my name is reality. Nice too slap you. How does your post even relate to this article. Sounds like someone is bitter from his or her share of failed exams.

Sun, Jan 23, 2005 ACD - MCDBA Oz

Interesting... I wonder whether Microsoft will offer Partner Competency examinations for designing business intelligence solutions (possibly with SQL Server 2005)... working for a BI partner, I would certainly see the value in such a designation; even if said exam wasn't MCP recognised, it certainly could add value to someone with an MCSE, MCDBA or MCSD.

Wed, Jan 5, 2005 BC Utica, NY

Anonymous - After reading your comments it appears that you have flunked a few MS exams. Otherwise why would you think that everyone has to cheat to pass or that the exams are too expensive or unnecessary? The Idea of the exam is to force you to study the whole application to gain and demonstrate understanding and proper use of what the application has to offer. No – not everyone will use all the features of any application. But the reason for not using them should not be because the technician didn’t know that they were there or how to use them. Maybe you should just stick with the simpler things instead of trying to use any new features. Simple is simple if you don’t try new things you will never know what you are missing. In that case, at least, ignorance is bliss and you appear to want to remain blissful.

Sat, Dec 18, 2004 Ahmad jordan


Fri, Dec 17, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

the problem with MS certification is that it focuses on selling the latest and most useless MS technologies and products, rather than testing peoples' abilities to create useful, efficient, and cost-effective solutions

Fri, Dec 17, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

let's face it, 75% of the material on the MS exams is NEVER used in the real world. let's see an exam where people have to prove they understand the difference between using stored procedures (as everyone does), and using enterpriseservices (which no one does). the entire MS exam program is a farce.

Fri, Dec 17, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

oh the hypocrisy. Microsoft demanding "competency" from their partners, while they have exam testing centers in their branch offices, where MS employees sit around and CHEAT the exams. In my opinion, NO Microsoft branch office should be allowed to have their own private testing center where they can sit around and cheat on the exams.

Fri, Dec 17, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

no, because they are purely focused at the company, not the individual. these are not exams you would take as an individual trying to make yourself marketable. these are exams that a reseller or integrator makes its engineers take to gain partner points. not many individuals will be paying for this out of their own pocket, therefore the mcp qualification is pretty much pointless.

Thu, Dec 16, 2004 Anonymous Anonymous

It's interesting that the cost of the exam is still the same. You would think that if they don't count as a MCP they would be a little cheaper.

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