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MCPD Upgrade Exams Get Beta Tested Mid-February

Microsoft to beta test four upgrade exams beginning next week for MCAD and MCSD holders who want quick route to new-gen MCP certs.

Microsoft is planning to release a slew of new-generation MCP exams that target developers already holding the MCAD and MCSD certifications:

  • 70-551: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Web Developer by Using the .NET Framework
  • 70-552: UPGRADE: MCAD Skills to MCPD: Windows Developer by Using the .NET Framework
  • 70-553: UPGRADE: MCSD .NET Skills to MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer by Using the .NET Framework: Part 1
  • 70-554: UPGRADE: MCSD .NET Skills to MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer by Using the .NET Framework: Part 2

While in beta, those exams will be numbered "71-" on the Pearson Vue and Prometric test center Web sites.

The beta test phase for these exams will stretch out longer than for the other exams, with testing to begin February 13 and concluding on March 10. Recent exam betas have been running around 14 days.

According to the exam objective guides for those exams, Microsoft plans to release those exams to the general public in May.

When they go live, exams 70-551 and 70-552 can be used only by MCAD certificate holders. Candidates need only pass one of those exams to immediately obtain MCPD: Web Developer or MCPD: Windows Developer status. (Otherwise, non-certified candidates must pass three exams for either MCPD title.)

MCSD title holders will need to pass both Exam 70-553 and Exam 70-554 in order to upgrade to the MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer certification. (Non-certified candidates will have to pass five exams if taking the traditional certification path.)

The exam are regularly priced at $125 each, but exam candidates who get an invitation from Microsoft to take the beta exam can take the exam for free. The company usually sends out invitations to qualified individuals who subscribe to the company's "MCP Newsflash" newsletter. To find out more, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcpexams/status/beta.asp. Beta exams often take longer to complete than regular exams, and candidates usually have fewer training and self-study resources.

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 26, 2006 David New York

I took the BETA exams 70-553 and 71-553 to upgrade my MCSD.Net to MCPD. I am posting my notes on my blog www.mtelligent.com

Tue, Feb 21, 2006 Henry Cheng

Is there a way for MCAD be able to certified as MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer?

Wed, Feb 15, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

Can MCSD's on Visual Studio 6 (and not .NET) take the exams, or is it only for the .NET certified?

Mon, Feb 13, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

>Mighty expensive to prove
>I know the job I have done for 10 years
Man, Kevin...wish *I'd* been a .NET developer for 10 years. You're definitely one of the few.

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

Free Beta Exams for MCAD & MCSDs Continue thru March

These free beta exams count toward certification in the same way as the final version of the exam:

* MCAD Exam 70-552 - Upgrade: MCAD Skills to MCPD Windows Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework (use promo code 552BTA)
* MCSD Exam 71-553 - Upgrade: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework - Part 1 (use promo code BTA553)
* MCSD Exam 71-554 - Upgrade: MCSD Microsoft .NET Skills to MCPD Enterprise Application Developer by Using the Microsoft .NET Framework - Part 2 (use promo code UPG554)

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Michael Domingo Irvine, CA

To answer the question about the fate of those with MCAD and MCSD certs: You need to do nothing. The new certs are for those who want to prove expertise with the new products. Your MCAD and MCSD certs will continue to be valid. If you feel you need to have some proof that you're knowledgeable with the newer products, the new certs are a good way to prove that, outside of writing some code and having it run in a production environment.

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Andrew Corley

Good article Michael. Also, for those of us who receive the MSDN flash, promo codes for these beta exams are available in the February 6, 2006 issue. Check your inbox for that e-mail!

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

... which means eventually the MS certs will do little but prove you are a rookie. I would think that is not the desired goal of the MS Certification folks.

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Kevin Grohoske Anonymous

Hmm... Thinking outloud... I have taken 2 of the 5 exams for MCSD.NET and, if I understand correctly, I now I need to take one more.... Mighty expensive to prove I know the job I have done for 10 years. I think the Microsoft certs will only be used by junior developers to prove their skills and not by seasoned developers like myself.

Thu, Feb 9, 2006 Anonymous Anonymous

WHAT IS THE FATE OF THOSE WHO HOLD THE MCSD.NET AND MCAD.NET IF THEY DONT TAKE THE UPGRADE EXAMS

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