News

Microsoft Picks Prometric for Exam Delivery into 2008

Next year, Prometric will be sole company to deliver exam services officially for Microsoft.

For years, Microsoft has offered certification and Dynamics exams through two official exam providers, Pearson Vue and Thomson Prometric. That's about to change next year, as Microsoft pares the offering to just one company in 2008: Prometric.

According to information posted on the Microsoft MCP Web site, exam takers can continue to register for MCP and Dynamics exams through Vue until Aug. 30, 2007, and take exams through Vue until Dec. 31, 2007. Thereafter, exam delivery worldwide will be through solely through Prometric centers.

The change doesn't affect MCP transcripts, as both exam delivery companies send all reporting information immediately to Microsoft soon after exam takers finish an exam.

Microsoft has posted an FAQ that explains further details, including how Vue exam vouchers can be exchanged later on for Prometric vouchers.

MCP reaction has been mixed. "At a local city level, not all test centers are opened daily -- certainly not weekends or longer opening hours -- which severely restricts the choice of a suitable test center even more," explained Desmond Lee, an MCT and consultant based in Switzerland, who believes quality will become an issue at some point. "The lack of any competition usually leads to higher cost ... [and] complacency results in no motivation or push to innovate or improve, a drop in quality, inattention to details ... etc.," he added, echoing many of the sentiments other trainers have posted on private MCT newsgroups.

"By limiting themselves to one provider, they won't be able to service as many test takers," observed Mark Horninger, an IT consultant and trainer with Haverford Consultants in Philadelphia. "It's a step in the wrong direction."

A good exam experience counts real high with frequent exam takers and if Prometric can deliver at the local level, the matter may be moot.

"I don't necessarily prefer one over the other," said Andy Barkl, an MCT with WeTrainIT in Phoenix. "It all boils down to the local test center staff, location and equipment when I make my choice." Horninger agreed: " I've taken exams at both Vue and Prometric and find the quality is relatively the same."

Barkl said he's been taking exams since the beginning of the MCP program and remembers a time when "you could only take a Microsoft exam at Sylvan Prometric."

Noteworthy: Pearson Vue has announced a release that it is the "primary vendor" for Cisco Systems' CCNA and CCIE certification programs. To view the release, click here.

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, May 6, 2009 Anonymous Anonymous

this is a good exam

Mon, Dec 17, 2007 Barrie UK

I had to schedule my next exam using Prometric. the site was hard to navigate there were very few test centres compared to Vue. During the exam the program crashed twice which vue's had never done. The test site said it had stopped taking bookings now until prometric get this sorted out (appearently world-wide problem)

Sat, Jul 14, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

No. It's because Mr. Bean, the former CEO of Prometric, now works for MS.

Sat, Jul 14, 2007 Wizzle Caribbean

After my own investigation, the reason why both Companies is because examinside (braindump companie) is owned by Prometric.

Sat, Jul 14, 2007 Ronald miami, FL

I do not agree, because with several testing centers, the mcp exams are easier to getting access.

Fri, Jul 13, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

The only thing constant is change.

Fri, Jul 13, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Change is inevitable and unstoppable. I've taken tests all over the country from coast to coast. There are many factors that determine the testing experience. The primary factors for me are location and hours. Test centers with evening and weekend hours rate high in my book. I don't care if they use crt's, or any if the session hiccups at the end of the test. I need to get in there, pass my test, get my printout, and get the hell out of there. That's it.

Fri, Jul 13, 2007 catlaws peachtree city, ga

I have had a much better experience with prometric even in location where vue and prometric are side by side. The equipment always works better. (many more problems with disconnects and reboots with Vue. I won't test with them ever)

Fri, Jul 13, 2007 Tim Buffalo, NY

I agree with Andreas. I prefer Vue over Prometric. The Prometric center is closer for me but the Vue testing center is more comfortable. The Prometric center still uses CRT monitors that take up all the space in the cube. No room to write and the monitor is way to close to you. I guess this is more the center fault than Prometric. But I would like a choice.

Fri, Jul 13, 2007 Andreas Germany

bad news. I liked testing at Vue much better than at Prometric. At Prometric I had much more trouble with tests, especially with newly released ones.

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

BUT, do you really think either of these for-profit organizations give a rats ass about you!

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Buymoreparts USA

Interesting that Cisco professional exams are moving exclusively to VUE as of August 1, the same month the transition starts to Prometric for Microsoft. What's the smoking gun? Organizations that provide IT cert tests will now have to run dual testing centers with Prometric and VUE. For locations that don't want to support both vendors, fewer options and more travel will be needed for IT test takers. In the end, this is a negative for cert takers.

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Anonymous Apodaca, Nuevo Leon, Mexico

Hmmm... let's see.. Sylvan Prometric was recently sold to ETS ... Microsoft almost immediately announces it is dropping VUE ... sounds like an under the table deal is going on behind our backs here.

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Anonymous Monterrey, Mexico

Welcome PROMETRIC...

Thu, Jul 12, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

No...you think!

Wed, Jul 11, 2007 Anonymous Anonymous

Hmmm... let's see.. Sylvan Prometric was recently sold to ETS ... Microsoft almost immediately announces it is dropping VUE ... sounds like an under the table deal is going on behind our backs here.

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