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Microsoft Considers Change on Pass/Fail Policy

While complete reversal unlikely, company says it's considering releasing more info to those who fail.

Changes may be in the air for the pass/fail scoring system Microsoft implemented on its certification exams earlier this year. In an interview during TechEd, being held this week, Director of Microsoft Certification Anne Marie McSweeney said her group is trying to "look at the approach we took before... to give [testing candidates] more information."

Previous exams provided candidates with a diagnostic report at the end of the test, which provided both a numeric score and a module-by-module summary of his or her performance. This provided candidates who failed an exam with an idea about those areas of the test objectives that needed additional study.

The latest approach, widely scorned by many MCPs, provides only a pass or fail verdict.

McSweeney said the group will probably not return to a numeric scoring, since a pass score changes depending on what version of an exam the candidate has taken and what questions are in that particular exam.

But, she said, Microsoft does want to provide at least enough information to those candidates who fell short so that they know whether they failed "miserably or just a little bit."

McSweeney said the group may hold online chats about the topic with MCPs in the near future to get feedback.

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