MCP Exam Discounts, and the Protection of Exam Insurance
Exam discounts are back and "second-shot" offer returns in a new form, dubbed "Exam Insurance."
With new exams for Windows Vista, Exchange 2007, Office 2007 and Microsoft Dynamics in the pipeline in the next few months, Microsoft has relaunched its popular exam discount program. Microsoft divides the discount among partner groups this way:
- Registered members: 25 percent, limited to five vouchers per registered organization.
- Certified Partners: 25 percent, limited to 25 vouchers per partner organization.
- Gold Certified Partners: 30 percent, limited to 100 vouchers per partner organization.
Vouchers must be ordered by June 30, 2007, with redemption requirements based on the exam topic. For example, vouchers for SQL Server 2005, Visual Studio 2005, BizTalk, Live Communications Server and Windows Mobile expire August 31, 2007. Because Microsoft has yet to go live with the Windows Vista, Exchange 2007, Office 2007 and the new Microsoft Dynamics exams, vouchers for those exams won't expire until Nov. 30, 2007.
The discounts are offered as part of the company's Partner Skills Plus initiative, which provide Microsoft Certified Partners with exclusive benefits and savings on training and certification. To find out more about the discount program, click here. For more detail on Partner Skills Plus, click here.
Also making a slight return is Microsoft's popular "second-shot" offer, but this time in a different form, which the company calls "Exam Insurance."
Micrososoft's exam retake policy, which they offered within the last two years, required registration into the program, with vouchers issued upon failure of qualifying exams. Microsoft is taking a new approach, with the company requiring that candidates pay up front to buy exam insurance. If a candidate buys exam insurance prior to taking any MCITP, MCPD or Microsoft Dynamics exam and then fails that exam, the retake comes free. If the candidate passes that exam, the next exams gets discounted 25 percent. In the U.S., exam insurance is $170 at most Certified for Learning Solution Partner companies. (Exams typically retail for $125.)
Exam Insurance is a limited time offer and must be purchased by May 30, 2007; vouchers issued through the program must be redeemed by June 30, 2007. To find out more, go to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/offers/insurance/.
Exam discounts and exam insurance cannot be combined. Both can be used at Prometric and Vue testing centers.
Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.