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Last Updated December 16, 2003

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Microsoft Certification News

For better or worse, Microsoft makes changes to the MCP program almost every month. Some exams are added, others retired. Occasionally new certification levels are added, or existing certification requirements are expanded. It's important to keep up on these changes and to make sure your certification levels remain current.

First Exchange Server 2003 Exam Announced
Microsoft has quietly added its first Exchange Server 2003 exam to its roster of exams. Source: MCPMag (July 17, 2003)

Microsoft Exams Retiring at End of June
Nine Microsoft exams whose retirements were announced in June 2002 will be discontinued at the end of this month. According to an ongoing policy, Microsoft makes impending exam retirement announcements in June each year, with retirements taking place one year after the announcements are made. Because of another policy implemented in October 2001 (see the FAQ at for details), Microsoft also requires no recertification in order to retain currently valid certifications. This means that anyone holding a certification that uses any of these soon-to-retire exams will remain certified. Source: MCPMag

Microsoft to introduce security certifications
Microsoft Corp. is expected to announce its first set of certification credentials for IT administrators and engineers who specialize in security in a Windows environment. The requirements are essentially the same as for an ordinary MCSE certification, except the security candidate has to take the core security design exam and a security implementation exam that Microsoft introduced in January, along with the ISA Server or CompTIA exam. Source: ComputerWorld

MCSE-Win2K Core Exams Getting Refreshed
Microsoft next week plans to "refresh" its 70-210: Windows 2000 Professional and 70-215: Windows 2000 Server exams with new questions and testing techniques that are being developed for the upcoming Windows Server 2003 exams. The refresh is an attempt to make the exams more secure by weeding out old or statistically irrelevant questions. Source: MCP Magazine (May 8, 2003)

What You Need to Know About Windows Server 2003 Certification
For Windows 2003 certification, Microsoft is restructuring the relationship between the MCSE and the MCSA credentials. Instead of simply refreshing current exams to reflect the new product, as Microsoft has previously done, the company is restructuring the relationship between the MCSE and the Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA) credentials. Here's what you need to know about Windows 2003 certification. Source: Windows & .NET Magazine
(April 2003)

Microsoft shakes up certification program
As expected, Microsoft this week released details for certification exams -- some two months ahead of the Windows 2003 platform launch. Under the new certification program, a Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) with a Windows 2000 certification must take only two separate upgrade exams to receive a Windows 2003 certification. In the past, administrators had to study for four different exams to get a single platform certification. Source: TechTarget  (Feb 20, 2003)

Microsoft Releases Details on New Exams for MCSE on Windows Server 2003 Track
The company has modified the requirements of its certification programs for the MCSE and MCSA on Windows Server 2003 and provided an upgrade path for people certified on Windows 2000. Source: MCPmag (Feb 17, 2003)

.NET Server MCSE and MCSA Plans Changed
Microsoft has decided to restructure its certification offerings for Windows .NET Server 2003. The changes encompass upgrade exams and a retooling of the way that the MCSE and MCSA credentials tie together. Source: MCP Magazine (Dec 3, 2002)  

ExamCram to go live again
Que Publishing is expected to officially announce that it will be relaunching the popular Exam Cram line of certification guides. In the deal, which was finalized Friday, Que Publishing purchased the North American rights to Exam Cram from Waterside Productions, a literary agency, for an undisclosed amount. The purchase includes the Exam Cram customer list, logos, copyrights and Web site.  Source: CertCities (Sept 25, 2002)

Microsoft redesigns MCP exam guides
Microsoft has has begun republishing some exam prep guides in a new format that is designed to offer candidates more useful training and MCP exam preparation information. Microsoft is also asking for feedback in order to improve these and future guides. To submit feedback, please send e-mail to with ©Prep guide feedback? in the subject line
Exam Cram Publisher goes under
Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Coriolis LLC, publisher of the Exam Cram certification study guides as well as other IT books, was dissolved last week by its majority owner, Haights Cross. Source: (April 3, 2002)
Group to Crack Down on Pirated IT Certification Tests
A group of companies that do IT skills testing hope that a new seal of approval will head off a crisis of confidence in their certifications brought on by test pirating. Source: eWeek (March 8, 2002)
Microsoft Moves to Pass/Fail Scoring System
Microsoft no longer gives test-takers an overall score on exams, opting instead for a simple pass/fail system. Anne Marie McSweeney, Microsoft©s director of certification skills and assessment, said in an interview with MCP Magazine editors, that the new grading method started in December 2001 and will include all future exams. Source: MCP Magazine

A Word to the Wise  
Advice on preparing for the upcoming Windows 2000 Certifications, and the new MCSE requirements. Source: Windows NT Systems Magazine 

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