Free Certification Exams

<warning> This is a long post </warning>

Want to see if you’re ready to develop for the Azure platform?  Do you have what it takes to create Web apps using ASP.NET, JavaScript, AJAX and Silverlight?  What about desktop apps using WPF?  Perhaps your the service developer using WCF or maybe your good at data access with ADO.NET.

Ever tested your knowledge on these topics?  Want to?

I have just the opportunity for you.

I know some of you are just waiting for the announcement while some of you may find this page through a search engine and have no idea what I’m talking about.  Whatever brought you here is not important at the moment.  What is important is that I am providing advanced notice of upcoming exams for Visual Studio 2010 and .NET 4. 

Why is this worthy of your time?  If you decide you want to take one, or more, of these exams, it’s important to know what you’re up against and what it will cost you. 

First things first.  Cost. Simple. You don’t have to pay anything to take these exams.  Absolutely, 100% free, no charge, take ‘em while you can.  There are no catches, no caveats, no tricks.  Free is free in this case.

In case you doubt me, let me explain what a beta exam is and why we are offering it for free.  During our exam development process, we make the actual exams available, at a Prometric testing center, for no charge.  This is a step that helps us increase exam quality by having industry experts evaluate each question, by taking the exam, and providing feedback to Microsoft.  We use your feedback to fix, replace, or scrap questions that are technically incorrect, not relevant, etc.  You help us create a better product for your fellow developers that will have to pay for the exam.

Some common questions and answers are provided here;

1) How much does it cost to take a beta exam? – Absolutely nothing but your time.   There is no charge.  Nothing from Microsoft or Prometric. 

2) Is this a real exam? – Yes it is.  Even though the questions are not scored at the time you take the exam, they are real questions and the exam is real.  If you pass the exam, you earn the certification just the same as if you took it in a non-beta environment.  This means you don’t get a pass/fail or score immediately following the exam, but you do get notified 8 to 10 weeks later because we move slow in getting the final scoring in place.

4) What is the main difference between a beta and non-beta exam, besides cost? – The beta exam will show you questions that have not been through a final QA check.  You are that final QA check.  Non-beta exams expose you to 40 or 45 questions and you have a total of two hours to complete it.  The beta exam could expose you to as many as 125 to 150 questions and take up to four hours.  (bathroom breaks permitted).

5) Who is eligible? – The prep guides will go into more detail about the target audience for the exams, and the links to those will be forthcoming, but, If you use .NET 2.0, 3.5, or 4, and Visual Studio to create software applications using the technologies included in the .NET framework, you are eligible.

6) Why is this beta different from others? – In the past, we have focused our beta invitations on a small set of subject matter experts.  We want to expand the beta offerings even more to industry experts who haven’t taken an exam yet, are considering it but don’t want to invest the money until hey know what the exam is all about, and to get a larger set of experts providing the feedback to help drive quality.

7) In the past, I have tried to register but the exam slots were all full.  How will this be any different? – We set a maximum limit on the number of beta exams that can be delivered.  This is necessary for various reasons, some obvious and some not, but I won’t be going into those here.  To alleviate the issue of the exams filling up, we are increasing this maximum limit to address two problems, not enough open seats and no-shows.  That’s right, people actually register for an exam and then don’t show up to take it.  Even it is free.  No-shows result in exam seats being unavailable to someone who wanted to take it but could not. 

8) When will these be available? – All but one exam will be available between the dates of March 31, 2010 to April 20, 2010.  Mark your calendars now!  We will also be opening registration earlier for these as well.

9) What exams are we talking about?

70-511 TS: Windows Applications Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4
70-513 TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4
70-515 TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4
70-516 TS: Accessing Data with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4
70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications using Microsoft® .NET Framework 4

70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows® Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4 will not be available in this time frame but should be available in the April time frame.

10) How do you sign up? – In a little while, I will be making a post to this blog again with the link to the prep guide, Prometric’s web site for registration and the all important beta exam codes that change that cost in your shopping cart to $0.

As always, if you have comments, questions, or suggestions, please start the dialog here.



Comments (42)
  1. Anonymous says:

    hi gerry,

    is this exams will be available in india..

  2. Anonymous says:

    Minor nit, but shouldn’t Formsview in exam 70-515 (under Displaying and Manipulating Data (14%) ) be Formview?

    Also, the percentages don’t add up to 100%.

  3. Could you invite me too????

    Best regards

  4. Anonymous says:

    Excellent, I am looking forward…

  5. Anonymous says:

    Can’t wait to sign up!

  6. Anonymous says:

    Id love to take the exam

    Please invite me….

  7. Anonymous says:

    Must you have passed the "Exam 70-536: TS: Microsoft .NET Framework, Application Development Foundation" first before you can sit these exams?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Would we get an email once you post the update to this blog?

  9. Anonymous says:

    waiting for the next article…

  10. Anonymous says:


    I’m taking the 70-519 Pro: Designing and Developing Web Applications using Microsoft® .NET Framework 4 on

    Monday but all of the vouchers are gone for the other tests.

    As long as I pass the other prerequisites will I have to retake the 70-519 to get my MCPD Web Developer 4?

    William D Howell Sr

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is really great. Thanks Gerry for sharing this valuable information.

    I want to know details about 70-515, where can I register for it and on which dates?

  12. Great news!

    Looking forward to the announcements.


  13. Anonymous says:

    Looking forward to hear soon. Thanks.

  14. Anonymous says:

    I have taken and passed the 70-565 "Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 on Visual Studio 2008"

    exam when the last set of beta exams were available.

    I have not yet completed the prerequisites for this, will 70-513 "TS: Windows Communication Foundation Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4" fulfil the prerequisite for the WCF exam for the MCPD certification?

    I would rather not have to pay for and take the 70-503 "TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation Application Development" just to complete the prerequisites for the MCPD certification when a newer version is available.


  15. Anonymous says:

    Awsome! I am so in there!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hello, the exam is available through prometrics, but the price is 140 euros, is there a voucher?


  17. Hi,

    Please update this post when voucher codes are published elsewhere.

    Thanks in advance!

  18. Anonymous says:

    could you invite me for the registration?


  19. Anonymous says:

    Woohoo!  I have been watching this blog for months waiting for the VS2010 beta exams.  Thanks for the update.

  20. Anonymous says:

    @dannylane – No you don’t, but you will have to have passed it before you are awarded the certification.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gerry,

    Wonder if there is any update on the beta exams?



  22. The beta exams are avialble now, but how we can  got the vouchers ?

  23. Anonymous says:

    I want to take the exam.

    Please invite me. Thanks.

  24. Anonymous says:

    Hi Gerry and Guys

    Am i too late for the beta exam? Any way i can get the vouchers to give a shot at the beta exams?

    Didn’t receive no invitation from microsoft.

    Will be happy if I can get some advice from you guys.



  25. Anonymous says:

    Is there any update on this?

  26. Anonymous says:

    That superb. I am intending to have a shot at it. Waiting impatiently for preparation material link.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I have received email regarding the exams. Registration begins on 15th March and exam period runs between 5th April to 30th April.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Hmm… something just crossed my mind: at least that will be a description of what would be the exam topics?

  29. Ute-S says:

    Will there be Beta exams for Office 2010, too? Has any timeline been determined yet, when they might be available?

    I’m a PowerPoint trainer, but would be interested in taking an Excel MCAS Beta Exam.

  30. Anonymous says:

    m waiting then…woaho…please update me for the same if any info i missed; darshanthacker [at] gmail [dot] com.

    thanks 🙂

  31. Fawad K says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I have been wanting to register for 70-518 Pro: Designing and Developing Windows® Applications using Microsoft .NET Framework 4. Would you know the sign in date for the exam?

  32. Dan_IT says:

    Hi Gerry,

    I would like to take up 70-515 certification. I am not able to find any study material for this. Could you please help me regarding this.



  33. nm00 says:

    Where can I find beta exam codes that change that cost in your shopping cart to $0?

    Prometric’s web site shows $125 cost for 70-515 TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft® .NET Framework 4.

    Please reply

  34. Yazid says:

    What is the difference between 70-711 and 70-518?



  35. Shameer says:

    While I tried to register for the free beta exam, its asking payment information . Whether i need to pay for the beta exam?

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  41. salim says:

    Any update concerning the beta exam 2012 ? please inform me at


  42. Dhaval says:

    Any update on beta exam for 2014? Please pass the info on

    Thanks & Regards

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