It's rare that test-takers get a reward for failing. However, for a brief time between April 30th and July 1st, MCP candidates in the United States who sign up for, take, and fail any single Windows 2003 core exam at Pearson VUE can re-take that exam for free! The program is aptly named "Second Shot" and is mentioned with little fanfare on the Microsoft Web site on a Limited-Time Offers page. The exams covered in this program include:
- 70-270, Windows XP
- 70-290, Managing Windows 2003 Server
- 70-291, Managing a Windows 2003 Server Network
- 70-292, MCSA Upgrade
- 70-293, Planning a Windows 2003 Server Network
- 70-294, Planning Windows 2003 Server Active Directory Infrastructure
- 70-296, MCSE Upgrade
- 70-297, Designing Windows 2003 Active Directory
- 70-298, Designing Windows 2003 Security
Important Note: Candidates who wish to exercise the offer must re-take the failed exam on or before July 31, 2004. Alas, the offer applies to only one of the exams on the list so don't sign up for a bunch thinking you can retake all of the them for free.
Even though it's a limited time offer, for those already preparing for one or more of these exams it's a good deal. Details on how to take advantage of the deal are covered in a posting on the Microsoft Discussions in MCSE newsgroup. Basically, you must sign up for the exam at VUE, and then call a special phone number to exercise the offer if and when you fail one of these exams. Having failed a couple of MCP exams myself over the years, I'd particularly recommend that those boning up for MCSA (70-292) or MCSE (70-296) upgrade exams consider taking up this offer. Good luck!
Ed Tittel is a long-time certification follower. He's series editor for Exam Cram 2, a popular assembly of cert prep books from Que Publishing, and a contributing editor for Certification Magazine. He also covers certification topics for InformIT.com, and numerous other TechTarget Web sites.
This was first published in May 2004