Learning Blog

Microsoft Certification Exam Formats & Question Types

Microsoft Certification exams are carefully developed with input from industry professionals to reflect how Microsoft products are used in organizations throughout the world.

  1. Define the skill domain: Experts identify the critical tasks performed within specific job functions and/or when using a specific technology.
  2. Define distribution of skills on exam: These skills are evaluated by additional technical and job function experts from around the world; their evaluation becomes the blueprint that defines the distribution of questions across the skill domain.
  3. Write exam questions: Based on the blueprint, subject matter experts write exam questions to measure the critical skills.
  4. Alpha review: A panel of experts who did not write the items reviews each item for technical accuracy, relevancy, useful knowledge, and objective alignment.
  5. Beta test: The alpha-reviewed items are then pilot tested in an exam-like situation known as a “beta exam.” This ensures only the best content is included in the live exam.
  6. Finalize question pool: The results of the beta exam are analyzed for factors such as difficulty, ability to differentiate high and low performers, reliability, and more. Only those questions that meet Microsoft’s psychometric criteria will appear on the live exam.
  7. Set cut score: A panel of experts works with Microsoft’s psychometrician to determine a passing score. This score is based on the skills needed to be considered competent in the skill domain and on the difficulty of the questions included on the exam.
  8. Live exam: Prometric or Certiport, independent exam delivery providers, administer the final certification exam. The exam is available at testing centers worldwide.
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