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Microsoft Second Shot gives IT pros free retake of certification exams

The latest Second Shot promotion lets admins retake certain certification exams for free. But the offer only lasts until May 2014.

In a recent announcement from Microsoft, anyone taking a Microsoft Technology Associate exam or other Microsoft exam with an ID beginning with 070 or 071 can exercise the company's current Second Shot offer through May 31, 2014. A Microsoft exam ID beginning with 070 indicates a Microsoft Certified Professional production exam, while the 071 prefix normally indicates beta MCP exams.

You can request a free retake on any qualifying Microsoft exam you don't pass on the first try. Just sign up for an exam before the 2014 expiration date, and use the second shot voucher links Prometric testing services provides.

You must register for a qualifying exam and request a Second Shot voucher for either an MCP exam or an MTA exam to take advantage of the Microsoft Second Shot; you will have to use these links when you sign up to obtain the necessary voucher.

When you use that voucher code to schedule and pay for your first exam on the Prometric website, you automatically make yourself eligible for one free retake. Print out and save or store that voucher code in a safe place, whether online or on your PC, so you'll have the code if you need to exercise your Second Shot option. Then, take the exam as scheduled. If you don't pass it on the first try, you can use the Second Shot voucher code you saved for your free retake.

Consider Microsoft Second Shot fine print details

Certain restrictions will apply to this offer. A voucher only applies to one exam at a time -- you can't register for another exam until you take and retake the first exam.

Only MTA exams purchased through Prometric are eligible, so MTA exams purchased from CertiPort don't qualify. Those who fail a beta exam using a Second Shot voucher are eligible to retake the production exam. Prometric will mail a live exam voucher within one week of when you receive your beta exam results, which you can then use to sign up for your free retake.

This Second Shot deal applies only to regularly-priced individual technical exams; discounted multi-exam packs do not qualify. This particular restriction is disappointing since the last Second Shot promotion worked with individual exams and exam packs. Exam packs usually include at least a 25% discount on the list price for individual Microsoft exams, but you don't have the opportunity to double up on discounts in the current Second Shot offering.

If you plan to take any of the MTA or 070/071 certification exams in the coming months, investigate the Microsoft Second Shot promotion. Unless you plan to buy an exam bundle and have a stellar track record in passing Microsoft exams on your first try, this is a great deal.

About the author:
Ed Tittel is a 30-plus year IT veteran who's worked as a developer, networking consultant, technical trainer, writer and expert witness. Perhaps best known for creating the Exam Cram series, Ed has contributed to over 100 books with titles on information security, Windows OSes and HTML. Ed regularly blogs for TechTarget's IT Career Jump Start and Windows Enterprise Desktop blogs, as well as on Tom's IT Pro and PearsonITCertification.com.

This was first published in October 2013

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