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Microsoft exam vouchers are here

OK, so now it's (semi) official: for MCP exams, vouchers are in! What's a voucher? It's a way of paying for an exam that lets you save money on the regular $125 list price. Over the past six months, I've noticed a growing number and variety of exam vouchers from all kinds of MCP exam vendors and venues.

As with any money-saving offer there may be an occasional gotcha or limitation involved. If you recall (or in case you don't already know), MCP exams are offered worldwide in

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Thomson Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers. Some of the voucher offers work only at one or the other, not both. So if you're thinking about acquiring any, make sure you get one that works at a testing center near you. Also, as packaged for resale, vouchers have a one-year expiration term: If you buy one you have a limited time to take the exam or else you lose your money.

Those caveats aside, exam vouchers are easy to like. They'll save you anywhere from 8-30% on the list price of the exam. On a $125 exam, that's a savings of between $10 and $37.50 -- not bad, considering some of these vouchers come with other purchases you might make anyway.

In general, MCP exam vouchers come in two forms:

  • Bundled with other products or services as part of the purchase price. I knew vouchers were definitely "happening" when I saw an ad for "select kits" from Microsoft Press for its Training Kit series that mentioned vouchers with a 15% discount. Several other publishers I know are working toward including vouchers in their certification preparation offerings as well. Similarly, training companies sometimes offer vouchers bundled with courses.
  • Outright purchase from retailers, practice test, or training companies that sell Microsoft exam vouchers for discount prices ranging from $99 (approximately 20% off) to $115 (8% off).
  • Put your favorite search engine to work on "Microsoft exam voucher." You'll find lots of offers, testing center affiliations, and various prices and deals. If you plan to take an MCP exam any time soon, do a little research and see how much money you can save by buying a voucher instead of paying the $125 list price!

    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

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