When we last spoke, I started describing some of the changes that are being made to our beta exams (http://borntolearn.mslearn.net/btl/b/weblog/archive/2012/11/12/everything-you-wanted-to-know-about-beta-exams-part-1-beta-invites.aspx). Another change is related to the availability of beta exams. In the past, we would pull the exam out of beta as soon as we had sufficient data to psychometrically analyze the results, and then republish the exam approximately 6-8 weeks later, resulting in a window when the exam was not available. However, given the limited number of free beta seats and the overwhelming demand for some technologies, we have decided to leave beta exams in market until the exam is live. This ensures continuous availability of the exam, and gives candidates who want to take the exam early an opportunity to do so.
If you’d like to take the beta exam but did not receive an invitation or were unable to register for a free seat, you may take the exam during this period by registering as you would for any exam (although these exams will use the beta prefix of 71) and paying the regular price. The experience will be the same as if you were taking the beta. In other words, you may see some items that won't appear on the live version of the exam because they are psychometrically unsound, unclear/ambiguous, or technically inaccurate, and you will not receive your score until we have analyzed the psychometric performance of the items and set the passing score. Although this exam is not free, we understand that some candidates may have interest in taking the exam early to meet job requirements or career growth needs or to demonstrate that they are early adopters of (and competent in) the technology. Having an exam available continuously gives candidates the option to take the exam when they'd like in order to meet their career, professional, or personal development goals.