New User Interface live in new SQL, System Center exams

Stephanie Jordan (Microsoft)

The MSL Certification UX team is pleased to announce customer availability of our new exam interface!  Starting with the exams listed below, candidates will experience some cool new features:

Updated look and feel:  graphics, logos and colors have been updated to match our website and other program communications.

The end of forced scrolling between questions:  you can scroll or not at your discretion, no more warnings about “you have not viewed all of the material”.  Watch for a background story about this from Liberty.

Mouse wheel support: for scroll-inclined test takers, the mouse wheel will be functional at test centers where scroll-wheel mice are available.

Optimized intro screen:  we took a fresh look at the intro screens and realized that we could provide the same information on a single page (and we won't make your scroll through it, either).

Keyboard shortcuts: we had few, and now even more shortcuts are enabled – you can navigate the entire exam using only a keyboard.  Tip: for a complete list of keyboard shortcuts, open the “Help” window during the exam and click on the “Keyboard Shortcuts” tab. 

A clear transition into the exam:  A new Start Exam page appears between survey/intro screens and the exam, clarifying when your exam begins.  It also displays helpful exam information - such as time available, number of questions and sections – so you can strategize before the test clock starts ticking.

Simpler review screen UI:  The review screen that appears at the end of each exam section (or end of the exam, if a single section) has been reduced to essential categories:  complete, incomplete, and marked for review or comment.  You can click on numbered links in the table to jump directly to items or review sets of questions by clicking on category buttons at the bottom of the screen.

Updated user instructions, content has been rewritten to match the new implementation and make it easier to find the information you're looking for.  A table of keyboard shortcuts has been added to the Help tab.

The rollout is limited to a few exams in English only (localized titles are coming soon) - you can experience the new UI in the following:

70-246 Monitoring and Operating a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

70-247 Configuring and Deploying a Private Cloud with System Center 2012

70-457 Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 1

70-458 Transition Your MCTS on SQL Server 2008 to MCSA: SQL Server 2012, Part 2

70-459 Transition Your MCITP: Database Administrator 2008 or MCITP: Database Developer 2008 to MCSE: Data Platform

70-460Transition Your MCITP: Business Intelligence Developer 2008 to MCSE: Business Intelligence

70-461 Querying Microsoft SQL Server 2012

70-462 Administering Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases

70-463  Implementing a Data Warehouse with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

70-464 Developing Microsoft SQL Server 2012 Databases

70-465 Designing Database Solutions for Microsoft SQL Server 2012

70-466 Implementing Data Models and Reports with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

70-467 Designing Business Intelligence Solutions with Microsoft SQL Server 2012

Existing exams will remain in the "Classic" UI for a while longer, but most will be updated over the next few months.  Watch for more exams in all supported languages with the new interface later this summer. 

And thank you to you:  Many of these updates were made in direct response to user comments from this blog and members of our SME community (be sure to sign up for our SME database if you haven’t already, link).  Thank you for filling out exam comments, participating in our surveys and focus groups, and sharing your opinions with us.    

There’s still plenty more to do (bending the system to our will...), but we hope you enjoy our first update in a while (>10 years?!).  If you’ve seen the new UI this week, please let me know how your exam went and what you think!



  • Anonymous
    | |


    is there a final timeline when all SQL-Beta Exams are rated?

    Currently I´m missing my 70-462, it only says tested....

    Kind Regards Patrick

  • Stephanie Jordan (Microsoft)
    | |

    Hi Patrick - the SQL beta exams are being scored now - you should receive a score in about a week.  Please let us know if you don't see something by the end of the month.

  • kimbalko
    | |

    Hi Stephanie,

    Sorry for pushing an old post. I have a question about the past sql 2012 beta exams.

    I have passed both of the sql 2012 MCSE tracks, but still haven't got any score report nor the charter certificate up to now.

    Is that the score report or charter cert is no longer provided for the new betas?

    Thanks so much! Kimbal

  • Andrew Nickels
    | |

    Hi Kimbal,

    I work with Stephanie and can follow up on this for you. Please email me the exam numbers you passed, your full name, and where you took the exams. Email me directly at andnic (at)

    Thanks - Andrew