SMEs Who Help Create Exam Content To Get Credit for the Exam

Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

I am very EXCITED to announce that we will beginning this month, subject matter experts (SMEs) who act as lead item writer or participate in alpha review or item selection/standard setting meetings will receive credit for the exam, meaning they will no longer be required to take the exam!! Can I hear a "WOOT!" from everyone!!!

Some important notes on eligibility for this awesome benefit:

  • This benefit is only available to SMEs who participate in NEW exam development as the lead item writer, alpha review SME, or item selection standard setting SME.
    • The rationale for providing exam credit to SMEs in these roles is that they see all or most of the exam content, and it doesn't make sense to make them sit an exam for which they have significant pre-knowledge of the content. If there are other exam development roles where a SME has visibility into all or most of the content, they might also be eligible for this credit, but I will decide that on a case by case basis. 
  • Only current MCPs (i.e., those with MCIDs) are eligible for this benefit… so why not get certified?!
  • Exams that are “earned” through this process will only appear on the Microsoft transcript and not the EDP (i.e., Prometric, Certiport) transcript.
    • Exams will be added to transcripts monthly.
  • This benefit is not retro-active; it only applies on future exam development.

Here's what I think are likely to be the most frequently asked questions... Let me know what other questions you have. In the meantime, add yourself to the SME database to increase the probability that you will be asked to participate in one of these exam development sessions!

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who is eligible for exam credit through this process?

A: Currently, only the lead item writer, alpha SMEs, and item selection/standard setting SMEs are eligible. We are exploring other opportunities that might qualify, but only those SMEs who have seen all or most of the items on the exam are eligible because they have distinct advantage over other candidates.


Q: Does this apply all Microsoft certification programs?

A: Yes. SMEs who act as the lead item writer and/or participate in alpha or item selection/standard setting process for MTA, MBS, MOS, and MCSA/E/D exams are eligible.


Q: What must I do to earn this credit?

A: You must have a MCID and participate as the lead item writer and/or participate in alpha or item selection/standard setting process for new exam content development, what Microsoft considers v100. This benefit does not apply to the development of recertification or upgrade exams. If you are removed from an eligible exam development activity or leave prior to completing it, you will not be eligible for this benefit.


Q: Does this apply to new content that is developed to sustain an exam?

A: No. This only applies to the development of new exams because we expect that our content development vendors will hire certified SMEs to assist with the development of content associated with the sustainment of an exam.


Q: How will this be reflected on my transcript?

A: Exactly as all other exams that you have taken and passed appear on your transcript. Note that exams earned in this way will ONLY appear on your Microsoft transcript. They will NOT appear on the exam delivery provider’s transcript.


 Q: When will this appear on my transcript?

A: Microsoft certification management database will be updated monthly to reflect this credit. The request will be submitted on the first business day of the month and will appear within 5 business days on your transcript.


Q: What should I do if I believe I should have received credit for an exam, but it doesn’t appear on my transcript?

A: Contact your regional service center.


Q: What date will be associated with this exam on my transcript?

A: The date that the credit is awarded. For some exams, this may be the date that drives your recertification requirement, so pay particular attention to this date if you want to maintain any associated certifications.


Q: Will I earn the associated certification if this is the last exam that I must pass to meet the certification requirements?

A: Yes as long as you have met all the certification requirements, the credit earned through this process applies as if you actually took and passed the exam.


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