Score Reports are Getting a Facelift: Pilot Test in Process

Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

Some of you may remember that in February I asked you to complete a survey to provide feedback on some ideas that I had for improving the score reports. Some of you may also be wondering whatever happened with your feedback... well, much of your feedback was mixed with no particular idea standing out as the "right" direction to head with the score reports. As a result, I went back to the drawing board, did more benchmarking with how other certification programs were reporting results, worked closely with our tools team to determine what was possible in our channel, refined my ideas, held more focus groups, and finally landed on what I think will best address much of what you'd like to see in score reports based on comments that you provided when completing that survey in February.

After all this time, I'm super excited to announce that I have a prototype of the new and improved score reports ready to go, and they are currently being pilot tested on exams 410, 411, and 412 with 480 soon to follow!! If you want to see it, go take one of those exams! (I know... shameless plug!). Here are the key improvements/changes:

  1. Added how performance compares to others who have taken the exam. The top request from candidates is comparison information and will appear on both the pass and fail score reports.
  2. If you fail the exam, the score report will now list up to 3 objectives with the worst performance. This should help candidates focus their study efforts as they prepare to retake the exam. I am not including this on passing score reports because performance information at the functional group level should be sufficient to guide any self-improvement activities that passing candidates want to engage in... and the logic of which objectives to show breaks down for those who pass and do particularly well. The rules become overly complicated. Let's just keep it simple, especially when passing candidates really don't need this granular level of detail about their performance.
  3. If you fail the exam, we have updated the text to provide even more details and suggestions for how candidates can improve their skills as they prepare to retake their exam.

As you can see, the fail score report was changed more substantially than the passing score report because candidates want more feedback on their performance so that they can better prepare to retake the exam. My impression from the survey results and focus groups is that most candidates who pass rarely look at the score report (they may read it the first time they pass) and don't use it for skill growth. Failing candidates do, though.

These score reports are currently being pilot tested on exams 410, 411, and 412 with 480 soon to follow. If you take one of these exams in the next few months, please let me know what you think of the new score reports (email: or respond to this blog). If all goes well, we will start rolling out the new reports in January as we publish new exams.

For your viewing pleasure, an example of a failing score report:

And, an example of the passing score report:


  • Mike Corkery
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  • Nimantha
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  • Vimal Caleechurn - MCT
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    Excellent...nice and clean.

  • Zeshan Sattar  (Regional Lead – UK)

    Was it really in February when we did our feedback? Feels longer.

    Any chance of our score reports being available to download when logging into the MCP member site?


  • Helmer
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    Nice! Can't wait to see them in real life :) Also filled out the survey back in Februari. Totally agree with Zeshan Sattar btw. That would be a great addition : to be able to download the score reports from your MCP page.

  • Bjorn Houben
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    Good to see these improvements. Personally I'd also like to see details of weak performance when I pass the exam.

  • Armando Lacerda (Regional Lead - Brasil)

    Very cool! Let me schedule one for tomorrow. :)

  • andreajones321
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    Good idea Zeshan, I lost reports mine ages ago when I moved house.

  • Liberty Munson (Microsoft)
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    Hey, I'm looking into having the score report be available through the member site. The system integration is more complicated than you might expect, but this has been on my radar for a long time. I continue to push for this... Just like the updates to the score reports and getting SMEs credit for exam development activities, it will happen in good time. :)

  • Mike Corkery
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    I worked at the SQL PASS conference this week in the certification area. An attendee that took one of the Windows Server exams approached me to show me his score report when he passed the exam. I got to see the new format. I love it!  The attendees score report sparked a great conversation at the conference about the failure report will help test takers create a more effective study plan.

    I cannot wait to see a live failing score report. I just hope that it is does not have my name on it!