In the past once you passed a specific Microsoft certification exam you were not allowed to retake that exam again, ever. After all, there wasn’t really any benefit to since you passed the exam and it counted towards earning you a specific certification. Back then the exams did not undergo any major updates or restructuring until they were retired and replace with a brand new exam on the latest technology and product releases. With the recent changes and restructuring of the Microsoft certification program, the exam are now getting updated periodically and you will now be able to retake an exam after such updates have been made.
As of March 17, 2017, the necessary changes have been put into place to allow for exam to be retaken on an annual basis. After a period of 365 days from the date you pass a certification exam, you will now be able to retake that exam again. This will allow for you to retake a particular exam, or at least the most recent update of that exam, to be used as the qualifying elective exam necessary to renew an MCSD or MCSE certification and keep it active for the current year.
Currently, the exams eligible to be retaken are:
- 70-346: Managing Office 365 Identities and Requirements
- 70-347: Enabling Office 365 Services
- 70-473: Designing and Implementing Cloud Data Platform Solutions
- 70-475: Designing and Implementing Big Data Analytics Solutions
- 70-532: Developing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-533: Implementing Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-534: Architecting Microsoft Azure Solutions
- 70-741: Networking with Windows Server 2016
- 70-742: Identity with Windows Server 2016
- 70-744: Securing Windows Server 2016
This new retake policy is a really great improvement. It was previously assumed that only a new elective needed to be passed every year to keep the MCSD or MCSE certifications current for the given year. If this were required then you would be required to keep learning new technologies and product releases to pass an exam even if they didn’t relate to you job duties. However, by allowing already passed exams to be retaken annually, you will now be able to renew and keep up-to-date by continually brushing up and maintaining the exam skills that pertain to your daily job duties over time.
This change goes along with the other improvements being made to the Microsoft certification that are really making the program much better than it was in the past by keeping the certifications relevant and useful.