We continue to advocate for our learners to have a continuous learning mindset. This key principle is critical because cloud technologies are rapidly changing and it’s important to keep your skills current. Plus, maintaining an active certification can validate your up-to-date knowledge and your ability to perform in the job role. A couple months ago, we announced a new approach – free certification renewals – to reduce stress, complexity, and cost of keeping your certifications active.
Today, we’re proud to announce that 19 certifications are now available to renew on Microsoft Learn, with additional certifications following shortly. Within six months of your role-based or specialty certification expiring, you’re eligible to renew it by passing an online assessment – at no cost and on your own schedule. If you’re within the eligibility window, visit your Certification Dashboard to find more information about renewing your certification.
How can you prepare?
To help you prepare for the certification renewal assessment, we offer a curated collection of bite-sized learning content aligned to each assessment, and you can access it at any time – even before you’re eligible to renew your certification. Completing the collection is optional but we highly recommend it, especially if you’re not familiar with the latest technology updates. To understand what the assessment might include, you can review the skills measured section on the renewal page specific to your certification. Based on your assessment performance, we’ll also curate a personalized collection of learning content for you to save so you can learn which topics you might need to spend more time on.
When should you take the assessment?
Another key principle we’re adopting is to help learners keep their certification active with more flexibility and less friction. The eligibility window begins within six months before your certification expires, providing you the ability to complete the assessment online at a time that works best for you.
You may take the assessment as many times as you need to pass. If you don’t pass the first time, you may immediately attempt it again. After your second attempt, you must wait at least 24 hours before trying again. Keep in mind that you must pass the renewal assessment before your certification expires, otherwise the assessment will no longer be accessible and you’ll need to earn the certification again by passing the required exam (or exams). Be sure to factor this in as you plan to renew your certification. Note that the renewal assessment won’t be available to you prior to your eligibility window, but the learning collection will always be available so you can continuously learn and keep your skills up to date.
What if you have multiple certifications? To avoid renewing your certifications in the same week or month, you’ll have the flexibility to stagger your renewal assessment time frames, thanks to the six-month eligibility window. We recommend that you review the expiration dates for all certifications you currently have and plan your renewal assessment cadence accordingly. For example, if you have three certifications expiring in December, your eligibility window for all three certifications begins in June. You may decide to spread out your workload by taking one renewal assessment in June, another in August, and the third in October.
No matter when you pass the assessment, your certification will be extended by an additional year from its current expiration date. Note that if you have an expert-level certification for which an associate-level certification is a prerequisite, you only need to pass the assessment for the expert-level certification to renew it. Your associate-level certification needs to be renewed separately, and you need to follow the eligibility window based on when you earned that certification. In other words, you aren’t required to pass two renewal assessments to keep your expert-level certification active. If you choose to let your associate-level certification expire, you can keep your expert-level certification active by passing the renewal assessment for that certification only.
Exam updates and their impact on renewal
Renewal assessments are at the certification level and not for individual exams that lead up to the certification. Assessments are kept in sync with any changes made to the certification exams to help ensure that content and skills measured are aligned. If updates are made to the exam (or exams) that lead to a certification you already have, there’s no need to re-take the updated exam as changes will be reflected in the skills measured within the renewal assessment.
For example, if you earned a Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate certification by passing Exam AZ-103 initially, no action is required on your part to take the replacement Exam AZ-104. You only need to pass the certification renewal assessment to keep your certification active. If a certification retires altogether because the job role associated with it has evolved, the ability to renew the certification will no longer be available.
What about newly released certifications?
As we continue to invest in new certifications, we’ll also release associated renewal assessments and collections of learning content approximately six months after the certification has been in market. Additionally, renewal assessments will be updated periodically to reflect changes to the technology that impact the job role. To keep your certifications active, be sure to pass the assessment every year before your certification expires.
Find details on how to renew your Microsoft Certification. We’re excited to share the evolution of our certification program to help you validate your up-to-date skills with more flexibility while supporting you through your continuous learning journey.
On my transcript I have “Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate” twice.
The first one is gained from the “AZ-102 Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Transition Exam” with an expire date of 8/8-2021
and the second one from “AZ-104 Microsoft Azure Administrator” with and expire date of 28/5-2022.
Now I get the “Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate” is eligible for renewable, which doesn’t make sense.
I think you have forgot this scenario, where you can have the certificate more than once. Would you please investigate?
Infact, this is a good one.
More so, there should be a means for previous expired certification that match new certifications.
Thanks for the innovation.
Thank you for this article, this will help us.
Noice. Will motivate developers to achieve more certificates and actively updating their knowledge without worrying about their certificates getting expired.
i like the idea of renewing your certificate through assessments, but im kind of visualized minded, how does it looks like this assessment, is it like the current certification exam ? any secure requirements on this assessment ?
This opportunity is global and available on Microsoft Learn, where anyone interested have to study and answer the questions associated with the contents during the study.
This is a cool development. Hopefully it will cover all certifications.
First let me say that I like this approach to certificate renewal process. now on to my questions, how do I access the bite-sized test for the assessments?
Hi @dennisjoergensen, thanks for flagging this. What you’re explaining is an issue which the team is aware of, i.e. if you passed an old exam and the replacement exam to extend the expiration date for the same certification, you are currently receiving a renewal notification for the older version of the exam. Our team is currently correcting the email rules to suppress that message. Meanwhile, please refer to the latest expiration date for the certification based on the most recent exam you took.
@CANCOM You can access the bite sized learning content to prepare for the assessment by going to the renewal page (see example) specifically for the certification you’re interested in renewing. To navigate to that page:
- Go to the certification details page you currently hold (e.g. Microsoft Certified: Azure Administrator Associate)
- Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the “Learn more about renewing” link to get to the certification renewal page. You can also get to this page if you click on the link in the email reminder received if eligible to renew.
- Once you’re on the certification renewing page for that certification, scroll to the Prepare for the renewal assessment section to view collection of learning modules and learning paths to help you prepare for that renewal assessment.
@KarinaUng Thanks for the quick response. About to do just that….. @CANCOM this was an appropriate. Hope it will be useful for you
Good news, thanks for sharing.
Is it just me as but found it difficult with the assessment questions even though have worked with Azure for years? Also went through the modules but the question which asked wasn’t even covered or am I studying the wrong content.
Dear @Hitesh Jansari
With time technicality change based on improvement in technology, this can generate more advance questions.
But, with more practice I think you can overcome the challenges, also check properly you studied right content or share the content that you are studying.
I believe there is always away out.
Tried the renewal assessment several times, managed to get 64%, worst questions ever, I am starting to think those questions have even wrong answers. I can’t even find logical explanations on google for some of them.
Agree with Cstelian. Tried several time without reaching the target score. The question is not great and not part of any modules I did or material not upto date. Definitely needs re-thinking otherwise this scheme will be fade out quickly.
Just what Cstelian and Hitesh are saying, i tried it several times and just got 60%, i think a lot of questions aren’t clear enough and let you doubt to choose an answer.
after the second attempt i checked all the questions and i’m sure my answers are correct, i can’t pass this exams like this. please make the questions more clear!
@Sudarshan, is Microsoft beta-testing the renewal assessments? Thanks.
You are better off preparing for the main certifications than these renewal assessments. Don’t bother studying the learning modules for the assessment. the questions are not based on the modules. the questions are not clear, I could have sworn my answers are correct, after 3 attempts, I am moving on with another main certification. I am glad, I am not the only one experiencing this, this is a waste of my time.
Hi MS Support Team,
My Azure architect exam is expired on 11 Aug 2021. unfortunately, I did not see the notification from Microsoft regarding renew the certification.
Could please help to anyone to renew my certification because its already expired now.
Please send me email on email@example.com
@RPGRAMESH You need to log a ticket on https://aka.ms/CertificationSupport