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Table of Contents

Where do I call for information on becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional or to check on my certification status?

What certifications does Microsoft offer?

How long is my certification valid?

Who is responsible for keeping my certification valid?

Do I need to notify Microsoft before I begin the certification process?

How can I change my address with the Microsoft Certified Professional program?

What are the benefits of becoming certified?

Once I become a Microsoft Certified Professional, how long will it take before I receive a welcome kit?

Can I have more than one Microsoft Certification?

Do I get a special title for obtaining all four of the Microsoft Certifications?

Can I have any of the Microsoft Certified Professional Exams waived?

I've been an MCP for a while and still have not received any of my mailings. Whom do I contact to check the status of the mailings?

How can I register for a Beta exam?

How long will it take to get the results of a Beta exam, and how can I obtain the results of my Beta exam?

How can I find out when a particular exam will be released?

How do I become a Microsoft Certified Trainer?

Where can I order a Microsoft Certified Trainer Kit?

Where do I get software?

Where can I find the course outlines or syllabi?

How much do Microsoft ATEC Courses cost?

How much is an MCSE worth?

How hard is it to become an MCSE?

How do I justify certification to my manager?

What are the bottom line benefits to my company?

What elective exams should I take?

What are the best ways to self-study?

What free stuff can I get to help me prepare?

What are the best mailing lists and Web resources?

What are the best books to read and study for each?

 


Where do I call for information on becoming a Microsoft Certified Professional or to check on my certification status?

The Microsoft Certified Professional program's customer service telephone number is 1-800-636-7544 in North America. Click here for worldwide customer service telephone numbers.

Sending mailto:MCP@MSProgram.Com works very well also.

Microsoft Worldwide Contacts

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What certifications does Microsoft offer?

Microsoft offers many individual subject certification, but the 'big four' certifications are:

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How long is my certification valid?

Your certification will remain valid as long as you keep your certification current. From time to time, Microsoft may retire exams and institute recertification requirements. By meeting these requirements, an individual will keep certification current.

Microsoft promises you will not lose a certification without at least SIX MONTHS warnign BUT has generally been very much MORE GENEROUS about this,

Currently WinNT 4.0 is announced as expiring at the END OF 2001
Microsoft announce that Win2000 and WindowsXP certifications will be INTERCHANGABLE and XP probably won't ship until 2002 in any case.

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Do I need to notify Microsoft before I begin the certification process?

No. Once you register and take your first exam, Microsoft will automatically receive a record.

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How can I change my address with the Microsoft Certified Professional program?

E-mail to MCP@MSPrograms.com, an alias especially for MCPs.

You can also call Sylvan Prometric at 1-800-755-EXAM in North America.
You can also call VUE at 1-800-TestReg

If you live outside the United States or Canada, use these Microsoft Worldwide Contacts. It is important that you keep your address current with the MCP program to ensure you receive all your benefits.

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Once I become a Microsoft Certified Professional, how long will it take before I receive a welcome kit?

Microsoft used to ship welcome kits -- and may or may not do so now.

You certification transcipts and logos can now be obtained (almost) immediately -- within a few day of completing the certification -- by visiting the PRIVATE MCP site.  Just go to the /MCP area and link from there.

Previously we said:
You will receive your welcome kit within three weeks of becoming certified. If you have not received your welcome kit within the allotted time, please call (1-800) 636-7544 in the United States and Canada. Outside North America, please contact you local Microsoft subsidiary or these Microsoft Worldwide Contacts

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Can I have more than one Microsoft Certification?

Yes, you can obtain all of the Microsoft Premium Certifications.

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Do I get a special title for obtaining all four (6,7, or 8) of the Microsoft Certifications?

No, there is no special title for individuals who have achieved all four of the MCP Certifications.

Just braggin' rights. <grin>

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Can I have any Microsoft Certified Professional Exams waived?

Sometimes.

Microsoft previously granted credit for the networking exam requirement based on other exams like Network+ or Novell certification.

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I've been an MCP for a while and still have not received any of my mailings. Whom do I contact to check the status of the mailings?

If you have not received any mailings, please call (1-800) 636-7544 in the United States and Canada.

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How can I register for a Beta exam?

Recently Microsoft has been doing most Beta exams by 'invitation only' but if you are eligible for a Beta (by invitation or whatever) then you can register for a Beta exam by calling Sylvan Prometric at (1-800) 755-EXAM or Vue at (1-800 TestReg) in the United States and Canada.

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How long will it take to get the results of a Beta exam, and how can I obtain the results of my Beta exam?

Typically 1-2 months; usually these are released when the exam is release OR SOMETIME thereafter.

Microsoft will notify you by mail of your Beta exam results six to eight after you have taken the Beta exam. You can also call your local Sylvan Prometric or VUE registration center or the Microsoft Certified Professional Hotline (800 636 7544).

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How can I find out when a particular exam will be released?

Go to the new courses/exams page on Microsoft's site.

http://www.Microsoft.com/MCP

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How do I become a Microsoft Certified Trainer?

There four steps to become an MCT.

  1. Order the application through the Microsoft Fax-back Service. Phone number 800-727-3351 document number 1000-0310. Or order it though the ATEC Team at 800-688-0496.
  2. Show Instructional Skills by taking a Certified Technical Trainer exam through Sylvan Prometric. 800-755-EXAM. Or show Instructions Skills by showing a Cross-Industry Trainer Certificate. (Novell and Banyan only)
  3. Take a Microsoft Certified Professional course through an Authorized Technical Education Center. And pass the corresponding exam or exams.
  4. Fax in your application with all of the proper information to the Microsoft Application Processing Team at 801-579-2815. When fully processed purchase the Microsoft Certified Trainer Pack for the course that you are certified to teach.

BUT you should definitely visit the Microsoft /MCP site and READ the current trainer requirements and rules.

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How much do Microsoft ATEC Courses cost?

Each of the ATEC's set its own prices, but typically a week-long course costs from $1500-$2000 PER COURSE

.
An MCSE can require up to SEVEN 4-5 day courses and Microsoft explicitly asserts that any particular course is incomplete and insufficient for the exams.

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How much is and MCSE worth?

According to what we see published in industry journals, $5000-$12,000 a year MORE than an uncertified counterpart, but -- like everything else -- this depends on your other abilities and experience, as well as the market in which you work.

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How hard is it to become an MCSE?

This really depends on your experience and test taking ability. If you have sufficient experience then the toughest part is just signing up and showing up to take the exam.

The Win2000 exams are definitely harder than previous exams but then perhaps that makes your MCSE worth more.

Some experienced people and many of our students have finished all of the exams in only a few days. (Yes we even know people -- including some of our students -- who took and passed seven exams in one day, completing the entire MCSE -- but that is EXCEPTIONAL.) 

One of our Accelerated MCSE students was new to Windows NT, but already a Novell CNE.  He finished all five exams for his MCSE in one day -- on the Tuesday morning that followed the seminar.  He is a corporate Information Technology vice-president, and immediately sent several more of his staff to the Accelerated MCSE Seminar because of the way we cover the products.  

Several of our experience students finish on the week-end following the seminar but usually our students finish within 5-20 days.  The KEY is to FINISH.  Set a deadline, work for it, and if you aren't finished set a new deadline and REGISTER for exams until you do finish.

If you are relatively inexperienced, then the MCSE is quite a challenge without having someone like Herb Martin to help you. Many people take six to twelve months to finish it.  Our students usually spend from three to six weeks total CALENDAR time including PRE-Seminar preparation, and about 50-100 hours within the seminar and other preparation.

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How do I justify certification to my manager?

Microsoft has funded independent studies that show the improvements in technical ability, customer satisfaction, problem resolution time, and productivity. 
Visit the 'Download' area of the Microsoft MCP site to find whitepapers.

Many managers (especially at Dell and Microsoft) ask us to train THEIR people because they know that technical people are most likely STAY if you TRAIN  them and help them grow professionally.

Some of links below may have been changed by Microsoft so again, just link to the /MCP area and search:

Backgrounder

Case Studies
Jackson Hole High School Case Study (jhhs.doc) (180k)
Lyondel Case Study (lyondel.doc) (21k)
Stellcom Case Study (stellcom.doc) (132k)

Research
Evaluation of the Microsoft® Systems Engineer Certification (mcsestud.doc) (161k)
The Value of Certification for Solution Developers Whitepaper (mcsdwp.doc) (158k)

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What are the bottom line benefits to my company?

[Similar to previous answer...]
Microsoft has funded independent studies that show the improvements in technical ability, customer satisfaction, problem resolution time, and productivity.  Visit the 'Download' area of the Microsoft
MCP site to find whitepapers.

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What elective exams should I take?

Out students do ALL THREE Major Design Exams:  Active Directory, Network, and Network Security -- along with the Win2000 core this means they REALLY learn the product while getting their MCSE.

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What are the best ways to self-study?

Get the free stuff from this FAQ and check out our Favorite Books .

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What free stuff can I get to help me prepare?

[THE FOLLOWING IS OUT OF DATE -- but the principle is the same, use the free resources at the Microsoft /MCP site FIRST.]

First of all, call Sylvan Prometric (800 755 EXAM) and ask for the "Microsoft Education and Roadmap" CDROM.Just ask for the "Roadmap".Microsoft also has an online version.
You might also want to see the next item on joining the MCSE mailing list.

Personal Exam Prep (PEP) Tests (pep.exe)(561k)
Assessment Exam (asm1.exe)(737k)
Assessment Exam (asm2.exe)(1107k)
Assessment Exam (asm3.exe)(967k)
Administering Microsoft Windows NT4.0 Self-Administered
Assessment (NT4ASM.exe)(585k)
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What are the best mailing lists and Web resources?

The best mailing list is -- MCSE at list.mcsehelp.com

To join this list send an email message to mailto:MCSE-Join@list.mcsehelp.com
or click here:  Technical Mailing Lists

To leave this list, send an email message to mailto:MCSE-Leave@list.mcsehelp.com

If these procedures do not work then use the web interface to unsubscribe : Technical Mailing Lists

To join MCSE list send email:
mailto:MCSE-Join@list.mcsehelp.com

Or visit the web site:
Technical Mailing Lists

To join MCSD list send email:
mailto:MCSD-Join@list.mcsehelp.com

To join MCT list send email:
mailto:MCT-Join@list.mcsehelp.com

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What are the best books to read and study for each?

Visit our Favorite Books page.

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