Don’t forget to take advantage of the best test deal around: Second Shot until mid-2014

November 26, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment

Second Shot is one of those perennial favorite deals in the IT certification industry, when you truly do get something for nothing: a free re-take of an exam should you fail to pass it the first time. The deal is good for any 70-xxx or 71-xxx exams, and the offer doesn’t expire until May 31, 2014.

Request your Second Shot voucher for individual technical exams.

Order MCSA, MCSE, or MCSD certification packs with Second Shot.

Second Shot can be used with any 70-xxx or 71-xxx voucher that you purchase through Transcender. For all Second Shot offers, you will enter your exam voucher code on the Prometric site when you schedule your actual exam sitting. To purchase a voucher with your Transcender practice test, choose the exam + voucher option from the purchase menu.

exam voucher

Happy testing, and may the odds be ever in your favor!

Less than a month remains for Microsoft’s Second Shot program

May 2, 2013 at 7:17 pm | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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If you have purchased a single-exam voucher with Second Shot from Microsoft or a learning partner, be aware that the program expires May 31, 2013. Both your initial exam and, if necessary, your free retake should be completed before that date.

If you haven’t scheduled your exam already, consider this your warning bell. Last-minute seats may fill up fast at some of the larger Prometric testing centers. However, you only have to wait 24 hours between your first and second test retake.

Microsoft is offering a slightly different deal for those who bought three-exam packs instead of single exam vouchers. The three-pack deal gives you 15% off your certification, free exam retakes, and an extended deadline of December 31, 2013 to complete your initial exams and free retakes. You will be able to purchase these three-in-one vouchers until May 31.

For more information, here’s the Second Shot page:

Microsoft Second Shot and Cisco exams both expiring soon

June 16, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Posted in Cisco, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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June 30, 2010 is the last day you can take advantage of Microsoft’s Second Shot voucher program. Remember, you must actually TAKE your retake exam by this date (if you failed the initial exam), not just register for the retake by this date.

That means if you haven’t made your initial exam attempt yet, you may want to schedule that sooner rather than later, so in the very unlikely event that you don’t pass (we wish you nothing but success on your FIRST attempt), you’ll have enough time to schedule a retake before your voucher expires. Microsoft requires a 24-hour waiting period between your first failed exam attempt and its retake. Be sure to examine Microsoft’s exam retake policy to see if different restrictions apply to your particular track:

If you’ve already failed an exam and intend to use your Second Shot voucher for a retake, get it scheduled as soon as possible!

On the exam expiration front, Cisco is retiring several CCNP, CCDP, and Express Foundation track exams by July 31, 2010. That means you have just about six weeks to sit for any of the following:

  • 642-901 BSCI, Building Scalable Cisco Internetworks
  • 642-812 BCMSN, Building Cisco Multilayer Switched Networks
  • 642-825 ISCW, Implementing Secure Converged WANs
  • 642-845 ONT, Optimizing Converged Cisco Networks
  • 642-892 COMP, Composite BSCI and BCMSN
  • 642-373 CXFS, Express Foundation for System Engineers v1.2
  • 642-383 CXFF, Express Foundation for Field Engineers v1.2
  • 646-363 CXFA, Express Foundation for Account Managers v1.2

You can find complete information on Cisco’s Certification Exams page.

Be a mover and a shaper in the Microsoft certification sphere in two easy steps

April 26, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Certification (as you know) gives you more control over your career. How would you like a little more control over the certification process itself? If you’d like a bit of a behind-the-scenes pass to the world of certification, then check out two  initiatives from Microsoft Learning: MCP Learning Rewards, and an open call for Office 2010 SMEs.

Starting April 21, 2010, Microsoft Certified Professionals were invited to register for a new program, called MCP Learning Rewards. Some in our group (like Josh) received an e-mail invitation directly from Microsoft; others saw it mentioned on the Born to Learn blog ( The details available so far explain that this is a pilot launch and open to the first 10,000 MCPs who register. (As per the latest blog post, slots are still open; contact with your MCP ID to check availability if you can’t register online directly.)

Josh has enrolled, and we’re waiting for that application to clear so we can see what’s behind the curtain. In short, though, it will give you the ability to generate those coveted exam vouchers (including Second Shot vouchers during the availability dates) and pass them on for friends and colleagues to use. The more vouchers that are redeemed, the more points you earn, propelling you toward your own free exam vouchers.

In other Microsoft news, they’ve released a call for subject matter experts (SMEs) on Microsoft Office 2010 to help develop Microsoft Business Certification exams. Details are available at

Exchange Server 2010 Pro Designing (70-663) and TS: Configuring (70-662) exams: take a tip from the masters

April 22, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft | Leave a comment
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You know how Phil Mickelson recently won the Masters golf tournament, despite not playing well this year overall? I think he just rode the momentum of having won the Masters twice before. Me, I recently took the 70-663 exam, Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010. When I was doing my studying for this test, I notice that there was a lot of overlap with the objectives of the 70-662 exam, TS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuring. Because I had just recently taken 70-662, I risked cutting down my study time for the 70-663 and just hit the topics that weren’t on the 662 list. Like Mickelson, I rode that momentum, and the gamble worked: I passed.

If it’s at all financially feasible, if you’re prepping for the 70-662 exam, you should plan to take the 70-663 shortly afterward. Here’s why. The 70-662 exam asks you questions on how you may perform specific tasks.  For the 70-662 exam, you will need to know concepts of Exchange Server 2010 installation, message routing, and each Exchange 2010 server role. These concepts will be tested again on the 70-663, but this time the exam focuses on your understanding of how to plan and deploy different Exchange server roles, message security, and high availability of different server roles. Unlike the 70-662, you may not need to know specific switches of Exchange cmdlets, but you will have to know how to these concepts fit within a specific designing or deploying scenario.

The thing is, if  you go into the material for the 70-662 with the aim of understanding the concepts from the ground up, you’ll be studying for the 70-663 by default. If you want to get the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP): Enterprise Messaging Administrator 2010 certification, you have to pass both the 70-662 and the 70-663. Passing the 70-662 exam is not easy, but if you’ve mastered that, then knocking out the 70-663 exam doesn’t require a lot of extra effort. Just keep the momentum going.

An example of the type of question you would see on the 70-662 test would go like this: Continue Reading Exchange Server 2010 Pro Designing (70-663) and TS: Configuring (70-662) exams: take a tip from the masters…

Qualify for your Second Shot with a Transcender exam voucher

January 21, 2010 at 4:58 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Microsoft | 2 Comments
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We began offering Microsoft exam vouchers bundled with our practice materials in November 2009. Now that Microsoft has revived the Second Shot program, we have coded our vouchers to meet the Second Shot program requirements (find full details on this program here).

All of our Microsoft exam vouchers now include the Second Shot retake option for the U.S. and Canadian regions. If you purchase a qualifying* exam voucher from us, you have until June 30, 2010, to take your retake exam upon failing the first attempt. We can only extend this offer to U.S. and Canadian customers, so be sure this applies to your region before purchasing a voucher through us.

To buy a voucher, simply navigate to the Transcender page for the exam you wish to take (for example, Cert-70-433: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Database Development). Exam vouchers will be listed as a purchase option.

*As per the Microsoft Second Shot rules.

Microsoft re-introduces Second Shot program for 2010

January 15, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Microsoft has revived their ever-popular Second Shot program for the period running from January 13, 2010 – June 31, 2010. Second Shot provides a free retake if you should fail your first attempt at an IT Professional, Developer, or Academic Certification Exam (70-xxx, 83-xxx, 94-xxx).

Second Shot is a joint venture between Prometric and Microsoft. Customers must register, obtain a voucher code, schedule, pay, and sit for both the first and (if necessary) second retake exams before June 30, 2010. In addition, you must register for the program before you actually sit for the initial exam.

You can view the complete program details for your particular career track (student or professional) at Microsoft’s Born to Learn blog:

Second Shot for Students also includes up to a 55% discount on student exams (072-xxx):

Second take on Microsoft’s Second Shot: Now, earn discounts for passing grades

October 17, 2008 at 11:11 am | Posted in Microsoft | 2 Comments
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This just in: after reviving their Second Shot program earlier this year, Microsoft has sweetened the deal for test-takers who sit for Microsoft exams between now and December 31, 2008. The new terms are:

  • Register for Second Shot, fail an exam, and get a free retake before June 30, 2009.
  • Register for Second Shot, pass an exam, and get 25% off a different exam. before February 28, 2009

As before, you must register with the Second Shot program before scheduling your exam to catch this deal. Details here:

Microsoft’s Second Shot program extended until June 30, 2009

August 20, 2008 at 3:30 pm | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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Microsoft has revived the Second Shot program for all professional, developer, or Microsoft Dynamics exams. The offer is good for each exam for which you do not receive a passing score, provided you retake the exam by June 30, 2009.

Please note that you must register for Second Shot before you take your initial exam. (Also, this offer is good for paid exams only; beta exams don’t count.)

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