Microsoft Role-Based Exams Now (Semi) Open-Book

Microsoft’s “role based” exams can be tough-going. There’s a lot to learn, with a lot of questions where remembering the sometimes subtle nuances between things like different SKUs/pricing plans, or particular flags on a PowerShell command can make all of the difference. A lot of the time this is detail you wouldn’t normally need to memorise, but would just look it up in normal day-to-day work.

It seems that Microsoft have noticed this, and are adding a new Microsoft Learn button to official exams. You’ll be able to access and search from within the exam, in a neat split-screen view. It’s somewhat limited, so you’ll still need to have some experience with the tools and topics, but it should help lower test anxiety for some people. From their blog post:

How often do you say in your daily life, “I’ll just look that up.”? Now, you can… with easy access to Microsoft Learn, another enhancement that we have made to improve the overall exam experience.

Because this is an exam resource, much like a calculator, exam time will not be extended. We are not changing the way we write our questions; they will continue to focus on problems or scenarios that require real world experience to solve. As a result, this resource is intended to be used for those questions that describe problems where you may need to look something up on Microsoft Learn. It is not something you should be leveraging to answer every question.

Renewal tests were already completely open-book, so this change brings the exams more into line with those. Overall I think it’s a great change and will put an end to a lot of those “is it the Standard SKU or the Premium SKU for that feature?” moments which always seem to trip me up the most.

If you want a summary of all the changes in video form, Jon Savil has you covered: