MTA Frequently Asked Questions
General Questions | Candidate Questions | Exam Scoring Questions
Q: What is the Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) Certification?
A: The Microsoft Technology Associate is a new, entry-level certification designed to help individuals take the first step toward a career as an IT professional or developer.
MTA validates 80% knowledge and 20% skills. The next step in the Microsoft certification path is Microsoft Technology Specialist (MCTS) which requires hands on experience with the Microsoft technology platform. Microsoft makes its complete developer toolset available for students to download and install at no cost through the DreamSpark Program.
Q: Who's the audience for the MTA Certification?
A: MTA is for students, changing careers, or anyone else wanting to explore a career in technology. At this time, MTA is only available to students, faculty, and staff of an accredited academic institution that is an approved MTA testing center.
Q: How does the MTA Certification fit into the overall Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) program?
A: There are millions of people in the world who would like to pursue a career in technology, but lack the foundational knowledge necessary to pursue one of our Technology Specialist or Professional certifications. The MTA certification creates a new entry point for these people to help them jumpstart their career aspirations.
Q: What technologies are covered in MTA Certification exams?
A: Each MTA Certification exam will cover a broad technology area, including:
- Software Development Fundamentals
- Web Development fundamentals
- Windows Development Fundamentals
- Database Fundamentals
- System Administrator Fundamentals
- Networking Fundamentals
- Security Fundamentals
Q: How many exams do candidates need to pass to earn an MTA Certification?
A: In order to earn an MTA Certification, candidates only need to pass one exam. 1 Exam = 1 Certification.
Q: What if candidates pass more than one MTA Certification exam?
A: Candidates need only pass one MTA exam in order to receive the certification. However, we recommend that they refer to Microsoft's MTA Exam Certification Path to ensure that they're effectively preparing for Microsoft Technology Specialist (MCTS) exams and a successful career in the IT industry. Passing more than one exam shows potential employers and college admissions offices that a candidate has a variety of technology skills and are committed to a wide set of abilities.
Q: What do candidates get when they earn an MTA Certification?
A: Earning the MTA Certification can help students stand out with college admissions and internship applications. This certification proves commitment and knowledge of fundamental technology concepts. Having a validated certification from a reputable organization like Microsoft is a great way to launch a successful career!
Earning a MTA Certification can be the first step towards becoming a Microsoft Technology Specialist (MCTS).
Also, when candidates earn an MTA Certification, they become a member of the Microsoft Certified Professional community. They'll get access to members-only benefits such as special offers, the MCP transcript tool, and private newsgroups where they can network, find peer support, and share their accomplishments with millions of certified professionals worldwide.
Q: What is the retake policy for MTA Certification exams?
A: The exam retake policy for MTA is the same as our Technology Specialist and Professional exams. You can find more about these policies on the Microsoft Learning website.
Q: Will MTA Certifications expire?
A: No, MTA certifications do not expire.
Q: What languages are MTA Certification Exam Review Kits and training materials available in?
A: Currently these materials are only available in English. In the near future materials will be released in Traditional & Simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Spanish, German, Portuguese and Russian.
Q: How will I know what will be covered on a MTA Certification exam?
A: Each MTA Certification exam has a preparation guide that describes all of the subjects that will be covered on the exam.
Q: How will I know when I'm ready to take the exam?
A: The preparation guides are a great tool to help you determine whether you are ready to take the exam. Read each objective covered on the exam and ask yourself whether you have a strong understanding of what is being covered. You can also play the Are You Certifiable game that acts like a practice exam to test your readiness.
Q: How many questions are on each exam?
A: MTA Certification exams typically range between 30 and 50 questions.
Q: How long do I have to complete the exam?
A: You will have 50 minutes to complete your MTA Certification exam.
Q: When will I receive the results of my exam?
A: You will be able to see your score and exam result immediately after taking the exam.
Q: How do I get my MTA certificate after passing an exam?
A: Certificates are only available through online download. You can obtain any of your Microsoft certificates using the Microsoft Certified Professional website. You will need your Windows Live ID that has been associated with your Microsoft Certified ID in order to access this site.
Q: How do I get a copy of my score report?
A: Your score report will be shown immediately after completing your exam it will also be available on the Certiport website for your reference.
Q: Where can I find my certification transcript?
A: You can find a transcript of all your Microsoft certifications on the Microsoft Certified Professional website. You will need your Windows Live ID that has been associated with your Microsoft Certified ID in order to view this transcript.
You can find a transcript of all the exams you have taken through Certiport on the Certiport website.
Q: How do I associate my Microsoft Certified ID with my Windows Live ID?
A: After passing your first Microsoft Certification exam you will receive an email with your Microsoft Certified ID and detailed instructions on how to associate this with your Windows Live ID. You will need to make this association before accessing the Microsoft Certified Professional website.
Q: What should I do after receiving my MTA Certification?
A: Now that you have passed your MTA Certification exam, make sure you highlight the certification on your college and internship applications to set you apart from your peers. You should also consider becoming a Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate (MCSA). You have already validated your fundamental technology knowledge, now it's time to show the world that you are an expert!
Q: How do I submit feedback about an MTA Certification exam?
A: We appreciate your feedback about the MTA Certification and your testing experience, and we work to ensure your satisfaction with the MTA Certification. If you have a concern about the technical accuracy of a particular item, please fill out an Item Challenge form.
Q: What tools can I use to practice and apply the technology skills that I have learned?
A: For Students: Microsoft makes its complete developer toolset available for students to download and install for free through the DreamSpark Program. Students can access tools like Visual Studio, Windows Server, Expression Studio, SQL Server, XNA Game Studio and much more at no cost. You can use these tools to make applications and games for Windows, the Xbox 360, the Web, Zunes, or mobile phones.
For Educators: Educational institutions can access this same software for their lab and classroom computers at a very low cost through the MSDN Academic Alliance program.
Q: Are there any training prerequisites for the MTA Certification?
A: There are no prerequisite training requirements for MTA Certification exams. However, you should be comfortable with your knowledge of the objectives listed in the preparation guides before you attempt to take an exam.
Q: I am a student at a school with an MTA Campus license. Can I access the MTA Certification Exam Review Kits?
A: If your school has purchased a site license your teachers will have the MTA Certification Exam Review Kits and can share them with you.
Q: How can I get help and support regarding the MTA Certification?
A: You can find answers to questions regarding Microsoft certification exam policies on the Microsoft Learning website. For questions regarding your Microsoft Certification ID or certificate fulfillment please contact you Microsoft Regional Support Center.
For all other MTA related questions, please contact Certiport support and customer services.
Q: I'm a student. Can I get a discount on MTA Certification exams?
A: Currently, MTA is only available for purchase by educational institutions and are already priced for the academic market. You can find more information regarding pricing by contacting a Certiport sales consultant.
Q: How are MTA Certification exam scores calculated?
A: All MTA Certification exams are scaled such that the passing score is 70. A common misperception is that you must answer 70 percent of the items correctly in order to pass the exam; however, the actual percentage varies from exam to exam and may be more or less than 70 percent. After you complete your exam, the number of items that you answered correctly is compared with the cut score to determine whether the result is pass or fail.
Here is some general information about exam scoring:
- There is no penalty for guessing. If you choose an incorrect answer, you simply do not earn a point for that item. No points are deducted for incorrect answers.
- If a question specifies that you must choose multiple correct answers, you must choose the exact number of correct answers specified in the question in order to earn a point for that item.
- Some questions on the exam may not be included in the calculation of your score. To gather data to update and improve the quality of each exam, we need to present new content to candidates without counting the results toward their score.
Q: How should I interpret my score report?
A: All MTA Certification exams are scaled so that a passing score is 70. Any score of 70 or greater is a "pass." Any score below 70 is a "fail." The bars on the score report show your relative performance in the various subject areas covered by the exam--the longer the bar, the stronger your performance in that area.
Q: What does the score report look like?
A: The score report details the areas in which a candidate demonstrates technical strength and the areas in which the candidate shows a need for improvement. The report provides a numeric score for overall exam performance as well as a bar graph for each subject area of the exam.
Q: What does my numeric score mean?
A: Microsoft provides numeric scores on all exams that provide the candidate with some indication of their level of performance on the exam. For MTA Certification exams, Microsoft has created an exam scale that is consistent across all exams. The scale requires a minimum passing score of 70 on all exams. If you receive a score of 70 or above, it means that you are at least minimally qualified; if you receive a score below 70, it means that you are not minimally qualified.
Q: What do the bars on the score report mean?
A: The bars indicate how strongly an examinee performed on each skills section of the exam. The closer the bar comes to the strong end of the continuum, the higher the score on that skills section. The closer the bar is to the "needs development" end of the continuum, the lower the score in that topic area. These results will help examinees determine areas where they have strengths and where they need improvement. The sections listed on the score report correspond to those listed in the exam preparation guide.
Q: Does the score report show a numerical score for each section?
A: MTA Certification exams do not show a numerical score for each section. The score report provides a numerical score to reflect pass/fail status only. Because we provide scaled scores and each exam section often contains different number of questions, combining their numerical results at the section level may not reflect your final exam result. As an alternative to providing a numerical score for each section, we provide score bars to show an overview of areas of strength and weakness relative to overall performance.
Q: The bars on the score report show that I have scored more than 70 percent, but I didn't pass the exam. Why is this?
A: Each section of the exam may contain a different number of questions; therefore, the relative results on individual exam sections might not reflect your final exam result. In other words, there is no one-to-one relationship between the length of the bars and your pass/fail status. Additionally, a common misperception is that you must answer 70 percent of the items correctly in order to pass the exam; however, the actual percentage varies from exam to exam and may be more or less than 70 percent, depending on the input provided by the subject-matter experts who helped us set the cut score.
Q: Are some questions or tasks worth more than others?
A: Each question, task, or simulation is worth the same amount, regardless of what you have to do to answer the question.
Q: Is there a penalty for guessing? Are points deducted for incorrect answers?
A: No. Points are not deducted for incorrect answers; if you answer incorrectly, you will simply not earn the point associated with answering correctly.
Q: Why are some questions un-scored?
A: Microsoft is committed to continually updating exam content and utilizing innovative testing techniques. Our goal is to increase the relevance of our exams, offer a more comprehensive and valuable certification, and ensure the security of exam content. To gather the data needed to update and improve the quality of exams, we present new content to candidates without counting the results toward their score.
Q: I have taken this exam multiple times and have received the same score every time. Does this indicate an error in the results computation?
A: No, it does not indicate an error. It is not uncommon for candidates to obtain similar or identical scores on multiple attempts of an exam. Receiving the same score on multiple attempts does not indicate that the program computing the results is in error.
Q: I scored zero in one of the sections. How is this possible?
A: The number of questions that appear for each section is determined by subject matter experts. As a result, some sections have more questions than others. It is not uncommon to score zero when a section contains relatively few questions.