Microsoft Certification Renewal – Explained

Microsoft certification renewal – AZ-500 Azure Security Engineer Associate


I cleared my AZ-500 – Azure Security Engineer Associate exam back in June-2020 and it was due for renewal in June-2023. At that time, Microsoft was offering two years validity for role-based and specialty certifications which they changed later in June-2021 to a year validity. But it can be renewed online for free. Just this week I renewed my AZ-500 certificate and am happy to share my thoughts with you guys.

Microsoft Certified: Azure Security Engineer Associate

Microsoft Certificate Renewal

The Microsoft role-based and specialty certifications can be renewed online for free. The renewal window opens six months before the certificate expiry. During this time, you can take a free online assessment to renew and extend the validity for another year from its initial expiration date. For example, if your certificate is due for renewal in June-2023 and you clear your free renewal assessment in Feb-2023. Your certificate will be renewed, and its validity would extend until June-2024.

Microsoft Certificate Validity

Microsoft changed the validity period for role-based and specialty certifications to one year, meaning we all must renew our certificate every year before the expiration or after expiration re-take the exam. The reason for this could be the rapid change in technology and the constant evolution of Microsoft products. This is also to ensure that certificate holders are keeping up with the latest trend and technology changes in the cloud industries.

Online Assessment vs Full-blown Exam

I agreed with the approach, instead, re-take a full-blown exam every year plus spending exam fees, take an online assessment of fewer than 30 questions, and pass. Microsoft learns site provides course-related modules to prepare yourself before the assessment.

Renewal Process

To renew your certificates, go to the Microsoft Certificate Dashboard and check your eligibility. Microsoft also sends email notifications when you are eligible for free online assessment and renewal.

Online Assessment

When you see you are eligible for free renewal of your certificate, you can take an online assessment from the Microsoft Certificate Dashboard. The assessments are short and self-proctored. Mainly focused on the recent changes in technology, less than 30 questions with 30-45 mins time.

Once the assessment is started, you must complete it otherwise, it will be considered a failed attempt. You cannot go back to the previous question once you answered the question and moved on to the next one. You can take the assessment as many times as you need as long as you pass before your certification expires. The current limit is one attempt per day until you pass.


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