The content domains assessed in the new role-based certifications are based on a thorough JTA that was done to truly understand the skills required to be successful in that job role. After compiling that list of skills, we narrowed it down to what we would measure in the certification process. If you haven’t passed the associated existing exam, to become Microsoft Certified, you will need to pass the exam(s) in the path. However, if you have passed the associated existing exam, we want to recognize your accomplishments and provide a shorter path to certification through the transition process.
The transition exam is intended for people who have already demonstrated skills in the content domain by passing the existing exams that the new role-based certification exams will be replacing. They cover the delta between the current certification and what we expect people who earn the new certification to be able to do. We don’t want to retest people on the same content where they have already demonstrated competence by passing the existing exam, and we don’t want to penalize people who have been preparing to take an exam that we are replacing with the new certifications (they should still take the exam, but they should do so quickly, as all of the affected exams will be retired within six (6) months of the new exam availability). Transition exams cover net new content, content that wasn’t covered in enough depth, and content on aspects of the technology that have likely changed since someone took the exam. As a result, the transition exam is not shorter than a typical exam but more focused on the key tasks and skills that were not assessed in the existing exam or certification that is being replaced.