Microsoft retires exam 70-534 and replaces with a new exam 70-535 (tentative name)

Microsoft Certified Professional program continually reviews their current and planned certifications to ensure that certifications reflect the latest Microsoft technologies. If you have been following all the Azure Updates that are released daily, you know a lot has changed in Azure since the 70-534 exam was released.

At Ignite we heard that because of Azure updates releasing so often, Microsoft is going to start updating their Azure exams every three months. This started with 70-532 and 70-533 being updated currently. Continuing that pattern Microsoft has just updated the 70-534 learning page stating they are retiring this exam and replacing it with a new exam with new objectives. Microsoft has tentatively named this new exam 70-535. You can find those objectives in this PDF

I do not recommend downloading the PDF as Microsoft already stated they will be updating the Azure objectives every 3 months or as needed. Rather, bookmark the Microsoft Learning link above, as that is where they announce these changes.

What does this mean for those of us that have passed the 70-534 exam?

Microsoft does not clearly state how long they will grandfather that exam to count towards the MCSA or MCSE. In previous changes such as this Microsoft has given us a significant amount of time to take the new test. However, I have reviewed the new objectives, and I would recommend you plan on preparing for and taking this new test when it releases.

What does this mean for those of you that were studying for 70-534 and have not taken the exam?

The objectives are listed, so you can start studying for this now. This new exam is focusing more on what customer's need and are doing with Azure, like cloud migrations and hybrid cloud solutions that include knowledge on operational knowledge, like Azure Log Analytics, Azure Monitor, and alerting through Application Insights. This change is for the better, helping to ensure you know how to monitor and support it after the design and solution is deployed.

Comments (13)
  1. Mmklopez says:

    That’s devastating news. This is a BAD MOVE by Microsoft. These types of announcements make us NOT want to take another Microsoft exam ever again!!!

    While it is perfectly fine for Microsoft to periodically update the objectives within the 70-534 architect exam, it is NOT OK for Microsoft to retire it. My suggestion is to do the necessary updates within but continue to call this architect exam 70-534, eternally.

    Microsoft Azure has three perfectly aligned Azure certification exams for dev (532), management (533), and architect (534) that cover the wide spectrum of the Azure cloud platform. These exam names and designated numbers are highly recognizable internationally. By “retiring” and creating new numbering, you are messing with what is already good and causing unnecessary CONFUSION and FRUSTRATION!

    I feel BAD for people who have taken the 534 exam recently or are scheduled to take this exam in the next two months because by the time they are done, all their hard work is already “retired” (down the toilet).

    HUGE THUMBS DOWN for “70-535”. Long live 70-534!

    Thanks for listening, Microsoft!

    1. There is no waste. I took the 534 exam 1.5 years ago, and it will still stay crediting towards a path for a while. I think you are misunderstanding. As of that date you will not be able to take the old 534 exam anymore, but it still counts towards a certification path. How long it will count, we don’t know as Microsoft has not said. In the past they have allowed retired exams to count for years. So the key take away here is if you have *not* taken the 534 exam yet and were planning to, you should just start studying for the 535 exam instead. Thanks.

      1. Smart Clouds says:

        But what is the reason for the label change? i think mmklopez does bring up a valid point that one can change the content of the exam to keep things current – but why change the number and create confusion?

        1. When there are enough changes in the features and objectives it warrants a numeric change. This is a good thing that Microsoft is updating their Azure exams more often to reflect the new Azure features rather than testing us on features that are a year old.

      2. My certification planner page shows that I have completed all that required for MCSD Appbuilder, it does not reflect in my transcript. Whom should I contact? Could you please let me know?

    2. lmunson says:

      To clarify this a bit. 535 is not a new exam. It’s simply a replacement for 534. 535 has the same name and will accrue to the same certifications that 534 does. In addition, if you have passed 534, you will continue to hold any associated certifications that you have earned, and it will continue to count toward the same certifications as 535 will.

      We decided to change the exam number to make the transition from the old objective to the new one better for candidates who were preparing for the exam. Rather than an abrupt change, which would have been the experience had we left the exam number the same, we are giving candidates the option to take 534 by the end of the year if they have already been preparing for it. If you are just starting your preparation, though, you should focus on the 535 objective domain.

      To learn more about the differences between these exams and why we decided to replace 534 with 535, go here:

      Remember that this is not a new exam. It’s a replacement; essentially the same content area but a more refined focus on what we now think the architecting role should cover.

  2. I’m all for updating exams. However, the new course 20535 which maps to the new exam 70-535 is not scheduled to be released until Feb/2018. So by killing off the 70-534 exam in November you leave a 60-90 day window where people can’t get training to prepare to take the new exam and cannot take the old exam.

    1. @MarkS I agree the timing on 534 and 535 should have been completely in line on the same date or even a month overlap.

  3. UMESH PANDIT says:

    I Already cleared 70-533 and 70-534, holding an MCSA as Cloud Platform (*Charter), I think that’s a Great move by Microsoft.

  4. Marcel Campo says:

    Yesterday I failed on the 70-535 exam 🙁

    Because of the expectation that 70% of 534 would be in 535 I concentrated on the and the Udemy videos that are available for 534. And also worked my way through a couple of practice tests that are available on measureup and Udemy. But I have to say that is not the ideal way to get prepared. I’ve been studying a lot of outdated stuff and have not been trained for the new stuff. And there a lot of questions on the new stuff, like congnitive services and data lake, etc.

    The questions did not look that hard, but still I failed after quite amount of studying and already passing 70-533. To efficiently study for 535 is quite difficult atm, because of lack of good videos and practice tests. There is an enormous amount of content on TechNet and that gives me the feeling that I don’t know where to start.

    My advise to everybody studying this would be to hold on for 6 to 12 months until there are good videos and practice tests. My advise to Microsoft would be to maybe split the exam up in the 2 sub exams; 1 for IAAS (compute, storage, networking, security, monitoring), 1 for PAAS/SAAS (app service, workers, data lake, cognitive services, Service bus, batch, etc). That makes it not that huge.

    1. Marcel, I agree everyone should hold off on the new exams 70-533, 70-532, 70-535 until Microsoft Learning and other Learning Partners have complete exam prep courses out for them, as the new exams reflect all the new features released in Azure over the last year. So if someone doesn’t have hands on regularly with Azure and currently, those old exam prep course material won’t help them much. I have heard from many people they tried based on old courses and failed. Microsoft should have given the Microsoft Certified Learning Partners a heads up so they could prepare the courses in time, and they should have had their own Microsoft Virtual Academy updated and their Microsoft Learning updated before changing the exams, but even Microsoft’s own material is not updated yet.

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