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May 05, 2004

Curious Response

Apparently the people creating the tests don't bother *taking* any of them....

Here's the letter I wrote to Microsoft about the 70-292 test:

Please review the 70-292 exam. The exam I took yesterday consisted of 56 very long scenario questions and only 120 minutes to complete the exam. I felt rushed through the whole exam and was down to 9 minutes for the last 10 questions. I knew the material. I studied hard. I work with this stuff every day and have YEARS of hands-on experience. I still failed the exam. I don't know if I failed it by a little or by a lot, because there was no score. But, I do know that rushing through questions is not the best way to take a test. The questions were good and challenging. I'm glad that they're not the quick and simple "multiple guess" questions of the older exams. However, if you want someone to read the entire question, analyze the scenario and select an answer, you will have to allow adequate time for that process. A simple multiple choice question such as "What's the minimum amount of RAM required to install Windows Server 2003?" doesn't need more than two minutes to answer. A complex scenario with exhibits, drag and drop, and multiple frames to scroll through requires much more than two minutes. Also, I noticed that the questions require you to note subtle differences between proposed solutions or recognize special circumstances in the scenario which would change what you would think the answer should be at first glance. There was no time to read the question *carefully*... which is necessary with the type of questions encountered on the exam.

Here's their response:

Hello Lori,

Thank you for your e-mail regarding exam 70-292.

We understand your concern and will be glad to assist you. Microsoft Certified Professional exams are administered in three general formats: Short Standard, Standard, and Adaptive Exams. You may receive any of these formats at any time for any exam.

Short Standard exams contain 20 to 30 questions and last approximately one hour.

Standard exams contain between 50 and 70 questions and last approximately 90 minutes.

Adaptive exams contain 15 to 30 questions and vary in time allowed.

Candidates are expected to understand the exam content, regardless of how it is presented. Therefore, Microsoft changes the exam format and questions from time to time. In addition, Microsoft does not identify the format of any given exam at the time of registration. Both practices help protect exam security and the value of Microsoft certification. To prepare for the exam, candidates should use the exam objectives listed in the exam preparation guide.

Also, MCP exams often contain new testing technologies. Please visit the below URL to learn about these technologies and be prepared to test with them.

We appreciate the feedback you have provided. We value your suggestions and will make every effort to incorporate your comments when considering changes to the Microsoft Certified Professional program. If you have any additional feedback on how we might improve the quality of the MCP Program, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to forward your comments to the appropriate group where your input will be taken into consideration for future program changes.

For the latest training and certification news, please subscribe to the MCP NewsFlash. This newsletter delivers monthly updates on MCP program announcements, certification benefits, special promotions, exam information and more. Subscribing to the MCP NewsFlash is the easiest way to stay current on Microsoft certification news. For subscription information please visit http://microsoft.com/traincert/newsletters/

If there is anything else we can do for you, please let us know. Thank you for contacting Microsoft.


Posted by BlueWolf on May 5, 2004 10:51 AM