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MesaureUP Test Prep (70-029)

By Steve Jones,

MeasureUp Test Preparation Service

Quick Rating: 4

Introduction

I got this study prep as the study for the SQL Server 7 Database Design exam (70-029). I have already passed the SQL 2000 exam, so I should be able to pass the test anyway (my fingers are crossed as I write this), but I wanted to use this software to see how closely it matches the exam.

I purchased this through IQDestination.com, which provides a free Learning Management System (LMS) for individual users. This LMS allows a transcript like view of all courses purchased through IQD.

The first time I used the test, I had to create an account on the MeasureUp system. This was fairly easy and not too annoying, though it brings to light one of the main issues behind different systems. Integrated login is still unavailable from many companies. Once I did this, I received an email from the site that confirmed my login and pwd. This is nice for me since I have so many reigstrations online these days.

Format:

The service allows you to take a test in one of three modes: Study Mode, Certification mode, and Custom mode. Study mode allows you to specify the number of questions, work at your own pace, and view answers at any time. The Certification mode contains 55 questions and must be completed in 90 minutes. This is designed to simulate the conditions under which the actual test is administered. The Custom mode allows you to choose the number of questions, whether the questions are randomized or not, which sections of questions (logical model, physical model, maintaining a database, etc.) along with a few other options.

All of these modes draw from a bank of 155 questions, which is not quite three tests (based on the 55 question exam). This seems a little light, but developing questions is a time consuming and difficult process. While taking a test in Study mode, you can answer each question and move on to the next question. You could also ask for the answer to a question, which will highlight the answer as well as provide an explanation below the question. There is also a discussion option that will allow you to go to a threaded discussion board to ask a question or post a comment on the question. I am not sure how valuable this is. It seems most comments or questions have an automatic response from MeasureUp that doesn't provide any information.

Once the test is completed, all the questions appear along with the status of th question (marked, unanswered, answered, etc.) The user can review questions, change answers, etc. Just like the real test. Once you are satisfied with all your answers, you can end the test (you are asked to confirm) and then a graph appears very much like the end result one receives from the actual test. You can then retake the test, go back and choose different options, print the test, or review your answers.

Content:

I took a variety of tests in various modes, enough to ensure that I hit most of the questions. I have to admit, I did not take the entire bank in a custom test because I do not have the patience to do so in one sitting.

I took a test in each more and liked the ability to specify the number of questions, duration, etc. The answers were occassionally wrong, but not too often. The answers are specific and while I do not always agree with them, that is the same situation that I have found in the Microsoft and Novell tests. There are a couple tests where I was sure I got most everything right and still missed a bunch. Maybe I was wrong, but I have taken enough IT tests (14) that I usually know if I know something or if I am guessing.

In taking the MeasureUp tests, I thought they were pretty good questions when I compare them to the format and pace of the SQL 2000 Design exam. Of course, this test will not prepare you for that test, but we shall see about the SQL 7 test. I did like the tests and options in comparison to the Transcenders I used for the NT 4 tests. It has been a few years since I have used a Transcender, so this is not a knock on them, but I liked this format better. I even learned a few things!!!!

The Test

First, I passed :) !!!!!!!!!!!!

Since the Microsoft test must be taken under a nondisclosure agreement, I cannot comment on the actual test. I can say that the MeasureUp test preparation seemed to prepare me for the test. There were a number of topics on this test prep that I did not know and I looked them up in Books Online after missing them in the practice tests. One knock is that there are a number of questions in the test prep that give a scenario and solution and then ask you to rate the solution as one of the following:

  • works and is an outstanding solution
  • works and is an adequate solution
  • does not work, but appears to work
  • does not work and is not a good solution
On the test, there were no questions like this. Of course, I saw 40-some questions from a pool of probably over a hundred. Still, it appears that a number of questions were based on the format from the v6.5 test.

I have to say that there were a few wrong answers and some poorly worded questions, but most testing software, including the live test, may have some wrong answers, so I take this with a grain of salt. There is a discussion area where you can comment on the questions. Supposedly the MeasureUp staff will get back to you. Most responses were an automated reply, but a few times I actually saw a response from a MeasureUp person. Of course, I responded to a number of questions, but have not heard back from MeasureUp. To be fair, I haven't rechecked the site, but an email would be nice.

Conclusions

Overall, I rate this test prep as a 4 of 5. It was good, but not great. It helped me prepare for the exam with no other resources, other than Books Online. Of course, I've been writing a book on the SQL 2000 exam and used lots of 2000 resources, so I had some other preparation. However, of all the versions of SQL Server I have worked with, I worked with v7.0 the least of any version.

I think this service provides good preparation for the SQL 7 Design Exam. I am going to take a look at the SQL 2000 test preparation next and see how it stacks up. If you are fairly familiar with SQL 7 and T-SQL, this software will help you get ready for the exam. I do urge everyone to get certified, but only if you have experience. Passing the test without any experience doesn't help you or your employer.

Try this software out as an alternative to the Transcender. Microsoft actually mentions the MeasureUp tests on their certification website. You can see this product and more at IQdestination.

Steve Jones
dkRanch.net May 2001

Total article views: 3500 | Views in the last 30 days: 1
 
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