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Passed The 70-251 Microsoft Exam

I took the final, non-BI Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Certification Exam on Friday, so now I have finished all of the Developer and Administrator exams for SQL Server 2008. I am debating whether I want to go back and take a couple of the SQL Server 2005 exams that I am missing.

One test taking strategy that works well on most computer based exams is to go through all of the questions, and simply mark and skip the ones that you are not absolutely sure of on the first pass. That way, you won’t spend five or ten minutes puzzling over a hard question early in the exam, and possibly run out of time and miss easier questions at the end.

When you are dealing with multiple choice questions, you can usually quickly eliminate one or two of the answers as being ridiculous, and then focus on the two or three remaining possibilities. Occasionally, subsequent questions and answers will help you figure out the answer to an earlier question that you were unsure of (even though the test item writers are supposed to try to avoid that).

One interesting thing about all Microsoft exams is that the passing score is always 700 out of 1000, but that 700 does not equal 70% correct. Liberty Munson has a good post that explains this in more detail. This gist of it is that 700 is a cutting score that is determined for each exam with the aid of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who help Microsoft determine the minimal competency level for that exam. The score that you get, such as 850, is a scaled score.

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