http://www.sqlservercentral.com/blogs/steve_jones/2006/07/07/passed-again/

Printed 2014/08/20 04:57AM

Passed Again

By Steve Jones, 2006/07/07

I took the 70-441 exam last week and passed, which is good since I'm working on part of the exam prep book. Not much of a confidence builder if the author can't pass the test.

I'd taken the Beta for this exam back in December and got the results a couple months later that I'd failed. Not by much, but still it was surprising to me since I understood most of the material. I had a number of comments since I thought some of the questions weren't that well worded and said so in the comment period. However the comment period is only like 12 minutes, which isn't enough time to type that much about many questions. I was a little annoyed, but it was a free exam,so I wasn't that worried. Add to that I have my own issues generating Questions of the Day, and I could forgive Microsoft a little.

So this week I was surprised to get an email from Microsoft. Apparently they realized there were issues with the exams and went back and restructured them, regraded, and a bunch of people were sent notices they'd "passed". I was one of them and as an apology, I got a code for a free exam. I guess now I have no excuse not to take the other exam to get my MCITP or whatever the cert is :)

But it kind fo tourqed me, just as I was tourqed when I passed the exam. Even though I scored 850 or 860, there was one of the 5 areas that was marked as midlevel on the graph. Four of them were near the end, as in very proficient, but one needed work. However I have no idea what in that area or even which questions in that are I need work on.

Or more importantly, if MS made an error on their grading of the exam. Unlike a college or academic exam, I don't get a graded exam back that I can appeal the results of with anyone. MS has the final word in saying how I did and they don't even disclose how I did. I think at the least I should get the results on screen, showing me which ones I got right and wrong. Even if they dont' give me the right answer, let me glance over the ones I got wrong.

I know they don't want an appeal process since it would result in an appeal from everyone who failed. And I know that if they show you which questions you missed they'd need a much larger pool of questions for exams than they have. But they make money off these exams and I don't think asking them to come up with 600 or 700 questions instead of the apparent 100 or so in the pool is too much to ask.

I've written about it before and it hasn't changed. The entire process needs to be improved with more certs and more transparnecy. And more practical tests.  


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