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MCM Exam – Take 2

Yesterday, I went in for my re-take of the MCM written exam.  If you recall, I failed the exam last time.  I did a great job of failing, in fact, and only received a 522 on the exam.  I didn’t share my score previously because it was a bit embarrassing.  And honestly, I wasn’t sure I was going to share that I’d taken the exam again.

But the thing is… it’s okay to fail once in a while. 

If it takes me this try or another re-take to pass the exam, the only measure I really care about is an increasing score until I pass.  Actually, what I am learning in this process is what really matters.  There are things that I know and things that I don’t – the MCM is here to weed out those that do and don’t know.  I am up for the challenge.

Exam Rescheduling

I had originally planned to retake the written exam in February but had scheduling issues.  Then I planned to do it the week after the MVP Summit.  Unfortunately, I lost all of my study materials that week and re-scheduled for March 28th.  Of course, I didn’t do much studying the last few weeks any ways and contemplated re-scheduling yet again. 

With the trouble in scheduling and the items on the schedule ahead, I decided that another re-schedule was just me procrastinating.  I manned up and went in for it.

The Exam

You may be wondering, how I did on the exam?.  Truth be told, I don’t actually know.  The loophole that got me my results right away last time was plugged and now I have to wait up to 30 days.

I have a mental list of the items that I wasn’t sure about.  I’ll be sure to continue studying those items because I’ll need them for the lab exam, at least.  At the end of the exam, I didn’t have the same panic that I had previously had.  Last time, I kind of hoped I wouldn’t pass because I’d have felt like a fraud.

Why am I sharing all of this?


Last week, I attended Brent Ozar’s (Blog | @BrentO) Freecon before SQL Saturday 67 in Chicago.  One of the branding activities we talked about was choosing three words that describe you and your brand.  After some thought, I have figured out that Personal is probably one of my words.

What this means is that I bring myself, my personality, my life where-ever I end up.  I tell stories of this or that thing that has happened in my life or that is currently going on.  I enjoy connecting with people on a personal basis to help them be more at ease and to share that “we’ve all been there.”  Or in some cases, when it comes to pudding… there are life lessons out there that don’t need to be experienced by everyone.

This is the reason that I write posts like this.  I hope that my experience in failing the exam gives someone the courage to just go out and take the exam they are currently “almost ready” for.  When you don’t pass an exam it doesn’t make you any less, it just means you are not ready. 

Have you ever pulled out the cookies a little early from the oven… when they are “not ready”?  Sometimes – that’s when they are just right.

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Posted by Jason Brimhall on 29 March 2011

Hope you did well with the exam.

Posted by Steve Jones on 1 April 2011

Best of luck on this. I'll be posting about my experience soon.

Posted by Jason Strate on 4 April 2011

Thanks - I'm hoping I don't have to wait a whole month to find out.  We have Joe coming to our user group on April 19 - maybe he'll tell me that night in front of every.  

Posted by Martin Catherall on 7 April 2011

Best of luck. I'm contemplating this myself, but I know I that I probably have a fair way to go yet...but it's good to set goals (even if it takes a few attempts)..I look forward to hearing about your success :)

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