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Not. Quite. There. This Time I Failed the Lab

Since I’ve been blogging about my progress through the SQL Server MCM certification, it makes sense to follow-up with my latest failure.  If you’re new to these posts, check out my posts on failing, retaking, and then passing the SQL Server MCM Knowledge exam.

Took the Lab

A couple weeks back, after some prodding from others and the realization that I won’t have much more time in the coming months to study, I decided to schedule the MCM lab.  The lab consists of a number of scenarios that must be achieved and a time bucket of just over 5 hours to complete them.  Going into this, I was a little concerned about the format of the questions and then wondered how underwater I would be on them.

Today was the big day and I was up at 5:55 AM for final preparations before taking the test.  These preparations consisted of making sure I was actually awake at 8 AM and not too groggy. 

I had been told that the time would fly by and it did.  The first few questions were great, I feel I handled them very well.  There were a couple more toward the end were easier than I had expected them to be.  Around the middle of the exam, though, I lost track of time and got stuck on a question.  I put the question aside, and opted to come back later.  Towards the end, I found some time to revisit that question.  In the end, though, the time ran out on me so that was it and I was done.  Next came the waiting.

The Results

The waiting didn’t take long and as the title alludes, I failed the SQL Server MCM lab.  Not too unexpected.  I was on the fence when I finished and knew that there were a couple questions that I hadn’t quite nailed.  If I passed it would have been just barely.  But I didn’t pass and I was below the score by enough that it wasn’t just barely.

This means that I am back in the waiting game.  Another 90 days and I can take the lab again – that’s August 15th.  Hopefully, I’ll have more time to study.  I have a good idea where I bombed and what I need to read up on.  How much studying I’ll get in is a bit questionable but this isn’t about what I can cram into my head, it’s about testing what I know.

Don’t Be Afraid

Part of the reason I blog about my failures is that they aren’t really failures in my book.  They are a progress towards a goal.  Take a risk and get certified – you may just find out all the studying you’ve been doing hasn’t been needed – you may already know all the answers. 

Of course, maybe you won’t and you will fail as well. This isn’t the end of the world or something to be ashamed of.  It’s an opportunity to re-calibrate your studying for the next attempt. 

PS – No specifics on the lab since it is covered under an NDA.  Don’t bother asking for that kind of stuff.

Related posts:

  1. MCM Live Blog – Week December 27
  2. MCM Live Blog – Week December 20
  3. MCM Live Blog – Week January 3


Posted by Jason Brimhall on 18 May 2011

Better luck next time.

Posted by Martin Catherall on 18 May 2011

I'll bet come mid August we'll be reading about your success in the lab exam. Thanks for sharing the ups and downs of your roller-coaster MCM journey :)

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