mhaskins 96481 (5/22/2012)
...the main purpose of certifications is to continue to make money... :-D
I completely agree.
It's all about the bottom line. And the bottom line is: those exams are almost worthless unless you are using them toward the Partner program to get free licenses from Microsoft.
I don't think the answer is "to make $"
A group of friends and I got together to study for the VB5 exam (~1998) and in the beginng we all planned to take the beta test version (the reduced price one).
None of us took the real test for various reasons, but we did meet weekly for about six months and learned a lot on our own.
Why I didn't take the test - thirty percent of the grade was on using the MSFT VB installer in various ways. No one used that thing, we all bought a $200 product (one license per site) that had a WYSIWYG interface and computed DLL dependencies for you.
I did take the beta (1) on the off chance that they would throw out enough questions about the installer that I could pass and (2) just to have the experience.
Excluding the installer portion I got an admirable 85+ percent on all sections (probably 90%+ overall).
I think I showed my results and got a job based on my test results (which msft reported as a fail; but I considered a good showing).
So, why are the exams done like they are:
The exams are set up to make people study what msft wants them to study
And it's still a free market in the USA, so they are free to do that if they want.
I will probably continue to not participate (unless my employer starts picking up the tab or offering raises based on certifications).