Exam Thoughts 70-441

  • Comments posted to this topic are about the content posted at http://www.sqlservercentral.com/columnists/sjones/examthoughts70441.asp

  • Nice one Steve,

    I signed up for a couple of the beta exams but haven't been invited to take them yet (don't know if i will be), even so it's good to know that MS is starting to get their act together over this type of thing.

    Obviously the beta exams are only good for feedback purposes and they're gonna need a lot more questions to draw from in the future.

    Congrats on passing by the way

  • Steve, remember that the 71-441 and 71-442 exam are for the IT Professional level certifications.  The detail you expected should have been covered in the 71-431 exam.  The difference between the technical (431) and professional (44x) level exams is that the technical level expects you to know "how" and the professional level expects you to know "why".  Also, the test you took, as well as the 71-442 exam, was specifically geared for the Database Developer, not for administrators.

    I took the 71-443 exam yesterday (Designing the database infrastructure) and was pleasantly surprised by the scenarios and the corresponding set of related questions.  I'll be taking the 71-444 exam tomorrow and am anxious to see if they did the same thing for that test.  I participated in the Alpha review of the 71-444 exam and each question stood on its own at that point.

    One thing I can tell you is that the creation of these exams has taken over a year, and the Microsoft team that put them together is really dedicated to making the certification meaningful, and I think they've gone a long way towards that.


  • Hello...


    I had the 441 on Monday also. I must say i also was plesantly supprised about it. The questions really only made "sense in the context" of the business case. In my exams i was a bit suprised that so few questions targeted the "new" features of the SQL Server, instead most times i was "forced" to pick the "old" solutions. For example there where 6 Business cases in my exam and not once there was a question that had "mirroring" as a valid failover choice. The questions where close, but there where stuble hints to pick other ways.


    Anyway... I agree there was a LOT to read, and i managed to finish a few testlets with less then a minute remaining (one came down to 8 seconds) i also didnt really have time to prepare, since we have so many year-change-changes (why do they allways want everything on 1/1?)

    I think i managed to pass the 441 exam, but the Beta Exam 71-444( PRO: Optimizing and Maintaining a Database Administration Solution) gave me a bit of a headace. Some of those questions had a "wrong" feeling to them (For example Index questions not offering "one" optimal Index, but one that only "almost" covers the querry and another that has the main field, but is having an aditional not used field) (Hope this still passes under the NDA) and i really wanted to have some more time to comment on those questions.


  • I've taken all four available exams so far, and the biggest headache for me (aside from SSRS and SSIS questions that I was unable to answer because I'm clueless on those products) was a question on the minimum hardware requirements... As someone who has always worked on larger-scale databases, I've never given even a thought to the minimum requirements -- and if there was a problem, I could look it up easily enough. Information like that, IMO, does not belong on a certification exam.

    Adam Machanic

  • Ah, perhaps I did miss the point of the exam, which would explain some things. I am still disappointed that I think a good test taker could pass most of the questions.

    course, don't know yet if I passed

  • Steve,

    They have the expression in Russia that what is important is your participation not your result!

    Thanks for sharing with us. Actually I liked 70-300 and 70-100 before it with the case studies. The main thing is to write down/ remember  relevant facts about the requirements or create a high-level diagram of who says what when reading the background.

    Tell us when you know how well did you do.


    Regards,Yelena Varsha

  • FYI to all, I'm doing a non-live webcast next week on http://www.sqlpass.org regarding the new certification lines. I agree with Adam totally on the minimum requirements thing, but it is a step in the right direction. And, keep in mind, these are beta questions and feedback like that is what MS is looking for.

    Good luck on the passing Steve!

  • Tried to give them feedback, but the time wasn't long enough!!!

  • FYI I'm checking with my contacts at MS on how one might submit additional feedback...

  • Totally agree with the earlier comment on Indexes with no real ideal candidate. However I believe this does actually capture the spirit of the role. You have to look at the requirements and make a judgement based on what you know. There is not always a simple best solution. However it does make it very hard to pick an exam answer.

    Personally I found the scenarios in 70-433 to be very well thought out. It did feel a bit like I was simply marrying requirements to features and did not actually need to have experienced of how these things really worked. However avoiding recall questions without asking for essay style questions is a very hard task.

    Another Beta on Monday for BI. Won't go in totally blind but definetly partially sighted!

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