Wait until the exam is fixed

Discussion in 'MCSA' started by Kurt, Apr 22, 2005.

  1. Kurt

    Kurt Guest

    You probably should wait until you hear that the
    simulations are working (or have been removed) before you
    try to pass the exam. Right now it looks like you will
    probably fail if you attempt the exam with the broken
    simulations.
    Kurt, Apr 22, 2005
    #1
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  2. Kurt

    Chris Nowak Guest

    I took both the 290 and 291 exams and passed them both, with simulations.

    Since the NDA doesn't allow discussion of the details, I'll take my cue from
    the ExamCram books and write in terms of test taking strategy. (Quick note
    on them... I did get the lifetime MS subscription thing from them, and that
    was with the knowledge that they have many errors, and several of their
    questions have exactly the wrong answers... However, in going through their
    explanations, it became clear what was wrong, and I learned anyway. The
    concepts behind the questions were never irrelevant. I do wish they didn't
    have those errors, and were more comprehensive in their coverage... But
    they've gotten me through 3 tests as my only study aid so far.)


    There was one simulation that involved interaction between several systems,
    and I had to perform a task that affected that interaction (vague enough?),
    but the lead-in to the simulation didn't tell me which computer I was
    performing the task on, nor did it give me the tools to figure out the name
    of the machine I was on. However, knowing this, rereading the scenario, and
    making critically evaluating the likelyhood of what tools I had available to
    me made it clear which machine I was on. There was only one that would
    likely have the tools if things were setup the proper Microsoft way.


    In another simulation, I was told that I had already set the system up a
    certain way, but needed to make some changes. When looking at the
    simulation, the "way I set it up" was not actually the way it was setup. I
    didn't know if I was to fix both what "I set up" and what the exercise
    wanted.

    In my scenario thinking: "Why is what I setup not actually the way it is
    setup?" "One of the other techs must have changed things without going
    through proper change control notification..."

    I went with the assumption that I needed to set the precondition up (ie, fix
    what the "other tech" did), and from there implement the required changes.
    (I did give some feedback on this one. I hope it was a beta question)


    There was also one question that was on an area I had totally skipped in
    preparation, and had never used before in my professional experience. There
    was a momentary "deer in the headlights" issue. Fortunately it was, you
    guessed it, a simulation. I was able to figure out what I needed to do by
    how good the simulation was. (The fact that some things were not simulated
    gave important clues as what they expected to be done) In the end, I
    learned something useful. Coincidentally, I had a question at work about
    the very action the following week. =-)


    Now that we have an idea what my experience was like, here's my opinion.
    Take with appropriate quantities of salt.


    All in all, I liked the simulations. They actually made the exam easier for
    me. I can see how they could be limiting or throw you off, but like most of
    the books say, it comes down to test taking strategy.

    It is true that in the real world you can usually ask clarifying questions,
    but we know going into this, that the test is not the real world.


    I don't see the MCSE cert as stating "I can make Windows work", I see it as
    saying "I can work Windows as Microsoft intends". To that end, the
    simulations are actually a helpful tool, as if you get too far astray from
    how they say to do it, you know you're wrong and can start over.

    Imagine if your car is making a knocking sound, and the mechanic "fixes" it
    by strapping a steel cable around a loose part to another part. Maybe the
    manufacturer has a procedure for fixing this that involves replacing the
    loose part. Both approaches solve the problem, but I can't see the
    manufacturer certifying the first solution.

    I do have issues with how some of the questions were written, but that was
    independent of the actual simulation environment. I had the same issues
    with some of the multiple choice questions as well. I had these same issues
    taking the CompTIA exams (the 8 that I did take/pass), as well as the SATs,
    and even essay questions in high school history. This is a weakness in the
    concept of testing in general that they can continue to improve on, and I
    suspect that's part of why the passing score is 700, and not 850 or some
    higher number.


    As I said above, take what I say with a grain of salt. It's one person's
    view on two tests.


    Chris


    On 4/22/05 5:29 AM, in article 14e401c54736$ee172ef0$,
    "Kurt" <> wrote:

    > You probably should wait until you hear that the
    > simulations are working (or have been removed) before you
    > try to pass the exam. Right now it looks like you will
    > probably fail if you attempt the exam with the broken
    > simulations.
    Chris Nowak, Apr 22, 2005
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. Kurt

    Kurt Hudson Guest

    Congratulations on passing your simualation exams.
    Although I passed as well, I wouldn't go as far as saying
    they are okay. As a matter of fact, I think what you are
    saying is actually a problem. Don't assume that just
    because a simulation works a certain way that is "the
    Microsoft way" because there is no such thing. There are
    only best practices, and poor practices. The rest of it is
    just the way the operating system works. Since the
    simulations don't really work like the interface, you are
    essentially required to perform the flash animation
    according to what the test writers and interface
    programmers anticipated that you would try to do. So, in
    fact, it seems possible that you could get penalized for
    doing something that would work just fine, but that the
    test writers didn't consider. I don't think that makes it
    good enough, yet.

    >-----Original Message-----
    >I took both the 290 and 291 exams and passed them both,

    with simulations.
    >
    >Since the NDA doesn't allow discussion of the details,

    I'll take my cue from
    >the ExamCram books and write in terms of test taking

    strategy. (Quick note
    >on them... I did get the lifetime MS subscription thing

    from them, and that
    >was with the knowledge that they have many errors, and

    several of their
    >questions have exactly the wrong answers... However, in

    going through their
    >explanations, it became clear what was wrong, and I

    learned anyway. The
    >concepts behind the questions were never irrelevant. I

    do wish they didn't
    >have those errors, and were more comprehensive in their

    coverage... But
    >they've gotten me through 3 tests as my only study aid so

    far.)
    >
    >
    >There was one simulation that involved interaction

    between several systems,
    >and I had to perform a task that affected that

    interaction (vague enough?),
    >but the lead-in to the simulation didn't tell me which

    computer I was
    >performing the task on, nor did it give me the tools to

    figure out the name
    >of the machine I was on. However, knowing this,

    rereading the scenario, and
    >making critically evaluating the likelyhood of what tools

    I had available to
    >me made it clear which machine I was on. There was only

    one that would
    >likely have the tools if things were setup the proper

    Microsoft way.
    >
    >
    >In another simulation, I was told that I had already set

    the system up a
    >certain way, but needed to make some changes. When

    looking at the
    >simulation, the "way I set it up" was not actually the

    way it was setup. I
    >didn't know if I was to fix both what "I set up" and what

    the exercise
    >wanted.
    >
    >In my scenario thinking: "Why is what I setup not

    actually the way it is
    >setup?" "One of the other techs must have changed things

    without going
    >through proper change control notification..."
    >
    >I went with the assumption that I needed to set the

    precondition up (ie, fix
    >what the "other tech" did), and from there implement the

    required changes.
    >(I did give some feedback on this one. I hope it was a

    beta question)
    >
    >
    >There was also one question that was on an area I had

    totally skipped in
    >preparation, and had never used before in my professional

    experience. There
    >was a momentary "deer in the headlights" issue.

    Fortunately it was, you
    >guessed it, a simulation. I was able to figure out what

    I needed to do by
    >how good the simulation was. (The fact that some things

    were not simulated
    >gave important clues as what they expected to be done)

    In the end, I
    >learned something useful. Coincidentally, I had a

    question at work about
    >the very action the following week. =-)
    >
    >
    >Now that we have an idea what my experience was like,

    here's my opinion.
    >Take with appropriate quantities of salt.
    >
    >
    >All in all, I liked the simulations. They actually made

    the exam easier for
    >me. I can see how they could be limiting or throw you

    off, but like most of
    >the books say, it comes down to test taking strategy.
    >
    >It is true that in the real world you can usually ask

    clarifying questions,
    >but we know going into this, that the test is not the

    real world.
    >
    >
    >I don't see the MCSE cert as stating "I can make Windows

    work", I see it as
    >saying "I can work Windows as Microsoft intends". To

    that end, the
    >simulations are actually a helpful tool, as if you get

    too far astray from
    >how they say to do it, you know you're wrong and can

    start over.
    >
    >Imagine if your car is making a knocking sound, and the

    mechanic "fixes" it
    >by strapping a steel cable around a loose part to another

    part. Maybe the
    >manufacturer has a procedure for fixing this that

    involves replacing the
    >loose part. Both approaches solve the problem, but I

    can't see the
    >manufacturer certifying the first solution.
    >
    >I do have issues with how some of the questions were

    written, but that was
    >independent of the actual simulation environment. I had

    the same issues
    >with some of the multiple choice questions as well. I

    had these same issues
    >taking the CompTIA exams (the 8 that I did take/pass), as

    well as the SATs,
    >and even essay questions in high school history. This is

    a weakness in the
    >concept of testing in general that they can continue to

    improve on, and I
    >suspect that's part of why the passing score is 700, and

    not 850 or some
    >higher number.
    >
    >
    >As I said above, take what I say with a grain of salt.

    It's one person's
    >view on two tests.
    >
    >
    >Chris
    >
    >
    >On 4/22/05 5:29 AM, in article 14e401c54736$ee172ef0

    $,
    >"Kurt" <> wrote:
    >
    >> You probably should wait until you hear that the
    >> simulations are working (or have been removed) before

    you
    >> try to pass the exam. Right now it looks like you will
    >> probably fail if you attempt the exam with the broken
    >> simulations.

    >
    >.
    >
    Kurt Hudson, Apr 25, 2005
    #3
  4. Kurt

    Littlelegs Guest

    I just did the 290 today with 4 simulations - and they were quite good.
    Enough that I used one sim to help answer another multiple choice question.
    What I found interesting is that they don't leave you enough rope to hang
    yourself. Because the sim essentially only allows the valid settings and
    changes, I thought it was pretty hard to miss out on doing the required
    elements. One of the sims did seem a bit broken in that the settings didn't
    look like they were updating but when I would go back to the place the change
    were made they were there. I got by and that is what counts today.

    I think Chris's reply was very well written and quite insightful.

    "Kurt Hudson" wrote:

    > Congratulations on passing your simualation exams.
    > Although I passed as well, I wouldn't go as far as saying
    > they are okay. As a matter of fact, I think what you are
    > saying is actually a problem. Don't assume that just
    > because a simulation works a certain way that is "the
    > Microsoft way" because there is no such thing. There are
    > only best practices, and poor practices. The rest of it is
    > just the way the operating system works. Since the
    > simulations don't really work like the interface, you are
    > essentially required to perform the flash animation
    > according to what the test writers and interface
    > programmers anticipated that you would try to do. So, in
    > fact, it seems possible that you could get penalized for
    > doing something that would work just fine, but that the
    > test writers didn't consider. I don't think that makes it
    > good enough, yet.
    >
    > >-----Original Message-----
    > >I took both the 290 and 291 exams and passed them both,

    > with simulations.
    > >
    > >Since the NDA doesn't allow discussion of the details,

    > I'll take my cue from
    > >the ExamCram books and write in terms of test taking

    > strategy. (Quick note
    > >on them... I did get the lifetime MS subscription thing

    > from them, and that
    > >was with the knowledge that they have many errors, and

    > several of their
    > >questions have exactly the wrong answers... However, in

    > going through their
    > >explanations, it became clear what was wrong, and I

    > learned anyway. The
    > >concepts behind the questions were never irrelevant. I

    > do wish they didn't
    > >have those errors, and were more comprehensive in their

    > coverage... But
    > >they've gotten me through 3 tests as my only study aid so

    > far.)
    > >
    > >
    > >There was one simulation that involved interaction

    > between several systems,
    > >and I had to perform a task that affected that

    > interaction (vague enough?),
    > >but the lead-in to the simulation didn't tell me which

    > computer I was
    > >performing the task on, nor did it give me the tools to

    > figure out the name
    > >of the machine I was on. However, knowing this,

    > rereading the scenario, and
    > >making critically evaluating the likelyhood of what tools

    > I had available to
    > >me made it clear which machine I was on. There was only

    > one that would
    > >likely have the tools if things were setup the proper

    > Microsoft way.
    > >
    > >
    > >In another simulation, I was told that I had already set

    > the system up a
    > >certain way, but needed to make some changes. When

    > looking at the
    > >simulation, the "way I set it up" was not actually the

    > way it was setup. I
    > >didn't know if I was to fix both what "I set up" and what

    > the exercise
    > >wanted.
    > >
    > >In my scenario thinking: "Why is what I setup not

    > actually the way it is
    > >setup?" "One of the other techs must have changed things

    > without going
    > >through proper change control notification..."
    > >
    > >I went with the assumption that I needed to set the

    > precondition up (ie, fix
    > >what the "other tech" did), and from there implement the

    > required changes.
    > >(I did give some feedback on this one. I hope it was a

    > beta question)
    > >
    > >
    > >There was also one question that was on an area I had

    > totally skipped in
    > >preparation, and had never used before in my professional

    > experience. There
    > >was a momentary "deer in the headlights" issue.

    > Fortunately it was, you
    > >guessed it, a simulation. I was able to figure out what

    > I needed to do by
    > >how good the simulation was. (The fact that some things

    > were not simulated
    > >gave important clues as what they expected to be done)

    > In the end, I
    > >learned something useful. Coincidentally, I had a

    > question at work about
    > >the very action the following week. =-)
    > >
    > >
    > >Now that we have an idea what my experience was like,

    > here's my opinion.
    > >Take with appropriate quantities of salt.
    > >
    > >
    > >All in all, I liked the simulations. They actually made

    > the exam easier for
    > >me. I can see how they could be limiting or throw you

    > off, but like most of
    > >the books say, it comes down to test taking strategy.
    > >
    > >It is true that in the real world you can usually ask

    > clarifying questions,
    > >but we know going into this, that the test is not the

    > real world.
    > >
    > >
    > >I don't see the MCSE cert as stating "I can make Windows

    > work", I see it as
    > >saying "I can work Windows as Microsoft intends". To

    > that end, the
    > >simulations are actually a helpful tool, as if you get

    > too far astray from
    > >how they say to do it, you know you're wrong and can

    > start over.
    > >
    > >Imagine if your car is making a knocking sound, and the

    > mechanic "fixes" it
    > >by strapping a steel cable around a loose part to another

    > part. Maybe the
    > >manufacturer has a procedure for fixing this that

    > involves replacing the
    > >loose part. Both approaches solve the problem, but I

    > can't see the
    > >manufacturer certifying the first solution.
    > >
    > >I do have issues with how some of the questions were

    > written, but that was
    > >independent of the actual simulation environment. I had

    > the same issues
    > >with some of the multiple choice questions as well. I

    > had these same issues
    > >taking the CompTIA exams (the 8 that I did take/pass), as

    > well as the SATs,
    > >and even essay questions in high school history. This is

    > a weakness in the
    > >concept of testing in general that they can continue to

    > improve on, and I
    > >suspect that's part of why the passing score is 700, and

    > not 850 or some
    > >higher number.
    > >
    > >
    > >As I said above, take what I say with a grain of salt.

    > It's one person's
    > >view on two tests.
    > >
    > >
    > >Chris
    > >
    > >
    > >On 4/22/05 5:29 AM, in article 14e401c54736$ee172ef0

    > $,
    > >"Kurt" <> wrote:
    > >
    > >> You probably should wait until you hear that the
    > >> simulations are working (or have been removed) before

    > you
    > >> try to pass the exam. Right now it looks like you will
    > >> probably fail if you attempt the exam with the broken
    > >> simulations.

    > >
    > >.
    > >

    >
    Littlelegs, May 6, 2005
    #4
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