Microsoft Testing Questions

Discussion in 'MCSE' started by Guest, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I'm just wondering/thinking out loud here,

    Why does Microsoft make their tests so tricky? Why format it in ways that
    gets people to fail it?

    I've been working in IT for a few years. I know how to setup user accounts,
    move permissions in groups, troubleshoot hardware, etc. Yet, I get questions
    wrong on the exam because they aren't clear about that they say..

    I find the exam less and less about testing your technical knowledge and
    more about memorizing the menu that appears after you right click, etc.

    I've taken and passed Cisco exams, I wonder why Microsoft feels the need to
    do this. No flaming, just honest input if you have any.
    Guest, Jul 7, 2005
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  2. Guest

    T-Bone Guest

    Hopefully some of this will be fixed by the move to simulation type
    T-Bone, Jul 7, 2005
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  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    When will the move to simulation type questions happen?

    I hear people complain about braindumpers all the time on this board, well
    guess what? There wouldn't be a point to braindumping if the questions where
    just straight forward and clear. Even the greenest rookie would rather just
    learn the material then memorize 500 test questions and answers.

    And still no answer to my original question, why does Microsoft design their
    tests this way when others like Cisco don't? Sorry to sound like I'm whining
    but I honestly don't believe the point of the current test structure is the
    weed out real IT Pros from the braindumpers. I feel like it's actually doing
    the reverse.
    Guest, Jul 7, 2005
  4. Guest

    JaR Guest

    In microsoft.public.cert.exam.mcse, =?Utf-8?B?c2VudHRvbnVsbDA=?= spewed
    across the ether:
    JaR, Jul 7, 2005
  5. Guest

    kpg Guest

    but I honestly don't believe the point of the current test structure is
    How ironic.

    Looking at it from MS's perspective I'm not sure they have a
    choice, however. When the exams are too easy everyone
    complains about braindumpers, when they make it too hard
    everyone complains they can’t pass.

    Being a bit of a test connoisseur, I can tell you that multiple
    choice tests are evil. I always over-analyze the questions.
    Many of the answers given are correct or partially correct, or
    could be argued in a particular situation to be correct, but the
    instructions say to pick the BEST answer. The gurus that make
    the tests are experts in the field of test making, so I won’t argue
    their assumption that someone who knows what ever it is they
    are testing for in that questions should also know how to answer
    it, but I’m with you – If the test fails someone that really does
    know what they need to know it’s not a good test. The problem
    is that a passable test is also a braindumpable test. (Hey, I just
    made up a new word!)

    Simulation exams offer some hope to resolve the predicament.

    We’ll have to wait and see.
    kpg, Jul 7, 2005
  6. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    The intent is quite the opposite. We try to make the exams as simple to
    understand and take as possible. Could you give me an example of what
    you are referring to a tricky question? (email is ok - bensmi @
    microsoft . com)
    This certainly is not the intent. I have been deeply involved in many
    exams and can assure you that this is the case.
    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  7. Guest

    Briscobar Guest

    It's already started in some exams.
    I beg to differ, here. Call me a cynic, but I really do think that as long
    as a test is braindumpable[1], there will be morans out there who'll try to
    take the easy way out.
    Well put. We've heard rumbles here (not to point the finger, but I'm
    pointing my finger at Ben) that MS is indeed working on castrating the
    braindumpers. Whether this is a proactive solution (in addition to
    simulation-based exams) or a reactive solution (tctips emails), I don't
    know. Either way, MS claims that they're working on the braindumper
    situation. But you're right; the current multiple-choice-only exams are
    quite conducive to cheating, and they don't help separate the good from the

    [1] {$1 to kpg}
    Briscobar, Jul 7, 2005
  8. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    Castrating might be a little strong of a word.
    Both, also we are attempting to better educate managers (and hiring
    managers) on the role of MCSE - what it means and how to use it. (I
    wrote an article about this last year in Windows IT Pro Magazine. )
    The bottom line is that a person without real knowledge and skills with
    an MCSE will be quickly exposed - the challenge for us it to not let
    those individuals hurt the brand of the credential.
    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  9. Guest

    CBIC Guest

    MS is indeed working on castrating the
    How did you hear about the order they placed with us?
    CBIC, Jul 7, 2005
  10. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    You can read my article on-line at
    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  11. Guest

    kpg Guest

    Both, also we are attempting to better educate managers (and hiring
    That's good. A three pronged approach - my favorite kind.

    If you read (well not you, but others) the description of an MCSE,
    we probably only need about 7 of them in the world.

    kpg, Jul 7, 2005
  12. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  13. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  14. Guest

    Briscobar Guest

    I was just joking, but it's a shame that you're not tracking them down and
    castrating them, IMO.
    Good to hear.
    I agree that frauds will be exposed, but it's kind of beside the point, I
    think. Once the dumpers are unleashed on the workforce, the collective
    quality of MCSE certs goes down. By firing the offender, the manager doesn't
    effectively do anything to improve the quality of the cert. The dumper will
    just go find another job (because he's *certified*, after all!), and repeat
    ad infinitum - or until he actually learns from OTJ experience.

    I'm glad that MS is taking a stance to educate hiring managers, but cutting
    the problem off at the source (the exams and the dumpers themselves) seems
    to be a much simpler and effective solution, no?
    Briscobar, Jul 7, 2005
  15. Guest

    Ben Smith Guest

    I am not convinced that this could ever be accomplished on a cost
    effective basis. Both approaches have value.
    Ben Smith, Jul 7, 2005
  16. Guest

    Jtyc Guest

    Jtyc, Jul 7, 2005
  17. Guest

    catwalker63 Guest

    Tip: You need to start encrypting your email.

    HTH, HAND!

    aka Pu$$y Feet
    MCNGP #43
    "If man could be crossed with the cat, it would improve man, but it would
    deteriorate the cat." Mark Twain
    catwalker63, Jul 8, 2005
  18. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I beg to differ, here. Call me a cynic, but I really do think that as long
    ok, let me rephrase. how do u expect a rookie to study for these exams? you
    can take the training course but that's not enough. Read the training kit
    book but that's also not enough. Read the various white pages online, now you
    are starting to get there, but wait MS will still throw you a VB script
    questions out of left field just to screw with you.

    How do you expect a rookie to study for this exam when the range of material
    covered is so vast and course materials only scratch the surface? So what
    does the rookie do? He braindumps, you gave him no other choice.

    Does the rookie want to go through all this? No, he just wants a job but
    "managers" are brainwashed into thinking an MCSE will know the network better
    then the guy who built it for him.

    As long as there is a multiple choice test there will be braindumpers. That
    simple. As long as you are going to have a test there will be fakers out
    there who best the test one way or another. When you make the test the way it
    is, everyone loses instead.
    Guest, Jul 8, 2005
  19. Guest

    T-Bone Guest

    That's because MCSE is not for rookies. According to MS, its for experienced
    systems professionals.
    T-Bone, Jul 8, 2005
  20. Guest

    Briscobar Guest

    Maybe I'm lost here, but it looks like you're on my side of the fence now.
    Before, you said:
    I hear people complain about braindumpers all the time on this board,
    well guess what? There wouldn't be a point to braindumping if the
    questions where just straight forward and clear. Even the greenest
    rookie would rather just learn the material then memorize 500 test
    questions and answers.

    Looks to me like you thought that dumping would stop, or at least slow down,
    if the tests were more clear. I thought otherwise, and now it looks like you
    agree with me. Maybe I'm wrong.

    I think the rookie should read the books. He should take the MS course. He
    should use TechNet. And he should also use the product. Let me put it this
    way: If you were sick, I mean really sick, would you go to a doctor? Sure
    you would. Now, you have a 26 year old kid straight out of med school and a
    50 year old who's been a specialist for over 20 years. Who would you rather
    see, all else being equal? The experienced one. That's because reading about
    livers, hearts, and bone marrow does not a good doctor make. Similarly,
    reading about subnetting, replication, and authentication does not a good
    MCSE make. *Using* and *doing* are the keys here.
    I just gave another choice above. One that shouldn't be a choice at all, but
    rather a requirement. Also, the MCSE cert is designed for people with a year
    or more in the business, not newbies who just finished reading Windows XP
    for Dummies.

    Braindumping should be a last resort. And by "last resort", I mean if you're
    on your deathbed, and your dying wish is to become certified, then go for
    You do present a good point in that managers are blinded by the cert. Well,
    they were. Now the cert's mainly useless. Here's why: Too many incompetent
    people "earned" the cert, and when they got jobs, they failed miserably,
    leaving the hiring manager with a bad impression of MCSEs. Now, he's not so
    high on hiring another MCSE who's just going to fukc up his network again.
    You see?

    Ben posted in this thread that MS is now going to begin educating managers
    on what the MCSE actually is, and what it should be used for.
    Yes, that's what I'm saying! Fortunately, dumping has gotten harder, and
    will continue to get harder, as MS rolls out more simulation-based exams.


    MCNGP #26
    If you don't hightail it over to, your job will be
    Briscobar, Jul 8, 2005
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