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70-680 Configuring windows 7 exam - changes ?? SQL?

    General discussion

  • A little surpirsed today to sit the 70-680 win7 exam to find an extra 35 questions, so 85 instead of 50.  Also 5 questions that were 100% purely SQL Server 2008 related. I have submitted an 'item challenge' form to MS, so have yet to hear back, but have seen elsewhere online this appears to be new material that is covered? If so, then I am not happy. I failed the exam today by 60 points, so I am firmly blaming these 5 questions. I raised the issue after the 2nd SQL question with the test centre who contacted prometric and said continue with the exam and sort it out later. I then answered 'A' to these 5 questions just to get them out the way and move on, so chances are I got at least one correct, but felt at the time this was surely some weird error. What SQL has to do with a client exam I don't know, and these weren't general connections, they are actually related to the inner working of SQL 2008.

    A total joke M$.


    Monday, February 20, 2012 2:48 PM

All replies

  • Hi Dohnut,

    I have escalated your conerns and hope to have a reply for you shortly.

    Cheers

    Jeff


    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

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    Monday, February 20, 2012 9:49 PM
  • Hi Dohnut,

    Thanks for letting us know about the SQL content that appeared on your 680 exam. The questions were included in error and are being removed from the exam. These
    questions were not scored, so your answers to these questions did not count toward your exam score. (To find out more about unscored questions that may appear on Microsoft exams, see the Microsoft Certification Exam Scoring FAQ at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab3).


    You’ll receive a separate response to the item challenge you submitted. If you have any questions, you can mail mcphelp@microsoft.com. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention.

    Veronica

    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning


    Tuesday, February 21, 2012 4:58 PM
  • Thanks for your reply and for confirming the questions were included in error. I still find this unacceptable that someone who has studied, paid for and taken the exam should be subjected to errors and doubt. This does not bode well for microsoft in my opinion. I am still not happy to have had to deal with this on the day of my exam, an important step in my IT career. Prometric told me it was not possible to have extra or wrong questions in the exam and that I had simply not studied enough. There are other mistakes in the exam, still referring to the abomination that is Vista instead of Windows 7 which the exam is obviously about.

    I do appreciate your reply, but how can I be sure that since you have told me the questions were added in error, that they were also not scored in error? Since MS don't give out info on the questions or individual scores, I am supposed to accept their word that the questions were not scored. I cannot accept this and will be writing to MS to take this further.

    You will see there is also now a flurry of similar posts on this site and others with people wondering what is going on. I would feel better to have the opportunity to take the exam again (free retake) with the content I have actually studied for. At the time when I asked the questions I appeared to be the first to ask the question, so was left doubting my own knowledge.
    • Edited by Dohnut Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:52 AM
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 9:50 AM
  • I fully agree with what is posted above, and the fact that I have my exam in a few days is making me a nervous wreck. I have put over 50 hours of studytime in for this exam, and to know I may be subject to material not specified in the objectives concerns me. It's a pretty big oversight to include COMPLETELY unrelated new material in a client exam.
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 7:30 PM
  • YRT45 - I have taken over 50 exams in my career as an MCP over the years, and have never encountered such a problem. Don't let it take over your nerves, as Veronica stated above, this has been taken care of, and chances are that you won't encountered the same as the OP.
    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 8:03 PM
  • Thank you for the reassurance sir. Will my testing center be downloading the exam the day of my test? Or is it possible that my test will still include SQL material?

    Should I make the test center aware of it?

    Wednesday, February 22, 2012 10:44 PM
  • Deleted.
    • Edited by Dohnut Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:03 PM
    Thursday, February 23, 2012 11:35 AM
  • I have no doubt that you had a bad experience with this exam however we need to keep things in perspective and not cause undue hysteria.  Here are some people who passed this exam in the last 1-2 weeks:

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/windows-7-exams/74504-70-680-passed.html

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/windows-7-exams/74445-passed-70-680-wrapped-up-45-minutes.html

    http://www.techexams.net/forums/windows-7-exams/73743-taking-70-680-4-hours-edit-passed.html

    http://www.billwebstudio.com/unreal/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=161198


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:00 PM
  • Fine, I won't bother to provide any more updates.
    Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:03 PM
  • Please keep providing updates as they are beneficial to the community.

    We all just need to be careful about how we say things or portrait the exam as there is a very large pool of questions used for all Microsoft exams and it’s unlikely (but not guaranteed) that other test takers will experience the same problems as you did.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:07 PM
  • I am also preparing for my 680 exam, hoping to take it in the next 3 weeks.  Can anyone confirm that these SQL questions have been removed?

    Someone earlier in this thread posted that the SQL questions were an accidental addition to the exam.  Can the same be said for the 35 additional questions, bringing the exam up to a total of 85 questions?  I would very much like to know the answer to this as if this is a permanent move by M$, I need to study accordingly.

    Regards,

    Doug

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 3:48 PM
  • Will look into the SQL issue you raised. With regards to the number of questions, whether there are 50 or 85 questions in the exam makes no difference to how you would study for the exam. Furthermore, Microsoft does not release the number of questions in an exam so there is no way of knowing how many questions there may be.

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:50 PM
  • To @Dohnut and all concerned forum visitors:

    Below is an update from Microsoft Learning.

    What happened -- On February 17, 2012, an English version of Microsoft Certification exam 70-680 TS: Windows 7, Configuring was published erroneously with a few exam questions on SQL technology. The SQL exam questions were not scored and did not impact the candidates’ final scores. 

    What has been done -- The error was immediately fixed and on February 21, 2012 a new exam was published without the SQL questions. 

    What to expect next -- If you took the English version of exam 70-680 between February 17 and 21, 2012 and failed, Prometric, Microsoft’s exam delivery provider, will contact you directly to make arrangements for you to retake the exam. We expect that you will hear from Prometric on or before March 9, 2012.

    If you have further questions or concerns, please contact your local Regional Support Center: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/help/assisted-support.aspx


    Veronica Sopher Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning


    Thursday, February 23, 2012 10:17 PM
  • Hello everyone,

    took the 70-680 today. No more SQL Questions and 50 questions. Confirm as fixed :)

    Friday, February 24, 2012 10:19 AM
  • Thanks for the update Stephan

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Friday, February 24, 2012 10:30 AM
  • Stephan,

    Did you mean there is 50 questions like it used to be or there will be no more 50 questions (85 questions)?

    and how was the exam? was it krazy like when there was SQL questions? 

    Thanks!


    • Edited by leemicha Monday, February 27, 2012 2:48 PM
    Monday, February 27, 2012 2:46 PM
  • Hello Leemicha,

    50 questions no more no less ;)

    Exam was ok. I did very well. But we are already deploying and working with Windows 7. The only stuff new for me was dism and WAIK because we have another software deployment solution.
    And there are many questions about this. Learn to decide when to use scanstate / loadstate too.

    But if you learn from the book and also perform the exercises you are good to go.

    Greets
    Stephan

    Monday, February 27, 2012 3:02 PM
  • Thanks Stephan! that helped a lot.

    I want to ask you just one more question if you don't mind. I took my exam on the 20th when there was an error asking SQL questions. And There was also several questions

    asking about <removed>. I was given about 10 choices for each question to choose from and it will say choose whatever applies.... (not like choose two or choose three)

    I thought that was pretty insane. Did you have those questions too?

    How much time did you spend to study for the exam? I spent about 2 months to study and failed.

    Thanks again for your answer.


    Monday, February 27, 2012 6:56 PM
  • it is not true I'm failed yesterday because of 5 SQL questions thnks prometric.

    Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:24 PM
  • Hi RTLNL,

    I have escalated your concerns.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:27 PM
  • Hi @RTLNL,

    Looks like you're brand new to the forum here. Welcome.

    If you wish to challenge exam items, please be sure to do so within 3 calendar days of taking the exam. The necessary form, procedures and contact info can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4 .


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:42 PM
  • Hi @RTLNL,

    Looks like you're brand new to the forum here. Welcome.

    If you wish to challenge exam items, please be sure to do so within 3 calendar days of taking the exam. The necessary form, procedures and contact info can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4 .


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning


    Thanks for the information Veronica. I'll ensure that future enquiries are directed to this link

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, March 01, 2012 10:44 PM
  • Yesterday we had 4 students take the 70-680 exam, 3hours and 20 mins (their email said that they need to allow a maximum of 3 hours), 80 questions and having students come out and ask me about IIS server and configuring a Direct Access server (not client).  Can Microsoft confirm what is going on with this exam, we have had so many problems with time being decreased to just 60 minutes at one point, questions about SQL 2 weeks ago, questions about IIS, having 30-35 more questions in the exam.

    how are students meant to prepare for an exam when the objectives and goalposts keep changing?  How can we assist in preparing a student for a client exam when server questions keep getting pushed into the test?

    I'm not saying that the students would have passed if they only received the 50 questions, but receiving 80, having over 3 hours for the exam and including server side questions (whether beta or not) does knock the confidence of anyone sitting a test.

    I look forward to hearing what is going on and why this exam changes as frequently as it does.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:22 AM
  • Agree with just about everything you've said Chris however some clarification is required.

    Microsoft does not advise how many questions are in an exam therefore thinking that an exam will only contain 50 questions is not an issue Microsoft can (or should) address.  If students are being advised before taking an exam to expect 50 questions, then this is an error in judgement made by their trainer.  As a MCT myself, I always advise students to expect a random number of questions as no one knows exactly how many questions will be in an exam.

    Technically speaking, as IIS and Direct Access are also components of Windows 7, they could appear in the exam.  I'm not saying that they should however Microsoft reserves the right to include these components (especially Direct Access as it falls under network connectivity applications included with Windows 7) as they're part of the Windows 7 platform.

    As per Veronica's reply above, if students wish to challenge exam items, please be sure they do so within 3 calendar days of taking the exam. The necessary form, procedures and contact info can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4 .


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 9:54 AM
  • What a farse this exam is turning out to be.  Hoping to sit this exam next week, now I have to look into IIS server configuration and Direct Access Server config?!

    Agreed that IIS and DA are part of the Win 7 platform, but why would the 680 cover server configuration of these elements?  Sounds like the same mistake that they made with the SQL questions.

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 11:45 AM
  • Hello dmdougie,

    i would wait for the answer of Veronica Sopher

    I also learned some sql queries because of the thread here. But it looks like another fault.
    IIS questions like how to force authentication may be valid but not deeper configuration.

    DirectAccess with configuring PKI etc is too heavy for a client exam.

    Greets
    Stephan

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 1:15 PM
  • The problem is not that I am suggesting a number of questions in an exam, but when a student takes the exam in feb and has 50 questions and then takes the exam in march and there is 80 questions and over 1 hour more on the exam and a lot of server side questions then it causes major problems with preparing for the certification

    with regards to DA, MS puts in the objectives

    Configure DirectAccess.

    • This objective may include but is not limited to: configuring client side; configuring authentication; network infrastructure requirements
    • I know that there is the cop-out of "this objective may include but is not limited to", but rather than just discussing DA and ensuring that students know how it works and how in theory to set it up, they now get questions on how to configure the server?

      As one of the students has already had issues in the past when MS changed the length of the test to 60 minutes this is becoming ridiculous.  With regards to IIS, I was asked to show how to setup a site with SSL cert on a server by student after their exam, so I assume this is what the question was asking...if you feel that is client side then I will start trying to include the MCTS in windows server 2008 R2 before students attempt the client test.

      I will direct the students to the link given, and thank you both for letting me know about this.

    • Edited by Brent Serbus Tuesday, May 22, 2012 6:07 PM html issue
    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 3:02 PM
  • I agree with comments relating to technical content (and this is something MS needs to address ASAPuickly) however I don’t agree with comments relating to the number of questions in an exam.   Just because a student only had 50 questions last time, doesn’t mean they’ll get (or should expect) 50 questions next time.  The same goes for adaptive and simulation exams.

     


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    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Wednesday, March 07, 2012 10:11 PM
  • Thought it might be appropriate to provide the following links:

    Exam Preparation: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab2

    Exam Scoring: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab3


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, March 08, 2012 9:49 AM
  • Mr. Wharty,

    The links are not helpful. 

    I am taking the exam on Monday.  I have been in class full-time for 7 weeks and studied and practiced for hours and hours.

    I need to know what material I can expect to see on the exam.  Difficult is ok, bait and switch is another. 

    I don't see where it is in Microsoft's interest to have a increased number of students fail their exams. As it is, your company is on the precipice with the Windows 8 CP that is causing so much concern among IT people.  One would think that you would work to support us and keep us onboard with your products.

    Thursday, March 08, 2012 9:43 PM
  • I need to know what material I can expect to see on the exam.  Difficult is ok, bait and switch is another. 

    At a minimum you can expect to see the following material in the exam
    http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-680#tab2.  You can also expect to see any topics relating to configuring Windows 7.

    As it is, your company is on the precipice with the Windows 8 CP that is causing so much concern among IT people.  One would think that you would work to support us and keep us onboard with your products

    The only thing my company is on the precipice of is releasing new Cruises! 


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Thursday, March 08, 2012 10:06 PM
  • Good luck, Amy.  Let us know how you get on and if you had any SQL/IIS/DA server configuration questions. 

    Friday, March 09, 2012 8:53 AM
  • Please let us know how was the exam and if you had any SQL/IIS questions.

    Sunday, March 11, 2012 4:26 AM
  • How did it go?
    Tuesday, March 13, 2012 5:55 PM
  • Hello,

    OK I took this exam on Wed 7 March and failed with 682. There were around 80 questions but this was fine. My issue is with what was asked. I have spent multiple thousands of dollars on a Microsoft Certified Gold Learning Partner IT course to explicitly get certified as a Windows 7 MCITP. I spent weeks in class and countless hours at home studying my Microsoft 6292A book that was issued to me. Did all the labs and passed the internal exam with 86%.

    Then I take the 70-680 exam and what a shock! It seems that Microsoft dont understand how learning works. What should happen is they issue text books, you study and learn what is in the text books then you are tested on what you have learned. This flat out did not happen. At least 40% of the questions were not covered in my Microsoft issued textbook. I have complained to my learning institution, as have other students who suffered the same fate. Since failing the 70-680 exam I have continued my learning with the module for 70-685. To my horror I have come across multiple (at least 10) instances of information in the MS Press Book for 70-685 that explicitly covers what was asked in the 70-680 exam. How is this possible? The information that was asked in the 70-680 exam wasn't anywhere in the 6292A book yet is covered in the book for 70-685? Can this possibly be correct?!

    I made complaints on my exam about this, including a question that I physically couldn't answer, but have heard nothing. What is going on? Is this usually how Microsoft conducts it's learning? If so it's a complete disgrace. How can I study with any confidence for Microsoft exams when I know I'll get questions from outside my textbook. How can I ever pass this exam....seriously? Do I need to understand every little aspect of Windows 7? Why even bother with textbooks then?

    As you can tell I'm extremely frustrated and annoyed. I've never come across a learning situation where this has happened when exam questions simply had nothing to do with what I was taught. This includes primary, secondary and tertiary learning institutions. I cant go into details about these questions as that would violate my exam agreement but I truly wish someone...anyone at Microsoft would take this seriously. Because at this point I simply cant understand how I'm supposed to pass this exam.

    Regards,

    Tim


    Sunday, March 25, 2012 10:37 AM
  • Hi Tim,

    Sorry to hear of your result in the exam, but if you only took part in the class and read the course book I'm not surprised to hear that you failed.  Those courses are a total waste of money, there is no way you can expect to cover all the content in 5 days and expect to pass the exam.  I highly recommend watching some video courses.  I understand you've invested a lot of money into this so won't recommend you spend another couple hundred dollars on courses from Trainsignal or CBT nuggets, but you should try the free video course available from http://www.professormesser.com/.

    I am yet to find a Microsoft book that covers course material in enough detail.  They want you to try out the technology for yourself and not to just rely on theory you pick up from a manual.  Having said that, the 70-680 MOAC books are very good.  The classroom book is short enough to get through in a few weeks, and the lab companion book backs up the theory with solid practical experience.  Here's a link, though the search was here in the UK so UK prices...

    There have been lots of complaints about the content of this exam and it is clearly undergoing some scrutiny, but you really need to give it another go before moving on to another exam.  The percentage of people failing their first M$ exam is really high, don't feel disheartened.  You just need to be more prepared next time, watch the video course on professor messer's site.  Don't just sit there and watch it though, follow along with him.  Set up a virtual box with Win 7 installed and physically do each step as he does it.  Once you've done that, then go through the MOAC book.  You'll understand exactly what is being said and breeze through it.  Anything you feel that you don't totally grasp, go to Technet and read the article behind the feature.  For instance, I am crap at VPN.  So after reading the technical article and reading through some guides I found via google, I feel a lot more confident.  Then once you have done that, get some practice done on some practice exams.  You can get sims from CBT nuggets and other training sites.

    There is no definite way to pass Microsoft exams.  They're not setup to make you fail, they are written to truly ensure that you know the technology.  You don't 'need to know Windows 7 inside out', but you do need to have a high level of understanding of the Technology and how to configure the OS per user requirements. 

    I hope some of this helps you out.  I know how you feel, feeling like you have been cheated out of something.  If anything you should be pissed at the Gold Partner as those 5 day training courses are a joke.  Now you have some more information, I hope that you are better equipped to take it on the next time!  Good luck!!

    Monday, March 26, 2012 9:03 AM
  • Hi Doug,

    Thanks for the support but it comes back to my original point. Somewhere along the line something isn't working for MS. They issue the text books and legally oblige the MS Gold Learning Partner to teach those text books as a way of getting certified. That's the whole point. The fact that there were questions on the exam that were only in the 70-685 book supports my complaint. They are not asking the appropriate questions. Also I spent 3 weeks in full time learning in the lead up to the exam and easily passed my internal exam. 

    There is a disconnect here and it is either the Microsoft 70-680 exam or the textbook and class. Either way I signed up for a MS endorsed course then was tested on stuff from outside that course. Something is wrong.

    BTW I have watched some of those Prof Messer videos and they are quite good.

    Thanks,

    Tim

    Monday, March 26, 2012 9:53 AM
  • Hi Tim,

    I very much agree with you that the courses should advertise a little better that they do not pump you out 'certification exam ready'.  Some trainers you get on these courses will advise you to do a lot of independent study.  Like I said in my previous post, the course and books only account for part of the training on your lead up.   I'd say that the training courses are a good entry level starting point, but in no way will have you ready to sit the exam by the end of it. 

    I know you're peeved at the moment, and justly so, but if you focus on it you WILL pass!

    Training videos, the MOAC books and soon enough the Rapid review are excellent tools.  Use all of them to your advantage. 

    Good luck for the future!

    Monday, March 26, 2012 11:57 AM
  • Hello Veronica

    I have a similar problem .I have taken MS exams previously for MCSE 2003 .I was comfortable with the format of the exam and got used to expecting the 50 question scenario over the years .Imagine my surprise on March 23 ,when i was greeted by a 80 question 3,5 hour exam .I was absolutely flustered because a lot of the questions were not covered by the content of the manual .In addition ,I was under greater pressure because one of my employment conditions was that I certify to MCITP .I am now very nervous about taking further exams and also financially ,I am under pressure .Surely the onus would have been for Prometric or Microsoft to advise the candidates of the change in format of the tests in the email confirmation of the booking .Also Microsoft being the big professional company they are should bring candidates up to speed on these changes .In the absence of suitable notification mechanisms Microsoft are leading candidates like lamb to slaughter and ripping us off .I see some candidates were afforded the opportunity to re take the exam ,what about us candidates in South Africa?Can we not be included in a exam re-take promotion(even if  for a limited period) ,till candidtes become accustomed to this new format .Or at the very least we should be entitled to some sort of discount on the second attempts at this exam .Come on Microsoft help us out ,you created the problem ,accept responsibility for you actions .We unfortunate individuals have no choice in the matter,you have the monopoly,you just go ahead with all these changes and we are expected to just pay up and swallow it .Help us respect your company

    Thanks

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 9:50 AM
  • Agree with what ROYEDHARRIS said. It's not really fair to change the rules and not tell anyone.

    What will Microsoft do to compensate us?

    All I want to do is get certified and get a job. I've done the study.

    Tim

    Wednesday, March 28, 2012 11:20 AM
  • I took the Exam on 3-29-2012, there were several questions about IIS server configuration and Direct Access Server config as well, not saving i would have passed if those questions weren't there but its kind of disconcerting that items on the exam were not mentioned on any Exam objectives. I also filled out the survey that came including this information on the survey.

    I don't thing it was any bearing on the Results, but I had 80 questions on the exam,

    John - 8 = )


    • Edited by Jmonshor Monday, April 02, 2012 5:43 PM Corrected Content
    Monday, April 02, 2012 5:00 PM
  • So I take it from the complete silence on this topic that no one at Microsoft cares about it's clients.

    Thanks for that, really appreciate it!

    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 6:01 AM
  • So I take it from the complete silence on this topic that no one at Microsoft cares about it's clients.

    Thanks for that, really appreciate it!

    What do you mean by this?

    Microsoft have responded to the concerns voiced here and have also provided information and links to assist with sorting out the various issues posted here.  What else would you like them to do?

     


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 9:55 AM
  • So I take it from the complete silence on this topic that no one at Microsoft cares about it's clients.

    Thanks for that, really appreciate it!

    What do you mean by this?

    Microsoft have responded to the concerns voiced here and have also provided information and links to assist with sorting out the various issues posted here.  What else would you like them to do?

     

    In what capacity have they responded exactly?  Have they amended the Exam details to show that the exam tests on items outside of the original syllabus?  Have they informed their Gold partners that the material they provide students isnt up to scratch?

    No, they haven't and they most likely will not.  Is it too much to ask that M$ stop counting the $$$ and start listening to their loyal customers?

    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:35 AM
  • No, they haven't and they most likely will not. 

    Do you have any proof of this?  If so, please share.

    Also from above,

    Thanks for letting us know about the SQL content that appeared on your 680 exam. The questions were included in error and are being removed from the exam. These
    questions were not scored, so your answers to these questions did not count toward your exam score. (To find out more about unscored questions that may appear on Microsoft exams, see the Microsoft Certification Exam Scoring FAQ athttp://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab3).


    You’ll receive a separate response to the item challenge you submitted. If you have anyquestions, you can mailmcphelp@microsoft.com. Thanks again for bringing this to our attention

    and

    If you wish to challenge exam items, please be sure to do so within 3 calendar days of taking the exam. The necessary form, procedures and contact info can be found athttp://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4 .



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    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:40 AM
  • Yeah, cause I'm really gonna fork out several thousand dollars to go on a M$ course just to prove you wrong.  Having just come from the 70-680 skills measured page, I see no new information regarding what has been discussed in this thread.
    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 10:53 AM
  • Yeah, cause I'm really gonna fork out several thousand dollars to go on a M$ course just to prove you wrong.  Having just come from the 70-680 skills measured page, I see no new information regarding what has been discussed in this thread.
    What new information needs to be included?  Microsoft have advised that the SQL questions were added in error and that these questions will not be counted towards exam scores.  Given this, I fail to see how you derived at the conclusion that Microsoft have not attempted to fix the concerns discussed in this thread.

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    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:05 AM
  • Yeah, cause I'm really gonna fork out several thousand dollars to go on a M$ course just to prove you wrong.  Having just come from the 70-680 skills measured page, I see no new information regarding what has been discussed in this thread.

    What new information needs to be included?  Microsoft have advised that the SQL questions were added in error and that these questions will not be counted towards exam scores.  Given this, I fail to see how you derived at the conclusion that Microsoft have not attempted to fix the concerns discussed in this thread.

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    Yes Microsoft have responded to the SQL issue.

    But none of mine, or other peoples, concerns have been dealt with at all. How is it that I can study a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner IT course to become certified in 70-680 with Microsoft issued textbooks, pass the internal exam (easily) then fail the external 70-680 exam and discover a lot of questions from outside what I was taught. Some of which later turned up in my Microsoft issued 70-685 textbook.

    None of this has been responded to. That is why I asked if anyone from Microsoft will respond to my concerns.

    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:23 AM
  • But none of mine, or other peoples, concerns have been dealt with at all. How is it that I can study a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner IT course to become certified in 70-680 with Microsoft issued textbooks, pass the internal exam (easily) then fail the external 70-680 exam and discover a lot of questions from outside what I was taught. Some of which later turned up in my Microsoft issued 70-685 textbook.

    What hands-on-experience did you have with the following prior to sitting the exam?

    • Windows 7 in an enterprise environment 
    • Implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment

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    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:28 AM
  • But none of mine, or other peoples, concerns have been dealt with at all. How is it that I can study a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner IT course to become certified in 70-680 with Microsoft issued textbooks, pass the internal exam (easily) then fail the external 70-680 exam and discover a lot of questions from outside what I was taught. Some of which later turned up in my Microsoft issued 70-685 textbook.

    What hands-on-experience did you have with the following prior to sitting the exam?

    • Windows 7 in an enterprise environment 
    • Implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment

    Had experience in implementing a Windows 7 client operating system in a networked environment. However this was all done in the labs in class. I have had previous experience with using Windows OS and networking but not as an IT professional. That is why I took the course, to translate my novice skills to professional skills.

    The institution sold the course on the basis of getting certified and getting a career in IT. This is what I am currently trying to do. There is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning Institution, what I have been taught and the exam I sat.


    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:34 AM
  • Had experience in implementing a Windows 7 client operating system in a networked environment. However this was all done in the labs in class. I have had previous experience with using Windows OS and networking but not as an IT professional. That is why I took the course, to translate my novice skills to professional skills.

    The institution sold the course on the basis of getting certified and getting a career in IT. This is what I am currently trying to do. There is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning Institution, what I have been taught and the exam I sat.

    The issue isn’t with the exam, it’s with your experience.  You did not have the experience required to pass this exam and taking a 5 day course was never going to provide you with the experience required to pass the exam.

    From http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-680

    Candidates for this exam operate in computing environments that use Microsoft Windows 7 as a desktop operating system in an enterprise environment. Candidates should have at least one year of experience in the IT field, as well as experience implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment.

    From http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=6293A&Locale=en-us

    Course 6293A

    This course is designed for Information Technology (IT) professionals who have experience with Windows XP and Windows Vista who work as Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technicians (EDSTs) in Tier 2 support environments. The goal of this training is to enable these individuals to support the Windows 7 operating system and solve technical troubleshooting problems in a Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 networking environment.

    Audience Profile

    The primary audience for this course is the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST) providing Tier 2 support. The secondary audience for this course is the Desktop Support Technician (DST) in an Upper MORG Organization.
     
    EDSTs are experienced IT Professionals who focus on a broad range of desktop operating system, desktop application, mobile device, networking, and hardware support issues. EDSTs must combine technical expertise with problem solving and decision making skills and a deep understanding of their business and technical environments to quickly resolve support issues. They consider all variables, justify resolutions with a logical troubleshooting approach, and relate tradeoffs while adhering to business and technical requirements and constraints. EDSTs are primarily responsible for the maintenance and support of PC desktops, installing and testing line-of-business applications on end-user computers, and physically making changes to user desktops or re-images as required.
     
    EDSTs have used previous versions of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems and may have experience with Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. Their job requires them to keep their skills and knowledge current with new versions and updates of technology as defined by the business environment. They use EMS/PowerShell scripts for routine tasks and bulk operations. They conduct most server management tasks remotely by using Terminal Server or other administration tools installed on their local workstations.


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    Wednesday, April 04, 2012 11:51 AM
  • Had experience in implementing a Windows 7 client operating system in a networked environment. However this was all done in the labs in class. I have had previous experience with using Windows OS and networking but not as an IT professional. That is why I took the course, to translate my novice skills to professional skills.

    The institution sold the course on the basis of getting certified and getting a career in IT. This is what I am currently trying to do. There is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning Institution, what I have been taught and the exam I sat.

    The issue isn’t with the exam, it’s with your experience.  You did not have the experience required to pass this exam and taking a 5 day course was never going to provide you with the experience required to pass the exam.

    From http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-680

    Candidates for this exam operate in computing environments that use Microsoft Windows 7 as a desktop operating system in an enterprise environment. Candidates should have at least one year of experience in the IT field, as well as experience implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment.

    From http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/Course.aspx?ID=6293A&Locale=en-us

    Course 6293A

    This course is designed for Information Technology (IT) professionals who have experience with Windows XP and Windows Vista who work as Windows 7 Enterprise Desktop Support Technicians (EDSTs) in Tier 2 support environments. The goal of this training is to enable these individuals to support the Windows 7 operating system and solve technical troubleshooting problems in a Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2 networking environment.

    Audience Profile

    The primary audience for this course is the Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST) providing Tier 2 support. The secondary audience for this course is the Desktop Support Technician (DST) in an Upper MORG Organization.
     
    EDSTs are experienced IT Professionals who focus on a broad range of desktop operating system, desktop application, mobile device, networking, and hardware support issues. EDSTs must combine technical expertise with problem solving and decision making skills and a deep understanding of their business and technical environments to quickly resolve support issues. They consider all variables, justify resolutions with a logical troubleshooting approach, and relate tradeoffs while adhering to business and technical requirements and constraints. EDSTs are primarily responsible for the maintenance and support of PC desktops, installing and testing line-of-business applications on end-user computers, and physically making changes to user desktops or re-images as required.
     
    EDSTs have used previous versions of Microsoft Windows desktop operating systems and may have experience with Microsoft Windows Server operating systems. Their job requires them to keep their skills and knowledge current with new versions and updates of technology as defined by the business environment. They use EMS/PowerShell scripts for routine tasks and bulk operations. They conduct most server management tasks remotely by using Terminal Server or other administration tools installed on their local workstations.


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    The issue is not with my experience. As I said clearly from my previous post I was sold on the promise that by doing the Microsoft Gold Learning Partner course I would be ready to pass the 70-680 exam. As I also said earlier there is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning institution, what I was taught and what's on the exam.

    Telling me I need to get a job for a year to pass an exam so I can get a job is non-sensical. According to your above post the learning institution that I signed up with have broken several consumer protection laws and violated the trade practices act. How Microsoft can allow them to still be a Gold Learning Partner is part of the problem. Where I am studying also won the Australian "Learning Provider of the Year award" last year. Perhaps Microsoft should be more aware of what's its partners are doing.

    There is a disconnect and it is becoming very obvious that it's between Microsoft and it's Learning Partners. Meanwhile students like myself get caught in the middle with Microsoft and the Learning Partner not caring. I have raised it with both Microsoft, Prometric and the Learning Partner and all of you have passed the buck.

    So tell me what am I supposed to do?

    Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:08 AM
  • The issue is not with my experience. As I said clearly from my previous post I was sold on the promise that by doing the Microsoft Gold Learning Partner course I would be ready to pass the 70-680 exam. As I also said earlier there is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning institution, what I was taught and what's on the exam.

    Telling me I need to get a job for a year to pass an exam so I can get a job is non-sensical. According to your above post the learning institution that I signed up with have broken several consumer protection laws and violated the trade practices act. How Microsoft can allow them to still be a Gold Learning Partner is part of the problem. Where I am studying also won the Australian "Learning Provider of the Year award" last year. Perhaps Microsoft should be more aware of what's its partners are doing.

    There is a disconnect and it is becoming very obvious that it's between Microsoft and it's Learning Partners. Meanwhile students like myself get caught in the middle with Microsoft and the Learning Partner not caring. I have raised it with both Microsoft, Prometric and the Learning Partner and all of you have passed the buck.

    So tell me what am I supposed to do?

    I’m sorry but you need to take some responsibility for your actions as you clearly ignored the criteria for the course and exam.

    Microsoft puts the information it does in exam preparation and course material for a reason and that reason is to make it very clear what is required to pass an exam and undertake a course.  If you chose to ignore this information, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

    If you believe you’ve been sold a lie, I suggest you take it up with the training provider who let you sit the course as it was them that sold you the course, not Microsoft.  The training provider may offer you some compensation however they are not obliged too as you signed away your rights when you paid for a course which had clearly stated pre-requisites.  You could always try and take action against the training company via the provisions of the Trades Practices Act however the product you were sold was “fit-for-purpose” so it’s very unlikely that you will succeed.

    You can also lodge a complaint with Microsoft Australia.


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    Thursday, April 05, 2012 7:41 AM
  • Telling me I need to get a job for a year to pass an exam so I can get a job is non-sensical. According to your above post the learning institution that I signed up with have broken several consumer protection laws and violated the trade practices act. How Microsoft can allow them to still be a Gold Learning Partner is part of the problem. Where I am studying also won the Australian "Learning Provider of the Year award" last year. Perhaps Microsoft should be more aware of what's its partners are doing. ?

    Sorry, I forgot to address this comment.

    The material covered in the exam and courseware is targeted towards Enterprise Desktop Support Technician (EDST) providing Tier 2 support.  The skills you currently have don’t match the skills required for this type of position.  You need to be starting off as a junior technical support officer and then look into doing this course and exam after some real hands on experience in the technologies covered in the exam and course in question.

     


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    Thursday, April 05, 2012 8:00 AM
  • The issue is not with my experience. As I said clearly from my previous post I was sold on the promise that by doing the Microsoft Gold Learning Partner course I would be ready to pass the 70-680 exam. As I also said earlier there is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning institution, what I was taught and what's on the exam.

    Telling me I need to get a job for a year to pass an exam so I can get a job is non-sensical. According to your above post the learning institution that I signed up with have broken several consumer protection laws and violated the trade practices act. How Microsoft can allow them to still be a Gold Learning Partner is part of the problem. Where I am studying also won the Australian "Learning Provider of the Year award" last year. Perhaps Microsoft should be more aware of what's its partners are doing.

    There is a disconnect and it is becoming very obvious that it's between Microsoft and it's Learning Partners. Meanwhile students like myself get caught in the middle with Microsoft and the Learning Partner not caring. I have raised it with both Microsoft, Prometric and the Learning Partner and all of you have passed the buck.

    So tell me what am I supposed to do?

    I’m sorry but you need to take some responsibility for your actions as you clearly ignored the criteria for the course and exam.

    Microsoft puts the information it does in exam preparation and course material for a reason and that reason is to make it very clear what is required to pass an exam and undertake a course.  If you chose to ignore this information, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

    If you believe you’ve been sold a lie, I suggest you take it up with the training provider who let you sit the course as it was them that sold you the course, not Microsoft.  The training provider may offer you some compensation however they are not obliged too as you signed away your rights when you paid for a course which had clearly stated pre-requisites.  You could always try and take action against the training company via the provisions of the Trades Practices Act however the product you were sold was “fit-for-purpose” so it’s very unlikely that you will succeed.

    You can also lodge a complaint with Microsoft Australia.


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    Wow, your arrogance is simply breathtaking. I know Microsoft struggle to communicate with it's clients (just look at their denial then complete 180 in regards to the Xbox360 debacle) but you seem to rise above even that.

    I did not clearly ignore the institutions criteria or pre-requisites. I signed on with that institution BECAUSE of their criteria and pre-requisites. They said I can get all the Microsoft certifications with no prior IT experience. This was their criteria so unless you've researched the institution, that I have not named, then you do not know what you are talking about. This forum has been completely pointless and demonstrates the Microsoft corporate culture at work.

    I'm also not trying to 'take action against' people. I'm simply trying to understand what has gone wrong but you are only concerned about making Microsoft look squeaky clean....which they are not.

    You could have asked about the institution in question or spoken to someone at Microsoft about arrangements with learning providers and actually helped but you simply went defensive and poured it back on me.

    Thanks a lot.

    Thursday, April 05, 2012 9:01 AM
  • The issue is not with my experience. As I said clearly from my previous post I was sold on the promise that by doing the Microsoft Gold Learning Partner course I would be ready to pass the 70-680 exam. As I also said earlier there is a disconnect somewhere between Microsoft, the learning institution, what I was taught and what's on the exam.

    Telling me I need to get a job for a year to pass an exam so I can get a job is non-sensical. According to your above post the learning institution that I signed up with have broken several consumer protection laws and violated the trade practices act. How Microsoft can allow them to still be a Gold Learning Partner is part of the problem. Where I am studying also won the Australian "Learning Provider of the Year award" last year. Perhaps Microsoft should be more aware of what's its partners are doing.

    There is a disconnect and it is becoming very obvious that it's between Microsoft and it's Learning Partners. Meanwhile students like myself get caught in the middle with Microsoft and the Learning Partner not caring. I have raised it with both Microsoft, Prometric and the Learning Partner and all of you have passed the buck.

    So tell me what am I supposed to do?

    I’m sorry but you need to take some responsibility for your actions as you clearly ignored the criteria for the course and exam.

    Microsoft puts the information it does in exam preparation and course material for a reason and that reason is to make it very clear what is required to pass an exam and undertake a course.  If you chose to ignore this information, you have no one else to blame but yourself.

    If you believe you’ve been sold a lie, I suggest you take it up with the training provider who let you sit the course as it was them that sold you the course, not Microsoft.  The training provider may offer you some compensation however they are not obliged too as you signed away your rights when you paid for a course which had clearly stated pre-requisites.  You could always try and take action against the training company via the provisions of the Trades Practices Act however the product you were sold was “fit-for-purpose” so it’s very unlikely that you will succeed.

    You can also lodge a complaint with Microsoft Australia.


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    Wow, your arrogance is simply breathtaking. I know Microsoft struggle to communicate with it's clients (just look at their denial then complete 180 in regards to the Xbox360 debacle) but you seem to rise above even that.

    I did not clearly ignore the institutions criteria or pre-requisites. I signed on with that institution BECAUSE of their criteria and pre-requisites. They said I can get all the Microsoft certifications with no prior IT experience. This was their criteria so unless you've researched the institution, that I have not named, then you do not know what you are talking about. This forum has been completely pointless and demonstrates the Microsoft corporate culture at work.

    I'm also not trying to 'take action against' people. I'm simply trying to understand what has gone wrong but you are only concerned about making Microsoft look squeaky clean....which they are not.

    You could have asked about the institution in question or spoken to someone at Microsoft about arrangements with learning providers and actually helped but you simply went defensive and poured it back on me.

    Thanks a lot.

    If you believe a statement such as “you can get all the Microsoft certifications with no prior IT experience” then your view of IT Microsoft’s technology is distorted and you live in fairy land.  No competent person would ever believe such a blanket statement.  Would you walk into a mechanic shop and ask for a job because someone told you that repairing cars was easy and all you needed to do is read a book they were selling?  Probably not.

    What has gone wrong is that you failed to take any notice whatsoever of the guidelines published by Microsoft and now you’re trying to blame everyone else for your failure.  I don’t agree with you being sold a course or told you can pass the exam (with virtually no experience) by taking a course.  This is why I told you to contact the training provider and lodge a complaint with Microsoft.

    I do not need to know who the company is or research their material as Microsoft course and exam pre-requisites are the same regardless of where you live, where you sit an exam, or where you take a course.  Any other “advertising” or “marketing spin” over and above these pre-requisites is something a consumer should investigate, (as would be done for any product or service being purchased).  BTW, didn’t you think it was a bit strange that Microsoft (the owner of the exam and course) documentation stated one thing however the training provider stated something else?

    I have been in this industry for over 20 yrs and have been a MCT for nearly 10 of them.  I have presented at Tech-Ed’s in Australia, U.S and EMEA, trained MCT’s and many students (such as yourself) in Australia and overseas, run Microsoft user groups and was also a MVP.  Given this, I think it’s safe to say that I know exactly what I’m talking about.

    I stand up for Microsoft because I believe in their products and the technology they sell.  I stand up for them because they always get the blame when things go wrong, no matter whether they’re to blame.  I stand up for Microsoft because you’re not the first person I’ve come across over the last 10yrs who refuses to accept any responsibility for their actions.

    I’m quite happy to chat to some of my many contacts at Microsoft (actually, that's why Veronica replied to this thread) however I don’t know what I should say.  Should I tell them that someone is upset because they ignored the pre-requisites for an exam and failed.  Should I tell them that someone is upset because they ignored the pre-requisites for a course and wasted their money.  What would you like me to do or say?

    As previously advised, you need to lodge a complaint with the training provider and Microsoft Australia.


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    Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:15 AM
  • You belittle me as not being a "competent person". Saying I live in "fairy land" and that I "blame everyone but myself". Yet you then say I should lodge a complaint with Microsoft Australia. Surely if there is no substance to my concerns then why would you suggest such a move?

    And seriously if a Government accredited, Microsoft accredited Learning Institution can't be trusted then who can? Seriously? Forgive me for having faith in Government and Microsoft to ensure there was a level of quality and honesty. I'm obviously a complete idiot.

    And FYI from the website of my Institution (the Learning Partner of The Year 2011):

    Perquisites

    Completion of High School

    Year 10 or equivalent

    You Will Need

    A logical mind indicated by completing a cognitive assessment. Positive attitude and passion for Information Technology. No previous knowledge of IT is required to undertake this program.

    Vendor Certifications

    • CompTIA A+
    • MCTS: Windows 7 Confi guration
    • MCITP: Windows 7 Enterprise
    • Desktop Support Technician

    This clearly states what I have said. This, and many others, have signed up because of what they promise. As I have said all along there is a disconnect with what is being sold and the reality of becoming certified. I trusted in a Learning Institution that was Microsoft and Government accredited. Do these accreditations mean anything then?


    Thursday, April 05, 2012 10:56 AM
  • What program are they referring to in this statement?

    "No previous knowledge of IT is required to undertake this program."

    Where does it specify that you need no experience to pass the 70-680 certification?


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    Thursday, April 05, 2012 12:13 PM
  • Hi Tim,

    I really don't want to get involved in he negative side of this thread so let me say what I post here is designed to help you land a job in IT. When I started out looking for a professional IT position I had similar issues with regards to getting experience to get a job. My story goes back about 15 years I was working in the automotive industry which was not my passion however I had been the go to guy for all IT stuff since I was about 12 years old and had been doing complex DOS based scripting, Basic programming and software/hardware upgrades for many years for family, friends, etc.

    I decided I wanted a job in IT and kept getting told I needed experience. As a result I went back to TAFE full-time whilst working about 25-30 hours per week part-time which was ok however I was ahead of most of my classmates. I therefore decided to study for the MS Network Essentials exam (this no longer exists but it was akin to the Network+ exam). I did this for three reasons. First was to obtain a credit at TAFE so I could work more hours and second was as a challenge and last was to start on my road to the MCSE (which every employer wanted - even for entry level positions!). 

    I studied real hard I knew the OSI stack and how it worked inside out and I was lucky and passed the exam with a great score on my first try. After getting to  the end of my TAFE course I still was having issues at interview as I didn't have formal experience. At the time I just missed out on a job at Harvey Norman fixing and upgrading computers (back then they had dedicated teams in store that would do tech support, upgrades, etc for customers who had purchased PC's). After I missed out I rang the manger of the store and asked if I would be able to work in his tech support team as a volunteer in order to gain some experience. That's right I ended up giving up some paid work hours to work for free on Saturday and Sunday's. So I was solving Windows issues, repairing/upgrading hardware, customer service and advice in a real professional environment. I had done this for about 6 weeks then.....

    When I finished at TAFE I ended up landing a paid part-time job in a small local computer store that specialised in sales, advice and upgrades. Whilst I was at TAFE and many months before I had attended a paid workshop at night where they showed you and let you build PC's from an empty case over three nights to get more hands on experience at this store. It made passing the hardware module at TAFE easy as I had already built a computer from scratch.

    They took me on for two reasons the first being I had experience upgrading computers and I had great results from TAFE. So at this stage I had two paid part-time jobs and one voluntary job. I ended up dropping the voluntary job about a month after this so I could give them notice and thank them properly so as not to burn bridges.

    I then applied for a help desk support job for a large computer manufacturer. Again they liked the fact I had experience I didn't tell them some of it was un-paid plus I knew the technical stuff and blitzed their technical exam that was part of the interview process. I started in their consumer support fixing mainly Windows 95 home PC's. However working here gave me access to Windows NT workstation and servers and their business support tech team.

    I decided that's what I needed to learn to get into a corporate support position so I started going into the office on my days off and setting up and breaking and fixing RAID implementations, installing Windows NT, building small networks with hubs and cross over cables! I knew all this in theory from TAFE and the Network Essentials study and exam but in real life it was different. I was struggling with Windows NT a bit so I started borrowing Windows NT laptops on the nights/weekends and building and breaking and fixing them whilst studying for the Windows NT 4 Workstation exam. Two things happened. First was I was able to increase my stats as I could fix Windows NT workstations as well as I could fix Windows 9x home PC's and secondly my team supervisor asked me to apply for a business support position after only eight months with them.

    Now I was even closer to the corp support work I was aiming for. I was basically working on all Windows NT 4 from this point with some home systems that were escalated from the consumer teams. I was now explaining networking, RAID, how Windows NT really worked to guys who were working in positions that I was aiming for. This did two things it gave me experience as to what issues they were dealing with and secondly gave me experience in those areas.

    After a couple more months I sat the Windows NT 4 Workstation exam and by this stage had about 12 months real world experience with it plus what I had done at TAFE. Here is where this ties back in to your circumstances. What I knew was not just from books and course work. MS professional exams should not be passable without some real world experience. When they are they become useless as an employer can't be sure that a candidate who has passed can translate the theory into real world problems.

    I didn't post this to be negative or critical I am hoping you can see how there can be ways to work towards your goals and that you may have to sacrifice things now to get what you want in the end. Many of the training places have companies who are happy to have someone volunteer their time to work on things such as office moves, upgrade projects, etc. You can learn a lot from this sort of work and stupid things happen such as the cleaner pulling the power cable for a monitor or someone moving desks and now they can't print or connect to the network, needing to install new printers, etc. You learn, you get a real  reference and potential employers don't *have* to know it was volunteer work (of course if they ask specifically I would be honest and make sure your reference knows what you told them and don't lie).

    Anyway good luck I hope you go well. One more thing these exams get easier as you gain experience. Things like a incremental/differential backups are the same today as when I started out - I don't need to think about those questions any longer as I know how they work so it is a give me question.


    Sean Massey | Consultant, iUNITE

    Feel free to contact me through My Blog, Twitter or Hire Me.
    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Friday, April 06, 2012 12:07 AM
  • Hi Sean,

    Thanks for the advice. My course does indeed place me in unpaid internships to gain real world experience. This happens at the end of my course and is one of the reasons I signed up with them as I am transitioning from another career. I am expecting to enter the IT industry at the lowest level and work my way up. Seeing what you did in the early part of your career makes sense and I see myself taking a similar path. Being in Perth there are lots of opportunities because of the mining boom and I hope to capatilise on this if I can.

    In regards to the 680 exam I have spent almost every night after class at home working on virtual networks through Hyper-v and playing around with everything we are taught in class. I agree about the text and real world being different and this is why I do so much work off my own bat at home and look forward to the internships in a few months time. Creating real world scenarios are the best form of learning I have found.

    Thanks again, I appreciate it.

    Tim

    Friday, April 06, 2012 1:36 AM
  • No worries. You may want to check out these posts on using forums to gain experience. If you can take the time to read issues and solutions plus maybe even solve a few along the way you will pick up a lot of knowledge. You might even end up being awarded an MCC or MVP.

    http://www.johnsansom.com/your-road-to-becoming-a-dba-acquiring-experience-is-key/

    http://iunite.com.au/wp/blog/index.php/2012/02/sql-dba-want-to-learn/


    Sean Massey | Consultant, iUNITE

    Feel free to contact me through My Blog, Twitter or Hire Me.
    Please click the Mark as Answer button if a post solves your problem!

    Friday, April 06, 2012 5:04 AM
  • well, APRIL 2012, I took the test today and it was 80 questions and 4 hours, I failed the parts that I passed the first time I took the test of 50 questions and 2 hours and passed the parts that I failed the first time; combined the two tests together and I passed, so why did I fail??? This testing should be cumulative unless, of course, the interest is only to take our money.

    Secondly, the 80 question test had questions with 10 answer choices!!! the 80 question test had vague questions, questions where I had to guess to what is asked!!! the 80 question test had 4 answer choices too but the answers had right and more right choices!!!! back to the 80 question test had one word in the questions that changed the question's answer!!!

    Look, bottom line, you are not testing for knowledge, you are testing for the ability to take tests with your trick questions and answers designed for failure

    please do not reply with an explanation of why the tests are the way they are, the tests are WRONG the way they are; final word - get back to the basics of testing!

    Monday, April 09, 2012 5:35 AM
  • well, APRIL 2012, I took the test today and it was 80 questions and 4 hours, I failed the parts that I passed the first time I took the test of 50 questions and 2 hours and passed the parts that I failed the first time.

    How do you know this given that you are not told what questions you get right or wrong?

    The tests are designed to test a person knowledge in a technology, not a person’s ability to cram or take some courses. If you fail it's because you do not have the knowledge to pass the exam, not because the exam is wrong.

    In the past exams were too basic resulting in the devaluation of certification.  Exams are getting tougher and it's getting harder to become certified.  Gone are the days of passing exams with little or no knowledge of the technology being tested.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript



    Monday, April 09, 2012 5:49 AM
  • well, APRIL 2012, I took the test today and it was 80 questions and 4 hours, I failed the parts that I passed the first time I took the test of 50 questions and 2 hours and passed the parts that I failed the first time; combined the two tests together and I passed, so why did I fail??? This testing should be cumulative unless, of course, the interest is only to take our money.

    Secondly, the 80 question test had questions with 10 answer choices!!! the 80 question test had vague questions, questions where I had to guess to what is asked!!! the 80 question test had 4 answer choices too but the answers had right and more right choices!!!! back to the 80 question test had one word in the questions that changed the question's answer!!!

    Look, bottom line, you are not testing for knowledge, you are testing for the ability to take tests with your trick questions and answers designed for failure

    please do not reply with an explanation of why the tests are the way they are, the tests are WRONG the way they are; final word - get back to the basics of testing!

    Hi Radar_,

    Thanks for your feedback. If you believe a specific item you encountered during a Microsoft certification exam is invalid, you may request an evaluation by following the procedure to challenge exam items. You will find the complete information here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4

    Veronica


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Monday, April 09, 2012 6:31 AM
  • Hello Veronica

    I have a similar problem .I have taken MS exams previously for MCSE 2003 .I was comfortable with the format of the exam and got used to expecting the 50 question scenario over the years .Imagine my surprise on March 23 ,when i was greeted by a 80 question 3,5 hour exam .I was absolutely flustered because a lot of the questions were not covered by the content of the manual .In addition ,I was under greater pressure because one of my employment conditions was that I certify to MCITP .I am now very nervous about taking further exams and also financially ,I am under pressure .Surely the onus would have been for Prometric or Microsoft to advise the candidates of the change in format of the tests in the email confirmation of the booking .Also Microsoft being the big professional company they are should bring candidates up to speed on these changes .In the absence of suitable notification mechanisms Microsoft are leading candidates like lamb to slaughter and ripping us off .I see some candidates were afforded the opportunity to re take the exam ,what about us candidates in South Africa?Can we not be included in a exam re-take promotion(even if  for a limited period) ,till candidtes become accustomed to this new format .Or at the very least we should be entitled to some sort of discount on the second attempts at this exam .Come on Microsoft help us out ,you created the problem ,accept responsibility for you actions .We unfortunate individuals have no choice in the matter,you have the monopoly,you just go ahead with all these changes and we are expected to just pay up and swallow it .Help us respect your company

    Thanks

    Hi @ROYEDHARRIS,

    Looks like you're new to these forums. Welcome, and thank you for the feedback.

    Please review Microsoft policies regarding exam security and integrity as explained on these pages on our website: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab1

    If you believe an item you encountered during the exam was invalid, you are welcome to file an item challenge by following the procedure.

    If you are currently a Microsoft Certified Professional and want to make sure you're receiving all available communications regarding Microsoft certification and exams, please contact your Regional Service Center (RSC): http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/help/service-europe-africa.aspx

    Veronica


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Monday, April 09, 2012 6:41 AM
  • Hello,

    OK I took this exam on Wed 7 March and failed with 682. There were around 80 questions but this was fine. My issue is with what was asked. I have spent multiple thousands of dollars on a Microsoft Certified Gold Learning Partner IT course to explicitly get certified as a Windows 7 MCITP. I spent weeks in class and countless hours at home studying my Microsoft 6292A book that was issued to me. Did all the labs and passed the internal exam with 86%.

    Then I take the 70-680 exam and what a shock! It seems that Microsoft dont understand how learning works. What should happen is they issue text books, you study and learn what is in the text books then you are tested on what you have learned. This flat out did not happen. At least 40% of the questions were not covered in my Microsoft issued textbook. I have complained to my learning institution, as have other students who suffered the same fate. Since failing the 70-680 exam I have continued my learning with the module for 70-685. To my horror I have come across multiple (at least 10) instances of information in the MS Press Book for 70-685 that explicitly covers what was asked in the 70-680 exam. How is this possible? The information that was asked in the 70-680 exam wasn't anywhere in the 6292A book yet is covered in the book for 70-685? Can this possibly be correct?!

    I made complaints on my exam about this, including a question that I physically couldn't answer, but have heard nothing. What is going on? Is this usually how Microsoft conducts it's learning? If so it's a complete disgrace. How can I study with any confidence for Microsoft exams when I know I'll get questions from outside my textbook. How can I ever pass this exam....seriously? Do I need to understand every little aspect of Windows 7? Why even bother with textbooks then?

    As you can tell I'm extremely frustrated and annoyed. I've never come across a learning situation where this has happened when exam questions simply had nothing to do with what I was taught. This includes primary, secondary and tertiary learning institutions. I cant go into details about these questions as that would violate my exam agreement but I truly wish someone...anyone at Microsoft would take this seriously. Because at this point I simply cant understand how I'm supposed to pass this exam.

    Regards,

    Tim


    Hello, @TimD11111111,

    Looks like you're new to these forums as of March 25. Welcome! Microsoft forums are full of helpful people who have a great deal of knowledge and experiences. I hope you're finding great resources from other forums in additional to this one.

    Please note that all learning materials related to Microsoft exams are developed independently of exam content. Exams are designed to assess real-world experience with the technology, not the effectiveness of training materials. For more information on how to best prepare for exams, please read this section on our website: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab2

    Veronica


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Monday, April 09, 2012 6:57 AM
  • Yeah, cause I'm really gonna fork out several thousand dollars to go on a M$ course just to prove you wrong.  Having just come from the 70-680 skills measured page, I see no new information regarding what has been discussed in this thread.

    What new information needs to be included?  Microsoft have advised that the SQL questions were added in error and that these questions will not be counted towards exam scores.  Given this, I fail to see how you derived at the conclusion that Microsoft have not attempted to fix the concerns discussed in this thread.

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Yes Microsoft have responded to the SQL issue.

    But none of mine, or other peoples, concerns have been dealt with at all. How is it that I can study a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner IT course to become certified in 70-680 with Microsoft issued textbooks, pass the internal exam (easily) then fail the external 70-680 exam and discover a lot of questions from outside what I was taught. Some of which later turned up in my Microsoft issued 70-685 textbook.

    None of this has been responded to. That is why I asked if anyone from Microsoft will respond to my concerns.

    Hi @TimD11111111,

    Please see my reply to your original post on March 25, 2012. Thank you.

    Veronica


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Monday, April 09, 2012 6:59 AM
  • May not be much help to you guys now, and it certainly isn't any compensation, but M$ just released a new book today for this exam.  The 70-680 Rapid Review.  It looks pretty good, and for the price it may be worth a try.
    • Edited by dmdougie Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:25 AM
    Wednesday, April 11, 2012 7:25 AM
  • Yes Microsoft have responded to the SQL issue.

    But none of mine, or other peoples, concerns have been dealt with at all. How is it that I can study a Microsoft Gold Learning Partner IT course to become certified in 70-680 with Microsoft issued textbooks, pass the internal exam (easily) then fail the external 70-680 exam and discover a lot of questions from outside what I was taught. Some of which later turned up in my Microsoft issued 70-685 textbook.

    None of this has been responded to. That is why I asked if anyone from Microsoft will respond to my concerns.

    Hi @TimD11111111,

    Please see my reply to your original post on March 25, 2012. Thank you.

    Veronica


    Veronica Sopher, Community Marketing Manager, Microsoft Learning

    Hi Veronica,

    Thanks for the responses. I appreciate it. I have talked about a disconnect somewhere and it's become clear to me that the disconnect is my school where I am currently studying. They said if I did the course and passed the internal exam I'd be ready for the external exam...this clearly has not been the case. I do find it discouraging to see that my school is accredited by Microsoft and won Learning Partner of the Year last year but they are selling promises that aren't factual. I would have thought Microsoft would at least vet these places.

    Anyway I'm enrolled and will make the best of it.

    Thanks,

    Tim 

    Friday, April 13, 2012 6:27 AM
  • May not be much help to you guys now, and it certainly isn't any compensation, but M$ just released a new book today for this exam.  The 70-680 Rapid Review.  It looks pretty good, and for the price it may be worth a try.

    Cheers dmdougie.

    I would've thought they'd release the book BEFORE changing the exam but what can you do.

    Incidentally I re-took the exam today after watching all the Professor Messer videos you suggested and passed.

    Thanks, Tim

    Friday, April 13, 2012 6:31 AM
  • May not be much help to you guys now, and it certainly isn't any compensation, but M$ just released a new book today for this exam.  The 70-680 Rapid Review.  It looks pretty good, and for the price it may be worth a try.

    Cheers dmdougie.

    I would've thought they'd release the book BEFORE changing the exam but what can you do.

    Incidentally I re-took the exam today after watching all the Professor Messer videos you suggested and passed.

    Thanks, Tim


    Glad to here you passed

    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Friday, April 13, 2012 7:43 AM
  •  

    I came to (found) this thread because I'm using the MCTS Self-Paced Training Kit (70-680) and am having a horrible time with it.

    I won't even go into the errors, omissions and version references to older versions of software that are really causing a problem in learning. 

    So I came to this site to see if I'm just wrong about what I'm seeing.

    I'm not.

    BUT, what I am seeing here, especially from Mr. Wharty's remarks, makes me (and others, I'm sure) feel very disappointed in Microsoft.

    If MS supports someone who seems to enjoy arguing with people and being defensive, rather than actually helping out (no, pointing links to non-helpful verbiage is not helpful at all), then this is not a thread that I see as being helpful at all.

    I won't require a response as I'm not coming back here.  This thread is way too negative and frankly, rude (and I don't mean the customers who are asking the questions or posting what they are seeing).

    With such a high failure rate, it's clear the problem is on MS's side, not all the people from all these countries having the same failures and showing exam problems.

    Thanks

    Thursday, May 10, 2012 3:51 PM
  • Hi all,

    Sat the 680 exam on 31 may 12 and what a farse 9 students sat the course and 9 failed. The win 7 technolgies that make up the course, eg DISM, IMAGEX, Direct access, Remote Assistance, etc. only make up around 40% of the test questions/answers. the rest are questions that incude answers from these technologies however the correct answers are features not covered in the course.

    I know Im just repeating whats been said above, but it needs to change, Im a qualified instructor for the british army and if i was to run a course with a 100% fail rate, questions would be asked! 

    in the group I was in for the exam there was people of a veriaty of ages, experiance, and abilities and for everyone to fail and all agree that it was due to material not covered in the course. 

    I have a year to get to mcse level and this has put a massive dent in my course progress! 

    Totally dissapointed and let down microsoft, 

    Friday, June 01, 2012 9:29 PM
  • What course are you referring too?  6292A? What was the experience level of each candidate?


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Friday, June 01, 2012 10:50 PM
  • Hi,

    I dont really want to name names for the course provider, but the course is Titled Microsoft Networking and the Idea is you gain a MCSE by the end. We have been given the self paced training books and access to online training and support. The provider (A Microsoft gold partner) has laid out a decent training package that runs alongside the work books nicely and by the time I went for the in centre visit and exam I was confident I could easily achieve every aspect covered in the book. But the exam covered more than that, it related to features and functions not yet covered and some what would be covered in other qualifications.

    Right here’s an Idea Microsoft, basic course and qualification structure –

    1. Decide what end goal you want what is your overall Objective; what do you want the student to be able to do.
    2. Break this Objective down in to smaller Training Objectives, to allow goal posts.
    3. Structure a program covering all aspects of the Training Objectives.
    4. If you intend to use ‘Gold partners’ to deliver training, GIVE THEM THE CORRECT COURSE CONTENT AND LAYOUT, and explain what you would like the student to be able to do.
    5. Design an exam to test in the TOs covered by the course. If these are practical skills then this must be a practical test!
    6. Make the Exam have a sensible marking structure, and advise the student on this prior to the start of the exam. (just an Idea but One correct answer = one mark, usually works for me). Usually for an exam I would even state on each question how many points its worth.
    7. Don’t use these exams for market research or product promotion, If the students are working for a qualification on you product the take it you have already sold it to them!

    Just a few simple points, that I would have thought a company as Big as Microsoft would be able to achieve, but after the experience so far, im not sure!

    Right rant over, Iv seen the test now and, what areas I have to cover, so will use google and provide my own training!

    Sunday, June 03, 2012 10:17 AM
  • Thanks for sharing this with us however you still didn't answer my questions; What was the course and what was the experience of each candidate?

    Microsoft already provides the content raised in your dot points and this content is easily found on the Microsoft learning site. I do have these specific comments though:

    1) Microsoft makes it VERY clear that courses (such as 6292A) do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills Measured" in an exam. They also make it VERY clear that:

    Candidates for this exam operate in computing environments that use Microsoft Windows 7 as a desktop operating system in an enterprise environment. Candidates should have at least one year of experience in the IT field, as well as experience implementing and administering any Windows client operating system in a networked environment.

    Candidates should be able to install, deploy, and upgrade to Windows 7, including ensuring hardware and software compatibility. Additionally, candidates should be able to configure pre-installation and post-installation system settings, Windows security features, network connectivity applications included with Windows 7, and mobile computing. Candidates should also be able to maintain systems, including monitoring for and resolving performance and reliability issues. Candidates should have a basic understanding of Windows PowerShell syntax.

    2) You stated "Make the Exam have a sensible marking structure, and advise the student on this prior to the start of the exam". How do you know that the marking structure isn’t already sensible?  Furthermore, can you advise how releasing the marking structure would make it easier for someone to pass an exam and how this would have changed the result for the exam you and others took.

    3) Given that there are millions of MCP's worldwide and possibly millions who have passed the exam in question, it's obvious that Microsoft has thought of the points you raised.

    I think the main issues here are:

    1) Did people who failed the exam have sufficient experience (which is clearly outlined) to pass the exam or did they sit a course and expect to pass.

    2) Has the training provider sold a product under the pretence that students were guaranteed to pass the exam

    3) Do people really expect to pass an exam with a couple of weeks training and virtually no experience?  If so, then there would be no need for certification as everyone would be at  the same level after a few weeks.

    I guess what I'm trying to establish is whether them exam structure is wrong or whether candidates have unrealistic expectations i.e. think they can pass by taking a 1 week course.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Sunday, June 03, 2012 10:55 AM
  • Thanks for your comments

    I cant speak for the others on the course, but as for me I have over 20 years computing experience, in many fields, from programming (C++), Graphic design, and data recovery. I have a diploma in Electronic Engineering, and have worked as a Communications Instructor for the British army for the last 8 years, teaching everything from basic Radio use to High Capacity Data over a UHF Wide area Network, A network whos front end is a XP based OS. I have a vast experience working on both Windows and Linux systems and Installing maintaining both on individual or network platforms.

    I have studied the courseware provided to me, (agreeably not by Microsoft, but a Microsoft gold partner) for well over 4 months and am fluent with the content and syntax of all contained, in this course material (the MCTS 70-860 Configuring Windows 7 Self Paced Training KIT by Ian McLean and Orin Thomas, and the Online training provided by the course suplyer).

    Now please don’t Insult me or think I am naive enough to turn up for an Exam at this level after a weeks study and expect to pass! Daft I am not! My argument and comment was, that I (and other members of the course) Paid good money to be prepaid for an exam. We followed the workbook provided, completed the online Study, and attended the in centre training.  Then at the end of this study, sat an Exam, That contained some questions that were nothing to do with any of the subjects covered (in the courseware), contained questions that were apparently not even marked, was provided a breakdown of areas that need work but not what answers were incorrect.

    If I am to turn up for a course with all the tools and skills needed to pass the exam,
    then whats the point in the course in the first place! Just test on what is taught
    is all I ask!<o:p></o:p>

    If the Exam
    is how it should be then, maybe I ought to take the course structure up with my
    learning provider, as clearly there is a mismatch somewhere.....But reading
    this feed....Im led to believe my initial view was correct!<o:p></o:p>


    Sunday, June 03, 2012 2:20 PM
  • As you don’t know the experience of each candidate, I fail to see how you can speak on their behalf and state that they failed because there’s a problem with the exam.  Nonetheless, did you all get the same score in the exam and did you all get the same rating in each of the exam objectives shown on your score report?

    With regards to your own experience with the exam, I’m not insulting you, I’m merely trying to ascertain from the information provided in your original question and subsequent replies whether you had unrealistic expectations about the exam, the course and your experience.

    It is still unclear from your last reply what hands-on-experience you’ve had with Windows 7 (by hands-on-experience I mean working with the technology on a daily basis in a Windows 7 Enterprise Environment) and whether you meet this requirement:

    Candidates should be able to install, deploy, and upgrade to Windows 7, including ensuring hardware and software compatibility. Additionally, candidates should be able to configure pre-installation and post-installation system settings, Windows security features, network connectivity applications included with Windows 7, and mobile computing. Candidates should also be able to maintain systems, including monitoring for and resolving performance and reliability issues. Candidates should have a basic understanding of Windows PowerShell syntax.

    Whether your training provider is a Microsoft Gold Partner is irrelevant (as there are many avenues in which a partner can become a Gold partner) as you have stated that you participated in a non-Microsoft course.  Furthermore, was the training provider an Authorized Microsoft Training Provider?

    The topics covered in each exam is provided here http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-680. If you believe that you were asked questions not covered in the link provided, you can challenge such questions.  With regards to questions on specific technologies not being covered in the courseware, you need to take this up with the training provider as you attended a non-Microsoft course.  Please keep in mind though that irrespective of whether you attended a Microsoft course or not, Microsoft makes it very clear that courses do not necessarily cover all of the topics listed in the "Skills Measured" of an exam.  Furthermore, courses and study material are provided to assist with the preparation for an exam and will not provide you with the hands-on-experience required to pass an exam.

    How do you know that there were questions in your exam that weren’t marked or irrelevant to the exam content?

    The reason why Microsoft does not provide details of each question a candidate got wrong is to stop brain-dumps and exam piracy.  Besides, I’ve completed two Masters degrees at University containing many exams (around 25) and not once was I provided with a list of questions that I got wrong.  I think you’d be pressed to find an organisation which did release such information.

    As previously stated many times in this thread, candidates need real hands-on-experience (by hands-on-experience I mean working with the technology on a daily basis in a Windows 7 Enterprise Environment, not reading books or undertaking courses) to pass this exam.


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript






    Sunday, June 03, 2012 11:14 PM
  • All Below is based on entry level jobs and certs.

    Hi all stumbled onto this thread and just had to reply. And it actually turns out i'm doing the exact same course as timd111111 (above) i recognised his copy paste from the course website.

    Some points i would like to make from  the discussion above. 

    1.These training organisations are there to make money, they are businesses. ( the course that tim mentions states "No previous knowledge of IT is required to undertake this program." this is 100% true, all you need is the bank balance to pay them. No where do they say do they say you will pass the external exams buy doing this course, they do cover off alot of aspects of the exams though) 

    2. People believe these certifications from various vendors are going to land them a entry level job. this is completely false, at most they will help you secure an interview ahead of some other candidates. Employers are not stupid, they no that exam dumps etc exist and that you can pass half of these exams with a weeks study memorising the exam questions. Funnily enough a employer is not going to sit there and ask you a IT related question then give a you multi choice answer to choose from. Think along the lines of "If you were an IP address, which would you be and why?" please do not answer this with 127.0.0.1 or ::1

    3. A smart employer looking to employ someone for a entry level IT support position will hirer a person with good customer skills with a IT interest, over a stereotypical nerd with 10 certs and no previous work experience(Theres no point in having all the knowledge in the world if you can't convey it)

    4. Stop looking at these exams as a necessity or a pass/fail type of thing. They are a, I have got the knowledge or a not quite got it yet. (Yes I agree the exams are way to expensive) Hell if i failed an exam i would mention it to the potential employer tell them what areas you where lacking and how you were working towards improving. If you land the job you might not have to even sit it or, the employer might pay for it if you pass. 

    My 2 cents on how to get these certs(if you decide you need them) if you happen to be doing through a course provider and actually learn something from them. Cross you fingers you get a good instructor or if possible investigate who are the best instructors at the provider you going for or sit in on some of there classes ( providers will allow this unless they are trying to hide something) With the books you get read the chapters and (do the labs if possible) at home before going to the class note down and questions. The instructors will power through the content very quickly and possibly skip areas due to time constraints( ask the questions you noted down or any more that come to mind) If you can get an exam dump, study the questions and answers learn why the answer is correct and how to actually preform the answer by practising it, then learn all the wrong answers, why they are wrong and what there functions actually do. Don't just learn the answer to the question, employers are not going to give a multiple choice question.

    End of rant, anyway it just blows me away what people expect from these courses and what the certs are going to give them.

    Monday, June 11, 2012 6:00 AM
  • I strongly disagree with the above comment.

    You cant be given gold partner status and teach squat about the program, otherwise your not a gold parter. it should be awarded by how many of your pupils take and pass the exam.

    I took exam 70-681 yesterday and missed out on passing by one question. 24% of the sylabus is based on office 2010 deployment.

    out of my 50 questions, 20 of them were about office 2010 deployment...Thats around 40%... I know its an extra 15%, but i dont see them lowering pass rates by 15% to give me my cirtification, why should they be adding it onto what they see fit in an exam??

    Unfortunately I thought this was a one off.

    Today I took 70-680 and had various questions regarding certificate installation/migration from one server to another, intranet configurations. questions where I had to chose one answer out of a list of 9 and two questions that had no option for me to input an answer... now tell me. how an i supposed to place any faith in any system of exam, when the software isn't even configured correctly. It makes me wonder what else was wrong too. Sent a letter of complaint to the test centre. Waiting to hear back regarding this unfortunate event.

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 3:25 PM
  • "You cant be given gold partner status and teach squat about the program, otherwise your not a gold parter. it should be awarded by how many of your pupils take and pass the exam."

    There are approximately 29 different competencies that organisations can gain Gold status in with Learning being one of them. Given this, an organisation can be a Gold Partner without meeting any requirements of the Learning competency.

    I suggest you do some reading on the Microsoft Partner program so that you understand what it is and how it works.

    https://mspartner.microsoft.com/en/au/Pages/Membership/competencies.aspx

    "i took exam 70-681 yesterday and missed out on passing by one question."

    How do you know this as questions in an exam are scaled. 

    A common misperception is that you must answer 70 percent of the items correctly in order to pass the exam; however, the actual percentage varies from exam to exam and may be more or less than 70 percent, depending on the input provided by the subject-matter experts who helped us set the cut score.

    Please refer to the following link on how exams are scored. http://social.msdn.microsoft.com/Forums/en-US/CertGeneral/thread/47aedf10-ea1b-4628-a116-263760e4db50

     "out of my 50 questions, 20 of them were about office 2010 deployment...Thats around 40%... I know its an extra 15%, but i dont see them lowering pass rates by 15% to give me my cirtification, why should they be adding it onto what they see fit in an exam??"

    The percentages in the Skills Measured section indicate the relative weight of each major topic area on the exam.The higher the percentage, the more questions you are likely to see on that content area on the exam.  The percentages do not indicate the number of questions you will get on a particular skill i.e.24% does not mean you will only get 12 questions out of 50.

    https://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/exam.aspx?id=70-681#tab2

    "Sent a letter of complaint to the test centre. Waiting to hear back regarding this unfortunate event."

    If you wish to challenge exam items, please be sure to do so within 3 calendar days of taking the exam. The necessary form, procedures and contact info can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-policies.aspx#tab4 .


    When you see answers and helpful posts, please click Vote As Helpful, Propose As Answer, and/or Mark As Answer

    Jeff Wharton
    MSysDev (C.Sturt), MDbDsgnMgt (C.Sturt), MCT, MCPD, MCSD, MCITP, MCDBA
    Blog: Mr. Wharty's Ramblings
    Twitter: @Mr_Wharty
    MC ID: Microsoft Transcript

    Friday, July 13, 2012 12:09 AM