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Discussion on how Microsoft conducts certification exams RRS feed

  • General discussion

  • Jeff - they should get a refund becuase their time is being wasted!

    They have paid for the exam.

    If Microsoft want to get people to test their exam questions then they should be paid for it - that's only fair.

    If Microsoft want to include questions for which no marks are awarded there must be a voluntary section at the end of the exam inviting candidates to participate voluntarily - once again, that's only fair.

    Sneaking in questions for which no marks are awarded smacks of bad practice and it's not one to which I subscribe.


    There are some members on this forum who don't agree with the way Microsoft conducts its exams, despite Microsoft fully disclosing how exams are to be conducted.  Given this, I have started a thread where people can discuss exam concerns openly instead of hijacking other threads.

    To start things off, we have the above concern in relation to Microsoft inserting non-scored questions in exams.  Details of this process can be found here: http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en/us/certification/exam-prep.aspx#tab3

    Q. Why are some questions unscored?
    A. Microsoft is committed to continually updating exam content and utilizing innovative testing techniques. Our goal is to increase the relevance of our exams, offer a more comprehensive and valuable certification, and ensure the security of exam content. To gather the data needed to update and improve the quality of exams, we present new content to candidates without counting the results toward their score. As soon as we have the necessary data to evaluate the quality of the question, it will be scored. Microsoft will not inform candidates about which questions are unscored; as a result, you should answer every question as if it will be scored.

    Please feel free to add comments on the above or post other areas of Microsoft certification that cause concern.


    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





    • Split by Mr. Wharty Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:11 AM
    • Changed type Mr. Wharty Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:11 AM
    • Edited by Mr. Wharty Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:44 AM
    Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:09 AM

All replies

  • Jeff - my postion remains the same and it's quite clear.

    The examiner is clearly wasting the time of individual candidates in the exam quite unnecessarily: this is quite clearly inappropriate behaviour.

    If they want to test the quality of their exam questions then that must be done as a separate exercise and not part of any exam.

    • Split by Mr. Wharty Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:51 AM
    • Merged by Mr. Wharty Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:52 AM Move to more appropriate thread
    Thursday, May 17, 2012 5:48 AM
  • As a certified high-school instructor who has been involved with developing standardized state tests, here's my input on the matter:

    Our state subject-area exam may be 75 questions with 25 "sampling" questions.  The sampling questions are there to test validity.  Statistical analysis is used to determine if the questions in the normal pool are invalid based on historical responses.  If questions are determined to be invalid, they are removed and questions from the sampling portion that have been shown to be valid are inserted into the normal pool.  The overall time for the exam is adjusted to account for the extra questions.

    If this is what MS is doing, I'm perfectly fine with it as it helps to ensure a fair and valid test.  However, after experiencing 073-680, it would appear that MS knows absolutely nothing about how to create a fair and valid test.  Most of the questions on the exam violate pretty much every rule as to what NOT to do when developing a test.  With this in mind, I don't see how using sampling questions is relevant.

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012 4:46 PM
  • Thanks for your input KBoyte.

    Are you able to give some examples of how questions in the test you took violate exam rules?


    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

    Tuesday, May 22, 2012 10:15 PM