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Grading Question for 70-680 RRS feed

  • Question

  • I have a question regarding the way the 70-680 exam is graded that I couldn't find any answer to by searching Microsoft's grading FAQ or searching this forum and was hoping someone could help me out.  I know the questions are broken down into various categories (i.e. setup/install, networking, etc.)  Is the measure of pass/fail overall based on each individual category or just overall?  For example, say I were to get all questions correct from every category except one.  In that particular category I miss all or most of the questions.  Would I still fail the exam?  The reason I ask is that I have been using the Transcender practice tests to gauge my preparedness for the actual exam.  I scored a 90%, but it said I failed the exam.  I missed 1 of 6 in two categories, 2 of 6 in another, and 1 of 3 in another.  Overall I missed 5 of 52 questions.  It got me wondering how the actual exam is scored.

    Monday, October 21, 2013 8:52 PM

Answers

  • Exams aren't scored using percentages. You need 700/1000 however that does not equate to 70%.

    This is what Microsoft say about scoring:

    All MCTS and MCITP exams are scaled such that the passing score is 700. The actual cut score (the number of items you need to answer correctly) is determined by a group of subject-matter experts. 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. After you complete your exam, the number of items that you got correct is compared with the cut score to determine whether the result is pass or fail. The exam delivery provider's software generates the scaled score and bars shown on your score report based on scoring information provided by Microsoft.

    Based on this, you could get a lot of question wrong in one section of an exam (and all the rest of the questions right) and still fail.


    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, October 21, 2013 10:54 PM
    Moderator

All replies

  • Transcender practice exams are usually harder than the real exams. I suspect it doesn't consider you a pass until you get 100% (which is a bit ridiculous). That way they can guarantee you passing the real exam.

    The real exam probably has a much lower passing score somewhere in the 60 - 75% range.

    You would have probably passed the real exam with a score worth being proud of.


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Monday, October 21, 2013 9:57 PM
    Answerer
  • Thanks for the encouragement.  So is it safe to say that the real exam isn't graded on a per-category basis, but rather overall?  My worry is that if I bomb one category it will cause me to fail.

    Monday, October 21, 2013 10:05 PM
  • Exactly. One score for the entire exam.

    If you bomb one category bad enough you may fail but that would mean you'd have to get most of them wrong. Remember - the exam will contain a subset of questions drawn from a larger pool of active questions. Everybody gets a random set of questions. For example, you might get 60 questions out of Microsoft's pool of 120. These numbers aren't accurate; I just made them up to show how the pool works.

    Remember - if you do fail, schedule a retake ASAP and cram on that topic. A lot of people fail their first Microsoft exam so if you don, go easy on yourself and try again.

    During the exam, write yourself some notes on the marker board of anything weird you see. You can't leave with the notes but it will help you remember what you need to study for.

    Hopefully, you took advantage of the "Second Shot" when you registered so you can have a free retake if needed. http://www.microsoft.com/learning/en-us/second-shot.aspx

    Good luck!


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Monday, October 21, 2013 10:18 PM
    Answerer
  • Exams aren't scored using percentages. You need 700/1000 however that does not equate to 70%.

    This is what Microsoft say about scoring:

    All MCTS and MCITP exams are scaled such that the passing score is 700. The actual cut score (the number of items you need to answer correctly) is determined by a group of subject-matter experts. 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. After you complete your exam, the number of items that you got correct is compared with the cut score to determine whether the result is pass or fail. The exam delivery provider's software generates the scaled score and bars shown on your score report based on scoring information provided by Microsoft.

    Based on this, you could get a lot of question wrong in one section of an exam (and all the rest of the questions right) and still fail.


    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, October 21, 2013 10:54 PM
    Moderator