Let’s start with the first question. Why is it important to do a quality test? As a matter of fact, it’s one of the biggest questions any potential MCSE tester could ask. The answer is fairly simple – a quality test will save you time and money.
There are hundreds of free tests out there. However, none of them provide the level of detail that can only be gained from taking a paid test. When I was testing MCS-vc, I discovered that there were about ten different types of test. When I compared these tests to my understanding of the technology, it became clear that all of these tests did not provide the level of detail necessary to truly gain an understanding of the technology.
Some tests showed a lack of understanding when dealing with the latest trends. For example, one of these tests showed that a tester had difficulty identifying when a server went down. Even after spending a fair amount of time working through the problem, he was unable to troubleshoot the issue and successfully resolved the problem. While this is definitely a minor problem, it illustrates the kind of problems that can arise when a test taker spends a lot of time working through a problem without learning any of its details. On another test, he was presented with a program that he didn’t understand. He spent almost an hour trying to work out what the program was, and when he finally worked it out, he couldn’t correctly describe what the program did.
Another problem I ran into during my testing was that there weren’t any detailed feedback available for the candidate to get at during the testing process. When you’re spending so much time getting to the “magic number” on the final exam and then spending even more time during the practice exams, you need to have a good idea of what the final result will be before you actually go through with the exam. This is why some management software provides feedback based upon the practice exam and the actual exam. Not only does this allow the candidate to gain insight into the specific areas that he needs to work on, but also gives him an idea of how he’s doing overall when it comes to understanding the test and using the management software effectively.
There are many other features that Microsoft offer their management software for, including project planning tools, customized email, and even custom reporting. The exam I was preparing for required me to demonstrate three methods for accomplishing goals. Because of the limited feedback I had (from the actual test center) I was surprised that I actually got three different ways to accomplish the same task. This made the exam significantly more difficult than it needed to be. By using the management software to track the method that was causing me problems, I was able to target the method that would help me complete my goals the most efficiently. In fact, the project planning tool that came with the exam was absolutely necessary to me passing.
One feature that I didn’t realize was included in the management software was the ability to export test reports to a PDF format file. Because I had already spent so much time perfecting my skills on the test, I knew that the level of detail that I wanted to portray in my review would need to be quite large. By exporting my report in PDF format, I was able to make the necessary changes, re-arrange questions, and customize the review even more. All of this allowed me to focus on the critical information that was critical to achieving my goal.
By incorporating the project management tool into my exam, I was able to get an edge over other candidates by reviewing the test twice as much. The test gave me a detailed picture of each question that I hadn’t seen before and taught me how to answer it based on the criteria that I had previously established in my study. Using the project management tool helped me focus my review so that I could complete the tasks in the fastest amount of time.