Exam Objectives and Limitations: The goal of the exam is to simulate real-life problems typical in a Microsoft Project environment. Because of this, there are multiple objectives that must be defined and a large number of topics to cover within each section. There are also several limitations to the exam. For example, one of the areas of focus includes how IT professionals deal with various management issues, such as managing changes and communicating between team members. I did find that some of the topics did not go into some of the larger areas of the test, which was disappointing.
Test Review: The Test Review is where most of my problems were during the exam. While I believe the Test Review is helpful, I didn’t feel that it provided enough information for me to complete the examination with a good score. Most of my problems on the Test Review were things I already knew, which made it very difficult to review and digest. However, I still believe that some of the topics are critical to successful completion of the exam. I would recommend doing both the test review and practice tests at least once before you begin taking the actual test.
Test Speed: I have seen reports claiming that the Microsoft Certification Exam can be done in two hours. This is unrealistic for someone who is preparing to take the exam for the first time or a person who may already have significant experience with the software. I certainly did not attempt to do the exam in two hours but I did complete it in about five hours, which is close to what I expect. If you plan to take the test with a set amount of time to spare, then I would suggest looking at other reviews of the exam.
Test Material: Not all review materials are created equal. I prefer to use test review products from reputable vendors. These review materials are created by experienced professionals who have used the software and have real-life experience with how Microsoft Systems work and how they will work with your specific requirements. Using review materials from inexperienced people only gives you a false picture of what is taking the test will be like. You’ll find that many of the questions on the test aren’t hard to answer but require logic and problem solving skills that aren’t present in many typical exam questions.
Test Reference Material: Review materials that contain practice questions aren’t bad, but they aren’t good enough to prepare you for the test. If you’re serious about taking the MSE, you need to buy your own practice exams or use review tools that include practice tests and review guides. The best review materials are those that incorporate both tests and quizzes into their design. This way you can learn not only the information about the specific topics covered on the actual exams, but also about how these topics are phrased by Microsoft for a professional job. Reviewing these review materials thoroughly will pay off in the test.
Exam Review: While review materials are great, they aren’t enough to properly prepare for the exam. During your actual test review session, you should go over all of the material that was discussed in the review material with a fine-toothed comb. Your test review session will help you understand any topics that were not covered sufficiently in the review materials, allowing you to get around these problems in your preparation.
Test Study: When going through your review materials for the MSE, make sure you take your review session seriously. Go over each topic thoroughly and try to memorize as many of the definitions and topics as you can. If you cannot remember what is being taught, then chances are you have been studying incorrectly! While studying will help you pass the test, having a solid grasp of the material before taking the actual test will allow you to do better on the test and raise your score significantly.