I received an e-mail today regarding the Microsoft Exams. It seems they are moving back to the old format where they tell you what your score was, and even break down the exam so you know what to work on if you had some weak spots. I for one welcome this new change. Of course, you hear a lot of people in the training and certification industry harping on “if it's green, it's green.” The theory behind that is the exams cover such a wide range of topics, that if you do know 75% of the concepts you are doing pretty darn good. We rarely have someone score a 100% on an exam, and if they did we were pretty sure they were using study aids like brain dumps and other illegal study guides. But it was also pretty nice to see those high scores on the ol' VB6 exams :-).
Here's the full skinny from my e-mail:
Microsoft will be returning to a previous version of score reporting that includes a numerical score as well as a breakdown of the test-taker's performance in specific skill areas. Starting with the release of the Microsoft Windows Server 2003 exams, a more detailed score report on its certification exams will be provided. By the end of September 2003, most Microsoft certification exams will include this format which includes a numerical score and a bar graph covering each skill section on the exam.
By presenting exam results in this format, test-takers can see where their strengths are and where they need to study harder, not just whether they have simply passed or failed. However, Microsoft warns that MCP exams are not meant to provide detailed feedback, even with the updated scoring format. Microsoft suggests that candidates use practice tests from Microsoft Certified Practice Test Providers to identify their strengths and weaknesses and to discover whether they're ready to tackle the real exam.
Party on. I think I might write up a 5 or 6 part article on the testing process and the MCSD for Microsoft .NET stuff if anyone is interested.