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#1 linuxgreen  Icon User is offline

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Are Microsoft exams a joke?

Posted 26 June 2012 - 07:21 PM

Here's my story:

Last year I attempted the Windows 7 Configuration exam. I failed it. Then I told that to my friends on Facebook. They warned me that they had passed all the Microsoft exams and had to remove them from their resumes; employers had such a low opinion of Microsoft exams. My response was "what??" and "what can be bad about a qualification?" They replied: you'll see.

This was the first Windows exam of any type that I attempted. I got it for free on the Dreamspark site as part of a graphics design college arrangement. So it wasted my time. But not my cash.

I was disappointed with the exam. My main criticism is its theoretical bias. I am an experiential guy. I learn by DOING things. I can't pass an exam that is ABOUT the OS. I need to be USING the OS. Why can't Microsoft test you on a VM? Then give marks for what you do on the OS. The content is also dubious. I've stood over the shoulder of experienced IT professionals. I've seen them repair corrupted Windows systems. I can tell you right now that the Windows Configuration exam DOES NOT test what a professional needs to know to fix a really botched PC - I'm talking a dual boot gone wrong and the bootloader has gone to wonderland. Add a Linux set up that doesn't play nice such as the latest OPensuse [I love OPensuse but it doesn't dual boot that well in its latest version, I'm sad to say] and you have a mess. The Winows Repair kit won't do a thing to help. You need to know some diskpart commands and even those are blocked by the presence of opensuse files. It can be fixed. But it's nasty.

So, Microsoft exams. I think that they are a colossal waste of money and time, unless you are Redmond who swallows up your cash.

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Replies To: Are Microsoft exams a joke?

#2 modi123_1  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are Microsoft exams a joke?

Posted 26 June 2012 - 08:10 PM

Like any exam or certification - they test a base line of information you should know for that topic. If it's not your cup of tea then so be it... I've seen plenty of people employed with MS certs and are pretty on top of keeping them current.
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#3 Oler1s  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are Microsoft exams a joke?

Posted 26 June 2012 - 10:56 PM

Certifications in an ecosystem have the following purposes:

1. Marketing for ISVs and others. A vendor gets to say, hey, look, you should contract with us because we have 100 certified people, etc.

2. Defensive baseline. You want to weed out contractors who definitely have no idea what they are doing.

3. Revenue stream (for vendors too, as you can use the cert to extract more money from clients).

I understand your complaint, but you are misunderstanding the purpose of the certification.
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#4 tlhIn`toq  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are Microsoft exams a joke?

Posted 27 June 2012 - 06:28 AM

To me it sounds like you feel they are a waste because you didn't pass... and now you're whining 'Why can't they write the exam for the information I know? by dicking around with computers?'

It could be that everyone that is a serious-ameature for the last 10 years knows all that same stuff.

You took a DMV driving test too... Where you had to know how many feet before an intersect to brake... and how many feet in front of another car to activate your turn signal... That's the requirement of the test. Have you once had to calculate the distance between you and truck to decided if you needed to use your signal or not, in the real world?

Welcome to the world, where you have to know a lot of specific information for your license. Its nothing new... you see it everywhere else... Get over it and just accept it.
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#5 CJ Siege  Icon User is offline

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Re: Are Microsoft exams a joke?

Posted 16 July 2012 - 04:29 AM

I have a couple MCP certs (XP & 2003), and while I haven't used them to apply for any jobs (I'm in the military), I tend to think that yes, they're moderately silly. The answers are posted all over the internet (code of ethics notwithstanding), and they really don't test a practical knowledge of using the system in question. I was a high level admin with several years of XP and 2003 experience and I still struggled with both exams because they test you on esoteric things like which radio button do you choose 8 context menus deep to run a differential backup every other Wednesday except when the date begins with 1 in which case run a daily backup instead.

If you want to work as a sysadmin, an MCSE (or MCITP, which is the new one for server 2008) will probably help, but don't go fooling yourself that it means a whole lot about your overall knowledge.
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