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Microsoft Exams

Discussion in 'General Microsoft Certifications' started by AJ, Jan 14, 2004.

  1. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    Some of us have done them, some still waiting, but the whole purpose that we are all here is to gain those vital qualifications. I have noticed that no-one has posted regarding how to tackle these gems and for the uninitiated, what actually happens. I can only speak from my own experience and we all handle these things differently. So, here goes.

    It must have been over 3 years ago when I drove from Northampton to NITLC in Newark the week after the 4 day course. Presented myself to reception and was given the terms and conditions to read and sign whilst my driving licence and passport was inspected to make sure I was who I said I was. Then it was time for THE EXAM. I gotta admit I was a nervous wreck :eek: . After being signed on and a passing Good Luck I got started.

    Now I had never sat anything like this before except for the transcenders (thank goodness I had them). Windows 2000 Pro (70-210) is a standard exam with at the time 55 questions (I think) and a couple of hours(?) to complete it. Did the silly questionnaire and ticked the copyright and the exam started. Enough of the story telling I here you cry, get on and tell what happened. Well I answered the questions and on the review page I ticked the box Review All. Then I went through all of the questions again and the ones that I was sure of unchecked the review box. Then reviewed all of the questions that were left and when I thought I had the right answer the review box was unchecked. It got to the stage where I had 2 or 3 questions that I just didn't know the answers, same goes with all of the M$ exams. Did a quick check to see if I'd had a flash of brilliance and then the time ran out. I think I have only ended 2 exams early, but that was within 5 minutes of the end. The endless wait for the result and YES PASS. :D :-o

    Anyway, the object of this post is not to bore you stupid with my drivel, it is to pass on a bit of advice. Read the question and then read the question again before you answer. When you review, read the question again to make sure you've not missed anything. Review your exam thoroughly and don't be afraid of using your time.

    Well I'm sure that others will add their own experiences to this but remember just Don't Panic. :wink:

    Hope I haven't bored you all too much. :D

    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  2. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

    Excellent words of wisdom, AJ, and a great idea for a new Thread.

    We probably all share the same experience of our first (few) exams - the tension and anxiety on the way to the Test Centre, the wondering what your meant to do as you sit down at the PC, and then the exam itself.

    I have to admit that it wasn't until about my 3rd exam, that I really started to use the Review feature - I kinda just wanted "Pass"or "Fail", then off for the next train home.

    As Andrew has said - the ability to Review your work, especially if you have plenty of time after "finishing" the exam, should not be under-estimated. Imagine you failed by one question - would you still be glad you left ASAP without reviewing ?

    But we all find our own styles and methods for handling exam days (Sandy and his boots, for example :lol: ). Whatever yours is, go for it. If it works for you, then it's right for you.

    Now, I must find some time to resume studying for my next one ............ :roll:

    Certifications: MCP, A+, Network+
    WIP: Clarity
  3. SimonV

    SimonV Petabyte Poster Administrator

    Thanks AJ, good advice.

    Although I'm no stranger to exams and have in the past taken quite a few for my past teaching job I still get nervous as hell. I was fine with the questions but I sat the exam on the week that the format changed from the adaptive to linear and nobody had taken the new exam in the testing centre before so they had no real words of advice.

    A few thinks I think make for a good exam are:

    Believe in Yourself
    Worrying excessively won't help. If you have taken the time prepare for the exams, you should do fine

    Know your acronyms
    If you don't know what all those short forms stand for I am SURE it will cost you marks. Whether you are asked for a definition, or just have to choose what to use in a certain situation, you will need to know which ones are good and which don't even exist!

    Be On time
    Allow for problems, hold-ups and traffic jams on the way and make sure you arrive with time to spare so that you can go in calmly rather than in a frantic rush.

    Try to get a good night's sleep the night before any exam.

    Try to avoid alcohol the night before an exam, especially in quantity, as a bad hangover is among the very worst things to be suffering from in an exam room.

    This list could go on but as I have yet to sit my first Microsoft exam I'll leave those to the more experienced guys here.
    Certifications: MOS Master 2003, CompTIA A+, MCSA:M, MCSE
    WIP: Keeping CF Alive...
  4. Luton Bee

    Luton Bee Kilobyte Poster

    The best advice I can off is read and re-read the question to make sure you fully understand the objectives and what is required. Also make sure you know how many answers you are looking for, there is no worse feeling that putting a tick in a box, pressing next and at that split-second noticing the words "select the best two answers". If you feel unsure, always remember that the answer is in front of you and you may be able to use the process of elimination to work out the correct answer.
    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA, MCP, A+, Network+ C&G ICT
  5. flex22

    flex22 Gigabyte Poster

    When I read a question, I mentally fall asleep, switch off, instantly.

    I don't know why, or what to do about this.I fear that this will be my downfall.
    I just can't stay with it.The longer the question, the worse this is.

    Neveer really admitted this before, but I either ignore it like it will egt betetr, or try to do something about it.

    So this is a thread I will read with great interest.

    Thanks :!:
  6. AJ

    AJ Administrator Administrator

    I too had this problem that I would start to read the question and then start reading the answers to try and answer the question. I had to start to make myself read every word slowly so that I could understand what the question was about and work out the answer. They way I achieved this was as I read the question, read it out loud without talking. OK I was sat there staring at a computer screen moving my lips as I read. :eek: Must have looked a right dork. :oops:

    Still getting the result is what counts

    Certifications: MCSE, MCSA (messaging), ITIL Foundation v3
    WIP: Looking at doing ..................
  7. Phil
    Honorary Member

    Phil Gigabyte Poster


    I've tried reading the last couple of lines to try and get to exactly what they are asking then going through the questions to look for the obvious which has been suggested elsewhere in the past, but I just find I feel I've probably missed some important twist by not reading all of the question so end up going through it all again.

    I do mark the questions I'm not sure about and go back through them again but I find that I've spent so long mulling them over that my answers were my best guess anyway and no amount of rereading chaanges that so I just end up leaving them as they are. I can never face going back through all the questions again :), by that point it's just hit the next buttons and give me the verdict.

    I rarely finish a MS exam early, I may have 10 or 20 minutes to spare but not usually more, even with the mammoth design exams.
    Certifications: MCSE:M & S MCSA:M CCNA CNA
    WIP: 2003 Upgrade, CCNA Upgrade
  8. dreec

    dreec Nibble Poster

    Although this may sound obvious,the best way to prepare for an exam is to fully understand the material. If you are confident and you understand the material the exams become a breeze.
    I actually find the whole exam process enjoyable if you go into an exam with the attitude "I'm not really sure about this" then you will probably fail, I go into EVERY exam with the intention of getting 100%, and am genuinely gutted when I only hit around 90% +
    To many people seem to think that exams are the be all and end all, this is rubbish. Exams are there to show that you meet the MINIMUM requirement to perform the job role associated with the exam. If you only study to pass an exam then you are only studying the minimum amount of knowledge required. If you study to understand the subject exams are just a formallity.

    Just my 2 cents
    Certifications: To many to list here, to few to matter
    WIP: None

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