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Review for Boson ExSim Max 70-640 Exam Engine

Discussion in 'Active Directory Exams' started by Killian, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. Killian

    Killian Byte Poster

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    I recently signed up to submit my thoughts on another of Boson's Ex Sim Products, the 70-640 Exam Prep. As part of this group I agreed to provide them with feedback on the content, its relevance to the exam and any mistakes/typos I may spot. This thread serves as my unbiased review of the product for those that are studying or looking to study the Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration exam.

    To keep things more structured I’ve split it into a few sections.

    The Test Engine

    The Boson Exam Environment consists of a very friendly user interface. It initially opens up with a list of the exams you have purchased but there are other tabs for saved exams (which I used a lot – couldn’t seem to get through a 45 question exam without getting distracted!) and such but all in all, a simple and friendly UI. When you load up the exam it again opens in a similar styled UI which gives you the choice of predetermined exams, custom exams or exam options (e.g. study mode, practice mode, etc).

    I did have one issue with the UI which was to do with the way it rendered on my screen, practically making some of the elements unreadable. To be clear; this didn’t interfere with the actual tests just the UI prior to the test however it was something I felt Boson needed to be aware of. Upon contacting them I was told it is something their team are currently working on and that it was to do with the DPI setting being medium or above. Changed my DPI to smallest (100%) and it looked far better with all elements visible. The first time I reviewed a Boson Product I was disappointed by the fact it didn’t have the ‘eliminate questions I have answered correctly x amount of times’. Well it turns out it does have that setting, I just missed it. To my credit I did search for it when I had the rendering problems and it actually wasn’t visible then, jumped out nice and shiny once I changed the DPI though :biggrin

    One final comment about the engine, I’m not too keen on it’s insistent to be connected to the big wide world. Every time I launched it when I was out and about and not ‘online’ it chucked up a message asking me if I wanted to launch in offline mode. It also seems to require you to submit your scores to the Boson servers which, whilst they use it to improve the products, I’m not too sure I’m all that keen on.

    Overall though I like the UI and, whilst I think there are some improvements that can be made (the DPI issue, insistent ‘on-line’ connectivity, etc) it is certainly one of the better engines I have come across.

    The Content

    The important stuff! I finished the MS-Press Book after a few months of slowly plowing through it, took a bit of a break and then began practicing exams with the Boson product. My first score was 50%! :eek: Immediately I realised that I clearly hadn’t taken in some of the tougher subjects at all, particularly RMS, PKI Infrastructure and Federation Trusts. I read through the accompanying information with each incorrect answer, and the correct ones to that matter, and slowly built my knowledge up and then went back to the chapters in the MS Press Book and spent my time ‘studying’ the material as opposed to ‘reading’ it.

    Eventually came back and sat the second test scoring around 750 (800 for a pass on the Boson Software). Again I read through the accompanying info and researched further when I wanted a little more background. This is where the Boson products come into their own. The information that comes with every question is spot on and often summarises in one paragraph that which would take me two pages to! They also contain links to technet articles, websites and other various articles for further reading and a way to enforce a particular subject. I attempted test C not long after and scored highly enough to pass and give me a confidence boost.

    For me it was then a case of sitting the exams again over the following weeks and finally, setting a custom exam for questions that I had got correct atleast 1 time thus leaving me those questions I had answered incorrectly both times. That exam was around 20 questions or so and really taught me where I needed to focus. Sat the exam on the Friday just gone, scored 960 which was well above the 700 required.

    Summary

    Whilst I can’t give Boson all the credit for the high score, they certainly played a big part in it by providing me the tools with which to seek further information. I am currently studying for the 70-642 and will definitely be purchasing the test exams from Boson. This in itself is a testament to my thoughts on their products; I’m willing to pay for them.
     
    Certifications: See sig.
    WIP: Everything!
  2. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Thank you for posting your well thought out review Killian 8)
     
    Certifications: C&G Electronics - MCSA (W2K) MCSE (W2K)
  3. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    Great review! Nice one :thumbleft
     
    Certifications: A+, Network+, Security+, MCSA 2003 (270, 290, 291), MCTS (640, 642), MCSA 2008
    WIP: MCSA 2012
  4. BosonMichael
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Thanks for the review of our product, Killian! Glad it helped! :)
     
    Certifications: CISSP, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
    WIP: Just about everything!
  5. BosonJosh

    BosonJosh Gigabyte Poster

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    As Michael said, thanks for the review!
     
  6. RAF

    RAF New Member

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    Thanks for the review, very helpful.
     
    Certifications: CompTia A+, Net+
    WIP: MCTIP

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