I have been taking Microsoft exams since 1996, and I have passed a pretty large number of them.
As an exam taker, I am very careful to not violate the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA), so I won’t give any real specifics here. However, this exam stood out for several reasons:
- This exam is focused on Microsoft Partners and it will be a requirement for partners that want to have the Gold Communications competency. I don’t know how many people have to pass the exam for a Partner to get the competency or whether there are other requirements, but I do find these kind of exams interesting as they are a bit different in how they are written.
- It is not nearly as polished as the typical Microsoft exam.
- It goes into much greater depth than the typical Microsoft exam.
The basics of the exam are covered in some other blogs, so I won’t cover them again. I recommend you visit them and read their thoughts, too:
I will say that this was one of the toughest exams that I have ever taken when it comes to the level of the questions. It was also one of the toughest exams that I have taken when it comes to understanding the question and what it is asking. This is where the polish just isn’t there. Unlike most exams, including beta exams, it was full of typos and other errors such as questions that have duplicate answer choices. The grammar wasn’t solid, and I don’t pretend to be an English expert. Again, this goes to the lack of polish.
As others have stated, it is 80 questions and there is very little time to answer them all. It really irritated me when I had to read the same question several times just to figure out what it was asking, and that ate into my time. I finished it with about 3 minutes to spare. I then went through and wrote up comments on many of the questions. I had so much to say that I ended up running out of time. This was a first for me when it came to comments.
As to the knowledge that was tested, this was a fantastic exam. The questions were tough and made me dig deep to dust off knowledge that I use very rarely. There were a few where I questioned whether I really understood the content as I couldn’t find a correct answer, and I commented on those to address each answer choice. There were a couple of questions where I just didn’t have a clue. Whether that was because I didn’t understand the actual question or whether I didn’t know the topic well enough is open for debate.
All in all, if they fix the issues with the mistakes and clean up the English, it will be a good exam. As it is a beta exam, nobody knows whether they passed or failed and we won’t know (as individuals) until right before the exam goes live. Did I pass? To be honest, I just don’t know. I will be interested to get the results in the mail.