Seriously cheap exams in Australia

If you’re an MCP in Australia and you haven’t passed any exams over the past couple of years (since July 1, 2007), then Microsoft has an offer at the moment to let you do an exam for only US$25 (until June 30, 2009). Ok, so that means the price really depends on the value of the Aussie dollar, but either way, it’s not a bad opportunity. The offer is only on for a very short time, but why not check out http://www.learnandcertify.com/mcpupgrade/ and see what you can do? I’m thinking it’s a nice opportunity to knock over one of those … Continue reading Seriously cheap exams in Australia

Things You Know Now

This blog meme is doing the rounds… I’ve been tagged at least twice now (Jason Strate and Greg Linwood), so I suppose subconsciously I’ve been thinking about this stuff for a few weeks already. Since I do a lot of training, I tend to explain these things to my students anyway. I have a lot of opportunity to stand up in front of people and tell them important stuff – so this kind of thing definitely comes up now and then. Things I wish I had known years ago (career-wise that I would teach new people in the SQL field) … Continue reading Things You Know Now

Reasons to consider certification

I saw a link to a report by TechRepublic giving reasons to value certification in 2009. The idea behind the piece is that we are in a time of economic crisis, cutbacks and the like, and asking the question about whether or not people should be looking for certification or not. Most of the points made come down to differentiating yourself from the masses. For individuals I would have to agree. If you are trying to get a job, and are looking for every possible argument to get yourself in the door, certification can’t hurt (don’t expect to beat someone … Continue reading Reasons to consider certification

70-113, the Virtual Lab exam, gives Microsoft Certification new hope

We all know what’s wrong with Microsoft certifications. The multiple-choice format means that people can cheat too easily, and over the years, the questions have often felt too specific, asking the kinds of questions that proper IT professionals just look up in Help systems like SQL Books Online. To help address this problem, Microsoft started to come up with simulation questions. They were used in some Windows NT exams, and most notably for me (as I helped write them), in the core SQL Server exam 70-431. These were Flash-style applications designed to look and feel like the real applications. This … Continue reading 70-113, the Virtual Lab exam, gives Microsoft Certification new hope

Time to try some exams? Second shot is back

I always tell people to do exams during Second Shot season. Reason being – it makes the first one a practice. Don’t bother studying, don’t bother stressing, just go and see how you do. Then you can sit it a second time for real. Feel like giving it a go? Register at http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/offers/secondshot/default.mspx before booking. Looking for more? Well, the SQL 2008 exams won’t be around for a while, but there are a lot of other options out there.

How Jim McLeod passed 70-444

Jim McLeod is a DBA, and a good friend of mine. And today, he is due congratulations, because he passed the exam 70-444 – Optimizing and Maintaining a DB Admin Solution in SQL 2005. Now he only needs to do the Infrastructure Design exam (70-443) to become MCITP:DBA. Did he take one of the courses I teach, that Microsoft recommends to do before trying the exam? No. Did he spend hours in study, looking for those small things that he would need? No. Did he download one of those illegal copies of the exam? No, of course not. That would … Continue reading How Jim McLeod passed 70-444

The best way to pass a Microsoft certification exam

For a limited time only, Microsoft are giving you the chance to have a second shot at any IT professional, developer or Microsoft Dynamics exam. Brilliant! The way this works (and the way I encourage all my students to do this) is that if you register for this offer and then take an exam, you can take it again some time later for free. Yes, free. So now let me ask you – which one are you paying for? The first one, or the second one? It may feel like you’re paying for the first one, but don’t be fooled. … Continue reading The best way to pass a Microsoft certification exam

Latest news on 70-431 simulation questions

I got some news this week about the core SQL Server 2005 exam. A bit of an update from someone who has recently tried 70-431. He sent it to me having read my previous post on the matter. “I took the exam last week and got all the M/C questions right, but did horribly on the simulations. I figured out couple of them, but I couldn’t do the others. Ended up with a score of 220. This is the first certification test I’ve encountered that used such a large set of simulations (15 on the test I took). “Good job! … Continue reading Latest news on 70-431 simulation questions

Only 71 people have MCITP:BI

Mitch Wheat sent me this. According to http://www.microsoft.com/learning/mcp/certified.mspx, there are only 71 people in the world (well, at the end of June) who have achieved MCITP:BI. This means passing the two exams 70-445 and 70-446. You could be one if you use SSIS, SSAS, SSRS and do a bit of Data Mining. Doing some of the courses like the ones offered by Solid Quality Learning might help too, of course.

Pearson Vue no longer offering Microsoft exams

You can only book to do Microsoft certification exams through Pearson Vue until the end of August. From then on, you have to choose Prometric. More information can be read at Vue’s website: http://vue.com/ms/testtakerfaq.pdf Personally, I find this a real shame. It’s good for us candidates to have a choice. I’ve preferred Vue over Prometric in recent years, and it was Vue who provided exams at TechEd Australia. I don’t know the reasons why Microsoft have taken this approach, but will post again once I have found out something (assuming the information I find out is public).