Does Pearson uses different tests then Prometric?

E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
I’m wondering out if anyone else has found that Pearson and Prometric are giving different versions of the same exams.

This is what I found. A friend of mine and I were taking tests at the same testing center. We studied together and using a study guide. As we were signing in to take the exam with Prometric the Prometric computer system started having problems. I was registered and took the test with Prometric. My friend was not able to register with Prometric but the testing center was also a Pearson Vue test center so he to the same exam with Pearson. I passed and he didn’t.

Here’s what we found. I thought the questions on the exam were very close to the ones I studied with study guide. My friend did not. He didn’t even think they were close.

Then we did some research and found Microsft updated the exam a few months ago. We got a hold of an old study gudie for the same exam and found the questions in it were closer to the ones on his test and not on mine.

I’m wondering if anyone else has found this out. You could be using a current study guide for an exam but the testing center will give you the old exam.

Can anyone provide additional info?

Thanks

Comments

  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    They don't give different exams. They connect to Microsoft servers which pull the exam. The questions and scoring method are all done by Microsoft servers. What study guide were you using? If it was something such as Transcenders or another reputable company, surely they would have an up to date study guide/practice exam.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • TechJunkyTechJunky Member Posts: 881
    Realistically.... It shouldnt matter if you are using a new or old study guide. All the info pertains to the test and this is why books should be used so you learn the material.


    I am not trying to be a jerk. I just want to let you know that microsoft can and should be able to test you on anything from their first study guide/book of that exam to the latest study guide/book as long as there was not a revision to the test/book.

    Sorry to hear about your friend.
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    We used a reputable study guide. If they are pulling from Microsoft why is did one testing company use give the “old” exam and the other the new exam. He studied off the old study guide (the one not available any more) took the exam again and passed. If he would have used the current study guide he would have been prepped for the wrong questions.

    If do a side by side comparison of the study guides you will find the questions are quite different.

    After this happened I went back to look at the 2 XP exam study guides we have at our office. The questions in the guides are quite different. The old study guide had no questions on wireless where as the new one has quite a few. In comparing the old study guide and the new with the actual test, the old study guide was the one that was closer to the actual exam, not the new one. And interestingly enough it was the same testing company that delivered the old test to my friend.

    Coincidence?
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    TechJunky I don't think you are being a jerk at all. I agree MS that it is fair for Microsoft to test on any technology they have listed on their web site for the exam. Since most people buy study guides to prepare them for passing the exams, I think it is unfair for the two testing companies to use different versions of the same test. Before you jump in and say why not just hear me out.

    Microsoft makes changes to the exams because they make changes to their software. Take XP for example. SP2 was released after the exam was created. Several of the original exam questions would now wrong after the application of SP2. Would it be fair to penalize test takers because they are thinking about now (with SP2) rather then (prior to SP2)?

    The other reason the exams are changed is because some questions were not well written, (too hard or too easy) or people complained about them in the comments after the exam.

    There is a lot of material one has to learn to pass the exams. At first I thought the study guides gave an unfair advantage, but after seeing that many of the questions have what I would call trick answers; I can see why they are needed.

    For example one question I had gave you the option of a menu item or typing a command line to do the same thing. Both would solve the problem, yet there was only one correct answer. As it turned out the correct answer was (due to the way the question was worded) was the command line. I have yet to meet anyone who would type the 27 characters on the command line vs. 3 mouse clicks. I thought questions/answers like that are unfair.

    In all I think Microsoft is doing a good job with the exams.

    My problem is with the study guides. They are preparing people for the wrong exam as in the case of my friend. He obviously knew the material and passed on the second go.

    If you read Microsft's web site they tell you the Microsft study guides are not all you need to pass the exam. For some exams there are no classes, on-line learning or books. The only way to sudy is an exam guide.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Microsoft exams are different each time. For example, in the 70-291 forum, some people will see a ton of RRAS, sometimes people will barely see any RRAS, sometimes people will see lots of DNS, sometimes people will barely see any WSUS. Exams can be very different in the questions it asked from exam to exam. So let's say that I used Transcender for 70-291 and it had a lot of RRAS questions but I didn't get any on the exam, that does not mean that the exam was a different exam. It just means that you fell into a small percentage of people who somehow didn't get any DNS on the exam. If there is something wrong with a study guide, I would try sending an e-mail to the study guide vendor with a complaint that their study guide is not suitable for the exam. Perhaps they made an error or accidentally forgot to include some objectives and will rectify the issue for people in the future.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Royal,

    I don't think there is a randomizer for the questions as your suggesting
    I've been told for each exam Microsoft has 3 exams, lets call them A, B and C. The three exams are different, but the questions are similar. They are based on the criteria listed on Microsoft’s web site for the exam.

    As exams are changed over time so are the questions for the 3 exams. In the case of many of the exams there are many versions. It appears that one of the testing companies is consistently giving out older exams and the other is giving out the new ones.

    Take a look at the companies that produce the study guides. They list the rev or date of the exam the study guide covers.

    We’ve found depending on the testing company you sign-up with to take the exam you might want to use an older study guide or study from an older book.
  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Member Posts: 2,157
    I'm curious as to where you heard about the 3 test theory... I've never heard that one before, and it has been my experience from retaking exams I've failed that it is more likely the questions or random to a degree... What I mean by that is that I'm thinking that there is a pool of questions for every category of the exam and you have random question chosen for each category you are being tested on.... Just my thought on that.

    Out of curiosity, which practice exams are you using that are different from your buddy?
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    We are talking Microsoft exams corrent? I have no idea if this applies to Novell, Cisco or any other company. At trade shows Transcender sales reps state there are 3 tests, and A, B and C. If you look at how many questions there are on the actual exam you will find roughly there are 3 times that many on the practice exams.

    It might be there be that each exam is randomized; so one exam is not 100% with questions from exam A or B or C but a mix of A, B and C. That means they are keeping track of the questions you’ve been given so in the event you failed, you won’t be given the same question your next retake. (I could be wrong.)

    But that was not my question.

    It appears that each exam has multiple versions V1, V2. And each version has an A, B, and C set of questions. What it appears happened to my friend and is the Pearson give him V1 question set A and I given V2 question set A. My questions matched the new study guide and his matched the old study guide. When he studied off the old study guide, he passed. Most of the questions on the old study guide were not on the new study guide.

    I would rather no say what study guide we used. But we’ve now compared tow of them and came to the same conclusion.

    Just wondering if anyone else has had the same experiance?
  • leefdaddyleefdaddy Member Posts: 405
    These 'study guides' sound like **** to me.... I could be wrong... but that's what it sounds like to me :)
    Dustin Leefers
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I used study guides all through out college. The professors put them on file in the library so we know what type of questions to expect on the exams and what to study for.

    Perhaps you could tell me what the difference is between a study guide and a ****?
  • Megadeth4168Megadeth4168 Member Posts: 2,157
    A **** contains the actual test questions and are a violation of the NDA as they are basically a way of cheating. A practice exam study guide contains questions based on the exam objectives but are not questions from they exam. Some practice exam are considered harder than the real exam and some are considered easier. They are meant to test your readiness for the objectives.

    **** are looked down upon by many because they devalue the certification..... Imagine yourself as an employer interviewing a candidate for a job... imagine the candidate having an MCSE yet being unable to answer questions that you should know and should be able to perform on the job. Memorizing the questions of an exam will get you through the test but does nothing to help you actually perform the tasks in the real world. This is why reading books and setting up labs are important. Testing yourself with legitimate practice exams is a good way for you to check how well you understand the material but once again, even with legit practice exams, memorizing questions and answers do not actually prepare you for the real world.

    I hope this sheds some light on the issue for you....

    Oh, and another thing about ****, if you do use **** and are caught using them MS will take away your certification status.
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Megadeth4168

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I’m not trying to pick a fight with you; just trying to get a better understanding of what you mean. How I can tell the difference between a study guide and a ****? Does Microsoft maintain a list somewhere? Or is it printed on the on the packaging? Do you know who makes the determination of what’s’ a **** vs. a study guide? Seems rather harsh of Microsoft to penalize someone by taking away there certification after they passed without letting everyone know what materials are **** and which ones are study guides.

    I understand your point about employers. But I can’t imagine an employer would want to hire an MCSE with the security endorsement that wasn’t tested in the current version of ISA? Can you explain why Microsoft will only give a security endorsement if you take ISA Server 2000 (a 7 years old product) or ISA Server 2004, both of which have flaws and will pass uninspected traffic in the clear. Yet the current product, ISA 2006, which doesn’t have the flaw; it’s exam can not be used used for the MCSE security endorsement. Does that make any sense to you?

    The other one I don’t understand it why XP and Windows Server 2000 are the only desktops exams that can be used for an MCSE. Yet Vista, the current desktop OS can not. (How long has Vista been out, almost 6-7 moths?) Any idea why Microsft excluded that exam from the MCSE certification?

    I would think an employer would want someone who had up-to-date training over someone who has an MCSE. Almost seems like Microsoft is cheapening their own certification program.

    Again. I'm not trying to argue, just get a better understaind.
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Here is a blog for where most people seem to get up to date information about upcoming certification tracks, fighting braindumps, etc... You'll see Trika links to a site called CertGuard which helps maintain a list of reputable study guides/practice exams. I would use this as a site to make sure what you come across is indeed legitimate.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I went to CertGuar as you sugested and do not find a list of study guides vs. ****. Can you provide me with a link?
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    Well, it's not going to contain a list of braindump sites, for obvious reasons I shouldn't have to mention. As for a list to safe sites, not sure how you could not find it. As for where to find the "safe sites", there is a forum section devoted to that. You can find those safe sites here.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • E. RobertsE. Roberts Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
    Sounds like there is not list of the forebode sites. The ones if I visit them I will loose my certification. It sounds like the only way I can find out if which sites are **** sites is by knowing what questions are on the actual exam. Since I’m not going to take the exam until I study for it, I’m not going to know if the study guide I’m looking at is a **** or a legitimate. In order for me to comply with your request would you give me a list of the actual questions there are on the actual exam so that when I see them I will know NOT to use that site?
  • royalroyal Member Posts: 3,353
    To be quite honest, I think the discussion is over. I think you've been given enough information to proceed on a legitimate method of studying. A summary on what you should do include purchasing a book or two and using the safe sites which include links to both free and purchasable study guides/video training/practice exams. Other than that, you can read through the forums here to see what others use to study for exams.

    As for the method I use to study which might give you some more insight is as follows:
    1. Get my feet wet with CBT Nuggets even if I don't know the topic.
    2. Begin reading my main book
    3. While reading, I will use sticky notes and use them as a bookmark when I want to review information that spans >1 page. If the information is a paragraph or so, I will summarize it into my own words and write it into a notebook.
    4. Every so often, even while I'm reading, I will go back to my notebook and read what is in there.
    5. I will always do the chapter questions. If I get something wrong, I make sure I understand why, and if needed, I will go back and review that information. I also try to understand why the wrong answers were incorrect.
    6. I then finish the book and then use either an e-book or use a hardcover to review information.
    7. I then review any CBT Nuggets when I want some extra clarification.
    8. I then use a practice exam package such as Transcenders which tests me on my readiness. I'll warn you though, do not use this unless you feel you are completely ready. After the 1st usage, you have many of the questions/answers in your head which won't properly test your readiness your second time around.
    “For success, attitude is equally as important as ability.” - Harry F. Banks
  • sprkymrksprkymrk Member Posts: 4,884 ■■■□□□□□□□
    royal wrote:
    To be quite honest, I think the discussion is over. I think you've been given enough information to proceed on a legitimate method of studying.

    I agree, which is why I am going to lock this thread.
    E. Roberts wrote:
    Can you explain why Microsoft will only give a security endorsement if you take ISA Server 2000 (a 7 years old product) or ISA Server 2004, both of which have flaws and will pass uninspected traffic in the clear. Yet the current product, ISA 2006, which doesn’t have the flaw; it’s exam can not be used used for the MCSE security endorsement. Does that make any sense to you?

    A product's flaws or lack thereof have no bearing on the requirements of certification. Heck, they used to give out an MCP designation for passing Win98 and Net Essentials. I believe the reason that ISA2006 and Vista and whatever else are not included in the MCSA/MCSE track is because Microsoft is changing the certification process and titles with their new products. There is no MCSA/E track for the new certs. Instead they will be MCT, MCITP, MCA and such.

    icon_arrow.gifThe New Generation of Microsoft Certifications
    E. Roberts wrote:
    I would rather no say what study guide we used. But we’ve now compared tow of them and came to the same conclusion.
    If you would rather not say, then most of us suspect it was a ****, and not a legitimate study guide. What other possible reason could there be for not saying?

    Don't get too hung up on tests and versions and such. There are lots of good resourses out there for use in studying and passing the exams. Amazon has reviews on most of the books, and this site has some too. There are many people who pass the exams with a combination of these reourses, hands-on experience, TechNet, etc. If you get questions you cannot answer because of version differences then I guess those are the breaks. The answers available won't have both options available (old way and new way based on service packs, or SUS vs. WSUS, or whatever) so it pays to be familiar with the OS as a whole so you can correctly pick the right answer out of 4 or 5 given choices. If the fact that the version used causes you to get it wrong, then you learned something in the process that you needed to know to be a good admin anyway.
    E. Roberts wrote:
    In order for me to comply with your request would you give me a list of the actual questions there are on the actual exam so that when I see them I will know NOT to use that site?
    Even if you are being sarcastic, this is so wrong on so many levels it almost doesn't deserve a response. Here's the thing - first if a study guide contains nothing but questions and answers with no other content on concepts and trying to teach the material, that's a good clue. Second, if you are using a "guide" from a large company that Microsoft just won a lawsuit against - that's also called a "clue". Third, if you really didn't know you were using a ****, then go take the exam and see word-for-word several questions on the test that were in your "guide", it wasn't a guide but a ****, so DON'T use any more "guides" from that company.

    Thread is now officially locked unless another moderator would like to chime in.
    All things are possible, only believe.
This discussion has been closed.