Beware barely passing exams

rob7278rob7278 Member Posts: 57 ■■□□□□□□□□
A recent experience I have had with taking certification exams has caused me to re-evaluate how well I feel I really know the objectives. The first time I took the 70-293 exam I scored a 680 and was frustrated that I failed by only 1-2 questions. So I just quickly went back through my study material, took a couple practice exams and then went to re-take the exam. My score the second time taking the 70-293 was 500!! This made me painfully aware that I did not know the material anywhere near the level that I needed to.
I am trying to earn certifications in hopes that they will attract employers and lead to job interviews. The certification by itself may get me an interview, however it will ultimately be the knowledge that I am able to demonstrate to an employer that will determine whether or not I am offered the job. This has always been obvious to me, but my experience with the vastly different scores on the 70-293 has caused me to not be so quick to move on after narrowly passing an exam. A pass may be a pass to earn a certification, but a pass may not be enough to earn a job. Ideally I will be looking for a score of 850-900 on an exam before feeling comfortable that I really know the material.

Comments

  • loxleynewloxleynew Member Posts: 405
    You are right in the fact that you should know your stuff and not just '****' the exam. However the same exam you could score an 850 on you could take it again and score a 650. It really depends on the questions and play into which areas you know the best. Most people tend to gravitate towards 2-3 topics on an exam rather than the others just because.

    Personally after taking the test Id rather pass with a 703 and then go on after the test to study whatever topics you got wrong even though you passed. It doesn't matter if the test is in the bag, your studying isn't.
  • za3bourza3bour Member Posts: 1,062 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Score is important and it's a factor for sure although it's not every thing. I usually don't take any exam until I get +90% in the practice test because this mean I am familiar enough with the product.
  • earweedearweed Member Posts: 5,192 ■■■■■■■■■□
    I took the 70-642 recently. Scored exactly 700 on it. I did fairly well in all areas but 1. I still spent the next week restudying stuff from that test.
    I don't typically score high on tests, period. I haven't broke the 800 mark yet after 3 MS tests but I feel like I know the material pretty well. I'm taking the 70-643 test next and most people consider that to be the hardest in the MCITP:EA series of tests. I'm putting in 2 months time, a lot of labbing, extra reading, and some serious note-taking and will be happy with whatever score I get if it's passing.
    No longer work in IT. Play around with stuff sometimes still and fix stuff for friends and relatives.
  • NetworkingStudentNetworkingStudent Member Posts: 1,400 ■■■■■■■■□□
    rob7278 wrote: »
    A recent experience I have had with taking certification exams has caused me to re-evaluate how well I feel I really know the objectives. The first time I took the 70-293 exam I scored a 680 and was frustrated that I failed by only 1-2 questions. So I just quickly went back through my study material, took a couple practice exams and then went to re-take the exam. My score the second time taking the 70-293 was 500!! This made me painfully aware that I did not know the material anywhere near the level that I needed to.
    I am trying to earn certifications in hopes that they will attract employers and lead to job interviews. The certification by itself may get me an interview, however it will ultimately be the knowledge that I am able to demonstrate to an employer that will determine whether or not I am offered the job. This has always been obvious to me, but my experience with the vastly different scores on the 70-293 has caused me to not be so quick to move on after narrowly passing an exam. A pass may be a pass to earn a certification, but a pass may not be enough to earn a job. Ideally I will be looking for a score of 850-900 on an exam before feeling comfortable that I really know the material.

    Don’t beat yourself up to much on the exam score. A lot of exams have 1,000 and 1,000 of questions stored in a database somewhere that they can ask you, so that no one test is the same. The real question you must ask yourself is, “did I learn something?” If you can’t answer the question then you may want to revisit the material, maybe re-read some of the books for that exam. I think certifications are like a college degree, because employers see that person took time to earn the degree. I think then they consider the amount time a person put in to obtain their certifications. I study for certification exams, because I want an entry level IT job, and certifications might make my resume stand out. Also, I like learning about the topics, because it helps me keep up with and expand my knowledge on information technology.
    When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened."

    --Alexander Graham Bell,
    American inventor
  • veritas_libertasveritas_libertas CISSP, GIAC x5, CompTIA x5 Greenville, SC USAMember Posts: 5,735 ■■■■■■■■■■
    earweed wrote: »
    I took the 70-642 recently. Scored exactly 700 on it. I did fairly well in all areas but 1. I still spent the next week restudying stuff from that test.
    I don't typically score high on tests, period. I haven't broke the 800 mark yet after 3 MS tests but I feel like I know the material pretty well. I'm taking the 70-643 test next and most people consider that to be the hardest in the MCITP:EA series of tests. I'm putting in 2 months time, a lot of labbing, extra reading, and some serious note-taking and will be happy with whatever score I get if it's passing.

    LOL, same here. I'm getting a real beating from MS exams icon_wink.gif
    Currently working on: Linux and Python
  • apr911apr911 Member Posts: 379 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I think another important thing to note is certification exams, especially microsoft exams, have a lot of erroneous information on/in them.

    I have my Comptia Security+ and my ISC2 CISSP and I design and build secure networks for a living. I failed the 70-298 exam on my first attempt back in early July this year and barely passed (scored 700) on a second attempt a few days later.

    I didnt restudy or look at any additional information between my fail and my pass.

    Especially with the Microsoft exams, it gets very easy to "mess up" because Microsoft's idea and methods of secure is often times different than what is actually used in the real world.

    Best example I can give is MCSE exams that ask you to set up MS NLB on a server pool. I, personally, would almost never use a software implementation of load-balancing but would use a hardware load balancer.

    Also another prime example is 70-270 asks questions about WinXP hardware profiles. Personally, I have never used them and dont know anyone who actually has.
    Currently Working On: Openstack
    2017 Goals: MCSE Refresh, CCDP & CCIE:Security
  • DevilsbaneDevilsbane Member Posts: 4,212 ■■■■■■■■□□
    You are correct, the main purpose is knowledge. The title is just an ice breaker. For me, my main goal is just to pass the test. But just because I passed it doesn't mean that I'm an expert. If there are areas that I know I'm weak on, I'll go back through them afterwords. After my 70-291 I was pretty aware that my security wasn't quite up to par. In this case, I decided not to go back over it because next on my list was Security+ and after that was the 70-293, so I would get to review these topics again. If after those two exams I am still having trouble, I'll sit down with the only goal to learn.
    Decide what to be and go be it.
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