CIW Database Design Specialist

Flat4ForLifeFlat4ForLife Member Posts: 16 ■□□□□□□□□□
So I have taken the test 2 times now (for WGU) and failed both times. First with a 64, and again with a 70. I have 0 experience with databases before this class, so it's all new. However I feel that I mostly understand it (apparently not according to the tests though). I've read through all the material, taken all the area exams, I have taken the practice exams over a dozen times and scored 85+ consistently. Yet I can't pass the test. I think my worst area is normalization. Yes, it gives "areas" and how well you did in each, but without seeing what I actually missed I am kind of lost because I thought I was right when I answered the question...

So does anyone have any tips for this class? My mentor said they have a question in to CIW about this class because since a few months ago, a lot of people have been failing. So they are wondering if they changed it. Again, I have no previous experience, so I know I'm not an expert. But consistent higher scores on practice tests doesn't make sense to me. And yes, I know I have to pay for the next one.


  • NotHackingYouNotHackingYou Member Posts: 1,460 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Try doing a mock design of the different levels of normalization. Write out a table and decide which normal form (if any) it's in. Then move it to first and take in your design again. Repeat until you're at 4th normal form (don't remember if they go into 5th in this book). It may help to write out a table of the rules in a way that makes sense to you 'no repeating groups' such that you can recite for yourself a one-liner to help to remember what each form means. Don't forget that each form includes all the rules of the one before it.
    When you go the extra mile, there's no traffic.
  • Smiles2015Smiles2015 Registered Users Posts: 1 ■□□□□□□□□□
    I have taken the test twice now and failed both times. The first time getting a 62 and today getting a 60. I felt much more comfortable the 2nd time around but finding out that I did worse really shocked me. I too have taken all the practice exams and feel that I have a pretty good grasp but when it comes to the exam itself I can't pass it. I will be talking with my mentor this week to find out what the next steps are as I will also be having to pay for the next one.
  • 5ekurity5ekurity Member Posts: 346 ■■■□□□□□□□
    The test is tricky and I barely made it myself. I haven't looked at the material in over two months, but I can remember that the key to passing for me was to make sure that I understood what the question was specifically asking for and not just jumping to a conclusion based on some of the information presented. Anything that I didn't know immediately, 100% certain off the top of my head, I saved until the 2nd time around. I'd also recommend watching the videos with Simon Alderon (I think that's his name) for database design - some of what he explained and how he explained it really helped drive home a couple of points for me.
  • markulousmarkulous Member Posts: 2,394 ■■■■■■■■□□
    They actually got rid of that course. Talk to your mentor and take the updated course. It's an in-house exam and assignment but the material is WAY better and only takes a week or two to finish. I just took this class a few weeks ago and it wasn't bad at all. You don't get a cert for it, but who cares about a crappy CIW cert anyway?
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