Saturday, 5 April 2008

70-296, Failed!

Failed! Total score is 624, Failed by 76 marks! 120 mins paper with 50 questions. I immediately felt the hit after the first 5 questions. "In-band" and "out-band" remote management with modification needed in boot.ini, what the hell was that? Ok, even if there is such a feature in Windows 2003 server, but it is not cover under the MS Press 292 & 296 books. Neither it is cover under MS Press 293 or 294. If that is the case, why is it cover in the Exam? Is Microsoft giving me a refund on the lousy MS Press Books that does not cover the knowledge require to clear Microsoft Exam.

There are also other questions that does not cover in detail on the MS Press Book, things like Certificates Server enrollment, administrative and troubleshooting. And the best part, routing protocol like Version 1, Version 2 and OSPF is also on the list of questions. Lucky I know some of these protocols as a Cisco CCNP, but I don't know if I get it right. Reason, the way Microsoft look at TCP/IP and routing Protocol is different from a Hardware vendor perspective. I still remembers the days that Cisco calculate available IP address of a subnet is different from Microsoft. Cisco used to minus 2 IP addresses (Network .0 and Broadcast .255) from the subnet, but Microsoft doesn't seem to see that as a correct answer.

Ok, my comment on this paper. Tough! It is tough not because the question is tough, it is because the MS Press books doesn't cover the topic in "micro" details. For example, you will also fail if it is a open book test. MS Press books just don't cover enough depth for this exam. I wonder if Microsoft internally talk between the Exam department and Publishing department. On the other hand, the exam is filled with long winded questions that at times I need to read three times to understand what the question is asking for. For some of the questions, I felt that it is totally not practical to setup in that way or the question mention that "use the least administrative efforts". Does Microsoft want Microsoft Certified Engineer to administrate Windows server using the "shortest path" or the correct and proper ways of administrating the servers? You see, both method works! but one of them is using some quick and dirty administration tricks that will create administrative problems in the long run. Because the quick and dirty tricks don't verify the setup. In addition, is this a Technical Exam or English Exam? Or should I ask it in another way, is this a Maths Exam or English Exam. Trust me, to be a Microsoft Certified Engineer nowsaday, you must have at least a grade C in your English. I wonder, how engineers in other country is able to clear this kind of paper.

Anyway, I will attempt the exam again next week. Failed by 76 marks, which is 4 questions. Hopefully, I got a different set of questions that I know and my luck is with me. Why? there are nothing to study for this Exam already. Unless I want to be a Microsoft experts in all the topic covered, which is reading beyond the stated 296 exam requirements. Just 4 questions, I will try my luck. My comments to Microsoft is this, test what is required out of a person to support your product. It is ok to make life difficult to uphold the exam standard. And the result to this is engineers using dump to clear the exam. So, are you telling me to use damp?

Again, you can't uphold engineer standards on paper exam, you need real live exam labs to uphold engineers standard. Example, Cisco CCIE or Red Hat, these are the certifications that earn respect from the industry. Reason? Lab, no tricks.

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