Tuesday, November 27, 2007

My first experience with a uCertify Exam

So I decided to download, install and register the complementary uCertify exam. I chose 70-291, Implementing, Maintaining and Managing a MS Windows 2003 Network Infrastructure. That took about five minutes. It was easy to install and get started. The opening screen presents a series of tests, beginning with a fifteen question pretest. I took the pretest.

Immediately I was transported back to the last time I took a Microsoft exam and was reminded of why I hate them so much. The exam questions make you wade through a bunch of introductory verbiage that is totally superfluous to the question being answered. uCertify has done a great job of making their questions just like the real ones.

The pretest covered each of the areas that are covered in the final exam: IP addressing, RRAS, DNS, infrastructure and security. With fifteen questions and thirty minutes you have about two minutes to read the question, understand it, review the multiple choice answers and make a correct choice. Some questions have more than one correct answer.

The diagnostic pretest had some of the drag and drop and 'click on the correct spot on this screen' type of questions. It didn't seem too hard but then I hadn't studied or reviewed the material in over a year. You can configure the test for a learning mode which allows you to see the correct answer right away and adjust your answer accordingly.

Feeling brave, I chose to do the full test simulation and get my score at the end of the test. As I went though it I had to review in my mind if some of the acronyms were valid and what function some of the server utilities were designed to accomplish. DHCP, DNS, subnets, SAP, GPO (lots of GPO questions) reminded me that being an MCSE is really learning a new language.

So far, my impression of uCertify is similar to using TestKing or Transcender, two other test preparation companies that I have used in the past. Would I recommend the product? So far, yes. Will it help me pass the test? I'll tell you after I pass it. Right now I'm going to go back and take another diagnostic pretest since I failed the first one with a score of 533 out of 630 required.

Have you had any experience with uCertify? Is one test prep company as good as any other?


Anonymous said...

I also downloaded the 70-291 exam and right now I am wishing I had NOT. The .exe file that installs the prepengine tried to install a downloader.zlob on my machine, my antivirus/antispyware software caught this...too bad I had already paid for the full version. Now who knows what this company might do with my credit card information. My advice, avoid uCertify...I can't guarantee they (the company) have malicious intent, but this .exe file from their website sure does.

Anonymous said...

Lol.. one who believes everything their antivirus application tells them. Sure. You guys are a dime a dozen. I doubt it was malicious. What software you using so I don't use it? Everyone is so spooked out by spyware most of it barely does anything exciting. So... the guy that wrote this article did you take the test yet? I was thinking about buying this application.