Posts Tagged ‘Exams’

What is in a beta? (Post Mortem: Beta Exams)

September 1st, 2008


A literal day does not go by where someone asks me what a "Beta" exam is, who takes them, and why?



Are you "Beta" material?  That’s a great question which hopefully by the end of this you’ll be able to come to terms with who you might be.




Q: Who are Beta Exams for?

A: Beta Exams are for people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • Tend to be an early adopter of technology and software
  • Are interested in advancing your career, whether on your own budget or someone else’s
  • Self-Starter, Self-studier who will go out and absorb information about a new tech/exam
  • A veteran of an application, looking to prove your "skillz"
  • A novice of an application, looking to improve your "skillz" :)
  • Someone with a competitive spirit, flare, or otherwise
  • People who like to comment on material before it goes live, to improve the final product

You do not need to meet any single one of the above criteria to qualify as a beta tester, but chances are you meet one or more.

Q: What is a Beta Exam?

A: Beta exams are usually performing the following functions:

  • Validating the test questions which were written by a team of specialists to confirm how realistic they may be, before taking an exam live
  • Qualifying "experimental" test questions which may or may not even be real.  In order to see how people react and comment on those questions
  • Beta exams are often a subset or an entire pool of questions which will be utilized in the finished product.  Depending you may see a small number (70) or larger (100+) questions to answer and respectively comment
  • Constructive Comments and feedback – Your comments will be read, so if you don’t like a question say so and that question could be removed or updated respectively

Q: Why take a Beta Exam?

A: The reasons to take a Beta Exam are many-fold, but here some reasons I take them:

  • They’re free! It gives me the opportunity (Stress Free) to take a test, (Pass/Fail) and it won’t cost me any $$ other than my time investment.    This way I can validate my worldly skills at this simple cost
  • Comments and Feedback! I do like to provide constructive feedback as I personally take an interest in ensuring we’re obtaining the highest quality release of Exams, Product, etc.   Having been involved in alphas and betas since the beginning of time – seeing it first and making sure by the time everyone else sees it, they see it for the good and not the bad we were all fortunate to clean up :)
  • I’m an early adopter.   Hell, I’m an innovator, but it’s not too often that I actually *write* the exams or questions, so I tend to go for ‘adopter’ as much as possible
  • I gotz skillz! Yea, in the Microsoft.. and Networking.. and Storage… and Unix.. and Programming.. and pretty much every space, I’ve either worked with it, or can infer within a few seconds years of experience out of it.   So based upon that sole reason and criteria I like to see these things and expand my own personal knowledge base
    • If after taking an exam I feel it is not for me, I take the benefit of my experience, share the wealth of knowledge and continue on my way (Post Mortems)
  • Did I mention because it’s FREE? Seriously! Anyone who is looking to start their career, advance their career, or simply stabilize where they are.   You can’t go wrong with Free in this economy, or any economy.   Not to mention you’re helping a good cause of validating the material!

So, anyone who happens to work in the world of technology who doesn’t want to sit still at a stalemate – Get out there and take beta exams!   Take your free-self, get your cert on, and even learn something in the process!

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Posted in Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft, NetApp | Comments (0)

Retiring Exams, Get your Trika for 40% off!

September 1st, 2008

You heard it here! A number of exams which are retiring (March 31, 2009) are being offered at a 40% reduction! by my math that looks to be $50.00 off!

All the details can be found here –

Price reduction on retiring exams (and VS/SQL upgrade exams)

But for those who don’t want to click and link off, I’ll copy the best bits!

Here are the exams with reduced price:

So, check it out especially if your certification happens to align with skill-set.

And if not – give a shout out to Trika over at her blog!

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Posted in Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft, SQL, Trika! | Comments (0)

SQL City! 2 More 2008 Beta Exams (71-450) (71-452)

August 8th, 2008

I know you’re tired of all of these MCTS SQL Beta Exams

Which means now it is time for the PRO SQL 2008 Beta Exams!

SQL Server 2008 Exam Beta: 71-450: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution

Registration begins: August 15, 2008
Beta exam period runs: August 18, 2008– September 16, 2008
Promo Code: 239F4

SQL Server 2008 Beta Exam: 71-452: Designing a Business Intelligence Infrastructure Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008

Registration begins: August 8, 2008
Beta exam period runs: August 13, 2008– September 10, 2008
Promo Code: 3568C

Registration Information
To register in North America, please call:
· Prometric: (800) 755-EXAM (800-755-3926)
Outside the U.S./Canada, please contact:
· Prometric:

So, get down with your fairly straight-forward self, get out there:

sign up, register and test! test! test!

Special thanks to our good friends at the Certification Beta Blog for these postings.

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Posted in Baltimization, Certification, Christopher Kusek, Informational, Microsoft, SQL | Comments (2)

What’s new indeed

August 6th, 2008


So, there have been a number of changes around here.

  • I’ve switched from default numeric posting names to ‘named and dated’ events. 
  • I’ve attempted to start using LiveWriter again, which can be a challenge when you find a complicated manual process of editing files directly to be so much more appealing!
  • I’ve added some additional blogs, with some more to come.
    • Primarily filling out my fellow Microsoft folksies, special respect to Dan Rey, Ariel, and the new Microsoft Beta Blog (Thanks Trika!)
    • I’ll be adding a number of NetApp blogs for some good close friends and folks who have a lot of indepth knowledge to share, and read respectively!
  • I’ve taken some additional betas and will be providing further obscure "non-violating NDA" details of the exams in depth
  • I have a number of broken things, which I haven’t been bothered to fix such as ATOM RSS feeders, carriage returns for that "ShareThis" app – and who knows what other SEO violations I may be under!

I think that is a fair coverage of some changes that have occurred – As for things to come:

  • Indepth posting of Exams, Certifications, Betas – Who takes them, who should, how you can be that person, and being a master on a novices diet.
  • Performance assaults, differences, metrics and other insanity
  • Super cool NetAppy stuff, the likes of which will shock and amaze you
    • (Yet, you’ll eventually be of the understanding as I am – of accepting that as how things OUGHT to be ;))
  • More CWUG Updates! Yea you heard me!
  • More Beta exams and Post-Mortems, and perhaps a review of tests of the past.
  • And perhaps insight into the mind of a Pekingese!

See you soon!

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Posted in Baltimization, Christopher Kusek, General, Informational | Comments (0)

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