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Accelerated Exam Was "Learning Experience" for Microsoft

Redmond may introduce more "composite" tests in future, says Microsoft's certification group.

The Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam was Microsoft's first try at a composite test, and although it isn't saying whether it considers the exam a success or not, Redmond hasn't ruled them out in the future.

In an interview with Microsoft Certified Professional Magazine, Anne Marie McSweeney, Microsoft's director of certification skills and assessment, declined to give the pass/fail rates for the Accelerated Exam, saying that "disclosing information like this can be really, really misleading."

The Windows 2000 Accelerated Exam, which expired at the end of 2001, was available to anyone who had finished the Windows NT 4.0 core exams. An alternative to taking the core four Win2K tests, it was free to test-takers, but was also a one-shot deal: If you failed it, you couldn't retake it, and failing any one out of the four sections also resulted in a failing grade for the entire exam.

"This was a 1.0 [version of the test]: Keep that in mind," McSweeney said. "I would say we learned a lot from it. It provided an option for customers, and given that the technology's advanced, it's given us the ability to create a better solution next time." In the future, she suggested, a composite test might be structured such that candidates could take make-up exams for those modules failed.

Microsoft emphasized in the interview that 70-240 was "psychometrically sound."

McSweeney did admit to some frustration among those who attempted the test. "70-240 was not as customer-friendly as we'd like." But overall, she added, "I'm satisfied. I look at the learning we got from it that we can apply to future exams."

Although the evidence is entirely anecdotal at this point, it's apparent that a large number of test-takers, even perhaps a majority, failed the exam. Those who failed have to take each exam individually on their way to their Windows 2000 MCSE. Those who passed still have to take one design elective and two other electives to receive their credential.

About the Author

Keith Ward is the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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Reader Comments:

Sat, May 31, 2008 Anonymous Anonymous

Company

Wed, Jul 9, 2003 surendra choudhary india

mcse not's for study

thank you
suren

Wed, Feb 27, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I don't think that this was a balanced test. The first two tests that I was hit with was the Server and Active Directory tests. Both of which were very easy, the Active Directory Test was an extension of services withing Exchange 5.5. Both of these tests I completed with enough time to take the exam again. By the time I started the next test which was the Workstation test, the product I am most familiar with, and not only because I use it as my main operating system, but it is the only one of these topics that fit my work place, everything else is NT. I think having to take the test all at once is too much. I know that I failed the Workstation test, and most likely the network test.

These tests rely too much on too many scenarios that require alot of reading. I am sorry, but I can solve almost any problem in the real world in a timely fashion that I need to for my clients. But I can't do it where I have to rely on my reading comprehension after two hours.

I do not know too many people who can. And another thing. I have taken and passed all my tests with self self study, and I found it interesting that Microsoft changed the way it displayed IP addresses and subnets. Definately was not prepared for the change, in the test. And too many of the questions in the network and workstation exam required you to make assumptions that would dictate the number of select all correct answers.

I do not want to deminish anyone who passed the test, especially those that did it with self study, but I also heard that the success rate was under 10% and that number dropped to 4 or 5% when excluding those that took test targeted training courses that really don't show any knowledge.

I have been an MCP for almost 9 years. If it was not for the fact that my company is a Microsoft Certified Partner and I need my certifications to maintain it, I probably would not have bothered with all the new .Net servers coming out, and organizations will be more likely to move in that direction than starting down the Win2K path.

That's where my group is concentrating on, we never looked at Win2K Server products even in our test labs.

Wed, Feb 6, 2002 woot obmil

TANSTAAFL
there aint no such thing as a free lunch...
240 exam and revisionism of mcse/certs is/was a debacle, obviously designed at making the majority of people go thru the whole cert process again

why?

MONEY - not just for M$, also for training partners as well

i failed - after 3 days of study not surprising... prolly got 3 out of 4 but dont know that either...

why 3 days of study - thats all i could get out of boss! some of us work (nights days weekends holidays)

hmmm, work - that means hands on experience... should have passed a 'fair' test then, because my work involves making predominantly M$ stuff work for people

notice i said WORK for PEOPLE

so,

welcome to the brave new world of education, where big business owns the game and it is in their best interests to have you flunk a few times, and maybe even not pass at all no matter how good you are...

there needs to be independant oversight of the whole cert program from M$ (and others), and it needs to happen NOW.

Wed, Feb 6, 2002 Chris Anonymous

I simply ignored the accelerated option. I booked with my voucher but did not go in. I am happily passing them separately with success and feedback. I think it was a political move to ward off potential criticism about upgrade costs and effort with little or no genuine consideration given to the practicalities of testing. The potential saving on exam costs is small when compared to the overall cost of maintaining certification. I congratulate those who took the exam and passed and those who gave it a go and failed. The important thing to remember about taking an exam is why you sit it. It should be because you think you can pass it. It should not be because it will save you money. I would like to know how many people who took it and passed really thought they would be successful?

Tue, Feb 5, 2002 David Australia

Remember the happy days when there was only Unix and Novell, and Microsoft operating systems were all a joke?

Mon, Feb 4, 2002 Adam New Mexico

I did pass the exam and that was a huge relief. My problem is: If you can't fail a module and pass, why doesn't the test END AFTER the failed module instead of making the individual sit in that room and stress for up to 4 HOURS!!!! I don't think that's right, especially since they don't give you a break down of what modules you passed/failed. It's a waste of the persons time.

Mon, Feb 4, 2002 Walter Curtis Germany

Thanks to 70-240, and the one test limit I studied really really hard. Although I failed the test, what I learned preparing for 70-240 is naturally useful as I take the test now one at at time. If it wasn`t for 70-240, and knowing that it was a one time shot, I may not have studied so hard. A week after failing 70-240, I passed 70-210 and 215 easily on the same day. I passed 70-218 on it`s first day of availability with no problems, using only the material I had gathered for 70-240, and as I prepare for the last 2 core and one design I find the material easier to absorb because of my prep for 70-240. Disappointed about 240, of course..but learning from it and using the failure to the best of my advantage. Side note, I already have my second elective, 70-244, which is a really fun test for people with nt 4 experience. I learned so many things that were implemented after svc pak 4 that I didn`t know about nt4 since we don`t really use the newer features of nt4 at work. Good luck to all working on certification.

Sun, Feb 3, 2002 JaneTyler Minnesota

I have been an NT4 MCSE for a couple of years (actively using NT and Win2K in my work) and just finished the basic 4 Windows 2000 exams. My electives were all still good from my NT4 MCSE, so all I have left is a Designing course. I never even attempted the 240 exam because those who had told me not to waste my time trying - it was no different than preparing for each of the 4 exams separately -- except that you had to try to find time between working full time and trying to spend time with your family to study for all 4 at once. Also that because of how it was set up the odds of passing were very poor, no matter how you prepared.
I sure hope that "next time" (what a thought) this situation develops there is a much better way for those of us who have been out there using this software to confirm our upgraded abilities to our employers and clients than this set up. I believe in staying current and I am not afraid to study and do the work to stay current. But I will never put myself or my family through this kind of 5,6 or 7 exam ordeal again. That kind of situation should only be for those coming into the field to validate their skills. Those just needing to verify that they are staying current really need to have a better option. Having a chance to re-take one or two parts of a 240-type exam would be a good first step toward providing that.

Sat, Feb 2, 2002 T. O. Nash, III Washington

From my understanding of those taking the test up here, the only ones that passed it were those who had worked with Win2k - not just having passed the core NT exams. From that sense, it was misleading and biased.

Thu, Jan 31, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

The 70-240 exam was a cruel joke. Four modules is just to much to take at one time. The all or nothing approach was ridiculous.

Thu, Jan 31, 2002 Jim Orlando

I was studying for the server exam when I realized most of the overlap with NT 4 was in the other 3 exams. Time was running out -- so I decided to go for the Accelerated exam.

I feel confident I passed 3 out of 4 sections. I didn't do any brain dumps. I wished I had for the networking section because the questions resembled the TCP/IP or Enterprise exams. Instead of relying on brain dumps, I used the binary calculator and ran out of time.

I have since passed the Professional and Sever exams and expect to pass Active Directory soon.

I will approach Networking with appropriate respect.

I would have liked credit for each section, because that way I could have had credit for 3 and just studied for the Networking exam.

There were literally thousands of pages of material to cover between the four MOC Training Kit volumes (TK) and the seven Server Resource Kit volumes (SRK).

Without duplicating questions, the exams that came with Readiness Review books were a good predictors of scores.


If Microsoft had allowed everyone to take the exam twice. Everyone would have been blown away once immediately and dug in for the final exam.

Taking individual exams provides steady feedback. The all or nothing exam format provides no feedback till its too late.

The interaction of Active Directory, Kerberos and DNS were big forward-looking topics -- but then we got hit with backward looking WINS trivia questions too.

The Accelerated books were useless. You couldn't pass the exam unless you studied every inch of the training kits including obscure topics such as RIS Server permissions.

You had to know the exact steps to repair a mirrored disk set -- not just a conceptual outline.

The point is that there are a certain number of topics on would prefer to look up -- if and when one ever needs to use them.

See ya at TechMentor!


Thu, Jan 31, 2002 DW NorCal

I did manage to pass the exam, but I would have two major complaints with the it (apart from the no score issue that has been beaten in to the ground):

1) It seemed to me that a fair number of questions were more or less redundant. Understandably, there is overlap between the four tests it is replacing, but why do we have questions on the same concept in the different sections?

2) Way too long. By the end of the test, when a long question came by, I just groaned to myself and just skimmed the text. I also did not check any of my answers like I normally would, because the test easily supassed my attention span. I guess if I was expecting to take the SAT, I would've been better prepared for a long test, but this was ridiculous compared to other MS Cert tests -- was it any shorter than taking the 4 tests seperately?

Thu, Jan 31, 2002 Paul Kohlmiller San Jose

I studied and worked as hard on 70-240 as I did all the other exams I have taken (about 10 in all). This was the only one that I did not pass (not counting a Beta exam). At one point in the test, between sections 1 and 2, the test program crashed and the machine had to be rebooted. However, the time to find and solve the problem were counted against my time so I had 14 fewer minutes for section 4. Because we didn't get a score, I have no idea how big of a deal that was. My plan is to not renew my MCSE. For my experience level (25+ years) and the jobs that I'm looking at (database programming of various kinds) it's a dead weight on my resume.

Thu, Jan 31, 2002 Ken Virginia

Preparation for the test was challenging to say the least. Having to learn such a variety of material, much of it different from NT was stressful. The test itself turned out to be anticlimatic. I finished the entire test in under two hours and found it almost embarrassingly easy.

Thu, Jan 31, 2002 Andrew Anonymous

it would be very nice to know the percentage of pass/failures. It would gage the "paper" MCSE's out there.

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 Rene Cologne

I aggree with Jim, because it was able to pass the exam. All those who fails have less experience in w2k or were to lazy to learn for it. We are using w2k for almost 2 years now, so i have prepared myself in only 2 days. The only thing they could make better is, to show any score. I would like to know where i stand, wouldn´t you?

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I am quite frustrated with Microsoft over how they treated us NT MCSE's, that I decided NOT to upgrade.
Why on earth do they have to give us a deadline and rule that we can only take the accelerated exam once? What is it to them when and after how many tries we make it? Isn't the result in the end what counts?
I suspect that this is just another way of getting more money out of us NT MCSE's and I won't play their game.
I find Microsoft's practices very immoral. For a company of that size you could actually expect a little more help for us, after all, we are their basic asset. We are the ones who get their stuff going and troubleshoot their mistakes to make them look good. They should pay us for that service!

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 Nick Stats Pittsburgh

I know I passed 3 of the 4 because the 4th test had an exhibit on every question combined with my test center having a 10 year old 15' monitor it just ended up taking me too long to read question, look at exhibit, zone out, forget question write question down look at exhibit answer.
First time I ran out of time on an exam. I took server and pro the next friday and passed w/ 840 and 760. It would have been nice if I didnt have to take them twice.

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 strangerq la

Some comments made I still don't understand.

* If the 240 exam gets rid of a load of you paper MCSEs then I applaud it. >>>>
Since msce's cannot now be decertified how does this or any other exam get rid of paper mcses?

and.....
* I believe the pass/fail system works at stopping the avalanche of braindumps>>>>

How? Braindumps depend on two things.

1) memorizing the questions.
2) questions with answers that are easy
to memorize (i.e. multiple guess).

Braindumps do not depend on your knowing the score of the person providing the dump (which is likely a lie anyway).

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 JR Utah

Congrats to those that have passed the dreaded 70-240 exam. I myself took the exam 1 week prior to expiration if only to utilize my free voucher. I had some experience, but not the experience required to pass all four mod's. I felt that I did reasonably well through 3 of them, but there was one mod that I know I failed miserably. I have since re-taken 3 of the 4 cores and passed with flying colors. I don't think that psychometrically sound was the correct terminology. I believe the term should have been psychologically sound as from my own experience, by failing the accelerated exam, I felt I needed to prove to myself that I could do this, only now it costs me..... hmmmm...

Wed, Jan 30, 2002 Roger Hong Kong

You need to highly concentrate in the exam. as 4 hours is quite long and you need to keep your mind clear in the whole exam. I fail in the exam. but I earn a lot from the exam. You can win the game if you can keep concentrate even in the last 5 minutes.

Tue, Jan 29, 2002 Adrian Australia

I thought the accelerated exam was pathetic, MS are more concerned with "under what tab" type questions than actual skills/knowledge. They try and fail people with confusing and poorly worded questions. In my exam I had no DNS questions and only a couple of AD questions, But lots of questions about a DHCP relay Host?, Hmm am I missing something here??? In the 5 years I have worked in IT I have never set up a DHCP relay host. MCSE is for Engineers in a large network environment (I think large corps will have routers configured for DHCP) MS designed this exam so that alot of people would fail as they wanted to 'raise the bar'. I am looking at other certifications as I believe MS exam do not test you on the real world skills/knowledge actually required to do your job.

Tue, Jan 29, 2002 LordCisco New York

A learning experience for Micro$oft YES.
for us well preparing was. Now we just wait for some more beta exams to come out. Test piggies maby to some but there are also those that are up for Chalanges and come on IT is not that hard just set it up right the rest is time to learn bout whats comming up. Ey whose got the awnsers to the pool of questions in the accellerated (just curious about a few)

Tue, Jan 29, 2002 strangerq la

re: missed a lot more of the questions the first time I took it. It was rigged if you took it late in the year you were cheated take it from me. >>>>>

Lack of any score feedbak allows M$ to hide their agenda.
It's funny, as an msce for years I felt like
a partner with M$. But increasingly I feel
like Netscape, Apple and some of their
other compettitors- battling with a powerful and ruthless quasi-monopoly.

ps - just ignoring the fact that by taking the test for someone else you were, of course, cheating. :)

Tue, Jan 29, 2002 Ray VA

If you took the exam earlier it was the same exam but the passing score was lower. As the "quota" of 2000 MCSEs was met the Passing score was raised. I passed and failed. I passed for my twin brother in July and failed for myself in December and I know I missed a lot more of the questions the first time I took it.
It was rigged if you took it late in the year you were cheated take it from me.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Mathew New Zealand

I thought it was good microsoft gave us the option of passing 4 exams for free. I studied hard for 1 month and passed 240. HOWEVER it was a bit frustrating not seeing the scores and it took me 4 hours, this really is a bit long for an exam because my head hurt afterwards. Have a nice day.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Chuck Nuck

I just looked at my posting on page 7 and I have to laugh. I took the 70-240 exam over today and passed. As I said before, there was a technical glitch and I couldn't finish the exam back in December. I really didn't think I would pass but I did. I still believe I failed it the first time, but having already seen it, I knew what to expect and how to prepare (taking a valium before the exam for one thing!). Maybe I helped MS with their "learning experience". I don't think they would want this to happen too many times. More likely though I probably can thank Prometric and their poorly run training centers for giving me a second chance.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Kai Robert Moser, MCSE KAIMOSER.COM

Until the Accelerated exam, I had never failed any MS exam. I am the Senior SysAdmin for a medium-sized network spanning both coasts and including several Asian and European offices. We have two NT 4 domains and and a third ADS domain that I am migrating everyting into. I am the chief, cook, and bottle washer. In other words, I know the products pretty thoroughly and have quite a bit of "real-world" experience, having left a 10, 000+ employee company to work for a new startup. I studied, though obviously not enough, or perhaps too much was the problem? The whole "only one chance to pass" scenario of failing this exam followed me right up until I passed out from sheer exhaustion in the wee hours before I went in to take the test at a center that I did not orginally select. A few weeks before I was to take the test at a VUE center that was relatively close to me, VUE called to tell me that they would "unfortunately" be unable to offer the test in the location of my choosing. After being told my choices, my best bet was a center about an hour an a half away in some little town in the middle of nowhere. There was the week long effort to track someone down to get a real confirmation for the testing slot after leaving a message on a machine that stated "Claudine's Variety Shop" when I called the center. I was very concerned that I would arrive to find that I didn't have a testing slot. In the end, after getting lost, lacking adequate sleep, discovering that the testing center was in fact a dismal joke (I won't even get into that part of it), and failing the test, the owner of the testing center had the nerve to try to hard sell me on Cisco training after noting aloud that I failed. I was ready to lose it on the clown. I still blame myself for letting the anxiety get to me, but the whole experience has put a serious distaste in my mouth and I'm not sure that I want to bother with MS certification any longer. I'm the only person with vendor-based credentials in my company and perhaps it's time to instead concentrate on something that MS still hasn't gotten right anyway...SECURITY. -Kai

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 jill Anonymous

i passed 240 in 40 min, english is not my native language. i did put in lots of time to study. for about 4 months, i used every sonday to study, i think the desotop support job that i'm doing helps a lot for understanding the topic.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 KB Maryland

A lot of you have made good arguments in this forum. I believe it LUDICROUS
to make a judgement on any IT professional based on the certifications they possess. Why?? Because it is all a CROCK anyway. We ALL know "Certified
Engineers/Professionals" who could not troubleshoot their way out of a wet paper bag, let alone have the slighest clue of how to design and implement a network. MCSE, MCP...WHATEVER. Ultimately it is all rhetoric and jargon that means NOTHING. Instead of being so concerned about how to mislead private and corporate industry on "who is best qualified to lead their IT initiative," I personally believe Microsoft should develop a BETTER WORK ETHIC within their application development divisions. Hey guys, ever hear of Quality Assurance?? Try ASKING SOMEONE before you release yet ANOTHER "P.O.S." (you figure it out) operating system to the public. I know
14year olds that are able to hack through XP's security already.
To those hardworking individuals that did not pass the accelerated exam, take solace in two things:
1) The only TRUE benefit that those of us who passed the accelerated exam are reaping is the savings of our $500 dollars that we would have otherwise WASTED on this crap.
2) You will never have to worry about proving you are NOT a "Paper MCSE."
The opinion of the co-workers around you, that you perform service miracles for everyday, is the REAL criteria for determining an IT Professional.

The BEASTKing

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Tony Rogers UK

I debated about whether to do the accelerated or just do the core four over a period of time but was swayed by the free voucher ie. nothing to lose! As it was, I put the same amount of effort into the one-hit exam as I would have done for the four seperates figuring that if I failed it I'd just do them straight away whilst it was all still fresh in my mind. I passed in mid-December, leaving me with one exam to go to upgrade my MCSE ( a design exam) and a warm feeling of getting it over in one blow! Would I do it again? Hmmmm........

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Larry Atlanta

It's astounding that there are so many whiners in this world, especially the white-collar technology sector. If you didn't pass the exam but have never worked in a Windows 2000 environment, and would like to in the future, good luck with the 4 discrete core exams and electives. If you couldn't pass the 70-240 and you claim to work in the Windows 2000 environment daily/regularly, as quite a few of you have, then shame on you. Maybe your opinion of your skills/knowledge on the subject are simply "larger than life."

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Anonymous Austin, Texas

I believe the pass/fail system works at stopping the avalanche of braindumps that tend to water down the test and cert. My only problem is that, for trainers, there is no real way to tell if you've 'got it' enough to teach it.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Jim Anonymous

I too find Microsoft's pass/fail decision most irritating. It smacks of a condencending "we know best" approach that really sucks. I can understand not wanting employers to compare passing scores though, so how about this:
Show score, including section breakdown, only for failed tests, or even only for failed sections. This way, those who fail have valuable feedback on what areas they need to work on, while those who pass know what they need to know -- they've passed.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Guy Heaton UK

If the 240 exam gets rid of a load of you paper MCSEs then I applaud it.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Yogesh NJ

I am working on Windows 2000 environment for almost a year. I am one of the lead members of the team who designed and implemented Windows 2000 with Active Directory in our environment. I am still 100 % positive that I could never fail the exam but when I was done with the exam, it just gave me that I didn't pass the exam (without even calculating the exam score). I did well on the 4 sections of the exam. Not sure if I was expected to score 100 % or 95 % to pass the exam, which was not clear.
I am very much disappointed and if someone can please review my exam again in a fair way, I am sure the results would be otherwise.
Thanks.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Anonymous Florida

I took this exam after studying very hard for months. I work everyday in the 2000 environment, set up and directed an upgrade for my entire company of over 4000 systems and 25 plus Servers. I failed the exam. What does this represent to me? The exam has nothing to do with the real world.

I will not be sitting for the Win2K tests. I do not need them for career advancement as my work in this effort shows more what I can do than the title. I will be actively letting companies know what a piece of crap the certification really is. I am contracted out to multiple companies that simply cannot believe I failed the exam....now they already know what a farce it isdue to the great job I have done for them.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

I agree with Simon from UK that it looks as if Microsoft had taken advantage of those who failed 70-240, by increasing the price for taking Microsoft tests. In Malaysia, the exchange rate is RM3.8 to a US dollar, so the increase in exam fees is about RM 100 per paper, sufficient dough to demotivate those who had failed.

I'm amused but disagree with Scott Duffy's comment on the reason why people failed the test. There is no guarantee that if Microsoft charged heavily for the test, the passing rate would have been better. The exam grading scheme itself was structured differently from other exams, such that a failure in one of the 4 sections counts as an exam failure, irrespective of whatever score was achieved in the other 3 sections. If we follow Simon's arguments, then 70-240 is just a bait set by Microsoft in order to trap candidates into taking (and paying for) the 4 core exams.

Personally, I skipped 70-240 and self-sponsored myself to the whole WIN2K MCSE track from scratch.

Mon, Jan 28, 2002 Rick Qld. Austraalia

What a load of crap !
If Microsoft aren't going to give us the courtesy of telling us how many quwestions we got right or wrong how the hell are they going to give us an option of taking make up tests ?
What is the pass mark ? What is the criterea for a pass or fail ?
I plan to never sit another Microsoft exam as long as I live as it is all a big con, aimed at making more money for Microsoft and does nothing to promote or quantify real world experience and expertise.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 Scott Duffy Toronto, Canada

Given that the test was free, people who didn't study at all had nothing to lose by taking the test, except for a few hours of their time.

If Microsoft charged $1000 for the test instead of giving it away for free, I am sure the pass rates would have been much, much higher!

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 naish india

It took me just 3 days to pass my exam, very tough infact too and again very too tough, but i just study for it 3 days i get no more problems to passing these exams of microsoft cause i get cert21.com to give me 100 % questions which are on the exam
So if Billgates wants to make Microsoft earn more money then he should also supply cram notes for us and if he want to make Microsoft to make his name in good then he should take some action to stop all of this

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 mousse-man Switzerland

I've had potential employers ask me about my exam scores, and they saw that my scores weren't that high for the 210, 215 and 224 exam scores so I told them that high scores could very well stem from braindump studies. I got hired. Maybe the HR folks liked my attitude.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 Anonymous Pittsburgh

Nationally, I've been seeing more and more job ads that state 'MCSE 2000 only'. The smart employers will never accept a cert as a subsitiute for experience but rather a enhancement to it.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 simon uk

as one of the majority who failed - after 4 months of hard study, i feel that microsofts next move of putting up the prices by x% is a very dirty trick. they knew that come the 1st january hundreds/thousands of nt4 mcse's would fail the 240 & have to take 4 extra exams. to put up the price at that point is a very nasty sting in the tail. not impressed. very sneaky.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, Ca

I would also like to agree with several people who have posted in this discussion group about showing employers test scores. I have never had to or have been asked about it in an employer situation or an interview. I would not work for anyone that insisted on seeing all of my testing sheets. This is why you have your transcript, from the Microsoft site. I think it is very improper of an employer to base his opinion of an employee on a test score. As for Microsoft using that as an excuse not to give feedback to the people taking the test, think again buckwheat! I have not seen any valid points given as to why feedback should not be given.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 David Fosbenner Milford, PA

I agree Microsoft has made a complete mess of the MCSE cert., I think it's worth less in the industry now than it was 2-3 years ago. I was eligle for the Accel. Exam, and I requested a voucher for it, but I purposely refused to take it. Instead I took the individual two hour exams one at a time where I could focus on one core skill set at a time. This was my way of telling MS "no thanks", your "free voucher" and the Accel. Exam weren't worth the media they are printed on. I'm an MCSE in NT & 2000, no thanks to MS's stupid, contradictory decisions. Keep ignoring us MCSEs...we like it.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

The MCSE is nothing more than a cash cow for Microslut. The proper thing to do is if you failed a specific part of the accelerated exam force the retake of that module. CASE CLOSED!!

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 strangerq la

re: I would like to add that it would be a cold day in hell before I took a job with an employer who insisted on seeing my test scores.>>>>>

One more thing: Most companies that I work for (I do consulting), will test you
anyway, whether they will tell you your
score (most will) or not, the point is
"they know the score", and do judge you
on it.
Fewer and fewer companies are willing to hire based on trust of M$'s testing.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 strangerq la

re: I would like to add that it would be a cold day in hell before I took a job with an employer who insisted on seeing my test scores.>>>>>

Employer might say: 'cold day in hell before I hire someone based on their
'passing' an exam, about which I know
next to nothing, including the score.'

Increasing msce stands for 'so what'.

Sun, Jan 27, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

AMF

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Arpy New York

I'm an MCSE 4.0 who didn't bother with the 240 exam. I've been working 7 days a week as a network engineer and just don't have the time for these games Micro$haft is playing.

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Anonymous WV

I knew in the last hour; when my head began to throb not from the "psychometric soundness" of the questions but the LENGTH of the exam; that I'd scrape by at the most. Of course I didn't; and the only thing I'm upset about is that they could have reduced the time involved. I think many of their beta exams are similar; as I have taken a couple of those and only been worn down by the length of time involved. Funny, but the three hours aceing my Civil Service exam weren't half as stomach irritating. I'll stick with the fact that the cert got me in the door and helped me figure the baseline skills for this industry; and decide which direction I wanted to go. Like other professional trades I'll let the one piece of paper start me off and my experience and ability to absorb new skills and scenarios handle the rest.

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Peter USA

Congrats to those who have actually passed (if there are any). I have yet to meet anyone.

I am so glad it was a "Learning Experience" for Microsoft. After all, that was the whole reason I took the test... to make Microsoft happy.

Obviously Microsoft feels we have absolutely no concern or feelings about the amount of time, energy, and money we invested in gaining the NT4 MCSE certification. Or for that matter the additional time, energy, and money in preparing for the accelerated exam. We cannot even know the results other than (pass/fail).

Additionally, MS is not releasing the pass/failure statistics to the community. Probably because it would cause outright revolt within the MCP ranks.

Guess I'll have to start migrating all the rest of our organizations over to Linux. Wouldn't want to keep maintaining an OS I'm not certified to handle.

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 EWout the Netherlands

because english is not my native language it was to long for me....without an timelimit or fewer quistions, then I could try. The knowledge was not the barier for me, but the timelimit.
1-2 minute a question is hard when you need to translate everything.

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 strangerq la

re: believe that exam was used to eliminate the paper NT 4.0 MCSEs in the beginning but it backfired Microsoft they were pressured to keep NT 4 certs>>>>

Yes I agree, and when M$ buckled the whole thing was rendered pointless, and
the program is now in freefall.

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I think much of the debate with respect to the 240 exam is sour grapes... WAKE UP, FOLKS! In the *REAL* world, you don't get the opportunity to re-take exams. I spent 4 years at University, and a professor didn't give you the option to re-take a final exam because you were having a bad day. You took the exam at the time prescribed, ONCE. If you failed, you had to spend half a year re-taking the entire course. That is the real world. Not the dream world "I should be able to take a test as many times as I want and Microsoft is being unfair". WAKE UP!

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 XIIxOveR Vermont, USA

Good comments here so far. I have to applaud Microsoft's decision to only allow one take at the 70-240. I think it was fair to offer us a free chance at not having to pay four to five hundred dollars (US). I took, and passed, this exam on 12/28 (the latest seat available at our local testing center) and thought it was a tough but fair exam. I would like to add that it would be a cold day in hell before I took a job with an employer who insisted on seeing my test scores. That tells me that this person/company has no understanding of who it is they need to hire and most likely a lack of commitment to their IT planning and information management. Why would anyone want to work for an organization with such defragmented IT cultures?

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Kev Bristol, UK

I also failed the exam, and like others felt that it was just the one section that let me down. a PASS is a PASS, but if you failed you need to invest a lot more time, I now have 4 exams to take! so feedback on the failed areas would have been of great value.....to make the best use of the time and energy I have to put in!

Sat, Jan 26, 2002 Richy UK - London

Ok - I passed this one on december 28th , I have used 2k at home on the desktop for about a year. I studied for two months using a test setup at home and 2 boxes at work.
The exam wasn't hard , but the amount of material to take in was huge. The exam was fair and there were only a couple of what I call "dodgy" questions (ones that are unclear).
I feel that the decision to not give a score is probably one of the most stupid desicions every made in the history of man. I answered your questions microsoft , and passed your exam - I WANT TO KNOW HOW WELL I DID , I think this is my RIGHT !!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I failed also. I work with W2000 everyday so maybe I didn't study hard enough. It seemed easy, so I was shocked when I failed. The monitor told me that no one had passed since mid November. Oh Well !

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

this test is free. but people still expected it easy? ( actualy, it's kind of easy if you know your stuff)

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Well, passed is passed, failed is failed. It's useless to argue the exam here. if you think microsoft is a shit, why did you take the exam?

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Brian Michigan

I understand being upset over failing this exam. However, I am amazed by some of the comments here. We were given a free, one-time chance, to knock off 4 exams. Why do you feel you deserve to retake the sections that you failed? I also cannot understand why people would not take this test. Even if you didn't think there was any way you could pass it. It's not like the time spent studying would have been wasted. Everything you studied for this test would apply to the 4 core tests. So, even if you failed, you are still ahead of the game. Also, if you have ever taken MS exams before, you should know that you can't just rely on one source for your study materials. Even if it is the MOC. You cannot learn everything you need to know in one book. There is just too much information. Finally, the questions on the exam were not that difficult. I found the questions on the Transcender tests to be much longer and more complicated. I only had to use the scratch paper for one or two questions.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Bill McFarlin Macon, Ga

When will any test be fair to everyone???Okay with that said, yes I passed the bugger. I would also like to register my grief with the scoring department as well. For me the score is a measure of what areas I'm weak in and not an ego brag, so yes it would have been nice to see it. They simply wasted a sheet of
paper to print the word congratulations. I too feel that as a whole the test was not that tough if you knew the material. (there's the catch, you have to study AND practice, NOT just read crams) However, I will admit that there were a few questions that just simply confused me. The "new" format is what really threw me but I managed to just keep a cool head and concentrate on the question at hand. If you can do this, you stand a chance of passing ANY test.
Has any one else noticed that if you had even a minor role in some form of Novell network administration you could easily relate to many of the functions, features, and operations W2K is made up of?

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 MCSE Pittsburgh, PA

I am displeased with Microsoft's decision to eliminate the test score's from the test results page. I studied for this exam and felt that overall the test was fair, however, I did fail and I believe that I only failed one test. The lack of any feedback leaves me in a quandry. I am fairly sure I know where my weak points are (DNS and Acitve Directory native mode) but it sure would be nice to have my intuition backed up by at least minimal test results. I have spent a lot of time and money studying for and taking these exams and I believe that I deserve at least the minimal respect of having my results available to me! If not immediately after the test, the results should be made available through the MCP webite. I do not beleive I am asking a lot of Micorsoft for whom I am a potential salesman (that is....if I am willing to pursue my Win2K MCSE upgrade!) I can understand Microsoft's concern over the degradation of their MCSE credential due to cheating and the ease of the NT4 exams, however, I believe that releasing the results of the test in no way harms the validity of the new active testing environments.
Get real or loose yet another product salesman!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Simout, there is something called a comma. I suggest you do not throw stones when you live in a glass house.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Kumar New York, NY USA

IT work, more often than not, is 8 hrs + each day and tack on 3 hrs for commute it become 11+ hrs a day. The company I work for doesn't want to upgrade to Windows 2000 for two more years. Needless to say I did not have anything to gain by passing this exam. I took it and yes I failed because it was free. To tell you the truth the hardest part was to stay in that seat for 3 hrs. Why couldn't it had been adaptive exam. People who, as far as the ones I know, work in infrastructure or desktop support do not sit in a chair for that amount of time.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 simont NT la la land

First off I have no stomach for braggarts.
So you passed 5 hour test....whoopee!
I studied for the test, I got fairly proficient with the contents of 70-240. Then when the vouchers supposedly became available my secure site logon acct was no longer active. When I contacted Microsoft they said there was no record of my ever having been an MCP 4.0. This was at a time when I was working contract and lots of time to devote to my goals. Now I am working full time in a SCO environment with Win9x clients and little training, none of which could be called formal training. I had to reprioritize my goals and rise to my own personal challenge. AND NOBODY EVER PROVIDED COURSEWARE and thanks to those fools at Microsoft I was unable to complete my preparation for the test in time for the deadline. I am sick of hearing bunch of high school grads with win2k paper criticize the world around them for not being as lucky (that's right I SAID LUCKY) they were with their test result. Yet these same critics and spoiled egomaniacs do not appear capable of spell-checking their self-obsessive testaments. You paper win2k MCSE's arent worth your testing fees. I dont care who you are if you hold that title it doesnt give you the right to rip your fellows. If you think the world revolves around your microshaft certs then you are hopelessly lost.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Unimpressed Somewhere

The reality is (in the UK anyway) that vast numbers of companies have still not upgraded to Win2K. I think some statistics on this would prove interesting. Microshaft would do well to remember that there are lots of people out there who don't trust them and are sick to the back teeth of being overcharged. The Accelerated exam should always be available, after all Microshaft keep banging on about Win2K being built on NT technology. Wouldn't the Accelerated exam be a good tool to continually encourage MCSEs to upgrade NT4 skills? Also, does it not make sense that those qualified on NT4 are perhaps best placed to get Win2K certified over others? Does it make sense to shaft some of the very people who helped make NT4 as popular as it is?
Ah well! As Forrest Gump says: "Stupid is as stupid does".
Time to go!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 David Australia

Good luck to John W from Phoenix, AZ and all those that managed to pass 240 with little or no study time!!! This to me shows only two things (or maybe both). One that these people are naturals and can grasp things first time round with little or no information, or Two, that the range and difficulty of the questions varies widely form individual test to test making some really easy (as some have said). This latter point shows up as at lease one person commented on having quick question and very few scenarios. To complete a 4hr test in 2hrs and pass is ludicrous. This should not be possible if other people found insufficient time to complete. I mean 50% of allocated time. Something was wrong here. I posted earlier and am not ashamed to say I failed and I'm not griping about failing. I gave it my best shot on the day and thought I had performed a lot better than expected. What I do take issue with is that the level of difficulty of an individual exam from candiate to candidate should be the same, otherwise the test is meaningless. I completed all sections, but the number of long scenarios made it vitually impossible to Comprehend them all in the allotted time. I AM GREATFULL to MS for providing the 240 exam but base upon what we see here and the low pass rate (even for those of you who know your stuff - maybe I don't) something was wrong in the format and Microsoft will need to review it before using it again.

I ask again how do people know they failed only one out of 4 units??

Having failed 240 I took 2KPro the following week and passed. Like most people it was towards the end of the year and getting re-motivated to take the rest of the set is really hard. And unlike most - I have to pay for them all myself, no large corporate behind me. I question whether its worth it, but I know I would not have my current position if I were not an NT4 MCSE.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Scott Weaver Little Rock, AR

I am a MCT at a CTEC center. The last two weeks of December was crowded in the testing center with everyone trying to get this test taken. As individuals passed (7 out of 39), I asked them what they used to study for this test. I got answers any where from ILT to Microsoft Press to braindumps, but the one thing every one that passed had in common was "I've been working with Windows 2000.". This is the key to passing any Microsoft test. Work with the product.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 R UK

It is very interesting to read comments from different countries about MCSE status - I am amazed that MCSE seems to be valued by employers - people should come to the UK where MCSE is a pejorative to the big corporates recruiting at the lower level. I am NT 4.0 MCSE who took 70-240 and have been offered a retake 70-240 by Microsoft as there were errors in the original exam taken last year. I didn't think that many of the questions were spectacularly difficult although that's not to say I would have passed or will pass. This would depend on where the passing score has been fixed. The main thing was the gruelling nature of the exam. The surprise was that it was four exams back to back- I expected it to be one section. As for the exam versus experience I agree that the whole thing is much enhanced by working commercially with the technology, otherwise some crucial elements are going to be pretty meaningless. I have actually enjoyed parts of the certification process and found the material stimulating - especially 2000 and AD. On the other hand I can take it or leave it. If I fail 70-240 then I do not think I will take the separate exams. This is mainly because I see no connection between certification and career opportunity/advancement. If I pass I might take the additional elective required for W2k MCSE because this is a good value offer to NT 4.0 MCSEs with IIS and TCP/IP. However, I expect to quit IT completely within the next year whatever and go and do something more worthwhile - has been fascinating though - thanks Microsoft for the NT 4.0 MCSE and extending the validity of the certification - means a lot.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Halburton PlumDisgusted

I have no interest in wasting either my or the company's money on the MCSE. It has lost any semblance of value in my mind. I'm not willing to keep spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars just so Microsoft can put another hoop in front of me every couple of years. I am deeply grateful that you do not require continued certification as a prerequisite for employment, I'm just fed up with MicroMooks dicking around with my career.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Sven Andre Model London

I found that it was rather annoying having to confirm that you are really,really finnished writing the exam 3 times over. Especially as I was running a bit short on time. I am pretty sure that I at least past two out of the four exams. I just wish that I was able to retake the exam.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 George Boulder, CO

Really, really, really angry! I had been working with W2K for over a year, and, in fact, had installed a production native AD network before taking the test. I studied hard and long. Test day => one word: "Sorry." Not an indication of where I had failed. Not an indication of margin of failure. Nothing. It really seems to me that Microsoft set us up for failure. After all, they make a lot more money in courses, tests and related materials if we have to take all 4 tests. Not giving any results prevents any of us from auditing them, too. The odd part about the test is that the questions, although expectedly sneaky, were mainstream and I felt I knew the answers. Does failing the test mean I'm a bad MCSE? I don't think so. Has Microsoft shown no respect for me as a professional. You bet! I hate you for this, Microsoft!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I liked 240, it was simple and straight forward. Of course I deployed the product in a medium environment for a year (since its release) and studied for 3 weeks. Moving to a pass/fail system sucks for a multitude of reasons, mostly becuase we used it to determine who bought the first round at the pub. Just becuase MS didn't keep their promise to make the MCSE mean anything (the new 2K exams are way to simple, NT 4 not retiring, etc) I think the MCSE W2K will be my last cert from MS.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Art Morrison NC

I took the 240 and passed. I studied for almost 6 months till I had it down cold. I built a small 2000 network in the house and ran all kinds of projects. Just to find out that Microsoft was un-retiring the NT 4.0 track. What a crock

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 David UK

As Jim said, I didn't waste my time. I find learning and doing the MCSE track, very hard. The mutli choice format is so far removed from my day to day. At least the sims in the IIS 4 exam were about using the product, but that seems even to have gone. The no score issue for me is a massive blow, I usally have little idea as to whether how well I did on these tests and to get just a pass or fail response is no help to me. It should be a choice between the test taker and Microsoft as to whether to get a score report. I have half the win2k track but am now in no rush to finish.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Ron Calif.

I'm and NT4 MCSE. So I studied BrainBuzz/Cramsession and Troytec which I though were both great in their descriptions. However, I was not even close on the exam. After an hour I just quit. Even though I wa an MCSE, I even went back to take NT4wkstn just to get the free Aceel. Exam. What a waste. Really a bad taste. Like the old college classes where you read the whole book, ready to take the test and the questions are from Mars. We are not trying to 'trick' people here, are we? Tell us the material and ask reasonable questions so we can have confidence that our 100s of hours of study and $125 per pop will get us something.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Jim Chicago

I didn't even waste my time. I will maintain at least a MCP status and persue other vendor's certifications.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous USA

I'm just mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! I've been loyal to Microsoft since BASIC was just a gleem in Bill Gates eye, worked my ass off to getting my MCSE in NT 4.0, and now I am repaid by Bill by making my hard work obsolete every f'ing year with a major operating system and certification program or three. You are out of fucking control! Period. And I will NEVER again, for as long as I live, take another Microsoft test unless an employer PAYS ME TO DO IT ALL ON COMPANY TIME.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I can see the value in dropping the exact scores on tests, but I would still like some indication of where I could improve: my suggestion is a graph by section at the test's end with 3 levels: something along the lines of "good, fair, poor", so I know where I need to improve (whether I passed or not). Maybe put the section details on a separate page so it doesn't have to be submitted to the pointy-hair managers.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 MCSE for too long Anywhere, USA

Being an MCSE, NT and failing the excellerated..... I've had to decide whether or not to continue in the certification craze... my questions? If I certify now in Win2k.... how long will it last? The perpetual study, test, study test situation is exhuasting and frustrating. I passed all the NT tests the first go around... and thought I was passing the excellerated until I clicked that last button and got "Failed" in response. I went in thinking I had a 50% chance, so I wasn't devastated by the failure.... I did study though, and wish I knew where I missed. All that said, I have worked for two government organizations since getting my MCSE and neither understood what the certification meant. When you impress and employer by showing them how to BOLD a letter in Word---why go through the hassle of certification. Let's face it... there are so many people and businesses out there that still have a hard time powering up the equipment... if that is the level of understanding... who needs the hassle and expense of certification? Big business still looks at the college credits... they don't care about certification and if they are using it at all its just to weed out those who CLAIM to have a clue from the interview process!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I found the exam to be pretty easy. I actually finished the exam in under 3 hours. I felt the 70-244 beta that I took was harder than 70-240. I started studing the night before and based the answers on basic job knowledge and comon sense.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 carpedatum ivory cave

70-240 was a joke. I tried to take it in December and was cancelled 2 times by Prometric and VUE. Finally, I think I wangled a seat but couldn't take it due to a personal tragedy.

Face it folks, Microsoft has been overrun by hordes of sophomores with sophomoric thinking and attitudes. Some have convinced Microsoft that they can wring every cent of license revenue out of their audience. Did they ever stop to think that Microsoft became wildly successful BECAUSE people copied their software?

The Certification group is no less immature. If you don't believe me, attend a Tech Week as an independent and fight to retain the documents given you if there's a shortage. FYI: Independents pay their own way, full boat, while most of the attendees attend free. So, there is a 3 tier group attending; guess who's in the bottom tier?

So, even though I didn't take the 70-240, I can imagine what it was like. No, I won't write another letter to Bill Gates over this sad state of affair.

Cheers!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

After reading a few posts, I must say I agree that passing students should just get a PASS. However, I spent time studying for the test and spent 3 hours in a room answering questions for a four word reply on a piece of paper? Microsoft could have used this test as a perfect opportunity to motivate 4.0 MCSE's to recertify..."I passed three of the four, so maybe I'll go ahead and recertify" could have been the words coming out of my mouth after the test. Instead, it's "FAIL, huh? Well, I probably didn't come very close (although who the hell knows), so I guess I'll just stick with the 4.0 cert for now. No sense in putting more effort into it unless I know I've got a fighting chance to pass these things quickly and efficiently" Good riddance. I got my CCNP instead and will forever be grateful at Microsoft's blunder.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Dan Des Moines

The 70-240 exam is another testament to the total inadequacy and ultimate irrelevence of ALL Microsoft exams. Take as evidence most of the postings on this site. "I passed by setting up a network at home ...." "I studied for six months..." Anyone who cares to can become MCSE certified in W2K in less than a month with a few visits to braindumb, er braindump, sites. I don't condone it, but call it out as the ultimate proof the Microsoft and other industry exams are pointless. Experience is what it takes in the real world. I also base this keen observation on the many incompetent students that pass through my classes as I am an instructor and MCT.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Jim Baltimore

I fail to see the reason for the uproar regarding the change in grading format. As a member of the IT community for 8 years, I can honestly say that I have never seen an instance there grades counted. In an interview, all the employer wants to know is whether or not you passed. As one of the techs who passed the exam, all I can say is that, after 5 months of studying, the Congratulations on the score report was enough. The only use for numbered scores is for bragging rights.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Mark Pomerleau Helena, MT

Let's just start by saying I didn't pass the exam. I probably wouldn't be griping if I had. I'm pretty sure it was close, and I'll study a little more and pass the four tests this Spring. No big deal.

But the lack of score and study goals made me angry. I've been taking certification tests for over a decade now. I've recieved certifications from Novell, Cisco, ComTIA, even the FAA, and none of them has the gall to withold testing results.

I had an extremely low opinion of MS before I took this test. It's certainly NOT improved now. My decision to retain my MCSE certification is market driven, nothing more. If there were acceptable alternatives to thier shoddy, bloated and unreliable products, I would be installing them now.

Sometimes I feel like an old-hand auto-mechanic who has watched as the market came to be dominated by Yugo.

Perhaps I've just become cynical about it all, but I don't feel that this type of heavy handed and yes, monopolistic, behavior is simply going to continue unabated. MS has no reason to change.

So, whatever. Thanks for the opportunity to rant.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Spanky CA

I studied a whopping 10 hours and failed. Go figure. Pro and Server were easy but I crashed on the other 2. I knew I wasnt ready but I waited till the last minute and it showed. Now it will cost me $500 for the same tests. I would liked to have known the scores but typical MS. The max study time for any of the tests should be 40-80 hours with experience on the product. If it takes you 6 months to study for a test, then change careers!!! There's enough paper MCSE's that screw things up for the rest of us!!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 John NYC

It appears to me that many folks are missing a key point here. This exam was given as a free chance to advance toward MCSE 2000. If you passed, great. If you failed, move on. I see from many of the posts here why MS decided not to give scores. If they told you that you had passed 3 sections and failed only one, what would we be hearing now? I can tell you. We would be hearing a lot of whining....."why do I have to take all 4 tests when I only failed one section?" The fact is that those who understood the material and put in the time AND effort most likely passed. To those who missed out on this chance, just take what you learned from this exam and go for the 4 individual tests. Yes, it sucks but life is not always fair and it's how we deal with our failures that is the true measure of a person. We should all know from experience with computers that you can do the right thing 9 times only to have it work on the tenth try for no apparent reason other than the "gods of computerdom" were smiling that time. So good luck to all in whatever direction you decide to turn. ..........Ps. In case you are wondering, yes I was one of the lucky few who passed.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

First off - the accelerated exam was not that hard. I passed based on REAL WORLD experience - nothing more. I do not think that there should be a policy to allow a retest of only the modules failed. I think any new composite exam should use the same principles as 70-240. If you fail - you take all the core exams by themselves. Otherwise people will use the composite exams as shortcuts. As for the pass/fail changes - I think that is a good move. If you take an exam, and don't know what your own weak points are by the time your done (or before even taking the exam), then there is a problem. I also think it will eliminate those people who score a 100% on a certain section and all of the sudden think they are experts because they answered 5 or 6 questions correctly. Those are the ones I welcome into my world so I can show them just how much they don't know. Pass or fail - that's all that matters! If you need a graph or statistic at the end of an exam - so you can see for yourself how much you know - then you are relying on Microsoft and the exam too much for feedback. You should KNOW how much you know, from real world experience and working in your own labs. It shouldn't take a score on the report for you to be able to sit back and say - yeah, I know 2000! You should be saying that before you ever go sit through the exam in the first place.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

As a 240 failue, I would have at least liked a breakdown of what exam I failed. I assume that it was the last, 217 in my series since that was the only one I ran out of time on. I hope I did well on the other 3 since I spent a total of 35 minutes (after a review) on each. 217 kicked my A__. While I don't care what my score was, I would still like to know a breakdown of what I really screwed up on. I'm pretty sure, but without the feedback, it's really anyones guess. I would stll like to see exam combined though. It would be nice to do workstation and server at the same time, because most of us are going to anyway, we just have to pay for two exams instead of just one.

Ooooohhhh! Excuse e, I have to buy some more M$ stock.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Banditio Earth

Now that the exam is done and over with, it is time to reveal the statistics . . . How many passed, hot many failed, what percentages per section. Not only that, MS should reveal all THEIR correct answers for all the retired exams, so we can go back and see once and for all, what their reasoning was, if any.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I don't mind that the paper is printed without a score, but I would like to see on the screen how I did on what area.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 RagenaB NM, USA

I also am disappointed with Jim... why be so judgemental? Many people had to take the NT exams more than once to pass (I passed the first time on all of them) so why would this one be different? I failed the excellerated and was very disappointed because I felt good about my answers as I went and had time to re-read all the questions to be sure I had answered with what I felt was the correct answer. I was very disappointed in the report I received because it did not explain where I failed. Although there seem to be some reasons for not giving scores.. I would have liked to see mine

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous COlorado

Anne Marie McSweeney did you ever go to college? I would doubt it by the new testing procedures. How would you have liked it to take a class and at the end of class the professor give you an exam and grades it and then says congrats or fail, end of class. Boy, this excellent way to learn. You are holding the wrong title it should have to do with marketing and nothing to do with learning. FEEDBACK IS PART OF LEARNING! Do you remember the phrase "Check for understanding" or did you ever have anything to do with learning. You are clueless....

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Colorado

Anne Marie McSweeney did you ever go to college? I would doubt it by the new testing procedures. How would you have liked it to take a class and at the end of class the professor give you an exam and grades it and then says congrats or fail, end of class. Boy, this excellent way to learn. You are holding the wrong title it should have to do with marketing and nothing to do with learning. FEEDBACK IS PART OF LEARNING! Do you remember the phrase "Check for understanding" or did you ever have anything to do with learning. You are clueless....

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Philly

The passed with an hour to spare. The test didn't seem hard. I had work on 2000 beta before and I did perform many implemenation projects for Windows 2000. I told a lot of my friends to take the exam and they were scared. I believe that exam was used to eliminate the paper NT 4.0 MCSEs in the beginning but it backfired Microsoft they were pressured to keep NT 4 certs. I currently finishing my Cisco CCNP and I planning to stict to other certs instead of MCSE in the future since it has lost its value. I have been working in this field for 8 yrs and I have many certs and I am discourage by the quality of the MCSE 2000. I have been an MCSE since 3.51.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 strangerq la

re: People need to quit bickering at Microsoft for changing things around so much since it oftentimes is their bickering that causes>>>>>>>>>>>

That's no excuse, but you may have a point, the msce program has deteriorated so badly that complaints
at this point may just amount to p*ssing in the wind.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Well I only have one thing to say. People need to quit bickering at Microsoft for changing things around so much since it oftentimes is their bickering that causes the issues the MCSE certification now has. Also, I liked the 240 format becuase it forced me to study and make sure I knew my stuff. The test is like game day and ultimately you are either prepared or you are not. Not just in technical knowledge, but in comprehension, test-taking skills and such. It was a tough test. Thankfully I passed however some of the folks in the class did not. What was interesting was that some of those folks were the ones that seemed like they knew all the answers. I learned through this experience that reagrdless of technical knowledge, this is still a taest and the reality is you have to have solid test taking skills to pass. It may not be the best way but it certainly makes passing it more rewardable since the challenge is greater. Ultimately, test taking is reality and you have to prepare for every aspect of it whether we like it or not.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Greg Taylor North Carolina

The 240 exam was fortunately a good experience for me - I spent 8 months studying , and being unemployed during that time due to the rotten economy gave me all the time necessary to prepare - I agree to a point on the pass / fail issue , however , it would be nice to get some feedback on where your strengths and weaknesses are on a particular exam , so you can try to improve in those areas - Cheers !

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Here's the deal; if you don't show the scores, how can the takers have any way to know if the test was rigged or not? In my company, we had 4 people attempt the accelerated exam, and NONE passed. How well did we do? We don't know. How badly did we do? We don't know.

We all studied more for it than any other tests we'd ever taken. As a matter of fact, one guy failed the accelerated, but the NEXT DAY, passed the 2k Pro exam, and the next week, passed the 2k Server exam with no further studying. What this shows is not that he messed up the other portions of his tests (because he knows that just as well), but that MS wanted more money from taking the individual exams.

At the testing center, I asked how many people the exam person there had seen pass. She told me that she had at least a thousand people come to take the test, and had approximately 10 people pass it. Does this mean that the other 99% of the people didn't study or know how to work with Win2k? I think not.

I'm not pursuing any MS certs anymore, unless my boss forces it upon me. I'm sticking with Cisco exams. Their cert tracks can be more geared toward what you want to do, are more vendor neutral (though not entirely), and have always been fair. I'm a CCNP and a CCDA having NEVER had issues with the way the tests were done. I'm working on my specialist designations now, but will move on toward CCIE later. Screw the MCSE track.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Ben Albany

Having passed the 70-240, I can say that it was indeed difficult, but not impossible. That should be the goal of any effective testing system. The decision to go to a pass/fail scoring system though is not among my favorite. I work in a sheltered community (military), so I haven't seen the reported "hiring by score". I think it creates a great deal of personal pride when you see that score come up and you know that you "ACED" an exam. Also, gives some incentive to work on different areas if you see that you are weak in a particular product. Microsoft is starting to sound like the public school system with 'social promotions'.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 steve Gren Bay

I knew it would be a hard and involved exam and it was. I also took breaks between each exam, usually with 3 minutes left in the exam. I milked the server study guide book for 4 months and I just couldnt get motivated to dig into all the material. After I scheduled the exam 2 weeks in advance, I cramed the directory and network portion. This with 6 months of hands on a small development network at work helped me pass the exam.

I was going to take the Server exam then the accelerated to get "practice" and it is another test taking stratagey but Time took its toll. Congradulations to all who attempted the exam, that was a hurdle in itself. As you know, there is still a lot more studying and exams to take. Good Luck!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 John W Phoenix, AZ

I normally study about a week for an exam. 70-240 took 4 intense weeks. The material wasn't difficult, it was the overwhelming volume of material. The test wasn't hard - passed in under 2 hours, but I would not be keen to take another behemoth test like that again. I would have rather had 3 tests. Had I failed, I would much rather have to take the "full" test on only the section failed, NOT all 4 tests. That's insult to injury!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Mike VA Beach

Kudos to Doug from Montreal "The 240 should have shown 4 seperate pass/fails at the end of the overall exam." I took the 70-240 and am not ashamed to say that I failed it. I thought that 1 or 2 sections were difficult but I think they should have at least told me which portion of the exam I failed. I don't care if they score me or not but it WAS 4 tests in 1 and there should be a pass/fail score for each one. As far as the debate on employers looking at passing scores, that is utterly moronic. First of all the official Microsoft transcript does not list scores and for your employer to ask what you got is unethical. Someone said that some employers will not hire you unless you scored higher that a 900! That employer would never have known my score because it would not be seen on my resume or communicated to them in any way. Not to mention the fact that high scores do not mean that you make for a better IT pro and who wants to twork for someone he believes that?!? I am not complaining that I failed the test and I will eventually pass the four individual exams some time in the future but Microsoft seems to change there minds so often about the "Certicication rules" it is ridiculous. They make a decision that everyone complains about (except the people that it doesn't affect) and then they change there minds. Can't they listen to the IT world FIRST and then make a decision and STICK with it?

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Mike VA Beach

Kudos to Doug from Montreal "The 240 should have shown 4 seperate pass/fails at the end of the overall exam." I took the 70-240 and am not ashamed to say that I failed it. I thought that 1 or 2 sections were difficult but I think they should have at least told me which portion of the exam I failed. I don't care if they score me or not but it WAS 4 tests in 1 and there should be a pass/fail score for each one. As far as the debate on employers looking at passing scores, that is utterly moronic. First of all the official Microsoft transcript does not list scores and for your employer to ask what you got is unethical. Someone said that some employers will not hire you unless you scored higher that a 900! That employer would never have known my score because it would not be seen on my resume or communicated to them in any way. Not to mention the fact that high scores do not mean that you make for a better IT pro and who wants to twork for someone he believes that?!? I am not complaining that I failed the test and I will eventually pass the four individual exams some time in the future but Microsoft seems to change there minds so often about the "Certicication rules" it is ridiculous. They make a decision that everyone complains about (except the people that it doesn't affect) and then they change there minds. Can't they listen to the IT world FIRST and then make a decision and STICK with it?

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Guy Heaton UK

I still don't understand the problem here. The exam was free - noone forced anyone to take it. If you failed then at least you had done some of the revision towards the four core. I'd be quite happy to do a similar exam in the future.
It's geurrilla, not gorilla by the way, nothing to do with throwing bananas at each other.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Adil TX

All that waste of time and money, and raise the number of MR.Bill's Accounts.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Wolfgang Germany

I think, it was so easy to get the MCSE title in the past and it was really necessary to increase the requirements. Maybe to put four different objectives into one Accelerated wasn't the best way, but it was the fastest way for existing NT4-MCSEs. However, the new small number of W2k-MCSEs in Europe is good for the quality on the market.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Herb Florida

I agree with Scott from CA with regards to Microsoft not being in tune with what is out in the real world. I especially do not care for this umbrella statement "psychometrically sound". Microsoft has used this to encapsulate what was truly "gorilla warfare" in terms of pressuring the MCSE community into Windows 2000 certification. The bone Microsoft gave us with a “One Chance Beats All” mentality just gave the IT community more evidence that Microsoft does not give it’s own Engineering Degree much credo.

I think Microsoft has at least tried to “grandfather” past WinNT4 performance into something for us WinNT4 MCSE’s by giving us some slack and crediting some of our electives into wins. If this was their way of acknowledging the MCSE IT community for our work then “thank you”.

For those of us less fortunate to be in a fat IT department who has a budget to send people to expensive training classes or for those of us who really put in our 50 hours a week maintaining networks, the “One Chance Beats All” was a tough run and in some cases the only way to run. I congratulate my fellow IT professionals who survived the beast. It was a fair exam but forced on us with only one way out, pass. I elected to go the separate route as I felt there are many new concepts and issues related to AD. Having passed the separates and self studied, I feel I am prepared with the amount of new concepts related to the entire Win2k arena as I took the time to study them individually.
I am in agreement with regards to scoring the current tests on a percentage as this in some cases has led to hiring issues. With the turn of the new year upon us, we are now facing the XP challenge already. Good luck to everyone.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 D-men Belgium

The exam was hard but fair (i think). However not so easy if your not used to work with english as your native language. That combined with the typical M$ questions and the time pressure... I did have insufficient time to complete each block, got to guess 2 or 3 questions due to lack of time. btw failed the examen 240 however i passed each exam afterwards easy (little or no studying). M$ has to take an example to cisco certification, hard to earn but so valuable in business. Believe me there are no 'Paper' Cisco certifications.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 RPieroth Germany

I agree to Jim from SA Australia. I passed also and didn't found it too hard. Much more harder was the core elective exam 70-219 I took last week (also passed ist). The change to pass/fail is allright because now no chief can split MCP's/MCSE's to "good" (with result about 90%) and "worse" (with result about 75%-85%). But also it would be much better after an exam to get a second sheet out of the printer which shows you the themes where you've had problems...

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Harold Jensen The Netherlands

I just moved here from Japan, my only complaint is the test was not available to me in Japan in english. I only wish Microsoft had extended the Time to take it.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Forget it Microsoft

Did not take the 70-240, I am taking individual exams. Felt I would fail the 70-240 after hearing everyone was failing and no retries. Usually pass exams on first try.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Joe London

I'd love to know how many people ordered the free voucher but then did not take the test. I was one of these, I was studying hard anyway (I like W2K and want to learn about it) but I just decided "enough is enough" and did not book an exam slot.The whole vendor certification circus (not just MS) has just gotten old, if your job depends on it well OK you're stuck but really I just don't think it works any more. I'm tired of being told my MCSE is worthless after I studied my nuts off, I sometimes feel "McDonalds Certified Food Specialist" would have bought me more respect than being MCSE did :)

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Joe Proctor Lexington, KY

Eliminating scores is a way of battling braindumps. Dumps tell you the number of questions and the passing score. People could simply figure out the right number of questions to memorize, and then pass the test. Without a known score, people can't memorize their way to a cert. It's hard on real-deal people though. Punish the majority for a few people's bad actions.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Guy Heaton UK

It's simple - if you had studied hard enough for this exam you would have passed it. Stop complaining. I revised as if I was taking the 4 individual exams. I passed. The exam was not hard, just long. It was good to have it all done and not have to slog through 4 individual ones.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

Guys, we should not be sending postings that depict that if someone had failed 70-240, then it automatically means he/she is just another "paper MCSE weeded out." That is blatantly unfair. We had even seasoned MCTs and MCSEs who support complex network environments failing that exam. These people had lots of experience, knew what was coming and prepared themselves well for it. But we all know that preparing well is no guarantee of success.


Since even a borderline failure in one section of 70-240 meant failing the whole paper and with the no retake policy in force, Microsoft had "weeded out" these great guys and subsequently lost significant WIN2K/XP/.NET market opportunities.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Anon Austin

I was unhappy as well with the lack of notification from MS. I only receieved letters in the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately I was out of the country in a place where internet access was VERY limited. Obviously this is not enough time. Also I did not recieve ANY info from MS that the MCT process would cost MORE than a NEW MCT to renew an old MCT. Sad... I was actually told by a supervisor that I was being "punished" for not renewing in a timely manner. This attitude I find to be VERY unacceptable. Esp since I had just installed close to 500K in MS software the month before.
I have found MS seems to treat developers in a more respectful matter. Perhaps Anne needs to talk to the people in that department and pick up some pointers.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 John P Marshall Scotland

Microsoft have the "arm-lock". The temptation to execise power without authority must be overwhelming. They succumb regularly.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 David Australia

I'd like to know how Anikeh Inuk Nukh from inunkh nuk knows that only one module wa failed. This information is not available on your test report - mores the pity.
I'm one of the 80-90% who failed the 70-240 exam. I put over 6 months of training/reading and simulations on a Home NT4/W2K AD Enterprise model (no facilities in the workplace) and attended training centre courses. I am currently a NT4 MCSE.
I am most put out by the fact that I have no way of knowing where my knowledge has failed me. It is preposterous to suggest that the Whole of the W2K encycopedia be re-read and studied if only one module was failed. How can this be done what with 50-60hr working weeks, family and home duties, not to metion trying to have some relaxing leisure time!! Yes Whats That!.
A score would help me work out what areas to concentrate (not exclusively). After all isn't this what we do in the real world to solve problems.
Re-take of Modules to me would be perfect. After all the reduce module test time was due to already proven skills. This has not been eliminated just because the module was failed!!
When taking the test I could have failed the first module, who knows? This meant If I did, I sat there for an additional 3 hours with no prospect of passing. How silly is that!

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Zoran Anonymous

It seems to me that 70-240 was easier than separate tests. I only had one or two situation type questions. Most of the questions were single-answer type.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Martin England

First -thanks to Jim from SA Australia - a ver sensitive comment! I studied very hard for the exam as I'm sure most people did. It would have been a good idea for Microsoft to let all us failures retake the Accelerated. Why not what have they to loose - except the purchase of training, books and exam fees?
I have been de-motivated by the process and may not bother with 2000 certification at all now.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 AWH London

Does it really matter

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Razvan Romania

I still consider the decision of not showing scores as a very good one. It is enough to know only if you passed or not. By the way, what help could you get from the accelerated exam's score? There wasn't another chance to try it. And, for the management, it should be enough this result (pass/fail). Anyway, I studied for two months only and passed. It should be the work experience. I really work as NT specialist.

Fri, Jan 25, 2002 Qamar Pakistan

I just read the comments, WOW, thats astonishing for me, I did't knew how hard it was to pass 70-240. I am preparing thirds paper for MCSE2K core. I am lucky I didt had NT.4 certification, its unfair for the candidates if they were having only one chance to appear. My congratulations for who passed and I can only wish Good Luck for those who tried but didt succeed.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Victor Kozlov Latvia(IT Infrastructure Systems Integrator)

I've pass this exam. At the last day of the possibility at the test center to take this exam. Before 070-240 I'v passed W2kP and W2kServer and 2times failed Network Infrastructure Exam (it is Amaizingly hard exam, all other - simply nothing in comparison). So, I had only 3 days to prepare for 70-240: i used Cramsession from Brainbuzz.com. (I have an experience installing ,planning and configuring W2k Environment that includes 6 severs connected via WAN and located in different Countries) . So, I was disappointed with 70-240... it is too EASY, but too LONG... it is much harder to pass each exam form W2k track , than to pass 70-240.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous France

I try to pass the exam and i work hard for it... When i pass it in the test center a guy do the fall of the vga plug!!! And i find a question which the answer doesn't match with the picture and i show it to the test supervisor. She says it's not her problem!!!! And the final: i fail and no score displaying!!! I thank you Microsoft!!!
I send a mail to the testing center and no answer.....
I have work 1 month an d 15 days for this!!!!
The score even you fails it the minimum!!!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Shaktimaan San Francisco

The fact that you couldn't retake the sections, or the entire test itself was very inflexible. Microsoft shot itself in the foot with this one and does not have very many people who passed this test -- many very capable engineers. So, unfortunately, we all have to start over from scratch. The base of people certified on W2K is low and it is going to be even harder to get people to start over from scratch and then to go through it again and to re-certify on .net. It's all changing so fast that not even competent people can keep up. Prices on testing went up too, which doesn't help. Something should be done to allow more fairness in terms of retakes.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Shaktimaan San Francisco

The fact that you couldn't retake the sections, or the entire test itself was very inflexible. Microsoft shot itself in the foot with this one and does not have very many people who passed this test -- many very capable engineers. So, unfortunately, we all have to start over from scratch. The base of people certified on W2K is low and it is going to be even harder to get people to start over from scratch and then to go through it again and to re-certify on .net. It's all changing so fast that not even competent people can keep up. Prices on testing went up too, which doesn't help. Something should be done to allow more fairness in terms of retakes.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Doug Louisville

Hasnuddin Hamadan hit the nail right on the head. Many 4.0 MCSE's aren't bothering to upgrade right now. They feel they've been bullied into upgrading their cert by Microsoft instead of being given a valid, challenging reason to upgrade that rewards them. Microsoft has got to get off the "upgrade or die" scene that it follows with a "gee, we didn't mean that". I expect a higher level of professionalism and a little less "Gee, we're God" attitude from one of the leading companies in the world. I'm 2K qualified and taking the MCSA test today because I teach, but I like to think of myself as a team member with Microsoft, not a slave to the latest corporate B.S. put out.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I find all of your comments quite interesting. I have been through this many times before in the past. We were not allowed to waiver any exams in upgrading from windows nt 3.5 to windows nt 3.51, or from windows nt 3.51 to windows nt 4.0. Those familiar with the Novell certification process have been familiar for years with their answer to the problem of upgrading from one rev to the next. Novell had a single exam to upgrade from netware 3.x to 4.x, and from netware 4.x to 5.x. The single exam answer begs the question of how much new knowledge is required for that particular revision of software. Over the years it has become apparent that Microsoft is interested in the marketing-driven responses more than certification requirement/education driven. The certification of Exchange 4.0 to 5.0 was rediculous; as was the rev requirement of Exchange 5.0 to 5.5. The new cert for Exchange 2k is realistic. But no one can explain the purpose for certifying on the "design" of Exchange product (70-228). There are other intersesting features of Microsoft's non-educationally driven perspective. Microsoft Certified Partners are STILL required to rev their certified people to Win2k certification status or bye-bye partnership branding. On the flipside, CTECs are no longer required to have or obtain product-certified trainers. you have to be a mct, and a mcse, but now you can teach anything. Please enjoy your future in a CTEC where the trainer is Win2k certified, oh, and he/she is teaching you SQL 2000. No problem. I just wanted to personally thank Anne Marie McSweeney for single-handedly destroying an entire industry of contract trainers, training institutions, and vendors supporting thousands of contract positions annually. The topper is Microsoft's demand for annual dues from the MCT's, and some false form of continuing education requirement of the MCT's that is, in reality, bogus. This certification program is inconsistent and obviously subjective. How come the MCSE never sounded as good as the CCIE?

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Wade Maryland, USA

For 9 months I studied hard for the Accelerated exam. Recently I was disapointed to have earned a failing grade. I was even more disappointed to not recieve a measure by which to score my results in the 4 seperate areas. I'm absolutely sure I passed 3 of 4 test modules but found myself at hour 3 not caring much about hour 4's questions anymore. Honestly, I knew a very large partion of the test and since I have have been running large scale MS & Novell networks for the past 9 years now (yes, succesfully) I have no fear that what I missed in those last few questions was anything I have not (at some point) already been exposed to... It was simply too long a test and I had read enough information since only 2 of mine were less than 3 paragrphs long. It's too long a period to sacrifice not have been properly been graded on.

For the 11 months prior to my "official" 9 month study period for this certification, I devoted 4 hours minimum every evening after work to setting up and running a 10 pc "test" networking environment. That network is now a working network and houses 4 websites and network printing, certificate and terminal services. It houses NAT services, RAS, VPN, e-commerce and a large database driven by clustered Raid 5 servers working at gigabit ethernet speed. At work, I'm 1 of 3 top county LAN/WAN admins running a 10,000 pc school network. I have some incredible daily "testing" environments as you might guess.

Having integrated my own "home" pc's into an NT4 server (2 - pdc-bdc), XP Pro (2), Novell 5.1 servers.. clustered (2), 2000 Adv. Server (2 clustered), 2000 Server (1), 2000 Pro Desktops (3) and Win 98 (1) for legacy, while using a mix of Exchange 2000 and Groupwise 6 for messaging, having Enterprise AV packages and running this network at 5-9's for over a year now across broadband with multiple WAN sites linked in where I remotely micro-manage 2 other small business networks... I'd say I had an advantage over most test-takers- still test scores don't lie... or do they (since they don't tell either who knows). I don't suppose Microsoft would accept from any of us that, "while we knew the answers of the test... we weren't going to divulge them but instead we would just rate the questions as a whole as being worthy or not as being the "right" questions.... probably wouldn't have gotten a good nod from Mr Bill?

Anyway, had I passed the 3 of the 4 modules (which I really had 90% of those 3 down correctly) I would have had a lot more enthusiasm for going through with the (then 3) more tests I would have needed for MCSE. Now that I need 6 more tests to get there!! Just so you know, prior to training for this certification I had in 16 months passed and earned 11 certifications including MCSE for NT4, CNA, CCNA, Master CIW, and Comptia's A+, Net+ and i-Net+.

However, since I stopped all other studying - which included a Master CNE track (which I was 4 tests done towards) ... I find myself now wondering if MCSE 2000 or the old "throw the dog an MCSA" trick you're trying to pull off, could possibly be worth such a cost. Having used the official MS curriculum for my Accel. Exam (for once) and having scored in the high 80's and 90's consistently in all modules I felt good about going to the exam. Beleive me those fleeting moments of self assuredness are not all too common before heading into a test, but I've obviously been there and done that. Even though I also had full access to (and used) the Exam Prep, Transcender and Self Test Software series modules, as well as having read the New Riders workbooks and Minsais series on the 4 cores... where I also scored high in the 80's to 90's consistently on the test modules I failed to meet the mark.

Sure, one might speculate that not all scores tabulated for every test taker correctly (unless of course they ran on Microsoft network's?) but who's splitting hair's here? I know I missed the 1 module on global Ip issues (thanks for saving the best for last!) - troubleshooting global subnetting issues over WAN links never really has been my thing. Still I knew enough to get CCNA, whether that's good or not is up for grabs. I digress.

Basically, I wonder what in the hell I was thinking about.... putting my Master CNE on hold for this? Anna... thanks for the wake up call, it might have been a hard way in getting here but at least I see the light. It's Big, it's Red and it's blinking a big "N" and it's calling me home.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Wade Maryland

For 9 months I studied hard for the Accelerated exam. Recently I was disapointed to have earned a failing grade. I was even more disappointed to not recieve a measure by which to score my results in the 4 seperate areas. I'm absolutely sure I passed 3 of 4 test modules but found myself at hour 3 not caring much about hour 4's questions anymore. Honestly, I knew a very large partion of the test and since I have have been running large scale MS & Novell networks for the past 9 years now (yes, succesfully) I have no fear that what I missed in those last few questions was anything I have not (at some point) already been exposed to... It was simply too long a test and I had read enough information since only 2 of mine were less than 3 paragrphs long. It's too long a period to sacrifice not have been properly been graded on.

For the 11 months prior to my "official" 9 month study period for this certification, I devoted 4 hours minimum every evening after work to setting up and running a 10 pc "test" networking environment. That network is now a working network and houses 4 websites and network printing, certificate and terminal services. It houses NAT services, RAS, VPN, e-commerce and a large database driven by clustered Raid 5 servers working at gigabit ethernet speed. At work, I'm 1 of 3 top county LAN/WAN admins running a 10,000 pc school network. I have some incredible daily "testing" environments as you might guess.

Having integrated my own "home" pc's into an NT4 server (2 - pdc-bdc), XP Pro (2), Novell 5.1 servers.. clustered (2), 2000 Adv. Server (2 clustered), 2000 Server (1), 2000 Pro Desktops (3) and Win 98 (1) for legacy, while using a mix of Exchange 2000 and Groupwise 6 for messaging, having Enterprise AV packages and running this network at 5-9's for over a year now across broadband with multiple WAN sites linked in where I remotely micro-manage 2 other small business networks... I'd say I had an advantage over most test-takers- still test scores don't lie... or do they (since they don't tell either who knows). I don't suppose Microsoft would accept from any of us that, "while we knew the answers of the test... we weren't going to divulge them but instead we would just rate the questions as a whole as being worthy or not as being the "right" questions.... probably wouldn't have gotten a good nod from Mr Bill?

Anyway, had I passed the 3 of the 4 modules (which I really had 90% of those 3 down correctly) I would have had a lot more enthusiasm for going through with the (then 3) more tests I would have needed for MCSE. Now that I need 6 more tests to get there!! Just so you know, prior to training for this certification I had in 16 months passed and earned 11 certifications including MCSE for NT4, CNA, CCNA, Master CIW, and Comptia's A+, Net+ and i-Net+.

However, since I stopped all other studying - which included a Master CNE track (which I was 4 tests done towards) ... I find myself now wondering if MCSE 2000 or the old "throw the dog an MCSA" trick you're trying to pull off, could possibly be worth such a cost. Having used the official MS curriculum for my Accel. Exam (for once) and having scored in the high 80's and 90's consistently in all modules I felt good about going to the exam. Beleive me those fleeting moments of self assuredness are not all too common before heading into a test, but I've obviously been there and done that. Even though I also had full access to (and used) the Exam Prep, Transcender and Self Test Software series modules, as well as having read the New Riders workbooks and Minsais series on the 4 cores... where I also scored high in the 80's to 90's consistently on the test modules I failed to meet the mark.

Sure, one might speculate that not all scores tabulated for every test taker correctly (unless of course they ran on Microsoft network's?) but who's splitting hair's here? I know I missed the 1 module on global Ip issues (thanks for saving the best for last!) - troubleshooting global subnetting issues over WAN links never really has been my thing. Still I knew enough to get CCNA, whether that's good or not is up for grabs. I digress.

Basically, I wonder what in the hell I was thinking about.... putting my Master CNE on hold for this? Anna... thanks for the wake up call, it might have been a hard way in getting here but at least I see the light. It's Big, it's Red and it's blinking a big "N" and it's calling me home.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Sancho India

I too agree with the pass fail system because the scores may not actually reflect the knowledge of the candidate and it depends on the questions he had in the exam. Some times the score is misleading

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 AGASI Azerbaijan, Baku

I prepared for 70-240 exam for few months, and could pass it. I remember, when I first time took a test, Micosoft used to give not just overall score, but even sectional scores. It was very useful for those who failed. Because they would know in which areas they are weak, and they need to learn more. I don't agree with new exam policy, I mean giving only pass/fail notification.
Back to Accelerated exam. It was too long and hard. I wonder why Microsoft doesn't prepare the exams according to the materials given in the official training kits. That's why I had to use braindumps. Actually, I don't approve this way (being braindumper).
Another my concern: if 70-240 was considered as one exam, it would be better to use overall time, not just separate times for each section. For example, I completed Pro section faster, and couldn't use or reserve the remaining time for another section, and go back.
We live in unfair world.
Your comments please.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Dennis Moxley Portland, OR

I am very disapointed in the handlng of the whole MCSE realm. I have been a NT 4 MCSE for years and a key member of an organization that is a Microsoft certified Solutions Provider. I was just told by the owner that Microsoft sent him a notice saying that my NT 4 MCSE can not be used to qualify for the next years MCSP. Is the NT 4 MCSE still valid or not??? Again MS is meandering through something and is going to wind up pushing people away from their certs.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

The learning experience is that anyone who ever spends more than a few minutes preparing for a MS exam is a fool.
The 240 wasn't a big deal I passed it and the rest of the exams to get my MCSE in Win2k only to find out that MS didn't like the number who turned out for the party so they gave out the free passes to get the numbers they need.
The MCSE to MS is nothing but another tool to manipulate to sell their product, nothing more.
Look for Your MCSE in the bottom of a cracker jacks box if it suits their needs.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Dwight Anonymous

I did not like teh pass fail score. I would have liked to have known my scores. It would allow me to know how close I was and where I need to work on getting teh certification. If an employer is judging only on the top scores they are goofing up. My goal has always been to pass teh tests not to make 100s. But knowing I made a 69 on a test instead f 35 on a test I failed helps in going back to study. Personally I don't understand why Microsoft is discontinuing so much on scores in teh MCP track and still gives teh detailed information in the MOUS track. And to me if you tell me you are MOUS certified I know you know how to use teh software, where with MCP track I know you can answer multiple choice questions. exception on MOUS is Outlook. I am certified as MCSE and MOUS master. I did not pass teh 240 exam, but this article is first I knew you had to pass each component. They should have at least told us on each component. As far as her arguments that it is sound testing to give only pass/fail on a test, is taht teh way she wanted it when she was in school, see no test grade, just teacher walk in and say you passed or failed and no detail. Microsoft is failing to keep this as a learning venture also. the testing center I took my test at also said only 13 of 100 passed.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 BL KC

The thing to remember about MS Certs is that the tests are on what MS can test you on and wants you to learn. They are heavy handed on examinining you on new code features and having them be the correct answer without giving enough background information or weighing the cost of implimenting and change. Microsoft must be sure it is expressed as an important point or feature in the manuals and courses and instructors must learn to teach what the Certification wants and not what they know. I have wasted weeks and not been taught important chapters because the instructor couldn't make it work.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 James Pollock Portland, OR

I hear a lot of complaining about the 70-240 exam. Why? You didn't pay for it, and if you failed, you have the same option to take Windows 2000 exams as everyone else, so your study time (which theoretically was job-related, not just study for the cert test with no other goal) was not wasted, only your gratification delayed. Yes, I passed it.

I don't mind not having a score, as long as it says "pass" on the bottom line. On the other hand, if it says "fail", I would like to see a breakdown of "problem areas"... the way the tests are constructed, it is very likely that even someone with a lot of experience with the product being tested still might have blind spots, because nobody uses 100% of the capabilities of any product, but the test covers every feature.

On the retirement of NT 4 MCSEs, then the unretirement of same: I got hosed more than most, because I was an MCSE+Internet before being decertified when one of the exams was retired with no replacement exam. Then I upgraded my MCSE to Windows 2000 MCSE, but get to watch all the non-updated MCSEs get to keep that title.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jim STL

I worked hard to get the MCSE only find it was going to be out dated 7 months later. I was glad when they changed that. But I don't think it was to good the way they made you take 4 exams in one and should you fail one you fail them all. It would have been more fair to take one at a time and keep what you pass and have to pay to take failed exams the second time around. What makes me think less of the whole MCSE thing is it was just a lot of work to get MCSE. Then the idea of it being retired so soon after words which turned out to be BS combined with trying to study 4 Win2k exams at once with XP already out made me decide to go to college part time instead. I think that will be better in the long run. I am gratefull that my NT4 MCSE is still good but I think if Microsoft wants people to take there certification seriously then they need to be more reasionable how they manage the program.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Brad KC

I do hardware and system failure repair. I have a NT4 MCSE, but did not take the 240 exam because none of my dozen customers have found a reason to migrate from NT4 and I do not have any W2k configuration experience. The saved e-mail certification did not save the text with the certification number, also. One site is a large, 1000+ seats, and has had several committees and consultants fail to finish several W2k migration plans and abandoned them. Their average IT administrator has 30+ years of experience and really misses the CDC mainframe.
One thing to watch for in M$ exams is that the legitimate answer that was the prefered answer in the previous version and is still supported in the current version is not the best answer by current implimentation philosophy and will be the wrong answer on the exam. Several exam reports from SMS and Exchange warn of this and the grading on these points will kill you. Security analysis has shown allowing W2k DNS, DHCP and WINS to auto assign and configure allows anything on the net, approved or not, and you don't know where that's been. They might not be authenticated to the domain, but there are a lot of W2k and other system default or hidden security holes that cross back to the domain. Networks can't allow everything to autoconfigure to a net, but that will be the correct MS answer.
Macro virus writers are unauthorized administrators that have figured out .wsh

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Cracker Raymond

I agreed Dumper. If you want to pass, you must go through some sample questions or dumps . For those who take MOC and all the Microsoft courses with reading any dumps, I salute to you. You are damn honest, you deserve to fail

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

First, I'm not only NT4 MCSE but MCT. I studied all the material that Microsoft offered on 70-240 sat the "Microsoft Official Currilumcum" "Updating Support Skills from Microsoft Windows NT to Microsoft Windows 2000" class twice, as well as three of the four Win 2k core classes. There were many questions that were not covered in any of the 2K core exams. I know several NT 4 MCSEs that are NOT updating because of the efforts of Anne Marie McSweeney. These people are also telling everyone that ask them about becomming MCSEs NOT to waste their money or time to take the tests and or the MOC classes. These people are instructing them to get the other certs and goto work for other pros.
Come on Bill, this is not a one way street Sticking it to the people that have paid a lot of money to get the necessary skills to pass the exams, and then changing the questions including the above mentioned course, smacks of fraud.

Yes, I did not pass and I know no one that did of all the people in my area.

I think it's another money making SCAM brought down on the people that supports Microsoft in a time when a lot of people would like to see it's split up or go away all togeather.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Avalanche The Rockies

Reading some of these comments has prompted my $.02.
I think the exam was difficult but fair. I studied hard and passed it in mid-December.
These comments are what bother me. It seems that IT has some of the most arrogant people on the planet and some of these comments prove it. I don't know how anyone can feel that they can judge anyone on their ability to pass an exam. We don't know what happened on test day for any person. A lot can happen in four hours. To those passers who seem to think they are the greatest because they studied for one week or one year for that matter, I say to you, Get Over Yourself! You have no right to tell someone they should learn how to study or find a new career. I certainly would not want to work on your team, which is what matters more than passing a test.
On the testing feedback, I think it would have been nice. At least a Pass/Fail on each of the tests to know what topics you should work on.
Good luck to everyone in this field.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Dumper Congo

Vast working experience and taking exam are two separate thing. You could be a damn good W2k guru yet you fail the exam. Pity you all , why not study braindumps

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Prashant Pathak New Delhi

I had passed MCSE for Windows NT 4.0, but was not able to take part in Accelerated Exam due to some reasons. Microsoft should give a chance to those people who had not given the exam but wants to take part in that. It will help to Microsoft to increase no. of MCP or MCSE in the market. So i want to say, Microsoft should give another chance to those people who wants to take the challange, not taken previously like me.
Thanks

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Ron Orange County

To Stranger from LA:
You are obviously disgruntled and looking to vent. You quoted part of my post, went on to dispute it, and ignored my reasoning of why i said that.
No wonder you are disgruntled over the test if how you handled your reply to me is any indication of how you handled the test. Poorly! :p

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anon Anon

I work at a company that offered the Microsfot Accelerated Exam. We had roughly 100 candidates. 4 people passed. I'm sorry but that is ridiculous. I didn't take it because it seemed like such a waste of time.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 PK NY

I have a hard time understanding how people could study for as long as a year preparing for this exam and still fail. I took the exam on the 31st and did not crack a book until the day after Christmas. Yes, I studied hard for those 5 days but I did not kill myself and my study materials cost less than $100. I passed the exam in just under 3 hours. I have to say that it was challenging but fair. To those who failed I say sorry but I think you might need to examine your study habits. To those who passed I say congrats and to all I say good luck in the future.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 W. A. Kuechler MCP,MCSE,M Memphis, TN

I to have passed the 70-240 exam, and one comment would be to add scores for each section. As this test could only be takes once the score could indicate which area needed improvement for the individual exams.
I spent one year and dedicated 4 systems to a WIN2k network, 2 domains 1 terminal server 1 professional.
Now play and wring out the system, what problems are encountered if the Application Terminal Server is also a Domain Controller? How about roaming profiles accross 2K and 4.0 domains. Did you have a 4.0 domain and or BDC in your test network.

Rember the recommended experience was one year in a multi-site shop. Did you have one year experience with the product ? If not why ? or did you think the 2K exams wree going to be like the 4.0 exams. I have done all my certification study the hard way, self-study without any assistance from my employer. No trancender CD, I can not afford them. Boot camps are just a dream. If you are not willing to use your own initive to learn new technoligy you do not belong in this field.

Oh by the way I do rember core memory and have spent many hours in front of a IBM 029 and when VM was called CP67 (what machine did this O/S run on ?) and vse was called DOS.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Deb Wisconsin

I earned my MCSE on NT4.0 and fretted over the upgrade exam. I chose NOT to take it, or take the Win2K courses at this time. I believe that there are many out there who opted out--the facility that I took the courses for NT4.0 saw a near zero enrollment for the Win2K classes! The idea of one shot at the upgrade exam, and the length of time it took for the exam was daunting--if Microsoft wants to do cumulative exams as this one was, then they should split them into two sessions. I am a nervous test taker, so that midway break would be ideal to just relax for a few minutes....get coffee, whatever. And if anyone out there thinks that this was not a guinea pig kind of TEST of how these exams might be used in the future, I have this great piece of swampland to sell! :)

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jen New Hampshire

I have plenty of experience, studied very hard for a few months, and passed the exam (I don't care by how much).
I had more than one of my collegues that didn't study and took it because it was free -- that skews the curve for sure. Funny how MS called it free for us but Prometric said it was valued at $1000 -- 4 tests are are only $500 nowadays - what is up with that - sounds like a tax write-off for somebody? Anyway, I'm happy to have the one shot and that I spent the time to prepare for it. I'm also glad there is no second free chance because I worked very hard for the first and only chance.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 LBIII Dayton OH

I held my MCSE for 6 years before taking the 70-240 exam. I also went through New Horizons taking the Microsoft approved prep course. I felt very well prepared for exam. I know that I was close, but got that wonderful message that I failed to achieve a passing grade.
Well that was nice. Why, did only 18% of people pass? Three guesses. Money. The certification section needs job security. Yes the test was passable. But having been a technical instructor for many years certain things were amiss. One, no feedback. Did I fail all 4 sections or??? Two. All or nothing on 4 separate tests. Someone at Microsoft should feel great for telling 82% of current workforce that they are unacceptable. By who's standards? The ivory tower. MS used win 2000 MCSE requirements to try to pressure corporate america to migrate by threatening the certifications. They failed in that also. I am done, but how many others feel same way but are silent?

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 MCSE Tom New England

After much thought, I decided not to take 70-240. It was already apparent that Windows 2000 was dead out of the box and therefore a waste of time and energy. Any company with common sense is avoiding its implementation and I have seen many new large systems using NT (for now). Then Microsoft made things even worse by launching the hideous XP (Xtra Problems). Lately, I have been helping many of the people who were duped remove XP and the only thing it is good for is a rebate on EZ CD Creator 5. Frankly, I have taken my last MS exam. No longer necessary or required and there are now important things to study.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Nathan Illinois

The one part I thought I did not need to review smoked me. I was spanked most vigorous.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Shawn Denver, CO

I took the 240 exam and passed. I thought it was very difficult, but I do not agree with the statements being made that it is unfair. Employers use these exams (certifications) to determine who is qualified to fill their positions, hint they are not supposed to be easy. Microsoft is responsible for making sure these tests do just that, test your knowledge to perform your job responsibilities. I find that most people who are complaining are those who were not successful with the 240 exam. I for one thought it was callenging but isn't that the point?? Microsoft has found a way to eliminate the "paper MCSE". Thank you.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Dan Too close to Redmond

My main objection to the accelerated exam is a total lack of feedback other than pass/fail. Even letting me know what module(s) I failed would have been enough to let me know where more study is needed. In summary: Anne's grade = FAIL.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Dan Mission Viejo, Ca.

Congratulations to all who succeeded at the 240 exam! I decided to challenge this obstacle on the 27th of December with only four days left until expiration occurred. I found this to be the most straight foward and fair MS exam that I have experienced. I'm sorry to say that I did not pass but I did enjoy the challenge. I don't expect to earn an MCSE in W2K and for now, I am finished with MS exams. I'm happy to say that I'm STILL an MCSE and an MCP+I in NT4.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Chris D. USA

I agree with Jim from SA, and I'll add more.
I took (and passed) 70-240 in December, after an on-and-off (mostly off...) 9 months of studying. Aside from the reading (2300 pages or so), I would say I really only hunkered down and studied hard for two or three weeks before the exam, banging through the Exam Crams, the MS self-study book, and a bunch of on-line stuff.
When I took the exam, I was flabbergasted: It was nothing it was supposed to be (fully form, NOT adaptive); it had no true scenario questions; at least a quarter of the questions were giveaways; and as Jim from SA said, a lot of the others just answered themselves if you looked carefully. The greatest challenge in this exam was the length.
I realize that I'm a great test taker: I got my MCSE for 3.51, took the tests to upgrade to 4, and am now en route to Win2K and I have never failed an MS test. Others are not such good test takers, and their performance on these tests may not always be a good indicator of their actual knowledge. This particular exam, however, left me feeling like I was the brunt of some cruel joke. It makes me worry (as some of the NT4 exams did, but this one moreso) that the MCSE program has very low standards and does little to ensure 'real world' skills.
The "psychometrically sound" assertion can't be proven be proven or disproven, unfortunately, unless and until MS publishes detailed information about exam creation and scoring, and that's unlikely to ever happen.
Tests like 70-240 make me suspect that MS' certification program is run by three interns and an adjunct MS Office trainer from a community college. "Rigorous standards" are not words that I think to associate with this program at this time.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Art Montana

Microsoft has made the whole MCSE experience a carnival ride. Having been certifed on 3.51, 4.0 and completing five Win2K tests to re-cert (yes I dodged the bigge, and am glad) I am trying to escape the MS black hole that keeps sucking me back in. The only reason I am back is because Cisco is now using MS servers in some of their solutions (I am also CCNp and CCDP). The certification scramble is bad enough...if MS wants professionals to represent them in the technical end of the field they should stop dicking us around.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 strangerq la

re: By reading the comments, it is easy to tell who passed and who failed the exam. >>>>>>>

Don't think you can dismiss all criticism of M$ as sour grapes from "failures".

I hold MCSE2000 and MCSE + internet and have passed 14 of their exams, most
on the 1st attempt and most with a high mark.

I am concerned because the program is
in a shambles, and M$'s strategy stinks
of an attempt to cover up the disaster (hide the pass/fail rate, hide the score, etc. ad nauseum) rather than clean it up.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Tim McMichael Annandale, VA

I took and passed the 70-240 test on Dec. 20. After hours in the test, I was mentally exhausted for several days, then I took the 70-221 test Dec 27, passed it and was a babbling idot for a while. My TCP and IIS4 tests from NT4 should carry me over the bar. I have been using MS products since DOS 1.1, and know them pretty well. I have been a Senior Network Engineer for several years, and have both a multi domain test environment in my basement and have setup ADS in the field. My biggest problem with the tests have always been that they do not reflect reality. There were several questions that had no logical guesses availible. I walked out of the -221 test saying "who on drugs would ever solve a problem using one of those possibilities. I am willing to do a CCIE type lab if that is what will work. I want to know what the failure rate, since of the people I know that took it, I was the only one that passed. That's my two cents worth, if MS wants to discuss it, I would love to explain my point of view.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

It is funny to hear those who have problems with their current skill level to question the decision of removing the actual scores from the current tests. I have been in the profession for quite some time and have yet to be asked what was my SCORE in any official capacity. The question has always been, "Have you passed your exam?". The fact that a test on the same objectives can be taken and two different individuals with the same skill level obtain different scores just means one thing... The actual questions presented on the test. We know no two tests are the same and we do know that the difficulty level is only depended on the number of questions one gets on the one set of objectives one might not have full command on. What does it matter if you can see what you scored? Howeve, knowing what you need to score on a specific test can determine how one goes about preparing for a specific test. WHAT DID WE REALLY NEED TO GET TO PASS 240? Your guess is as good as mine. I do know what ever it was I only know of 4 people nationwide who has actually passed it. Of those who did not the great majority managed to pass each respective test on their first try and whithout hesitation... What is up with that MS. Do you want more professionals who can handle your product better or do you want a bunch of disgruntled professional who will find an alternative solution if one comes by. I value my CERTs and accepted not passing 240 based on my level of preparedness for that test. But given my 8 years of experience in this field it would have been nice to know what I needed to score in each of the 4 categories. I am now ready to take 217 and pass it like the other three. Interestingly enough I did not study that much more for each individual test... specially when they are an out of pocket expense... Is MS banking on people "having" to test more then once? Only those in charge know... and they are not going to tell us.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 D USA

Everyone seems to be writing in about the mess that the MCSE trak has become... when was it any good. The new tests are terrible. In my experience (which is relatively lengthy) half of the propsed solutions MS uses as answers on there tests are wrong. The MCSE hasn't chnaged at all, they are all (much like alot of the other Certs out there, including Cisco and many others)
*80% how well you remember the useless info in the training material
*10% real world knowledge
*10% luck.
How about having people who understand the technology right questions instead of rephrasing scenarios from the training. As far as I have been able to tell (and I have taken 3 so far - passed 2kWkst + Srv, failed Network Infra) the 2k tests are just as bad as the NT 4 tests. IT took me less than 8 weeks to get my MCSE 4 cert - only because I didn't have time to take tests more often. I suspect I'll be saying the same thing about these.... Essentially the only thng useful about MCP / MCSA / MCSE certs is the software you can get as an MCSP... The certs are as worthless as the paper they are printed on. (Don't think I'm just knockin MS - even the CCIE has a lot of garbage on it - your better off not knowing anything and memorizing 2 vendors study material than you are trying to seoerate the Microsoft / Cisco way from the real world (and they are often wrong...)

my .02$
-d

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 james none

MCP, MCP + I, MCSE, MCT, MCSA, MCSE2K?
All these certifications for the same bunch of tests....I had no idea I would be so important!
Microsoft sure has devalued the whole process!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Well I must hand it to Her, She has all the MS party line down pat!

disclosing information... really, really misleading ...option for customers ...create a better solution next time ....not as customer-friendly

All the words MS uses for any and all situatuions!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Chuck Nuck

I've been told by more than one source that the pass rate was 10% or less. Can that be true? Judging from the number of postings by people who claim to have passed, it's hard to believe. By the way, anyone who says this exam is easy is full of crap. I breezed through the NT4 exams with almost NO IT experience. I've been in the field for over two years now and I honestly believe I will fail the 70-240. That's right - I said WILL fail. I took 3/4 of the exam already in December but there was a problem with the exam software and it ended. I have to take the whole thing over again, which gives me an advantage. Still, the exam is so stressful and long that even though I studied more than I did for NT 4, I doubt that I can pass after seeing how tough it is just to read and remember the scenarios that are presented with only about 2 1/2 minutes for each question. Again, anyone who says they passed and that it was easy is an elitist.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jeremy Minneapolis

I don't quite understand why most people thought the test was difficult. I took the 2154 and 1560 classes last summer and didn't study *at all* for the exam and passed. If you deal with Windows 2000 and AD on a daily basis then you should have had no problems with the exam. Correct me if I'm wrong, but something seems inherently wrong if a sys admin was not able to pass this exam. I also took the exam on December 27th and had no problem finding a testing center a week before. Maybe it's just my location, but I really didn't think scheduling was a problem.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Greg Elgin, Il

For me I think its great they made the test harder. There were far too many paper MCSE's being cranked out. I passed with no problems because I had firm experience in NT and 2000.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Nightkiller Ontario

Unlike many other people here, I bit the bullet and wrote all five exams I needed in a period of six weeks without bothering with the 240. I did this because 1. Rarely does one have to focus on all aspects of the Microsoft Networking environment in such a short space of time. 2. I wanted a good cross section of questions to test what I thought I knew and what MS thought I should know. 20 Questions is not enough in a non Adaptive test enviroment. 3. I didn't want the pressure so I CHOSE not to take the carrot that MS offered. It's the principle of the thing, you know.

I don't care if the numbers are included or not on my results. What I do care is that Professionals do a good job in reviewing that stats that they must have so better and more statistically valid testing can come from it.
Bring 'em on MS! I'm not afraid to fail.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Philip Louisville, KY

No disrespect to any MCSE but be happy you guys have a job. I've been certified for 2 mos and haven't found NOTHING! Maybe I should just finish my BSCS. (just my 2 cents)

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

What is everyone that posted a comment here the people that passed the test. The test was a joke. These people think that if you pass a test you know how to manage and run a complete NT data center. These paper MCSEs in the market today could never do what experienced UNIX, NT, VMS, IBM managers can do. True data center management comes from years of experience and not burring your head in study boot camps to pass the questions that these people put together. So to all the cocky people that left messages here after passing what they studied for along time, get a life and get more experience in the field. For those who didn't pass or just didn't take it then good for you for attempting it or good for you for just snubbing the testers since there will only be more ridiculous circus circle MCS levels for different OS versions, when we have to move from 2000 to xp then .NET then.....etc...it will never end.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Hahaha I find it funny how someone says the exam wasn't difficult, yet can't even use proper grammar by saying things like "there" instead of "their."

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Ross Sydney

I was dissapointed by the sheer lack of availability of exam seats available within Australia.

There was no availability to sit the exam from the 14th Dec onwards, except if you were prepared to go to a regional centre (Newcastle , Wollongong) and sit it out of hours.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Rob usa

Feedback is very important. So : You did a good job on this article. You get 960 out of a posible 1000 for relavence.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Joe Scrotum USA

I did not take the exam since I thought it would be a waste of time since there are so many paper MCSE's out there and it ruined it for us real MCSE's so I am not getting re-certified.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 David Wisconsin

I thought the exam was ridiculous. I spent a weeks preparing (apparantely with the wrong material), took a week off prior to the exam to study, only to fail with no indication of which section(s) I did poorly in.

I found the questions confusing, and the test down right frustrating. Walked away with such a bad taste that recommended to my corporation we do away with Microsoft operating systems and standardize on Novell.

Good-bye Microsoft.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jovin NYC

Pretty lame not to give any breakdown of the results. Did I fail one module by one question, or really boot the whole thing. I'll never know. Also, it would have been kind to stop the test after a module was failed, rather than endure four hours of torture, only to get a "Sorry, you failed" at the end. Was I passing until the last question? Come on microsoft, it couldn't cost much to treat your self-trained and certified support staff with some respect, not to say compassion.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Bill Salerno NC, USA

I'll finish with Cisco, thank you very much!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Certified? Who cares.

Time to get real folks. Forget the MCSE and go for the MSCS (master of science in computer science). Certification had it's day but I think understanding the top down design of an OS has more merit. Anyone can read an instruction manual but if you understand the design of a product or lack of in many instances you have the hole shot on the rest of the field. I don't know of many certified hackers, do you? Get my point?
The moral of this story is...forget the short cuts, get a degree and stay current instead of lining the pockets of those who should pay us to support their bug plagued software.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

sounds to me like the tree got pruned....the bar has been raised.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm tired of giving Microsoft more money for "certifications" so that they go and change the OS and convince you to take more. For those that are 2000 MCSE's, it will be shorlived with the "new" .NET and XP operating systems out. Why waste the time and money to get certified? In the job market, if you resolve, you resolve. That's what's important. Just ask the MCP's and MCSE's that aren't working now.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Owen Kittredge Calif

I am a MCSE that has did not take the accelerated exam, why? Since I became a MCSE it opened my eyes that Microsoft uses the MCSE and other certs. as marketing tools. I did not see the point of studying for weeks only with a chance to take the exam once. Will I ever get W2K MCSE? Yes. Why? Unfortunately some companies HR departments use the MCSE as a screening method and I would hate to be eliminating from a job chance because of this poor policy.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jay Stephens Idaho

I have been in the IT field for years now and currently hold an MCSE in NT and an A+ cert. I will no longer play the "Temporary Certification" game with Microsoft since my MCSE has never impressed nor interested a potential employer. In my experience, I have found that few employers really give a squat if you even HAVE an MCSE let alone what scores you had, nobody has even asked (mine were from very good to excellent). To quote a State of Idaho personnel recruiter "We get lots of applications from poeple with those computer certifications. We really don't have any entry-level positions." My A+ has actually been a better lure for employment than the MS cert. If my employer sponsors me, I may eventually work towards an MCP in W2K, but I know better than to sink 5-8 big ones, along with hundreds of hours of study, towards another sheet of Redmond paper. There are dozens of MCSEs elsewhere, applying locally, willing to relocate and work for 25K/yr. I can make that building cat scratchers in my garage. I'm afraid that all these new W2K certs will expire long before the collapsed computer industry rebuilds itself, there appears to be no signs of a comeback. IT budgets are plummeting and there is little value associated with support. The paradigm has shifted and there are virtually millions of talented kids out there willing to work cheap. In the meantime I expect I'll just plug away in my unappreciated position and wait things out. BTW-Congrats to all of you who TOOK the test, not just those that passed, I can appreciate your efforts.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 MCSE-NT, MCSD, MCDBA who cares

Let us not be unwise, Microsoft uses their customers to discern any possible problems with their wonderful software. So, why should we be any differnet? Last I head, there was a 8% pass rate. That's 8 people passed, while 92 people failed. If they put out to the public (and the public loves it) a product that has not been fully tested, why should we be shocked if they put to us selct few a not fully competent product. Maybe we should consider changing outr name to piglets. What more can I say, other than I LOVE Microsoft. All these certifications and experience and 2 years of being over or under qualified. Thanks!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 John Cupertino, CA

A free voucher for a "one shot" exam. Boy, what a benefit for going through the certification process to become an NT 4.0 MCSE! That is the ONLY benefit I have received. The second benefit was six months of unemployment when the "tech wreck" happened. Although I passed the exam, the AD exam, and two additional electives before the end of May 2001 to become a W2K MCSE, I am really wondering why I committed so much time and money to go through all of this. And now they raised the prices for an exam to $125.00. It's a fu..... joke!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 S SF

If you don't know DNS, DHCP and TCP/IP cold -- you don't deserve to hold the MCSE 2K certification. I suspect many NT MCSEs don't quite know those these topics like they should for solving day-to-day network problems.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Actually with regard to this test, we have little right to complain since it was free and obviously rigged as an experimental vehicle for Microsoft. I have no problem with this. Regarding the tests we ARE paying money for, I believe it is bad customer service to not provide section rankings to let us know how we did in understanding concepts. But be careful customers...the alternatives could be even more vexing for us.

Microsoft obviously took away section scores so that test takers and other abusers couldn't "beat" the system (not all of us have pure motives) and over the long haul, provide a cert that is worth something. Microsoft could easily change the whole system to just regularly revising tests with fresh questions we haven't seen-say every month (that is, not from a question template pool). Would Transcender's simulations work anymore? I don't know about you all, but I NEED reliable test material.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Todd Aridzona

"too many questions on things like WINS that shouldn't have been on the test"
Again, it might have been the luck of the draw, but all my WINS questions seemed to be variations on the theme of "in a pure w2k environment, you don't need WINS'......

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I was extremly frustrated with the test. There were too many questions on things like WINS that shouldn't have been on the test. I didn't expect to see NT 4.0 stuff on the test. I studied for Widnwos 2000.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Tony SA Australia

As one of the 9 of 10 who failed the 70-240 exam I would say the exam was long but fair. My problem was as I was not working with Win 2000 all the practise was on a test bed and additionally doing it self study there was just such a large amount of material to digest and understand and I just could not allocate the amount of time the task required. In hindsight I would have been better to approach it one unit at a time which I will do in a month or so time. The concept was a good idea but realistically would only suit some and if implemented again in the future I would advise looking closely at the work load before leaping in. I do not regret the exercise as the knowledge gained was great but would admit the rest of my family wondered about the effort ( and lack of my time they received) for the end benefit.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Todd Aridzona

Is Anne McSweeney related to Bud Selig perhaps? "[D]isclosing information like this can be really, really misleading."
In any case... I don't mind the pass/fail scoring all that much... What I DO mind is the new policy of not disclosing what the passing score is! I've seen passing scores decline from the high 700's to the mid-500's in the past few years. If the trend continues, to keep the pass rate what it needs to be, the passing score will be sub-50%... good reason to keep the passing score secret?

I did pass the 240 and felt that it was easier than I anticipated -- but as always, that may have just been the mix of questions that day. I still think that anyone with any background at all could sit down with Trancenders for a week and learn enough by rote to pass... but that's another thread....

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Lion Cheng Canada

I failed the 240 on December. However, I don't think it is hard. (Question, then why you failed?) I think the main reason was the unnecessary one-shot physcological pressure hype build on it. The fact is, I registered all four core right after I failed. It's three weeks after 240, I passed 210, 215, 217 in first attempt. I have 216 waiting for me next week. Which I think that's the part caused me fail in 240. To my disappointment, because MS did not provide at least a separate pass/fail result on four sections in 240.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Steve south carolina

I personally have no problem with the pass/fail aspects of this exam however for those of us that did not pass it would have beneficial to know what test I/we did not pass.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous England

"disclosing information like this can be really, really misleading.","...it's given us the ability to create a better solution next time." "70-240 was not as customer-friendly as we'd like."

I used to repsect microsoft, but until they learn to respect those who spend money time and effort building their careers in supporting and promoting Microsofts product's, perhaps 'mcsweeney' should look for a new career herself (this time one where she doesn't have to deal with 'real' people), and Microsoft should learn a little more humility than its current arrogant approach to those that actually support it day in & out.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Kevin Smith Dulles Virginia

I studied for about 1 week and passed the thing. I think overall it was EASIER than the NT 4.0 exams. I have also worked with w2k for the past year so perhaps that made it easier for me. I believe that it helped weed out many of the paper MCSEs out there and hopefully they will re-think their career track. The test included alot of Networking basics which if you didn't have the understanding of then you weren't going to pass. Thanks Microsoft!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jim Morris New Jersey

"Pass/Fail"?

Has it crossed the minds of anyone here that one of the purposes of testing is to have some degree of control over how many MCSEs there are in the world?

With the option of changing the pass-point for an exam, at least everyone knows if Microsoft is making it easier or harder to become certified. However, with the pass/fail option, you must realize that it is totally up to Microsoft to decide whether you passed or failed. It is not beyond reason to think about the extreme case where it is all statistical -- 17.3% (or whatever makes Microsoft happy in a particular quarter) of the people will pass regardless of their scores, and the rest will have to wait until next quarter and hope they get the lucky seat.

Bring back the scores -- at least it helps keep everyone a little more honest.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

It's sad to think that multi-billion dollar Microsoft has to "learn" from the little folks ... with the result that years of certification & hard work can go down the tubes. That MS needed (or still needs) to learn implies that they themselves know it was not successful. On a personal note: I knew that I didn't have the time to complete before Dec 2001, and that it's now probably not worth my time to get re-certified on W2K, just to find it obsolete with .NET.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anthony British Columbia

It is clear that Micro$oft is a company weak in terms of its ability to design a single succint test that would successfully demonstrate a transistion from one platform to another as Novell with their Netware OS has been doing for years including a shift to a Directory Services type of database. Or has the design of Active Directory been so willy-nilly that it takes a four hour exam, plus a design exam, plus two electives, to prove one has made the transition?

Oh, I forgot that someone at Micro$oft realized that they would lose the bragging rights to having the most System E's (can't say Engineer in Canada) so some of the the original SS Commands were struck down or curtailed.

Now Micro$oft has already communicated that anyone who completed the Windows NT MCSE was probably an idiot anyway, but look they now have come up with an intermediate option called an MCSA. Go figure!

One thing is for sure - the point of extracting money from certification 'victims' has just been part of a consistent business approach within Micro$oft.

Anne, do you have any moral fibre or you just a talking-head for Micro$oft?

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Richard Florida

I took the test and did not pass, however, I am curious at what I missed as I thought the test was long but not very difficult. I would have liked to have known what portion of what test I failed, whether it was one module or several and what portion of the test was failed.

I had some difficulty with the testing center and was concerned that the test equipment might have caused a problem. I would like to see additional tests of this nature (accelerated / combination) so that a person could "skip" the requirement of taking several different tests over a long period of time.

It is easier to take one day off to take a test, than it is to schedule several half days off to take tests. I am on the fence as far as the pass / fail scenario goes, but even on a pass / fail scenario a test taker should have some idea as to why they failed so that they will know what to spend more time on learning.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Jason Bellingham

I was very disappointed in the test and am moving away from Microsoft technologies altogether.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 pcc Virginia

The 240 experience was a debacle.
Feedback should be given on what questions were correct. Thanks for the opportunity to take a single free four hour long test with no credit for any passed sections! I think free vouchers for each section would have been better. "Psychometrically sound." What is that? Defending their exam with those words says a lot about how MSFT is not connecting with us, their marketing sleeper agents, who they are abusing. I'm involved in the hiring process, and although the exams are getting better, there are far too many paper MCSEs. It's time to develop a hands on testing experience and drop the memorization or tricky reading comprehension questions in favor of questions that encourage a real application of knowledge and experience.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 anonymous Chicago

My wife took the exam and failed. That said, I have a different perspective on the results. I am a scientist and a statitician. No validity can be given to an examination where numerical results and analysis are withheld. When failures are as high as they were, the test cannot be considered "pschometrically sound" -- unless, of course, we assume that proven professionals all goofed off simultaneouosly. By not allowing scrutiny of the results by competent professionals, the results are suspect at best and fail to hurdle the basic tests of scrutiny so hallowed by scientists. If the test was unproven then the fair thing to do would have been to allow retaking of the exam when it is discovered that the world could not reasonably be certain of passing when they have studied hard. This whole fiasco appears to be a way of producing an out for Microsoft employees who really didn't want to provide a single exam at all. My advice to those who took the exam is to rise up and get to those a the top. Refuse to allow MS to pound you into submission. To have all of the MCSEs take the 5-part exam brings in $187,500,000 gross money. That's a bit of lettuce even for Bill Gates.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

The 70-240 exam was a failure of the Microsoft Certification process. MS should post the official pass/fail stats. I failed the exam after studying my tail off. There is far too much information to have resident during the exam. And is 20 questions per subject really a fair assessment of your knowledge of a particular subject? Perhaps of the 20 questions were adaptive. But I don't think that 20 form based questions are a fair assessment of your knowledge of any of the subjects. The MS Press book for 70-240 left out key pieces which were tested on in the exam.

Basically, you have an exam, created by MS, and a book to study with that doesn't adequately prepare you for the exam.

One nice thing is the test was free. At least MS gave us something for our hard work in the NT4 world.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Randy Utah

McSweeney says " I would say we learned a lot from it". But Microsoft's actions say just the opposite. Nothing in the process encouraged or motivated test takers to continue. I don't think it is asking too much or compromises the integrity of the process by providing pass/fail feedback on each module. I agree with several other comments, come down from the Ivory Tower. Every test taking situation I have ever been involved in, used the test taking as part of the learning process not a roadblock.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Geoff Sydney Australia

Pass / Fail Rate
I personally found the Exam tough however I was fotunate enough to have some of the variables in my favour. I had a good start time (9:00 am) a relatively good trip in, and a sound exam mindset (when I went in at least). It did however take me the rest of the day to get another neuron to fire. I passed. A lot of the people I know who passed Studied - those who failed relied on Cheat Sheets (although there were some who studied their buts off but still failed).
I was curious about the pass / rate after my exam so I e-mailed the MCPHELP address in mid-December and at that time they advised me that the pass / fail rate was in the order of 25% pass and 75% fail. I of course have no idea on the accuracy of these figures.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Geoff Sydney Australia

Pass / Fail Rate
I personally found the Exam tough however I was fotunate enough to have some of the variables in my favour. I had a good start time (9:00 am) a relatively good trip in, and a sound exam mindset (when I went in at least). It did however take me the rest of the day to get another neuron to fire. I passed. A lot of the people I know who passed Studied - those who failed relied on Cheat Sheets (although there were some who studied their buts off but still failed).
I was curious about the pass / rate after my exam so I e-mailed the MCPHELP address in mid-December and at that time they advised me that the pass / fail rate was in the order of 25% pass and 75% fail.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 JRW Texas

By reading the comments, it is easy to tell who passed and who failed the exam.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Trust and Microsoft are not words that go together well. Not giving the scores makes me wonder if they made enough money this week on testing and are adjusting the pass rate to accommodate the bottom line. Certification of the O/S has become a way of life. 3.51 cert lasted about a year, then 4.0, now W2k. It would be nice to have some time to learn something else but the industry requires certification levels be in the current Microsoft o/s. Microsoft is doing a disservice to the computer industry by monopolizing (again), the limited time technical folks have to learn.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Sean Anonymous

Actually, for the amount of studying I did, I was very disappointed in the exam. A measly 90 minutes, and the fact that I only felt it marginally necessary to use the note paper to work out a calculation on the 3rd last question, made me think the exam was much, much too easy. I also know of at least one person with no real world experience who passed (although I realize that this is to be expected). I've been an MCSE for 6 years, but I still refuse to embarass myself by placing "MCSE" on my business card. One final note: who cares what your mark is. You should be aware of what your weak areas are - I don't need MS to tell me what I do & do not know - besides, I wouldn't put much value in their opinion anyway.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Bill Denver

I didn't mind studying for the exam and then just barely failing but I wished I could retake the module I failed. I also miss the scoring breakdown. I'd like to know what I need to work on based upon the test score. It seems like Microsoft's attiude is: "You pass and we can claim another MCSE!". I agree also that is sounds like we were used as 'test piggies'. That I don't like even if the test was free. In response to some of the comments here; why should Microsoft care about what anybody wants, let alone MCSE's? They have a worldwide monopoly and as long as they have all of the cards and as long as our jobs depend on us having and maintaining our certs they won't have to care. I'm only renewing my MCSE because where I work requires me to, not because I think it will get me ahead in the world or even more money where I work. I've recently worked with bootcamp MCSE's who can't even build a simple server. The MCSE is worthless.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Bruce Canada

The MS people probably thought it "sounded like a good idea at the time". In retrospect, from someone with 17 years of PC, networking, and Teaching experience, it doesn't seem like such good idea now. As an MCSE since 1999, who taught the MCSE NT4 subjects, who worked on a practical basis with Win2K Pro and Server both with my clients and on my home "practice" network for a full 18 months, who dedicated 2 weeks of study cramming on top of that (using the Microsoft MOC to boot), I was totally destroyed by the " sorry you failed " message at the end 3+ hours. As I said to fellow MCSE, I don't even know if I "even got off of the runway, crashed after take-off, ran out of fuel, or just forgot to put down the landing gear at the last minute." For the Accel. Exam at least a pass/fail by module would be fair. (with credit for the ones passed: after all we did pass 6 or more exams previously to become an MCSE anyway!!)
ARRRRRGGGGGHHHHH !!!!
Bruce from NB, Canada

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Mc C Raleigh, NC

I have no sympathy for anyone who failed this test. Yes it was long, but it was not technically difficult. I only studied for two weeks and had no problems at all. I wonder how many people who failed actually have real experience working with the technology? From the MS Web site: "MCSE candidates should also have at least one year of experience implementing and administering a network operating system, implementing and administering a desktop operating system, and designing a network infrastructure." If I recall correctly, the Win2k tests are supposed to be harder, to weed out some of the "paper" MCSEs who can only memorize facts and are clueless when it comes to real-life issues. Playing with IIS on Win2k professional or setting up a domain on your spare computer at home doesn't count as "experience". There are too many people out there who claim to be more knowledgable than they really are. If you are whining about failing this test, you are probably one of them.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 RSOLY777 Olympia WA

I took the accelerated exam in the middle of December. I have been studying for it for over a year. I am NT4 MCSE and after an end of the year cram passed the accelerated exam and the Directory Services Infastructure exams and had achieved win2k MCSE on December 31st 2001. The accelerated exam was very hard and long but I am tired of hearing everybody whine and complain about the test. There is no excuse to not pass it if you have studied and know what you are doing. Alot of people were dilly dallying around right up until the last minute. Procrastination gets you nowhere. I talked to a couple testing centers in the Puget sound area and they said maybe 10% to 20% of the people that were taking the test were passing. They also said they had people coming for tests from as far as 200 miles away because it was so hard to get a testing time at the testing centers the last 2 months of this year. You can't study for a test of that magnitude in a month or two unless you have a great memory, and that is not saying much for your actual knowledge.
And as far as the Pass/Fail I think it is great! It would be nice to have some feedback in areas that need improving. But the scores just made some people think they are better than others when in reality they probably just have a better short term Memory.
So if you didn't pass, probably should have got more serious about studying for it!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anon Aust

I found 240 fairly easy compared to what I was expecting and believe I easily passed. Having being a vetran on Microsoft tests, I found the test to be a lot higher quality than most I have passed (whoch is about 14). This exam only had the odd dodgy question which is very unusual to say the least. I throughly believe that any MCSE that actually deserves the title should have easily passed. As to pass/fail on the exams I believe this is a good move as if you fail an exam and don't actually realise where you went wrong than you obviously either don't know the materail or haven't studied hard enough. Remember that the MCSE bar is being raised, I personally don't feel its still high enough, either get with the flow or find another career, technology moves very fast these days and only the best can keep up.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 IL Illinois

Apparently Microsoft no longer cares about MCSEs who promote their products by actually making them to work on the daily basis. Not giving exam scores or at least pass/fail results for each section is totally rediculous and disrespectful! I for one have studied for a relatively long time and felt pretty good about how I was doing on the test up until the point of failure. I don't even know where I failed. Guess what Micro$oft, I was defending your products before even though they were inferior to some others, however, since you choose to disrespect people who were willing to sacrifice their own free time and money to get MCSE, I will simply try to choose the products of your competitors next time. My $.02

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Andy Texas

I studied for at least 6 months and did not pass this test. I did not find it extremely hard, yet I thought it was too long. The decision in the future to retake certain modules is a wonderful idea especially for someone like me who actually put in the time to study for so long. I know for certain that I only failed one module and even know which one. Although I would have saved a heck of a lot of money, I took all four tests the next week and passed them. Hopefully, Microsoft learned a lesson on this test. I know that I did. I will NEVER study so long before taking a test again. When I took the time to focus on one module at a time, the tests were not that tough.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 doug montreal

First, I think Microsoft owes everyone who took the 240 the common decency of reporting at least a percentage for the success of overal test takers....I could care less how many actually took the exam. Secondly, If they are going to provide this type of composite exam, then they also owe it to those sitting the tests to at least break down which chunk they passed/failed. The 240 should have shown 4 seperate pass/fails at the end of the overall exam. If I had have written each exam individually, I would have gotten a pass/fail for each, no?

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Noah florida

Was the test hard? Was it free? Well pass or fail we were all given a free chance to take this exam to quickly promote ourselves within the Windows community. I am sure that lots of people studied very hard and there were some disappointments but that is life. We can’t expect to have this stuff handed to us without effort or consequence. Fortunately I passed that bloody thing and moved on quickly to my electives. What I find disturbing is that MS changed its position on the NT4 electives for the 2k certification which caused i am sure thosands of folks to spend more for certification and I don't mean just the cost of exams. The hours of study which kept us from spending time on something a little more valid than their exams. Personally, if any body is owed anything it is the folks that certified on 2k by taking the electives for 2000 when all they would have had to do is wait for the fickle decision makers in Redmond, and there seems to be many, to jump the fence. I am very disappointed with the folks at Microsoft that make the decisions that eventually affect our careers. If they want us to help them to help the market place be happy with their products then they, Microsoft, should look at how our strings are being pulled. As it stands right now I am studying to become an Open Source solution provider, for Linux and UNIX mostly because I a have a mentor to help me, and I choose this not only to better myself but to learn how to wean the market from the teats of Microsoft. The world is full of solutions that don't require you to buy a microsoft product engage them and then you will be heard. If Microsoft wants to do better then they should be better montors. Good luck to you all and remember “IT” pays to read.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 strangerq la

re: The retirement or NT 4.0 track, the un-retirement of NT 4.0 track, the un-retirement of way too many electives, the accidental MCSE, the MCSA, the not reporting of scores is beyond what anyone who was interested in destroying the MCSE could have done.>>>>

Yeah, but you can't deny the sheer "pychometric soundness" of the methodology.

Frustrated as I am with her, at least McSweeney is good for a laugh, intentionally or not.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 strangerq la

re:now it can be misleading to assume that because one person gets a 99 and another gets a 77 that one is more knowledgable than the other.>>>>>

Huh? If that's misleading then it would be
even more measleading to assume that
a person who got 77% and "passed" is more knowledgeable than a person who
got 74% and "failed". And if you don't
know the score behind the Pass or Fail
you are EVEN MORE mislead.


It is generally less misleading to provide
information than not, provided the information is accurate.

Hint: When any corporation or government body refuses to disclouse info. because they don't want to "mislead" you...... they are TRYING TO
MISLEAD you right then and there.

Honestly, I think some of you folks would
vote for Richard Nixon if he were still alive. :)

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Smooter Ohio

Ok, I have read, and read, and read....
So here is my take: 1) No one, not even Bill Gates and his faithful followers, has the right to utilize me and my career to "test" an idea. Figure it out and deploy it right! You have the $$ (Duh!) and you have the resources! 2) The idea that actual numbers on pass/fail is different than just pass/fail is redundant. If there is an employer out there using the actual score to make decisions on employment or compensation is something that an employer will do ONLY ONCE to me....and the rest of you should follow suit! 3) The hilarity of the phrase "raise the bar on MCSE's" repeatedly mentioned here is making it difficult for me to type due to the laughing fits! I am n NT 4.0 MCSE, and I will be an NT 2K MCSE, etc. etc., but until a Microsoft test has questions that originate in the real world (and don't tell me they don't have access to them, TechNet is FULL of good questions on ANY topic), and more importantly has avialable answers that provide a solution for the question in a real world scenario and not answers that are simply "Microsoft's Answer" (go ahead and shake your head, we have ALL SEEN IT!) the tests will always be about book smarts, and not experience with the product. Which coincidentally will result in the bar being raised....for "Paper MCSE's" because the useless solutions/answers will be perpetuated just as they are now! 4) To add to all of this the fact that NT 2K won't be prominant in the industry for another few years due to the impossible migration path for large companies.....It makes me wonder which direction the MS Marketing department was trying to go....it makes NO SENSE! Oh, well there I have said my piece....Care to agree with me? Take it easy people....if it's easy....take it twice!

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 DP Earth

While I passed 70-240, I am dissapointed at Microsofts decisions with regard to providing exam feedback. If scoring was acceptable for years why is it now suddenly not accurate? I think it is simply a PC way of not hurting anyone's feelings. I wonder how MS breaks the news to those who fail a test? Feedback, or at least a segment breakdown would sure help us aspiring w2k engineers to focus our studies in follow on tests. And yes, If you do well, you should get the satisfaction of positive feedback. A simple Congratulations for one point over, or 300 points over passing is NOT accurate.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

To sed_awk: Please do not pass judgement on those who failed 70-240. Every exam is passable, everyone knows that. Everyone knew that Microsoft is raising the bar on the new MCSE track. Every existing NT4 MCSE knew that the had ONLY ONE CHANCE to pass this paper. Hence, I never doubted that those who took 70-240, irrespective of HOW LONG it took them to prepare for the exam, prepared themselves properly, as well as they could. They knew the questions were going to be difficult. Those who failed did not whine about failing, what they were aggrieved at was that they are not given a second chance to retake the exam. Most of them used their own money to gain this certification, and by forcing those who failed to take the 4 core papers, Microsoft has opened up an avenue to make more money. You don't see Novell/Lotus/Cisco/etc do this to their candidates when it comes to upgrading their certification tracks, do you?

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 sed_awk Anonymous

I took the exam on December 28th. For those who studied less than 3 months and passed, congratulations! Those that studied less than 3 months and failed, shame on you. I considered the 70-240 exam to have been fair with one exception, Network Infrastructure. The number of questions combined with the complexity of the questions rendered this section difficult to complete. To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised to see a pass at the end of the exam. I found the other sections of the exam to range from moderate to down right easy. There is little excuse for an existing MCSE not to have passed this exam. I started preparing for this exam almost a year and a half before I took it. Microsoft gave everyone plenty of time to prepare. I do have to admit that studying for my CCNA certification helped with the networking portion.

I'm tired of hearing people whining about not passing an exam that was very passable. Yes, I agree that there were things that Microsoft could have done better, but with all the time people are putting into targeting an individual they could be doing something more productive. Microsoft stated two years ago that they were going to raise the bar with regard to the MCSE program. I don't know why everyone one is so surprised. Those people that truly put a lot of time into studying for this exam, greater than 6 months, and failed. I feel for you. It is heartbreaking to have that happen and I wish you all the best if you decide to retake the exams. I don't think people who put a half-hearted effort into preparing for this exam have any place in this forum or any right to complain.

I do wish, however, that Microsoft would release the pass/fail rates. One of my biggest concerns was that an employer would review my transcript and see individual exam listed instead of the single accelerated exam. I was more worried about what that employer might think about me should this have happed. It is a big relief to have passed. What kind of engineer would they think that I am? Would they question my ability to work under pressure and with time constraints? Would it imply that I was a slackie. While we all know that these questions are ill-founded, I sometimes question an HR departments understanding of such issues.

All-in-all, It was a very challenging and gratifying experience.

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Peter Goesinya Anonymous

have a nice day

Thu, Jan 24, 2002 Anikeh Inuk Nukh inunkh nuk

Sounds like Microsoft used us as test piggies. It's frustrating, to work in IT,
and take time after work to study for IT. Study for 3 months and fail. The most frustrating part is, they're thinking of making it so you may retake the modules you failed, that's probably cuz they noticed 80% of the people who failed, only failed 1 out of 4 modules. Congrats to those who passed and are saving the cash, good luck to those who are retaking the 4.

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

Kudo's for the decision not to show scores. I personally know managers who judge their own employees on scores received. Pass/Fail eliminates judgmental bias.

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Hasnuddin Hamdan Malaysia

Congratulations to those of you who passed 70-240. However, I am disappointed with Jim from SA Australia's statement regarding the efforts of those who failed the exam. They all worked and studied hard, knowing that they had ONLY ONE CHANCE. Passing and failing also boils down to luck and your performance on exam day. It was Microsoft's decision not to allow retakes on this exam that had spoiled things. This decision probably contributed to the reduced number of NT4 MCSEs upgrading to WIN2K track. Now that the exam is no longer available, even less NT4 MCSE will want to consider upgrading. The new MCSA track is implemented probably to regenerate interest amongst existing NT4 MCSEs.

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Scott Spiess Roseville, Ca

"psychometrically sound." I was wondering how I was going to start this post. "psychometrically sound" pretty much explains the Ivory tower our Microsoft certification group is in. I have never in my lifetime seen such a debacle as to what has been made of the MCSE. The retirement or NT 4.0 track, the un-retirement of NT 4.0 track, the un-retirement of way too many electives, the accidental MCSE, the MCSA, the not reporting of scores is beyond what anyone who was interested in destroying the MCSE could have done. Simply put, the "Anne" and her group have successfully divided a group of certified professionals into the haves W2k MCSE's and the have nots W2k MCSE's. Isn’t that special. I am sure the marketing department is very proud of this accomplishment. Your group has successfully de-motivated, de-moralized so many people that I think you should get a prize for the most devastation caused by people who do not think. Critical thinking is something that is taught in college and I do not believe that the whole idea of “critical thinking” is utilized in Redmond, Washington. "psychometrically sound" says it all doesn't it. I just made a post in another discussion group about how the people that have been in the industry should help those trying to get in. The question I have for Anne is "why am I doing your job for you." It’s a simple question, but since Anne does not read the posts here at Mcpmag.com, she will never get this message. You might be asking how I know that she does not read the posts. Well I have emailed several editors on the Mcpmag.com staff and have gotten a reply from one un-named editor that told me that the certification group does not visit the Mcpmag.com site. I suggest that Anne and her group get out of their Ivory tower and start reading what we post. I know that it might be hurtful at first, but at least they will know what WE the MCSE's want. They will also know what the people who want to become MCSE’s want. Also Anne, loose the "psychometrically sound” next time and just explain that you and your group made a mistake and you are attempting to fix it.

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Jim SA Australia

The People who did not pass 70-240, i feel disappointed at there effort. I passed the test. I did not find it that hard, yes it was long, I took a five minute break between each section, sat back, Streached my legs an had a lolly or two. The test was passable with just a lot of study and a good understanding of the principle. I setup a Win2K network at home and used that for simulations. The company I work for still uses Win9X desktops on a Novell network. So I did not have that much experience with a live network. I found the Questions when read carefully in a lot of cases answered the self and where logical. The comments about no pass score I can understand Microsofts views on this. It stops a lot of misresentaion of people when it comes to employment. There are Companies that will not hire people who got less than 900/1000 on there exams. This does not mean that you get the best people. I quit often means that you only get people with a good memory. The pass/fail score card is a fairer and more accurate method of scoreing. Well Done to those who passed, condolances to those who didn't.

By the way at the Testing Center I did my test they commented that 9 out of 10 people Failed the 70-240 exam, and said if you passed that you should haveno problems with the rest...

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Anonymous Anonymous

I believe the pass fail is more accurate and fair. The way the tests are now it can be misleading to assume that because one person gets a 99 and another gets a 77 that one is more knowledgable than the other. It just depends on the questions in that exam. If they were answering the same questions and all the questions were mainstream then comparing scores might mean something like they used to. But not anymore. Comparing scores is just misleading now. And even though some people may not like it, it is more fair and relavant this way and the right decision IMO.

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Jim LA

I studied for 6 months for the test. It was hard but not impossible. I passed and it was well worth the work. I hear of many people who felt the test was unfair. My only complaint was that I didn't receive a score or breakdown of how I did. I figured after all of the work I put into it, it would have been nice to see the breakdown of my work other than a simple "Congratulations".

Wed, Jan 23, 2002 Anna needs to listen USA

Anne Marie McSweeney, Microsoft's director of certification skills and assessment, is unfit for her job. Her poor decision to eliminate all scores from exam results; as opposed to only giving scores for failing grades, the way she ignores the requests of the MCP's and MCSE's, the entire handling of the accelerated exams, and release of information through third parties (like this site) instead of timely postings on the official MCP site or MCP email newsletters. You would think that if someone got an unprecedented number of calls and email, that she would at least make some official statement. Finally, take the time to read about the group she picked to justify eliminating scores from exams results (from official MCP site). "Keeping exam scores was not an option for the MCP group questioned". Talk about rigging the results!!! Hopefully we can see a 2.0 versions of changes from Microsoft. The 1.0 decisions of Anna really stunk.

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