"Performance-Based" Exams Go Live

New simulation exams for MCP exams 70-290, 70-291, roll out of Redmond worldwide at select testing centers.

As expected, Microsoft has begun delivering MCP exams with "performance-based" questions in live versions of exams 70-290, Managing and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Environment, and 70-291, Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure. As of Thursday, the exams were available through the online Pearson Vue registration site in most areas worldwide.

Microsoft plans to post a release schedule for more exams that will be seeded with performance-based questions on its certification Web site some time in early April. Up next: Exams 70-293, Planning and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure, and 70-294, Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure, in June.

To read more about performance-based exams, see "New Twist to Exams: Just Do It" at

About the Author

Michael Domingo is Editor in Chief of Virtualization Review. He's been an IT writer and editor for so long that he remember typing out news items in WordStar.

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Reader Comments:

Tue, Apr 12, 2005 Rafael Suarez MCT PR

Oye Grissom; U'd be taken more seriously if your posts had more smarts and less personality.

I train MCSA's and MCSE's for a living, (and I'm scheduled to seat both tests as a re-take) and when I deliver a course I make damn sure they're not just techies, but real pro's instead.

IMHO, Paper MCSE's do not devalue our cert, it is in fact the industry's poor hiring practices the culprit. ie: If you expect a CIO to work for peanuts, we can be pretty sure a monkey's gonna land the job, RIGHT?

Tue, Apr 12, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

I'm glad they are going to sim based. I took the "Older 70-270" and boy was it long and wordy. I just missed it because I was very tired from all the reading in the questions.

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 John Grissom CSI

Contestando al nabo de DeeWayne de California : (spanish-english) :::
Se supone que con este "nuevo" tipo de examenes los alumnos que pasen estos examenes tendrán un conocimiento más REAL del curso tomado.
It´s supposed that with this "new" kind of exam, people who passes this exams will have a more REAL knowledge of the test taken.:::
El único interés de Microsoft es tener muchos "tecniquitos" en la calle, nada más.
The only interest from Microsoft is to have many "little technicians" out on the street, nothing more.
Esto es una mentira, como la seguridad que dicen que están implementando hace más de un año.
This is a lie, like the so called security they are implementing for more than a year.

If you don´t understand this, then you are really a moron.

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 Chris Germany

I think it is a good thing that Microsoft has realised that their MCSE was as worthless as the paper it is written on, and has followed the lead of Novell, the Leader and originator of certifications, and has decided to try and duly implement performance based exams.

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 DeeWayne California

I don't understand most of the previous posts, especially the spanish one. But what I did understand made absolutely no sense whatsoever. There's no reason to re-take the exams if you already have an MCSE2k3. The new exams will just help limit the new 2k3's being released on the market, thus driving up your street value. The MCSE never "lost" its value; sure, there's alot of Papers out there, but that goes for other certs such as Cisco. I would say that the MCSE is second in the industry only to the CCIE, and to be honest, no matter how hard they make the exams an MCSE will never equate to an IE.

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 John Grissom CSI

La educación que recibe el 95% de los ingenieros MCSE es pobre. Lo máximo que saben es detener y arrancar servicios o reinstalar un service pack. La culpa no es de ellos, sino de la estrambótica literatura que pone Microsoft, como "web garden" para su nueva forma de administrar IIS 6.0, mucha gente se está pasando a APACHE por este motivo. Mejorarán los examenes de Microsoft ? No lo creo. I don´t think so.

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 Anonymous Anonymous

Now that makes no sense at all, not getting a cert because others have done the "paper" cert thing. Sounds to me like you really didn't get your MCSE because you couldn't handle the pressure of the exams and are using the paper cert issue as a crutch...

Thu, Apr 7, 2005 Ashik Sydney

This should be one way MS can show that their certifications are not 2nd rated as still MS dominates the PC World. I am preparing for MCSA right now and I got 1000 in 70-270 and I hope it would be really good to have such initiatives from Microsoft. Good Luck everyone out there.

Wed, Apr 6, 2005 Troy DC

Finally! This should help restore the MCSE credibility. I just worry what price these new test will be now that employers are going to seek this cert over traditional. If MS allows current MCSE2k3's to retake at a reduced cost to up their cert, I'll test on day 1.
ANYTHING to rid paper certs in order to 1-put the green back in my pocket and 2- give me co-workers that I don't have to show what a GPO is!

Wed, Apr 6, 2005 Ray Texas

I am glad because I am tired of dealing with paper MCSEs who can't even spell computer let alone engineering a network infrastucture

Sun, Apr 3, 2005 ahmed Saudia Arabia

Can i engoy

Fri, Apr 1, 2005 MCP98 "Retired" Anonymous

Well, I waited and waited, partly due to the poor reputation of MCSE being viewed as a 2nd rated certs, mainly spoiled by many paper MCSE, which I have personally encountered a few of them :p...
I am glad that Microsoft has decided to up their certs, now I have to gained more experience and then go for the newly improved testing method tests.

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