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MCSE-Win2K Core Exams Getting Refreshed

Two key exams to be repopulated with new question types that are being developed for Windows Server 2003 exams, according to Microsoft.

Microsoft next week plans to "refresh" its 70-210: Windows 2000 Professional and 70-215: Windows 2000 Server exams with new questions and testing techniques that are being developed for the upcoming Windows Server 2003 exams. The refresh is an attempt to make the exams more secure by weeding out old or statistically irrelevant questions.

"Continually updating exam content and utilizing innovative testing techniques result in exams that are increasingly relevant to candidates while securing exam content," said Ken Rosen, product manager for Microsoft Training and Certification. "Our customers make a significant investment when they become certified, and we’re committed to protecting that investment by maintaining the integrity of our certification exams."

Refresh exams are similar to typical beta exams in that they're free, can only be taken once, and are longer in duration to allow more time for testers to complete the additional questions. Unlike typical betas, however, Microsoft says that "refresh exams will be scored immediately, based on the standard questions within the exam."

The refreshed content will be introduced during the following beta periods: May 12-28 for 70-210; May 12-June 2 for 70-215. The refresh exams will be available simultaneously with current, live versions of the 70-210 and 70-215 exams and, in fact, some test registrants may be offered a choice of the beta "refresh" or live exam upon registration. The company says it will also offer beta invitations to qualified recipients of its MCP Newsflash Newsletter.

Refreshing exam material is not an unusual practice and not unique to just Microsoft exams, according to Don Jones, whose company, Braincore.net, has developed exams for Microsoft and other vendors. "Typically, exams are 'transparently' refreshed by adding the new content to existing exams as unscored items—much like the SAT, LSAT, and other exams get new content into their pools," Jones explains. "Normally, you might get a handful of new, unscored items mixed in with the regular, scored items. So a normal 50-item exam might, for example, have 55 items, with five of those being unscored items," he added.

About the Author

Michael Domingo has held several positions at 1105 Media, and is currently the editor in chief of Visual Studio Magazine.

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