Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Certification Watch: Microsoft Moves To Pass/Fail Reports

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Microsoft Moves To Pass/Fail Only Score Reports
Candidates taking Microsoft certification exams released since December 31, 2001 will no longer receive feedback on individual exam sections or any numerical score information – the only result will be a pass or fail notice. Older Microsoft exams will also migrate to the new score format during 2002. Before now, test takers received a score report detailing the required passing score, the candidate’s actual score, and a breakdown of performance on specific test sections.

The reason for the change, according to Microsoft, is that some certified individuals were inappropriately using the numerical scores to represent their relative success on an exam, when in fact a higher or lower passing score does not necessarily indicate the potential for superior job function. Besides, says Microsoft, providing information on which areas need improvement is not part of the purpose of certification exams.

Stripping away performance feedback that allows unsuccessful exam takers to focus their renewed study efforts seems callous at best. Certification Watch suspects that this may also be part of an overall plan to make Microsoft Certification more difficult to obtain, in response to complaints about “paper” MCSEs. While perhaps some toughening of exams and requirements was at one point in order, it appears as if Microsoft is in imminent danger of swinging too far in that direction.

Macromedia Retires Certified Web Site Developer Title
The Certified Web Site Developer exam, launched just under a year ago by Allaire (which merged into Macromedia), is being discontinued. Currently certified individuals will retain their status until June 30th 2003, and can receive a free voucher for the Dreamweaver 4 Certified Developer exam by contacting

New Cisco IP Telephony Specialist Certification
If you’re into the hot field of computer telephony and converged networks, Cisco has a new certification for you to consider. Cisco IP Telephony Support Specialist is for individuals who plan, implement, and support Cisco advanced IP telephony network solutions. The focus of this new title is implementing and supporting Cisco data and voice integration solutions over Frame Relay, ATM and IP. To earn this title you’ll first have to hold a CCNP (Cisco Certified Network Professional) credential plus pass three additional exams.

In other Cisco certification news, CCIE Routing and Switching Lab Exam test takers can now get their scores online, reportedly by the end of the day after you take the exam. The info is available through the CCIE Online Web site, which requires that you have a CCO (Cisco Customer Connection) username and password to view. Guest membership is available. To access the actual scores, you will need information from the score report from your routing and switching qualification (written) exam that you took via Prometric or VUE.

Pervasive Software Launches Two New Certifications
The Certified Pervasive Technician (CPT) designation is for individuals who install, configure, and troubleshoot Pervasive database products. This basic certification requires passing a single exam ($120). The Certified Pervasive Developer (CPD) is for individuals who with advanced skills in designing and coding Pervasive.SQL applications. The required exam costs $150. Study guides for both exams are available on the Pervasive Web site . The exams are administered via the Web by Pervasive.

Nortel Enterprise Solutions Field Specialist Exams In Beta
During February, four exams for the Nortel Networks Certified Field Specialist (NNCFS) Enterprise Solutions track will enter beta. The exams and dates are: Symposium Portfolio Field Specialist (#921-106) – February 5; MPS 100 Field Specialist (#921-107) – February 18; Business Communications Manager (BCM) 2.5 Field Specialist (#921-117) – February 19; and Meridian 1 IP / CSE 1000 Field Specialist (#921-104) – February 20. The first 50 spots for each beta exam are free. To get a seat, you’ll have to request a voucher by email from . Testing is through Prometric.

Get a Free IBM DB2 Exam Voucher
During February, April, June, August, October, and November, candidates who score 75% or greater on a free online DB2 assessment exam will receive a voucher to take the real (proctored) exam for free. See IBM’s offer for the full details.

The complete current issue of Certification Watch can be found at

Anne Martinez is the author of Cheap Web Tricks: Build and Promote a Successful Web Site Without Spending A Dime and Get Certified and Get Ahead: Millennium Edition she is also the founder of

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