QA Talk: The case of the disappearing tabs

January 27, 2009 at 8:00 pm | Posted in Study hints, Transcender news | Leave a comment
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In my previous QA Talk post, my colleague very generously touted me as the department’s “QA expert.” And while I appreciate her generosity, let’s be clear: my “expertise” is more based on a great amount of patience and an endless supply of caffeine than any true intellectual knowledge. But I do enjoy tediously clicking through our products, loading images, checking references… click, click, click… on the off chance that I find some gem of a problem that I can delegate to someone OTHER than me or my team.

For example, there’s an annoying inconsistency [Editrix’ note: That’s a FEATURE… and we’re working on it.]  in our practice test engine that applies to case study exam types. I’ve seen it, you’ve seen it (or rather NOT seen it), I’ve read your e-mails about it, and I hear ya! This is how the story goes: you can click the Background tab and read all about the company on which the case study is based, but there’s nowhere on the screen to click to get any Business Requirements, Technical Specs, Exhibits, and all the other information you need to answer our case study questions.

While I will assure you that the permanent fix has been delegated to the “real” experts (not just me, with the caffeine habit and the need to find problems), there is something I can offer by way of an immediate resolution to this issue.

So first, what’s a case study? Case study exams offer a different approach to the humdrum of multiple-choice certification exams. That added complexity comes at a new level of stress for some students. I appreciate your pain. I also appreciate your frustration when you take the time to read through a case study, click Next Item, and find that we’re asking you to answer something based on a section of the case study you had no idea existed. Major fail. Not to worry – take a breath, I’m here for you. Before you reach the level of frustration from which there is no return and thwart all hope of learning and passing your certification exam, let’s try a couple of things…

There are two common causes for this problem. First, you have an old version of Adobe Flash player installed, or second, your monitor resolution settings are not supported by our product controls. Both are very easy fixes.

If you have a version of Adobe Flash that’s older than v9, try upgrading to the latest version and restarting your practice test. You can find the latest Flash player version (v10) here: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/

Another common problem is your screen resolution setting. If your resolution is set to 1280×960, 1280×1024, 1600×1024, or 1600×1200, and you try to view a case study in full screen mode, you may see this:

casestudy_1

The correct view of our sample case study in the Cert-70-446 should display five tabs full of worthy and testable information for this case study. To view this mystery data, you can either reconfigure your screen resolution or minimize your high resolution view. To reconfigure your screen, go to Control Panel > Display > Settings > Screen resolution and slide that marker to the left a bit. If you prefer to leave your screen configuration as is, or if changing these settings distorts the text to where it’s difficult to read, you can keep your resolution where it is and just minimize the window running your practice test (take it out of full-screen mode). That view should result in this:

casestudy_2

If neither of these troubleshooting tips reveals those “missing” tabs, give us a buzz, stop us when we try to tell you to upgrade Flash player and change your resolution, and we’ll get on to the business of fixing the problem and getting you back to your studies.

Attention, live examinees! As per one of our developers, if you’re sitting a live exam and you cannot see all of the case study information – or if the questions do not seem to be based on information you see on the screen – then quickly alert the testing center staff to check your display resolution. It may not be correctly configured for the test you’re taking.

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