83-640 versus 70-640: How do they calculate my score if it’s virtual? and other desperate questions

September 28, 2009 at 7:55 am | Posted in Microsoft | Leave a comment
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There’s been a steady trickle of comments and customer emails on our post 83-640 versus 70-640: Which MCTS: Windows Server 2008, Active Directory Configuration is which? since we published it in February. The actual 83-640 exam went live in May. Since then, people have been writing to say they can’t find the new objectives online, that they can’t find the exam offered at a local testing center, or that they don’t understand how the virtual lab is scored and don’t want to lose points by clicking around to find the right command.

First, I want to point out that we’re not affiliated with Microsoft, and so we can’t help you directly. But we’re more than happy to help you find the right place to go. Most of the information you need has been published in the last year on Microsoft’s Born To Learn blog, and the blog team is very responsive to comments and questions.

As a first step – and this sounds dumb, but believe me, sometimes our eyes trick us – if you don’t see 83-640 listed on Prometric’s web site, be sure you’ve scrolled to the bottom of the list of tests. As James Seymour points out, 83 falls below 70, so you’ll have to scroll past all the other tests first.

If it’s not listed in your area, try contacting your test provider by phone and asking if they’re currently administering the 83-640 test. Microsoft is working region by region to ensure that test providers have the ability to run it in their labs. If your region isn’t supporting it, you may have to take 70-640 instead. Again, this post in Born To Learn is the place to find that answer.

The way that Microsoft scores tests is proprietary. However, Liberty Munson (Microsoft’s psychometrician) has specifically stated that the number of clicks or commands you enter in a scenario on your way to the goal do NOT affect the score. Only the configuration that you submit affects the score.

There is no per-simulation-item time limit. There is an overall time limit for the exam, and for some exams the simulations are grouped in a separately timed section. However, you will not be penalized for spending a long time on one simulation. Either you complete the task successfully and you earn the point or points associated with that simulation, or you don’t. The only disadvantage to spending a long time on one simulation is that you are eating up time you could be spending on another item.

Finally, you don’t need to find the “new” exam objectives, because there aren’t any. The material being tested, and the objectives, are unchanged from 70-640. Only the way in which the test is administered has changed. You can see our team member’s comments on the pilot version of this exam for a preview of the experience.

We hope this helps. Keep the comments coming!

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