PMP for iPad: Transcender’s PMP5ED flash card app now in iTunes

October 29, 2014 at 1:40 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, PMI, Study hints | Leave a comment
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Good news for those of you in the Apple ecosystem: the iTunes store now carries an iPhone/iPad compatible version of our PMP5ED Flash Cards mobile app.

Here’s a quick feature list:

  • Over 1,000 questions covering all exam objectives
  • Simple and intuitive flash card interface
  • Easy self-grading
  • Answer history tracking and reporting
  • Customizable based on your reading preferences
  • Supports iPads and iPhones running iOS 7 and later

The app costs $3.99 and is available for download today.

Drop some vendor bling on your LinkedIn certifications list

June 20, 2014 at 3:22 pm | Posted in Vendor news | 3 Comments
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A while back I spotted the post Announcing a New Way to Add Microsoft Certifications to Your LinkedIn Profile in the Born To Learn blog.  The post promised that “after earning a certification, you’ll receive an email from Microsoft with a link that presents you with a profile update form with an automatically populated certification field, complete with the details of the certification you just completed. Simply click “Save,” and the certification will be added to your LinkedIn Profile.”

So what if your certifications are already listed in your LinkedIn profile?

I thought the idea was sound, but I didn’t see how it was relevant to me because I, like many other IT professionals, already listed my certifications in my LinkedIn profile. I pulled out my profile and started poking moodily at the buttons. Here’s what I started with:

LinkedIn Certs

Snapshot of my pre-existing MOS certification on LinkedIn

While I have no problem with the way this certification is listed, I wondered if there was a difference between the way it looked, and the way it would look as a newly added certification.

After poking some more, I discovered is that if I chose Edit, deleted the vendor’s name in the Certification Authority field (in this case, Microsoft), and then started to re-type it, a droplist appeared:


A slew of options were displayed! As you can see above, many of them aren’t relevant, meaning they’re not the Microsoft responsible for my certification credential. So I scanned the list and selected the appropriate Microsoft company name/logo and saved the changes. Then I moved on and did the same with my CompTIA certifications.

The result is twofold. First, official vendor logos decorated the formerly forlorn white space in the right-hand column. BLING! Second, each of those logos was clickable and took me to the vendor’s associated LinkedIn profile page.

LinkedIn Certs 2Above is the newly-updated certification section of my profile, complete with (correct) company logos. Makes me look very credible indeed.

Looks sweet. Can I do this with all of my IT certs?

The more I poked around, the more vendors I found who seemed to be participating in, for lack of a better term, this  “enhanced LinkedIn logo program.” Using the most recent years of Global Knowledge’s Top-Paying Certifications lists as a reference, and discovered that I could use an affiliated logo with certifications from these vendors:

International Council of E-Commerce Consultants (note: you will find them listed as “EC-Council”)
Linux Professionals Institute
Project Management Institute
Scrum Alliance
Sun Microsystems

(Note: this list could have changed since this blog was posted.)

I was not able to find a corresponding vendor logo for a CISSP certification using either ISC(2) or International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium. However, this is still a worthwhile certification on anyone’s profile; you certainly shouldn’t omit this or any other professional qualifications simply because they don’t have a blingy logo in the LinkedIn ecosystem.

Bling, schming. Why bother with it?

Bling aside, I think the main benefit to this enhanced listing functionality is the credibility factor. When prospective recruiters and employers look at your profile, they may see a certification they aren’t familiar with. However, if the logo is present, they can simply click it and be directed to the vendor’s independent LinkedIn page, where they can see more information about the certification.

We would love to know if you’ve tried this new feature and your thoughts, so be sure to share your bling with us!

We want to know what YOU think about Transcender test prep products!

April 16, 2014 at 2:53 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
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To ensure better results and improve our product for you, we are doing a brief survey with IT professionals to get feedback on your IT certification test prep experience.

We WILL ask you:

  • Which certifications you plan to earn
  • How well our test prep products did (or didn’t!) work for you
  • Whether you want to tell us something that isn’t on the survey (hint: we’ll let you fill in the blank)

Start Survey Now

We will NOT ask you:

  • To choose your “spirit animal”
  • To cite your favorite shrubbery
  • To reveal personally identifiable information

Thanks for playing!

Stop by the Transcender booth at FETC 2014 for the Microsoft Surface giveaway!

January 21, 2014 at 1:52 pm | Posted in Conferences, Vendor news | Leave a comment

If you’re attending the Florida Educational Technology Conference (FETC) in sunny Orlando this year, be sure to stop by the Transcender booth (#1071) and sign up for your chance to win a Microsoft Surface tablet. It’s also a great time to chat with our Regional Sales Director about your IT education challenges and how we can help.

Our booth is conveniently located between Learning Lab #3 and Learning Lab #2, right next to the food court.

fetc booth

You can stay abreast of all conference updates by following @FETC on Twitter and hashtag #FETC.


Select Microsoft virtualization, SQL Server 2008, Windows Server 2008, and Windows 7 exams to retire this month

January 6, 2014 at 10:09 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Kaplan IT Training news, Microsoft, Vendor news | 7 Comments
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Disclaimer: Exam retirements are subject to change without notice. Please go to the official Microsoft Retired exams list to confirm or deny a specific test’s retirement date, as it may have changed since this post was originally published. Click to find the latest posts by date on this topic.

If you are working on any of the following certifications, then set your calendar reminders and schedule your exam dates, because several Microsoft exams are retiring January 31, 2014. While you may still be able to get a certification in that technology, such as the still-current MCSA in SQL Server 2008, you will not be able to earn older MCITP or MCTS credentials.

(Note that Microsoft has not entirely abandoned the one-test MCTS certification track. We’ll cover the non-expiring MCITP and MCTS tracks in an upcoming post.)

The following certification tracks are either expiring completely, or are losing one of their required tests to expiration:

  • MCITP: Database Administrator 2008
  • MCITP: Database Developer 2008
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Support Technician on Windows 7
  • MCITP: Enterprise Desktop Administrator on Windows 7
  • MCITP: Enterprise Administrator on Windows Server 2008
  • MCITP: Virtualization Administrator on Windows Server 2008 R2
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • MCTS: Windows 7 and Microsoft Office 2010, Deployment
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuration
  • MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration

The retiring exams include:

  • 70-450: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution
  • 70-451: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Designing and Optimizing Database Solutions
  • 70-643: TS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuring
  • 70-647: PRO: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-649: Upgrading your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
  • 70-659: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-669: TS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-681: TS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deploying
  • 70-682: PRO: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-693: PRO: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

For a complete list of retiring certifications, see this page:

For a complete list of retiring exams, see this page:

Oracle rolling out 12c certifications; grab your exam in beta for a substantial savings

December 26, 2013 at 8:48 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Oracle, Vendor news | Leave a comment

Oracle has recently released or announced the incipient release of several Oracle Database 12c exams. While still in the beta stage, exams are only $50; once released to production they are available for full price, typically $245. If you think you have the chops to ace the exam in beta, it’s an amazingly good value (however, there’s nothing wrong with taking the time to bring yourself up to speed on a new generation of tech).

The following exams have been released to market, and are available from Pearson Vue:

The following will be released in beta soon:

To learn how to register for a beta exam, visit Oracle’s beta exam information page.

To find out about upcoming beta exams, visit Oracle’s Certification Blog.

As a final reminder, Oracle will be retiring several MySQL 5 Database exams in March 2014. For more information, visit Oracle’s exam and certification retirement page.

Give yourself the gift of knowledge (and score a half-price practice exam!)

December 20, 2013 at 5:09 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment

If the thought of spending the next week or two locked in your office and declaring “Not now; I have to study for my IT certification exam!” is more appealing than refilling the eggnog and trying to match names with faces of long-lost relatives, then we have just the deal for you. From now until December 30th 2013, you can buy any Transcender practice exam with the code TRAWINTER13, and get a second product for 50% off the retail price — making a Transcender practice exam the perfect gift to give to yourself (and maybe your significant other as well).

While your friends and family are  eating pie, drinking festive holiday beverages, and celebrating the end of another year, you can enjoy learning facts about project management, reviewing router-0n-a-stick configurations, and executing the ping command each and every time another Bing Crosby carol airs.

To grab your winter savings, click this link to enter the Transcender site, then remember to add TRAWINTER13 to your cart to activate the discount!

This deal expires at 11:59 PM on December 30.

Transcender pros have published the perfect stocking stuffer

December 11, 2013 at 5:34 pm | Posted in CISSP, Kaplan IT Training news, Study hints | Leave a comment
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Transcender developers Robin Abernathy and Troy McMillan have written the latest CISSP Cert Guide published by Pearson IT Certification, a leading publisher in the IT textbook and study guide field. This book is now available in print and electonic format through Amazon, Safari Books Online, Barnes & Noble, and other retailers, as well as directly from Pearson IT.

CISSP guide

This book was released at the end of November. Purchasing the print copy also grants you a 45-day free trial of the e-edition through Safari Books Online. The print and electronic versions include two practice exams. The Premium Edition eBook includes additional practice exams and a more detailed answer key.

The authors were kind enough (a.k.a – they’re sitting right next to me so they don’t really have a choice) to provide a brief Q&A regarding the content.

Q. Would you say this book is exam-focused, or more of a general learning tool?

A: Definitely exam focused. It skips all of the intro fluff, and goes right to the meat of the exam topics.

Q. Who is the intended audience for this book?

A.  The (ISC)2 CISSP exam itself requires that you have four to five years of hands-on experience in information systems security before trying to pass the test. This book contains what any EXPERIENCED security professional needs to review to pass the exam. It’s not designed for beginners.

Q. Do you need to own any particular equipment to use this book effectively?

A. The more devices and hardware you can use to practice the various security techniques, the better. For the book itself you’ll need a Windows desktop or VM to run the practice test engine.

Oracle University is seeking YOUR Java EE 7 input for a Job Task Analysis Survey

September 26, 2013 at 9:17 am | Posted in Oracle | Leave a comment
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Have you ever wondered how vendors actually build their certification exams, or choose the learning objectives for their courseware? Although they employ instructional designers and content writers, vendors also rely heavily on subject matter experts: the people “in the real world” who use the technology day in and day out.

Oracle Certification and Server Technologies Curriculum Development are in the process of building two new Java EE7 Certification exams. They write:

An Oracle certification is typically associated with a particular role related to a single technology. In the case of Java EE7, the technology is very broad and comprehensive. We are looking to you and the industry to validate our definition of these job roles. Our assumption and preliminary investigation shows that programmers and developers working with Java EE technology design and create applications using front-end technologies and/or server-side enterprise technologies.

If you have two to four years experience using the previous Java EE technology versions, or if you are involved in hiring Java programmers for front-end and server-side development, then Oracle wants your input to help shape the next release of certification exams.

Click the link to go to the survey (closes on 30 November 2013):

MCTS, MCITP, MCPD: What is dead may never die, but rises again, more certified than before

August 14, 2013 at 8:15 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Just over a year ago, George posted a comprehensive list of the exams scheduled to retire on July 31, 2013, which can be summed up as “looks like practically everything.” For a while, it also appeared that all Visual Studio 2010 exams would expire last month.

However, Microsoft listened to customer feedback and extended, or suspended entirely, retirement of some of the more sought-after tests. Next, it turned out that the demise of the MCTS and MCITP was greatly exaggerated as well. While many of the exams for those technologies did expire, Microsoft softened the rollover by shifting many existing 2008 exams to the resurrected MCSE and MCSA certifications, and extended deadlines for certifying in key technologies into 2014.

These zombie tests have escaped the headsman’s axe… FOR NOW. We suggest you not delay your study plans, because by 2014 they may be going back into the grave, never to rise again.

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before....

What is dead may never die, but rises again, stronger than before….

When you play the game of certs, you upgrade….or you die

While most Visual Studio 2010 exams are gone, if you currently hold an MCPD certification on Visual Studio 2008, you can still upgrade your certifications to Visual Studio 2010.

  • Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0: Upgrade Paths
    • 70-521: Upgrade: Transition your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Windows Developer Skills to MCPD .NET 4.0 Windows Applications Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.
    • 70-523: Upgrade: Transition Your MCPD .NET Framework 3.5 Web Developer Skills to MCPD .NET Framework 4 Web Developer. Exam retires July 31, 2014.

And although the component exams are retired, those who hold an MCSE on Windows Server 2003 can still take the three-in-one 70-649 to earn the triple home run of three MCTS (Windows Server 2008 Active Directory Configuration, Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure Configuration, and Windows Server 2008 Application Platform Configuration ).

  •  Windows Server 2003 MSCE to Windows Server 2008 MCTS: Upgrade Path
    • 70-649: TS: Upgrading Your MCSE on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist (hurry; retires January 2014)


If you are still seeking the elusive one-test certification, the MCTS, these options are still alive and kicking. Expiration dates vary between January and July 2014, and in some cases are still listed as July 2013 on the individual exam pages, so please confirm availability with Microsoft or Prometric:

  • 70-177: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Project Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-433: Earns the MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development
  • 70-506: Earns the MCTS: Silverlight 4, Development
  • 70-643: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 Applications Infrastructure, Configuration (note: as of this writing, this exam is listed as expiring in the overview, but is shown as live until January 2014 on the Microsoft master list)
  • 70-659: Earns the Windows Server 2008 R2, Server Virtualization
  • 70-662: Earns the MCTS: Microsoft Exchange Server 2010, Configuration
  • 70-667: Earns the MCTS: SharePoint 2010, Configuration
  • 70-669: Earns the MCTS: Windows Server 2008 R2, Desktop Virtualization
  • 70-681: Earns the MCTS: Windows 7 and Office 2010, Deployment

If you are still working toward an MCITP, these component exams have been extended until January 2014:

  • 70-450: PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing, Optimizing, and Maintaining a Database Administrative Solution
  • 70-647: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Enterprise Administrator
  • 70-663: Pro: Designing and Deploying Messaging Solutions with Microsoft Exchange Server 2010
  • 70-668: PRO: Microsoft SharePoint 2010, Administrator
  • 70-682: Pro: Upgrading to Windows 7 MCITP Enterprise Desktop Support Technician
  • 70-693: Pro: Windows Server 2008 R2, Virtualization Administrator

Finally, although the component exams may have been salvaged and reassigned to different certifications, you only have until January 2014 to earn the MCITP or MCTS credential itself. After that date, even if the same exam is still active, it will count toward a different certification.

They’re Dead, Jim

These exams ARE RETIRED as of July 31, 2013. Requiescat in pace.

Windows Client:

70-270 – Installing, Configuring, and Administering Microsoft Windows XP Professional
70-620 – TS: Configuring Microsoft Windows Vista Client
70-622 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – ENTERPRISE
70-623 – Pro: Microsoft Desktop Support – CONSUMER
70-635 – TS: Microsoft Deployment Toolkit 2008, Desktop Deployment
70-660 – TS: Windows Internals
70-683 – TS: Windows 7, Preinstalling for OEMs

Windows Server:

70-169 – TS: Windows Small Business Server 7, Configuring
70-290 – Managing and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Environment
70-291 – Implementing, Managing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-293 – Planning and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network Infrastructure
70-294 – Planning, Implementing, and Maintaining a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory Infrastructure
70-297 – Designing a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Active Directory and Network Infrastructure
70-298 – Designing Security for a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-299 – Implementing and Administering Security in a Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Network
70-648 – Upgrading your MCSA on Windows Server 2003 to Windows Server 2008, Technology Specialist
70-656 – TS: Microsoft Desktop Optimization Pack, Configuring
74-679 – Windows Server 2008 Hosted Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-690 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Configuring and Managing
70-691 – Windows Server 2008 HPC Environments, Developing
70-699 – Windows Server 2003, MCSA Security Specialization Skills Update

Visual Studio:

70-502 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Presentation Foundation
70-503 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Windows Communication Foundation
70-504 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 – Workflow
70-505 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, Windows Forms Application Development
70-536 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework – Application Development Foundation
70-561 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ADO.NET Application Development
70-562 – TS: Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5, ASP.NET Application Development
70-563 – Pro: Designing and Developing Windows Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-564 – PRO: Designing and Developing ASP.NET Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
70-565 – PRO: Designing and Developing Enterprise Applications Using the Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5

SQL Server, Lync, and Office Communications Server:

70-451 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Designing and Optimizing Database Solutions
70-452 – PRO: Microsoft SQL Server 2008, Designing a Business Intelligence Solution
70-664 – TS: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Configuring
70-665 – PRO: Microsoft Lync Server 2010, Administrator

The official list of retired Microsoft certification exams is here.

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