Well it has been quite a while since I started playing with Windows 7 by installing it on my main production machine, and recently I have reinstalled it to put RC on. I have to say that I am very much liking Windows 7 on almost all fronts. When I heard about the beta exam for 71-680 from the MS Learning blog Born To Learn, I called in to secure one of the limited spots available. I was lucky to grab one and quickly scheduled for today May 6th.
While I have been using Windows 7 hands on for awhile, I knew that I would need to spend some time in the days before the test to come up to speed on some of the things that a stand alone installation wouldn’t normally see or use so I would know how to deal with them on the test. Luckily the 71-680 prep guide came online pretty soon after the announcement so I had a rough idea the areas to bone up on.
So this morning bright eyed and bushy tailed I went off to take my exam and see what it was like. Of course we are under NDA when you take MS exams so I will not comment on question specifics, but I will give some thoughts on the exam both positive and negative.
- There were no gross errors or totally misleading questions on the set I worked with, I have seen murky questions in several exams I have taken in the past, but I did not hit any of those this time around.
- It was still an “old” style test. I was hoping this exam would bring a launch of “performance” based testing like the 70-113 pilot exam. This one had the age old exhibit pictures to work with and standard text questions, though the scenario questions were light to me from past exams.
- So over /switch questions… really if I know how to do something from a command line and I know what .exe to use, I am pretty sure I will figure out the switch parameter when needed. I think it is a little much to have to remember all switch configurations for .exe files. I can easily get them in a moment at a cmd prompt, I would think you could use that question to probe into a test takers other areas of knowledge.
- Little things can annoy me during a test, like the fact the center I was at still used a ball mouse that probably hadn’t been cleaned in ages, This caused it to be very unresponsive to my movement. The old CRT monitor with rounded screen also was a distraction, if I can show my snobbish elitism for flat screen monitors now. Hopefully I can finally find a test center that has a little more modern equipment.
All in all there really were really no real surprises in 71-680, when compared to 70-620 except for Windows 7 specific technologies. Anything could happen but I am pretty confident that when I get my results in 2 months or so I will have passed. And again while I am under a NDA for specific questions, I am going to be writing up some articles on the specific technologies I saw, that some people might not always be familiar with in day to day use. Look for those in the near future.