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70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
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Howdy.

There has been a lot of discussion recently about the huge changes to the 70-282 exam, especially following people helping us with the 71-282 beta exam work.  Having worked many hours as an investagtive reporter (at least 2) and searched many a rubbish bin, I now have a pretty good answer to what happened.  I managed to get this statement from the "right people" inside Microsoft.

In short - 71-282 was a beta which had some things in it that did not make it into the final revised 70-282 exam.

"70-282 Clarification around the introduction of a new version of the exam

 

In Early 2006 Microsoft felt that exam "70-282 Designing, Deploying and Managing Network Solutions for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses" had not been performing at the Microsoft standard.  Microsoft constantly reviews customer feedback and exam statistics, and determines if exam item changes or additions are required.

 

To keep this exam current and valued by our customers and partners, Microsoft revised the questions and carried out testing of the new exam with a cross-section of Microsoft Partners and internal staff.  This group was made up of people who had sat the previous 70-282 exam and of people who had not yet sat the exam all coming from the Small Business Specialist Community or SBS MVPs.  The beta exam was coded 71-282.  Candidates who sat and passed 71-282 will be given credit for the 70-282 exam.

 

In March 2006, once testing was complete, the revised 70-282 exam was launched.

 

The exam format has changed slightly, but the content continues to reflect the required knowledge for designing, deploying and managing network solutions for the small and mid-sized business.   To be successful, you will need adequate knowledge of Microsoft Small Business Server, Microsoft Windows Server and Active Directory.  All existing training and prep materials contain information to prepare candidates for the current exam questions.  There are several preparation options available depending on your experience and current knowledge levels.  Details of training courses and materials are available at http://www.microsoft.com/learning.

 

Microsoft continually monitors the effectiveness of its training in preparing candidates for exams and your feedback is welcome.  Equally, Microsoft monitors the effectiveness of its exams to ensure that candidates who pass are equipped to deliver solutions in live customer situations.  In the event where exam integrity, customer feedback, or exam statistics are not normal, Microsoft will always act to restore integrity and reserves the right to alter specific exam questions at any time to achieve this.  Such changes should not prevent individuals with the required skills and knowledge from passing the revised examinations."

If you want to add more feedback on this, please feel free to add comments to this if you want it to be public, or mail me privately at doverton@microsoft.com.

ttfn

 

David


Posted Wed, Jul 5 2006 5:32 AM by David Overton

Comments

iQubed wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Wed, Jul 5 2006 11:39 AM
Hi Dave,

What's the knock on effect of this for people who passed under the previous exam? Whilst it was right to modify the exam if it was not achieving the required standard. I'm just concerned that this will create a 2 tier accreditation, those that passed under the previous exam and those that pass under the new exam! The Small Business Specialist accreditation was to give customers confidence in the "blue badge", so do you think that confidence is still intact?

Cheers,

Vijay
David Overton wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Wed, Jul 5 2006 11:50 AM
Vijay,

The quality of the people passing the exam originally or now is not significantly different. The feedback on the appropriateness of some of the questions and answers has been tweaked and we have ensured the information is pitched correctly for partners to ensure those who are skilled in this space can pass and those who are not, cannot.  This is not an issue about the people who passed, but rather the exam itself.

ttfn

David
iQubed wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Wed, Jul 5 2006 12:11 PM
Hi Dave,

Absolutely agree with you about the quality of the people who  have already passed. I'm sure they'd pass any new exam as well. It's more to do with the fact that if Microsoft acted to "restore integrity" then obviously Microsoft lost confidence in the ability of the exam to accredit people who can do! It begs the question (at least to me anyway), whether there should be a reaccreditation process based on the exam?

Cheers,

Vijay
David Overton wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Wed, Jul 5 2006 7:16 PM
it is possible the exam was just a little too hard, so those who took the original might have had to work harder to pass :-)  I understand what you are pushing at, but there should be no need for a re-accrediation.

ttfn

David
Tim Long wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Thu, Jul 6 2006 12:27 AM
Having sat and passed both exams, I broadly agree with David. Although 71-282 was significantly longer and (in my opinion) a bit harder, both the exams really want the candidate to prove that they know which solution is right for a given set of circumstances and that they know how to set up and maintain the solution. That has not significantly changed from 70-282 to 71-282, in my opinion. Of course, I have no way of knowing what content made it from the beta into the final revised exam, but the beta exam brought things up to date in terms of product versions (ISA, SQL, WSUS, etc) but the content was otherwise not substantially different so there need be no fear about a 2 tier accreditation and no need to re-certify. Think of it as 70-282 Service Pack 1 ;-)
iQubed wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Thu, Jul 6 2006 12:29 PM
Well Tim, I have to disagree with you slightly, because there is already a 2 tier programme and that is the Premium status, also the UK has an annual accreditation which is not so in other countries. I happen to agree with this and the UK seems to be leading in many respects. Whilst in reality the changes to the exam might be just a "tweak", my issue is with the wording of the statement by Microsoft! Why leave hostages to fortune to those who would seek to devalue the programme. You can imagine someone like "The Register" getting hold of this! If it's a minor thing (and I accept in reality it is), why didn't the official statement say this!

The programme is evolving which is a natural thing but being Microsoft they are not afforded the luxury of "tweaking" things. I think Microsoft has realised that only a certain group is going to engage effectively with it. I think we've seen the pleas for more attendees at the Ignite events and your own plea on your blog entitled "Wasted Opportunity"! I would echo all of that and I want the programme to continue to really mean something! I could go on and on, but I'll quit now...!

Cheers,

Vijay
David Overton wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Thu, Jul 6 2006 1:54 PM
Everyone who takes the exam will potentially get a different set of questions (as you get a quantity from a pool as opposed to a fixed 20,30,40 etc).  To this end, if some of the questions are too hard or easy, then it balances out as it is not the whole exam.

We are not talking about a drop in quality or too high a bar across the whole SBSC membership.  As for the expiring membership, this is still being discussed and the value of Premium is two way - hopefully you got something out the training.

On the tweaks - the only reason we have said anything at all is because there was a lot of noise about the beta 71-282 exam and people took this to be a guide as to the new 70-282.  Yes we did try some things out in that, but the things people criticized are not in the v2 70-282.

I hope this makes sense.

ttfn

David
iQubed wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Thu, Jul 6 2006 2:21 PM
Hi Dave,

I think I'm going a bit off-topic here, but I got a lot of value from the Premium training and the Ignite events and I think you've seen from my website that I've focused on some of that messaging. I'm not trying to be negative or a pain but express my opinion, hopefully in a constructive way.

Yes, it's two way, absolutely agree! So, what have I done to this end. I've discussed with the Leicester FSB regarding tech events with the Midlands SBS Group and Microsoft. I've got an East Midlands Trade Organisation who has a bid in with the East Midlands Development Agency for providing IT Support to companies, willing to discuss working together with the Midlands SBS Group and Microsoft! Fulfilled the requirements for the Networking Infrastructure Competency and just require another MCP registered with iQubed and hopefully be able to apply for Certified status.

Oh!...and organising a curry night in Leicester for anyone interested (see the Midlands mailing lists!) - anyone welcome.

Cheers,

Vijay
Strin wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Mon, Sep 18 2006 1:01 PM

Hi Dave,

I'm new to the forum, and am getting ready to take the (new) 70-282 exam. However, given the need for annual accreditation in the UK, I'm concerned that taking the exam in (say) October 2006 will mean I will need to re-take the exam in early 2007 if I want the latest & greatest blue-badge.

Is this indeed the case, or am I missing something? Could you please explain a little about how the annual accreditation requirement works, or post the URL where I can find out more info?

Many thanks,

Paul.

David Overton wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Mon, Sep 18 2006 3:09 PM

Paul,

we are in process of working out what next's years requirements look like - and this is being done by asking the SBSC.  The worst case scenario is that the existing SBSC members put in place an extra requirement - such as the need for some references, but we will be very flexible with new partners due to the timings involved.

Without making promises, I expect your investment will benefit you now and you will have plenty of time to deliver any extra requirements (and no, there will be no additional exams, cash etc).

thanks

David

James wrote re: 70-282 Exam - what has changed, what has not and how it stands now after all the feedback
on Sat, Oct 28 2006 1:10 PM
Just a question. I am taking the 70-282 test on Nov28. Is it going to be worth it? Or, should I wait for the release of long horn. Your comments are much appreciated. James

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