Taking Microsoft exams in Tunisia
Passing Microsoft exams requires nothing more than dedication and effort from you. If you are the kind of person who wants to be successful but doesnt want to put the effort in, then back down, and walk away. But, if you do want to succeed with a career in IT then get into the right frame of mind and get cracking. And it is going to be worth the effort, because such certifications bring you recognition for your knowledge and differentiate you from your peers.
This article helps you with some tried-and-true steps and tips for passing such exams.
Scheduling and pre-exam process
There are two possible ways for IT students (or empolyees) from Tunisia to register a certification test and schedule a date to take the exam :
Through exam providers :
You can register your test online with a Microsoft authorized Test-provider such as Pearson Vue.
By visiting your to-be-taken exam‘s description page and clicking on ‘Schedule exam’ you will be redirected to the provider’s site to complete the operation ( picking a test center and a date …).
Through training centers :
Choosing to register your test through a training center can help you avoid some online payment issues. Besides, some centers offer you trainings and can help you prepare and study for your exam. I registrated one of my exams with IT Academy training center, they got me a voucher to pass the exam without obliging me to take their training sessions.
( Microsoft have recently setup a system where you can take an exam at home! But unfortunately this option is not considered in Tunisia! )
Preparing and studying
Taking a Microsoft exam is not just about studying. Test-taking skills are just as crucial.
To pass the exam, you definitely need an approach, beacause taking such exams ‘cold’ is a good way to end up retaking them.
Know what you need to know
You must first know about most of the topics that will be on the exam ( I am saying ‘ most of the topics ‘ because you can never know what will be on the exam. No matter how much you study, you will likely encounter questions you have never seen in any material ).
I suggest you print out the objectives list from your exam’s description page. It is categorized under ‘Skills Measured’.Make sure you understand the details of each skill in the list. I have never failed an exam for which I was comfortable with this skills list. Actualy, in your your summary score sheet provided at the end of the exam you will see how you scored for each exam objective.
Besides,you must find good study materials depending on each exam. Be careful though to use the right study guide, for most exams you can use:
♦ Exam refs: as their name implies, they are more focused on the specific exam.They cover the exam’s objectives one by one.
♦ Training guides: those are ” more generic ” , they are aimed more at the job role tasks to which a specific certification is meant to map ( they may cover some areas that are not in the exam ).
Although Training Guides will assist you in preparing for the exam, it is not a complete exam preparation solution. This is a really important point. I once failed an exam ( with a very low score ) because I only perpared with the training guide ( I was way too far from what the exam questions mentioned! ).
If you are preparing for the exam, you should use additional study materials, such as practice tests, Exam Refs, blog posts ( this is an example of an excellent blog post that helped me prepare for one of my exams ) and forums such as the Born to Learn Certification study groups.
Turn theory into practice
It’s also important that you have real world experience. That means you should have actually done the stuff listed on the objectives, not just read about it in a book.
You must have hands on experience. So, when preparing, perform the labs on the exam prep guide. Or look for tutorials and projects depending on exam’s objectives and design your own solution.
You can also take a practice test. The two officially approved test engines from Microsoft are Measure Up or SelfTest. Your scores per objective on the practice test can help you prioritize your to-practice-more fields. Besides, tests contain questions which you can not answer whitout actualy going through the stuff.
Work on your test-taking skills
It is important to develop some test-taking skills and have some understanding of what to expect when taking an exam. The following 5 pointers have always helped me pass the certification test :
• Remember that passing an exam is as much about knowing what the answer IS NOT, as it is about knowing what the answer is. So, always use process of elimination if you are not 100% sure.
• Think of considering ‘keywords’ ! Microsoft exams questions can be in the form of 4-5 paragraphs, looking for keywords helps you find your answer faster.
• Dont assume anything. The scenarios sometimes presented in Microsoft exams are not advisable in a real-world scenario, but are there to see if you know the concept.
• Manage your time. This is the most important tip I can offer. I failed 2 attemps (on diffrent exams), the reason was I runned out of time ! When you start an exam you will be given the number of questions and the amount of time available and you can mark a question to review it later, you can do a quick estimation to the amount of time needed per question.
• Relax. It’s ok to guess and it’s ok to have no idea what a question is about.Because, sometimes questions are so out of left field that an experienced professional will not know what they are about.
Know how it actualy works
Knowing how to take a Microsoft exam is essential to passing a Microsoft exam. The exam will have questions that require you to know where options are in the user interface so hands on experience is vital. To do so, you can build your own Hyper-V home lab and get cracking.
Besides,you can get familiar to the exam’s formats and question types through practice tests.
Exam and beyong
While Microsoft certifications (or any other IT certification) can certainly provide you with an advantage over the competition, there are many other factors that employers consider when looking to hire. If you have effictive communication skills, a highly ethical and professional behaviour, an open mind and a positive attitude, along with a certification, this may make you stand out to a hiring manager.
So, I advise you do not just prepare for a Micrsoft certfication but get involved in a Micrsoft community.Do not just take Microsoft exams, write blogs about your experience and share your knowledge. Do not practice only throught labs and tutorials, try creating applications and submitting them to app stores. Do not just pass MCP certification exams, live through ‘a microsoft-professional experience’.