SQL Server Performance

My Fun at the Prometric Testing Center... Rant on my 70-443 experience!

Discussion in 'SQL Server 2005 Certification [Archive]' started by Todd Carrier, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Todd Carrier New Member

    Wow, what a stressful morning. I've been preparing for the 70-443 test (the PRO esign a DB Server Infrastructure) for months now and was all excited to get it over with.

    Scheduled the test for 9am, so arrived 15 minutes prior. Receptionist acted quite suprised at my arrival, ran into the test room, turned on the lights, came back and checked me in. OK, ready to go! All pumped up. I've taken about 6 of these now, so feel pretty comfortable with the process.

    I sat down at the testing computer, entered my candidate code... ERROR. Can't remember exactly, but anyway. I check with the receptionist "we're always having problems with these tests. The IT administrator for the prometric tests won't be in for a while".

    Good to know I scheduled the test for a time when no support was available. Better yet, they knew for 2 weeks that I was going to be there this morning.

    Reboot. Good idea. OK, back at it. Enter candidate code. The test is now in progress. Window on center of screen shows a timer. About 8 minutes or so as I recall. Where is the question? Case study? Is something supposed to happen? Button says "resume test" or "cancel". After waiting around, I figure, well "resume test" sounds good. Click. 5 minutes remaining. Click around a little more. Maybe the test is loading?

    "Our IT guy should be here by 9am", it's 9:10 or so.

    2 minutes remaing. Hmm, something's bound to happen here in 2 minutes.

    "Time has expired for this section of the test"... Whoa! What did I just miss? How many questions did I miss out on?

    Next section of test loads, and there it is... the dreaded Case Study. What a story to behold! Left side of screen lots of information about a fictitious company. Following the tips from other posters... I went straight to the questions and read them first, then bounce back and forth to the case study. Be careful, they hide little tidbits of necessary information in separate sections. One paragraph of one section can be misleading if you miss out on a little sentence in another.

    "So it looks like your test is working now?" Well, I'm sure I missed out on something, but gotta keep moving here if you know what I mean.

    "OK, well, our IT Guy should be in soon" It's gotta be close to 10am.

    Hard to focus on these questions. Very challenging. I would hate to not speak English as a first language. Certainly agree with many that this test format is arguably wayward. OK back to it... not much time left. Each section is timed separately. Enough time to answer the questions, but not to go back and review the one's I've marked.

    Testing room is right off the entrance lobby of a college. This is going to be tough. Can't get over the background noise. Group of 12 nursing students standing outside the door.

    "Should we go to IHOP or Perkins?"
    How should you configure logins to the SQL Server.
    "I love those pancakes with the carmel!"
    Which type of high availabilty solu....
    "Ha, Ha, Ha, you're so funny Suzy!"
    On which RAID Subsystem should you place your database...
    "That guy on the right is having problems with his test, will you tell..."

    Testing room consists of 2 workstations. Another test taker comes in to start his test. A little distracting, but not like the nurses.

    Next section of the test is 45 minutes long, 13 questions. Bearing down now, trying to focus. A grinding test. Answered all of the questions with about 2 minutes to spare. Went back to check on the ones I marked for review.

    "Time has expired on this section of the test"

    White screen.

    White screen.

    Huh? What's going on.

    Initial login screen returns. Welcome splash, candidate name... please enter candidateID. Begin Test button. Do I want to begin the test? Where's the next section.

    Is this thing starting over?

    "Those pictures of your nephew and that puppy are so adorable!"

    I had enough and exited the room. New receptionist. Explained the issues I had before and that the test is at the initial login screen asking for my candidateID (which I erased off the dry erase board to take notes)
    "I'll call the IT guy"

    Is there a quieter room that you can use for testing? It just seems like this is the worst place in the world to try to take a test. I think the bus-stop might be more conducive to concentration.

    "Yeah, and that door won't close anymore, It used to be kind of quiet when the door closed. I've been asking them to get it to close."

    IT guy comes down and asks what is up? I tell him my story. He goes to call Prometric.

    "That puppy is the cutest thing I've ever seen!"
    "Those pancakes were delicious!"

    Blood pressure rising. Red head about to explode. Calm thyself.

    My salary raise depends on this test. I cannot fail this test.

    "Billy got a new pickup last weekend, and he says he's gonna take me for a ride after work!"

    20 minutes later...
    "He's still on hold with Prometric customer service, so you can leave if you want"

    Great, I'm outta here, never to return. So, you'll let me know how to reschedule the test, somewhere else where they have a testing center without puppies and pancakes and errors and nursing students? Do you have my number?

    "Let me write it down and I'll have (IT man) call you"

    Completely stressed now. Back to the office. In the weeds. Testing server down. Memory shortage. Turns out a production db is on it. How did that happen?
    Meeting
    Conference Call
    "Didn't you hear about the takeover bid?" The company stock jumped 100 points
    Move to production delayed. ETL process bottlenecked. Boss wants to know what's up.

    Why did I choose this profession!

    ARRGHHH!

    Today must end!

    End of the day comes, no word from (IT man).
    Tomorrow I'll have to call Prometric, but I thought you all deserved to hear this tale first!

    Good luck on your certification!
  2. satya Moderator

    [:] good one to read on Friday, that complete fun part of it.
    There goes another good luck from us to you...[Y].
  3. Greg Larsen New Member

    I totally follow you about the noise. Last test I took was very similar. I think next time I'm taking eye plugs.
  4. Adriaan New Member

    Friday Funnies at their best.
  5. satya Moderator

    Prometric testing centres are no good to provide basic facilities, I thought this is the case in UK and it seems all over they are same [:mad:]

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