September 2011


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Archive for September 27th, 2011

Your test failed the test

Posted in Work on September 27th, 2011

So one of our  Partner suppliers requires that a certain number of our staffers be certified in their product line. It’s been a couple years since the last time we took the test, so our certs have expired and we need to re-certify our people. No problem, right? I mean, we all passed the test last time we took it…

Well, the test is technical in nature, and the guys who work with us understand that the certification itself is kind of a silly marketing/buzzword thing, so they made it possible to take the test directly from their website without a proctor. Us being the devious techies we are, we cheated outrageously – three of us got together in the conference room, threw the test up on the projector, grabbed our copy of the study materials and brought up a Google search window. Then we got serious about cheating and recorded the entire session for reference.

We got through the first taking of the test pretty well – 82%, where 80% is required to pass. Not bad – especially considering there are only 62 questions. (That’s right, 62. No idea why that many.)

Since each time the test is brought up it grabs a different collection of questions from the pool of all possible questions, the second taking was of course different. Sometimes we got the same question with re-arranged answers, sometimes the answers were completely reworded. And sometimes, the questions were pulled from deep in the bottom of the WTF? bucket.

Now here we have three previously-certified techs, taking a test that has not changed in two years, with a full copy of all the study materials, and this thing brought up several different questions that we had never seen anywhere. One even went so far as to use terminology we’d never heard EVER and had to look up in Wikipedia before we had a clue what the question is about.

We failed the test: 79%.

Now, it seems to me that if three previously-certified techs cheating for all they’re worth can still manage to fail your test after already passing it an hour before, then something is wrong with your test.