“May we check your references?”

September 30, 2008 at 4:01 pm | Posted in Study hints | Leave a comment

With regards to Transcender practice test references, the answer is a resounding “Yes!” The references included for each practice test question point you to valuable information you need to know when preparing for your certification exam, but it seems like they’re a resource that is often overlooked.

When you are selecting references to include on a resume, what sort of references do you include? Probably people who will testify that you are a good potential employee, someone who will confirm your professional, technical, and personal skills… not an angry ex-spouse, parole officer, or the pizza delivery man. In the same way, the practice test references provide supporting information to back up the correct answer, and additional information on the concept behind the question.

When we begin developing a new practice test, we identify the approved references that we are going to use for that test. We choose references on three criteria: accuracy, availability, and clarity.

  • Accuracy – Approved references are usually direct from the vendor, such as online documentation or vendor courseware. In those cases when vendor-created references or textbooks are not available, as sometimes happens with new technology, we may cite a third-party book or Web site. We may even refer to blogs if they’re written by industry professionals. However, you can rest assured that we scrutinize them to ensure they are reliable reference sources (sorry, no Wikipedia).
  • Availability – We recognize that you’ve invested time and money into your Transcender practice test. We make every attempt to provide an online reference so that it’s easy for you to get to the important information, minimizing both your prep time and your costs. In cases where there’s no Web site to back it up, we may select a third-party textbook as a resource. However, we don’t expect you to go out and buy four or five books.
  • Clarity –We ensure that the reference is at the right technical depth for the practice test in question. A table of .NET expressions might have the right information, but it might not explain how to use them.

So, how can you use these references to get the most out of your study time and ensure you pass the test? Here are some guidelines you should follow as you go through the practice test in Learning Mode:

Consult the reference – After you review each tutorial explanation, consult the cited references. Because most practice test items provide an online reference, this is usually just a mouse click or two away.

Read the reference thoroughly – As you read through the reference material, keep in mind the core concept of the practice test question. The reference material will provide more detailed information about the topic. In addition, the reference material may provide specific examples, including vendor-generated tables, graphics, and code examples, which illustrate how to perform specific tasks – and these help bring all the pieces together when it comes to understanding the core concept. You can even use the code examples in your testing environment to ensure you fully understand the subject matter or functionality.

Drill down to related hyperlinks – Sometimes the reference link provided will point you to higher-level information – this is to ensure you have the appropriate background information on the basic content covered by the practice test question. Most online reference sources provide you with additional hyperlinks that branch out from the core concept. For any concepts, terms, commands, etc. that you don’t fully understand, by all means, drill down!

The key to being prepared for your live certification exam is understanding. Understanding the concept (or concepts) presented in each practice test item is crucial to passing the live exam. So by all means, reference away.
– Jan

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