Transcender’s own Performance-Based Testing lab goes live for 83-640

February 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Microsoft, Performance-Based Testing | 3 Comments
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As you may have heard, Microsoft has rolled out a new certification test that uses emulations, rather than simulations, to create a live lab environment inside the test. (Read the full story here.) Although it’s not yet released in the U.S., the new emulation test (83-640) is scheduled to replace 70-640 completely in 2009 as testing centers support the format.

We, the Transcender staff, are thrilled to roll out our very own performance-based lab product. 83-640: MSCert: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring is now available. The product is divided into two sections: Part One, the virtual lab, and Part Two, the more traditional question-and-answer format.

Because of the unique nature of this product, the format is a little different from our other practice tests:

  • Part Two, the standard test form, is a downloadable product that comes with a 3-year license.  It features 160 multiple-choice items and 230 flashcards.
  • Part One, the virtual lab, is an online-access product that comes with a 60-day license.  It features 8 timed scenarios. Each scenario consists of 6 to 10 tasks that can be completed in any way; you can use the command-line interface, the GUI, Power Shell, or any other method.

For the virtual lab scenarios, you create a connection to a Windows Server 2008 virtual server dedicated to your use, and interact with the virtual server online. However, you are not limited to the lab scenario tasks on the virtual machine. You can perform any task in Windows Server 2008,** which makes it ideal for self-study and hands-on practice.  Each virtual machine session lasts for 1 hour, after which you will re-connect and build a new virtual machine.

The Transcender practice tests emulates the actual Microsoft test experience. On the right side of the screen is a list of the scenario tasks; you can scroll through the tasks as you complete them. Your task may require you to configure settings on multiple computers. On the top of the screen, you can navigate between multiple virtual computers by clicking Machines.

83-640 screenshot 1

Once you finish with each scenario, you will be scored for accuracy (partial answers are noted). You can then study the scenario in one of two ways:

  • Read a step-by-step description of the correct actions.
  • View Flash media files that visually demonstrate the correct actions.

83-640 screenshot of answers

Passing exam 83-640 earns you the Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) credential; it also counts toward the MCITP Enterprise Administrator for Windows 2008 and the MCITP Server Administrator for Windows 2008.

Transcender will continue to sell both 83-640 and 70-640 for as long as Microsoft supports both test formats.  If you already purchased 70-640 from us and would like to upgrade to 83-640, contact our customer service department and you will receive a discounted price on the 83-640 product.

As Microsoft continues to roll out this exam globally, they are also planning emulation exams for the other Technical Specialist (TS) exams for Windows 2008 – 70-642 and 70-643. We will be developing our test prep products for these exams as well.

— George Monsalvatge and blogmistress Ann

**Including blowing up the server, erasing the OS, accidentally raising the domain functional level, etc. Any mistake that can be made in real life can be made here, except that mistakes will be wiped out when your session resets and a new virtual machine is built, hallelujah and pass the cookies. – blogmistress Ann


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  1. This is great. Nice work team, I am excited to check this out and get feedback from our customers.


  2. There’s no better way to get ready for certs than getting your hands dirty. This is going to be an awesome resource for folks who are making the transition to an illustrious IT career and don’t have a few thousand dollars of server hardware laying around the house. Good stuff, gang, good stuff.

  3. […] #1 (permalink) The difference between 83-640 and 70-640 As a follow-up to our previous post, here are some points to clarify any confusion between the two tests (70-640 and 83-640) for MCTS: […]

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