Windows 7 certifications to retire July 2018

June 22, 2018 at 2:10 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

As we announced nine months ago, Microsoft is retiring the Windows 7 client certifications. The last date to take any of these exams is July 31, 2018:

These exams were originally released in 2009, which makes them about 89 years old in certification years. Still, passing any one of them earns you an MCP certification, which is a baseline certification that grants you access to the MCP community and various member benefits from Microsoft. If you’ve been using Windows 7 for years but putting off taking the exam, you’ll still earn a valuable credential from it, especially if it’s your first Microsoft test.

There is still time to purchase Kaplan IT Training practice tests for Windows 7 exams, as well as e-learning, a practice lab, and an exam voucher. Don’t overlook our 180-day product; it has almost three times as many practice test questions as the 30-day product, so you’ll be buying extra study content.

Or, with Windows 7 certifications on their way out the door, you may want to turn your attention toward earning a MCSA in Windows 10 instead — because once you’ve passed the two exams required for that certification, you only need to pass one additional test to tuck the MCSE: Mobility into your virtual wallet.

Happy certifying,

Team Kaplan IT Training

Customer asks: now that 1Z0-051 is retired, what Oracle exam should I take?

April 30, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Oracle, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: ,

Today marked the retirement of a core OCA level exam: the 1Z0-051 exam, Oracle Database 11g: SQL Fundamentals I.

As is often the case when a still-active certification path loses a core exam, customers wanted to know what to take instead. In this case, three active certification paths were affected by the retirements:

  • Oracle Database 11g Administrator Certified Associate
  • Oracle PL/SQL Developer Certified Associate
  • Oracle Database 12c Administrator Certified Associate
Fast answer: what’s the immediate substitute for 1Z0-061 and 1Z0-051?

For all three certification tracks, you can substitute exam 1Z0-071. This exam was previously referred to as Oracle Database 12c SQL , leading to some confusion among those still pursuing an 11g certification path. However, with the retirement of 051, this exam is now simply called the Oracle Database SQL exam. This is the general associate-level Oracle Database SQL exam, and the training is the same.

What’s retiring next?

On October 31, 2018, Oracle will retire the 1Z0-061, Oracle Database 12c: SQL Fundamentals. Once again, this exam will be replaced in the relevant certification tracks with exam 1Z0-071.

What’s the best way to prepare?

As the authorized practice test provider for Oracle, Kaplan IT Training offers practice tests for Oracle database and Java developer exams. Just choose Oracle as the vendor to browse our complete lineup of exam prep materials.

Happy certifying!

 

CISSP’s New Adaptive Format: Why It Should NOT Change Your Studying Plan

February 19, 2018 at 7:58 am | Posted in (ISC)2, Study hints, study tips, Technical Tips | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

By now, many of you have heard about the move to Computerized Adaptive Testing (CAT) for (ISC)²’s Certified Information Systems Security Professional exam — or as we call it, the CAT CISSP. (If you haven’t, we suggest that you read this article from our sister company, CyberVista: December 18th, 2017: Happy CAT Day.)

Now, adaptive testing is nothing new. At various periods, almost every test vendor I know of has tried this method as a means to protect their valuable intellectual material. There are basically two different ways to make a test adaptive: choose-your-own-adventure, and sink-or-swim. In the first kind, the content runs along a choice decision tree where your answer to an initial question determines which subset of related questions you’ll see (an example was Cisco’s old TSHOOT exam). Alternatively, the content can scale up or down based on how well you answer “easy” or “hard” questions—in other words, your test will get shorter or longer based on how well (or poorly) you’re scoring.

How to sit for the adaptive CISSP exam

But we aren’t writing this article to talk about adaptive testing. We’re writing this article to ensure that you understand what the CISSP exam entails and how you should study for it. Our advice applies whether you plan to take it in the next couple of months or wait for the new edition that’s being released in April 2018.

First of all, let me clear up a few misconceptions you may have.

  1. The domains covered in the exam have not changed. (They also are not changing in the new edition.)
  2. The topics covered in the exam have not changed. (They will be changing later this year, but that will be the subject of another blog post in April, so be sure to subscribe to our blog for updates.)
  3. The format of the questions has not changed – you still may see multiple choice, drag-and-drop, and hotspot questions.
  4. The domain weighting has not changed. You’ll see the same percentage of questions per topic as before. (They will be changing later this year, which of course, will be covered in my April blog post.)
  5. Finally, the passing standard has not changed.

Now, let me give you the vital statistics.

  1. The number of items in the exam HAS changed. The non-CAT version had 250 questions. With the CAT version, everyone will see between 100 and 150 items. That’s right — the exam is SMALLER.
  2. The maximum time for the exam is now 3 hours instead of 6 hours, including whatever breaks you need (not including medical exemptions.) That’s right — the exam is SHORTER.
  3. Of those 100-150 items, 25 will be non-scored beta questions.

It won’t be possible to tell which items are scored and which ones aren’t, so you should do your best to answer every question. Also, (ISC)² is adamant that due to the design of the test, test-takers at all levels of mastery will subjectively experience the test as “difficult.” In fact, they state that the adaptive nature means that “both high and low ability candidates will think the items at the end of the exam are challenging.”

But there are two very important points you should remember going into the exam: if you don’t answer at least 75 questions you will fail by default, and once you’ve answered a question, you can’t go back to change your answer.

Because the CISSP CAT exam is a variable-length computerized adaptive examination and the difficulty of items presented to a candidate is based on previous responses, item review is not permitted. Once a candidate finalizes an answer, it may not be reviewed or changed. (from (ISC)²’s FAQ)

Have you ever guessed at the answer to a question on a test, found a later question that gave you the exact information you needed to answer the first question, and then run back to correct your earlier answer? This is a common weakness in a standard “linear” test design, and it’s a loophole that the CAT eliminates completely.

But – and I am putting this in bold font, because I feel it’s the most important takeaway – you should NOT burn time fretting over a particular question just because you can’t change your answer later. If you do not answer at least 75 questions in those 3 hours, you will automatically fail the exam with the Run-out-of-time (R.O.O.T.) Rule. That means you should  keep and eye on the clock and keep moving forward.

How to preapare for an adaptive CISSP exam

So with that said, what does studying for the adaptive CAT exam really mean for you? Basically, your studying is even more important than before, because you can’t rely on standard test-taker tricks to bluff your way through material you aren’t certain about.

The actual pool of questions is the same as for the original exam. With CAT exams, you receive a medium or hard question on the topic first. Based on your answer, you will continue to receive questions on that same topic (easier if you missed the first question; harder if previous answer was correct) until the algorithm determines that you know (or don’t know) the topic. So that means you will not see as many questions in each domain as with the old format.

We do not feel that you should focus on the method of delivery of the questions because there is no way to know which topics you’ll see. For example, if I miss a cryptography question, then I may see more questions about a particular cryptography topic until the engine decides I do (or don’t) know the topic, while someone who answers it correctly may not see any more questions on that topic — although we will both receive the same proportion of questions from each domain, based on the domain weighting that is published by the vendor. So it is next to impossible to predict TOPIC-WISE what you are going to see.

With that said, remember that our practice test is a study tool. We provide very robust explanations that go well beyond the original surface of the question. Very often, our explanations provide examples whereby the INCORRECT answers would be correct in another scenario. Because of this feature, our explanations are the MOST important part of our tool.

To pass the CISSP exam (or any other test), we have always told students to read all our explanations thoroughly. Here is a blog post that goes into more detail: https://transcender.wordpress.com/2011/05/31/the-anatomy-of-a-good-item-or-why-the-heck-should-i-read-those-long-boring-explanations/

(I find it kind of funny that a blog post from 2011 is still just as relevant today!)

So that is my big study suggestion: read those explanations and try to absorb any extra details we provide there, then follow the reference to make sure you thoroughly understand the concept. We write those explanations to help you learn. Don’t just read our questions and expect to pass the exam! You REALLY need to LEARN the material — and that means ALL of it!

Happy CATting,

-Robin Abernathy

Microsoft Beta Exams Aren’t Free Any More – and I’m Glad

February 8, 2018 at 4:28 pm | Posted in Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

Nothing is truly free in this world; it all costs something in the end. This is even true with Microsoft beta exams, that unspoken perk of the IT industry. It used to be that IT pros could register for and sit a beta exam for free. If you passed the 3+ hour exam, you got the credential and Microsoft got valuable psychometric information, plus written feedback on individual questions. Even if you failed the exam, you got a valuable free preview of the content that would help you study – again, without any cash outlay. The only drawback was waiting weeks for your score report to drop.

Given my career as a trainer, it was important for me to teach the latest classes, and I had to take the corresponding certification exams. I did not want to pay hundreds of dollars out of pocket to take a certification test when I could take it for free. Well, a lot of people had the same idea, and that meant it was extremely difficult to grab a seat for a beta exam. It was almost like camping out for U2 tickets in front of the box office.

However, I’ve also noticed a strange trend in the last couple of years. Beta periods have lasted longer and longer instead of selling out immediately. I’ve been able to get a seat in every beta exam I’ve wanted for several months. Does that mean fewer people are interested in taking Microsoft exams?

I-dunno

I’ll come back to that. But apparently Microsoft wasn’t getting the results they needed or wanted from beta seats, so as of late November 2017, they announced that beta exams are no longer free.

The human paradox: we value the things we pay for

While it might seem like a dumb idea to take a product that you’re having a hard time giving away and start charging money for it, this is actually a really sound business principle.  It’s human nature for people to not value something that is free. It turns out that a lot of people registered for beta exams and never showed up at the test center to take the exam.

BenStein

This caused the limited number of test seats to go unused. The folks that ran the test centers were upset because people did not show up. Since the exams were free, the no-show candidates weren’t penalized. The Microsoft  folks did not get their feedback. And I’m sure Microsoft wasn’t happy shouldering the facility costs involved.

Years ago, I worked for a training company that offered free one-day seminars on various technical topics. We had maximum registrations on each class, but on average, only 33% of those registrants would show up for the seminars. But when we started charging $59 for the seminars, 90% of the registrants showed up — and we ended up with the same total number of attendees as we did when the seminars were free.

What hasn’t changed: beta geo-restrictions

To my knowledge, Microsoft still places geo-restrictions on beta exams. In the past, you could not take an exam if  you were located in India, Pakistan, or China. I was told this was due to fear of the exams being pirated. The last beta that I participated in had the geo-restrictions in place, and I believe these geo-restrictions have not changed with the new fee policy.

20160721-SorryChina-04

What has changed: beta exams aren’t free—but they’re still a great deal

Although Microsoft betas aren’t free any more, they are heavily discounted. The beta exams are 80% off the price of the exam. So if the exam fee is normally $165, you will pay $33 to take the exam, which is still a heck of a bargain. And, recognizing that a beta exam isn’t a perfect testing instrument, Microsoft has built a fail-safe into the cost. If you pass, you get credit for the exam. If you fail, the funds that you paid for the beta exam will be applied to the cost of a future exam after the beta exam is scored. Beta exams can be scored from 4 to 12 weeks after the exam was taken. …So, technically, if you don’t pass, then the beta exam is still kind of free. Right?

So, as it turned out, I was winning all those free exam tickets only because Microsoft had to keep them open for longer and longer periods to get enough valid candidates. This change in the beta test policy will help out those candidates who truly want to take a test by ensuring that there will be a spot available. It will help the test centers by ensuring that seats in the center will actually be used. Of course, it will help Microsoft by making sure that the more dedicated and qualified candidates sit for the exam, which will improve their psychometric data.

All in all, I’m fine waving this particular “free” lunch goodbye.

Happy testing,

George Monsalvatge

Logical Operations’ CyberSec First Responder (CFR-210) Certification Is Now U.S. DoD-8570 Compliant

July 7, 2017 at 1:15 pm | Posted in cybersecurity, Knowledge, Logical Operations, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: , , ,

Logical Operations has announced that the CyberSec First Responder (CFR) certification is now approved by the United States Department of Defense (DoD) as DoD Directive 8570 compliant. CFR is now an approved Baseline Certification for the CSSP Analyst and CSSP Incident Responder categories, and verifies the skills necessary to perform these job functions.

The CyberSec First Responder certification exam (CFR-210) tests the cybersecurity practitioner’s ability to prevent, detect, analyze, and respond to security breaches in the organization.  Transcender is the authorized practice test provider for the CFR-210 and provides the CFR-210 practice exam, which includes 260 practice questions and over 300 flash cards covering the exam’s four main objectives:

  • Analyze Threats
  • Design Secure Computing and Network Environments
  • Proactively Defend Networks
  • Respond/Investigate Cybersecurity Incidents

According to Joe Mignano, VP of Channels for Logical Operations, the DoD approval “allows individuals fulfilling crucial information assurance functions for the United States government or their contractors to validate their Analyst and Incident Responder job skills with our certification program.”

The CFR certification already met the ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 standard and was accredited by ANSI (American National Standards Institute) in 2016.

Logical Operations also provides a CFR training course, developed to prepare IT professionals with the knowledge, ability, and skills necessary to provide for the defense of those information systems in a cybersecurity context – including protection, detection, analysis, investigation, and response processes.

U.S. Department of Defense Directive 8570 provides guidance and procedures for the training, certification, and management of all DoD employees involved with Information Assurance functions in their line of duty.  Other providers of certifications that meet DoD Directive 8570 are Cisco, Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA), EC-Council, International Information Systems Security Certifications Consortium (ISC)2, Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA), and Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC).

 

Microsoft’s long-running Windows Server 2008 certification to retire July 2017

June 27, 2017 at 8:20 am | Posted in Certification Paths, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

A whopping nine years after its introduction, Microsoft is drawing the certification program for Windows Server 2008 administration to a close. As of July 31, 2017, you will no longer be able to take the exams or earn the MCSA: Windows Server 2008.

The retiring exams are:

  • 70-640: TS: Windows Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring (Transcender practice exam available here)
  • 70-642: TS: Windows Server 2008 Network Infrastructure, Configuring (Transcender practice exam available here)
  • 70-646: Pro: Windows Server 2008, Server Administrator (Transcender practice exam available here)

If you only need one or two of the exams to earn your MCSA in Windows Server 2008, then don’t delay. Earning that credential will enable you to sit for exam 70-417: Upgrading Your Skills to MCSA Windows Server 2012 and upgrade to the MCSA: Windows Server 2012 in one step. However, a number of earlier certifications will also qualify you for this exam, so be sure to review the list of prerequisites first if you still have two exams to go on the MCSA: 2008.

After July 31, the MCSA in Windows Server 2008 will join the list of legacy certifications. It will still be a valid credential for your resume and will appear on your transcripts in the Active section.

MCSA 2008

At the same time as it shutters the MCSA: Server 2008 certification, Windows will also close down the 70-694 exam, Virtualizing Enterprise Desktops and Apps. This exam focuses on Microsoft Application Virtualization (App-V) Service Pack 2 (SP2), Microsoft User Experience Virtualization (UE-V), and Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) as part of Windows Server 2012 R2, and earns a credit toward an MCP certification.

Happy certifying!

-the Transcender Team

Transcender is Now an Authorized Practice Test Provider for (ISC)²® Certifications

December 7, 2016 at 4:51 pm | Posted in (ISC)2, CISSP, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

There are a lot of great security certifications out there, but since its release in 1994, the CISSP (Certified Information Systems Security Professional) has become one of the best known and most highly regarded credentials. At Transcender, we’ve been dedicated to providing CISSP practice tests for over 13 years. Earlier in 2016 we also released our first test preparation for its sister certification, SSCP (Systems Security Certified Practitioner).  Our hard work has paid off, because we’re now an authorized practice test provider for (ISC)²® certifications!

What does this mean to you? Nothing has changed about our award-winning products, but it does mean that (ISC)² has officially endorsed our practice tests for CISSP and SSCP.

  • The SSCP practice exam is a 300-question exam that will develop your test-taking skills, identify any weak areas, and prepare you for the actual test.
  • The premium SSCP study solution combines our trusted practice exam with self-paced eLearning, for a comprehensive learning experience.
  • The CISSP practice exam has an exhaustive 924-item question bank that will test every aspect of your technical skills, plus a 892-item flash card array.
  • The premium CISSP study solution includes the practice exam with  20 hours of online instruction through self-paced eLearning, which includes access to a live subject matter expert.

We’re also working together to develop a practice test for the up-and-coming CCSP (Certified Cloud Security Professional) certification for 2017. Be sure to follow our blog or subscribe to special updates and promotions on the Transcender web site to be notified of its release.

Transcender has been committed to closing the skills gap in the IT industry for the last 25 years and helping qualified candidates get the recognition they deserve.  And now even (ISC)² recognizes our efforts.  After your certification training, come over to us to help you prepare for exam day. Study with confidence, knowing that you have the most relevant and up-to-date study tool in the marketplace!

Now Offering CFR-210 Test Prep

December 1, 2016 at 3:16 pm | Posted in Logical Operations, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Who says there’s no news in December? In cybersecurity, it’s never a question of if, but a question of when a breach will occur. So rather than wait for the new year, we thought we’d get the jump on 2017 and together with Logical Operations, release the Cybersec First Responder (CFR-210) practice test today.

What exactly is the CFR certification all about? Well, CFR-210 showcases your ability to to quickly detect and respond to active cyber threats. It’s not just about detailed knowledge of the analysis techniques and tools, but how to identify and respond, in real time, to the broad array of security threats affecting organizations worldwide.

So, white hats, rejoice and black hats, you’re on notice. They’re some new sheriffs rolling into town with some serious skills — and they’re not afraid to use them!

Here’s the press release for your reading pleasure.

Transcender adds GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) to its practice test lineup

November 12, 2016 at 8:02 am | Posted in GIAC, Kaplan IT Training news | Leave a comment
Tags: , ,

As reported by Stanford Journalism, the demand for infosec jobs is likely to rise 53 percent through 2018. Earning a cybersecurity certification can help qualify you for those jobs. In response to the growing demand, Transcender has added a top infosec vendor to our security exam lineup: Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC). GIAC is an OS-neutral organization that develops highly focused security certifications, including some of the hardest and most prestigious in the field.

The GSEC: GIAC Security Essentials exam is an ANSI/ISO/IEC 17024 accredited certification and lasts for four years before the candidate must re-certify. This is an intermediate-level exam that covers a wide range of topics, from the nuts and bolts of logging and network protocols to overall risk management and security practices.  You can click  here for a complete list of the topics you’ll see on the GSEC exam: https://www.giac.org/certification/security-essentials-gsec

Transcender’s SecurityCert: GIAC Security Essentials (GSEC) 2016 Practice Exam is meant for candidates who want to demonstrate they are qualified for IT systems hands-on roles with respect to security tasks. To be successful, candidates need to understand information security to a practical level beyond simple terminology and concepts. Our practice test has 360 practice questions and 558 flashcards to help you prepare for the live exam, which has 180 questions and up to a 5 hour time limit.

The GSEC: GIAC exam is $1,249 (or $689 when taken with an associated SANS training course). Our practice exam  formats range from $99 – $119, so we can offer you a cost-effective way to test your chops before sitting the live question bank. (If you’re new to Transcender, welcome! And be sure to review why you should read those long, boring explanations.)

Happy certifying,

-The Transcender Team

Microsoft raised exam certification prices in July

August 23, 2016 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Kaplan IT Training news, Microsoft, Vendor news | Leave a comment
Tags:

Microsoft made a worldwide adjustment in the price of their MCP and certification exams for non-academic titles. The increased prices went into effect on July 18, 2106.

The pricing change does NOT affect pre-paid vouchers from Transcender or vouchers purchased from Pearson VUE, Courseware Marketplace, or through academic Volume Licensing. You can continue to use any vouchers you bought prior to the pricing upgrade without having to make up the additional cost.

Student discounts have not changed, but they will be calculated from the new exam price.

In most cases the price increase was around USD $15. To find a price for a specific exam, find your test on the Microsoft Certification Exam List or go directly to Pearson Vue and check the price for your region.

Next Page »


Entries and comments feeds.

%d bloggers like this: