Scott Hanselman

Is it you? Or the test? Is there a problem with Microsoft Technical Assessment.

July 4, '04 Comments [12] Posted in XML
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Notice the average score (the green arrows) it just me, or if the AVERAGE is 40% on a test, maybe there's something wrong with the test? (or I'm an idiot. ;) One of those.)  Gee, I hope my boss doesn't read my blog, or take tests for that matter.  Well, it only took 15 minutes.

This was the Introduction to .NET for Developers: Microsoft Visual C#® .NET, I got the link from Bryant.

About Scott

Scott Hanselman is a former professor, former Chief Architect in finance, now speaker, consultant, father, diabetic, and Microsoft employee. He is a failed stand-up comic, a cornrower, and a book author.

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Sunday, 04 July 2004 10:53:17 UTC
That's actually quite a good test, with no really daft questions.

I think you rushed it though!

And I'm guessing most of the people running the test have no clue because some of those averages are downright scary!
Sunday, 04 July 2004 11:41:23 UTC
maybe the average person only uses data entitys filled with datareader from sprocs and persisting with sprocs.. and custom dataviewer controls? :)
Sunday, 04 July 2004 14:00:34 UTC
I suggest that it's a cultural expectation. Why is 40% a poor score? Because in the education system you're familiar with, passing grades are high and average scores are high and "straight-A's" are very common. But it's just as valid to have harder tests and lower passing grades and lower averages. When I went to school in England, the pass mark was 33%. When I tell Americans that, they assume it must have been easy to pass, but of course, the tests were simply harder than in a system where the passing grade is higher. An advantage of lower passing grades is that A's are much less common and, therefore, have greater merit.
Benjamin Crawford
Sunday, 04 July 2004 14:26:13 UTC
You're right, Benjamim. But the test isn't in the least bit difficult if you know the topic.
Sunday, 04 July 2004 15:57:06 UTC
I agree with you, Scott. I just did the VB version. There were no questions that I didn't really know, except for the gory details of SOAP perhaps. I got 19/30. (Would I like to see a breakdown of the supposedly right answers? Yes.) The high score listed was 20/30 by a guy who has taken it three times. That's just not striking me as a useful test.
Sunday, 04 July 2004 16:00:28 UTC
I think it's the test. I find the questions vague and marketing-oriented and darn difficult to parse (how many registered marks can we put into a single sentence?).
Sunday, 04 July 2004 16:13:15 UTC
BTW, I took 30 minutes and got 19.
Sunday, 04 July 2004 16:38:08 UTC
24/30 for me, but definitely some weird questions. I found that almost all of the "move options between two list boxes" questions to be quite vague, with potentially more than one correct answer.
Sunday, 04 July 2004 18:51:06 UTC
The COM Interop questions were bizarre for me, as well as one's like:

Where does ASMX go?
A. presentation layer
B. business layer
C. data layer

THAT is a stupid question..."Well, uh, kind of presentation layer, but not really? Is there a D. none of the above?
Scott Hanselman
Tuesday, 06 July 2004 13:37:17 UTC
I think the scoring logic is

<code>using Math.Random = RNG;</code>

I was surprised when I took this some time ago how high my score was.
Tuesday, 06 July 2004 18:42:23 UTC
Looks like they let the marketroids write the test- a lot of "touchy feely" questions that technically have multiple answers (and some that are invalidated by Whidbey, heh).
Matt Davis
Wednesday, 07 July 2004 00:06:37 UTC
I agree with the other Chris that the parsing of the questions is tough. One the test I took, may not have been this one, for several of the question I knew the answer they wanted mt to pick, but it wasn't the right one!
Chris Kinsman
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent my employer's view in any way.