Scott Hanselman

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

July 04, 2004 Comment on this post [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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July 04, 2004 10:53
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!
July 04, 2004 11:41
maybe the average person only uses data entitys filled with datareader from sprocs and persisting with sprocs.. and custom dataviewer controls? :)
July 04, 2004 14:00
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.
July 04, 2004 14:26
You're right, Benjamim. But the test isn't in the least bit difficult if you know the topic.
July 04, 2004 15:57
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.
July 04, 2004 16:00
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?).
July 04, 2004 16:13
BTW, I took 30 minutes and got 19.
July 04, 2004 16:38
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.
July 04, 2004 18:51
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?
July 06, 2004 13:37
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.
July 06, 2004 18:42
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).
July 07, 2004 0:06
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!

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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.