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Review of Transcender Exam Simulations

  • By Karl Moore
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Installation of the products was fairly straightforward with no errors. A basic install takes around 3MB.

If you don't opt to install the security files, be warned that you need to constantly keep the product CD in your drive - meaning I can't listen to Barry Manilow whilst quizzing over DCOM puzzlers.

(That's a DISADVANTAGE? - Ed)

The user interface is pretty plain and boring, though old Transcender customers will certainly notice a difference over the wrinkly Windows 3.1 look adopted by earlier versions.

Blow Up!

Each product offers three different examination modes. The first contains three tests and simply asks seventy pre-defined questions. The second randomly selects seventy questions from its pool of puzzlers, in the likely event you become accustomed to question order.

The third exam is certainly the most interesting, particularly to a geek like myself. I'm talking about the Computer Adaptive Testing (CAT) thing.

It works like this - depending on your answer to question one, the computer will ask you a harder/easier puzzler for question two. And so on. This means that if you get the first X number of questions correct, the exam engine decides you know what youre talking about and prints a certificate.

That means using this particular method of scoring, recently adopted in some of the newer Microsoft examinations, you could effectively answer the first ten questions correctly and be out of the test room in time for tea and scones at Mrs Miggins.

Actually starting one of the Transcender examinations is so easy, ameoba on Saturn have mastered the technique. Just a few menu clicks and you're up and running.

Then it eyes down and stop-clock on for an hour of multi-choice questions. All the puzzlers are amazingly similar to the real tests - though I did find at least one question error in the desktop exam product (an SQL string that wasnt enclosed in quotes), something you obviously wouldn't find on the actual test.

When you've finished the exam, you're presented with a graphical representation of your scary results. You can then review all your answers, complemented with descriptions of what you should choose and why - a feature much needed with puzzlers such as those in the Microsoft exams, where one word can make all the difference.

In addition, you can now save your results to file for review at a later date.

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This article was originally published on November 20, 2002

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