Sybex - MCSE Training Guide - Exam 70-217

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Microsoft’s new Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) track for Windows 2000 is the premier certification for computer industry profession- als. Covering the core technologies around which Microsoft’s future will be built, the new MCSE certification is a powerful credential for career advancement.

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  1. MCSE: Windows® 2000 Directory Services Administration Study Guide Anil Desai with James Chellis San Francisco • Paris • Düsseldorf • Soest • London Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  2. Associate Publisher: Neil Edde Contracts and Licensing Manager: Kristine O’Callaghan Developmental Editors: Dann McDorman and Ben Tomkins Editor: Julie Sakaue Production Editor: Teresa Trego Technical Editors: Michael Chacon and Donald Fuller Book Designer: Bill Gibson Graphic Illustrator: Tony Jonick Electronic Publishing Specialist: Nila Nichols Proofreader: Andrea Fox Indexer: Ted Laux CD Coordinator: Kara Eve Schwartz CD Technician: Keith McNeil Cover Designer: Archer Design Cover Illustrator/Photographer: Natural Selection Copyright © 2000 SYBEX Inc., 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501. World rights reserved. No part of this publication may be stored in a retrieval system, transmitted, or reproduced in any way, including but not limited to photo- copy, photograph, magnetic, or other record, without the prior agreement and written permission of the publisher. Library of Congress Card Number: 00-105385 ISBN: 0-7821-2756-8 SYBEX and the SYBEX logo are trademarks of SYBEX Inc. in the USA and other countries. The CD interface was created using Macromedia Director, ©1994, 1997-1999 Macromedia Inc. For more information on Macromedia and Macromedia Director, visit Internet screen shot(s) using Microsoft Internet Explorer 5.0 reprinted by permission from Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft® Internet Explorer © 1996 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved. Microsoft, the Microsoft Internet Explorer logo, Windows, Windows NT, and the Windows logo are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. Use of the Microsoft Approved Study Guide logo on this product signifies that it has been independently reviewed and approved in compliance with the following standards: acceptable coverage of all content related to Microsoft exam number 70-217, entitled Implementing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure; sufficient performance-based exercises that relate closely to all required content; and technically accurate content, based on sampling of text. SYBEX is an independent entity from Microsoft Corporation, and not affiliated with Microsoft Corporation in any manner. This publication may be used in assisting students to prepare for a Microsoft Certified Professional Exam. Neither Microsoft Corporation, its designated review company, nor SYBEX warrants that use of this publication will ensure passing the rel- evant exam. Microsoft is either a registered trademark or trademark of Microsoft Corporation in the United States and/or other countries. TRADEMARKS: SYBEX has attempted throughout this book to distinguish proprietary trademarks from descriptive terms by following the capitalization style used by the manufacturer. The author and publisher have made their best efforts to prepare this book, and the content is based upon final release soft- ware whenever possible. Portions of the manuscript may be based upon pre-release versions supplied by software manu- facturer(s). The author and the publisher make no representation or warranties of any kind with regard to the completeness or accuracy of the contents herein and accept no liability of any kind including but not limited to performance, merchant- ability, fitness for any particular purpose, or any losses or damages of any kind caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly from this book. Manufactured in the United States of America 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  3. To Our Valued Readers: In recent years, Microsoft’s MCSE program has established itself as the premier computer and net- working industry certification. Nearly a quarter of a million IT professionals have attained MCSE sta- tus in the NT 4 track. Sybex is proud to have helped thousands of MCSE candidates prepare for their exams over these years, and we are excited about the opportunity to continue to provide people with the skills they’ll need to succeed in the highly competitive IT industry. For the Windows 2000 MCSE track, Microsoft has made it their mission to demand more of exam candidates. Exam developers have gone to great lengths to raise the bar in order to prevent a paper- certification syndrome, one in which individuals obtain a certification without a thorough under- standing of the technology. Sybex welcomes this new philosophy as we have always advocated a com- prehensive instructional approach to certification courseware. It has always been Sybex’s mission to teach exam candidates how new technologies work in the real world, not to simply feed them answers to test questions. Sybex was founded on the premise of providing technical skills to IT professionals, and we have continued to build on that foundation, making significant improvements to our study guides based on feedback from readers, suggestions from instructors, and comments from industry leaders. The depth and breadth of technical knowledge required to obtain Microsoft’s new Windows 2000 MCSE is staggering. Sybex has assembled some of the most technically skilled instructors in the indus- try to write our study guides, and we’re confident that our Windows 2000 MCSE study guides will meet and exceed the demanding standards both of Microsoft and you, the exam candidate. Good luck in pursuit of your MCSE! Neil Edde Associate Publisher—Certification Sybex, Inc. SYBEX Inc. 1151 Marina Village Parkway, Alameda, CA 94501 Tel: 510/523-8233 Fax: 510/523-2373 HTTP:// Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  4. Software License Agreement: Terms and Conditions The media and/or any online materials accompanying this book that are available now or in the future contain programs and/ or text files (the "Software") to be used in connection with the book. SYBEX hereby grants to you a license to use the Software, subject to the terms that follow. Your purchase, acceptance, or use of the Software will constitute your acceptance of such terms. The Software compilation is the property of SYBEX unless otherwise indicated and is protected by copyright to SYBEX or other copyright owner(s) as indicated in the media files (the "Owner(s)"). You are hereby granted a single-user license to use the Soft- ware for your personal, noncommercial use only. You may not reproduce, sell, distribute, publish, circulate, or commercially exploit the Software, or any portion thereof, without the written consent of SYBEX and the specific copyright owner(s) of any component software included on this media. In the event that the Software or components include specific license requirements or end-user agreements, statements of con- dition, disclaimers, limitations or warranties ("End-User License"), those End-User Licenses supersede the terms and conditions herein as to that particular Software component. Your purchase, acceptance, or use of the Software will constitute your accep- tance of such End-User Licenses. By purchase, use or acceptance of the Software you further agree to comply with all export laws and regulations of the United States as such laws and regulations may exist from time to time. Reusable Code in This Book The authors created reusable code in this publication expressly for reuse for readers. Sybex grants readers permission to reuse for any purpose the code found in this publication or its accompanying CD-ROM so long as all three authors are attributed in any application containing the reusable code, and the code itself is never sold or commercially exploited as a stand-alone product. Software Support Components of the supplemental Software and any offers associated with them may be supported by the specific Owner(s) of that material but they are not supported by SYBEX. Information regarding any available support may be obtained from the Owner(s) using the information provided in the appropriate files or listed elsewhere on the media. Should the manufacturer(s) or other Owner(s) cease to offer support or decline to honor any offer, SYBEX bears no responsi- bility. This notice concerning support for the Software is provided for your information only. SYBEX is not the agent or prin- cipal of the Owner(s), and SYBEX is in no way responsible for providing any support for the Software, nor is it liable or responsible for any support provided, or not provided, by the Owner(s). Warranty SYBEX warrants the enclosed media to be free of physical defects for a period of ninety (90) days after purchase. The Software is not available from SYBEX in any other form or media than that enclosed herein or posted to If you discover a defect in the media during this warranty period, you may obtain a replacement of identical format at no charge by sending the defective media, postage prepaid, with proof of purchase to: SYBEX Inc. Customer Service Department 1151 Marina Village Parkway Alameda, CA 94501 (510) 523-8233 Fax: (510) 523-2373 e-mail: WEB: HTTP://WWW.SYBEX.COM After the 90-day period, you can obtain replacement media of identical format by sending us the defective disk, proof of pur- chase, and a check or money order for $10, payable to SYBEX. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  5. Disclaimer SYBEX makes no warranty or representation, either expressed or implied, with respect to the Software or its contents, quality, performance, merchantability, or fitness for a particular purpose. In no event will SYBEX, its distributors, or dealers be liable to you or any other party for direct, indirect, special, incidental, consequential, or other damages arising out of the use of or inability to use the Software or its contents even if advised of the possibility of such damage. In the event that the Software includes an online update feature, SYBEX further disclaims any obligation to provide this feature for any specific duration other than the initial posting. The exclusion of implied warranties is not permitted by some states. Therefore, the above exclusion may not apply to you. This warranty provides you with specific legal rights; there may be other rights that you may have that vary from state to state. The pricing of the book with the Software by SYBEX reflects the allocation of risk and limitations on liability contained in this agree- ment of Terms and Conditions. Shareware Distribution This Software may contain various programs that are distributed as shareware. Copyright laws apply to both shareware and ordinary commercial software, and the copyright Owner(s) retains all rights. If you try a shareware program and continue using it, you are expected to register it. Individual programs differ on details of trial periods, registration, and payment. Please observe the requirements stated in appropriate files. Copy Protection The Software in whole or in part may or may not be copy-protected or encrypted. However, in all cases, reselling or redistrib- uting these files without authorization is expressly forbidden except as specifically provided for by the Owner(s) therein. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  6. To Monica Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  7. Acknowledgments As professionals in the IT industry, many of you have probably learned the value of teamwork. Therefore, it will probably come as no sur- prise to you that this book is the result of a lot of hard work from several people. In this brief section, I’ll try to give credit where it’s due. During the last year, I’ve had the pleasure of working with many ener- getic, enthusiastic, and driven people at QuickArrow, Inc. At first, I was planning to acknowledge some of the people that I work with. But, it’s much more appropriate to thank all of them. Just a few short months ago, I could have easily listed the names of everyone in the company on this page. We used to be a small team with big plans. Things have changed, and we’re now a large team (with even bigger plans). The company has grown dramatically, without sacrificing focus and dedication. In particular, I’d like to thank Abdul Malik Yoosufani for his continued support, technical direction, and leadership of such a great company. Next, I’d like to thank the many people at Sybex with whom I have worked on this project. Thanks to Neil Edde, Ben Tomkins, and Dann McDorman for their assistance in the writing process. And, as operating sys- tems get more and more complex, it seems to become increasingly important to verify the accuracy of technical information. That’s why technical input from Michael Chacon and Donald Fuller was so important. Special thanks must go to Julie Sakaue, the editor with whom I worked most closely throughout the duration of this project. She’s planning to run a full mara- thon soon, but I’m sure that will be a walk in the park compared to her hard work on this project! Thanks also to James Chellis and Matthew Sheltz for their work on the WinSim tool and other content that you’ll find on the accompanying CD-ROM. And finally, thanks to Teresa Trego for steering this project through the many twists and turns that it took before going to the printer and to Nila Nichols and Andrea Fox for making sure everything looked just right on the pages before you. I thank all of these people for mak- ing my job easier, and you can thank them for making this book a complete, accurate, and valuable resource for IT professionals. Acknowledgements are difficult to write (at least for me), but the Dedica- tion was an easy choice—my wife, Monica, has always been a great source of support and encouragement, despite the seemingly incessant clicking of my keyboard throughout the night and through long weekends of writing. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  8. Finally, thanks to you—the reader—for using this book. I’m confident that the information you find here will be an excellent resource as you pre- pare to work with Windows 2000 in the real world. For most of you, I sus- pect that it will be a challenge. However, I trust that it will be a personally and professionally rewarding one. If you have any questions or comments about the contents of the book, please feel free to e-mail me at Good luck! Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  9. Introduction Microsoft’s new Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE) track for Windows 2000 is the premier certification for computer industry profession- als. Covering the core technologies around which Microsoft’s future will be built, the new MCSE certification is a powerful credential for career advancement. This book has been developed, in cooperation with Microsoft Corpora- tion, to give you the critical skills and knowledge you need to prepare for one of the core requirements of the new MCSE certification program, Imple- menting and Administering Windows 2000 Directory Services. You will find the information you need to acquire a solid understanding of how to setup and manage the Active Directory, to prepare for Exam 70-217: Implement- ing and Administering a Microsoft Windows 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure, and to progress toward MCSE certification. Why Become Certified in Windows 2000? As the computer network industry grows in both size and complexity, the need for proven ability is increasing. Companies rely on certifications to ver- ify the skills of prospective employees and contractors. Whether you are just getting started or are ready to move ahead in the computer industry, the knowledge, skills, and credentials you have are your most valuable assets. Microsoft has developed its Microsoft Certified Pro- fessional (MCP) program to give you credentials that verify your ability to work with Microsoft products effectively and professionally. The MCP cre- dential for professionals who work with Microsoft Windows 2000 networks is the new MCSE certification. Over the next few years, companies around the world will deploy millions of copies of Windows 2000 as the central operating system for their mission- critical networks. This will generate an enormous need for qualified consult- ants and personnel to design, deploy, and support Windows 2000 networks. Windows 2000 is a huge product that requires professional skills of its administrators. Consider that Windows NT 4 has about 12 million lines of code, while Windows 2000 has more than 35 million! Much of this code is needed to deal with the wide range of functionality that Windows 2000 offers. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  10. xxiv Introduction Windows 2000 actually consists of several different versions: Windows 2000 Professional The client edition of Windows 2000, which is comparable to Windows NT 4 Workstation, but also includes the best features of Windows 98 and many new features. Windows 2000 Server/Windows 2000 Advanced Server A server edi- tion of Windows 2000 for small to mid-sized deployments. Advanced Server supports more memory and processors than Server does. Windows 2000 Datacenter Server A server edition of Windows 2000 for large, wide-scale deployments and computer clusters. Datacenter Server supports the most memory and processors of the three versions. With such an expansive operating system, companies need to be certain that you are the right person for the job being offered. The MCSE is designed to help prove that you are. As part of its promotion of Windows 2000, Microsoft has announced that MCSEs who have passed the Windows NT 4 core exams must upgrade their certifications to the new Windows 2000 track by December 31, 2001 to remain certified. The MCSE Study Guide series published by Sybex covers the full range of exams required for either obtaining or upgrading your certification. For more information, see the “Exam Requirements” section later in this Introduction. Is This Book for You? If you want to acquire a solid foundation in implementing and administering Windows 2000 Directory Services, this book is for you. You’ll find clear explanations of the fundamental concepts you need to grasp. If you want to become certified as an MCSE, this book is definitely for you. However, if you just want to attempt to pass the exam without really understanding Windows 2000, this book is not for you. This book is written for those who want to acquire hands-on skills and in-depth knowledge of Windows 2000. If your goal is to prepare for the exam by learning how to use and manage the new operating system, this book is for you. It will help you to achieve the high level of professional competency you need to succeed in this field. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  11. Introduction xxv What Does This Book Cover? This book contains detailed explanations, hands-on exercises, and review questions to test your knowledge. Think of this book as your complete guide to implementing and admin- istering Windows 2000 Directory Services. It begins by presenting an over- view of the Active Directory. Next, you will learn how to perform important tasks, including: Creating a Windows 2000 Active Directory domain Installing and configuring objects within the Active Directory Monitoring and managing various aspects of the Active Directory Managing new features of the Active Directory, including security configuration, the use of Group Policies, DNS, and software deploy- ment Working with the Active Directory in distributed network environ- ments Troubleshooting various aspects of the Active Directory Throughout the book, you will be guided through hands-on exercises, which give you practical experience for each exam objective. At the end of each chapter, you’ll find a summary of the topics covered in the chapter, which also includes a list of the key terms used in that chapter. The key terms represent not only the terminology that you should recognize, but also the underlying concepts that you should understand to pass the exam. All of the key terms are defined in the glossary at the back of the study guide. Finally, each chapter concludes with 20 review questions that test your knowledge of the information covered. You’ll find an entire practice exam, with 50 additional questions, in Appendix A. Many more questions, as well as multimedia demonstrations of the hands-on exercises, are included on the CD that accompanies this book, as explained in the “What’s on the CD?” section at the end of this Introduction. The topics covered in this book map directly to Microsoft’s official exam objectives. Each exam objective is covered completely. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  12. xxvi Introduction How Do You Become an MCSE? Attaining MCSE certification has always been a challenge. However, in the past, individuals could acquire detailed exam information—even most of the exam questions—from online “brain dumps” and third-party “cram” books or software products. For the new MCSE exams, this simply will not be the case. To avoid the “paper-MCSE syndrome” (a devaluation of the MCSE cer- tification because unqualified individuals manage to pass the exams), Microsoft has taken strong steps to protect the security and integrity of the new MCSE track. Prospective MSCEs will need to complete a course of study that provides not only detailed knowledge of a wide range of topics, but true skills derived from working with Windows 2000 and related soft- ware products. In the new MCSE program, Microsoft is heavily emphasizing hands-on skills. Microsoft has stated that, “Nearly half of the core required exams’ content demands that the candidate have troubleshooting skills acquired through hands-on experience and working knowledge.” Fortunately, if you are willing to dedicate time and effort with Windows 2000, you can prepare for the exams by using the proper tools. If you work through this book and the other books in this series, you should successfully meet the exam requirements. This book is a part of a complete series of Sybex MCSE Study Guides, published by Sybex, that covers the five core Windows 2000 requirements as well as the new Design electives you need to complete your MCSE track. Titles include: MCSE: Windows 2000 Professional Study Guide MCSE: Windows 2000 Server Study Guide MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Administration Study Guide MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Security Design Study Guide MCSE: Windows 2000 Network Infrastructure Design Study Guide MCSE: Windows 2000 Directory Services Design Study Guide There are also study guides available from Sybex on additional MCSE electives. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  13. Introduction xxvii Exam Requirements Successful candidates must pass a minimum set of exams that measure tech- nical proficiency and expertise: Candidates for MCSE certification must pass seven exams, including four core operating system exams, one design exam, and two electives. Candidates who have already passed three Windows NT 4 exams (70- 067, 70-068, and 70-073) may opt to take an “accelerated” exam plus one core design exam and two electives. If you do not pass the accelerated exam after one attempt, you must pass the five core requirements and two electives. The following table shows the exams a new certification candidate must pass. All of these exams are required Exam # Title Requirement Met 70-216 Implementing and Administering Core (Operating System) a Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Network Infrastructure 70-210 Installing, Configuring, and Core (Operating System) Administering Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Professional 70-215 Installing, Configuring, and Core (Operating System) Administering Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Server 70-217 Implementing and Administering Core (Operating System) a Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  14. xxviii Introduction One of these exams is required Exam # Title Requirement Met 70-219 Designing a Microsoft® Core (Design) Windows® 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure 70-220 Designing Security for a Core (Design) Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Network 70-221 Designing a Microsoft® Core (Design) Windows® 2000 Network Infrastructure Two of these exams are required Exam # Title Requirement Met 70-219 Designing a Microsoft® Elective Windows® 2000 Directory Services Infrastructure 70-220 Designing Security for a Elective Microsoft® Windows® 2000 Network 70-221 Designing a Microsoft® Elective Windows® 2000 Network Infrastructure Any Exams cover topics such as Elective current Exchange Server, SQL Server, MCSE Systems Management Server, elective Internet Explorer Administrators Kit, and Proxy Server (new exams are added regularly) Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  15. Introduction xxix For a more detailed description of the Microsoft certification programs, including a list of current MCSE electives, check Microsoft’s Training and Certification Web site at The Implementing and Administering Windows 2000 Directory Services Exam The Implementing and Administering Windows 2000 Directory Services exam covers concepts and skills related to installing, configuring, and man- aging the Active Directory. It emphasizes the following areas related to working with Windows 2000 Directory Services: Concepts related to the Windows 2000 Directory Services Preparing your network environment for Windows 2000 Directory Services Installing the Active Directory Configuring and managing features of the Active Directory Monitoring and optimizing the Active Directory Managing the Active Directory in distributed network environments Managing Active Directory environments through the use of security features, Group Policy settings, and software deployment tools Troubleshooting problems with the Active Directory This exam can be quite specific regarding setting up and administering Windows 2000 Directory Services requirements and operational settings, and it can be particular about how administrative tasks are performed in the operating system. It also focuses on fundamental concepts that are related to the way an Active Directory environment is implemented. Careful study of this book, along with hands-on experience, will help you to prepare for this exam. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  16. xxx Introduction Microsoft provides exam objectives to give you a very general overview of possible areas of coverage of the Microsoft exams. For your convenience, we have added in-text objectives listings at the points in the text where specific Microsoft exam objectives are covered. However, exam objectives are subject to change at any time without prior notice and at Microsoft’s sole discretion. Please visit Microsoft’s Training and Certification Web site ( .com/Train_Cert) for the most current exam objectives listing. Types of Exam Questions In the previous tracks, the formats of the MCSE exams were fairly straight- forward, consisting almost entirely of multiple-choice questions appearing in a few different sets. Prior to taking an exam, you knew how many questions you would see and what type of questions would appear. If you had pur- chased the right third-party exam preparation products, you could even be quite familiar with the pool of questions you might be asked. As mentioned earlier, all of this is changing. In an effort to both refine the testing process and protect the quality of its certifications, Microsoft has introduced adaptive testing, as well as some new exam elements. You will not know in advance which type of format you will see on your exam. These innovations make the exams more challenging, and they make it much more difficult for someone to pass an exam after simply “cramming” for it. Microsoft will be accomplishing its goal of protecting the exams by regularly adding and removing exam questions, limiting the number of questions that any individual sees in a beta exam, limiting the number of questions delivered to an individual by using adaptive testing, and adding new exam elements. Exam questions may be in multiple-choice, select-and-place, simulation, or case study-based formats. You may also find yourself taking an adaptive format exam. Let’s take a look at the exam question types and adaptive test- ing, so you can be prepared for all of the possibilities. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  17. Introduction xxxi Multiple-Choice Questions Multiple-choice questions include two main types of questions. One is a straightforward type that presents a question, followed by several possible answers, of which one or more is correct. The other type of multiple-choice question is more complex. This type presents a set of desired results along with a proposed solution. You must then decide which results would be achieved by the proposed solution. You will see many multiple-choice questions in this study guide and on the accompanying CD, as well as on your exam. Select-and-Place Questions Select-and-place exam questions involve graphical elements that you must manipulate in order to successfully answer a question. For example, a ques- tion could present a diagram of a computer network, as shown below. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  18. xxxii Introduction The diagram shows several computers next to boxes that contain the text “Place here.” The labels represent different computer roles on a network, such as print server and file server. Based on information given for each com- puter, you are asked to drag and drop each label to the correct box. You need to place all of the labels correctly. No credit is given if you correctly label only some of the boxes. Simulations Simulations are the kinds of questions that most closely represent and test the actual skills you use while working with Microsoft software interfaces. These types of exam questions include a mock interface on which you must perform certain actions according to a given scenario. The simulated inter- faces look nearly identical to what you see in the actual product, as shown in the example below. Simulations are by far the most complex element introduced into Microsoft exams to date. Because of the number of possible errors that can Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  19. Introduction xxxiii be made on simulations, it is worthwhile to consider the following recom- mendations from Microsoft: Do not change any simulation settings that don’t pertain to the solu- tion directly. Assume that the default settings are used when related information has not been provided. Make sure that your entries are spelled correctly. Close all of the simulation application windows after completing the set of tasks in the simulation. The best way to prepare for the simulation questions is to spend time working with the graphical interface of the product on which you will be tested. We recommend that you study with the Edge Test WinSim 2000 product, which is included on the CD that accompanies this study guide. By completing the exercises in this study guide and working with the WinSim 2000 software, you can greatly improve your level of preparation for simulation questions. Case Study-Based Questions Case study-based questions first appeared in the Microsoft Certified Solu- tion Developer program (Microsoft’s certification program for software pro- grammers). Case study-based questions present a scenario with a range of requirements. Based on the information provided, you need to answer a series of multiple-choice and ranking questions. The interface for case study- based questions has a number of tabs that each contains information about the scenario. At present, this type of question appears only in the Design exams. Adaptive Exam Format Microsoft presents many of its exams in an adaptive format. This format is radically different from the conventional format previously used for Microsoft certification exams. Conventional tests are static, containing a fixed number of questions. Adaptive tests change, or “adapt,” depending on your answers to the questions presented. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
  20. xxxiv Introduction The number of questions presented in your adaptive test will depend on how long it takes the exam to ascertain your level of ability (according to the statistical measurements on which the exam questions are ranked). To deter- mine a test-taker’s level of ability, the exam presents questions in increasing or decreasing order of difficulty. Unlike the previous test format, the adaptive format will not allow you to go back to see a question again. The exam only goes forward. Once you enter your answer, that’s it—you cannot change it. Be very careful before entering your answer. There is no time limit for each individual question (only for the exam as a whole). Your exam may be shortened by correct answers (or lengthened by incorrect answers), so there is no advantage to rushing through questions. HOW ADAPTIVE EXAMS DETERMINE ABILITY LEVELS As an example of how adaptive testing works, suppose that you know three people who are taking the exam: Herman, Sally, and Rashad. Herman doesn’t know much about the subject, Sally is moderately informed, and Rashad is an expert. Herman answers his first question incorrectly, so the exam presents him with a second, easier question. He misses that, so the exam gives him a few more easy questions, all of which he misses. Shortly thereafter, the exam ends, and he receives his failure report. Sally answers her first question correctly, so the exam gives her a more dif- ficult question, which she answers correctly. She then receives an even more difficult question, which she answers incorrectly. Next, the exam gives her a somewhat easier question, as it tries to gauge her level of understanding. After numerous questions of varying levels of difficulty, Sally’s exam ends, perhaps with a passing score, perhaps not. Her exam included far more ques- tions than were in Herman’s exam, because her level of understanding needed to be more carefully tested to determine whether or not it was at a passing level. When Rashad takes his exam, he answers his first question correctly, so he is given a more difficult question, which he also answers correctly. Next, the exam presents an even more difficult question, which he also answers correctly. He then is given a few more very difficult questions, all of which he answers correctly. Shortly thereafter, his exam ends. He passes. His exam was short, about as long as Herman’s test. Copyright ©2000 SYBEX , Inc., Alameda, CA
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