I have a spreadsheet that I keep in my OneDrive that tracks the certification exams I have taken. Over the years (starting in December, 2011) I have written a great many of them, Mostly for Microsoft but also a few VMware exams sprinkled in there.
Much has changed since I wrote my first exam (which, incidentally, was 70-215, which I failed the first time around). I have an envelope that contains most (sadly not all) of the score reports from those exams, and looking back at the first one and comparing it to the latest one I see a lot of differences (aside from the fact that I passed my most recent exams). The logos have changed, the report formats have changed, and for the online proctored exams there is a picture of me (in case I forgot what I look like).
One thing that has not changed since I passed my first exam (March 31, 2003) is the elation (and relief!) I feel when I see the words ‘Congratulations, you passed’ at the end of the exam. It is one of the reasons I never loved taking beta exams, for which you would have to wait to receive your score report… often several months.
This week I took an exam that was, to me, completely unnecessary. Exam 698: Installing and Configuring Windows 10 is a required exam for the MCSA: Windows 10 certification… unless you have a particular Windows 8 certification, at which point you only need to take Exam 697: Configuring Windows Devices. I passed that exam last year, so I did not need Exam 698. However, I am leading a study group this week, and I wanted to make sure I knew what I was talking about with regard to the exam. I sat down at my computer Tuesday morning and passed it. I then went back to work and did not give it another thought.
This morning I was cleaning up my paperwork, and I opened the Certifications spreadsheet to update it with my latest. It turns out that is was the fiftieth exam that I have passed. (We will not mention the number of exams I have failed).
Fifty exams is not a record by any means. I know people who have likely passed a few hundred exams in their time. For some, it would be a tremendous number. For others, it would be a drop in the ocean. For me, it is what I have done… and because it was that special number I will take a moment to be proud of myself… and then I will get back to work.
I have students and colleagues who as I write this are preparing to sit their first certification exam. I am so proud of them. Why? Because I remember how stressful it was for me. Pass or fail, they have taken that step, and that is something to be proud of. Good luck friends!
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