Saturday, July 26, 2008

An 8 question challenge

As one of the ones on the "inner circle" I am often asked to participate in upcoming ITIL exams, as a Pilot Tester.

The good news is that I get asked and I am one of the first to ever see these new exams. The bad news is that I never get to see my result and I still have to take the test myself, when the actual exams are finally released.

Over the last 4 weeks I have taken 5 of the upcoming ITIL Service Lifecycle and Service Capability exams. The expected format of the exams is well publicized. Eight (8) complex multiple choice exams, to be answered in 90 minutes.

You may be thinking ONLY 8 ! and 90 MINUTES !... I'm here to tell you not to get lulled into a sense of security. Some of the questions are - I wouldn't use the work complex - I'd use the terms of LONG, TIRING TO READ, TRICKY TO UNDERSTAND and SUBJECTIVE.

The answers have different points. So it isn't even a case of one RIGHT and three WRONG. There are grades of RIGHT and WRONG. This is what makes the format hard for me to like.

If you get three of four experienced managers together and ask them to write an answer to an issue you will get COMPLETELY different answers. This is a result of experience, knowledge and even how you felt at the time.

Then you have an independant person say what is the most right answer etc.. Just doesn't sit well with me. I have my views and opinions and because they may differ to the people who write the questions and answers I could fail the exam.

There is no doubt that it is an enormous challenge, but I wonder if the examination panel would be better suited opting for simply MORE simple multiple choice questions and avoid the issues that are simply inevitable with the complex format.

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