Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Warning for MySQL exam takers at the User's Conference

One of the best deals at the MySQL Users Conference is the deep discount on certification exams. For a mere $25, you can take exams that are normally $200. But those of you planning to take your exams next month need to know some facts before your arrive.

First: All the really hot sessions with the great presenters who will fill your skull with knowledge just by their presence (and tell all the best SQL jokes) are scheduled at the same time as the exams. There are only six exam session and the six hottest presentations just happen to be at the same time. I am not sure if this is karma, bread slice falling butter side down physics, or part of an intricate plan but it falls into the 'it is a feature not a bug' realm. So read the agenda and plan your exam schedule. Trying to hurry through an exam to catch the end of a presentation will do justice to neither activity.

Second: Know the exam material BEFORE you sit down for the test. The exams are not easy and spending time in six test session to pass one exam is not the best use of your time. You have an opportunity to meet some of the smartest folks in the world at the conference and may miss it by cramming for the exam.

Third: Sign up as a certification candidate at Pearson Vue if you are not in the certification system. Your score will be returned to you much faster if you are in our database. This step costs you nothing but time now. At the conference, time is too valuable to spend on administrivia.

Fourth: Do not judge your exam experience by others taking exams at the same time. Some folks are fast. Some folks are not. Some are going to pass while others are not. Work at your best pace, which should be seventy questions UNDER ninety minutes. See the second item above again. You will not be sitting near anyone take the same exam as you so do not judge your pace by those around you.

Fifth: The User Conference is an amazing event. You will be exposed to a multitude of new ideas, new friends, and will see the MySQL world through a different set of eyes. As much as I personally love to have people take the MySQL exams, it is only a tiny part of the UC.

There will be an informal 'reception' one night in the exam room (look for details at the UC). Please drop by if you have a chance. Some of the authors of the Cluster Study Guide are planning to be there. This is also a good way to give us your views on certification.


Arnaud Gadal said...

Thanks for the tips Dave, I'm registered for the cluster exam, I didn't know about the "informal reception", I'll try to be there !
Do those tests are paper-based or are they computer-based as traditional MySQL tests you could pass in VUE centers ? I was told that results will be printed in front of the exam room after each session, exact ?


Dave Stokes said...

The questions on paper or on a Pearson VUE test screen are the same. They are pulled from the same question pool.

We will try to get the results out as soon as possible.

See you there, Arnaud!