What on earth is going on? I sometimes think the world is going mad and that I’m the last person alive who is sane. But then, come to think of it, isn’t that the first sign of madness?
Not all that long ago I had a right fiasco with my SQL 2005 upgrade exam as blogged about previously in “prometric madness on examination street”. Well, what I haven’t said since then is that a month later, I went straight on to upgrading to my SQL 2008 MCITP. The exam itself went smoothly enough (although I couldn’t find my passport in the morning) but once completed, the test centre started having all sorts of problems with the certificate printer and started to talk about turning things off and on again (such as the PC that I sat the test on). After about 20 minutes of them panicking the printer suddenly whirred into action and all was good with the world again and my stress levels dropped back to normal.
Not more than a few weeks later I showed up again for the 70-433 MCTS: SQL Server 2008, Database Development exam thinking that nothing could possibly go wrong this time? Lo and behold my usually chaperone is off sick, and I am left with someone who has blatantly never had to set up the test before!!
Anyway, after his very thorough strip search to make sure that I was not carrying any materials for “cheating”, he sits me down at my PC and tells me the usual blurb and gives me a strict instruction NOT to leave my seat without supervision. It is only 10 minutes later when I realise that my usual scribble sheet and pen has not been provided. I wait for a little while hoping that he is going to come past the room so that I can get his attention and obtain these items, but he is nowhere to be seen. I am by now completely unable to concentrate on the exam ahead because I REALLY NEED MY PEN AND SHEET!! I decide enough is enough. I quietly sneak into reception and get pen and sheet and quickly return straight back to my PC.
Thankfully I didn’t get caught, even though I wasn’t really left with any option. Secondly to top this latest mess off, 30 minutes into the exam the chaperone pops into the room with another candidate. Surprisingly it turns out that the candidate is non other than a fellow DBA (albeit Oracle) and is sat down. Still blissfully unaware of my colleague’s presence, once the chaperone disappears my colleague starts talking to me! I really don’t know what to do at this stage since I KNOW this is not allowed during testing, so half scared of being seen to be talking myself I tell him quietly and politely to shut up.
So now we come on to the latest farce. My training department, on my instruction, purchased me a Prometric voucher for exam 70-451: PRO: Designing Database Solutions and Data Access Using Microsoft SQL Server 2008 and sent me the code. The only weird thing was that because they purchased it on the last day of June, the voucher was still a “second shot” voucher which was clearly ridiculous. A few days later I attempted to input this into Prometric‘s exam booking system and it is rejected as having expired 😦 . “Fair enough” I thought, this will be one of those booking system oddities and human intervention would enable me to get the exam booked. The result? …
The result was that the Prometric employee told me that the voucher would only be useable again after the 9th of July (even though 2nd shot had already ended). I have now been waiting days hoping that this really does work this time, but I don’t hold my breath!!
…and will I have yet another palaver at the testing centre?