Score Reports: Your Questions Answered

Liberty Munson (Microsoft)

In response to my recent "Dissecting Your Score Report" blog series, you have posted a number of comments and questions that I want to answer with more detail than what I might provide in a comment to the post. I also want to address a few frequently asked questions related to scoring and score reporting.

Are exam questions weighted? No. Each question is worth 1 point unless otherwise stated in the question itself. If a question is worth more than 1 point, it is "polytomously scored" (questions worth one point are "dichotomously scored"). If a question is worth multiple points, partial credit is possible. This means that you can get all, some, or none of the points possible. This is different from weighting. In weighting, you either get all of the points or none of them. In a recent post, I went into detail on how scoring works. Check it out to learn more about the difference between weighting and partial scoring and how that all ties to the score you see on your score report. Want to learn more, check this out!

If an item is worth more than 1 point, how does scoring work? You receive points for every correct action you take or combination of actions that SMEs have deemed are worth one point. For example, if you are matching words to their definitions, you will likely get one point for each correct match you make. In the case of a build list or drag and drop item that is worth multiple points, you may get a point for each correctly placed object or step, or you may get a point for correctly placing "sets" of objects or steps. The goal is create equivalence between the actions required by any question and the number of points earned. In other words, SMEs who help us establish scoring consider what must be done to answer the question correctly and how that relates to what needs to be done to answer a typical multiple choice question correctly on that same exam. We have not implemented polytomous scoring on drag and drop and build list items, but if and when we do, this will be noted in the question itself, so you know how it is scored.

If there are multiple ways to solve a problem, will I get credit if I answer using any of those ways? Yes. Scoring is set up such that all possible correct answer combinations receive credit (except in the case of best answer where multiple answer choices might be correct but only one is best given the technical and business requirements outlined in the question). For example, if you are asked to put steps to complete a task in order but the order of two steps doesn't matter, our scoring algorithms take this into account. In other words, you will get credit if you put A before B or B before A. We are adding a statement to our build list questions that clarifies that if multiple paths are possible, you will receive credit regardless of the path you select (as long as it's correct!).

Can I find out which questions I answered incorrectly? No. Microsoft Certification exams are designed to measure candidates’ skills and abilities in various technologies, not their ability to study or memorize specific questions on exams. Qualified candidates will be able to pass this exam regardless of the questions asked. In addition, to protect the integrity of the certification process, Microsoft does not share information about the specific questions that were missed.

Can I see a lower level of detail on my performance on upgrade exams? No. We don't ask enough questions at the objective level to be able to provide a reliable estimate of your ability for each of those skills. Providing this level of information would be a disservice to you because it would be very unreliable--we very easily could be telling you to work on skills that don't need improvement, or worse, suggesting that some skills are strengths when they are not.

And, because I misrepresented how upgrade exams appeared on transcripts in my original post, let me clarify...

Why must you pass each component of an upgrade to pass the overall exam? Because you must pass each exam to earn the certification, you must pass each component of the upgrade exam. This ensures equivalence across the different ways that this certification can be earned. Essentially, we have confirmed competence in each of the significant content domains (i.e., each component exam) covered by the certification regardless if you take each component exam individually or the upgrade exam.

Other frequently asked questions related to scoring and their answers can be found here.

OK. What questions did I miss? Or, do you want me to expand on any of the answers to the FAQs posted here? Ask away!