Beta exam MB-500

Today I took the beta exam MB-500: Microsoft Dynamics 365: Finance and Operations Apps Developer; I think it’s going to be made generally available on January. I was already planning to take it when I received an email with a significant discount, therefore I had no reason to hesitate.

They didn’t show me my score – they’ll do it „within two weeks after the exam’s live publication date“. But I don’t think I have to worry…

I usually dislike many exam questions – they’re often vaguely formulated, outdated, off the exam topic, testing things that are easy to test but irrelevant and so on.

Questions of this exam are firmly on topic – I don’t remember any where I would question whether the topic itself is relevant. But there are surely things to improve.

Here a few examples:

All answers of one question mention an action in GUI which simply doesn’t make sense, so technically neither answer is correct. It’s clear that the actual question was about something else, but it may be confusing and it doesn’t look very professional.

In one lab, the ALM process described there doesn’t make a good sense to me and it goes directly against Microsoft best practices, therefore I don’t think it’s a good idea to put it there. Then you must answer questions not based on how things should be done in practice, but what fulfills the artificial restrictions – and hope that authors of the exams didn’t forget about them when defining “correct” answers.

In one question, I was asked to implement a very common piece of code, but the options didn’t include any of the ways how it’s normally done. What I assume is the right answer is technically correct, but nobody would ever do it and I don’t believe that many people remember the method – I didn’t it. I’m convinced that this isn’t what exams should test.

I also found some basics mistakes in code, such as incompatible types that would cause failure already on compilation, or answers that can be correct or not depending on context (which wasn’t provided).

After taking an exam, there is time for evaluation and I was keen to cover all these points in detail there. But the time allocated was completely insufficient; then it simply kicks you off. And when I got a warning popup that I had only one minute left, the UI became unresponsive and I was unable to complete at least the thing I writing at the moment. Effectively, I got even one less minute that intended.

It sounds pretty strange to me – you invite somebody to take a beta exam and give you feedback, but they you make providing detailed feedback impossible. The time slot for evaluation should be longer – even for regular exams, but especially for beta exams that should be all about collecting feedback. And a bit more review of technical correctness wouldn’t harm either.

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