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Pluses and Minus of Cert Prep Online

By  Oct 6, 2008

Topics: Certification

Hey—what's up? Today I want to review some of the pluses, and the one minus, that I see with our new Cert Prep Online test-prep product.

Plus One: You Can Study Anywhere

All of the IT certification practice exam products I've developed in the past have been "thick client" applications. In other words, the customer was required to install and update sometimes large and bulky applications on his or her computer.

"Thick client" applications have other annoying issues, such as licensing, to worry about as well.

Cert Prep Online is a Web application that is accessible from any compatible Web browser, so the notion is that you can study for your next IT certification exam from anywhere you have an Internet connection:

  • Your bedroom
  • Your local library
  • Your local Starbucks
  • Your doctor's waiting room
  • et cetera...

Plus Two: The Content Dynamically Updates Itself

Again, because Cert Prep Online is a Web application, that means that our team can fix bugs and add new content and features "behind the scenes" and the next time you log into the application, WHAM--you see new stuff.

Of course, we'll notify you when there are system changes in much the same way that Facebook (we at Pearson LOVE Facebook)

As a technical trainer as well as an IT pro, it is important to me to present content to my student in as many different ways as possible. After all, most of us realize that some folks learn more by reading, other people learn more by listening and by asking questions, and other learn more by watching and mimicking.

To that end, you'll see that we included various and sundry multimedia content into Cert Prep Online so you're not simply drilling through multiple-choice questions and reading explanations (although that is important, don't get me wrong).

Plus Three: The Learning is Adaptive and Suited to You Personally

In my opinion, the most compelling aspect of Cert Prep Online is that once you drill into a subobjective and take your diagnostic test, Cert Prep Online generates what is called a study plan for you.

This study plan shows you the topic areas in which the engine determines you are already proficient, and those areas in which the engine judges that you require further study. For these latter topics, Cert Prep Online provides remediation links that give you detailed instructional content; this content can take many forms:

  • book content from Pearson publications
  • audio
  • movie

Isn't that AWESOME? So in other words, let's say that you are studying for a Windows Server 2008 exam and you are struggling with the concept of Terminal Services. If you understand how TS Gateway works and answered those questions on your diagnostic exam correctly, then your study plan would not contain remediation links on that topic.

On the other hand, if you just "can't get" TS-RemoteApp functionality in Windows Server 2008, then you would see a plethora of supplemental content right there in your browser. No muss, no fuss, and no greasy aftertaste. You'll understand the concepts in no time!

Plus Four: "Pre-Flighting" Your Live Exam

As I've said about a thousand times before in earlier blog posts, I used to work as a senior content developer for Transcender during their "glory days" from 2000-2004, and wrote the major portion of many of their most popular practice exams. If you had used their stuff before, then you know that their products consisted of three full-length practice exams...that was it.

Cert Prep Online gives you all of the diagnostic stuff where you the student are mucking around at the exam objective and subobjective level. BUT WAIT...THERE'S MORE!

We also offer at least three full-length practice exams because we understand the crucial importance of giving you that "pre-flight" confidence of (a) taking a computer-based exam; and (b) giving you a realistic simulation of the test you are paying your hard-earned money to take.

Minus One: You Have to Be Online to Use the Product

Frankly, I could turn this blog post into a major essay listing the pluses of Cert Prep Online (how about the price point, for heaven's sake?!?!)

However, in the interest of saving electronic "white space," and, more important, your time, let me cut to the chase and inform you that the chief disadvantage to CPO that I see is that at least at this point the product is "online only." In other words, you must have an active Internet connection to make use of the product.

I sincerely hope that this requirement will not pose a problem for you. Would you mind leaving your thoughts about all of this in the comments portion of this post? I'm very interested in hearing. Thanks.

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