Thursday, July 03, 2008

UCertify Prep Engine Review

              I am posting after a really long time. Lots of stuff have happened in my life some good some bad, but all that is for another day. For now here’s a review i wrote about the UCertify’s Prep Engine. Sometime back I completed MCP in Web-Based Client Development in C# (Exam Number 70-528) using the .Net Framework 2.0 Web-Based Development published by Microsoft.

                     After that I received a mail from one of the UCertify staff to review one of their products, I choose MS .Net Framework 2.0 - Application Development Foundation (Exam Number 70-536). UCertify was kind enough to give me a free activation code for this exam. The User Interface is very simple and unique and has been designed with lot of insight to help users to understand the exam better and identify their weakness and strengths. I will explain what features are present in this prep kit and how it can be utilized. If you find the review lacking in any way, please do let me know.

The Prep Engine is designed in such a way that there is no need for us to download the engine for other set of exams. The Prep Engine lists all the prep-kits available with UCertify and with just a single click one can install the prep-kit and start cracking at the exams.


Features in UCertify Prep Engine


1. Exams

a. Normal Exams

In exam you are given either 15 or a number of questions that you choose. This exam must be taken when you start. Mostly the questions in this test cover most, if not all the concepts. Once the exam is over, you get to view the breakup of marks in each section, which would help you to focus and prepare accordingly.


b. Adaptive Exams

This exam is quite interesting and you get to analyze and learn in depth, the subject, in the course of the exam. The Kit monitors your answers’ to given questions and brings up the next question depending on the accuracy of answer given to the first one. This helps you to understand the question which you had answered and relate it to the upcoming question, consequently ending up in learning while you were getting examined!

c. Custom Exams


As the name says, you can customize the exam J Sounds cool, right? It is! Here is how you can play around with the number of questions, subject matter, time and most important, viewing answers!

You can specify the number of questions you would want from a particular section. To add questions from the selected chapter, you just need to click imagebutton. Once that is clicked, the view on your right hand side will get populated with the questions added to the test pool. Alas! There is no specific way to really select only certain number of questions from the chapters and add to the pool. We would need to select the chapter and add all the questions and then remove them manually. To an average user, this might be an extremely tedious job considering time as a vital factor in exam preparation. Now, I will stop complaining and get back to reviewing. Once you are done adding the questions, you can specify the total number of questions you would like to generate for the exam.


As seen in the above screenshot, we can specify the number of questions that the engine will randomly select. We can specify the number of minutes we wish to write the test and also the passing score. The exam can either be taken up in Test Mode or Learn Mode. In Learn mode, we can click the clip_image014 button, whereby it will display the answer for the particular question. In test mode we do not have this button and it will be like writing a real test where, you know, showing the answer is not really allowed: D.

2. Articles


As the name goes, this section has brief articles related to the .Net Framework along with a comprehensive Search feature. On the left side, Articles are classified under different categories, for ease of operation. For instance the “How to” category holds articles depcited in the screenshot.


Similarly, each section contains a specific set of questions and answers which enables the user to familiarize more with the .Net Framework. On other category, Study Notes ,contains the most common and difficult questions in .Net Framework. In the same lines, there are Study Tips which is important points to be noted, when preparing for the exam.

3. Flash Cards

Flash card’s are learning aids, where information is drilled our mind to aide memorization, by way of spaced intervals. In our case, specific questions are put forth by the engine and we need to type the answer and also grade them as “Correct”, “Incorrect” or “Not Graded”


4. Interactive Quiz

Interactive quiz enables us to take up a real-time exam. An Interactive Quiz is different from normal exams in two points

i. We would not be able to go back to previous items like we do in a normal exam

ii. Each question is timed individually


As you see in the above screen, we can choose the number of question that we want from each section. We can also set the maximum time required to answer a question. The interactive quizzes are designed to test one’s understanding of key concepts, that are required to pass the certification.

5. Reviewing Performance

The prep engine tracks all the test’s we take and it presents us a very brief performance report. We can go to the screen using the following section in the main screen.



Performance Report is categorized into 2 sections – Test History and Remarks. Under Test History section, Prep Engine provides us with a list of the exams we had taken. In the Remarks section, Prep Engine presents our performance in each of the exam. As you can clearly see in this screenshot, I have lot of catching up to-do with exam studies ;-)

6. Loading Other Tests


Adding other test’s to your local drive is just a click away! Once you click the button named “Install”, it check’s for the appropriate exam and downloads it to your machine. Then you would be all set to go ahead with the Test Kit.

Overall, it was a pleasant experience using Ucertify Prep Engine. Previously I had used Microsoft’ Prep Kit. It was refreshing to use Ucertify’s Prep Kit for a change. Though, I have not fully explored UCertify’s Prep Engine, I am certainly happy with what I have seen and learnt. Now It’s “Certify” time for me and hope to with study with full steam and clear the exams with with flying colors.

Please feel free to make any suggestion or comments on this article and ways to improve it.

Sphere: Related Content


Anonymous said...

So did you got paid to review the product? I am also interested in reviewing the product. how much they paid and whom should i contact can you guide me.

VikramJb said...

Hi Anonymous

I was "not paid" to write the review. But if you would like to review, you can contact the UCertify guys directly.