Took 70-113 this afternoon …
This is a pilot, new format, beta test. It has two parts. Part 1 is the new virtual lab based, including two labs, totally about 15 tasks, in multi-domain headquarter-branch scenarios. After each lab, there are chances to put comments on this new format. Part 2 is the traditional multiple choice questions, just need click or move some objects, the questions are very basic.
It’s worth to take this test, for about 3 hours, although there is no score. One hour for each lab, and another hour to answer 37 questions. The virtual lab is not running very well in first time, as reported by other fellows. I tried 13 times in about 5 minutes, got 12 "Virtual lab is not ready, please try again later" pop-ups, finally the virtual lab launched.
The screen is somehow similar to Microsoft virtual labs on their web site. About one fourth of the screen on the right side is the help and instructions. The task pad is just next to it, can be collapsed or expanded. When task pad expanded, it overlaps the virtual server screen, so it’s really not possible to see both at the same time. You have to use the paper provided by the test centre. This is not what most system administrators have on their desks today. Dual 17" screen is quite common or even larger. You can see both the remote server screen on one monitor, and your tasks on another screen, they may come in email or ticket system or a project plan. This is really what Microsoft and their partners need to improve if they want to release this kind of test format.
Besides the first time glitch when launch the virtual lab, the speed is not good all the time. You can feel it is a remote virtual machine, the mouse and the keyboard cursor is sticky, more like controlling via iLO or DRAC, or a virtual machine without Additions installed.
Overall, take a test without paying a penny but even can get 3 vouchers in two month is not a bad deal.
Also, I found this one the Internet – "Registration is extended till December 17th for testing New Virtual Lab based Exam 70-113: TS: Windows® Server 2008 Active Directory, Configuring".
Update December 9, I’ve got three vouchers from Prometric "Congratulations! You are receiving 3 free exam vouchers for taking the pilot exam 70-113 and supporting the trial of the new Microsoft virtual lab-based performance testing. Vouchers are valid for any Microsoft technical certification exam and should be redeemed before 06/30/2009. " It’s coming earlier than expected, someone on the Internet said the vouchers would be distributered in February 2009.