CXO

Four certification sites moved under one roof

Four popular certification Web sites have been joined into one site. Learn what's new and improved, as well as what's lacking, at the new CertTutor.net.


Don’t fret if you can't quickly find several of your favorite certification sites. They're still online; it's just that they've moved. MCSELive.com, MCSETutor.com, 2000Tutor.com, and 2000Exams.com have all been realigned as a single product, with two distinct sections, at CertTutor.net.

MCSETutor.com and 2000Tutor.com are now CertTutor.net
Go to www.MCSETutor.com and www.2000Tutor.com now, and both redirect you to the front door at CertTutor.net. There, you'll find user forums, sample study questions, and training and certification advice, as well as practice exams, books and reviews, and the obligatory quick poll.

Don't get too excited about the books and reviews, though. When I visited the site's Books and Reviews section on Valentine's Day, there wasn't much to love. All I found were chapter listings, the most recent of which were dated July 1999. Worse, it appeared that there are only two books in the collection, with the second title being an IIS 4.0 text published in 1998.

While you can read the chapters online, I fear you won't find much help in the Books and Reviews section when you prepare for your next certification exam.

As for the reviews, I was left with one question: "Where are they?" I expect more from a site run by the folks at Windows and .NET Magazine.

Fortunately, you can still take advantage of the benefits previously available on http://www.MCSELive.com. If you try going to that site, you'll be redirected to CertTutor.net Live.

MCSELive is now CertTutor.net Live
At CertTutor.net Live, you'll find the popular forums you visited at MCSELive.com. Only now, those forums are powered by FuseTalk, as opposed to the Ultimate Bulletin Board (UBB) engine as in the past. What does that mean for you? More features and possibly some longer page-load times, if some CertTutor.net users are to be believed. However, I spent considerable time on the site last week and found that the pages loaded quickly.

Two features introduced with the FuseTalk platform are customization options and a new Today view. You can customize several features, such as the number of days’ threads viewed by default. You can also suppress graphics to accelerate page-load times and exclude categories you're not interested in reading. The Today view lists your personal statistics, helps track your latest posts, displays the top 10 users, and more.

If practice exams are your goal, you'll find those have moved, too. Head to www.2000Exams.com, and you’ll be directed to the new CertTutor.net Exams site.

2000Exams is now CertTutor.net Exams
One of the features I like about CertTutor's practice exams is that, upon completion of your test, you can compare your performance with that of other IT professionals. While your score report lists the usual number of questions answered, the number of questions attempted, and a review of how you answered each question, it also tells you how many times others have tried the exam, how many times the exam has been passed, the number of failed attempts, and the average exam score.

However, here's another area where CertTutor is weak. Practice exams are only available for six tests, although they're six popular tests. Five are Microsoft exams (70-210, 70-215, 70-216, 70-217, and 70-270), while one covers Cisco's entry-level certification (CCNA 640-507). Hopefully, the CertTutor staff will add several new exams soon.

Eckel's take
If you're lucky, you'll find a practice exam available for the test you're planning to take. Spend much time on the site, though, and you're likely to find content lacking. The books are old and, at least in the case of the IIS chapters, outdated. There are no reviews. There are practice exams for only six tests. A prominent link to an MCSE Training and Certification Special Report, meanwhile, simply took me to a listing of ads for training providers on Windows and .Net Magazine's IT Buyer's Network. I could find no special report.

Still, the books, reviews, practice exams, and special reports aren't the only reason IT professionals will be visiting CertTutor.net. The forums are what really drive traffic, and they're better than ever.

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