Unless you don’t mind failing your next IT certification exam, it’s best to try a few practice tests first. Transcender, CiCPrep, and Self Test Software produce some of the best-known simulation exams.
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I recently had an opportunity to sit down with LearnKey’s MasterExam software, and I liked what I saw. Try a MasterExam, and I bet you’ll agree that LearnKey has built powerful test-taking software.

Orientation 101
Unlike other practice test software I’ve used, MasterExam offers an orientation session. A multimedia tutorial, the MasterExam Orientation will familiarize you with the software and help you maximize the time you spend preparing for an exam.

The MasterExam Orientation explains the functionality of MasterExam preparation software.

MasterExam features
LearnKey provides more than just sample tests. Its MasterExam CD-ROMs also offer Open Book and Closed Book studying options. As with other practice test software, you’ll find a close approximation of the genuine vendor exam. The questions are mapped to specific exam objectives.

MasterExam provides four options from its main menu.

Open Book Exams
The Open Book Exam format offers hints and reference information. The informal format also permits review and changing of answers. Open Book Exams impose no time limits, and you can select the number of questions you’d like to use.

Closed Book Exams
While Closed Book Exams are informal, the pressure’s turned up. No longer will you find hints or reference information available. The exams are timed, but you can still select the number of questions you’d like to attempt answering.

Instant gratification: In Open/Closed Book Exams, you’ll immediately learn whether you’re right.

Unlike other practice test programs, MasterExam can create customized study guides. By helping to identify your strengths and weaknesses, you can use the software to focus on those areas in which you need to build understanding.

The MasterExam mode most closely models the real-world exam you’re preparing to pass. It supplies the same number of questions, the same amount of time, and essentially the same interface as the real thing.

The software prepares exam results when you complete a practice session. You’ll also find an answer guide, which provides explanations for questions you’ve missed. You can save the results and guide and print them for further review.

Your best bet with the LearnKey test prep software is to follow three steps:

  1. Try Open Book Exams.
  2. Try Closed Book Exams.
  3. Try the MasterExams.

Once you score well, you’re ready to give the real McCoy a try.

What do they cost?
LearnKey’s Web site wasn’t working properly the day I tried to access pricing. Blame it on Comdex: Maybe show-goers were busy hammering the site with more traffic than it could handle.

Nevertheless, by now you should know I wouldn’t leave you stranded. So I picked up the phone and called LearnKey’s courteous customer service department in St. George, UT.

I was told you can purchase each of the Windows 2000 MasterExam CD-ROMs for $145 each. Or, should you prefer to purchase the four-core exam pack, you can do so for $495. That’s about par for other sim test software.

Whether you select LearnKey, Transcender, or another test vendor, just be sure to try practice tests before you tackle an exam. I’m a firm believer that they quickly pay for themselves by helping you spot your weaknesses. And the time to do that is before you hit the testing center. Just ask anyone who’s had to retake a test.
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