What is a beta exam?
A beta exam allows Pure Storage to gather data on how exam questions perform before they ever impact a candidate’s pass/fail status. In the beta, we deliver the new exam items written by our subject matter experts (SMEs). Once we have enough candidates who have taken the exam, we run an analysis on the items to determine which are performing well, and which are too hard, too easy, or potentially not relevant. Then we create the final, shorter exam form based on this information that matches the exam specifications. Finally, SMEs are involved in the standard-setting process to determine the cut score of the final exam form using the candidate performance data we gathered during the beta.
Why do exams go into a beta?
Periodically, Pure Storage assesses its exams to determine which need a content refresh. We determined if an exam needs significant updates to include updating the exam specifications. After the specifications were updated, we work with our SMEs to rewrite test questions to cover new content that wasn’t included on the previous exam, ensuring that the new beta form is as up-to-date as possible.
Is there study material available for the beta exam?
We currently have OnDemand eLearning trainings availble to existing customers, partners, and employees to prepare for the exam. Additional study materials will be developed once we complete the beta and have a better understanding of what items made it into the final exam.
Why should I take the beta?
There are lots of reasons! You’ll be certified before anyone else. The beta is free, and you’ll maintain your certification for longer (two years from the date the final live version of the certification exam is released). For you altruists out there, you will be helping your peers by giving Pure valuable feedback on these exam questions, and helping to determine the final questions included on the exam, as well as the cut score. What if you don’t pass the beta? The final live version of the exam will be made up of questions you saw on the beta, so you’ll get a jumpstart on what you need to study. Also, if you fail the beta exam, you will receive a voucher to take the final live version.
What do I need to be aware of if I take the beta?
The most important thing is that you will have to wait to receive your pass/fail decision. This is because of the rigorous exam development process that Pure Storage employs to help ensure the exams are sound and measure proficiency appropriately. The scoring of the exam isn’t determined until after enough data has been gathered during the beta. Only then will the final form be assembled, and once that is complete, the final exam score is determined.
At that point, all beta candidates will be scored on only the exam questions that made the cut onto the live exam. Questions that are determined to be unfair, too hard, or that have other issues will be removed before that happens. If you are a partner, the delay in the process won’t impact your partner status—your partner status will be maintained until after the resources of the beta are complete.
If someone holds a current credential, how does this new certification program impact their recertification path?
The new certification replaces the existing credential. If someone currently holds an existing credential, that certification will expire on their two year recertification date. As they approach the two year recertification date, they must pass the new exam and obtain the new credential.
Example A: If you recently passed an exam, you will not be required to take the new exam for nearly two years (24 months from your existing certification date).
Example B: If you have held the existing credential for the last 18 months, then you will need to take the new exam in six months time.
Of course, you may decide to take the new certification exam at any time and receive the new credential (beta participants who pass the beta exam will automatically be awarded the new credential).