> I know that MS had to keep lowering the passing score for exchange 5.5
> because too many people were failing it. I do believe it was renowned
> for being one of the hardest nt4 electives though.
> Bit of a sickner for those who just failed when it was at a higher
> pass mark?
> Did 219 not start out with a higher pass mark?
I think this is another reason scores are now hidden. Passing scores for MS
exams have and I'm sure still do change occasionally, but at least in the
last few years, this *never* means the exam has become easier or more
difficult to pass. It means the question pool has changed significantly and
MS has determined that the new questions are relatively easier or more
difficult for a qualified person. So they adjust the required score so that
the exam still represents the exact same measurement. MS does not have a
goal for a passing percentage on any exam - the goal is to verify minimal
competence with the published set of skills. Anyone who meets those
requirements should pass, and anyone who doesn't should not. Whether that
results in a pass rate of 10% or 90% is irrelevant and out of MS's hands.
Another reason to hide the scores is that because of changes to the question
pools, a score of 800 on an exam may be quite different than a score of 800
on the same exam at another time. And passing by 150 points over the
required score may also be different than clearing the required score by 150
at another time. But when we all have the numbers, comparison is a pretty
normal instinct, even though in many cases it's not valid.
I do get the impression that years ago, the MS exams may not have been as
psychometrically valid, but I know they've paid a great deal of attention to
this since at least the Windows 2000 MCSE exams. So perhaps the Exchange 5.5
exam did get toyed with in order to produce a desired pass rate. I took the
exam a couple of years ago and found it pretty easy and hadn't heard about
any unusual reputation either way. I actually heard after I took it that
there was a very popular exam guide book from a big publisher that had
review questions that were essentially a braindump.