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Exam Code: DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI test January 2024 by Killexams.com team

DA-100 Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI

Exam Number : DA-100

Exam Name : Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI



This course will discuss the various methods and best practices that are in line with business and technical requirements for modeling, visualizing, and analyzing data with Power BI. The course will also show how to access and process data from a range of data sources including both relational and non-relational data. This course will also explore how to implement proper security standards and policies across the Power BI spectrum including datasets and groups. The course will also discuss how to manage and deploy reports and dashboards for sharing and content distribution. Finally, this course will show how to build paginated reports within the Power BI service and publish them to a workspace for inclusion within Power BI.



Skills Gained

- Ingest, clean, and transform data

- Model data for performance and scalability

- Design and create reports for data analysis

- Apply and perform advanced report analytics

- Manage and share report assets

- Create paginated reports in Power BI



Specifically:

- Understanding core data concepts.

- Knowledge of working with relational data in the cloud.

- Knowledge of working with non-relational data in the cloud.

- Knowledge of data analysis and visualization concepts.



Course outline

Module 1: Get Started with Microsoft Data Analytics

This module explores the different roles in the data space, outlines the important roles and responsibilities of a Data Analysts, and then explores the landscape of the Power BI portfolio.



Lessons

Data Analytics and Microsoft

Getting Started with Power BI

Lab : Getting Started

Getting Started

After completing this module, you will be able to:



Explore the different roles in data

Identify the tasks that are performed by a data analyst

Describe the Power BI landscape of products and services

Use the Power BI service

Module 2: Prepare Data in Power BI

This module explores identifying and retrieving data from various data sources. You will also learn the options for connectivity and data storage, and understand the difference and performance implications of connecting directly to data vs. importing it.


Lessons

Get data from various data sources

Optimize performance

Resolve data errors

Lab : Preparing Data in Power BI Desktop

Prepare Data



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Identify and retrieve data from different data sources

Understand the connection methods and their performance implications

Optimize query performance

Resolve data import errors

Module 3: Clean, Transform, and Load Data in Power BI

This module teaches you the process of profiling and understanding the condition of the data. They will learn how to identify anomalies, look at the size and shape of their data, and perform the proper data cleaning and transforming steps to prepare the data for loading into the model.



Lessons

Data shaping

Enhance the data structure

Data Profiling

Lab : Transforming and Loading Data

Loading Data



After completing this module, students will be able to:



Apply data shape transformations

Enhance the structure of the data

Profile and examine the data

Module 4: Design a Data Model in Power BI

This module teaches the fundamental concepts of designing and developing a data model for proper performance and scalability. This module will also help you understand and tackle many of the common data modeling issues, including relationships, security, and performance.



Lessons

Introduction to data modeling

Working with tables

Dimensions and Hierarchies

Lab : Data Modeling in Power BI Desktop

Create Model Relationships

Configure Tables

Review the model interface

Create Quick Measures

Lab : Advanced Data Modeling in Power BI Desktop

Configure many-to-many relationships

Enforce row-level security



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Understand the basics of data modeling

Define relationships and their cardinality

Implement Dimensions and Hierarchies

Create histograms and rankings

Module 5: Create Model Calculations using DAX in Power BI

This module introduces you to the world of DAX and its true power for enhancing a model. You will learn about aggregations and the concepts of Measures, calculated columns and tables, and Time Intelligence functions to solve calculation and data analysis problems.



Lessons

Introduction to DAX

DAX context

Advanced DAX

Lab : Introduction to DAX in Power BI Desktop

Create calculated tables

Create calculated columns

Create measures

Lab : Advanced DAX in Power BI Desktop

Use the CALCULATE() function to manipulate filter context

use Time Intelligence functions



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Understand DAX

Use DAX for simple formulas and expressions

Create calculated tables and measures

Build simple measures

Work with Time Intelligence and Key Performance Indicators

Module 6: Optimize Model Performance

In this module you are introduced to steps, processes, concepts, and data modeling best practices necessary to optimize a data model for enterprise-level performance.



Lessons

Optimze the model for performance

Optimize DirectQuery Models

Create and manage Aggregations



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Understand the importance of variables

Enhance the data model

Optimize the storage model

Implement aggregations

Module 7: Create Reports

This module introduces you to the fundamental concepts and principles of designing and building a report, including selecting the correct visuals, designing a page layout, and applying basic but critical functionality. The important course of designing for accessibility is also covered.



Lessons

Design a report

Enhance the report

Lab : Designing a report in Power BI

Create a live connection in Power BI Desktop

Design a report

Configure visual fields adn format properties

Lab : Enhancing Power BI reports with interaction and formatting

Create and configure Sync Slicers

Create a drillthrough page

Apply conditional formatting

Create and use Bookmarks



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Design a report page layout

Select and add effective visualizations

Add basic report functionality

Add report navigation and interactions

Improve report performance

Design for accessibility

Module 8: Create Dashboards

In this module you will learn how to tell a compelling story through the use of dashboards and the different navigation tools available to provide navigation. You will be introduced to features and functionality and how to enhance dashboards for usability and insights.



Lessons

Create a Dashboard

Real-time Dashboards

Enhance a Dashboard

Lab : Designing a report in Power BI Desktop - Part 1

Create a Dashboard

Pin visuals to a Dashboard

Configure a Dashboard tile alert

Use Q&A to create a dashboard tile



After completing this module, students will be able to:



Create a Dashboard

Understand real-time Dashboards

Enhance Dashboard usability

Module 9: Create Paginated Reports in Power BI

This module will teach you about paginated reports, including what they are how they fit into Power BI. You will then learn how to build and publish a report.



Lessons

Paginated report overview

Create Paginated reports

Lab : Creating a Paginated report

Use Power BI Report Builder

Design a multi-page report layout

Define a data source

Define a dataset

Create a report parameter

Export a report to PDF



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Explain paginated reports

Create a paginated report

Create and configure a data source and dataset

Work with charts and tables

Publish a report

Module 10: Perform Advanced Analytics

This module helps you apply additional features to enhance the report for analytical insights in the data, equipping you with the steps to use the report for real data analysis. You will also perform advanced analytics using AI visuals on the report for even deeper and meaningful data insights.



Lessons

Advanced Analytics

Data Insights through AI visuals

Lab : Data Analysis in Power BI Desktop

Create animated scatter charts

Use teh visual to forecast values

Work with Decomposition Tree visual

Work with the Key Influencers visual



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Explore statistical summary

Use the Analyze feature

Identify outliers in data

Conduct time-series analysis

Use the AI visuals

Use the Advanced Analytics custom visual

Module 11: Create and Manage Workspaces

This module will introduce you to Workspaces, including how to create and manage them. You will also learn how to share content, including reports and dashboards, and then learn how to distribute an App.



Lessons

Creating Workspaces

Sharing and Managing Assets

Lab : Publishing and Sharing Power BI Content

Map security principals to dataset roles

Share a dashboard

Publish an App



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Create and manage a workspace

Understand workspace collaboration

Monitor workspace usage and performance

Distribute an App

Module 12: Manage Datasets in Power BI

In this module you will learn the concepts of managing Power BI assets, including datasets and workspaces. You will also publish datasets to the Power BI service, then refresh and secure them.



Lessons

Parameters

Datasets



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Create and work with parameters

Manage datasets

Configure dataset refresh

Troubleshoot gateway connectivity

Module 13: Row-level security

This module teaches you the steps for implementing and configuring security in Power BI to secure Power BI assets.



Lessons

Security in Power BI



After completing this module, you will be able to:



Understand the aspects of Power BI security

Configure row-level security roles and group memberships
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DA-100
Analyzing Data with Microsoft Power BI
http://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/DA-100
Question: 221
You have a prospective customer list that contains 1,500 rows of data.
The list contains the following fields:
First name
Last name
Email address
State/Region
Phone number
You import the list into Power Query Editor.
You need to ensure that the list contains records for each State/Region to which you want to target a marketing
campaign.
Which two actions should you perform? Each correct answer presents part of the solution. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
A . Open the Advanced Editor.
B . Select Column quality.
C . Enable Column profiling based on entire dataset.
D . Select Column distribution.
E . Select Column profile.
Answer: DE
Explanation:
Data Profiling, Quality & Distribution in Power BI / Power Query features
To enable these features, you need to go to the View tab Data Preview Group Check the following:
Column quality
Column profile
Column distribution
Column profile
Turn on the Column Profiling feature.
Column distribution
Can use it to visually realize that your query is missing some data because of distinct and uniqueness counts.
Reference:
https://www.poweredsolutions.co/2019/08/13/data-profiling-quality-distribution-in-power-bi-power-query/
https://www.altentertraining.com/microsoft/power-bi/column-profiling-is-good/
Question: 222
You open a query in Power Query Editor.
You need to identify the percentage of empty values in each column as quickly as possible.
Which Data Preview option should you select?
A . Show whitespace
B . Column profile
C . Column distribution
D . Column quality
Answer: D
Explanation:
Column quality: In this section, we can easily see valid, Error and Empty percentage of data values associated with the
Selected table.
Note: In Power Query Editor, Under View tab in Data Preview Section we can see the following data profiling
functionalities:
Column quality
Column distribution
Column profile
Reference: https://community.powerbi.com/t5/Community-Blog/Data-Profiling-in-Power-BI-Power-BI-Update-April-
2019/ba-p/674555
Question: 223
DRAG DROP
You are building a dataset from a JSON file that contains an array of documents.
You need to import attributes as columns from all the documents in the JSON file. The solution must ensure that date
attributes can be used as date hierarchies in Microsoft Power BI reports.
Which three actions should you perform in sequence? To answer, move the appropriate actions from the list of actions
to the answer area and arrange them in the correct order.
Answer:
Explanation:
Step 1: Expand the records.
First Open Power BI desktop and navigate to Power Query, import the JSON file, then load the data, click on the
record to expand it and to see the record and list.
Step 2: Add columns that use data type conversions.
Step 3: Convert the list to a table
Question: 224
You have the tables shown in the following table.
The Impressions table contains approximately 30 million records per month.
You need to create an ad analytics system to meet the following requirements:
Present ad impression counts for the day, campaign, and Site_name. The analytics for the last year are required.
Minimize the data model size.
Which two actions should you perform? Each correct answer presents part of the solution. NOTE: Each correct
selection is worth one point.
A . Group the impressions by Ad_id, Site_name, and Impression_date. Aggregate by using the CountRows function.
B . Create one-to-many relationships between the tables.
C . Create a calculated measure that aggregates by using the COUNTROWS function.
D . Create a calculated table that contains Ad_id, Site_name, and Impression_date.
Answer: AB
Explanation:
Question: 225
Your company has training videos that are published to Microsoft Stream. You need to surface the videos directly in a
Microsoft Power BI dashboard.
Which type of tile should you add?
A . video
B . custom streaming data
C . text box
D . web content
Answer: B
Explanation:
The only way to visualize a streaming dataset is to add a tile and use the streaming dataset as a custom streaming data
source.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/service-real-time-streaming
Question: 226
Testlet 1
Case Study
This is a case study. Case studies are not timed separately. You can use as much test time as you would like to
complete each case. However, there may be additional case studies and sections on this exam. You must manage your
time to ensure that you are able to complete all question included on this test in the time provided.
To answer the questions included in a case study, you will need to reference information that is provided in the case
study. Case studies might contain exhibits and other resources that provide more information about the scenario that is
described in the case study. Each question is independent of the other question on this case study.
At the end of this case study, a review screen will appear. This screen allows you to review your answers and to make
changes before you move to the next section of the exam. After you begin a new section, you cannot return to this
section.
To start the case study
To display the first question on this case study, click the Next button. Use the buttons in the left pane to explore the
content of the case study before you answer the questions. Clicking these buttons displays information such as
business requirements, existing environment, and problem statements. If the case study has an All Information tab ,
note that the information displayed is identical to the information displayed on the subsequent tabs. When you are
ready to answer a question, click the Question button to return to the question.
Overview
Litware, Inc. is an online retailer that uses Microsoft Power BI dashboards and reports.
The company plans to leverage data from Microsoft SQL Server databases, Microsoft Excel files, text files, and
several other data sources.
Litware uses Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to authenticate users.
Existing Environment
Sales Data
Litware has online sales data that has the SQL schema shown in the following table.
In the Date table, the date_id column has a format of yyyymmdd and the month column has a format of yyyymm.
The week column in the Date table and the week_id column in the Weekly_Returns table have a format of yyyyww.
The region_id column can be managed by only one sales manager.
Sales Data
Litware, Inc. is an online retailer that uses Microsoft Power BI dashboards and reports.
The company plans to leverage data from Microsoft SQL Server databases, Microsoft Excel files, text files, and
several other data sources.
Litware uses Azure Active Directory (Azure AD) to authenticate users.
Data Concerns
You are concerned with the quality and completeness of the sales data. You plan to verify the sales data for negative
sales amounts.
Reporting Requirements
Litware identifies the following technical requirements:
Executives require a visual that shows sales by region.
Region managers require a visual to analyze weekly sales and returns.
Sales managers must be able to see the sales data of their respective region only.
The sales managers require a visual to analyze sales performance versus sales targets.
The sale department requires reports that contain the number of sales transactions.
Users must be able to see the month in reports as shown in the following example: Feb 2020.
The customer service department requires a visual that can be filtered by both sales month and ship month
independently.
You need to create a calculated column to display the month based on the reporting requirements.
Which DAX expression should you use?
A . FORMAT(Date'[date], "MMM YYYY")
B . FORMAT(Date [date], "M YY")
C . FORMAT(Date'[date_id], "MMM") & "" & FORMAT(Date'[year], "#")
D . FORMAT(Date [date_id], "MMM YYYY")
Answer: D
Explanation:
Scenario: In the Date table, the date_id column has a format of yyyymmdd. Users must be able to see the month in
reports as shown in the following example: Feb 2020.
Question: 228
Question Set 3
You have a large dataset that contains more than 1 million rows. The table has a datetime column named Date.
You need to reduce the size of the data model.
What should you do?
A . Round the hour of the Date column to startOfHour.
B . Change the data type of the Date column to Text.
C . Trim the Date column.
D . Split the Date column into two columns, one that contains only the time and another that contains only the date.
Answer: D
Explanation:
We have to separate date & time tables. Also, we don’t need to put the time into the date table, because the time is
repeated every day. Split your DateTime column into a separate date & time columns in fact table, so that you can join
the date to the date table & the time to the time table. The time need to be converted to the nearest round minute or
second so that every time in your data corresponds to a row in your time table.
Reference: https://intellipaat.com/community/6461/how-to-include-time-in-date-hierarchy-in-power-bi
Question: 229
You have a data model that contains many complex DAX expressions. The expressions contain frequent references to
the RELATED and RELATEDTABLE functions.
You need to recommend a solution to minimize the use of the RELATED and RELATEDTABLE functions.
What should you recommend?
A . Split the model into multiple models.
B . Hide unused columns in the model.
C . Merge tables by using Power Query.
D . Transpose.
Answer: C
Explanation:
Combining data means connecting to two or more data sources, shaping them as needed, then consolidating them into a
useful query. When you have one or more columns that you’d like to add to another query, you merge the queries.
Note: The RELATEDTABLE function is a shortcut for CALCULATETABLE function with no logical expression.
CALCULATETABLE evaluates a table expression in a modified filter context and returns A table of values.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/desktop-shape-and-combine-data
Question: 230
You have the following three versions of an Azure SQL database:
Test
Production
Development
You have a dataset that uses the development database as a data source.
You need to configure the dataset so that you can easily change the data source between the development, test, and
production database servers from powerbi.com.
Which should you do?
A . Create a JSON file that contains the database server names. Import the JSON file to the dataset.
B . Create a parameter and update the queries to use the parameter.
C . Create a query for each database server and hide the development tables.
D . Set the data source privacy level to Organizational and use the ReplaceValuePower Query M function.
Answer: D
Explanation:
With privacy level settings, you can specify an isolation level that defines the degree that one data source must be
isolated from other data sources.
An Organizational data source limits the visibility of a data source to a trusted group of people. An Organizational data
source is isolated from all Public data sources, but is visible to other Organizational data sources.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/admin/desktop-privacy-levels
Question: 231
You have an Azure SQL database that contains sales transactions. The database is updated frequently.
You need to generate reports from the data to detect fraudulent transactions. The data must be visible within five
minutes of an update.
How should you configure the data connection?
A . Add a SQL statement.
B . Set Data Connectivity mode to DirectQuery.
C . Set the Command timeout in minutes setting.
D . Set Data Connectivity mode to Import.
Answer: B
Explanation:
With Power BI Desktop, when you connect to your data source, its always possible to import a copy of the data into
the Power BI Desktop. For some data sources, an alternative approach is available: connect directly to the data source
using DirectQuery.
DirectQuery: No data is imported or copied into Power BI Desktop. For relational sources, the selected tables and
columns appear in the Fields list. For multi-dimensional sources like SAP Business Warehouse, the dimensions and
measures of the selected cube appear in the Fields list. As you create or interact with a visualization, Power BI
Desktop queries the underlying data source, so you’re always viewing current data.
Incorrect Answers:
D: Import: The selected tables and columns are imported into Power BI Desktop. As you create or interact with a
visualization, Power BI Desktop uses the imported data. To see underlying data changes since the initial import or the
most recent refresh, you must refresh the data, which imports the full dataset again.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/desktop-use-directquery
Question: 232
Testlet 2
Case Study
This is a case study. Case studies are not timed separately. You can use as much test time as you would like to
complete each case. However, there may be additional case studies and sections on this exam. You must manage your
time to ensure that you are able to complete all questions included on this test in the time provided.
To answer the questions included in a case study, you will need to reference information that is provided in the case
study. Case studies might contain exhibits and other resources that provide more information about the scenario that is
described in the case study. Each question is independent of the other question on this case study.
At the end of this case study, a review screen will appear. This screen allows you to review your answers and to make
changes before you move to the next section of the exam. After you begin a new section, you cannot return to this
section.
To start the case study
To display the first question on this case study, click the Next button. Use the buttons in the left pane to explore the
content of the case study before you answer the questions. Clicking these buttons displays information such as
business requirements, existing environment, and problem statements. If the case study has an All Information tab ,
note that the information displayed is identical to the information displayed on the subsequent tabs. When you are
ready to answer a question, click the Question button to return to the question.
Overview
Existing Environment
Contoso, Ltd. is a manufacturing company that produces outdoor equipment. Contoso has quarterly board meetings for
which financial analysts manually prepare Microsoft Excel reports, including profit and loss statements for each of the
companys four business units, a company balance sheet, and net income projections for the next quarter.
Data and Sources
Data for the reports comes from three sources. Detailed revenue, cost, and expense data comes from an Azure SQL
database. Summary balance sheet data comes from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. The balance sheet data
is not related to the profit and loss results, other than they both relate dates.
Monthly revenue and expense projections for the next quarter come from a Microsoft SharePoint Online list. Quarterly
projections relate to the profit and loss results by using the following shared dimensions: date, business unit,
department, and product category.
Net Income Projection Data
Net income projection data is stored in a SharePoint Online list named Projections in the format shown in the
following table.
Revenue projections are set at the monthly level and summed to show projections for the quarter.
Balance Sheet Data
The balance sheet data is imported with final balances for each account per month in the format shown in the following
table.
There is always a row for each account for each month in the balance sheet data.
Dynamics 365 Business Central Data
Business Central contains a product catalog that shows how products roll up to product categories, which roll up to
business units.
Revenue data is provided at the date and product level. Expense data is provided at the date and department level.
Business Issues
Historically, it has taken two analysts a week to prepare the reports for the quarterly board meetings. Also, there is
usually at least one issue each quarter where a value in a report is wrong because of a bad cell reference in an Excel
formula. On occasion, there are conflicting results in the reports because the products and departments that roll up to
each business unit are not defined consistently.
Requirements
Planned Changes
Contoso plans to automate and standardize the quarterly reporting process by using Microsoft Power BI. The company
wants to how long it takes to populate reports to less than two days. The company wants to create common logic for
business units, products, and departments to be used across all reports, including, but not limited, to the quarterly
reporting for the board.
Technical Requirements
Contoso wants the reports and datasets refreshed with minimal manual effort.
The company wants to provide a single package of reports to the board that contains custom navigation and links to
supplementary information.
Maintenance, including manually updating data and access, must be minimized as much as possible.
Security Requirements
The reports must be made available to the board from powerbi.com. A mail-enabled security group will be used to
share information with the board.
The analysts responsible for each business unit must see all the data the board sees, except the profit and loss data,
which must be restricted to only their business units data. The analysts must be able to build new reports from the
dataset that contains the profit and loss data, but any reports that the analysts build must not be included in the
quarterly reports for the board. The analysts must not be able to share the quarterly reports with anyone.
Report Requirements
You plan to relate the balance sheet to a standard date table in Power BI in a many-to-one relationship based on the
last day of the month. At least one of the balance sheet reports in the quarterly reporting package must show the
ending balances for the quarter, as well as for the previous quarter.
Projections must contain a column named RevenueProjection that contains the revenue projection amounts.
A relationship must be created from Projections to a table named Date that contains the columns shown in the
following table.
The relationships between products and departments to business units must be consistent across all reports.
The board must be able to get the following information from the quarterly reports:
Revenue trends over time
Ending balances for each account
A comparison of expenses versus projections by quarter
Changes in long-term liabilities from the previous quarter
A comparison of quarterly revenue versus the same quarter during the prior year
What is the minimum number of datasets and storage modes required to support the reports?
A . two imported datasets
B . a single DirectQuery dataset
C . two DirectQuery datasets
D . a single imported dataset
Answer: A
Explanation:
Scenario: Data and Sources Data for the reports comes from three sources. Detailed revenue, cost, and expense data
comes from an Azure SQL database. Summary balance sheet data comes from Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business
Central. The balance sheet data is not related to the profit and loss results, other than they both relate dates.
Monthly revenue and expense projections for the next quarter come from a Microsoft SharePoint Online list. Quarterly
projections relate to the profit and loss results by using the following shared dimensions: date, business unit,
department, and product category.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/service-datasets-understand
Question: 233
You import two Microsoft Excel tables named Customer and Address into Power Query.
Customer contains the following columns:
Customer ID
Customer Name
Phone
Email Address
Address ID
Address contains the following columns:
Address ID
Address Line 1
Address Line 2
City
State/Region
Country
Postal Code
The Customer ID and Address ID columns represent unique rows.
You need to create a query that has one row per customer. Each row must contain City, State/Region, and Country for
each customer.
What should you do?
A . Merge the Customer and Address tables.
B . Transpose the Customer and Address tables.
C . Group the Customer and Address tables by the Address ID column.
D . Append the Customer and Address tables.
Answer: A
Explanation:
There are two primary ways of combining queries: merging and appending.
When you have one or more columns that you’d like to add to another query, you merge the queries.
When you have additional rows of data that you’d like to add to an existing query, you append the query.
Reference: https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/power-bi/connect-data/desktop-shape-and-combine-data
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Thu, 04 Jan 2024 03:30:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.techrepublic.com/article/the-complete-2024-microsoft-tech-certification-training-super-bundle/
Preparing for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals Exam No result found, try new keyword!In this course, you will prepare for the AZ-900 Microsoft Azure Fundamentals exam. You will refresh your knowledge of cloud concepts, Microsoft Azure services, Microsoft Azure workloads ... Fri, 06 Jan 2023 16:56:00 -0600 https://www.usnews.com/education/skillbuilder/preparing-for-the-az-900-microsoft-azure-fundamentals-exam-0_CopdX3XBEeuulw5wDKo02w Microsoft Planning To Raise Prices Of Certification Exams

Microsoft last week revealed a price hike in Microsoft Certifications that'll go into effect throughout many parts of the world starting in July.

The price hikes will affect the following certifications: Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS), Microsoft Certified IT Professional (MCITP), Microsoft Certified Professional Developer (MCPD), Microsoft Certified Desktop Support Technician (MCDST), Microsoft Certified Systems Administrator (MCSA), Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer (MCSE), Microsoft Certified Application Developer (MCAD), Microsoft Certified Solution Developer (MCSD), Microsoft Certified Database Administrator (MCDBA).

Microsoft said it doesn't expect to increase the price of Microsoft Certified Master (MCM), Microsoft Certified Architect (MCA), Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA), and Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) Certification exams.

Microsoft isn't raising the price of exams uniformly around the world: The retail price for Microsoft Certification exams in the U.S. and Canada will rise from $125 to $150, but it'll remain unchanged in counties like Ireland, Spain and Greece, whose economies are still shaky.

Microsoft says it'll use the price hike to Excellerate the Microsoft Certification program with new certifications and question types, as well as frequent test updates and better test security.

The move came as a surprise to partners, and those who've been adjusting their businesses to meet the new terms of Microsoft Partner Network (MPN) said the timing is unfortunate. However, Microsoft plans to offer partners "substantial savings" on test fees for Microsoft Certifications required to attain MPN competencies. Details on these offers are on the agenda for this year's Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC), to be held from July 10-14 in Los Angeles.

MPN adds a great deal of weight to the technical skills partners carry, and many have had to make difficult choices as part of their migration to MPN. In MPN, the old Gold and Silver rankings are now being used as indicators of a partner's skill level within 29 distinct MPN technology competencies.

To obtain Gold, partners must hire or contract with four Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs), and the requirement for Silver is two MCPs. This is in addition to the business model changes Microsoft is pressing partners to make as part of the software giant's march in cloud computing.

In light of all these changes, it's understandable that some partners would be irked by the addition of an additional cost burden.

"Not only are we eating administrative costs to realign ourselves with Microsoft, we’re coming off a tough few years of lackluster IT spending and dealing with cloud solutions that are trying to capture a significant amount of value from the channel ecosystem," said Travis Fisher, executive vice president at Inacom Information Systems, a Salisbury, Md.-based solution provider. "I can’t imagine a worse time for increased certification costs to take effect than right now."

Next: Certifications Are Just Part Of Microsoft Partners' Costs

Microsoft, through its testing partner Prometric, offers a 30 percent discount to partners that purchase an 8-pack of test vouchers, which includes one free "re-take" for those who don't pass the first time. There are seven exams required for the MCSE certification, which adds up to $1,050 without the discount.

But as Fisher notes, exams costs are only part of the equation when it comes to obtaining a Microsoft certification. When everything is taken into account, he estimates that Inacom invests around $10,000 per person for certifications every three to five years.

"Let’s be honest: The real costs of obtaining any certification come in the form of boot camps, which cost around $3,500 per week, payroll expenses, and lost productivity," Fisher said.

It's unlikely that higher certification costs are going to dissuade Microsoft partners that have begun their move to MPN, particularly because like MPN itself, the test price hike will likely deliver partners better visibility and differentiation within the Microsoft channel.

"This will definitely raise costs in the short-term, but fewer partners will achieve and maintain these certs, allowing them to differentiate themselves as experts in a way that other partners can’t," said Rick Oppedisano, executive director of partner and channel Sales at Azaleos, a Seattle-based Microsoft solution provider.

Dave Sobel, CEO of Evolve Technologies, a Fairfax, Va.-based Microsoft partner, was surprised by the price hike, but says it won't affect his company's MPN plans.

"It's unfortunate that it's coming in the midst of our move over to MPN, and it matters because we're trying to get a bunch of people trained," he said. "But Microsoft has long been quite generous in giving training incentives to partners, and this isn't an unreasonable increase."

Fri, 15 Dec 2023 17:47:00 -0600 text/html https://www.crn.com/news/channel-programs/229402375/microsoft-planning-to-raise-prices-of-certification-exams
Get prepared for the Microsoft Azure Administrator Certification Exam

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Which State Has The Best Test Scores? Analyzing Standardized Testing Trends

Editorial Note: We earn a commission from partner links on Forbes Advisor. Commissions do not affect our editors' opinions or evaluations.

As online college and other alternative higher ed options have grown in popularity, standardized testing has become less important at the college level, with many colleges going test-optional. But high school students across the U.S. still take the SAT and ACT® to prep for college admissions.

At the K-12 level, standardized testing remains a vital metric for measuring students’ comprehension and competency in core subject areas like math, reading, writing and science. Standardized test scores provide primary and secondary school teachers and administrators with data-driven insights that inform curriculum development and shape educational policies and practices. These scores can also impact a school’s funding and resource allocation.

In this article, we rank the states with the highest standardized test scores and discuss the evolving role of standardized testing, including K-12 assessments and college entrance exams.

Why Does Standardized Testing Matter in the U.S.?

Standardized testing assesses the academic performance of students, teachers and schools. Test scores offer a quantitative metric to determine whether schools meet established standards and help educators and policymakers identify areas for improvement.

K-12 Standardized Assessments

At the K-12 level, standardized testing evaluates students’ proficiency in core subject areas at their respective grade levels. Test scores offer insights into the factors affecting a student’s, school’s or state’s performance. They can also inform instructional strategies and shape curriculum development.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is a comprehensive assessment encompassing print and digital assessments across multiple subject areas, including math, studying and science. NAEP is usually administered at the state and district levels among fourth and eighth grades. On this page, we use fourth- and eighth-grade math and studying assessments to determine our rankings.

K-12 standardized testing often faces criticism for its testing practices. Teachers, administrators and parents argue that standardized testing doesn’t account for each student’s unique learning style and strengths, instead testing students using a one-size-fits-all approach. Some say the education system’s focus on standardized testing has narrowed the scope and focus of curriculums to accommodate test results.

This criticism drives an ongoing dialogue about the need for more holistic and inclusive testing and assessment practices. Teachers, administrators and curriculum developers continue to propose alternative assessment methods—such as performance tasks, project-based work and portfolios—to better capture the multifaceted nature of student learning.

College Entrance Exams

During their third and fourth years of high school, students often take college entrance exams ahead of submitting their applications for admission. These test scores measure learners’ academic readiness for higher education. Colleges and universities use standardized tests to inform their admissions decisions.

Colleges and universities also consider several other factors during the admissions process, such as academic performance, extracurricular activities, personal statements and letters of recommendation. Also, many colleges have adopted test-optional admissions policies, which lift entrance test requirements for first-year applicants.

Though test-optional colleges do not require the ACT or SAT for college admission, most still consider entrance test scores when applicants choose to submit them.

Our ranking looks at metrics from the following standardized tests.

  • SAT: The SAT is a multiple-choice test that covers math, evidence-based studying and writing. Each section of the SAT is scored on a 200- to 800-point scale, making 1600 the highest possible score.
  • ACT: The ACT evaluates students’ knowledge in four areas: English, reading, mathematics and science. There’s also an optional writing section, which does not affect the composite ACT score. Your composite score comprises the average of the four subject scores, rounded to the nearest whole number. Possible ACT scores range from one to 36.
  • MCAT: All medical school programs in the U.S. use the MCAT for medical school admissions. This computer-based, multiple-choice test evaluates critical thinking, problem-solving, and knowledge of behavioral, natural and social science concepts and principles.

States With the Best Test Scores

Below we rank each U.S. state based on its standardized testing performances. Our methodology uses data from K-12 assessments, focusing on fourth- and eighth-grade math and studying assessments and college entrance test performances.

Top Five States

The top five states in our standardized testing performance ranking are:

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Utah
  3. New Jersey
  4. New Hampshire
  5. Connecticut

Common factors contributing to these states’ strong performances include rigorous academic standards, adequate funding, student-to-teacher ratios, professional development and successful education policies and reforms.

Massachusetts

Massachusetts consistently ranks among the states with the highest standardized test scores in the U.S. and secured the top spot on our list. At the fourth grade level, 42.9% of students demonstrated proficiency or higher in math; 42.61% achieved the same in reading.

In the eighth grade, Massachusetts students maintained their position as top performers among students nationwide, with 35.06% demonstrating proficiency or higher in math and 39.8% achieving the same in reading. While Massachusetts students received slightly lower average SAT scores than students in some other states, they earned the nation’s highest average ACT and MCAT scores.

Utah

Utah ranked second on our list, with 42.9% of NAEP test takers demonstrating proficiency or higher in math and 36.83% achieving the same in reading. Utah students received the highest average SAT score in the nation, with average ACT and MCAT scores trailing just below Massachusetts.

New Jersey

New Jersey placed third in our ranking, with 39.42% of fourth graders performing at or above proficiency in math and 38.02% at or above proficient in reading. New Jersey scored higher average ACT scores than Utah, and its average SAT and MCAT scores ranked just below Massachusetts and Utah.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire’s standardized testing performance ranked fourth, with 39.96% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or higher in math and 37.02% achieving the same in reading. These rates dropped slightly through the eighth grade. New Hampshire had the highest average MCAT scores of any U.S. state.

Connecticut

Connecticut claimed the fifth spot in our ranking, where 37.01% of fourth graders demonstrated proficiency or higher in math, and 34.62% showcased the same in reading. Connecticut students maintained their overall performances through eighth grade, though math levels dropped by 7.06%. Connecticut’s average ACT and MCAT scores were on par with those of Massachusetts.

Bottom Five States

Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, New Mexico and Oklahoma ranked in the bottom five states for standardized test scores.

Various educational, economic and social factors influence these scores. For example, states with lower socioeconomic status may face challenges such as resource allocation to education or limited resources.

Mississippi

Mississippi ranked fifth-lowest in our ranking, with 32.07% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or above in math and 30.64% performing the same in reading. This trend continues through the eighth grade, with the percentages of students performing at this level declining to 17.75% in math and 21.98% in reading.

Alabama

Alabama ranked fourth-lowest on our list, with 27.17% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or above in math and 28.26% demonstrating the same in reading. These performance levels persisted through the eighth grade, dropping by 8.48% in math and 6.23% in reading. Notably, Alabama students earned higher average ACT and MCAT scores compared to Mississippi; however, their average SAT scores were lower.

West Virginia

West Virginia placed third from the bottom, with 22.84% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or above in math and 22.28% achieving the same in reading. The percentage of students performing at this level dropped slightly through the eighth grade to 15.09% in math and 21.66% in reading.

West Virginia students saw lower average SAT scores than learners in Mississippi and Alabama; however, their average ACT and MCAT scores kept up.

New Mexico

New Mexico ranked second-to-last in terms of standardized testing performance, with just 19.12% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or higher in studying and 20.97% achieving the same in reading. Performance rates through the eighth grade dropped by 6.43% in math and 2.54% in reading. Students in New Mexico received the lowest average SAT scores of any state. However, their average ACT and MCAT scores were comparable to students in Mississippi, Alabama and West Virginia.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma placed at the bottom of our ranking, with 26.83% of fourth graders demonstrating proficiency or higher in math, and 24.02% performing the same in reading. NAEP performances declined through the eighth grade, falling by 5.55% and 2.74% in math and reading, respectively.

The Bottom Line

Massachusetts, Utah, New Jersey, New Hampshire and Connecticut lead the nation in standardized testing performance. Overall, students in these states maintained strong NAEP performance levels through the eighth grade, with only minimal changes in studying and math performances.

Comparatively, the bottom five states—Mississippi, Alabama, West Virginia, New Mexico and Oklahoma—experience a sharper decline in proficiency levels from fourth to eighth grade.

These contrasting performances highlight how various factors may impact standardized testing outcomes at various grade levels, emphasizing the importance of addressing educational disparities.

Methodology

To determine the states with the best test scores, Forbes Advisor Education obtained data on test performance at the elementary, middle, high school and college levels.

At the elementary level, we analyzed the percentage of fourth-grade students who scored at or above grade-appropriate proficiency in the math and studying sections of NAEP, according to government data from The Nation’s Report Card. We conducted an identical analysis of eighth-grade student scores.

To measure high school standardized test performance, we looked at the average ACT and SAT scores among test takers who graduated from high school in 2023. This data came from ACT and the College Board, respectively.

Finally, to measure how a state’s college-educated test takers compare, we used the average MCAT scores of medical students expected to earn their MD in 2023–24, separated according to students’ states of legal residence. This data came from the Association of American Medical Colleges.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Standardized Testing

What is meant by a standardized test?

A standardized test is an assessment that’s administered and scored in a consistent and uniform manner across a broad population. Standardized tests are designed to measure students’ comprehension and competency in specific subject areas, evaluate overall academic performance and inform educational policies.

What are the problems with standardized testing?

Standardized testing often faces criticism from teachers, administrators and parents. Some argue that the one-size-fits-all approach overlooks students’ diverse learning styles and strengths. Moreover, some say standardized testing includes biases that can influence schools’ curriculums and funding allocations.

What are the pros and cons of standardized testing?

In primary schools, standardized testing offers a quantitative assessment of academic performance, theoretically removing subjective biases that come from individual instructors and district-specific assessments. Some say standardized testing favors certain learning styles and socioeconomic backgrounds and stifles creativity.

Is the SAT a standardized test?

The SAT is a standardized college entrance test usually taken during the junior or senior year of high school. Many colleges and universities use SAT scores during admissions; however, schools commonly adopt test-optional admissions processes that do not require applicants to submit standardized test scores.

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 04:33:00 -0600 Mariah St John en-US text/html https://www.forbes.com/advisor/education/which-states-have-the-highest-standardized-test-scores/
Books for UPSC test 2025 (Revised and Updated) Released

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Wed, 27 Dec 2023 19:21:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.bignewsnetwork.com/news/274078259/books-for-upsc-exam-2025-revised-and-updated-released
‘Where does the bot end and human begin?’: what the legendary @Horse_ebooks can teach us about AI

More than a decade before an AI-powered chatbot could do your homework, help you make dinner or pass the bar exam, there was @Horse_ebooks. The primitive predecessor to today’s chatbot renaissance began as a Twitter account in 2010, tweeting automated excerpts from ebooks that, decontextualized, took on unexpected and strangely poetic meanings.

Purportedly a spambot, the account surfaced quotes from ebooks that went viral for their absurdist fragments – phrases like “Hello saxophone,” “COULD THIS BE THE”, and “Today we are lucky to be talking”. It amassed more than 200,000 followers at its peak and now, despite being inactive for a decade, the account still holds 131,000 followers. Its most memorable quip – “everything happens so much” – still resonates today.

In 2013, it was revealed that real-life human being Jacob Bakkila had been responsible for tweets from the account for the preceding two years. The New York City artist purchased @Horse_ebooks from an real spammer in 2012 and then simulated its “speech” – tweeting excerpts from books at random intervals and “performing” as the bot 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

“My goal was to reverse engineer how the bot approached things on the internet,” Bakkila said. “Nothing that @Horse_ebooks tweeted – either when it was an real automated spam bot, or when it was myself – was ever written originally. It was always pulled from previously written text.”

By reusing and repurposing existing writing, the account functioned similarly to today’s more advanced chatbots, albeit on a smaller scale. Language learning models, the technology upon which apps like ChatGPT is built, work by crawling large troves of human writing, analyzing patterns in human speech and spitting back that speech to the user based on context clues.

“I wanted to draw on the tension of authorship, both between myself and the fact that it was originally a literal spam bot. When does the bot end and when does the human begin?” Bakkila said.

That question has never been more relevant, as people increasingly use AI-powered chatbots not just as an alternative to Google, but as therapists and friends. AI companies are also under legal threat for their use of existing writing, with authors accusing them of unfairly and illegally using copyrighted works.

The Guardian spoke with Bakkila about human-robot authorship, the alleged AI apocalypse and what the popularity of his spam bot art project means in our modern times. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.

@Horse_ebooks is one of the first examples I can remember of a language-based bot the public meaningfully engaged with in such a viral way – what are your thoughts on this new bot-based artificial intelligence boom we are seeing?

I think you flatter me too much when you say it was the first. @Horse_ebooks itself was inspired by a variety of things – most notably earlier models, all the way back to what almost any older millennial will remember – SmarterChild and other early AOL Instant Messenger bots. This idea of automated language is certainly not a new concept. That said, obviously, the sophistication has grown enormously.

It’s important to remember that we are still fundamentally just pulling from pre-established corpuses of work. It’s still just taking language that humans previously wrote and giving it back to humans. So in that sense, even with the enormous variety of sophistication, my understanding is that it’s still humans talking to humans, with a bot as the intermediary.

I’m curious if you have any thoughts on the evolution of AI and chatbots. They used to hallucinate a lot more, their language was a little bit more simple – as they improve, do you think that impacts the experience?

We’ve always foisted human-like traits onto machinery – probably ever since we invented the first machines. People talk to the Roombas as though they are pets. We have AI speakers or smart speakers we are encouraged to talk to as though it’s a normal human conversation. When things break, when things glitch, when things go haywire there’s always a beautiful moment of peeking behind the curtain – understanding and reminding yourself that it is just a machine. With ChatGPT, there was an initial surge of people seeing what they could get ChatGPT to do, and what it couldn’t do.

Invariably, there’s the sine wave of new technology, with people having fun and exploiting it and using it in ways that the people who built it did not anticipate. Then those loopholes get closed and the bugs get squashed, and some of the fun disappears. But people find other ways to use it, again in ways that are counterintuitive and funny and artistically meaningful.

From an artist’s standpoint, what do you think about the integration of AI into the art world? It’s an issue that has obviously been controversial.

I would agree that it’s been controversial, but, like so many things, it might be a little bit of a tempest in a teacup. We live in a time when hot takes are very valuable to people. And there are plenty of people having fun with AI in ways that are interesting and counterintuitive.

It remains to be seen how permanent AI is. Talk to me a year from now, a lot of this could fade, people are already predicting that we’ve reached or are near the height of sophistication for things like language models. The problem with any new type of technology is that, as humans we have a tendency to assume an asymptotic growth. We think, “Wow, this is incredible – I bet it’s going to be 100 times as incredible 10 months from now.” Sometimes that happens, sometimes it doesn’t.

I feel like something’s been awoken in me at the mention of SmarterChild – I completely forgot about that.

Yes, I don’t want to guess how old you are, but I imagine you’re younger than I am – what was your screen name on AOL?

Mine is humiliating – it was PV – because my school was called Pleasant Valley – frog lover, because I loved frogs.

That’s wonderful, really. There’s an innocence and a wonder in the names that we assigned ourselves in those earlier eras of the internet. I believe it still exists now with kids and preteens and teens going on things like Roblox. The song remains the same, but the fidelity at which it is played has changed.

It’s interesting to look at it from that perspective – obviously there’s so much nefariousness about the internet, but there is also an innocence in some parts of it, and people having fun with it. Do you think that still exists within AI, or do you think it’s as scary as people say?

That’s a great question and it really depends on who you ask. There are definitely some things about the internet now that are more pernicious and more volatile than they’ve ever been before – I don’t want to downplay that. But when it comes to people just having fun and experimenting and making things with the tools given them, I don’t think it is appreciably different than it was 10 years ago or 20 years ago. People who forecast too much doom and gloom have a tendency to be wrong. Maybe that’s just my optimistic nature.

There have been a lot of changes to online platforms since @Horse_ebooks was around – what do you think of the changes to Twitter’s character limit?

Back then, there was a 140-character limit on tweets, so it meant the bot would post text that would sometimes be cut off. I adhered to that religiously, and it meant that truncated text was something that you could work with very interestingly. One of the more unexplored aspects of the world as it exists today is that we have such an abundance of information that very few people work counter to that. There are very few comparative mysteries anymore and because information is so freely available. And brevity is rare. I think less is always more when it comes to these types of brief communications.

It’s interesting that through your performance, you were seeking to replicate a bot whereas AI bots are predominantly thought to be seeking to replicate human behavior. What do you think of that?

I would caution with the word replicate, because that’s the difficult part – are we trying to replicate? Are we attempting to imitate? Are we attempting to supplant? I wouldn’t disagree with you that, in shorthand, I was attempting to carbon copy the bot’s process. But I believe my intentions were different. I wasn’t making any kickbacks from the sale of ebooks. That said, there’s also the tension of the Turing test – if a human can’t tell whether or not it’s talking to a bot or a human, does it matter?

In general I think people who are using AI in interesting ways right now are not doing so in an attempt to seek attention or or galvanize either opposition or support. They’re just trying to think, what can I do with AI? It’s incredible to think of what you’d be able to do right now. We are becoming something altogether larger than ourselves – and that is where you can find a very interesting tension because it brings up that age-old question, what does it mean to be human? And of course, we’re no closer to an answer – we are probably further than ever before. But we’ve never been able to ask it so interestingly.

I’m sure you get asked this a lot, but why do you think @Horse_ebooks was so resonant with people?

I can’t say why, but I’m always flattered when I get asked about it. A friend recently pointed out there is a variety of Spotify playlists that use probably my most famous combination of words: “everything happens so much”.

Can you remember where that phrase came from?

It came from a local information product – but then again, did I write it? No. It came from a book about retirement, something like “everything happens so much faster when you’re retired”. We’re all fascinated with things on the internet that we don’t understand and this is the heart of why people are drawn to new technology.

I also find it interesting that in the case of @Horse_ebooks, people felt disappointed or betrayed or something to find out that a human was involved with tweets that they were seeing. Now, it seems like with AI, it’s become the reverse – people are disappointed to find out when something was made by a bot or an AI – do you think that has changed?

I actually think that, like many other technological changes that happen in culture, most people have a pretty good eye right now for text and imagery that has been generated. You see it coming from a mile away. I think that speaks also to how much we read. In the modern era, even if we don’t consciously think of it as reading, so many of us are in front of screens close to every waking moment. The average person has a great degree of sophistication in terms of separating the wheat from the chaff, so to speak.

With all the new technology, is there ever a world in which @Horse_ebooks is resurrected as a new bot?

@Horse_ebooks was a piece that was designed to be an endurance piece and a piece of performance poetry. And in that sense, when a piece is done, a piece is done. I don’t like to retread old territory.

Tue, 02 Jan 2024 19:00:00 -0600 Kari Paul en text/html https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2024/jan/03/twitter-horseebook-ai-chatbot-openai
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