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Greg Low (The Bit Bucket: IDisposable)

Ramblings of Greg Low (SQL Server MVP, MCM and Microsoft RD) - SQL Down Under

Microsoft Certified Master: SQL Server 2008

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Published Friday, November 28, 2008 3:43 PM by Greg Low

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KKline said:

Hi Greg, I've been intrigued by this for quite a while.  Since you teach the class and are involved with administering the test, do you get a pro forma Master's certification yourself?  Or would you still have to go through the testing process to get the certification?

Best regards,


December 3, 2008 1:27 AM

Greg Low said:

Great question Kevin! I wish!

The content and the exams are both developed independently from the same objective domain, which is the first thing created. The content folk and the exam folk were not aware of exactly what each were doing, only of what needed to be achieved.

For the first rotation, I made sure I did the exams exactly the same way the students did. I specifically did not want to see them beforehand. The tests aren't administered by the instructors.

I imagine I'll now be also involved in the exam process for the future rotations of the course, but just from the point of view of being another check on the accuracy of the questions and from making sure that all the topics are covered.

It's important to note though that the exams can cover anything from the prereading, not just from the course content.

So I got to do the exams and labs just the same as the students and even got to pay to attend as well, even for the days I was teaching...

December 3, 2008 1:50 AM

KKline said:

Ok, let me get this straight.  Microsoft called and said "Greg, have we got an offer for you.  We want YOU to PAY US to teach one one of the most rigorous courses in our profession.  Sounds great, eh?"  

And then you said "Sign me up!"?  <big grin>

December 3, 2008 10:35 AM

Greg Low said:

Hi Kevin,

Yep, it's a bit like that. I got paid to teach it but also paid to attend it.



December 3, 2008 8:30 PM

aspiringgeek said:

Greg, I'll be attending the March 2009 rotation.  Will you be instructing?  Any tips, tricks, or additional insights for success?  Thanks!

February 16, 2009 8:03 AM

Greg Low said:

Hi Jimmy, it's great to hear you'll be attending. I've read many of your blog posts over the years. Paul and Kim will be taking week one. I'll be taking week three and probably one or two days at the end of week two.

My main advice is to not plan to do anything else while attending the class. Your best outcome will be to totally dedicate yourself to it for the three weeks, including the last Saturday. There's just too much material to cover to also try to tackle anything else concurrently. Just plan to immerse yourself in the product during the course, including the weekends.

I look forward to seeing you there.

February 16, 2009 8:31 PM

Danielle said:


how much of the exam cover xml data?  This is my weakest area with programability.. so should I worry about it?  It it mostly on design physical and logical and sql internals?


February 18, 2009 7:27 PM

Greg Low said:

Hi Danielle,

While I can't comment at all on what the Masters cert exams cover, it's reasonable to mention that the course is very much DBA focussed, rather than dev focussed, even though a number of dev topics are covered.



February 18, 2009 8:27 PM

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