This blog was written by Alejandra Amador-Garcia. She is currently out on maternity leave but wrote this just before she left. I hope it provides our test takers with further insights into our testing world.
The views expressed here are mine alone and have not been authorized by, and do not necessarily reflect the views of, Citrix.
As one of the senior exam developers for Citrix, I sometimes get contacted by exam candidates who want to know more about how their exam was scored or because they think their exam should be reviewed. It seems the scoring of Citrix exams is an accidentally kept secret. I hope that this post will divulge those secrets.
Currently, all Citrix exams are scored automatically by a computer, so you don’t have to worry that your particular exam answers were incorrectly entered by some intern somewhere. Most Citrix exam questions are worth 1 point each. This includes questions that have multiple correct responses. In the case of multiple correct response questions, you will earn 1 point for selecting ALL the correct responses or 0 points for missing any or all of the correct responses.
In certain exams, such as the 456 and 614 exams, complex questions (like simulations) may be worth more than 1 point. If an exam contains these types of questions, the Exam Prep Guide will let you know how scoring for those questions works.
Sometimes, exams include questions that are not reflected in your score called un-scored questions. These questions are included on an exam to beta test them. If a question is deemed “good” it will be added to the exam as a regularly scored question in the future. A question is deemed to be “good” based on how it performs statistically. If an exam contains un-scored questions, the Exam Prep Guide will include a notice of this. The most important thing to note is these questions do not count against the final score a candidate receives on an exam.
Unlike many exams in the academic world, Citrix exams do NOT penalize you for guessing. An incorrect answer will NOT result in you getting points deducted (e.g. -1 for each incorrect answer); however, an incorrect response would not result in one gaining any points. So how does Citrix ensure that those who pass didn’t just get lucky by guessing? The questions are written using a probability equation so that guessing on the entire exam would not score you enough points to pass.
Many candidates are confused about section weights and their relevance to their exam score – really, there is no reason to consider them when thinking about your score, but here is a quick explanation of their function just incase you don’t believe me:
Section weights correlate directly to the number of questions on the exam. For example, if an exam has 60 questions, and section 1 is weighted as 50%, then section 1 will consist of 30 questions (60*50% = 30). Section weights are NOT used to calculate your exam score. Section weights are meant to indicate the percentage of the exam that covers certain content, for example, installation, configuration, etc.. Because some questions may have different point values assigned to them, section weights and exam scores do not always have a one to one correlation. For example, in the table below, two sections with questions that have different point values are shown.
|# of Questions in Section||Point Value per Section||Number Correct||Weighting||Total Points|
As illustrated in the table above, getting a section weight of 5% could mean 4 points or 2 points. The total points you get is much more important than the percentage you get for a particular section. Your score is calculated using the points you get, NOT the section weights.
Another common request from exam candidates mystified by the exam scoring process here at Citrix is to have their exam re-scored. Most likely, your Citrix exam result would never need to be re-scored. Since exams are scored automatically based on a pre-defined answer key that undergoes a very thorough analysis, there is no human error that would accidently change your score. Essentially, each question on your exam is compared to the programmed answer key and awarded points accordingly. Requesting a re-score for such an exam result would be like asking that 1+1 be recalculated to ensure that it still equals 2.
In the past, some exams have had to be rescored due to very unique circumstances that resulted in odd errors during the exam administration. Most candidates that report issues of errors and lag times during an exam administration find that all their exam information was correctly logged. Citrix Exams are also tested to ensure that exam information is maintained in the event of a power outage or computer malfunction.
Another common request I get is to review the questions that a candidate got wrong on the exam revealing why they got specific questions wrong. The answer to this request is almost always, “No.” To maintain the confidentiality of the questions on an exam, I can’t discuss the questions of the exams or the results with candidates. This also ensures that I don’t inadvertently reveal the answers to the exam.
I have now divulged all the scoring ‘secrets’ for Citrix exams. Hopefully this has given you the insight you need to understand your score or determine if you really need your last exam attempt reviewed for scoring.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org or respond to this blog.