Review: MeasureUp Learning Platform (Learning Locker)

Review: MeasureUp Learning Platform (Learning Locker)

UPDATE: (5th August 2016): So today I went and took the Microsoft Exam I’ve been studying for.  I felt pretty confident given that MeasureUp was giving passing scores generally and I knew where I was going wrong on incorrect questions, etc.  Unfortunately, the content of the MeasureUp Mock Exams is nothing like the real ones.  Barely any of the same areas came up at all, despite my having been through ALL of the sample questions multiple times.  It was so way of the mark that it could have been for an entirely different exam (and yes – I checked I was taking the right exam and that I’d purchase the right test from MeasureUp).  In light of this, all I can say is that while MeasureUp may be useful to some extent, do not use it to measure your chances of passing or even as a resource for revising.

I recently signed up for a Microsoft Certification exam and decided to try out the learning / test exam platform offered as an extra.

MeasureUp Review Learning Platform DashboardIt’s not cheap at £60 for one module for one month but I had a very short time span to learn so needed all the help I could get so signed up.

Upon logging in to the platform for the first time, I was struck by how sparse it was. Sometimes that’s a good thing but in this case, it looks as though they have purchased a HTML5/CCS/JS theme and are slowly fleshing it out.

I got a popup message when I first logged in discussing a re-design of the front-end which seems to support this theory.

Test Interface Functionality & Features

Test Types

MeasureUp-Review-Learning-Platform-Test-ModeAfter selecting my course, I began a test and was presented with two options:

Certification
Just like the actual Certification Exam

Practice
Request the correct answers and change the testing environment

(I opted for the latter)

Test Options

You have various options for the test, allowing you to customize it to suit your learning style and/or needs, for example:

  • Randomize the order of the questions
  • Set a specific test duration
  • Include XX of the pool of questions (in my case there was a pool of 175 questions for the subject I had chosen)
  • Show me questions I missed from the last [ x ] tests
  • Show me questions not displayed from the last [ x ] tests
  • Do not include complex questions
  • Do not include simulation questions
  • Only show questions from Show Objectives

The last item in the list is a really nice feature that allows you to tailor the questions to a specific area defined within this module.  This is really useful if you know you are particularly weak in an area (or want to practice in a more subject specific manner).  To give you an idea of what ‘Objectives’ a course might be broken in to, my Microsoft Server 2012 test had the following objective groups within it:

  • Install and Configure Servers
  • Configure Server Roles and Features
  • Configure Hyper-V
  • Deploy and Configure Core Network Services
  • Install and Administer Active Directory
  • Create and Manage Group Policy

Test Interface Design

The actual test interface design is very plain and simple and while I understand the idea is to not distract from the content (and presumably a monochrome palette means is equally good for partial sighted users, etc.), I believe it could benefit from a little colour:

Obviously I've changed the text due to copyright concerns

Obviously I’ve changed the text due to copyright concerns

Test Interface: Intro Screen

Unfortunately the very beginning of the test falls flat because the ‘next’ button on the opening screen is hidden under the Windows 8 task bar (because the developers have used JavaScript to make the popup windows the same height/width as the screen – they need to deduct the height of the windows task bar!):

Measure Up Review Hidden Next Button

Content Quality

They definitely need to ‘get their grammar check on’ as the very first question out of the box is a multiple choice with a typo!:

You have a several firewall rules configured

Wait – what?

Tech Support

As with so many things, the measure of a company is how they respond when there is a problem.  Unfortunately in this regard, I’m not hugely impressed with MeasureUps support platform – there’s no ticketing, no forum, etc.  If you want to report a bug, the only way to do so is to use ‘Feedback’ button during a test.  I emailed them offering to provide feedback (as I have experience as a beta tester) and asking where I could submit more detailed information to and got this underwhelming response:

Dear Robert,

Thank you for contacting MeasureUp.
I am afraid that we have no other way of reporting issues than the contact form or the “feedback” button in the bottom left corner of your screen when you have a test running. We are always happy to receive feedback from our clients to help us improve our products.

If you have any further questions please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Sincerely,

Charlie by Sitel
MeasureUp Customer Support

We’ll see how they do when I start sending the bugs over!

Tablet Support

The usability of the test interface on mobile devices is excellent and to a certain extent, feels more natural than on a desktop browser.  This is a huge plus because people studying/preparing for exams tend to busy and want to grab a little study time whenver and wherever they can.

Problems & Downsides

Settings & Defaults

My biggest bug-bear with the platform so far is that the developers don’t seem to realise that ‘With great options comes great responsibility’ – please remember my options!  I repeatedly find myself having to cancel and re-start tests because I assumed it would remember my previous selections for testing instead of having to re-select every. single. time!

Session Continuity

The ability to use the platform via tablet, phone and desktop is fantastic but there seems to be a lack of continuity and I regularly go to pick up a test where I left off to find I have to restart.  Again this seems to stem from the idea that the developers don’t realise that people will be using this as a study tool – not purely for sitting down for a full test in one sitting.

Summary

So far, despite the odd quirk I’m very impressed with the platform.  It does what it says it does and no more.  I do think that they need to improve how they handle support requests but this wouldn’t stop me from recommending it to others.

Summary
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MeasureUp Learning Platform
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Bob McKay

About Bob McKay

Bob McKay works at Perfect Image, is a father, programmer and a self confessed techie-geek type.

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8 comments on «Review: MeasureUp Learning Platform (Learning Locker)»

  1. Gina says:

    I should listen to my instructor not to waste money on Measureup A+ practice tests. I spend $120 and there no simulation questions using the command line. It is a waste of money. It won’t help you. I should stay to the free test.

  2. John Keating says:

    I read your comments regarding Measureup and agree that they are not typical of the real exam. I am new to IT at a mature age I might add so I depend on these test exams to set me straight. I found that you would need to be getting 100% several times on Measureup to be anyway prepared for real exam. Also I find it annoying that I can not review my failed questions without going through the whole question list. I have done Network Fundementals and the ComTIT A+ and am now doing Network +. I am doing it all through online coarse\’s which has the drawback of not being able to interact with other people in my position but on the other hand I do it at my own pace.

  3. Dirk says:

    I read this post with some interest. I picked up the Cisco 300-101 Route 2.0 Measureup mock exam – same story as yourself, 1 month’s access to the test. I truly have been hard pressed to find a worse test than the one they present, and when I say worst I mean poorly constructed and a very sorry exercise in scripting. The router simulators are nothing more than prompts that appear to look for a perfect match with a text string by way of config. No abbreviations. No use of diagnostic commands to verify the device state, Absolutely no intelligence at all. And since the Measureup simulator looks for little other than the exact match of a text string the commands entered must be provided in the exact order that their text engine / word processor (since that is what it is) looks for answers. Save yourself the trouble and do not invest in this extremely poor representation of a mock exam. The actual simulator offered in the Cisco test offers support for the question mark (providing immediate help), support for abbrevated commands, and allows configuration show/diagnostic commands. Measureup appears to make a big case out of the fact that their test is for sale online at Cisco, and of the length of time that they have been established as a company. With regard to the former I will be getting back directly to Cisco in my capacity as an instructor regarding their alleged endorsement of this vendor. Their are other test companies that have been established longer with much better test engines.

  4. JoeBlow says:

    I picked up MeasureUP at checkout when registering for CCNP Switch 300-115. I found the same as the people above. For a Cisco exam claiming this product is helpful would be a blatant lie. Additionally – Reference Links to supposedly let you do more reading on the topic returned 404’s or at times – deprecated supervisor engines running Deprecated CatOS rather than Cisco IOS. Literally the worst steaming pile of dog doo you could consider purchasing. The other “claim” is that they are going to train you by forcing you to type out the entire command syntax. This was not just a distraction but was implemented so horrid that on one question it would be “interface fastEthernet0/1” or go Windows Boing. On the next, “interface Fastethernet0/1” On the next question it might be “interface fa0/1” On the next you might have to put a space between ethernet and the 0/1. It was also inconsistent between times you ran through their exam. Someone at Cisco got a Ferrari to recommend MeasureUp as their preferred training platform. Thankfully – similar to Boson and PCPT – the content they provided in no way matched Cisco’s actual test. The good news is that after taking MeasureUp you were prepared for the real exam’s simulations to crash and refuse to accept correct command syntax. You were also ready to be required to enter commands that would in no way match the switch that you were supposed to be entering them on. You know – because it makes perfect sense to tell you you have to do something on a switch that doesn’t have that in the featureset and never has.

  5. Harold Mon says:

    I wasted my money and my time. Total disaster. In the real exam, I felt totally lost. Different questions, differents topics. Don’t lost your money. Never buy this test.

  6. Jesse says:

    I purchased the 70-410 virtual labs about a month ago. I’m still not close to getting through all the content because the VM’s never stay operational. They’ll crash in middle of performing the labs and most of the time I have to wait until the following day for them to work again. Support never responds in a timely manner. Another problem with having to wait until the next day is that is the VM’s go back to their original configuration. So, the next day you’ll have to start from the beginning (assuming the latter part of the lab is dependent on configuration done in the first part of the lab). Money out the window 🙁

  7. Eric Lynch says:

    I agree with you on MeasureUp. NOWHERE near the level of difficulty on the real 70-480 exam. I just walked out of the testing center an hour ago and passed with a 701, but no thanks to MeasureUp. Mesaureup content was just plain weak. Have you found any other prep vendor that is worthy? How about Transcender?

  8. Jaroslaw Builek says:

    I took the 70-461 MS T-SQL querying exam. To prepare for it I purchased access to measure up mock exam advertised in the official MS book for this exam.
    Got three 100% scores on measure Up that day yet failed on the real exam (560 points where pass mark is 700). No representation of the real exam. On the real one 25% questions were where you type your code. None of those on measure up at all.
    Difficulty level not comparable to the real exam.
    Feel … stupid.
    Never more.

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