Transcender Introduces New Test Engine

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Transcender, a provider of numerous products around certification preparation, has released a new test engine that affords users greater customization capabilities when utilizing the company’s practice exam titles through electronic-based platforms. Although there are dozens of enhancements in the Transcender test engine, all the new features can essentially be broken down into three categories, said Chip Schuneman, president of Transcender. These are the ability to flex the learning environment, the capacity to add and augment content, and new functions that enhance users’ online and offline experiences.


“From a customer flexibility standpoint, customers don’t just want a standard off-the-shelf product; they want to be able to customize it themselves,” Schuneman said. “That’s no different with IT professionals pursuing certification. This new engine has a set of preset exams for our customers. It also has something really unique in the industry called an item optimizer, which actually learns about the IT professional’s training and experience and serves up the questions that he or she may need to learn during that experience.”


The test engine also offers customers the choice between two different study modes, which they can oscillate between as needed. In the Optimize Exam Experience mode, which allows users to arrange practice tests according to their study needs, individuals can personalize their testing experience with six different controls, set learning preferences and determine how answers are accessed. The Preset Exam Experience mode features a timed practice test that accurately simulates the actual credentialing environment, which helps learners determine their readiness for the certification exam.


“The Preset Exam Experience is the virtual simulation of what they’ll experience in the live test environment,” said Brian Sholly, Transcender’s vice president of marketing. “It’s timed, there are no answers given, so that really gives you that real-life exam experience. What consumers will do is take that and then, with the exhaustive reporting that we give them at the end, the students can see their weakness, what areas they know, what areas they’ve mastered. Then they can go into the Optimize and really customize that seven different ways, down to looking at keywords or where you put notes on the test.”


From a content standpoint, the test engine now has integrated more comprehensive study materials that cover Microsoft, Cisco, CompTIA, Sun, Oracle, Novell, PMI, (ISC)2 and Check Point certifications. “Historically, customers had to purchase a simulation and flash cards if they wanted both products,” Schuneman said. “This new engine enables us to consolidate all of the flash cards into the simulation environment and provide a consistent environment in which the customer is operating, but also much more robust content with the integration of flash.”


Transcender also has made the online and offline experiences more consistent, allowing users to access the practice exams through CDs or online. Schuneman compared its versatility in deliverable formats to that of Windows Media Player. “It’s that skin, if you will, that enables you to play music from a variety of different areas,” he said. “What we’ve done is develop one engine that is able to host all exams. There are actually 90-plus simulations that go into this exam environment. If they decide to download from the Web site, they download the engine one time, then they download the test and if they buy another test, the only thing they have to download a second time is the actual test content. The advantage for the customer is that they don’t have enormous downloads every time they purchase a new test. They also have one platform where they can access all the tests that they’ve purchased.”


The new test engine was released to meet customers’ demands for and expectations of a best-in-class engine that provided more content, Schuneman explained. “That’s really our focus—that’s what our customers tell us they want,” he said. “That’s not going to stop. That’s what customers expect from the best brand in the marketplace and we’re going to continue to deliver that to them.”


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