Ever since we launched Skillset, our goal has been to help the user. To help them explore cutting-edge IT skills, to see how it all fits together into larger groups of industry knowledge, and to prepare for inevitable necessity of earning broad (and specific) certifications offered by reputable organizations.
Along the way, we’re exploring the concept of professional education, and helping people develop their careers at the same time.
Using the site has always been ostensibly easy, and the immediate function is obvious: Free certification practice tests. But there are plenty of websites that provide certification sample questions and tests (most of them charge a fee, but still).
The truly advanced functionality of Skillset has always been a bit more complex, however. It takes people a little practice to realize that the site is actually tracking their progress, noting which skills they’re experts at and which ones they need to work on.
It all culminates in our most-complimented feature: The exam readiness score.
The score tracks not only how many questions you’ve answered correctly, but also how many you’ve answered overall, how long it took you, and what proficiency you’ve reached. It’s an enormous time-saver and an eye-opening experience for users who are used to simply taking blind practice tests and seeing if they passed or failed.
But all of that data has been, shall we say, less obvious.
This week, we redesigned our Certification Dashboard, and it’s a big improvement in user experience. You have to be a registered user to use it for tracking your progress, but of course that’s free and always will be.
Here are the biggest improvements we’ve made with this update:
More Data, More Insights, More Clarity.
You can now see even more about your progress than you could before. In addition to our classic Readiness Score indicator, we also show how many Readiness Points you’ve earned. This gives you a better idea of how your score is calculated (and for many of you who are interested, a real sense of how close to “perfect” you’re getting).
Under Question Performance, you can see a detailed snapshot of your overall performance within a certification area, including:
- How much total time you’ve spent on your practice tests
- How many questions you’ve answered
- How many questions you got correct
- Which achievements you’ve earned
A short list of Skills To Be Unlocked also helps you navigate through all skillsets associated with a particular certification
We also added a menu for Most Recent Tests and Most Recent Questions for you to see granular data about your historical results. You can sort your most recent tests skill-by-skill, or view all questions for a particular time period.
Which leads us to…
See Questions You’ve Gotten Wrong (and Right)
This is the big one. The thing every user has asked for, either literally or in their hopes and dreams—and we heard you loud and clear.
You can now review questions from previous tests you’ve taken and see which answers you got right or wrong. This is a monumentally important exam study tool, of course, but it’s also helpful to see the granular results of all your studying so far.
As mentioned, you can sort questions by either timeframe or specific skill such as Planning Scope Management, which is an individual skill test beneath the Project Scope Management skillset, which itself is a skillset categorized under the Project Management Professional Certification.
Here is another visual example of how the tests fit together, and why you might want to see your individual question performance within each layer:
- CompTIA Certifications
Being able to see your performance within each layer of that broad certification framework gives you very specific insights into how well you’re doing, where you need to improve, where you can feel confident, and specifically which types of questions you have difficulty with.
This is incredibly powerful information, whether you’re studying for an actual professional IT certification exam or simply trying to identify which skills you need to improve upon for your personal interests.
Follow Clearer Paths Through Your Certification Preparation
We’ve put several small improvements in place that should help you better navigate through the certification preparation process. Your user dashboard lists all of the skills you’ve tested for, how developed your knowledge is (beginner, intermediate, or expert) within those skills, and also what percentage of progress you’ve made in each certification.
But on the certification dashboard itself, we’ve added a quick list of skills you should pursue next, a full list of all skills found within a certification test, and links along with your progress in each.
Use a Cleaner, Faster Interface
As a design fan, this is a big one for me. The new interface is light, bright, and packs a huge amount of detail without feeling overwhelming.
While the old dashboard definitely had the look and feel of a simulated certification exam, the new dashboard better represents the multifaceted, easy-to-use, and incredibly powerful interface that Skillset actually offers.
Beyond looks, it’s also several times faster than our already-fast testing engine. Questions load endlessly, so those of you who like to sprint through certification question sets will be pleased with how quickly things load and react.
Try the new certification test platform now, and let us know what you think in the comments below!