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Transcender, an Atlanta-based provider of exam preparation software and part of Kaplan IT Learning announced Jan. 8 the release of practice exam materials for Vista certification, which helps IT professionals configure, support and troubleshoot Microsoft’s new operating system.

This is the first exam that Microsoft has come out with in the Vista series, and there will be a total of four Vista exams, Brian Scholly, president of Kaplan IT Learning, told eWEEK.

The 70-620 certification exam, announced the week of Jan. 1, measures professionals’ ability to resolve issues concerning network connectivity, desktop operating systems, security and applications. If passed, the IT pro receives a Technical Specialist: Microsoft Windows Vista, Configuring certification.

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Geared toward lower-level IT professionals, Microsoft requests that candidates for this exam should have at least one year of experience in the IT field, typically working as Tier 1 to Tier 2-level phone support in a wide range of environments, from retail to enterprise environments.

Microsoft also requires that candidates have experience resolving issues concerning network connectivity, desktop operating systems, security and applications, log-on problems, password resets and other issues with desktop applications.

A total of four Vista-related certifications will be unveiled over the first quarter of 2007.

“The next exam will test the support of an enterprise client, the third will be a consumer support exam and the fourth will be associated with remote workers,” Jim McDonnell, chief technology officer, Kaplan IT Learning, told eWEEK.

Transcender’s certification practice exams, available now at Transcender’s Web site starting at $109 in CD-ROM, download, 30-day online access or workstation license CD formats.

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The practice exams intend to simulate the complexity of the live certification exam to help technology professionals assess their exam preparedness through questions, answer explanations and references.

“We believe we are the first out with test prep materials for this exam,” said McDonnell, “and while it is too early to gauge interest, in terms of monitoring our calls in the last few weeks we’d say there are strong levels of interest among early adopters, as well as consultants.”

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