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VMware Certification Insights: How Scaled Scoring Works

You did it! You studied hard, finished the exam in the allotted time limit, hit submit and PASS popped up on your screen.* Victory dance commence!

As you bask in your success, you may be curious as to your actual score. Regardless of the certification exam, final scores are reported on a 100 to 500-point scale with a consistent passing score of 300.

Do you know how to read your score report? Here’s everything you need to know about scaled scoring.

Scaled scoring defined

Scaled scoring is a standard testing practice that scales raw scores from different VMware exams to a reliable value. For any given VMware certification exam, VMware develops multiple statistically equivalent/balanced versions of the exam, mostly for security reasons but also for testing industry standards. We follow rigorous processes to ensure that all of these versions are similar (in terms of item types, content complexities and difficulty levels) and thus highly reliable. Our standard setting process also yields a statistically valid, fair and legally defensible raw passing score that’s unique to each exam given differences in technologies, levels of competency and targeted industry job roles and expertise, among other factors.

Scaled scoring provides a standard range for test takers and allows direct and fair comparisons of results from one exam form to another, regardless of minor differences between the forms. While each of VMware’s determined raw passing scores are scaled to a value of 300, that 300 means something different in the backend for each exam.

The difference between a raw score and scaled score

The raw score is the number of points earned on an exam. Your total raw score is equal to the number of points awarded for correct answers out of the total points possible for any given exam. Raw scores vary among VMware exams. They depend on the number of scored vs. unscored items, the number of points possible, as well as whether an all-or-nothing or a partial credit scoring model is employed for that exam.

The scaled score is the reported score on that same exam. Your scaled score is a representation of your raw score that was converted based on a standardized scale. Again, depending on the number of points earned out of the number of possible points on a given exam, the scaled score conversion table will vary between VMware exams.

An example of scaled scoring

In this example, an exam has a total of 15 items, 10 of which are scored, each worth one raw point.** As a result of VMware’s standard setting process based on the exam content and a number of other factors, the recommended passing score is 60% (or six out of 10 raw) for this sample exam. The equivalent scaled score of 300 appears in the below sample table.

A candidate earning four raw points on this sample exam would receive a reported failed score of 240 scaled. A candidate earning nine raw points on this sample exam would receive a reported pass score of 450 scaled, and so on.

Sample Exam Details

Number of possible points: 10 raw (or 500 scaled)

Passing score: six out of 10 raw (or 300 scaled)

Scaled score conversion table:

Scaled score conversion tables are unique to each exam. The scaled score conversion values vary between VMware exams and are calculated based on a mathematical formula that accounts for various factors, the specifics of which cannot be disclosed for confidentiality reasons.

Ready, set, GO!

Embarking on your certification journey can feel challenging. There are lots of different factors that come into play, but don’t let that stop you from going for it. There are lots of resources available to help you prepare for your exam. There are exam prep guides, VMware Learning Courses designed to help you pass the exams, and an entire community here to support you through this process. At the end of the day, don’t let little details stop you from achieving your goals and taking that next step in your career journey.

To learn more about VMware certification click here.

*Please note that scores for VCAP deploy exams will not be tallied immediately. You will receive your results in your email within 24 – 48 hours of taking the exam.

**Please note the example provided is purely for illustrative purposes. It is not an accurate scaled score conversion table. Kindly do not calculate individual results using the example table provided.


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