Thursday, January 28, 2016

Prometric Online Proctored Exam Experience

Recently I tried the online proctored exam to renewed my Microsoft certifications.  Yes they do have expiry (just like VMware) after 3 years.

Before I go on, why am I sharing this you may ask?  This exam is offered from Microsoft from Prometric.  I am seeing this possible to be row out perhaps in future for VMware as people are not able to make trips to exam center or there are none at their location.  Since VMware exam is also hosted at Prometric, this could be possible.

I made my exam appointment online and schedule it just less than one hour from my exam time.  Yes online exam, can be scheduled as long they are available and not limited to operations hours like test center.  I took my exam at Singapore time 1AM.

During the booking process, you will be task to test your machine to see if it can work and run the application which will eventually be installed on your laptop.  Sadly Microsoft do not support Mac and only Windows 7 and above with also a specific Internet Explorer version.  This test also make sure your webcam and mic on your laptop is working.  Web Cam and Microphone is required for the exam as they need to monitor sight and sound during the exam and record the whole exam duration.

Upon testing, you are sure that it works, go ahead and book the exam.  Once the exam time is reaching in about 5 minutes, you should login to Prometric to start the exam.  You can start the exam earlier as well.   Once log on, it will provide the link to launch the application.  You will first ask to use an ID which contains your Full Name and Photo and take a picture using the webcam.  You can retake as many times to make sure it is clear.  A mic test is also done and once you are good, you will proceed next.

You will be place on a queue for an agent and soon someone will respond to you via text message.  He/she will provide you instructions.

The agent will next ask you to speak a sentence to recognize the volume of your laptop is acceptable via message and also request for your phone number.

They will call you on your phone.  They will check the photo of your ID taken and also view your web cam to make sure lighting is ample for recording.  You will be ask to take a step back from your laptop and empty your pockets (if any) to show you have nothing on you.  Next they will ask you to take your laptop and direct the web cam to your table to make sure it is clear.  You can use your bed if you like to.  The table which you use for exam has to be clear of things.  You must also show the surrounding that you are alone and no one else is there.

Next you will be ask to open your task manager and close every application other than the software that is launched (they can see your desktop).  Once that is clear they will check you into the exam and clicking on it, will expand the application in fullscreen.  Your access to your desktop is now blocked.  Your webcam is kept running so as the mic.  You will end your call now and place the phone within reach but away from you (somewhere behind you).

From now on you are on your own to take the exam.

From the experience, you can use your bedroom and your bed as the exam table.  That's what I did.  I have my door lock so no one will enter the room.  Remember if anyone tries to sneak in there will be sound and web cam recording going on they can trace you from recording and fail your exam immediate.  The agent is not going to monitor you throughout since recording is done throughout the duration.

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