Thursday, 18 May 2017

What to expect from a Pearson VUE Microsoft Online Proctored Exam

Before your exam

Booking your exam.

I found out the hard way that you need to pre-schedule the slot for your exam. It's not a case of turn up and click start - you need to book it at least a day in advance or all the morning slots will be gone.

System Tests

Make sure to run the test available here

If you're planning to take this test at work you should attempt the tests from the exact meeting room that you plan to do the exam from. I would also suggest you try it an hour before your exam so that you can be sure the connection will work. You should run the test all the way to the end, paying special attention to the video test which counts down from 30.

If this part of the test does not work, it's probably because you are behind a proxy or your network isn't allowing port 1935 out to the internet.

Workspace for the exam

If anyone is detected in your workspace they will cancel your exam. You are recorded on webcam for the duration of the exam.

Make sure you book a quiet, out of the way meeting room with opaque walls and a door - Put some signs on the door to state that an exam is in progress and not to knock or disturb. Make sure the room doesn't have any posters up on the wall or writing on whiteboards etc. The desk or table you are using must be completley empty apart from your machine.

The full examination protocol is available here. There are a lot of rules so make sure you read them carefully.

On the day of your exam

Turn up to your meeting room early so you can run the system tests and still have time to get some network support before your time runs out! Close down any applications like Lync and other background apps.

Once you have completed the tests then you can login to the Microsoft exams and benefits dashboard and click through to start a pre-scheduled exam. You can click the begin exam button 30 minutes before your scheduled start time. I would suggest doing this as it took about 25 minutes from when I was first connected to a greeter for him to release my exam.

You'll need to perform a room scan with your webcam and I was asked to take another photo of my ID with my smartphone as the one taken through the software was not good enough.

Once you are through with all of the pre-exam checks your greeter will release your exam. It took a couple of attempts for me to start my exam due to running executables like bginfo and some other background tasks that were running on my work laptop. You'll be asked to kill any disallowed executable with Task Manager.

Would I use this service again?

Yes! After the teething problems I had, it took me 3 attempts to start my exam, but now I know the procedure, I would be happy to use it again.

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