• Andy Malone MVP

Taking an Online Proctored Microsoft Exam? You need to read this?

So, you’ve sat in on the course and practiced every lab a thousand times. It’s now time to prove your skills by passing your Microsoft certification exam. Things used to be simple in the old days when you would just turn up at your local exam testing centre. Nowadays, you also have the added option of taking an online proctored exam at home or in your office or even your hotel room. In fact, wherever you like. Now although the process is fairly simple, there are a few gotchas to watch out for. In this short article I want to take you through the things they don’t tell you.

Before we start, let’s go through what the requirements are. Firstly, your exam space has to be clean, and I mean nothing on your desk other than your computer, laptop, keyboard and mouse (no dual screens). Prior to the test you will be asked to use your mobile device to take pictures of your workspace from every angle. This may be followed up by a proctor asking you to move your webcam around the room. You can’t have any distractions, so ensure you’ve fed the dog and she’s sleeping, or you won’t be disturbed by your 3-year-old. When the exam begins, you are not permitted to move out of eye shot, as the camera is watching everything. If you do move away for some reason, the exam will end immediately. Also ensure you don’t have a watch on an are sitting near any books etc as these will have to be moved. Also, of course ensure your mobile device is far away from you and switched to silent mode.

So, you’re seated and you’re ready to begin right? Wrong!! Here are a few tips and pieces of advice that aren't in the documentation.


1. During the registration process a text message is sent to your phone containing a unique code. It’s really important that you take a note of this code, as if the exam crashes, you’ll be able to restart the OnVue app and reconnect to your session. Without it you’re screwed.

2. Avoid taking exams on a Saturday or late in the evening. Pearson not only uses live proctors to monitor your exam but also uses AI. If your exam crashes out of hours, you won’t be able to call for help as all the support lines were closed. This happened to me recently.

3. If you do have problems call the customer service number immediately or use the chat function for test takers. They can help (Assuming office hours of course).

4. Ensure you room has enough light. This may sound obvious, but take a tip switch on some lights anyway, because you won’t be able to do it mid testing.

5. Now, this one’s important. To avoid your exam crashing out ensure you switch of all your notifications and popups on your computer prior to starting the exam. If your machine suddenly starts to update OneDrive mid flow, your exam will end. So, do yourself a favour and make sure you don’t get any unwanted interruptions. For Windows 10 users simply turn of notifications in settings. For Mac, simply hold down the command button and click the notifications button in the top right-hand corner of your screen.

6. By the way don’t cover your mouth and don’t talk to yourself. If the exam is being proctored, then they will chime in. After all you could be reading out the questions and recording them. So be forewarned, don’t do it.

Of course, I could spend hours on this topic and I’m sure there’s other things that you could think of. If you do, then by all mean drop your comments in and I’ll add them to the blog. If you want to see a video of the on-line experience, then PV do a good one here https://vimeo.com/268081803 To book your exam then visit https://www.Microsoft.com/learning I hope you found this short article useful and by all means please feel free to share. Thanks again.


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