My remotely proctored VMware exam experience

After taking my AWS SAA certification via remote Pearson Vue proctoring, I wanted to audit the experience from the VMware perspective to help validate that our customers are getting a good experience. I wasn’t sure which exam to register for, but since I’m a VMC on AWS SE, I decided to give the VMware Cloud on AWS Master Services Competency Specialist a shot. Fortunately, working with VMC on AWS every day for a year was very good prep for this exam, and I passed, earning the Master Specialist badge for VMware Cloud on AWS 2020.

For the most part any Pearson Vue exam is the same – same testing engine, same blue background. I expected a similar experience to the AWS exam. 

  • Prior to talking to a registration person, you have to complete a check-in process. After you log into Vue and indicate you’re ready to start your exam, you are taken to a check-in screen. You can input your cellphone number into the screen and Vue will text you a link, or you can just type the URL manually.  You have to take front and back photos of your ID, a photo of your face, and a view of all 4 sides of your seating area. Once you’ve submitted those photos from your phone, you can continue checking in on the website. You could use your webcam and avoid the cellphone process altogether but it would be tough to get all of the photos you need with webcam.
  • You get checked in by a registration person, they are not the exam proctor. The registration person can see you on your webcam and they provide you either chat or verbal instructions.

  • They want your desk empty – pens, pencils, headsets, everything. The only thing you should have on your desk is a mouse, keyboard, laptop if necessary, monitor, and webcam. Unlike last time, the staffer didn’t care about my laptop being on the desk and didn’t question what my docking station was.

  • You’re going to have to use your webcam to show them around the room, so be prepared to take down a monitor-mounted one or to spin your laptop around.

  • If they see or hear somebody in the room with you, it’s an instant fail. Make sure you are in a room with a locked door.

  • Unplug any dual-or-greater monitor configuration before you get into the exam. Only a single monitor is allowed. Also unplug any other monitor in the room – my homelab rack and its console monitor are in the office, so it was flagged by Pearson as a problem.

  • There is no scratch paper, no dry-erase board, your only option is an electronic notepad built into the testing software. It wasn’t a big deal for this exam but I could see this being a problem for calculations and larger design problems, at least for me – I like to write things down.

  • Unlike my last exam, the proctors were immediately responsive to chat requests for help. I tested this multiple times with quick responses.

  • The process was quite a bit smoother this time around, and it surely beats driving to an exam center.

  • Once you’re in the exam it feels pretty much like taking an exam at any other test center.

1 comment

  1. Gabi Faba

    It’s nice to finally ‘hear’ someone describe the experience. Thanks Patrick! This is going to help a lot of people.

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