Oracle certification exams to exit Prometric in September

August 28, 2009 at 7:39 am | Posted in Oracle, Vendor news | Leave a comment
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Yesterday Oracle announced that they are ending their relationship with Prometric, and that as of September 25, Oracle exams will be offered through a different testing provider. The new testing provider was not announced.

What effect does this have on you, the Oracle test candidate? Not much at this moment. If you’re scheduled to take an Oracle exam at Prometric before the September cutoff date, you will still take your exam at the same time and place. If you’re waiting on a paper certificate to be shipped, there may be a delay in delivery. The three main points of interest are:

  • If you’ve scheduled an exam with Prometric on or after September 25, you need to cancel now and reschedule with the new vendor (when announced).
  • If you planned to fill out a Hands On Course Requirement form this month, please note that the course submission system will be offline from September 14 to September 28.
  • The Oracle exam retake policy is NOT affected by the change; you can retake a failed Prometric test attempt at the new vendor site.

Paul Sorenson has a thorough FAQ at his blog here which covers all possible questions, including what to do with unexpired Prometric test vouchers.

In other Oracle-related news, September 25 is also the retirement date for the Oracle8: New Features for Administrators exam (1Z0-010) and Oracle8i: New Features for Administrators exams (1Z0-020).

How to Play the Exam Game

February 6, 2009 at 10:45 am | Posted in Vendor news | 2 Comments
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We all face challenges in life, and taking a certification test is no different. Just like the ball player that takes the field, you must know what is allowed and what is forbidden in your field of battle: the testing room. Walking into a test center without knowing the rules is like coming onto the basketball court without a jersey and knowing how to score. Your court skills may never come into play if you don’t know when and how to use them.

[Editrix’ note: George, I call a five-yard penalty for excessive use of sports metaphors. Carry on.]

Just like the athletes who train, sweat and push their bodies to the limits before the big game, you must undertake some pre-game preparations:

  • Contact the test center and make sure they can deliver the exam. Sounds obvious, but when an exam is released with new technologies, like simulations or other specialty items, your chosen test center may not be up to par. Vendors will release new technologies but do not confirm that every center can support them. As the test taker, you should always do this homework. It is extremely frustrating to take time off of work, drive all the way to the test center, and find out that the test would not load on the test center’s computers. When that happened to me, my whole day was shot and I had to go through the ordeal the next week.
  • Notify the test center of any learning disabilities. Test centers are required to accommodate you. This could include adjusting the screen size or even increasing the time limit.
  • Find out what amenities the test center offers. Some test centers can provide ear plugs or ear phones to block out noise. You do not want to hear the asthmatic breathing of the person next to you or the constant two-pack a day cough from the guy that tried to bum cigarettes from you in the lobby. Find out if the test center provides lockers or other secure storage for your valuables (most do). Other centers may provide coffee or provide vending machines. All of these things will affect your testing experience.
  • Leave non-essential stuff at home. All you can have in the exam room is your picture ID, a 8.5” x 14” whiteboard, a marker, and if you are lucky, an eraser. You cannot bring in a cell phone, digital watch, bull horn, AM transistor radio, Batman decoder ring, or electronics of any kind. You cannot bring in food, drinks, or even your ID badge from work. (The strict but very nice proctors in my local test center do allow me to keep my Soviet-made wind up watch that loses 6 minutes a day and requires constant readjusting.)

Michael Jordan knows how to play basketball and David Beckham knows how to score a goal. You, too, need to know how to play the game. These rules might seem obvious to some, but they are all questions I’ve heard in my years as a trainer from nervous first-time test takers, or mistakes that I’ve seen made over and over. Continue Reading How to Play the Exam Game…

Pearson VUE vouchers for Microsoft exams are exiting the building on July 31, 2008

July 16, 2008 at 7:40 pm | Posted in Vendor news | Leave a comment
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As per the Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) Flash newsletter: if you have a Microsoft exam voucher from Pearson VUE, you need to get a replacement voucher from Prometric. This exchange offer is only good until July 31, 2008, after which neither voucher nor replacement offer will be valid.

Here’s the Microsoft web site explaining their decision to go with Prometric as its sole exam administrator, and the link to perform a voucher transfer:

Here’s a link to the Pearson VUE website.

Here’s a link to the Prometric website.

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