Computer updated during exam... requesting some advice.

CyberSecurityCyberSecurity CISSP, CHFI, CEH, A+, Project+Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
Friend of mine took his GSLC today and with 57 minutes left on his exam when the building IT guy pushed Windows updates. They were apologetic and all and offered to let him finish the exam with the missing time, where he responded with "Nah, i'm just going to wait to see what SANS want's to do since that time is precious."

The testing site filed an incident report with SANS for this issue and SANS said they would allow him pick back up where he left off with 45 minutes. He's been going back and forth with them on how he's entitled to the full 57 minutes and not just 45 but they refuse to see it his way.

If what he is telling me is 100% accurate, is there anything he can do other than just suck it up should they completely deny him?

I mentioned having it investigated by their accreditation authority but not sure if that is a possibility, and if it is, would SANS just fail him out of spite since after all, they already have his $1200 and another $690 would be great for a re-test.

Thanks again everyone for any advice, you are all great and I love coming here.
Ph.D. IT [UC] - 50% complete
M.S.C.I.A. [WGU] - Completed 6/2018
B.S.I.T.M. [WGU] - Completed 4/2017

Comments

  • CyberSecurityCyberSecurity CISSP, CHFI, CEH, A+, Project+ Member Posts: 84 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Well turns out SANS admitted to the fault finally after a lengthy discussion and some math proof but he got his time back. Hopefully this post finds someone that runs into the same issue in the future; just push the issue enough and you may get what you were looking for.
    Ph.D. IT [UC] - 50% complete
    M.S.C.I.A. [WGU] - Completed 6/2018
    B.S.I.T.M. [WGU] - Completed 4/2017
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,990 ■■■■■■■■□□
    What kinda of Micky Mouse operation is the test center running? It's not like there's test takers at 1am in the morning, there's plenty of time to patch on off hours and the proctor to reboot the computers in the morning before the first test taker arrives. I'd demand something more than just my lost time on the exam, a discount for the next exam is the least I would expect. And if I didn't get it, I'd tell everyone don't go to test center XYZ, they update all there computers during your exams! Nothing more damaging to a business than bad reviews.
    I mentioned having it investigated by their accreditation authority but not sure if that is a possibility, and if it is, would SANS just fail him out of spite since after all, they already have his $1200 and another $690 would be great for a re-test.

    SANS isn't immune to bad press either. I'm sure once the right person heard the complaint, there wasn't an issue authorizing the correct time remaining.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • IaHawkIaHawk Member Posts: 188 ■■■□□□□□□□
    I've never had an issue with SANS stepping up and making things right when there is an issue. I once couldn't access my OnDemand for 30 min and it reset my progress and they added 30 days with no issue.
  • InCryptableInCryptable Member Posts: 36 ■■□□□□□□□□
    Is SANS the party that should be looked at in this situation?

    My understanding is that SANS just provides the course material and training...whereas GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) and Pearson Vue are the ones responsible for the actual testing (including scoring, etc...).

    ...and if GIAC is the one responsible...or Pearson Vue...I can tell you from personal experience...they don't respond quickly to issues that test-takers have during Pearson Vue administered, GIAC tests and the testing locations.

    During my GIAC test, the testing center had a door right next to the testing area that banged loudly each time someone came in or out of the office space (this Pearson Vue testing center was in a IT training center - so lots of people coming in and out). During my 5 hr test, I heard that door slam 50+ times while taking my test - I made mention of it on my after test questionnaire/survey and also to the woman running the test center - she claimed that no one had ever said anything about the door?? (BS). BTW, I was wearing ear plugs while testing!

    Bottom line...I'm surprised they will do anything more than what they did - which is only the right thing to have done anyway...maybe even added 5 mins just so he/she could back into focus.

    As for the situation with the IT person...this would make a great question for a future SANS GIAC 401 question about pushing updates and impacting users! ...or a future 504 question about running a Nessus scan on your testing center when it's full of test takers! icon_rolleyes.gif
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,990 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Is SANS the party that should be looked at in this situation?

    My understanding is that SANS just provides the course material and training...whereas GIAC (Global Information Assurance Certification) and Pearson Vue are the ones responsible for the actual testing (including scoring, etc...).

    Make no mistake, SANS and GIAC are one in the same, the contact number for GIAC, is the same contract number for SANS. There's no separation between them. If there was true separation, they would at least have different offices and contact number, even if was right across the hall in the same building. Pearson Vue is a separate organization, but I'm not sure how GIAC can claim to be a "vendor-neutral" certification organization when the same guy who picks up the phone is the same guy who works for SANS. Seems to me to be a huge conflict of interest.
    this Pearson Vue testing center was in a IT training center - so lots of people coming in and out

    When I take my GIAC exams, I too go to a place there they teach some basic IT course as well. The computers are kinda beat, but there lots of space to spread out my books. I've been to a true testing center before when I took my A+ and Network+, nothing but small cube desk with walls on the sides and a chair in front of the computer, there wouldn't have any room to put my books down If I had gone to a testing center like that.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • docricedocrice Member Posts: 1,706 ■■■■■■■■■■
    TechGromit wrote: »
    I'm not sure how GIAC can claim to be a "vendor-neutral" certification organization when the same guy who picks up the phone is the same guy who works for SANS. Seems to me to be a huge conflict of interest.

    I think "vendor neutral" in this context refers to SANS not being industry-commercial vendor specific, such as Cisco, Check Point, McAfee, Symantec, etc..
    Hopefully-useful stuff I've written: http://kimiushida.com/bitsandpieces/articles/
  • JDMurrayJDMurray MSIT InfoSec, CISSP, SSCP, GSEC, EnCE, C|EH, CySA+, PenTest+, CASP+, Security+ Surf City, USAAdmin Posts: 11,675 Admin
    TechGromit wrote: »
    Make no mistake, SANS and GIAC are one in the same, the contact number for GIAC, is the same contract number for SANS. There's no separation between them. If there was true separation, they would at least have different offices and contact number, even if was right across the hall in the same building.
    You should also say that this is a total assumption on your part and not derived from any information that you obtained by directly speaking to people in authority at SANS, GIAC, or The Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies.
  • cshkurucshkuru Member Posts: 237 ■■■■□□□□□□
    Personally, I like SANS training (although it is pricey for me) and the one GIAC exam I have taken with them was tough, but ultimately fair, but the two groups are definitely linked, aside from having the phone answered "SANS Institute" when I have called about a question on my exam or getting the SANS answering machine when I had an actual problem at the testing center they don't actually make any bones about it.

    From the GIAC Program Overview slide deck provided by GIAC at GIAC.org https://www.giac.org/pdfs/GIAC-Program-Overview-v2015.pdf

    "GIAC is one of the assessment and grading arms of the SANS Technology Institute"

    From Wikipedia - "SANS Institute founded the certification entity in 1999 and the term GIAC is trademarked by The Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies." - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_Information_Assurance_Certification

    Bloomberg on Escal Institute of Advanced Technologies - https://www.bloomberg.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=22386733

    It also offers certification via Global Information Assurance Certification (GIAC) security certification program;

    That said I don't actually care if they are linked as long as the training stays at the current (imo) excellent levels and the exams are fair, and the customer service stays good. Given all the vendor exams that are locked to specific technologies and companies like VMWare that require you to take their class before taking their cert, this doesn't seem like a big deal to me.
  • TechGromitTechGromit A+, N+, GSEC, GCIH, GREM, Ontario, NY Member Posts: 1,990 ■■■■■■■■□□
    docrice wrote: »
    I think "vendor neutral" in this context refers to SANS not being industry-commercial vendor specific, such as Cisco, Check Point, McAfee, Symantec, etc..

    I think to make that claim, they shouldn't be in the education business. For example if they just had the GCIH certification exam, but didn't offer training, then they can truly claim they are vendor neutral. Since SANS is an education vendor, GIAC certifications are not vendor neutral, SANS is the vendor.
    Still searching for the corner in a round room.
  • cshkurucshkuru Member Posts: 237 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I see where you are coming from, but honestly as long as they are up front )about it, and putting it in a slide deck seems pretty up front to me) and as long as they allow challenges without taking the course, and finally as long as the quality is high, it's just not high on my skeeze alert radar. I should admit that the only reason I replied with the info I posted is because I looked I read JDMurray's response, looked over at the profiles and accidentally read docrice's list of certs and was like "damn him, he knows better, look at all those GIAC certs" icon_smile.gif
  • sb97sb97 Member Posts: 109
    My last GIAC exam experience was interesting but it was the fault of the testing center, not GIAC or SANS. I signed up for the closest testing center to my house for their first available appointment in the morning (8 AM). The day before the exam, I drove by the testing center to make sure I knew where it was and what the parking situation was going to be. As I cruised by (about 4 PM)... I noticed the hours of operation were 10AM-7PM. I parked and tried the door but it was locked and no one was answering the phone. I pretty much went into a panic because I thought maybe the testing center had closed down or something. Even if they were still open, it looked like no one would be there to proctor my test at 8 AM. I left multiple voicemail messages for the testing center and then called SANS/GIAC. They told me to show up for the exam as scheduled and if no one was there I could call and reschedule with no penalty.

    As it turns out, the testing center is staffed from 7:30 AM until the last test of the day is finished. Its the office that doesn't open until 10 AM (which pretty much meant that they wouldn't answer the phone until 10 AM) I was just unlucky that no one was there when I drove by. I received a call from them around 7 AM the morning of the test telling me that i was good to go.
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