Exam site horror stories

battlesebattlese Member Posts: 15 ■□□□□□□□□□
Failed the ccna last Friday, but while at the test center it got me thinking (gee, could be I wasn't focused on the exam if I was thinking of this) has everyone had the same bad luck I have at exam sites?

Case in point...Friday's exam I walk in, they log me into the pc and I start the exam. I take a look at the 17" crt monitor and thought they must have pulled it out of a dumptster. That thing was so blurry I couldn't read the text during the testlet questions. I never would have that in production...even for users I don't particularly care for.

Another time I went in (different test center) for a Microsoft exam. During the middle of the exam I hear the receptionist (located right outside the test room) hitting the handsfree button on her phone and then hitting a speed dial. Then I hear a busy tone. I hear her hang up and redial. She was trying to win something from a radio station. I went out and yelled at her. The manager of the place came out and wanted to know what was going on. I told him and he yelled at her too. LOL

My second exam (another MS exam) I completed the exam but had enough time left over so I was going back through it and the pc froze. I went out to get someone to help and after trying to reboot the pc they checked their server. Apparently their server crashed. The guy assured me everything was fine but I wouldn't be able to continue my exam. I was ok with this since I was done. They couldn't give me a score but said to call the next day because they had to transmit the results to Microsoft. Well, my exam was corrupted and after 2 weeks of pointing fingers it was determined that I would have to retake the exam. The exam center tried making me pay for the 2nd exam but I put up such a fight they finally backed down and paid it.

The other issue I recall is going to a test site and having a monitor flicker all through the exam.

I'm stressed enough taking these exams. You'd think the test sites would have to maintain decent equipment. Has anyone else experienced problems at test sites?

Comments

  • techster79techster79 Member Posts: 169 ■■■□□□□□□□
    Oh yeah, so many sites I have been to have poor monitors and/or work areas setup. You end up having to shift in the chair several times every few minutes to be comfortable. This is verbatim from the CCNA ICND final chapter:
    The testing center is probably just an extra room inside the offices of a company that
    does something else as its primary business. Training companies often also are testing
    centers. The proctor often has other responsibilities besides monitoring the exams. The
    proctor seldom enters the testing room other than to bring in another person who has
    an exam scheduled. So don’t worry about someone staring at you and making you
    nervous! However, most testing centers have video cameras for monitoring. So just
    because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t watching!

    When I took my 70-291 for the 2nd time as I finished the test the PC stuttered and appeared to lock up. I almost lost my cool and after 2 minutes it finally spit out my passing score. You have no idea how much of a relief that was. I went in to take the CCNA with a friend of mine(its the first time both of us didn't fail or pass a test). They only had one room setup for Cisco tests so I had to wait on him to take my test and he had to wait on me after his test. I don't know how many hoops these test centers have to jump through to host the MS/Cisco tests but you think they'd have at least 4 testing PCs setup. The more people you can book for a test the more money you can make right??????
    Studying for MCSE: Server Infrastructure (70-414 left)
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    I guess i'm lucky. The center I go to has good PCs and I don't have any issues like that. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself.)
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    Most of the complaints I see on here are from people complaining about Prometric, particularly scheduling. I've taken all my tests with Vue centers, and haven't had a problem. The worst thing I can say about them is that I was disappointed that they wouldn't let me reschedule or give me a discount or partial refund for an exam I missed due to a work emergency. I know what their reschedule policy is, but it would have been nice for them to have been a little accommodating.

    Well, none of that matters anymore since Microsoft now has an exclusive deal with Prometric. I can no longer take tests at the half-dozen Vue centers near me. Now there are only TWO locations in all of Minnesota. One is near the metro area, and the other is way down south. I guess people in Northern Minnesota just have to deal with a 3-4 hour drive to take their tests. (I'm not sure if this is with all tests or just the ones I've registered for. I've only been given these two options for the couple I've registered for.)
  • dtlokeedtlokee Member Posts: 2,381
    Keep in mind the testing center is getting about $5 for each exam they deliver. It takes alot of exams to cover the expenses involved in operating a testing center. All my testing center seats are running on Intel P4 3.2 ghz or better (they only require 1 Ghz) with 1 GB of RAM (they only require 512MB) gigabit Ethernet, and the exams are still slow. I am not sure why they're slow but that's not the testing center. As for the chairs and comfort in the room that should be addressed. Also for the monitors, I went out and bought 17" LCD monitors and set the resolution to 1280X1024 (native for the monitor) and it looked great! The first person to take a MS exam complained about the new monitors being blurry, I coudn't beleive it. A few more people complained, then I went and scheduled an exam mysef to see what was going on. As soon as you logged into the MS exam it dropped the resolutionto 800x600 and because t wasn't the native setting for the LCD panel it was all blurry, so much for that idea. Again I had the best intenetions but the exam proved otherwise.
    The only easy day was yesterday!
  • shednikshednik Member Posts: 2,005
    ajs1976 wrote:
    I guess i'm lucky. The center I go to has good PCs and I don't have any issues like that. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself.)

    Riverhead or New Horizons?

    I've only gone to Riverhead in pgh
  • dynamikdynamik Banned Posts: 12,314 ■■■■■■■■□□
    The Vue center I used to go to was actually at a technical college, so they just offered one of their computer labs when it was available. It was nice because everything there was fairly up-to-date and decent quality.
  • ajs1976ajs1976 Member Posts: 1,945 ■■■■□□□□□□
    shednik wrote:
    ajs1976 wrote:
    I guess i'm lucky. The center I go to has good PCs and I don't have any issues like that. (I hope I didn't just jinx myself.)

    Riverhead or New Horizons?

    I've only gone to Riverhead in pgh

    Riverhead, some place I did the windows 2008 class last week. In '00 and '01, I did my NT and first Citrix exams at New Horizons, but haven't been back there since.
    Andy

    2020 Goals: 0 of 2 courses complete, 0 of 2 exams complete
  • phreakphreak Member Posts: 171
    Thats pretty bad about what you are all saying.


    The machine I sat on yesterday puked with a J2ee error during the pre-exam festivities. About shat my pants. I knocked on the window and the receptionist came and looked and was totally confused. I said I'd continue but if it crapped in the middle of the exam something better be done. She said they have had to shut tests down before and if they do that and re-initialize it on another machine it comes back up where you left off, time and everything. I said well, we'll see what happens.....


    I think that contributed to my crappy score. I was already on the verge of freaking out as it was my first time sitting for a cert exam..... Stupid computers. I totally felt like an end user at that moment in time. It made me feel bad for all the times I treated end users like crap (only because they deserved it though!). ;)
  • steveo1985steveo1985 Member Posts: 60 ■■□□□□□□□□
    This isn't really related to the topic but its a good bit of information i thought people might like to know. When you book a test with vue they add on VAT, for example with the CCNA they add on about £15.55 in VAT charges a great way to get round this (i was told by a vue booking person :P) is to pay for £90 in vouchers (the cost of the CCNA exam) and book the exam with them as there is no added VAT so you save yourself the £15 charge..... If this is true on some exams you could be saving loads of money.
  • cacharocacharo Member Posts: 361
    My worst experience was for my 70-270 exam. At the beginning of the test things took a loooooooong time to load, but I wasn't worried because the test had not started yet. The problem did not resolve after the test loaded either. Each time I submitted an answer it took ~2 minutes to load the next question. The clock didn't move or anything, just jumped -2 minutes the next time it loaded. I did the math and figured if it continued I would not finish the test. I kept giving a evil look to the administrator each time, but could not get her to figure out that I needed help. Eventially it sped up a bit and I was able to finish and pass, but it was certainly a nerveracking experience.
    Treat people as if they were what they ought to be, and you help them become what they are capable of being.
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