Home proctoring Microsoft exams best practices

I’ve been seeing some questions coming through social media regarding taking Microsoft exams from home. I thought that I’d provide some insight around what to expect and some of the do’s and don’ts to the process.

  1. Prepare your workstation. You cannot have anything but your computer with one monitor and a camera. Multiple monitors are not allowed. You must have a device with a webcam, speakers, and a microphone. No papers or even water bottles allowed.

  2. Check that your system works with the Pearson Vue application. If you go to your scheduled exam, there is a test your system link to do this. I recommend testing it a day or two before your exam. This way, if you run into an issue, you have the ability to reschedule.

  3. Day of the exam, start your check in process when it opens, 30 minutes prior to your exam time. This will avoid any unnecessary stress. Make sure that you have a strong network connection and are in an area that no one will enter. If you have kids, find a locked room that they cannot accidentally enter while you are taking your test.

  4. Make sure that all applications are closed, browsers, file explorer, etc. Before launching the Vue software. If anything is running when Pearson goes to start the exam, the exam will shutdown. Also, take your watch off. You may be asked to show your wrists.

  5. After you check in, move your phone to somewhere out of reach. Pearson puts you in a queue that refreshes every 60 seconds. Be patient. When you get the “You are next”, it still may take a while. I noticed someone taking a picture of this and posting it on social media this weekend. Do NOT get out your phone and take pictures, you could forfeit your exam!!!

  6. Pearson proctors go through the check-in differently. Sometimes they will launch the exam without contacting you, sometimes they will contact you through chat, sometimes they will want to take to you and have you move the camera around to verify your work station. This is normal and a different experience each time.

  7. After the exam starts, take your time and read through every question diligently. You have more than enough time to take these exams, so don’t feel that you are rushed to finish.

  8. After you have completed the exam, you will select end and the exam will be scored. You are still on camera, do not get your phone out to take a picture of the “you passed” screen. I did this once and was promptly called and scolded by the proctor. Trust that the passing score will soon be in your transcript without worry.

I have found that taking these exams at home in my own controlled environment have been a much better experience than going to a proctored exam center. This isn’t for everyone and families that are home are sometimes a challenge. I have chosen to take this late at night, early in the morning, or after the kids have gone to school as different options. I’ve taken the test at my kitchen table, dining room table, and my son’s desk because my own desk area has four mounted monitors. When I was in an office, I would even sign out a small conference room to take my exam.

Follow the rules and you will have a clean and easy experience. Pearson’s process has gotten better and better over the past two years. Be patient and good luck! Feel free to reach out to me with any questions and feedback. Thank you very much.