I’ve been seeing lots of questions about earning the MCSE, MCSD, and MCSA certifications before their exams are retired on June 30, 2020. With the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and all the quarantines and travel restrictions, I’ve also been getting a few questions about how to actually take the exams. If testing centers are still open, you could do that, but I would recommend to still adhere to the travel restrictions and social distancing recommendations. This means the physical testing centers, if they are still open, are definitely not an option. You may be asking, “How can I take Microsoft certification exams if I can’t go to a testing center?”

Online Proctored Exams

Well, the answer is to use the online proctored option of taking Microsoft certification exams online, and from home! You can take Microsoft certification exams online from any location you wish. You can do this from home, the office, a hotel, or a number of other locations where you can seclude yourself in a quiet and private place.

This is really the perfect option for taking Microsoft certification exams during this recent time of self quarantining and social distancing during this COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic!

The requirements for taking a online proctored Microsoft certification exam are:

  • Be sure to be in a room free of distractions and noise.
  • You will need a webcam and microphone on your computer so the online proctor can see and hear you during the exam. FYI, they do record you during the exam, and this is how they can make sure no cheating is taking place.
  • Make sure your desk or table top is empty and free of any papers, books, etc.
  • Make sure you can close the door and ensure nobody comes in while you are taking the test.
  • Be sure to sit in a place where you can stay for the entire duration of the exam. There is no option to take bathroom breaks, or to get up during the exam.
  • Be sure there wont be any loud talking or yelling from adjacent rooms that could cause distraction or questionability of someone being in the room with you.

Here’s a great, short video from Microsoft that illustrates the online proctored certification exam experience. Even though the video title is not in english, the audio is in english.

Credit: Microsoft

You can also find more information about the online proctored option of taking Microsoft certification exam, and how to test your computer to check compatibility with the software here: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/online-exams.aspx

Happy studying! And, good luck on those exams! Getting certified is a great way to spend the extra time we’ll all now have while we are forced to stay home and not socialize with friends and family. Stay healthy everyone!

Microsoft MVP

Chris Pietschmann is a Microsoft MVP, HashiCorp Ambassador, and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) with 20+ years of experience designing and building Cloud & Enterprise systems. He has worked with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises. He has a passion for technology and sharing what he learns with others to help enable them to learn faster and be more productive.
HashiCorp Ambassador Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) Microsoft Certified: Azure Solutions Architect