If you’re getting ready to take an online exam, you may need to practice an important skill – how to act like a robot. Specifically, never let your eyes stray from the monitor and ignore all outside noises.
I encourage you to read the online proctored exam instructions carefully and ensure you comply with all of them. If not, the proctor may revoke your exam, causing you to lose the price of the exam voucher. Here are some things that you can do to avoid an online proctor from revoking your exam.
- Ensure your webcam is movable
- Always look directly at the monitor
- Never take your eyes off the monitor
- Block all inside noise (such as babies crying)
- Block all outside noise (such as dogs barking)
- Don’t look up (indicating you may be checking notes)
- Don’t look left (indicating you may be checking notes)
- Don’t look right (indicating you may be checking notes)
- Don’t look down (indicating you may be checking notes)
- Ensure your loved one doesn’t talk to you during the exam
- Don’t answer any question too quickly, indicating you memorized questions and answers from an unauthorized source
- Don’t leave posters on any walls
My Security+ Test Was Revoked Because….
A few people that took the Security+ exam let me know that they received warnings or their exam was revoked.
- “My test was revoked because according to them I didn’t follow proper protocol with the Proctor. No explanation and lost voucher.”
- … after my device passed the first test and seated for the exam, proctors cancelled the test twice stating that they couldn’t see my video.
- “I just had an online proctor revoke my exam less than ten minutes in for looking away from the webcam for two seconds.”
- Several months ago, one person said the proctor warned him via “…chat while I was in the middle of the test to remind me that covering one’s mouth was not allowed…”
There are also multiple complaints online:
- “At the beginning, my proctor was an Indian woman who asked me to move my camera to see my face and desk better. She cleared me to start my exam. 30-40ish minutes into the exam, a different person brought up the proctor chatbox. She asked me to move my camera closer. My camera couldn’t move any closer without unscrewing it from its mount. So she revoked my exam.”
- “…during testing their test was revoked…” “Posters on their walls were brought up as a reason”
- “… a family member walked in.”
Not Just Security+
Some CISSP test takers have also talked about overly aggressive proctors and policies:
One person reported that he was informed about 2 1/2 months after he took the exam that his CISSP pass was invalidated due to “irregularities” in his examination responses, “compared to other examinees, and expected examination results.” He was given a free voucher to retake the exam. If he didn’t retake the exam within about 2 1/2 months, he would be prohibited from taking any (ISC)2 exam for five years.
My Experience with Security+
Gratefully, I didn’t have any of these problems when I took the SY0-601 exam. However, after reading all the instructors, I understood that they were taking great pains to ensure people didn’t cheat. Some of the rules I remember are:
- No bathroom breaks. If you leave the webcam view, the test is over.
- No note taking. You’re not allowed to take notes for any reason.
- No one can talk to you. If anyone is heard, the proctor can end the exam.
- You can’t talk to anyone.
Realizing the rules were very restrictive, I did my best to keep my eyes on the monitor 100% of the time. I also did something I recommend to everyone when studying for an exam.
When taking any practice exam, remind yourself why the incorrect answers are incorrect and why the correct answer is correct. This gives you the best chance to accurately interpret the questions on the live exam and answer them correctly no matter how CompTIA words them. This practice was useful on the live exam.
If you plan on taking an online exam, it’s important to take the time to read and understand the rules. If you miss any of the rules, don’t be surprised if a proctor invalidates your exam requiring you to retake it again, after paying for it again. However, it is possible to abide by the rules and get through the online exam without any problems. Most people do.