Red Hat certification remote exams now available

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It’s not a new idea that organizations worldwide need and seek qualified IT professionals with the skills and knowledge needed to use Red Hat products successfully.  And for the last two decades, Red Hat Training and Certification has provided a way for them to assess, train and validate skills. Last year, we launched preliminary exams as a way to provide experience with our hands-on approach to testing to a broader audience and to explore making this approach more widely available as online exams. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has meant temporary site closures, lockdowns and social distancing. Going to a test center to take an exam is not an option in many places. Even if it is, candidates for certification might be understandably reluctant to visit a center to take an exam. With that in mind, Red Hat has accelerated our efforts, and I am very pleased to announce that several of our  certification exams are now available remotely.

 

You asked. We delivered.

To this point, Red Hat Certification has delivered exams in public and private classroom sessions and through individually-delivered exams at testing centers. We have considered online exams in the past but decided not to pursue them in part because of concerns around exam security gaps. It is simply too easy for exam takers to cheat during their exams. Reliability has also come into question as we worked through how to make this a reality. Another factor is that  many people prefer the quiet, controlled environment of a testing center over the less controlled (and sometimes chaotic!) environments in which they live and work. However, under the current climate people have had to make many adjustments, and where there might have once been a reluctance to bring certification testing into one’s home there is a new willingness, and even expectation, that this should be an option.

What we have undertaken is a unique approach that provides an entire operating system tailored for the purpose of delivering a Red Hat exam, as well as running the compatibility tester that helps establish if someone’s hardware and network connectivity are suited for remote delivery. When booted from a typical USB thumb drive or other external storage device, this operating system runs entirely in RAM and leaves whatever is installed on the system untouched and unchanged. This, too, was another concern we had about many of the online exam solutions out there: we wouldn’t want to install third-party software on our computers that purports to control it or lock it down and we wouldn’t want that for our test takers, either.

While running the live exam environment, test takers are strictly limited in what they can access and do -- no online searches, checking cheat sheets or chatting with more knowledgeable friends. If it is easy to cheat on an exam, assertions made about the people who pass it are weakened. When we certify someone, Red Hat is saying that person has the skills and knowledge to use one or more Red Hat technologies in actual IT environments. We want to protect the value of our reputation by doing all we can to ensure that the people who have passed our exams have done so fairly through their own skills and knowledge.

In addition to providing a more restrictive environment, the live exam environment also provides a more predictable, reliable user-side environment. Consider all the different operating systems, releases of operating systems, browsers, releases of browsers and browser plug-ins on people’s computers.  All that variation puts reliability of online delivery at risk.  

By contrast, our live exam environment provides everything needed to access the exam content, cloud-based lab environments and to permit remote proctors to observe the test taker during an exam, so there are no issues arising from unsupported software or software conflicts. We believe that this approach provides more reliability. And let’s be honest, taking an exam lasting three or four hours is stressful enough. Technical difficulties (other than those provided by design as part of the exam, of course) are the last thing anyone needs.

 

Which exams are available today?

Now for the details. Effective August 3, four of our most in-demand certification exams are available for remote delivery:

  • Red Hat Certified System Administrator (EX200V8K)
  • Red Hat Certified Engineer (EX294V8K)
  • Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Administration (EX280V42K)
  • Red Hat Certified Specialist in OpenShift Application Development (EX288V42K)

 

Anyone who has already purchased one of these exams or enrolled in one through their Red Hat Learning Subscription -- Standard Edition can also choose between remote and testing center delivery.    Prospective certification candidates interested in taking one of these exams remotely should select the Individual Exam option through redhat.com/training. Then they will have the option to schedule either a remote exam or a testing center exam. 

 

The most up-to-date list of individual exams that are available to take as a remote exam can be found on the Ways to Test page.  

 

Looking forward

Red Hat Certified Professionals are critical assets to the organizations that employ them, as well as invaluable ambassadors for Red Hat and open source. Their health and  well-being are very important to us. We expect to make most of our exams available for remote delivery based on global and regional demand. We previously extended all certifications set to expire between March 17, 2020, and December 31, 2020, to January 1, 2021 and affected RHCPs have been notified of this change. While we aim to get back to business as usual as quickly and safely as possible, we believe that remote exam delivery is a necessary step to providing a more highly available means of earning certification - not only as a temporary measure but moving forward beyond lock-down.

 

Learn more

Ways to Test datasheet

Ways to Test video

Value of Certification brief

Remote exams FAQ

Earn a containers certification online

21 responses
Cadet
Cadet

Bad experience. I tried exam ex280v42 today, but the remote session keeps failing in to receive what I type. Proctor told me to open a ticket to be able to reschedule. After that maybe I prefer reschedule in a physical facility.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @evandroasjr 

I'm sorry to hear about your negative experience. Going into a physical facility is also an option since we all can chose to attend a remote exam in two ways: remote or in the physical facility.

Having said that, my own experience with a remote exam was positive, I was able to do the 4 hours exams without facing the same issues as you. I also heard about many people who completed the exam without having same difficulties as yourself.

I think we should analyse what went wrong, are you sure you followed the requirements information, in particular being connected with a cable (avoiding wifi)? 
What about your USB key, what model, size, etc...?

What USB port did you use?

Did you use wired mouse/keyboard?

 

Have you read the FAQ about the requirements?

https://www.redhat.com/en/resources/certification-remote-exams-FAQ

 

If you describe your setup, maybe we can find an explanation together. If that fails, we could also ask for feedback on the technical team and try to see if there were any backend problems at the time of your exam.

 

 

 

Cadet
Cadet

Hello - is the EX200 exam for RHCSA offered remotely - I just find it hard to navigate the Red HAt documentation and also up to what date is it offered would anyone know.

 

thank you.

Cadet
Cadet

I should have specified for Reh Hat 7.  I was able to see that Red Hat 8 is offered.

Thank you.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi, @pbrod 

The most up-to-date list of individual exams that are available to take as a remote exam can be found on the Ways to test page:

https://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/ways-to-test 

Currently, you will see in the RHCSA exam page, linked from above, that it says only:
"The exam based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 is available via classroom,on-site, and individual exams until October 1, 2020. " That does not mention Remote Exams as available.

I checked and apparently RHCSA RHEL7 based is currently in internal pilot phase and should be released soon, if there is no complications.

Cheers,

 

 

Mission Specialist
Mission Specialist

Hi,

Despite being listed in the ways to test page ,

1) Red Hat Certified Specialist in Virtualization exam (EX318) , specifically EX407V27K for me
2) Red Hat Certified Specialist in Ansible Automation exam (EX407) , specifically EX318V43K for me

still show up as "Testing Centre"  only on the Red Hat Exam Scheduler.

Is the remote option still in the works for these exams ?

Regards,

Harjit Sachar

 

Cadet
Cadet

Who has an external webcam these days?
Can we use a phone/tablet or other device to be used as a webcam?
Which webcam models are supported?

Cadet
Cadet

I hope they add the diagnostics and troubleshooting exam.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @spezziro ,

Please read the "Getting Ready" pdf available here:

https://learn.redhat.com/t5/Certification-Resources/Getting-Ready-for-your-Red-Hat-Remote-Exam/ba-p/... 

No you can not use the phone/tablet as a webcam.

We don't provide a list of supported webcam model, to avoid restrictions. The requirements are rather wide on that topic. Feel free to discuss the webcams in a dedicated topic on this forum.

In regards to your comment of who has an external webcam these day, I would like to remind you that the exams can also be taken in a physical testing center, in addition to this new option of Remote Exams. If you feel that investing in an external webcam is not suitable, nobody is forcing you. Candidates are free to be creative, and even borrow one for a few hours, if they don't want to invest in an webcam.

Also the issue is a bit more than having a webcam, these Remote Exams have to be running in a secure environment to ensure exams integrity. There are other restrictions at play (technical, administrative/legal, etc...).

 

 

 

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @crixus1 ,

More exams are added regularly, see the latest list:

https://www.redhat.com/en/services/certification/ways-to-test 

You are talking about "Red Hat Certified Specialist in Linux Diagnostics and Troubleshooting exam (EX342) "?  I haven't seen it in the list of current exams being tested internally. Having said that, the teams are working on adding many exams to the Remote Exams delivery, so it might come soon.

Cheers,

 

Cadet
Cadet

I just bombed my EX200 exam.  Couldnt even get past the first task of resetting the root password.  Everytime i hit the reset button to reboot the VM, in order to access the GRUB menu, I kept getting an error message!  Could someone who's taken the remote RHCSA 200EX exam please provide some input.   

Cadet
Cadet

@gpombo85 Oh that is terrible that happened to you - I hope you are able to get a refund or Red Hat let you retake the exam.  I am wary of doing these exams remotely myself for the exact reason you pointed out above.  Hope it all works out for you.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @gpombo85 ,

Sorry to her about your unpleasant experience.

You should send feedback here:

https://rhtapps.redhat.com/comments/ 

Nobody is allowed to discuss details here due to the NDA (Non Disclosure Agreement) that all candidates took.

PS: Failed EX200 too the first time, a mix of something wrong, incorrect interpretation sometimes and bad luck. I passed on the second attempt. Good luck!

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @pbrod ,

 I hope you are able to get a refund or Red Hat let you retake the exam. 

We don't know if there was a technical error, it might have been part of the exercice. Also, the proctors are trained to do the right thing, and the candidates can send the feedback to the comment form, and someone at Red Hat will listen.

I am wary of doing these exams remotely myself for the exact reason you pointed out above. It's good to be cautious sometimes, especially that Remote Exams are rather new. It started officially August 2020, and some exams were only added recently, few weeks ago. Having said that the entire system was tested internally during a pilot phase since a few more months, and many candidates were able to attend their Remote Exams and complete them properly.

Technicals hiccups can happen sometimes, the only way to communicate about that is the comment form:

https://rhtapps.redhat.com/comments/ 

If the issue is due to a technical difficulty, solutions can be found.

 

Another candidate said very well in this forum, focus on the exam itself not on the infrastructure potential problems, or I should call that delivery method. They are difficult enough, and should be the candidate main problem! And I remind you that candidates can also choose to attend their Remote Exams in a testing center, if you feel it's more suitable for your needs.

 

 

Cadet
Cadet

@gpombo85,

I took the exam last Friday and I have faced the same kind of problem. The boot menu didn't show up. I told the proctor what was going on and he told me to read the instructions and try. What?! Past an hour after I logged on the exam environment, I wasn't even able to start the exam. It seems that the only concerning of the proctor was whether I was cheating the exam. 

It was very annoying and stressful to deal with this kind of thing during the exam. And I was concerned about the time. I have done those task hundred of times and I know that I was not supposed to take that long to finish them. I told the proctor that that was not going to work and I'd rather reschedule the exam on a physical facility. He told me to open a ticket and I did it. Today, I received the answer: "I am sorry that your recent examination results did not meet with your
expectations. At your request I reviewed the results of your exam.
Unfortunately, I have found that the results reported to you are
accurate." This is completely unacceptable. Here, in Brazil, the price for this exam is R$1500,00. This is a lot. I woudn't attend to the exam if I wasn't sure that I was able to deal with the exam objectives. I'm already working on production environments a while. I deal both with bare-metal and virtual systems. And Red Hat simply tels me that I'm unable to reboot a machine and access the boot menu? Only on the environment provided for the remote exam! I really hope they reconsider this situation and give me another chance to perform the exam on a physical facility. I was already on my way to take the RHCE exam, but, now, I'm very disappointed with all this situation.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @sergiotc ,

It would be best if you send your feedback here:

https://rhtapps.redhat.com/comments/ 

I am sorry to read about your negative and surely stressfull experience with the RHCSA exam.

I took it twice, failed the first time, passed the second. As you know we all signed a NDA to prevent us from discussing technical details, to ensure exams integrity. It's therefore very difficult to help you properly. What I can say is that many candidates took that exam remotely and it worked. I fear that maybe it is true, there is something you might have done "not as intended" within the Remote Exam environment?

I also read your comment about the proctor, and unfortunately that's also almost true- The proctor is there to monitor about the exam integrity which is mostly about cheating... It's not an exam support person and often candidates are frustrated because they expect proper support. I once failed the second attempt about EX407 exam because I wasted time debatting with a proctor for a long time about something wrong with the exam environment. I was technically right, that did not matter I ended up failing, losing money + time.  Anyway, FYI, usually candidates don't feedback and there was a lack of information/communication. Now,  there are various improvements in progress and there is some work being done on that topic of proctor/support.

Again, unfortunately that does not change the past and your predicament.

Going forward, again I have no information at hands, yet I suspect somehow that it was not something technically wrong (based on the fact that it worked with many candidates, on the same back end). Maybe it's more something difficult due to not knowing or being familiar with the Remote Exam environment itself? A boot menu not showing up could be happening when not pressing the right keyboard shortcut at the right time, for example? Where they specific instructions in the exams instructions page? Nobody can say more without disclosing information about the exam environment... And I already don't remember how it was during RHCSA exam (I would have not been allowed to discuss it anyway).

These exams are technically difficult, candidates must be able to quickly understand and use a system they are not familiar with, and resolve usually complex problems. There are sometimes minor technical glitches or mistakes or unclear instructions, yet it's possible to pass with the right experience and training. 

I invite you again to send your feedback about your issue on the comment form, and hope that for any retake, you will have more luck/understanding/experience/ to allow you for a better result!

 

Cadet
Cadet

@JS_Learning,

"Maybe it's more something difficult due to not knowing or being familiar with the Remote Exam environment itself? A boot menu not showing up could be happening when not pressing the right keyboard shortcut at the right time, for example? Where they specific instructions in the exams instructions page?"

What is the exam about? I've checked the exam objectives many, many times and "to deal with specifics related to the exam environment" was not one of them. I understand that this certification is a way to prove my skills on real systems on real world. An employer is not interested if I am proficient on exam environment. Neither do I. If there were something specific to the exam environment, like a keyboard shortcut, I think that this information should have been provided and highlighted. When I'm in front of a real system on my job or on my home lab, I know how to find my way around pretty quickly. Failing the exam is something that I knew that could happen, but I expected it was due to a lack of knowledge related to the exam objectives and not something else. I did the home work. I took the time to prepare myself. I have used the principal cert guides available on the market(I think you all know them). I took some training classes too, just to see whether they added something valuable. When I was setting up my home lab, I actually went beyond the subjects related to the RHCSA exam, like setting up DNS, Samba, NFS and IPA servers, just in order to have a complete environment to practice(and also with the RHCE exam in mind.) Anyway, I don't want to brake any rule here. I have already opened a ticket. I just don't think that is fair to wast money like this. I'm in Rio de Janeiro and the US dollar is about 6 times our money. So it hurts a lot. 

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @sergiotc,

I sometimes have the very same reaction as you and I think your comment is rather fair. I hope you also send it to the comment form.

I'll try to do some moderation: while I agree it's about the knowledge, I would say that the Remote Exam environment itself is a standard Linux based system (based on Fedora 32 if I remember correctly). Since it's certification based on Linux, it's somehow implied that candidates can use that type of environment.

Additionally, here is what I found (which is not a decent explanation in my opinion, yet it can offer a small information):

Performance-based testing is testing by doing—that is, by having you perform real-world tasks similar to those you must perform in a job role. All Red Hat certification exams are performance-based tests, giving you the hands-on, practical application you need to demonstrate your skills.

Source:

https://www.redhat.com/en/services/training-and-certification/faq 

It's a bit relevant because as candidates, we are expected to use our skills to solve the exam challenges, using the given system...

 

Anyway, sometimes in my opinion it could be more fair for the candidates:

  1. If the test environment provides a mini demo of the exam desktop, so the users can get familiar and see that copy/paste does not work for example (I read a few feedback about that, and I experienced the same: that made it a bit stressful and a tiny bit more difficult).
  2. If some of the instructions would be paraphrased (ie: same information presented twice, to ensure clarity). Many candidates are not native speakers and sometimes some sentences are confusing.

It's a complex topic, some options can even have a significant cost (for Red Hat). Also, it's not always an obvious need because many candidates pass without any problems.

I discussed with many candidates, including after exams in real training center. Most people either ignore the problems, or focus more on the exam itself. For most of them it seems to work, they gain sufficient points to pass their certification and move on without any feedback.

The various teams need your feedback :

https://rhtapps.redhat.com/comments/ 

From one candidate to another, my advice would be that you focus on the exam itself in order to pass it on another attempt. These exams are difficult (as I always say, for me at least), you don't want to add additional anger/stress to it. Sometimes, I attended a second attempt of a certification exam, knowing I did not fully understood some part of the instructions. Very unpleasant, yet during the second attempt, reading it again and thinking more about it, it became clearer what was expected, and lead to me getting more points and passing.

Let us know what is the outcome of your support situation.

 

Cadet
Cadet

@JS_Learning ,

I sent my feedback on https://rhtapps.redhat.com/comments/  again.

 

I really don't hope that anyone goes through the same situation as me.  

Actually, anyone reading these comments should not be discouraged to take the exam, but learn by "my mistake" instead. Be a little more patient then me and don't leave the exam until the end. If I was sure that I was not facing an environment problem, I would have turned the exam machine upside down until I find a solution. 

@JS_Learning ,

Thanks for the advices.

Moderator
Moderator

Hi @sergiotc ,

Thanks again for the feedback to the comment form, it's the best way to help improving (and to reach someone who can reply about your exams questions due to the NDA).

To come back to your situation, yes, if there were a genuine environment problem, in theory the proctor is supposed to somehow notice it. There is a team of technical support that can be contacted during the exam by the proctor. That process is not perfect, but it's there and it's being improved.

For the EX200 RHCSA RHEL8 exam, it was one of the first Remote Exam being tested since June 2020, it was then released in August 2020. Many candidates took it, it's usually one of the most popular. Many attended, passed or failed, it technically worked. I haven't heard of a specific technical issue impacting the back end about that (to be transparent, I don't see the feedback in the comment form, it goes straight to other teams). I spoke with many people who also attended the exam and did not hear about anything like "won't boot" or problem accessing grub. As I attended myself the Ex200 twice, I know it's not such a complex setup, it does not have many servers either. All that to say that it's unlikely to have been a glitch, yet it is possible.

In that regard, and based on your feedback, I did inform the technical team yesterday. I am also bound by the NDA (yes, even internally at Red Hat), so I don't expect a detailled answer, yet someone can have another look, just in case. 

Let us know anyway how it goes, and most importantly, good luck!

 

Cadet
Cadet

@JS_Learning ,

I think it doesn't matter, but my exam was based on Red Hat 7.

I think I'll not be able to take the exam on that version again, because it will be discontinued next month(I think). I'm already taking a look at the objectives covered on version 8. I'm also already aware of the change that is taking place on October, in order to include container topics.

So, I'll take the time again.