PP2
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Remote Exam Hardware Notes and general Exam advice

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I've took two remote exams sofar and want to share my experience with community so you haven't to repeat my mistakes:

1. Choose a powerful hardware. I did my first exam with a brand new laptop with i3 CPU - the live environment load took about 10 minutes, and the CPU fan was very loud on full RPMs the whole time (!) during the exam which was very distrurbing. The second time I used a 4 year old Lenovo Thinkpad with i7 CPU - it worked perfectly. RH doesn't indicate any requirements regarding CPU power but it is in your interest to choose a fast hardware.

2. Always use cable instead of WiFi. 

3. Try to boot in the live environment and do connectivity checks several times to make sure it always works.

4. Passing exam is about time management. Don't stay long on difficult questions. Do easy questions first and secure points then go back to difficult questions. 

I think remote exams and WFH generally here to stay, not just for the period of the current pandemic, so these points can be applied to any remote activitiy.

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JS_Learning
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Re: Remote Exam Hardware Notes and general Exam advice

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Thanks for your advice and sharing Smiley Happy

@PP2 

If I may add my own experience in addition to yours:

1. I am not so sure a powerful hardware is required. In fact, you are mentionning the CPU, mostly (i3 vs i7) but there are other aspects. For example, the Remote Exam live environment is loaded from the USB to the memory. I would say, even the copying strange slowness you talked about, might be due to a slow USB media device and/or a slow/insufficient RAM...The Remote Live Exam environment is not touching any customer HDD; therefore it would not be relevant to talk about possible HDD/SSD slowness either.

I discussed a while ago why there are no stricts specifications requirement. I was told (and I agree with that) that Red Hat can't be too restrictive with customer hardware, especially with the numerous existing variations, firmware, etc... Giving a restricted list would be against customers interests. Ultimately, as part of the process, all candidate are requested to "use the compatibility mode" to check if it's going to be OK.

I don't have clear root cause of what you experience, all I am saying that it could be due to USB media, RAM, etc... and is not necessarily due to not having "powerful hardware".

I ran the exam on a very old Dell e6430 laptop and it copied fast (I had 16GB DDR3 ram, and a good USB stick). Fair enough, I had issues due to the graphic display (an old graphic card, apparently not well detected by the Live Remote Exam environment, making it use a very old and slow gpu, so the whole GUI was impacted).

I'm being transparent with you, I use a T480s, with a Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/v6 +  Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 620 +  Mem: 15Gi (16GB ram) + Samsung Titanium USB 128GB (which has fast read/write transfer rates), and it works very fine...

2. I also disagree :/ While it's recommended to use RJ45 to avoid any wifi issues, there are very stable wifi environments... Many candidates used wifi only and that was fine. And a poor RJ45 cable, old, not isolated to noise, etc... could also be impacted by external factors, in some conditions. It's less likely to experience some of the issues the WIFI can have, it is still possible. Let's say for simplification and peace of mind, it's preferable to use RJ45, because it might be less subject to other problems, which would stess/impact/reduce the candidate experience during any exam...

3. It's quite likely mandatory to test the environment... Refer to this preparation guide: remote-exams-preparation-ebook .

If that is not mandory, it is highly recommended Smiley Happy

4. I agree, it's "hands on exams" and managing your time is very important. Sometimes it's not possible to "jump questions", as some others can be dependant from it....Which is why another advice is to read every questions from the beginning, and spend a few minutes "putting in your head" the entire environment information + questions + tasks to do. It's not easy (at least for me), I failed a few times some exams because of that.

Again thanks for sharing, I hope my complement of experience is also helpful to you and others!

 

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JS_Learning
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Re: Remote Exam Hardware Notes and general Exam advice

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Thanks for your advice and sharing Smiley Happy

@PP2 

If I may add my own experience in addition to yours:

1. I am not so sure a powerful hardware is required. In fact, you are mentionning the CPU, mostly (i3 vs i7) but there are other aspects. For example, the Remote Exam live environment is loaded from the USB to the memory. I would say, even the copying strange slowness you talked about, might be due to a slow USB media device and/or a slow/insufficient RAM...The Remote Live Exam environment is not touching any customer HDD; therefore it would not be relevant to talk about possible HDD/SSD slowness either.

I discussed a while ago why there are no stricts specifications requirement. I was told (and I agree with that) that Red Hat can't be too restrictive with customer hardware, especially with the numerous existing variations, firmware, etc... Giving a restricted list would be against customers interests. Ultimately, as part of the process, all candidate are requested to "use the compatibility mode" to check if it's going to be OK.

I don't have clear root cause of what you experience, all I am saying that it could be due to USB media, RAM, etc... and is not necessarily due to not having "powerful hardware".

I ran the exam on a very old Dell e6430 laptop and it copied fast (I had 16GB DDR3 ram, and a good USB stick). Fair enough, I had issues due to the graphic display (an old graphic card, apparently not well detected by the Live Remote Exam environment, making it use a very old and slow gpu, so the whole GUI was impacted).

I'm being transparent with you, I use a T480s, with a Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v5/v6 +  Intel Corporation UHD Graphics 620 +  Mem: 15Gi (16GB ram) + Samsung Titanium USB 128GB (which has fast read/write transfer rates), and it works very fine...

2. I also disagree :/ While it's recommended to use RJ45 to avoid any wifi issues, there are very stable wifi environments... Many candidates used wifi only and that was fine. And a poor RJ45 cable, old, not isolated to noise, etc... could also be impacted by external factors, in some conditions. It's less likely to experience some of the issues the WIFI can have, it is still possible. Let's say for simplification and peace of mind, it's preferable to use RJ45, because it might be less subject to other problems, which would stess/impact/reduce the candidate experience during any exam...

3. It's quite likely mandatory to test the environment... Refer to this preparation guide: remote-exams-preparation-ebook .

If that is not mandory, it is highly recommended Smiley Happy

4. I agree, it's "hands on exams" and managing your time is very important. Sometimes it's not possible to "jump questions", as some others can be dependant from it....Which is why another advice is to read every questions from the beginning, and spend a few minutes "putting in your head" the entire environment information + questions + tasks to do. It's not easy (at least for me), I failed a few times some exams because of that.

Again thanks for sharing, I hope my complement of experience is also helpful to you and others!

 

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