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Microsoft Certification Exams Now Available Online

Exams for two kinds of Microsoft certification can now be taken online from remote locations.

In an agreement between Pearson VUE, which provides computer-based testing for a number of different certification programs, and Microsoft, exams for the Microsoft Certified Professional and Microsoft Technology Associate certification can be taken via "online proctoring" as well as the traditional on-site testing locations already available.

The partnership means that certification candidates who do not live within easy travel distance of a live testing center can take them in their homes or office, all while protecting the integrity of the certification process. Candidates for the online exams will pay the same price as those taking onsite exams.

Certain security arrangements will be required for individuals who want to take the exams from their homes or offices. For one thing, a clean, private room or office with desk space must be clearly visible via webcam. Candidates will be supervised in real time for the exams by Pearson VUE employees using webcams, microphones and other security protocols.

Those taking the exam must also undergo an ID check with a greeter before the testing begins. The proctor has been trained to look for signs of cheating and will require the test taker to do a visual sweep of the room with the webcam in advance.

"It's all about adding convenience by enabling people to take an exam where they live or work," said Microsoft Learning Experiences General Manager Alison Cunard.

Candidates for the two Microsoft certification programs can still take the test onsite through the end of the year at either Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. However, beginning Jan. 1, Pearson VUE will be the exclusive exam provider for Microsoft certification programs.

"We're excited to see where this partnership takes us," said Pearson VUE President and CEO Bob Whelan. "We're changing the landscape to increase skills validation and open new doors to career success."

Beta testing for the online testing will be available through the end of the year only in the United States. After Jan. 1, it will be available around the world.

Those wishing to take either online or onsite tests can register at microsoft.com.

About the Author

Michael Hart is a Los Angeles-based freelance writer and the former executive editor of THE Journal.

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