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On the holiday of 01/05, I took the beta test “DP-300 - Administering Relational Databases on Microsoft Azure”, which is focused on DBAs who work or want to work with Azure and wanted to share tips for doing a quiet test at home, especially because of COVID-19.
The first challenge for this test was to perform the exam at home for the first time. The experience was initially not the best, because I didn't have the right tips to take the exam at home and I almost missed the deadline to take the test, but then everything went well and now I just want to take the test at home .. lol
Prerequisites and Care Before Thinking of Taking the Test:
- To perform the exam, you will need a good internet connection, webcam where your face appears all the time and a microphone (can be a headset)
- Choose a location with good lighting and where you will not be interrupted in any way during the exam: If anyone talks to you or appears on the video, your exam is canceled instantly and you lose your current progress and money paid for the exam
- You cannot cover your mouth with your hands: It must always be visible. Be careful with that
- Is your Internet connection stable? If your computer crashes or the connection goes down, you may lose your proof (Microsoft will try to call you first)
- Choose a place without decoration, with NOTHING on your table, or near you: Paper, decorations, dolls, monitors, cell phones, watches and nothing like that is allowed near you. If you have more than one monitor on your desk, Microsoft will ask you to remove it from the test site or disconnect the power cord
- Once the test is started, you WILL NOT be allowed to leave your table for anything. You will be monitored throughout the race
- Close ALL programs that are open on your computer, even those in the system tray (Tray), just leave the browser open (for now)
- Visit the site http://www.pearsonvue.com/microsoft/op one day before the test and run the System Test. This test is exactly the same as the process of taking the test, validating the software installed on your PC, asking you to register, take the photos of the place where you will take the test, photo of your document (Passport or license), etc. .
Remember to click on the “Copy Access Code” button before downloading the exam software.
- I had some problems when running the system test due to some software that I had installed on the computer, such as TeamViwer, AnyDesk, Logitech Capture (Software from my webcam), SearchUI.exe (Cortana) and some more. Even closing the application, the software still accused that the process was running and I had to UNINSTALL these detected software to be able to take the exam. So I advise you to take the test 1 day before to take precautions and prepare to take the test 40 mins before the scheduled time (you will have to do the whole test process again)
- I have not yet tried to take the test using a Virtual Machine (VM) to avoid these problems related to software installed on the computer, but I did a System Test inside a local virtual machine and the test was carried out successfully.
In my next exam I will try to take the exam on a VM and let you know if it worked (or if I missed the exam kkkkkk)
- If you are trying to test on an OS or browser that has restrictive policies for accessing websites (such as Windows Server, for example), you will need to release the following addresses:
- * .starttest.com
- * .startpractice.com
- * .proctorcam.com
Tips for taking your test:
- The first step of all is to access your Dashboard at the address https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/learning/dashboard.aspx and access the option "Start a previously scheduled online proctored exam"
- Be careful with the race time, as you only have 15 minutes after the scheduled time to start your race. And you will spend about 20 minutes doing the whole process the first time (especially if you have software being detected by the test), so plan to start this process about 30 minutes before the scheduled time.
- During the test and registration to start the exam, you will be asked to enter your cell phone number, where an SMS will arrive with a link where you must access to perform some steps using your cell phone, how to take photos of your documents and the environment (4 photos, front, back, left and right of your table).
- After completing this step, a message will appear asking you to store your phone and continue the process in the browser. Store your phone in a place that is well away from the test and that does not appear on your webcam (and in silent mode)
- After the previous step, you will be asked to download the exam software and to close your browser and ANY OTHER SOFTWARE THAT IS RUNNING before running the exam software. Even if you have already downloaded it minutes before to perform the test, I recommend that you download it again and run the newly downloaded file, which will perform some validations of the software running on your computer. If everything goes well, it will allow you to start the test
- Wait a few minutes while someone from Microsoft releases your test and you can start. At this point, your camera is already being recorded.
- Good Luck!
Taking the above precautions, I took tests at home more than once, and I didn't even need to interact with anyone at Microsoft anywhere during the test.
The process itself was VERY smooth, especially the second time, where I already had more experience of how it worked, and today I don’t think about looking for a training center to take certification exams: I can schedule a test any day, any time, even more than one race on the same day. MUCH more comfortable for me.
I hope you enjoyed this tip and good evidence for you!