REDMOND, Wash. — Sept. 22, 2014 — As part of its new testing and certification partnership with Pearson VUE, Microsoft Corp. is harnessing the cloud to make its highly valued certification exams more accessible than ever. In addition to Pearson VUE’s extensive network of authorized test centers in training centers, academic institutions, corporations, correctional facilities and U.S. military installations around the globe, Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) and Microsoft Technology Associate (MTA) exams can now be taken online in select locations.
Delivered through a process called “online proctoring,” select exams can be delivered through the cloud and taken by test candidates from their home, office or any other location that meets security requirements. This new capability makes testing accessible to candidates who do not live or work within easy travel distance of a testing center while protecting the integrity of the certification process. Candidates will be supervised in real time by Pearson VUE proctors using webcams, microphones and other security protocols.
During this initial beta period, a limited set of online proctored exams is available for U.S. residents only. Microsoft expects to announce wider availability in the near future. During the beta period, candidates may purchase online proctored exams for the same price as onsite exams. This includes two new MCP exams designed for IT pros and developers adopting Microsoft Azure as the cloud for their modern businesses.
Those who certify via online proctoring will need to meet security arrangements, including a clean, private room or office, with a desk space clearly visible via webcam. They must also complete security-related admission steps, such as an ID check, with a greeter before testing can begin. In addition, the proctor is trained to notice telltale signs of cheating and will require the candidate to do a visual sweep of the test-taking environment with the webcam.
“Online proctoring offers an industry-leading experience that reflects our increasingly mobile- and cloud-based world,” said Alison Cunard, general manager for Microsoft Learning Experiences. “It’s all about adding convenience by enabling people to take an exam where they live or work.”
Customers who want to continue taking tests onsite can take Microsoft exams at either Pearson VUE or Prometric testing centers. However, effective Jan. 1, 2015, Pearson VUE will become Microsoft’s sole global exam provider. Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) and academic MTA exams will continue to be delivered by Certiport Inc., a Pearson VUE business.
Pearson VUE test centers provide security measures that help safeguard testing integrity. Candidates are photographed and asked to provide a digital signature, in addition to other identification and admission requirements. The photograph and signature become a permanent part of each candidate’s Microsoft certification record.
Photos taken during the admission process will be printed on score reports along with an access code that will allow for third-party viewing of the candidate exam record and digital photo on the Pearson VUE website. This access code can be shared — solely at the candidate’s discretion — with employers and others for verification purposes. All candidate data will be securely stored and protected by Pearson VUE.
The collection of digital photos and digital signatures during the test center admissions process provides more reliable assurance of candidate identity, resulting in increased assurance that individuals are presenting accurate certification records in the marketplace.
Regardless of whether candidates test onsite or online, all candidates will need a Microsoft Account, such as the one they use with Office 365, Microsoft OneDrive or Skype. Participants can arrange for onsite or online tests through an integrated exam registration process at http://www.microsoft.com/learning.
“We’re excited to see where this partnership takes us,” said Bob Whelan, president and CEO, Pearson VUE. “Pearson VUE has always strived to give candidates the best testing experience possible, and Microsoft is equally committed to making certification testing frictionless and widely accessible. Together, we’re changing the landscape to increase skills validation and open new doors to career success.”
About Pearson VUE
Pearson VUE (http://pearsonvue.com) is the global leader in computer-based testing for information technology, academic, government and professional testing programs around the world. Pearson VUE provides a full suite of services from test development to data management, and delivers exams through the world’s most comprehensive and highly secure network of test centers in more than 175 countries. Pearson VUE is a part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO; LSE: PSON), the world’s leading learning company.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services, devices and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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