So you've decided to take a Salesforce exam? Congratulations! You're now one step closer to becoming a Salesforce certified professional. But with the COVID-19 outbreak, taking onsite examinations at a testing center are now not possible.
Undergo a safer, more convenient option and take an online proctored exam instead. This is now the perfect time to take these tests especially if you’re worried about the online testing requirements. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Salesforce is temporarily lifting the requirement to have an external webcam.
Find out more about this and everything else you need to take and pass your Salesforce online proctored exam.
What is an Online Proctored Exam?
Salesforce certification exams can be taken remotely, from your own computer, at the comfort of your home. This is made possible by online proctoring, wherein a proctor monitors your exam taking through a webcam. These exams are available everyday, except on major U.S. holidays and during system maintenance.
Advanced registration is not necessary; you can register for an exam and take it on the same day. But if it’s your first time taking an online proctored exam, it’s highly recommended that you prepare your computer and check system requirements ahead of time.
Online proctored exams are usually deemed difficult because of all the preparation and requirements, but according to a survey that we recently conducted, 70% of the participants had a great experience taking the online test, and out of the participants who are in favor of online proctored exam said that the advantages of taking online proctored exams are its convenience, flexibility in schedule, and no travel requirements.
I was initially nervous about a lot of unknowns... would my camera work, how would my session start, what if the camera got bump (pers) or someone walked into the room, etc. As it turns out, it was much easier than going to an onsite testing facility.
Richard Philson, Lead Developer
The convenience of taking the exam at home, at a time of my choosing, and being able to reschedule it with only 24 hours was definitely an advantage. It was also easy to study right up until exam time.
Marco Gonzalez, Salesforce Developer
I think this is a personal preference question, but for me, no commute or paying for parking, study up until you start the exam, comfortable “home” environment, you can reschedule the exam much later at no cost.
Mark Laing, Technology Support/Salesforce Administrator
Online Proctored Exam Requirements
The online proctored exams are taken via Kryterion Sentinel Secure software. Those taking the tests must download the software and create a biometric profile. You must verify your identity before your exam schedule.
Review all the requirements before taking an exam to ensure a successful attempt. Any rule violation could be grounds to discontinue your online proctored exam.
To guarantee secure examination conditions, your testing area must meet these requirements:
During the online proctored exam, the following are strictly prohibited:
How to Register for an Online Proctored Exam
- 1Log in to Webassessor. If you do not have a test taker profile in Webassessor, you must create one.
- 2Click Register for an Exam.
- 3Find the exam you want to take; expand the section to view delivery options. Choose to register for the exam as online proctored. Click Register.
- 4Once you’ve registered:
● Select your preferred date and time for the exam; make sure you read the Reschedule and Cancellation Policy. Once done, tick the acknowledgment box.
● Online proctored exam timezone automatically adjusts to the location in your Webassessor profile details.
- 5Review the exam and scheduling details before clicking Checkout.
- 6Enter your preferred payment type. You can enter a credit card and/or voucher/coupon code.
● Certification exams are taxable; all applicable tax will be listed at the checkout page.
- 7Click Submit.
- 8Click Done on the purchase confirmation screen.
- 9You will receive an email confirming your purchase. Registration information will be attached.
Tips When Taking an Online Proctored Exam
Like with any test, you must also prepare when taking a Salesforce online proctored exam. But if you’re feeling lost or you don’t quite know what to expect, here are 10 tips to help you take--and perhaps pass--your online test.
Find a clean, comfortable, quiet space with good lighting
The Salesforce exam can be taxing, so you need to be able to focus fully when taking it. Being in a quiet space that is clutter-free and well-lit can help you be more productive. Make sure you can close the door and not be disturbed. Make sure you'll be comfortable in your chair - use pillows if necessary - so you can sit for the time of the exam. Also, a clean and noiseless testing area is a requirement.
Joss Clarke, one of the test takers, shares an in depth tip, “Make sure that there's no one else in the house who will disturb you, or at least that everyone knows you are taking an exam and not to bother you unless the house is on fire! I took mine late at night when my children had gone to bed and that helped. But in hindsight as I was well prepared I'd have rather got it over with first thing. Like anything it's all about personal preferences and preparation.”
“Have your house in ‘private mode’ while taking the exam,” seconds Maria, another Salesforce examinee.
Sarah, a Salesforce Administrator, briefly adds, “I took mine early on a Sunday morning as it's very quiet, which I would do next time too.”
Set-up and test your equipment ahead of time
No matter if it’s your first time or you’ve taken online exams before, you must ensure that you’ve installed all the necessary software you need. Test your webcam and microphone. By doing so, you could avoid technical difficulties during the actual exam.
Michael, a seasoned exam taker, recalls how he was grateful he tried setting up a day before his scheduled exam. Apparently he was missing some important software update for Sentinel and had to contact customer support. Because of his preparation, he was more relaxed during the actual test.
“Set up ahead of time, make sure you've installed Kryterions software well ahead of your test time! I had to call their customer support first exam I took for an unavailable software update for Sentinel. Made the test a lot less stressful knowing I could access the software without problems on test day,” he shares.
“Check your setup! Make sure to run through the necessary screening of your system so you can deal with issues before test time. Put your pets away. Nothing is going to mess with your mojo more than a cat jumping on your lap or a dog barking out the window,” Marisa, another online examinee, stresses.
Richard, a Technical Architect, shares a small but important advice, “If it’s your first time, make sure you get your biometric profile set up ahead of time.”
Have a strong, stable internet connection
To avoid being disconnected during your exam, you must ensure that you have good internet connection. Use a LAN cable instead of Wi-Fi, if you can, to ensure you don’t encounter issues with the software.
Stupavsky, a Salesforce Admin reveals, “Get a reliable internet connection! Especially if you are outside of the USA, you might face problems with the software.”
Read all the test prep instructions and guidelines
The last thing you want after going through all the preparations for your exam is for it to be stopped because of minute details. Make sure your testing area and equipment are all approved; Kryterion has detailed information on camera requirements and the likes, and they also help you test your equipment. and take note of everything you must avoid (i.e. eating during the test, writing on paper).
“Read all the instructions to prepare your workspace to be compliant well before exam time. It might take some work to be ready and not risk your exam to be stopped. I would also advise to have a quiet and preferably empty house to avoid noise and interruptions that could also be grounds for terminating your exam,” another user, Marco, warns.
Get used to not writing on paper
As mentioned above, writing on paper, or any writing material, is strictly prohibited. This is to ensure that no cheating is happening. We encourage you to prepare by getting used to answering questions mentally. Also know that muttering to yourself or reading out aloud will also be stopped by a proctor.
Prior to the scheduled exam, one user, Aleksandra, practices by taking reviewing tests. She does so by taking enough time to read the questions and thoroughly absorb them before answering. This helps negate the need to use scrap paper.
She shares, “Since taking notes is not allowed with the online exam, make sure you practice answering questions without writing anything. Instead, take enough time to read questions and think about it before reading the answers.”
“I am a visual person. The lack of note paper was difficult for certain questions when I was trying to visualize/diagram a data model. I would practice this,” Grant, another user, suggests.
Charisse, another examinee, also adds, “Preparation is a little different for the online exam given you have no access to paper to make notes if you take the test online. Many people suggested that I go into the exam room and literally brain dump onto a piece of the provided paper. I found it very helpful to do this brain dump multiple times in the days before my exam. In the end, it helped me to retain small details that I might have forgotten otherwise.”
Turn off all your computer's antivirus programs, firewall settings and clear all your cache and cookies
The goal of an antivirus program is to protect your computer. However, they also tend to block features of some software. Turn them off prior to your scheduled exam. If you need assistance, tech support is very accommodating.
“Make sure you've cleaned all cache and cookies from your browser and deactivated all add-ons and extensions. Check your Firewall settings. Quit all programs other than your browsers,” Diana, another user advised.
Lisa shares her experience and offers a valuable tip, “Make sure you don’t have anything that will prevent the proctor from being able to view and hear you. My mistake was that I didn’t know my Mac’s firewall was on. I thought I tested everything and I was ready to go. 25 questions into the exam, customer support interrupts and tells me that they can’t see me. That disrupted my train of thought and caused unnecessary stress. It took 10-15 minutes with customer support before I was allowed to start my test again. That whole experience made me nervous and I’m just thankful I was able to refocus.”
Lynn, a Salesforce Solution Specialist, recommends, “Make sure all anti virus programs are turned off. Tech support is very helpful, if there is issue don’t panic, contact tech support”
Anticipate technical difficulties
No matter how much you prepare, unfortunately, there are cases when technical difficulties will occur. Keep calm and don’t panic. Tech support is quick to respond and your proctor will also try to help you with technical issues you might face.
“Don’t let any minor technical glitches get to you. The proctors are great at getting everything resolved,” Rebbeca, one user reassures.
Support Engineer Sarah, advises, “Try not to get frustrated if any technical issues arise, stay positive and focused.”
Don't spend too long on a question
Exams usually take more or less 2 hours. You don’t want that time to run and you have only got halfway through the test because you spent 10 minutes on each one. Going back and forth between your answers will most likely just confuse you. Don’t overthink it.
Dodi, another exam taker, shares a valuable insight. He says you should spend only about 1.4 minutes per question. If you’re not sure, make your best selection and mark it for review so you can get back to it later on. He advises to give yourself enough time at the end, so you can get back to your marked questions.
Avoid wearing jewelry, a watch, or other accessories
Proctors ensure that online exam environments are clean, well-lit, noise and distraction-free--and that test takers follow the regulations and requirements stated beforehand. That includes making sure that examinees are not wearing anything that blocks any part of their face (i.e. glasses, flashy accessories, hats).
“Avoid wearing jewelry if possible, and if you wear glasses, assume that you will be asked to remove them and show them to the camera,” Kristen, one user reveals. Dodi also adds, "Don't wear a watch or chunky necklace.”
Eric shares that during his exam, he was not aware that watches were not allowed. The proctor assigned to him was quick to make him aware of this and had it removed.
Everyone knows that Salesforce exams are difficult and taking the test can be stressful. Take it easy and try to focus on the task at hand. Knowing that a proctor is watching you can add to the pressure, but try to get that off your mind. Take a deep breath, breathe in, breathe out, and click Start to get on your way with answering the test questions.
John, an experienced test taker, strongly advises, “Don't let the thought of someone watching you affect your exam.”
“Just act normal. Keep breathing and do not freak out, and get your mind and body comfortable with this mindset and environment,” another user adds.
Mark Laing, a Salesforce admin, shares his valuable insight as well,"BE PREPARED! Do not add stress to an already stressful situation. Read the Online Proctoring Guide from Trailhead before you book your exam. Make sure you have everything you will need to pass all requirements. Greet the proctor before you read the first question so they know your sound is working.”
Bonus Tip: Avoid Mumbling or Reading Questions Out Loud
This might be something you do without noticing it, but you must try to avoid it at all costs when taking the Salesforce online proctored exam. You want to avoid giving the proctor a reason to think that you’re recording the questions or reading it out loud to someone else.
One examinee, M Williams, shares, “Don’t read the questions out loud to yourself; the proctor will ask you to stop talking to yourself.”
You now have everything you need to take your Salesforce online proctored examination. What are you waiting for? Schedule your exam and become a Salesforce certified professional or add to your list of certifications.
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