Virtual Proctor: Taking Certification Tests Online Through APMG

It can be convenient sitting at home taking a certification exam online. No going out, driving to a testing center, finding parking, and sitting in a room that usually feels too cold surrounded by other people taking their exams. I always end up in a room with someone who is sick and then I get sick.


Agile Program Management

It can also be intimidating if you have never done it before. I have taken three exams this way through APMG. My most recent one was this morning on the day I wrote and published this post – the AgilePgM certification.

Other organizations may do things slightly different, but here I will explain how APMG handles the online certification exams using ProctorU.

Is there a specific time that you are required to take the test?

You will have a specific time that you set and it is convenient for you.

Is there anything that should be done before the exam date and time?

Make sure to test your equipment ahead of time – ideally several days before the exam. APMG has links to on your candidate page to ProctorU where you can get tools that automatically scan to see if your equipment satisfies requirements.

And before you enter the exam, do you talk to a real person?

You go to APMG a few minutes ahead of time. They provide you with a countdown timer on the page. Once the countdown timer has finished, a button will become accessible for you to click on.

Once you push the button, it will take you to a new page. On that page, it will present you with a video to explain things and it will test your system again. After the video finishes, you can close it. The screen should have a numbered list on it telling you what you need to do. There are three items on the list total.

Don’t worry if it goes past your exam time, as long as you start this process you are okay.

Virtual ProcterU Application

The application they installed sitting on my desktop.

The first item on the list is an application for you to download. That application lets you speak with a proctor and for the proctor to get on a check out your computer and room prior to starting the exam.

What does checking out my computer and room mean?

They will scan your system looking for programs that aren’t allowed – like cheating programs I assume.

After you go through that process, a proctor comes on and you will video chat with them. They explain things to you and you can ask them questions.

  • They will want to see your cell phone and see you put it someplace far away from you
  • You will have to show them each wall of the room and under your desk
  • You are going to have to have a photo ID ready to show them
  • You want to make sure your desk is clean, non- essential items removed
  • They have never complained about me having water or coffee with me

They also look for other monitors – I have to disconnect my other monitors and they made me turn them all around or cover them up. I have five monitors in my home office.

Would they know if you looked something up in a different web browser while taking the exam?

They will see if you look things up. It is not allowed for this particular exam. It may be allowed for others or you are only allowed to access certain content.

How does the process work if I have a laptop with a built-in camera and speakers?

You have a built-in camera so you will have to move the laptop around in order to show them what they ask to see.

What about from a security standpoint?

The process seems as secure as it can be made. You will be presented with a pop-up that will ask you if it is okay and you just have to select “Yes”. They will actually take over your computer for a little bit. If you need other things set up they can do that themselves. It can even help if you encounter technical difficulties.

If you are worried about them seeing any content from your web browser or autocomplete, close all non-essential browser windows and clear your cookies and browser history first if that concerns you.

So the basic process is?

All you need to do is log in at APMG to schedule your exam. Make sure to test your system out ahead of time and that it passes requirements.

At the scheduled time of your exam, log into APMG candidate portal and wait for the countdown timer to finish. Once finished, you can enter ProctorU to begin the exam. The process will guide you to download the program and then after you download that you can talk to a proctor. A proctor can help guide you through the next parts of the process, but they will make sure the computer and room are acceptable for the exam.

Then they will start the exam if everything is okay.

Hopefully, this will help someone else navigate the world of taking certification exams using a remote proctor. If I ever do take another certification exam, I will make sure to get screenshots of the process and update this post with more pictures.




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