Exam policies

As part of our ongoing effort to enhance the value of Certiport certification, certain security measures are in place to protect the integrity of the exams. Please familiarize yourself with the following policies.

Exam administration policies

Examination security

Certiport is committed to ensuring that its certification exams are respected and valued in the marketplace. Accordingly, Certiport takes appropriate measures to ensure that the integrity of its exams are not compromised and also holds Certiport Authorized Testing Centers (CATCs) accountable for taking appropriate steps to prevent and detect fraud and exam security breaches.

Certiport conducts periodic data forensics to identify patterns of aberrance in exam results that help detect cheating or content piracy. For example, forensic indicators such as types of responses, latency, pass rates and retakes may reveal patterns of cheating, collusion or piracy. However, prevention and early detection are critical elements that require the close cooperation of its CATCs.

Therefore, in addition to relying on its CATCs to provide industry standard monitoring during testing, Certiport requires its CATCs to ensure an appropriate physical testing environment, and that administrators and proctors are sufficiently trained to provide good quality oversight of testing.

Administrators and proctors who observe violations of rules or suspect a testing security breach must immediately contact Certiport Customer Service (or Certiport’s Authorized Partner Representative). It is very important to document all relevant facts supporting the alleged breach. Reports should include date, time and location of the incident, name of Test Candidate, name and version of exam taken.

IMPORTANT!

Certiport Authorized Testing Centers are required to strictly enforce all of the following rules.

Physical testing environment

    1. Ensure the testing area is a professional environment where Test Candidates may take the exam without interruptions. Private dwellings, homes, or other personal facilities are not approved testing environments and should not be used to administer exams.
    2. Ensure that each test is actively proctored with an unobstructed view of each Test Candidate in the testing area. Acceptable methods of proctoring include:
      • Camera/video display – The proctor may remotely monitor the Test Candidate via a camera with access to a complete view of the testing environment.
      • Observation window – The proctor may monitor the Test Candidate through an observation window with a complete view of the testing environment.
      • In-Room proctoring – The proctor is located in the same room with the Test Candidate. This is typically the preferred method for larger groups of classroom testing.

 

  1. If partitions are not available for the testing stations, ensure that Test Candidates are seated far enough apart to minimize distractions and prevent cheating. The recommended distance is four feet.
  2. While testing is in progress, use of equipment such as printers, fax machines, copiers, telephones, or other electronic devices is not permitted in the testing environment.

Candidate check-in and exam procedures

 

  1. The CATC is responsible for verifying the Test Candidate’s identity with at least one form of valid identification (containing both a photograph and the Test Candidate’s signature).
  2. The CATC/Proctor must not allow recording or electronic devices in the testing area. Such devices include: paper, pens, pencils, cameras, computers, or cell phones. Additional Test Candidate property, such as books or bags, should be stored outside the testing environment or inaccessible during the exam.
  3. The CATC/Proctor may permit a Test Candidate to take a break during testing if requested, but must inform the Test Candidate that the testing clock cannot be stopped during the break. Test Candidates must not be permitted to conduct activities during a break that may compromise exam security – including use of a telephone and/or communicating with other Test Candidates.
  4. The Proctor must confirm that the Test Candidate’s ID matches the Certiport account information on the Proctor Validation Screen prior to launching the exam.
  5. Proctors may answer questions regarding the functionality of the exam software, but may not answer questions or provide instructions related to exam content.

Public testing centers

  1. Accurate scheduling information must be included on the CATC locator, and should be updated as needed.
  2. Personnel responding to exam scheduling requests must be thoroughly trained on Certiport product offerings and procedures. Please Note: If you choose to use our older Online Exam System to offer exams, the CATC locator will display your center as offering all Certiport exams.
  3. The CATC Logo must me posted in a location that is visible to Test Candidates prior to entering the facility.
  4. The CATC should greet the Test Candidates in a professional manner and provide testing policies and procedures prior to the beginning of the exam.

Accommodation of disabilities

As a worldwide provider of certification exams, Certiport is committed to ensuring that those persons with the desire to certify their proficiency in the use of computers should have the opportunity to do so. Certiport, accordingly, embraces the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as other global accommodations for disabilities designed to advance those goals.

Please join us in offering unique support to candidates who apply for an accommodation. Review the process for individuals to apply for an accommodation.

Test candidate exam policies

Test candidates, proctors and administrators must adhere and/or enforce all of the following policies when taking or administering an exam at a Certiport Authorized Testing Center.

  • Upon arrival at the testing center, Test Candidates must present their personal identification bearing a photograph and signature.
  • Test candidates may not take recording devices such as paper/pencil, cameras, PDAs, computers, or communication devices such as cell phones, or pagers into the testing area.
  • Test candidates must not communicate with other test candidates either in the testing room, or in any other area of the testing facility during authorized testing breaks.
  • Test candidates must read and accept the terms of the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) presented prior to the start of the exam.
  • Test candidates must not remove exam content from the testing area, and must not reproduce exam content outside of the testing area.
  • Test candidates must abide by the terms of the retake policy.
  • Test candidates found to have violated testing center rules may lose any existing certifications and may be made permanently ineligible for additional certifications.

Please Note: In certain circumstances, the computer on which a test candidate is taking the exam may stop responding, or produce an error condition in which continuation of the exam would not be possible. If a test candidate experiences this or any other computer interruption, they must notify the Certiport Authorized Testing Center (CATC) administrator and/or proctor immediately to restart the exam. When the computer is restarted and/or the error condition resolved, the proctor will launch the software again and the test candidate will choose the “In-Progress” exam, which will return them to the point at which the interruption occurred. The software will retain the exam progress and time remaining up to the point of termination, as long as the exam is resumed on the same computer in which it was started.

Review the process for to apply for an accommodation.

For additional information regarding this policy, please email Certiport customer service.

Retake policies

The retake policies vary based on the exam program. Click on the certification program for more information.

For information about policies regarding the redemption and use of an actual retake voucher itself, please see our Voucher policies page.

Read More.

Non-disclosure agreement

Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and general terms of use for certification examinations

The content of Certiport examinations is confidential and is protected by trade secret law and other applicable law. It is made available to you, the Examinee, solely for the purpose of skill measurement with regard to the examination(s) taken. Examinee is expressly prohibited from disclosing, publishing, reproducing, summarizing, paraphrasing, or transmitting these examinations, in whole or in part, in any form or by any means, verbal or written, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without the prior express written permission of Certiport, a business of NCS Pearson, Inc.

Privacy policy

Certiport collects personally identifiable information when you register for an examination. Please refer to our policy to learn more about the privacy of this information and to specify how your information may be used by Certiport and its partners.

This agreement shall be construed and controlled by the laws of the State of Minnesota, United States of America, and Examinee further consents to jurisdiction by the state and federal courts sitting in Hennepin County, Minnesota

Read the privacy policy

Review the process for to apply for an accommodation.

For additional information regarding this policy, email Certiport customer service.

Voucher policies

Voucher policies

The following page details the terms of use, conditions, restrictions, and other policies for all Certiport exam vouchers and exam vouchers with retakes (including paper vouchers). The following terms encompass all programs/products except where noted.

For more information

Grievance policy

Grievance policy (challenging an exam item)

An important part of the certification exam development process is to review each exam question to ensure technical accuracy, clarity, relevance, and absence of ambiguity and bias. However, in the event you believe a particular exam item is not valid, you may request an evaluation of the item.

Accommodations

Accommodation of disabilities

Certiport is committed to ensuring that those persons with the desire to certify their proficiency in the use of computers should have the opportunity to do so. Certiport is committed to providing access for all individuals with disabilities.

Certiport and its Authorized Testing Centers require advance notification of requests for accommodations as well as a reasonable amount of time to review and implement such requests. Certiport and its CATC’s are not obligated to accommodate examinees with language limitations unrelated to a documented disability (e.g., English as a second language, literacy) nor to provide unlimited time for the completion of exams that are designed to certify not only knowledge, but also efficiency in the use of computers.

Accommodations may include:

  • Extended testing time
  • A separate testing room or larger testing area
  • A reader and/or recorder

Test accommodations are individualized and considered on a case-by-case basis. Consequently, no single type of test accommodation would necessarily be appropriate for all individuals with disabilities.


Process to apply

Step 1:

Download the Exam Accommodation Request Form (PDF)

All candidates applying for accommodations must submit the Exam Accommodation Request Form. Please print and fill out the form, then fax the completed form to: 801-492-4160. You may also mail the completed form to: Certiport, Inc., Exam Accommodations Department, 5601 Green Valley Dr., Bloomington, MN 55437. Note: We do not accept e-mail submissions.

To ensure proper processing of your request for accommodations, please verify:

  1. Certiport Username: Your correct username must be supplied on the form. If you have not already set up an account, you can do so by selecting “Register” on the Certiport Home page.
  2. E-mail Address: Certiport will process your request and notify you by e-mail of the status of your accommodation within ten (10) business days. Verify your e-mail address is listed correctly on the form to ensure you will receive all notifications.
  3. Supporting Documents: You must provide current documentation of your condition and a rationale for the requested adjustments. See page 3 of the Request Form for guidelines.

Please allow up to ten (10) business days for forms to be reviewed and processed.

For test candidate requests for accommodations outside of the US please contact an international partner in your country.

Step 2:

Examinees approved by Certiport must notify the CATC of the disability accommodation when scheduling the exam. Accommodations requiring a separate testing room, larger testing area, or a reader or a recorder, require the examinee to schedule in advance as well as present the CATC with Certiport’s approval.

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Use of a reader/recorder

Most Certiport exams offer the ability for candidates to navigate through the exam without using the mouse. Because Certiport delivers computer based exams, some of which contain simulation content, mouse and keyboard constrained persons may also be accommodated with extended testing time and a reader/recorder in accordance with the following procedures.

Approved examinees may engage a reader/recorder of their own selection and at their own expense, to perform the exam tasks on their behalf:

  1. Upon receipt of written approval by Certiport, accommodated examinees must schedule to take the exam(s) at the selected Certiport Authorized Testing Center (CATC) at least 24 hours in advance. The examinee must notify the CATC of the special accommodation requirement at the time of scheduling.
  2. Upon arrival at the Authorized Testing Center, examinees must present Certiport’s approval of the accommodation.
  3. CATC’s must provide dedicated proctor oversight for the examinee and reader/recorder for the entire exam duration. The assigned individual may not proctor other examinees during this time.
  4. Proctors must provide the following instructions and rules for the reader/recorder to follow during the exam and insure that reader/recorders perform only those actions outlined.The examinee may direct the reader/recorder to use the mouse by giving explicit step-by-step instructions. The reader/recorder may not prompt the examinee in any manner and is limited to perform one mouse click per single direction from the examinee. Communication between the examinee and reader/recorder is limited to clarification of instructions only.
  5. Certiport Authorized Testing Centers will handle violations of test taking rules in accordance with Certiport’s existing policies and procedures.

 

For additional information regarding this policy, email customer service.

For test candidate requests for accommodations outside of the US, contact an international partner in your country.

Scoring

Exam scoring policy

Certiport certification exams are designed to measure skills on an individual basis, rather than in relation to another person or group. Although we maintain summary statistics regarding each exam, including pass/fail rates, in keeping with our commitment to promote certification rather than exam scores as the relevant point of comparison, that information is not published.

In the interest of security, Certiport distributes multiple versions of its exams, each with different content and, accordingly, different passing standards and number of questions. However, steps are taken to ensure that each version of an exam measures and certifies an equivalent level of knowledge, skill, and ability. For each exam, passing standards are derived from a combination of expert opinion on “minimal competence” and observations regarding how well an exam actually differentiates between low-performing and high-performing examinees.

To identify the passing standard for a particular exam, please refer to the exam score report provided upon completion. The exam score report is also accessible within a test candidate’s Certiport profile. It is Certiport’s policy to not provide additional documentation regarding certification passing scores or other exam metrics that may be considered proprietary information.

Security procedures

Security procedures for Microsoft Office Specialist exams

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Q:What security procedures are in place for Microsoft Office Specialist exams?
A:As part of our ongoing effort to enhance the value of the Microsoft Office Specialist program, certain security measures are in place to protect the integrity of certification exams. For example, all certification candidates are required to present personal identification at the testing center and sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before taking an exam. A policy has also been implemented to restrict the number of times a candidate can retake an exam in a week (see question #3). Finally, additional rules and procedures are in place for Microsoft Office Specialist Authorized Testing Centers (testing centers see #2) and certification candidates to combat cheating and misuse of exams.
Q:Where can a testing center find additional information about the security policy?
A:The Security Policy for Microsoft Office Specialist Authorized Testing Centers can be found within the Certiport Center Dashboard.
Q:What is the retake policy for Microsoft Office Specialist exams?

A:Certification candidates may retake the same failed exam again after 24 hours*. Candidates who wish to retake the exam a third or subsequent time must wait a minimum of 48 hours before retaking the exam. For candidates who pass an exam, there is no wait time needed to retake the exam. Beta exams may be taken only once.

*A day equals 24 hours after an exam was first started.

Q:Why is a retake policy necessary?
A:A waiting period between exam retakes discourages memorization of exam content.
Q:Why am I required to accept the Non-Disclosure Agreement (NDA) before I can take an exam?
A:Acceptance of the NDA by certification candidates protects exam content by creating a legally enforceable obligation to safeguard the exam content by keeping exam-related information confidential.
Q:What happens if someone is caught cheating?
A:If a certification candidate is found to have violated testing rules, they may lose any existing Microsoft certifications and may be made permanently ineligible for additional Microsoft certifications. Microsoft Office Specialist Authorized Testing Centers are authorized to take appropriate measures to prevent cheating.
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