Your Testing Experience Before During and AfterEnd-to-end, the Cisco testing experience is unique to every candidate. The #CertsandLabs team has been providing info-packed blogs that lay out different parts of that testing experience. We’ve gotten great feedback on how useful our blogs have been as a resource that provides helpful and relevant links to our candidates. In this blog, we are summarizing some key points that will help you before, during, and after your exam. Now that you have already prepared for your upcoming exam, you are now ready to test.


Time to register! 

All of our written certification exams are administered through our global network of Pearson VUE testing centers, while our lab exams are held at our permanent or mobile lab locations. Both lab and written exam registrations are done through our Pearson VUE portal. There are specific rules and guidelines you should familiarize yourself with before your exam.  You can get better acquainted with the candidate rights and responsibilities and non-disclosure agreement (NDA), by reading them ahead of time and viewing the #EarnedIt videos. You can also know what to expect at the test center by reading the Pearson VUE candidate rules agreement.


As a candidate, it is your responsibility to arrive at your testing site on time. We have thousands of locations globally to accommodate our candidates. When you register, determine if you require travel to your testing center and make travel arrangements well in advance. Cisco does not refund for missed exams, but we allow you to reschedule if you cancel within 24 hours of your scheduled exam. It is beneficial to map out travel arrangements, hotels and fees, and transportation options for your testing site.


If you require any type of special accommodations during testing, be sure to make your request before scheduling your exam. Accommodations cannot be added to a previously scheduled exam. If approved for accommodations, you will be provided instructions on how to schedule your accommodated exam.


It's test day! 

When you arrive at your testing site you should be prepared to sign the Pearson VUE candidate rules agreement for written exams or be familiar with the lab or practical exam guidelines. Lab candidates can refer to our January 2016 blog to better understand what to expect on testing day like the expectations listed below:

  • Present two forms of ID - Both types of identification must have the candidate's signature and one must be government-issued such as a driver’s license or passport
  • Store your personal items  - Wallets, purses and cell phones must be stored in the lockers, cubbies or other designated areas provided at the test center but never in the testing area
  • No outside reference materials allowed - All forms of reference material are prohibited in the test center
  • Do not disturb others - Eating, drinking, smoking, chewing gum and making noise that creates a disturbance for other candidates are prohibited during the exam
  • Be aware your exam session may be recorded by video
  • You will be photographed by the proctor


When you begin your exam, you’ll be told the duration of your exam, how many questions to expect, and be given an opportunity to do a tutorial so you are familiar with how to answer questions. You must accept the candidate NDA before beginning the exam. If you do not accept the terms of the agreement you will be unable to test and will forfeit your exam fee. The time it takes to read the introductory information and use the tutorial does not count against your officially allotted exam time. Once you have reviewed the introduction and signed your NDA, the actual exam questions will begin and your official time starts then. During the exam, if you have any technical issues with your system or an individual question, advise your proctor immediately. If you have questions or feedback that do not hinder you from moving forward with your test, you can provide comments on individual exam items, or on the exam as a whole, once you have finished testing.


Post-test next steps

Now that your exam is complete, you should immediately be notified whether you have passed or failed, and the proctor will provide you with a printed score report. The commitment it takes to prepare for a Cisco exam shows your desire to become a certified professional. If you passed the exam, make sure that you stay abreast of the latest trends in your technology track. Stay focused on your continued growth, and prepare early to recertify prior to your certification expiration date.  If you do not pass on the current attempt, don’t be discouraged. Check your score report to determine the earliest date that you will be able to retest. Use the Exam Topics as a guide and revisit your learning materials for any domain areas in which you may need more study time. What you do after the exam is important. If you have any feedback on your exam, need help with the Tracking System, want to request a copy of your certification certificate, or have any other questions or issues, please contact our Certification and Communities Online Support team. Continue to engage with the CLN communities and stay active in your studies. Utilize your previous testing experience to gauge how you should best prepare to recertify, pass the exam on your next attempt, or achieve a higher level certification. Be sure you utilize your resources such as this and previous Certs and Labs Blogs for future reference on what you need to be prepared for your Cisco testing experience.