How is it to take a certification exam online?

We are always learning, and I think I might be ready for my next AWS Certification (DevOps Professional, for those wondering). Also, it’s that time of the year that I need to renew one of them. However, this would be my first time taking a proctored exam online, instead of at a specific location. Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about having that kind of access to my computer and space. For those that already took a proctored exam online, how was your experience?

I’ve taken a certification exam online and it was definitely different to say the least. It was my first time ever taking one online and for my exam I had to login to Zoom, turn my webcam/mic on, and show my proctor my desk and the surrounding areas of the room I was currently in… weird.

Also, the person who was watching me didn’t have their webcam on so all I saw back was a black screen… also weird.

Wanna get reminded that we’re living in a virtual world now? Take an online certification exam.


I’m curious though, was in person an option at all? I was going to do an online last year and bailed out. I’m hoping to do it in person at some point.

I’ve read some not so great things about the experience, but that was early on in the pandemic. My main objection would be that I can’t use paper to sketch out something. When given a scenario, like “you have 2 web servers, an ELB and a RDS …” I like to draw it out so I can see the issue. Also a co-worker had a good point. She said that she felt like if she fails a test at a testing center, she can walk away from the environment but if you fail at home, you have to sit in the place you failed. Interesting theory.


@marykay25 very interesting point of view here, never thought of this. I can see the merits and personal satisfaction of being able to physically leave the environment of a not so pleasant experience like failing a test.

For me, in person wasn’t an option but I understand the appeal of wanting to do it that way instead of online.


Majority of my certification Exams have been taken at home. I have a couple of thought on the home proctored exams. First, is that it is nice to test in a familiar space. Second, is your house needs to be silent, it was frustrating a few times being interrupted by the exam proctor because my dogs barked at some “noise” out side. I would have to show my room again to prove not cheating. Last is what @marykay25 mentioned. You have no scratch paper or whiteboard to diagram.

Overall, I would prefer to still take the exams at a designated testing center due to outside variables you have no control over like internet connection, noise, and clean workspace. Not the kind of stress I want to worry about when paying a few hundred for a cert attempt.


@jperkins, you just made me give up on doing online proctored exams. My dogs would for sure interrupt my exam more than once.

Do they give extra time whenever the exam proctor stops you?

@raphabot, not to my knowledge. If you have a room where you can shut the door for some isolation from the barks its not near as bad. Some proctors realize it is a dog haha.