A few months ago after just moving to the UK, I decided to take on the Atlassian Technical Sales Professional Accreditation which requires me to obtain at least 2 Atlassian Certifications and complete the actual accreditation. Getting this is crucial, as it would eventually put ServiceRocket on the map in Europe, as an Atlassian Silver Partner.
(In case you didn't know, ServiceRocket is the only Partner that has achieved the Platinum status in more than 1 continent, namely APAC and the Americas - Europe would be next!)
I already have the Confluence Administrator certification at the time, so I just needed one more. I decided to go for ACP-600, Atlassian Certified Jira Project Administrator, as it would be very relevant to my consulting work, with the added bonus that this course is cheaper than the standard Atlassian Certifications. One thing that is surprising to me though, is that this particular course doesn't seem to have any available slots for exams to be taken in any Testing Centers across London. The only choice there seems to be (at the time), was to take the exam from home. So I did.
How does it work?
All such Atlassian remote examinations (not taken in standard testing centers, but remotely in the candidates' homes) are handled by Kryterion, which handles the online "proctoring" (monitoring/invigilating of the entire exam process to make sure the candidate adheres to the rules of the examination). And they do it via an application called "Sentinel Secure", which will create a session between the candidate, and the "online proctor/invigilator" on exam day.
Logically, in order for this to work, the proctor/invigilator would need to be able to see and hear the candidate throughout the duration of the exam, to make sure that the candidate is not receiving any external assistance that would otherwise void their examination attempt. So it's only natural that part of the online proctoring process includes the requirement that your system passes the basic checks for the following:
- Internet Connection Speed
What to prepare before the examination
Make sure to first check whether your system passes all the checks for Webcam, Microphone, and Internet speed mentioned above, via the speedtest tool and guide here: http://test.kryteriononline.com/webcam-checker/ (best to do this before even registering for the online proctoring exam as this could be a deal breaker in certain situations)
Install Sentinel Secure and Enroll
Once you've registered for the online proctoring exam via the Atlassian Certification portal, you should be able to see an "Install Sentinel" link in your Certification portal. (Alternatively you can login to WebAccessor and install from there as well). It's best to do this much earlier (days before the exam), so you don't have to panic on the day itself in case the application does not work.
Part of the installation requires that you perform a photo enrollment. So make sure to look your best as pictures will be taken! See guide below:
Prepare your Test Environment
You should have a room that is suitable for you to take the examination in. Make sure that the room is not cluttered with items, as that may invalidate the test. Take the time to remove any unnecessary items, such as extra monitors/screens, any books/paper on the tables or floors, extra mobile phones/tablets that are on the table, and ensure that you have a clean table with just your laptop, mouse, and webcam (if it is not already built into your laptop).
Make sure that there would be absolutely zero distractions in that room on exam day as well, as any loud noise, or any person (other than you) walking into that room during the exam will automatically fail the paper. My tip is to lock the room door and paste a note that says "Do Not Disturb! Examination In Progress!".
During The Exam
So you're all set for the exam! Get ready at least 15 minutes before the exam with your cellphone turned off, and navigate to https://www.webassessor.com/home.do?page=CANDIDATE&tabs=1&branding=ATLASSIAN . Wait for the Launch button to appear next to your scheduled examination (usually appears 5 minutes before the exam), click on it, and the Sentinel application should launch.
The Sentinel application will first verify that it is you who is taking the exam, by matching your face with the stored enrolment photo. Once that's done, the exam should launch and you're good to go.
It is important to note that your face must be clearly visible to the webcam throughout the duration of the examination, otherwise the exam will pause and the proctor would be alerted.
During my exam, there were a few times that the Sentinel app fails to recognise me (as I needed to have my glasses on, which of course, is different than my enrolment photo). In order to sort it out, I simply clicked on the "Support Chat", which pauses the examination (so don't worry, as time spent with Support does not count against your exam time allowance!). The support personnel was able to sort my problem out quickly and I was able to complete the exam without further issues with the app.
So there you go, hope this gives you enough idea on what to prepare or expect for your online proctored exams! In summary, make sure you have:
- Working webcam, microphone and internet connection
- Clean room
- Clean table
- No distractions during the examination
Go to the loo before the exam, have a bottle of water next to you, and you're all set!
For more info, do watch this quick video on how to take the exam with Kryterion!: