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Cisco has launched online certification testing for network engineers willing to give up privacy to prevent cheating on the written exams.
The program, which started April 15, arrives as Cisco temporarily halts in-person certification testing because of the COVID-19 crisis. Cisco has suspended in-person tests at least through mid-September.
The online testing software from Pearson VUE commandeers the tester's PC microphone and its video camera. The software uses the latter to authenticate candidates and ensure they are alone. It also tracks eye movements to determine, for example, whether a person is using a smartphone to search for answers. If the software discovers cheating, then the candidate receives a failing grade.
Before taking the test, certification candidates must use a software tool on the Pearson VUE website to check whether their computers and internet connections are sufficiently secure and reliable for online testing.
Other requirements include a quiet and private location to take the test and government-issued identification. Registration for the exam is available on the same site used to register for in-person testing.
Blogger Daniel Dib, a network architect at Conscia Netsafe, said he was pleased to see online testing because it eliminates the need to travel to a testing site. "Having more options is always good," Dib wrote in his blog. Conscia Netsafe is an IT consultancy in Sweden.
On the day of testing, candidates will have to log into Pearson VUE's OnVUE software, which will lead test-takers through several steps. They include capturing photos of themselves and their IDs and workspaces. Also, candidates will have to test their equipment and close all other applications.
At the end of the exam, candidates can get their scores through their Pearson VUE profiles.
Cisco offers three certifications for network engineers. They include the Cisco Certified Network Associate (CCNA), the Cisco Certified Network Professional (CCNP) and the Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE). For developers, Cisco offers certifications through its DevNet program.
In February, Cisco rolled out many new topics covered by its accreditations. The changes reflected a shift toward teaching network automation and software skills. The certifications also included fewer track options than in 2019.