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Test, Test, Test!

Graham Hunter, VP at CompTIA, has written a guest blog for us here at Firebrand. Exploring the times we're in, Graham explains how CompTIA have adapted their resources so you can continue to get certified.

Working from home will play a big role in the 'new normal' after COVID-19, and remote learning arrangements require change from certifying bodies, too. In this post, Graham Hunter, Vice President of Skills Certification, EMEA of CompTIA, recounts how CompTIA has recognised this need, and gives tips on how to prepare for a remote exam.

The ‘new normal’

We’re doing a lot of things from home at the moment as we live and wait for the ‘new normal’.

Covid-19 has cocooned most of us away in our homes and out of the storm until the ‘R’ number becomes something that is manageable for our healthcare services.

People are using this enforced period of seclusion to do all sorts of things they’ve had on their to-do list but have never had the time to start. Colleagues of mine are doing everything from embroidery to gardening and erecting greenhouses, from painting to bee keeping and playing the piano.

Even cooking and baking became so popular that everyone started panic-buying enough flour to eat cake for the rest of eternity!

I’ve personally just kept working from home with CompTIA and homeschooling the kids - for which I’ve recently learnt every teacher and parent in the same position deserves a medal!

CompTIA and Covid-19

As we went into lockdown, it became apparent that the domino effect around the world was also shutting down the ability for learners to take tests in Pearson Vue bricks and mortar test sites.

We had apprentices, contractors, consultants, government workers. Everyone was either waiting to finish their programme, get certified and achieve the recognition they deserved, or wanting to use the time to study and get more qualified for their next job role.

There was a mountain of demand at CompTIA to take our certification exams; we had to come up with a solution fast.

Through their resourcefulness and creativity, the staff at CompTIA were able to get us onto the OnVue platform within a month. A fantastic accomplishment.

CompTIA’s tips on studying and certifying online

If you haven’t taken the leap yet, then I encourage you to do so.

Taking the test online through the Pearson OnVue system is incredibly similar to that of the previous exam centre experience.

We’ve had holders of multiple CompTIA Certifications take an exam within the first few weeks of the system going live and their feedback was very encouraging.

Not only did they enjoy the fact that they didn’t have to go through the trouble of finding a local test site, but those that are familiar with CompTIA told us that any initial anxiety around test security and privacy issues were laid to rest by the comprehensive process and procedures, as well as the fact that there is an online proctor while you take your exam.

We encourage you to review the test policies and procedures available on our website, and make sure you’re exam-ready before booking your test.

You can run a systems check using the same computer and connection to make sure it is robust enough and there are no surprises on the day - it only takes 5-10 minutes to complete.

Feedback from candidates also suggests getting your workspace ready for the time needed to sit the exam, including refreshments.

Get CompTIA certified

Whether it’s your first CompTIA exam or your thirteenth, we hope the experience is a good one. With an online proctor there to monitor security, you’ll have the confidence that the exam is taken with integrity.

If it is your first time taking an exam with us, please make sure to register a user account with Pearson first, check out our FAQs page or contact us directly if you have any enquiries.

I hope this article has given you the oomph you need to take that leap of faith and gain one of over 2.5 million certifications issued by CompTIA globally!

Graham joined CompTIA in 2012 as UK Director and has been in role as Vice President of Skills Certification, EMEA since 2014. His role at CompTIA is focused on helping partners, governments and corporates build a workforce capable of exploiting technical innovation, protecting valuable information whilst addressing the scarcity of tech talent development within governments and organisations. When at home in Northumberland, Graham enjoys spending time with his wife, daughter and newly acquired puppy when time allows; he also enjoys sailing and golfing.