What to expect: AWS Exams at Pearson Vue Testing Centres

What you need to bring

You don’t need to bring much. However, you will need two forms of ID:

  1. A government issued ID with a photograph. For example a passport
  2. An ID with your signature – this one threw me admittedly. However when I rang Pearson Vue I was told this could be something like a bank card.

Try not to bring much else as most centres will take your belongings off you prior to taking the exam. I’ve been to two test centres where my belongings were put in a locker, and another one where I could keep everything with me but there was someone in the room with us the entire time.

How the day will go

The guidance suggests that you should turn up 15 minutes early in order to get the paperwork out of the way. I would suggest that if the test centre is somewhere you’re not familiar with, try for 20-30 minutes early. That will give you time to find the entrance etc and not leave you feeling flustered when you sit down to take the exam (and yes, I’m talking from experience with that one!)

Usually, test centres will be hosting a variety of exams so it’s unlikely you’ll be sitting with someone doing the same exam. You’ll also be starting at different times. So don’t panic if you can hear more clicking or someone finishing sooner than you etc.

15 minutes or more before the exam: find the reception area of your test centre and let them know who you are. You may be given some paperwork to read through and sign. You will also be asked for your ID at this point, and they will take a photograph of your face.

Sometime around when your exam is booked for: this can vary so don’t expect them to be super strict with your start time. However, the next step is that you will be sat at a computer in a cubicle style space. The person who signed you in, will log in to the computer and set up the test for you. This will be left on a screen which will give you some guidelines about the exam you are taking.

As you are doing your exam: again, this varies between test centres. You can click “start” on your exam and the timer will start. You may find that there is an invigilator sitting in the room with you, or sitting outside watching on a camera. DO expect it to be quiet in the room besides for people clicking their mouse. Sometimes you will be given a piece of paper and pen, or a mini whiteboard, to make notes on.

As you reach the end of your exam, you may have noticed each question has a “flag to review” option. This is so that when you finish the exam questions, you will be shown a list of the question numbers and those questions that you flagged will be highlighted so that you can go back to them. As opposed to clicking “previous” 60+ times and irritating the other people taking exams in the room.

Even if you don’t select any questions to review, you will be shown this list and will be able to select any questions to go back and read through. I personally don’t select any to review, and instead, choose to go back through every question (hiding the radio buttons so I can see if I would re-choose the same answer again).

When you are finished: Again, you will be able to return to this list of questions. If you are happy you will be able to end the review. It will confirm that you are happy to do this again. This will take you to a short questionnaire about your experience doing the exam. Once you have finished that, again it will confirm you are happy to exit the questionnaire.

If you select yes, you will be presented with your final screen. This will tell you if you passed or failed. For AWS exams, you will only be told if you pass or fail. You will receive your score in an email that will be sent in the next five days.

And you are done!

Different test centres will have different processes for how you should end your exam. If there is someone in the room watching then simply indicate to them that you have finished. Other places will explain you should raise your hand so that they can see it on the cameras. I have also been instructed to simply leave the room before and meet the invigilator outside in order to collect my things.

But generally, once you have found out your results you are free to leave.

Good luck with your next exam!

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