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Prometric - awful testing experience! RRS feed

  • Question

  • Dear Microsoft Testing,

    I am only writing on this as there are is no one to call at this time.  I was on the phone with Prometric support and did not get proper resolve.  Let me start:

    1. I took MS 70-410 exam, and as I have not taking an MS exam in a while, I decided to see what it was like due to the fact that there is a second shot.  Saw what I needed to study for and took it again the next day.  Feeling good at this point as I knew a lot of the answers.  Get to question 18 and the exam computer freezes!  They put me on another computer and told me that it will just continue.  I continued on, and failed the test with a 640 something.  They open a ticket as I feel this is wrong.  And even if I did not pass this legit, it completely broke my concentration, and I thought this was not fair, so here is the bit of good news is that I got a voucher to retake it, but I had to wait the 2 weeks before I could.....

    2. Reschedule exam after the 2 week mark for today.  Get to the test center (different one) 15 minutes early to hear the exam proctor visually and verbally agitated on the phone re-scheduling someone for a Microsoft test!  My appointment is at noon.  He says it takes an hour for the testing computer to load the Prometric software!  This is again suspect to me.  I wait until 12:50 and the proctor is happier now that the computer is ready to load my exam!  I walk into the room with him and as soon as he clicks "OK" to a message, the computer starts to reboot!!  Now he says it is at least another hour for the computer to load the exam!  At this point I am frustrated and call Prometric.  

    3. After being on the phone with a representative for about 30 minutes, we said that I can have open registration on another test (mind you that they called the test center and spoke with the proctor to confirm what I am saying) and that all I need to do is logon to my prometric account and schedule.  I did this because I was on my cell phone with the Prometric representative and did not have a calendar in front of me.  Once I get off the phone, I see that I got an email from Prometric testing scheduling me for an exam in San Francisco tomorrow and I am in Los Angeles!

    4. Get home and ry to call back again because at this point I needed to relax a little bit.  I call and the damn call center is now closed.  So I decided to go to my Prometric account and see what shows.  There is no exam scheduled in San Francisco and when I try to do what the representative told me to do "open registration" I start to schedule a test at a different facility.  Once I find a time I can do this I get the message that I can not schedule a test the same day that I took one!

    What a joke Prometric!  And Microsoft for allowing a testing service to have bad equipment.  Let's also break this down:

    1. Both test centers I went to used computers running Windows XP, which has ended mainstream support in 2009.

    2. Both test centers told me that they do not like giving Prometric exams because they tend to be unreliable. (As can be seen by both my experiences)

    3. Customer service can not do what they said they would do.

    4. Exam printouts don't have the bar graphs that are supposed to show in this exam (Even though it has the labels for it printed).  Others showed it.  And exam number where printer in different spots.  So much for having constancy.

    And just so others that read this don't just think I am upset and can't pass an exam, I passed 70-411, 70-412, 70-413 and 70-414!  I am 70-410 away from an MCSE 2012 Infrastructure.

    For Microsoft and Prometric, my prometric ticket numbers are as follow - 9999723 for the computer freezing at question 18 and 9999722 for the testing center computer not working.  And even those numbers seem suspect to me.  How can the ticket be 1 number lower for a new issue?  PATHETIC.  I expected a little more from both of you.

    Sincerely,

    A pissed off candidate that is almost what Microsoft considers a Solutions Expert.

    PS - I have a solution for you.  Get a testing company that can actually give tests.  Sad that a technology company can't get a testing provider that has working computers.

    Saturday, October 19, 2013 9:47 PM

Answers

  • First off, this is the wrong place to try to get a message to the Microsoft certification team. This is a community driven Q&A forum for test takers to ask advice from other test takers.

    Windows XP SP3 end of life support for Windows XP SP3 is in 2014: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx

    As much as you are disappointed by Prometric, understand that Prometric is one of the largest test providers in the world. Microsoft exams are barely a drop in bucket of the many types of exams they offer.

    I fully agree with you that you had a horrible testing experience. You need to be on the phone with Prometric to reschedule your exam. Try to find a testing center in your area that is preferred by other test takers you know. Shop around! Pick a testing center that has larger screens, comfortable chairs, and decent support staff. Find a site with faster computers. The are crappy locations and there are good testing centers out there.

    So what - you failed an exam due to a crappy testing environment and the idiots rescheduled you at the wrong location. Reschedule somewhere else and try again. The sooner you pass 70-410, the sooner you can put this whole ugly ordeal behind you. Then you can celebrate your hard-earned title.

    BTW - you should pick out the Prometric testing center you want to take the test at on the Prometric site before calling them. When you call Prometric, be sure to giving them the test site's location code (example Site Code: CA001) so there is no confusion where you will take the exam.

    Always schedule the exam online or call Prometric directly. Never schedule the exam at the test center.


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Monday, October 21, 2013 6:31 AM
    Answerer

All replies

  • First off, this is the wrong place to try to get a message to the Microsoft certification team. This is a community driven Q&A forum for test takers to ask advice from other test takers.

    Windows XP SP3 end of life support for Windows XP SP3 is in 2014: http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/endofsupport.aspx

    As much as you are disappointed by Prometric, understand that Prometric is one of the largest test providers in the world. Microsoft exams are barely a drop in bucket of the many types of exams they offer.

    I fully agree with you that you had a horrible testing experience. You need to be on the phone with Prometric to reschedule your exam. Try to find a testing center in your area that is preferred by other test takers you know. Shop around! Pick a testing center that has larger screens, comfortable chairs, and decent support staff. Find a site with faster computers. The are crappy locations and there are good testing centers out there.

    So what - you failed an exam due to a crappy testing environment and the idiots rescheduled you at the wrong location. Reschedule somewhere else and try again. The sooner you pass 70-410, the sooner you can put this whole ugly ordeal behind you. Then you can celebrate your hard-earned title.

    BTW - you should pick out the Prometric testing center you want to take the test at on the Prometric site before calling them. When you call Prometric, be sure to giving them the test site's location code (example Site Code: CA001) so there is no confusion where you will take the exam.

    Always schedule the exam online or call Prometric directly. Never schedule the exam at the test center.


    Best wishes, Davin Mickelson

    Monday, October 21, 2013 6:31 AM
    Answerer
  • Hi Davin,

    Agreed, there is support on Windows XP until 2014.  I said mainstream, not extended support:

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/products/lifecycle

    Also, yes, I understand that I have to do all the registration on-line, which I did, but the testing center said I needed to call Prometric if I wanted to leave, because all he can't put any notes in the test stating that the computer was bad.  He said it will show up as a no-show.

    Yes, I will go to a different center, and this is the end of my rant, but I should be able to expect the same level of equipment and support no matter where I do.  It is a franchise just like an Applebee's or Marriott.  

    I did not schedule at the test center.  I was on the phone with Prometric while I was waiting at the test center.

    Thank you for your concern.  And I am sure I will get past this, but my statement really is that MS should have a testing provider that has better software as this was a recurring issue for me at 2 centers.

    Andreas

    Monday, October 21, 2013 4:41 PM
  • Davin;

    The problem is not the testing centers, the problem is Prometric.  Their software does not run on anything new.  They require WinXP or Win7 (32 bit only) and Server 2008 RTM (32 bit also) today, in 2014.  I have it running in three centers on brand new equipment with 10 times the processor and memory requirements and it still takes 55 seconds just to log into a machine.  It takes 30 minutes to register and setup a test, and more than 505 of the clients coming in to take a test do not start on time because the software is so slow.

    It does not matter that Prometric has a gazillion tests they can run, what matters is they run so poorly.  And they are the only choice to go to in order to take a Microsoft exam. 

    There should be some serious changes made, new software or a new testing provider

    Friday, March 28, 2014 10:22 PM