Networking

So you want to take a test?

Before you can earn an IT certification, you first must register for your test. Here's a look at how you can make your date with destiny.


You’ve done all the work. You’ve taken the classes, bought the books, and tried the simulation exams. What’s the one thing you forgot? Scheduling your exam.
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Forgive me if you’ve already taken certification tests and this is old hat for you, but there are many veteran IT pros, as well as industry newcomers, who have just decided to take the certification plunge. In addition, Windows 2000 is prompting many new candidates to demonstrate their expertise with the new platform.

The road to certification starts with a click (or a phone call). Once all your difficult decisions are made (which classes and seminars to purchase, which study guides you’ll use, whether you’ll buy practice tests, and how you’ll pay for all those items), you’re ready to schedule your test.
In all likelihood, you’ll take most of your exams at a testing facility located near your work or employer. A few high-level Cisco exams and Red Hat’s current certification track require that you travel to their facilities.
Try the in-person approach
Microsoft, Novell, and Cisco all utilize third-party testing registration services. Sylvan Prometric, now known as just Prometric, and Virtual University Enterprises (VUE) host Microsoft and Novell exams, while most Cisco tests can be taken at Prometric testing centers.

In many cases, you can register for tests in person at your training center. I registered just this way at the Microsoft Authorized Academic Training Provider where I received instruction, and I know other IT pros (including many TechRepublic contributors) do the same.

Let your fingers do the walking
If you prefer, you can register via phone instead. Here are numbers for some of the more popular exams:
  • Cisco—800-204-EXAM (Prometric)
  • CompTIA A+—800-77-MICRO (Prometric)
  • CompTIA Network+—888-895-6116 (Prometric)
  • Lotus—800-74-LOTUS (Prometric)
  • Microsoft—800-755-EXAM (Prometric)
  • Novell—800-233-EDUC (VUE)
  • Oracle—800-891-3926 (Prometric)
  • Red Hat—800-454-5502 ext.241 (Red Hat)

You’ll find a host of telephone numbers for IT exams in the U.S. and Canada on Prometric’s site.

Let your fingers do the surfing
Many candidates find it easiest to register online. You can register for most vendors’ exams, including those offered by Microsoft and Cisco, at www.2test.com. You can also locate the closest authorized Prometric testing centers and VUE testing facilities.

Go to the source
Almost every vendor provides certification information online. Here’s where you can find additional registration and other information for several of the leading certification programs:

Best of luck!

Erik Eckel MCP+I, MCSE is editor in chief of TechRepublic’s IT communities. He’s previously held positions as a high-speed IP access product manager and a communications representative for nationwide long-distance, data networking, and Internet services providers.

If you'd like to share your opinion, please post a comment below or send the editor an e-mail.

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