IT professionals possess many certifications. Most certifications come from Cisco, CompTIA, and Microsoft. But how many people do you know with a Brainbench certification? offers free tests in a variety of disciplines. Many are IT and IS related. With more than 230 tests available, Brainbench provides the opportunity to earn its own version of those popular certifications, as well as certifications covering ActiveX, C++, ColdFusion, HTML, Java, Linux, Oracle, and Python.

Obtaining a Brainbench account is free. Once a member, you receive an online transcript that is used to display your test results. You can edit that transcript to exclude any tests you do not want made public.

Prep course, anyone?
Although the tests are free, you can purchase Brainbench Online Cert Prep courses. These preparation courses allow you to get comfortable with the Brainbench testing environment for any given subject. They cost $25 per course. Each preparation course includes access to five sample tests, which must be taken within a sixty-day period. You can take these sample tests for free; however, the sample tests are only offered in about 20 of the skills assessment areas.

The tests
Each test consists of a series of what Brainbench calls testing modules. Most modules consist of a series of multiple-choice questions (each of which you have three minutes to answer). You are allowed to take one 15-minute break per test.

In order to pass the test and receive a Standard Level certificate, you must score a 2.75 (on a scale of 1.0 to 5.0). Brainbench will award you a Master Level certificate if you score a 4.0 or higher. Those numbers, along with an in-depth description of what your score really means, are posted to your online transcript.

Once you pass a Brainbench test, a certificate will be mailed to you. You can also deny receipt, should your walls be already heavily decorated.

Of course, Brainbench urges you to include these certifications on your resume. Each certificate you receive has your transcript number located on the bottom of the document. This is the same number you use to login to the Brainbench Web site.

If you decide to list your Brainbench certifications on your resume, include that transcript number. Doing so ensures that the person reviewing your resume can access Brainbench’s site and learn what aspects the certification measured.

Your certification is good for one year. As with other certifications, you must stay current or you lose your accreditation.

Another perk to being part of the Brainbench community is that you can compete with other Brainbench test takers. Brainbench posts their top 10 scores of the week smack on the front page of the Web site for the whole world to see. You can also check who scored the highest in any particular testing environment by region, should you wish to do so.

While getting a Brainbench certification might not be as valuable as earning an MCSE from Microsoft or a CCNA from Cisco, it is a good way to test yourself in a variety of different IT related skill areas. The price is right, too.
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