NI Certification: Online Exams

Publish Date: Apr 27, 2017 | 1 Ratings | 5.00 out of 5 | Print

Overview

From the convenience of your home or office, you can now take the CLD or CLA exam in a secure online environment. Online exams provide the freedom to schedule your exam for the date, time zone, and start time of your choice, but some aspects of the online environment may affect your decision. Review this document carefully to properly set your expectations and determine if an online exam is the right format for you.

Table of Contents

  1. What Are Online Exams?
  2. The Exam Environment
  3. The Exam Rules
  4. Is It Right for You?
  5. Verifying Your Workspace and Computer Compatibility
  6. Registering For Your Exam In The USA
  7. Registering For Your Exam Outside The USA
  8. Preparing For The Exam
  9. Taking The Exam

1. What Are Online Exams?

The online exam format allows you to take your Certified LabVIEW Developer (CLD) or Certified LabVIEW Architect (CLA) exam from the convenience of your home or office in a secure online environment. The exam content is the same as an exam proctored in-person at your office or an NI facility by an NI representative; however, a trained proctor monitors your progress remotely through the online environment to ensure the integrity of the exam. Online exams provide the freedom to schedule your exam for the date, time zone, and start time of your choice instead of coordinating your schedule with the availability of a local NI proctor.

How it works:

  • You schedule a time for your exam online.
  • You receive, at the time of your exam, access to a secure virtual machine prepared for you with the necessary software and exam instructions.
  • You take the exam in this secure environment while a trained proctor monitors your screen and your webcam remotely, ensuring that the exam integrity is maintained.
  • Your completed code is sent to NI for grading at the end of the exam.
  • You get a valid CLD or CLA credential if you pass the exam.

 

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2. The Exam Environment

Ni has partnered with an online exam provider, PSI, and your exam is delivered through their online system. When you sign into the system, you are essentially remoting into a virtual machine.

Note that you can only use one monitor during the online exam. Although you can close and reposition windows and set the browser to full-screen, you should use the largest monitor available to you to maximize your working space.

The virtual machine is pre-installed with LabVIEW, plus other standard programs which install with Windows (MS Paint, Notepad, and so on).  The exam documentation PDF and LabVIEW VIs for the exam are pre-installed in an Exam folder on the desktop.

The virtual machine does not have access to the Internet.

 

 

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3. The Exam Rules

The same rules for taking the exam at a testing center apply in the online environment. If you review the preparation guides and sample exams, you can find the guidelines and rules there (ni.com/cld-prep or ni.com/cla-prep). Here are some specific rules to follow:

  • Do not use externally developed VIs or resources—this includes any notes, books, and papers. Before starting the exam, the proctor may require you clear your desk of all items. This includes blank paper to ensure that no notes on the exam are taken out of the exam environment.
    • If you wish to take notes during the exam, you may use the applications that are installed in the exam environment. For example, Notepad and MS Paint are readily available for basic note-taking. You may want to practice this when you are attempting the sample exams.
  • Do be in a quiet, private space. If other people are present, the proctor will not start the exam.
    • If someone walks into your room during the exam, the proctor will pause the exam.
  • Do have a webcam to enable remote proctoring
  • Do not use your cell phone or other devices (this includes headphones) during the exam.
  • Do not open any other programs or browser tabs outside of the testing virtual machine. If you do so, the proctor will pause the exam.
  • Do not read the exam prompt aloud or talk during the exam.
  • Do not repeatedly look off the screen at another location, because it could be an indication that you are reviewing notes or other resources.

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4. Is It Right for You?

Online exams present aspects that may affect your decision. Compared to taking an exam at an NI office with an in-person proctor, online exams:

  • Are more flexible regarding scheduling. You don’t need to wait for an NI representative to become available, and you can schedule your exam for nearly any time.
  • Are easy to reschedule. So long as it’s done with more than 24 hours left before your exam time.
  • Do not require you to travel.
  • Can be scheduled as little as 24 hours before you want to take the exam. Scheduling an exam at an NI office typically needs to be done days in advance to allow for schedule coordination.
  • Make use of your webcam, so the proctor can see you and your surroundings.
  • Prohibit taking notes on paper, because this presents a security risk for the exam materials. You can, however, take notes in the online environment.
  • Require you use only one monitor on your computer. If you have a small monitor, this can make the exam difficult as you balance working with LabVIEW and reviewing the exam requirements document.
  • Work best when you have a fast Internet connection. If you have a slow Internet connection, you may experience some lag in your interactions with the online exam environment.

Overall, it is your decision which format you use. Review this document carefully to properly set your expectations before deciding whether to schedule an online exam.

 

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5. Verifying Your Workspace and Computer Compatibility

The online exam makes use of your computer, Internet connection, and webcam. It is important that you verify your workspace meets the requirements of the system.

  1. Be sure that you are using the Google Chrome web browser. If you need to install it, you can do so at google.com/chrome/browser/desktop/index.html
  2. Go to examslocal.com
  3. Dlick Compatibility Tool near the top of the page.
  4. Select the sponsor and exam, under Option 3, to test your computer’s compatibility:
    • Sponsor = National Instruments
    • Exam = either Certified LabVIEW Architect or Certified LabVIEW Developer
  5. Click Go
  6. The system now tests your computer for compatibility with the system.
  7. You will likely need to install the Innovative Exams Google Chrome Extension. To do so, click the Install Extension button.

After your computer is set up, you need to ensure that the rest of your workspace meets the requirements:

    • Room must be quiet, private and well lit. Public spaces such as coffee shops, stores, etc. are not allowed.
    • Desk must be clear of all notes and electronics.
    • Examinee should reside in the center of the camera frame
    • No bright lights or windows behind the examinee

If your office or desk at work does not meet those requirements, you are welcome to take the exam at home or any other location you choose, so long as it meets the requirements.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact certification@ni.com.

 

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6. Registering For Your Exam In The USA

If you live in the USA, please follow these steps. We have partnered with an online exam provider, PSI, and your exam will be delivered through their online system.

  1. Go to www.examslocal.com
  2. Click create an account.
    Important:  For your account, you must use the email address that is currently on file with NI for your active NI certification. If you do not know which email address we have on file, or if you wish to change the email address we have on file, please email certification@ni.com .
  3. Finish filling out your information and creating your account.
  4. Click Schedule an Exam at the top of the screen.
    You should now see a section called Eligible Exams, and either the CLD or CLA exam should be listed in that section.
    • If you do not see any eligible exams, it could be due to a mismatch between your email addresses (see step 3). Please email certification@ni.com to find out what email address is on file with NI. You will either need to change the email address for your account on examslocal.com, or you will need to update your email address with NI Certification.
  1. Click Schedule Exam next to the CLD or CLA exam.
  2. Select a date and time zone that work for you then click Next.

  3. Select a time at which you would like to begin your exam.
  4. Enter your credit card information on the Payment Method screen to pay for the exam.
  5. Review  the Payment Information screen to be sure it is correct. Then click Proceed with Payment.
  6. Check your exam info on the confirmation screen. You will also receive a confirmation email with the same information..
  7. Click My Exams at the top of the screen.
  8. You should now see the information about your exam, including a countdown to the start time. If you need to cancel or reschedule the exam, you can do so here.

 

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7. Registering For Your Exam Outside The USA

Please follow these steps if you live outside the USA. NI has partnered with an online exam provider, PSI, and your exam will be delivered through their online system.

  1. Contact your NI representative or local NI office to request an online exam.
    They will bill you for the exam, then forward your information to our Certification team (certification@ni.com).certification@ni.com).
    The Certification team will ensure that you are eligible for the exam and they will issue you an eCredit to take the exam.
  2. Go to www.examslocal.com
  3. Click create an account.
    Important:  For your account, you must use the email address that is currently on file with NI for your active NI certification. If you do not know which email address we have on file, or if you wish to change the email address we have on file, please email certification@ni.com .
  4. Finish filling out your information and creating your account.
  5. Click Schedule an Exam at the top of the screen.
    You should now see a section called Eligible Exams, and either the CLD or CLA exam should be listed in that section.
    • If you do not see any eligible exams, it could be due to a mismatch between your email addresses (see step 3). Please email certification@ni.com to find out what email address is on file with NI. You will either need to change the email address for your account on examslocal.com, or you will need to update your email address with NI Certification.
  1. Click Schedule Exam next to the CLD or CLA exam.
  2. Select a date and time zone that work for you then click Next.

  3. Select a time at which you would like to begin your exam.
    Note:  You should have an eCredit available so that you do not have to pay for the exam. At the top of the screen, you should see this message:

    If you do not have an eCredit available, please contact certification@ni.com.
  4. Click Review Order on the Payment Method screen to take the exam with your available eCredit.

  5. Review the Payment Information screen to be sure everything is correct. Then click Proceed with Payment.
  6. Check your exam info on the confirmation screen. You will also receive a confirmation email with the same information.
  7. Click My Exams at the top of the screen.
  8. You should now see the information about your exam, including a countdown to the start time. If you need to cancel or reschedule the exam, you can do so here.

 

 

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8. Preparing For The Exam

You can find our preparation materials at the following links:

  • CLD:  ni.com/cld-prep
  • CLA:  ni.com/cla-prep

Remember that you cannot take notes using pen and paper during the exam. Therefore, when you take a sample exam, practice taking your notes on your computer in Notepad, MS Paint, and so on. Additionally, limit your practice to a single monitor to more accurately simulate the online exam environment.

 

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9. Taking The Exam

At the time of your exam, you can log into the system online.

 

Start Your Exam on Time: To start your exam, login at https://www.examslocal.com, click My Exams and follow the instructions after selecting the exam you want to start. You may start your exam up to 15 minutes before your scheduled start time. You must start your exam no later than 15 minutes after your scheduled start time. If you do not start your exam within 15 minutes of your scheduled start time, the system automatically marks you as a No-Show and you cannot take your exam.

Online exams follow some standard rules to ensure exam integrity. During online exams, the proctor monitors your system remotely rather than being in the room with you. Therefore, some specific steps are required in the online system. Before you begin your exam, the proctor:

  1. Greets you through a Live Chat feature when you sign in to the online system.
  2. Approves your exam room and verifies your identity before granting you access to the exam environment. To do this, the proctor helps you set up everything in the online system.
    • First, you need to share your desktop so that the proctor can monitor your activity.
    • Second, you need to share your webcam. This allows the proctor to verify your identity and monitor your environment to be sure all the exam rules are being followed.
  3. Asks you to pan your webcam around your desk to ensure you do not have any notes or other prohibited materials. Your desk should be cleared of all items.
  4. Asks you to hold up your ID to the camera to verify your identity.
  5. Verifies that no other programs are open on your computer—you should have only the Google Chrome browser open at this point.
    • You may need to open your Task Manager to verify that no other applications are running.
  6. Gives you instructions about the various controls in the environment such as “request break.”
  7. Tells you when you can start your exam.
  8. Warns you when you have 10 minutes and 5 minutes remaining in the time limit. When you are finished, simply click End Exam.

 

After you have finished, your exam files are sent to NI for grading. All further communications about your exam will be from certification@ni.com.

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