Certification Examination Advanced Preparation Instructions

All UCNS certification examinations are high-stakes examinations administered online with virtual live proctoring. This process provides accessibility, flexibility, and convenience for taking certification examinations in the comfort of your home or alternative location. 

Candidate Notification and Scheduling

  • Applicants are notified about their application determination by email approximately 16 weeks prior to the examination week.
  • At the time of notification, approved applicants are provided instructions to schedule their examination date and time.
  • During the scheduling period, examinees can schedule their examination for any time during the examination week. For optimal technical support availability, it is recommended that examinees schedule their exam time during the hours of 8 am – 7 pm Eastern Time on examination dates.
  • Allow an additional one hour to the total testing time for the online proctoring connection, verification process, and the allotted break time.
  • Applicants and examinees should keep their email and mailing address information updated in their UCNS profile ensure delivery of notifications and examination results.

Advance Preparation for Virtual Proctoring

Remote proctors use strict security and authentication confirmation techniques via web camera to confirm examinee identification and record each candidate in real time to ensure the testing environment is secure. To facilitate the best possible experience for online exam administration and virtual proctoring, the following requirements should be reviewed and tested at least two weeks advance of exam day to provide sufficient time to problem solve any potential technical issues or needs.

Technical Requirements 
  • Sign in to your UCNS profile and test your username and password to avoid password resets on exam day, which can cause a delay to your start time.  
  • Ensure that your Microsoft operating system on your PC is Windows 10 or higher (Windows 10 S mode is not supported). Using Windows 8.1 operating systems and below will create connections issues which will prevent access to the proctor and examination.  
  • Ensure that you can install programs on the computer you will be using on testing day. It is mandatory that you review your Firewall and anti-virus software settings to enable ProctorU's virtual proctoring software to be successfully downloaded on testing day.
  • Install the Guardian Secure Browser by selecting your computer operating system linked below. Complete the install a minimum of two weeks before your exam date to confirm your operating system's compatibility. Need help identifying your which Apple download to use? Read this support article to determine if you are on an Intel or M1 Mac.
  • Two weeks prior to your examination date, install the ProctorU Extension.
  • Two weeks prior to your examination date, review the Virtual Proctoring Technical and Examination Location Requirements
  • Confirm your internet download speed is acceptable. A hardwired internet connection is preferred. A wireless connection can be unstable and increase the risk of disconnection during the exam.
    • Test your internet speed at https://fast.com
    • If you choose to use wireless, a speed of at least 10 Mbps is recommended for optimal performance during the exam. If your internet speed does not meet the required minimum, you are encouraged to find a better internet connection prior to exam day.
  • Review the ProctorU Equipment Requirements and troubleshooting information.
  • Watch the Candidate Experience video in advance to see how the online testing process works on exam day. 

How to Prepare for a Successful Exam Day

  • Connect ccomputer or laptop directly to a power source to avoid battery running low during the exam.
  • Have a computer web camera that can conduct a proctor-directed room and desktop scan to verify a secure setting (laptop or exterior camera preferred for mobility).
  • Your web camera, speakers, and microphone must be available and functional for the duration of the examination so the proctor can see and communicate with the candidate for the duration of the examination.
  • You are only allowed one (1) monitor during the exam. Any other monitors must be disconnected, and the screens must be facing away from the examinee.
  • Review the Online Proctoring FAQs.

Testing Location and Rules

  • Examinations may be taken at home or an alternative location that meets the technical requirements. Due to security firewalls and software download restrictions at institutions, examinees are cautioned against choosing their work location as a testing site.
  • Arrange to complete the exam in a private location, with a door that must remain closed for the duration of the exam.
  • Your physical workspace must be clear of paperwork. All books, binders, and notes must be removed from the candidate’s reach.
  • Candidate must be alone in the room.
  • No leaving the seat or talking during the examination. 
  • Examinee's browser will be locked down for the duration of the examination except for connection to the online examination. 
  • In the event of suspicious activity, proctors can online chat with a candidate or request a camera re-scan of the room to investigate.
  • Technical issues encountered during the exam may require rescheduling of the examination during the examination week.

Staff Contacts

Todd Bulson, Senior Manager Certification
[email protected]
(612) 928-6067