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Just a few questions about Pearson Vue / Oracle

 
Greenhorn
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Hello , after having seen this movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MlQr9Meee0I i have some questions concerning java exams there.
1. Is it true i can take a break during OCA exam and eat something or go to the toilet?
2. Is it true they will take my photo and scan my palm , and if so what happens next ? Who will store this data and how it may be used ? Will my photo be displayed in online database along my exam certificate for example when validating by potential employer ? What happens with camera recordings of me taking an exam ? Can it theoretically be used in a commercial unbeknowst to me ? Do i get any contract / papers to sign where it says what i agree to concerning processing my personal data and image ?
 
Peter Potter
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3.Does my photograph have an influence on my exam result ? is it watched by someone inside Oracle and if they dont like my face can they fail me even if i have enough points to pass ? Does someone control this ?

I really need to know if Oracle discriminates against people with hyperreactive bladder ( like me ) who need to take a piss every 60-90 min especially when they are under stress.
 
Ranch Hand
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Hello Peter, I've done 3 Java exams at Pearson Vue centres (in a European counrty), and while I don't think I went out of the room, I was told I would be able to by pressing a button or walking out and letting them know. I don't think the clock would be stopped, though (not sure), so one could lose a few minutes. As for the photo, (and I always detest mine!), I assume they are just taken to help verify identity, especially if you come back for more exams in the future. As far as I know, display of the certification to third parties, including (prospective) employers, does not include your grade or photo - I can access a page with my own full results and photo with a password, but don't think that's accessible to any one else (outside Oracle /Pearson Vue). I assume the marking is automated, as it's just multiple choice; of course, I can't rule out that an Oracle/PV employee could decide to mess with such data, but I assume that would be illicit, as would release of your data or image (and if I found my image in a commercial I would sue them to high hell!). You will be signing a form, so can view the conditions there, though to be honest I probably did no more than scan mine. They didn't do a palm scan at the centre I went to.
 
author & internet detective
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Peter,
Good questions.

1) Yes, you can go to the bathroom if you take the exam at a testing center. Your time will not pause so go quickly . But it is allowed. I recommend telling the testing center you expect to need the bathroom when you sign in. That way they will be more alert for the fact that you are going to raise your hand during the exam. And also, so that they already know what you want when you raise your hand for a bathroom trip. The time spent going is a fact of life. But it's silly to lose *more* exam time with them asking what you want.

Note that there is an option to take an online proctored examfrom your home or office. Do not choose this option as it does not permit a bathroom break.

2) Yes, they take a picture to ensure it is you. The proctor will also compare your photo id to your face to make sure it is you. I've never had my palm scanned but this PDF says not all centers have it. They are using both to verify your identity across multiple exams.

3) The exam proctor is watching you take the exam on video (well periodically) to make sure you don't cheat. For example, you can't take a paper with information out of your pants during the exam.

For all of your questions, exam scoring is 100% automated. The exam proctor does not have any influence on your score. Even if you annoy the proctor, he/she can't take off points.  
 
Jeanne Boyarsky
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I also want to mention there are multiple parties here:
  • Oracle creates the exam and gives it to PearsonVUE for administration. Oracle supplies the questions and correct answers.
  • PearsonVUE contracts with many testing centers
  • The testing center employs the proctor


  • This setup would make discrimination *really* hard. Because the only one who sees you is the proctor. Who doesn't know the questions/answers/score.

    And once Oracle provides the questions/answers to PearsonVUE, everything is automated. So they can't change your score because they don't like how you look or you have to pee a lot.
     
    Elaine Byrne
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    That's interesting about the online option, Jeanne - though, as you describe in your blog post, it's very restrictive.

    Jeanne Boyarsky wrote:... Do not choose this option as it does not permit a bathroom break. ...


    Unless you take the exam on a toilet    

     
    Rancher
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    I recently took the OCA exam in a test centre. The supervisor told me upfront that it is allowed to go to the bathroom but that the time would not be stopped in that case.
     
    Jeanne Boyarsky
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    Elaine Byrne wrote:That's interesting about the online option, Jeanne - though, as you describe in your blog post, it's very restrictive.


    Yeah. I live in a big city. I can walk to a testing center and take public transport a short distance to a good number more. So for me, these restrictions aren't worth accepting. But if someone lives in a rural area and it takes 4 hours just to get to the testing center,  I can see it being a good choice!

    Elaine Byrne wrote:
    Unless you take the exam on a toilet    


    Ha! The rules don't actually prevent that.
     
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