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Tips for the COA exam: What you need to know before, during and after your exam.

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Test Compatibility Before You Begin and Learn the Terminal

Ensure your computer is setup to take the exam with the Compatibility Check Tool:

Make sure you are allowing third party cookies, even if only for the duration of the exam. Your exam console will not work if cookies are not enabled.

Candidates are encouraged to practice using the exam terminal prior to their test in order to be well prepared. Visit Liftoff Software to install the software used to deliver the terminal in your browser so you can practice: See below for specific commands allowed and not allowed in the exam terminal.

What You Need For Your Exam

Make sure your ID is ready for the exam. You can use any current, non-expired government ID that has your photo and full name. If you are taking the student exam, have your valid student ID ready as well.

Per proctor rules, you are not allowed scratch paper, food or beverages during the exam. If you need food or beverage accommodations for medical purposes, please contact [email protected] a minimum of 2 weeks before the date of your exam.

How to Start Your Exam

If possible, we recommend that you use a wired internet connection and turn off any other services that might consume significant bandwidth during the course of your exam.

Open a Chrome or Chromium browser and go to Login with your OpenStackID when prompted.

Go to My Exams and click on the Exam listed under Pending Exams. You should see a green colored “Launch Exam” button. If you don’t see the button please contact the proctoring company:

Once the proctor checks and confirms your ID they will release the exam to you and start the timer. The graphic below shows what the exam experience will look like.

System Navigation: Changing tasks and launch documentation

Objectives can only be navigated linearly, one objective at a time, using the left and right arrows at bottom. There are no restrictions on moving forward and back, however, you may find moving more than 2-3 questions back to use too much of your allotted test time. Suggested practice is to answer each question as best you can, rather than relying on revisiting questions.

If you think you might forget which objective you skipped or want to revisit, use a text file in the command-line terminal to make notes.

If the project you are looking for is not listed in the Horizon drop down menus then search for it (don’t assume it doesn’t exist).

During the exam you will be switching between different users, with different permissions. You will have the permissions of the user you are currently logged in as.

You may launch to access technical documentation by selecting the Help icon under your user profile in the top right of the Horizon dashboard.

Terminal Commands During Your Exam

Since your terminal is running within your browser, there are several critical differences for commands allowed during the exam.

Ctrl+C & and Ctrl+V are NOT supported in your exam terminal, nor is copy and pasting large amounts of text.

In Chrome (regardless of operating system), Ctrl+W is a keyboard shortcut that will close the current tab. Do not use Ctrl+W during your exam. Instead use Ctrl+Alt+W.

To copy and paste limited amounts of text (1-2 lines) please use:

  • Linux: Select text for copy and middle button for paste (or both left and right simultaneously if you have no middle button).
  • Mac: ⌘+C to copy and ⌘+V to paste.
  • Windows: Ctrl+Insert to copy and Shift+Insert to paste.

Do not stop or tamper with the Gate One process; this is what delivers the terminal via your browser and stopping or tampering with Gate One will end your exam session. To get familiar with Gate One, see the instructions for pre-exam practice in Tip #1.

The exam terminal has a single console but terminal multiplexers such as GNU Screen and tmux can be used to create virtual consoles if desired.

Troubleshooting During Your Exam

If the CLI or Horizon become unresponsive during your exam, toggle ‘Refresh exam window’ in the ‘Support’ panel. If that doesn’t work try ‘Reset console’. Remember, your settings must allow cookies during the exam to be successful.

After the Exam

When you are done, click the ‘End exam’ button in the support console. Wait for the proctor to complete the exam completion process. Your pass/fail status and score will be emailed to you in 3 business days, using the email address you registered with.