Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Top issues

We have created documentation that covers obtaining version 8.6 and understanding the way the new Update Services features work.

This issue can be caused by a number of things, but the biggest reasons for the failure stem from packet filtering, causing a timeout. This can be from any of the following:

  • An antivirus/firewall program or appliance that deletes the file due to being detected as a false positive. This will manifest itself in either the AV program presenting a dialog box about the file in question or if the AV is set to a silent removal, the file will be missing from the SoftwareUpdate folder and the AV log will report a quarantine status. Updates will report a successful download, but fail during the actual installation of the updates.
  • The network packet filtering system causes a long enough of a delay to prevent a file from downloading. This will manifest itself when the updates timeout during download. The CertiportTestCenterLog.txt file found in the Data folder of Console will report multiple attempts at trying to download a specific file. If Console fails to download an update, the whole update process will stop.
  • A downloaded Console file becomes corrupted during the update process.

Solutions:

  • If the AV/Firewall is flagging Certiport Console files, the installation folder of Console, usually in the C:\Certiport folder, needs to be added as an exemption.

  • The Certiport website is being aggressively filtered. Please add *.certiport.com to your exception list. We are also working on our end to improve this as well.
  • Delete the files in the Console\SoftwareUpdate folder and attempt to re-download.

Some Antivirus programs, like Windows Defender and Symantec AV, detect some of our self-extracting zip packages as a potential virus. We do check our files, and we can assure you that the files in question are not viral. The issue is with self-extraction code, which is causing the false positive. We are currently working on a different method to package our files, but in the meantime, we recommend that you add C:\Certiport to your AV/Firewall exceptions list.

If you have a firewall/AV appliance, you will need to make an exception for *.certiport.com. Our exam service could also be flagged as malicious due to its functions with our exams. That service can be found at ‘C:\Program Files (x86)\Certiport\Certiport Exam Service\CPExamSvc.exe’ for 64bit systems and ‘C:\Program Files\Certiport\Certiport Exam Service\CPExamSvc.exe’ for 32bit systems. If this service is blocked, Non-MOS and ACU/ACP exams will fail to start.

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Technical issues

This is a generic error with multiple causes. Clicking yes will provide you with details specific to the error, however there are many variations. The error will persist each time Console 8 is launched until fixed. This error is most commonly seen immediately after running updates when Console 8 closes and reloads.

First you will see the error “An unhandled exception has occurred. Would you like more information?”. If you click “No”, you will get a prompt asking if you want to relaunch Console 8, if you click “No” again it will close. If you click “Yes”, it will provide you with the specific details. See below for solutions.

  • Error due to lack of Admin Rights and/or Technical Requirements: This error is primarily caused by either not having full Windows Admin Rights on the exam workstation, having group (network) policy restrictions in place, or non-compliance with our Technical Requirements (including prerequisites/third-party add-ons).
  • Error after Updating: When this error occurs after performing updates, you can fix this by repairing Console 8. This is done by running the Console 8 setup executable over the current installation without performing any uninstall* (with full Admin Rights). This is preferable because you are able to keep all of the product updates and do not need to re-download any exam content. If for some reason this does not address the issue a clean uninstall and reinstall will be necessary.

    Note: This is not a total repair and when running the executable you will not see any repair message, just the normal installation screens. However, this will restore critical Console 8 system files. Ensure that you do not have any instance of Console 8 running when running the setup file as a repair. After setup completes you will need to log in as an Organization Admin to set the test center ID again, and you will see the one required update in red just like a clean install. Run the required update and reconfigure any Console settings needed such as Admin Credentials, Proxy Server, and LAN settings.

  • Error due to Antivirus: In some scenarios we have also seen Antivirus software as the cause of this error. If you suspect the Antivirus then check the quarantine area/logs for conflicts and then either temporarily disable the software during install and use, or set an exception for Console 8 by allowing all executables in the "Certiport" folder to run via the Antivirus settings.

This error can appear after changes have been made to the Admin Credential settings in Console 8. Normally you would need to close and re-launch Console 8 before these settings will take effect. If for any reason Console 8 is unable to authenticate the new settings then you will receive this error. To resolve please check any settings that may have recently changed:

  • Admin Credentials Setting: Ensure the credentials provided are correct. The admin credentials used here are served up so that Console 8 can run with full admin rights with no group policy restrictions, but still allowing the user that initially logged in to Windows to be a limited account. These are Windows Admin credentials and not the Certiport Org Admin or other credentials. The Domain section is generally not required and should be left blank unless you are very familiar with your network setup.

Once these settings have been changed you will need to completely close Console 8 and then re-launch it to ensure that you are no longer receiving the error.

This error is generally seen after the Proctor enters his/her credentials and the candidate attempts to launch the exam. This may occur before or after the exam tutorial, which shows up immediately after launch but prior to the exam timer starting. Review the following solutions when encountering this error:

  • Microsoft Office Installation Issues (MOS Exams only):
    • Microsoft Office has not been Activated or opened for the first time: After the Microsoft Office software is installed, there could still be first-time/one-time prompts that appear after launching each title (e.g. prompts for registration, updates, cloud file syncs, add-ons, etc.). If Console 8 is launching the software for the first time, it is not designed to deal with these prompts and will hang up or produce an error. To address this, launch each Office program individually after a fresh install (and prior to testing for the first time or after a long break in testing) to ensure that the software opens to the default project screen.

      Note: Some of these prompts are per Windows User profile. If you use multiple profiles ensure that you have opened and addressed any applicable prompts before testing.

    • Microsoft Office has not been set up to run locally from the hard drive:Ensure that the Office suite is installed on the same local/native drive/partition as Console 8 in the default path.
    • Two Office versions are present: You can only have one Office version on an exam delivery computer at one time. Uninstall any old versions and ensure the only version matches same version year of the MOS exams you wish to administer. After old versions have been uninstalled, perform a repair to restore any applicable paths, registry entries, or shared files.
    • Office software may be corrupted: It's possible that Office itself is in need of repair. Initiate a repair from the Windows Control Panel in the "Programs & Features" item. If a repair does not fix the issue, you may need to do a clean uninstall and reinstall.
    • Add-Ins: Certain Add-Ins have been known to cause issues with MOS testing. Launch the affected Office program, enter the options, go to "Add-Ins" then click the "Go" button next to "COM Add-Ins" and disable anything that is check-marked.
    • When testing with Outlook: Outlook requires additional setup. Refer to the Quick Reference Guide prior to testing with Outlook.
    • When testing with Access: Due to nature of Access, if it should crash during testing it could be trying to relaunch in safe mode and you will not be aware this is happening via the Console 8 software alone. To ensure that you are launching in normal mode, exit Console 8, restart the computer and then launch Access directly to confirm it is launching normally.
    • Office 2010 in 64-bit mode: 64-bit versions of Office are supported in all version years except Office 2010. If you have installed 2010 64-bit you will need to completely uninstall and reinstall the 32-bit version.
  • Corrupt install of Console 8: If the Console 8 software is suspect it could be stemming from a previous version of Console and/or iQsystem that were not properly uninstalled, or became corrupted over time by some other means. To address this issue please perform a clean install by removing all Console and iQsystem (if present) software via the Control Panel, then delete the local "Certiport" folder and all its contents - which is located by default in the root of your primary HDD (i.e. C:\Certiport\*.*). Then proceed to install Console 8; please refer to the Console 8 Install & Setup Guide for more information.

    Note: This option will delete any exams that are "in-progress" on the affected computer. The exam session itself will stay open for 7 days, but progress within the exam will be lost and this process will remove all exam content updates which will take significant time to download again depending on how many programs your CATC is administering with respect to your available bandwidth.

  • Administrative Rights: Having a limited Windows User account or Group Policies in effect can inhibit or prevent exam delivery. Refer to the FAQ on Administrative Rights for more information.

When trying to perform system and/or exam content updates via the Console 8 Update Services you may experience errors. Please consider the following:

  • Windows Admin Rights: Admin rights are needed for all phases of exam delivery: acquisition, install, setup, updates, and testing. Refer to the Admin Rights FAQ for more information.
  • Certiport Whitelist: Ensure that the entire list of our required IP Addresses and Ports are allowed through any applicable firewall or filter. The list of required items can be found under the Console 8 section in our Technical Requirements.
  • Corrupt install of Console 8: If the Console 8 software is suspect it could be stemming from a previous version of Console and/or iQsystem that were not properly uninstalled, or became corrupted over time by some other means. To address this issue please perform a clean install by removing all Console and iQsystem (if present) software via the Control Panel, then delete the local "Certiport" folder and all its contents - which is located by default in the root of your primary HDD (i.e. C:\Certiport\*.*). Then proceed to install Console 8. Refer to the Console 8 Install & Setup Guide for more information.

    Note: This option will delete any exams that are "in-progress" on the affected computer. The exam session itself will stay open for 7 days, but any Test Candidate would need to begin again on the same computer after the issue is resolved as the progress is stored locally, or move to another computer if time is a factor. Also note that this process will remove all exam content updates which will take significant time to download again depending on how many programs your CATC is administering with respect to your available bandwidth.

  • Antivirus Software: This is not commonly an issue when performing updates; however, some AV software can be used not only to scan the computer but to manage the local firewall settings or even implement some local policy restrictions. You may need to set exclusions or temporarily disable when performing updates.

This can be a problem with any Live-in-the-App exam if there is an issue with the Windows Documents folder or access to it because these exams not only rely on the locally installed software, but often external files placed by Console 8 that are needed during the exam as well.

  • Windows Admin Rights: Admin rights and Group Policies can affect access to the Documents/My Documents folder. Console 8 makes temporary changes to the Windows registry during an exam and by not having full Windows Admin rights, or by having Group Policies in effect, this access could be limited or prevented. See the FAQ on Admin Rights for more information. Any registry settings or folder access are reversed when the exam completes successfully.

  • The Documents folder has been moved, renamed, etc.: If the Documents folder has been moved, renamed, or redirected for any reason this could prevent access to these external files. Console 8 was designed to access the Documents folder in its default location and that location must be restored, or a new, unaffected Windows profile must be utilized for exam delivery. Contact your IT helpdesk if you suspect the Documents folder has been altered from its default location or behavior.

The full error message is: “An error occurred. Please call this examiner while displaying this message. If you click OK, the system temporarily shuts down. Restart the test machine and restart the test. You can resume from thee last problem you are viewing. This occurs anytime a test is attempted, even the diagnostic tests. 4 Machines out of the 25 in the room are having this problem.”.

This is a generic error message related to MOS 2016 exams. This error is usually caused by Office 2016 and the Windows profile used to take exams, not properly setup for the MOS 2016 exams. MOS 2016 exams currently require using an authenticated user and that all first launch dialog boxes for Office be cleared or disabled. If this error is occurring, the following steps should help resolve it:

  • Log in with a Windows account that has full admin privileges. This creates the required Windows keys required by Console.
  • Open a single Office application, e.g. Word, to ensure Office is activated and all first run dialog boxes are cleared or disabled via policy. This step also creates the required Office registry keys and folder structure required by Console.

After these steps are complete, Console can either be configured via the Admin Credential setting with the account used with Office; or continue to use the same account that was just used to run the Office application.

This issue is caused by a known bug in Windows 10 Anniversary Edition version 1607, builds 14393.693 and earlier. The fix is included in Windows 10 Update 14393.953. The update is available via Microsoft’s Windows Update system and can be applied to any version of Windows 10 version 1607.

Full, local Windows admin rights are required for all Certiport delivery systems and solutions. In addition to that, no Group Policies should be in effect. Please see below for a breakdown:

  • Console 8: Full, local Windows Admin rights are required to both install and use this delivery system (including updates). For CATCs with limited access, an Admin Proxy can be utilized to store the credentials and only apply them to the Console 8 software when in use. Refer to the Console 8 Install & Setup QRG for more information.

    Note: The Admin Proxy feature only allows temporary access when launching or using the installed software. For new installs or reinstalls, you must always be logged in under an Admin account.

  • Mac Launcher: The Mac Launcher software should be installed under a Mac Administrator account. Any additional permissions will come in the form of internet access and browser permissions. See the Certiport Mac Launcher Install & Setup QRG for more information.

Note: Not having the appropriate Admin rights in place could result in a variety of undesired errors or exam disruptions.

This message could appear when a dependency is missing or out of date. Ensure you meet or exceed the Technical Requirements for the Online for Windows delivery system and that you have set up Browser Lockdown correctly. Review the Online Exam Setup Guide.

A wide variety and/or combination of items present in a local computer's configuration and setup could be causing this to occur. The solution to this type of freeze should be addressed as follows:

  • Soft Freeze (only the exam delivery program is frozen): Attempt to force close the program by launching the Task Manager in Windows (ctrl+alt+del), or by using Force Quit in Mac OS (cmd+opt+esc). If neither of these options work, then proceed with the Hard Freeze procedure outlined below.
  • Hard Freeze (Windows or Mac OS itself is frozen): In this scenario the only recourse is to perform a cold reboot of the computer. Hold down the power button until it completely shuts off, and then reboot the machine. Launch the Certiport exam delivery system again and resume the exam that is shown as "in-progress". All exam sessions will be saved for 7 days, and the Test Candidate will pick up from where they left off as long as they are resuming the exam from the same computer in which it was launched. (The only exception to this would be MOS 2013 Access exams, which will always start over with full time remaining.) This process can only be used in conjunction with the technical difficulty scenarios described above. You must still ensure that all exam administration and proctoring policies are being followed. Refer to the Exam policies page for more information.

Important: If the software or operating system freezes a single, isolated time you can probably write it off as a one-off event. However, if you receive persistent freezing it is probably indicative of a greater problem. Ensure you are meeting or exceeding the Technical Requirements, and that you have closed all non-essential software prior to testing. Frequent freezes with the OS could indicate the need to repair or reinstall it. Consult your local IT helpdesk should this occur.

Windows Installer is a service that the operating system requires when software installations or updates are being performed. The call to start the service could originate from either a local, network, or internet based source. In any case, Certiport exam delivery cannot begin if the windows installer service is currently running.

For Console 8, the "Running Processes" window should appear when trying to launch the exam if the windows installer is also running. Click resolve to attempt to have Console 8 try and terminate the process.

If the problem is persistent you will need to work with your institution's helpdesk staff to identify and eliminate the source program that is causing the conflict, or you will need to temporarily turn off the Windows Installer service during exam delivery.

To turn off the Windows Installer service you can perform the following steps (this process requires Windows Admin privileges):

  • Click the Start button and open the Control Panel.
  • Click on Administrative Tools.
  • Click on Services.
  • Scroll down the list of services, locate "Windows Installer" and double-click the item.
  • If the functionality is currently in "started" status, click the Stop button then change the "Startup Type" to Manual. This should stop the service and allow the exam to proceed. In extreme cases try changing the "Startup Type" to Disabled.

Note: Changing these settings could affect other programs and services on the computer and should be reverted back to their original settings after exam administration has completed.

This is caused by the Mozilla Web Plugin for VLC attempting to open the Flash-based content of the exam. The issue can be resolved several ways:

  1. If VLC must be installed, then a custom installation is required where the Mozilla Web Plugin is not installed. If VLC is already on the system, an install change/repair will not remove the plugin. At this point, VLC must be completely removed, then reinstalled without the Mozilla plugin.
  2. If VLC is not required, then an uninstallation of VLC will resolve the issue.

We have a quick reference guide that covers the configuration of Outlook for MOS exam administration for 2010 and 2013 only (no setup is required for 2016): View the QRG.

Restoring software is commonly used in Academic environments to ensure that no matter what happens while the computer is on, once it reboots it is reverted back to an original image/state. This can cause issues with exam delivery as most of our exams store the progress locally. This means that a computer with restoring software that should freeze and need to be restarted during an exam would place the Test Candidate back at question one. For institutions employing restoring software, the following options should be considered:

  • Create a “thaw space” which would allow you to make an exception for the "Certiport" folder so the information there would remain untouched, therefore not resetting the data after a reboot. Creation of such an exception should be a feature that your local IT Admin could implement within the restoring software’s options.
  • Choose to suspend or disable the freezing software all together during examinations.
  • If neither of the above options are possible, a CATC would need to be aware that should the computer freeze or need to be rebooted for reasons beyond their control, they could not pick up where they left off (for most exams).

Please view our Technical Requirements page.

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Other

No. Once the expiration date is reached, new vouchers, inventory, or licenses must be purchased. Please review our Voucher Policies page, or contact your Territory Representative for more information.

No. Certiport does not sell any of the software titles that our certification exams or learning products rely on for concurrent (live-in-the-app) exams.

There are several options, depending on the product and customer:

  • For Test Candidates inside North America: If you are looking to purchase a voucher, you may find out more in our Buy section.
  • For Test Candidates outside North America: If you are looking to purchase a voucher, contact the Solution Provider in your area.
  • For CATCs (Certiport Authorized Testing Centers) inside North America: After an initial order you may purchase additional products through the Certiport website under the Organization Administrator role by clicking on the "Purchase" tab. You may also contact your Territory Representative and place the order directly.
  • For CATCs (Certiport Authorized Testing Centers) outside North America: Contact the Solution Provider in your area.

View the purchasing options for certification exams and learning products.

There is no method for printing out an official paper version of an online voucher code, but there are ways you could look up voucher codes in order to screenprint them, or to copy and paste into another program such as Word or Excel. See below:

  • For CATCs: Log in as an Organization Administrator or Organization Admin, mouse over the My Certiport tab, click on the dropdown for vouchers, and a table will appear with all vouchers purchased by the CATC. This list will show vouchers whether they are assigned to a Test Candidate or not, and whether they have been redeemed or not. You may also click on the detail button to see who they were assigned to.
  • For Test Candidates: Log in as a Test Candidate and your vouchers will show at the top of the page just under the support contact information. Please note that only vouchers that have been assigned will show up here.

Our project-based testing that began with MOS 2013 provides industry-leading assessments of skills and knowledge by giving students and professionals real-world exercises to appraise their understanding of Microsoft Office.

With task-based exams like MOS 2010 and prior, it was question after question of relatively isolated individual skills that the exam needed to chalk up and measure. In most cases, one question did not necessarily have anything to do with the next in terms of workflow, other than that they were all part of the same objective domain.

Beginning with MOS 2013, project-based exams eliminate the pool of questions in favor of a single project for 2013, or multiple smaller projects for 2016. The Test Candidate then employs all their skills to create a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Access database, etc., from scratch. Provided with a set of guidelines, this serves to mimic more of what a user would actually encounter when using the program in the real world.

There is not a separate registration process, but each CATC must be individually activated for the programs they wish to administer. When a CATC is first registered, this is something that can be set up with your territory representative. If, at a later time, you wish to begin administering exams in additional programs, you will need to call your representative to activate it.

There is no direct interface between our exam delivery software and any vouchers a Test Candidate may have unless they have pre-assigned it. The best practice would be to pre-assign the voucher, or to have the voucher code printed or written down prior to sitting for an exam.

Note: The exam delivery software can be minimized as long as an exam is not in progress, which would allow you to navigate to www.certiport.com and look up a code.

While there are many successful components from start to finish, they would all revolve around the following primary elements:

  • Knowledgeable and motivated instructors.
  • Courseware and curriculum that maps to our certifications.
  • Practice Exams.

Note: Practice tests alone are not intended as devices for students to learn the subject matter, but rather to get the Test Candidate prepared for the scope of objectives covered, the nature of how the questions are asked and answered, as well as to simulate being up against the clock. There are no substitutes for learning via instructor, utilizing courseware, and having real life experience with the software/subjects in which the examination is based on.

There are no reports that simply detail the amount of inventory, licenses, and/or vouchers used. However, there are several reports available to Certiport Organization Administrators for exams administered. To access these reports, log in as an Org Admin and click on the Reports tab. For example, the "Results 264" and "264 Plus" are both detailed reports on exams administered.

Additionally, you may view the real-time usage of any inventory, site licenses or vouchers. Log in as an Org Admin, then scroll down on the landing page or mouse over the My Certiport tab and click the dropdown for "Exam Inventory", "Vouchers" or "Licenses."

While there is no direct method, Organization Administrators have the ability to look up information such as the Test Candidate's Username, or the optional Student/Employee ID. Both of these items can be found under the "Results 264 Plus" report by clicking on the Reports tab under the Org Admin role after you log in.

Please refer to the following:

  • Becoming a Proctor: Read the Becoming a proctor page.
  • Proctoring an Exam: Refer to the Quick Reference Guide.
  • Who can Proctor: Any person with a Certiport user account who is associated with the CATC that is administering the exam, then designated as a Proctor by the CATC, and who has read and agreed to the terms of the Proctor Agreement, may administer a Certiport exam.
  • Viewing the Proctor Agreement: Log in with the Proctor role. At the bottom of the page, click "View Proctor Registration Page".

To view the items available to your CATC please perform the following:

  1. Log in as an Organization Administrator or Organization Member.
  2. Mouse over the My Certiport tab and click on the dropdown for Inventory, Vouchers or Licenses.

A CATC cannot assign a voucher to a Test Candidate in real time. You must provide the code to the Test Candidate and have them assign it to themselves individually from under the Test Candidate role.

The only other method would be via the Bulk Registration process. However, using that process would only be applicable at that specific time, and only for an initial set of vouchers. To learn more, refer to the Bulk Registration Quick Reference Guide.

Refer to our Exam Policies page.

Refer to our Voucher policies page.

Note: For individual retake policies per exam program, view the Retake policy page.

Refer to our Exam Lengths page.

Refer to our Exam Tutorials page. Tutorials are available for Microsoft Office Specialist exams.

Refer to our Product Releases page. This page also details the available localizations for any given exam or practice test.

The measurable skills covered within each exam are called Objective Domains. Please view our Objective Domains page.

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