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Test Centre Reviews

Discussion in 'Training & Development' started by zcapr17, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. zcapr17

    zcapr17 Nibble Poster

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    I've been using the same test centre ever since I started out on my IT certification journey. However, since Microsoft dropped Pearson Vue the choice for exam slots via Prometric is so limited that I am now having to look further afield to sit my exams.

    Now I have to admit that I am quite sensitive to my environment, particularly when trying to concentrate on an exam. A flickering light or noisy traffic can shatter my concentration, and this has got me thinking about whether there are some good test centres and equally others that should be avoided at all costs?

    No doubt the majority are all exactly the same: 2mx3m room with 3/4 average PCs in their own cubicles and the aircon set at 21°C. But I bet some of you have some experiences worth sharing.

    So, what do you think of the test centres you've used?


    To start the ball rolling - QA-IQ Milton Keynes:
    • Location: Easy to get to and plenty of free parking nearby (one plus point of MK).
    • Exam room: Small, free from distractions. Particularly quite, but aircon usually on the cold side.
    • PCs: Average PCs - no problems running MS exams/simulations. Never had any duff hardware.
    • Staff: Very friendly.
    • Other: Sandwich shop next door - great for that last minute sugar rush.
    • Overall: 5/5
    I would be particularly interested in any reviews of the test centres in Luton or Northampton...
     
    Certifications: MCSE:2K3 MCTS:Vista VCPv3 ITILv3 Sec+ L+
    WIP: MCITP Enterprise Admin 2008, CCA
  2. greenbrucelee
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    My nearest test centre is 55 miles away and is part job centre/internet cafe / baghead central. So not very good. I did the PDI+ beta exam there and I Was put of alot by people making noise.

    When I took my A+ exams I went to Lancaster uni which was the same distance but a different direction, each room (large cubicle) had two PCs divided by a partition and the room was completly soundproof. You were monitored by CCTV and if you needed the admin you just signalled to the camera.

    A very nice experience compared the job centre place I did the pdi+ at.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  3. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    This might be better served as a series of separate articles, like book reviews? Perhaps in their own subforum?

    I agree though, this is a great idea. I would perhaps like something a bit more detailed than you list above though.
     
    Certifications: ITIL Foundation; MCTS: Visual Studio Team Foundation Server 2010, Administration
    WIP: None at present
  4. GiddyG

    GiddyG Terabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Location:Talanton in Leicester.

    Ease of booking an exam: They always have plenty of dates and times, If you arrive early, you can normally take the exam early.

    Parking: Easy parking in the Holiay Inn on the nearby roundabout... yes, the hotel is on the roundabout.

    Exam Room: Airy, with half a dozen PCs. Kit is knocked about, but I haven't had any problems.

    Staff: Excellent

    Other: city centre minutes away. McDonalds a few doors down, so you can grab a coffee, or a cafe across from McDonalds.

    Overall: 5/5
     
  5. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    In Northamptonshire, Tresham in Wellingborough is still having problems with connectivity with Prometric (they are already a Vue centre). They are currently working with their ISP and Prometric to sort this out.

    I have sat exams at 3 different Prometric testing centres, but one of them has been review already (the MK one).

    Luton

    BIIT LTD AS PITMAN TRAINING CENTRE Site Code: GB123

    Location:Town centre.

    Ease of booking an exam: Excellent, they also have exams on Saturday :)

    Parking: Good if you can find the multi-story car park, otherwise you'll be lucky to find a side street. If you do make sure you have £3 at least of change on you for the meters.

    Exam Room: Nice.

    Staff: Excellent

    Other: McDonalds a couple of minutes away, shops all around. Testing centre is not clearly marked, it shares a building with some sort of "College". The college has a big banner across the top of the building, while Pitman only has a small plaque near the front door (took me 10 mins to find the place). GEORGE STREET actually splits into 2 streets and the testing centre is on the split. The testing centre is on either the 1st or 2nd floor, I didn't see a lift (but that doesn't mean there wasn't one) so if you need to use a lift, contact them first before booking the exam.

    Overall: 4.5/5 Because of parking and I couldn't find the testing centre straight away on the street, but Saturday exams are a bonus.

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Coventry

    GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE TRAINING Site Code: GB37

    Location:Business Park in Coventry.

    Ease of booking an exam: Excellent :)

    Parking: Excellent, plently on site parking.

    Exam Room: Nice.

    Staff: Excellent

    Other: Take your sat nav, there were alot of road works when I went and there are two business parks I was told when I got lost (I was following the signs for the wrong buiness park). I did have to wait a couple of hours for the centre to re-download my exam, but that was down to Prometric and not the actually testing centre. However they do have a onsite snack tray that you just pay for what you what and there are other shops around. The testing centre is on the ground floor and their WC's are modern.

    Overall: 5/5

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    To be honest I have not come across a testing centre that I didn't like, so far for Vue, Prometric, Certiport all of them have either been 4/5 or 5/5. The issues I have experience have been thru the exam provider (eg Prometric) rather than the individual testing centres.

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  6. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I forgot to add that I would give the test centre at Lancaster Uni 5/5. I arrived 30 minutes before my exam was due to start and they let me start straight away.
     
    Certifications: A+, N+, MCDST, Security+, 70-270
    WIP: 70-620 or 70-680?
  7. Tinus1959

    Tinus1959 Gigabyte Poster

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    Well, here is our site:

    New Horizons Eindhoven (The Netherlands):
    Location: In the centre of the city. 10 minutes walking from the railway / bus station, Parking garage next door, Parking area on the other side of the road. We provide exit tickets for the parking garage to a reduced rate, so when your stay is longer than 3 hours, you do not pay for that extra time spend in the garage.
    Exam room: 4x8 meters, with 14 cubicles. Survailance cameras in the room. Airco on 20°, no extreme noise, but for the easily distracted we have earplugs.
    PCs: standard PCs - at the moment no problems running MS exams/simulations (we had them in the past due to Prometric).
    Staff: Extremely friendly (of course, I work there).
    Other: lots of restaurants, snack bars, sandwich shops, McDonalds, Kentucky fried chicken in a 2 minutes walk.
    Overall: 6/5 :biggrin
     
    Certifications: See my signature
    WIP: MCSD, MCAD, CCNA, CCNP
  8. Miro

    Miro Byte Poster

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    * Location: Global Knowledge Training - Wakefield, West Yorkshire
    * Exam room: about 3m x 4m , 6 PCs not in their own cubicles so you can see everyone, that might disturb
    * PCs: Average PCs - old type mouse, test software was runing well
    * Staff: Very friendly.
    * Parking: a lot of parking places
    * Other: the site is very quiet, it is located away from town centre

    The site is very close to my house. However next time I will go and have a look another place. Even it is in a good location but the PC's are to close to each other. Some people were entering and leaving the room during my exam.That disturb me a lot.I prefer to be in my own cubicle as well. The CCTV was there but that should be the only one who look at me not another people next to me.

    Overall: 3/5
     
    Certifications: A+ IT Technician
    WIP: MCDST, Network+
  9. craigie

    craigie Terabyte Poster

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    GLOBAL KNOWLEDGE TRAINING Site Code: GB37

    Location:Business Park in Coventry.

    Ease of booking an exam: Excellent :)

    Parking: Excellent, plently on site parking.

    Exam Room: Nice.

    Staff: Excellent

    Other: Take your sat nav, there were alot of road works when I went and there are two business parks I was told when I got lost (I was following the signs for the wrong buiness park). I did have to wait a couple of hours for the centre to re-download my exam, but that was down to Prometric and not the actually testing centre. However they do have a onsite snack tray that you just pay for what you what and there are other shops around. The testing centre is on the ground floor and their WC's are modern.

    Overall: 5/5

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Just changed my site to this location after your feedback.

    Thanks Ken
     
    Certifications: CCA | CCENT | CCNA | CCNA:S | HP APC | HP ASE | ITILv3 | MCP | MCDST | MCITP: EA | MCTS:Vista | MCTS:Exch '07 | MCSA 2003 | MCSA:M 2003 | MCSA 2008 | MCSE | VCP5-DT | VCP4-DCV | VCP5-DCV | VCAP5-DCA | VCAP5-DCD | VMTSP | VTSP 4 | VTSP 5
  10. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Good to hear un-bias reviews :lol::lol::lol:
    I'll probably be like that when Tresham gets it's centre up and running :)

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  11. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Cool, glad I could help. My mate also recently sat an exam there and he likes it too :)

    -ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  12. Dunny

    Dunny New Member

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    I have to agree the Global Knowledge test centre is a good place, close to sainsburys, Macdonalds, KFC, very small test centre and if you dontknow were your going it is confusing, the good thing is that the testing room is next to reception and very quiet.

    Also tried the testing centre at New Horizons Birmingham, what a nightmare that was, the room was fairly big but all the classrooms were on the next floor up, and you could hear talking and banging sounded as if they were having a dance lesson very off putting, wont be going back there quickly.
     
    Certifications: MCSA Messaging
    WIP: MCSE Messaging
  13. RufusA

    RufusA New Member

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    Tried a new exam centre today (my previous two favourites have now closed):

    Mass Information Systems - Bracknell

    Location: Just on the edge of the town centre, main multi-story next door (£1 for 2-3 hrs) and a short walk from station.
    Exam room: Small, almost noiseless, with 4 PCs in seperate cubicles. I had a window seat with views over surrounding hills / country side. Might get too toasty on a sunny day, but nice aircon unit in room set to cold.
    PCs: Average, but good LCD screens and cheap nasty mice. No problems on a Sun exam.
    Staff: Receptionist friendly and helpful, and you get a locker to put your valuables in!
    Exam Availability: For me choice of any weekday 9 - 2:30
    Other: Took me 15mins to find venue - no building name at street level (you enter via high street car park). Plenty of food / coffee places with a Costa a minute's walk away.
    Overall: Another 5/5 - if only they were all like this.

    Rufus.
     
  14. UKDarkstar
    Honorary Member

    UKDarkstar Terabyte Poster

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    Deverill, Poole, Dorset

    Location: Easy to get to round the one-way system near the Quay. Free parking at the site though they are an MS Gold Partner and run their own courses as well as support and development so can get busy. Public car parks (70p p/hr at date of writing) nearby (5-10 mins walk, max)

    Exam room: Small, straight off reception area which was a downside as the doors were not very noise-proof. Was on border of going out to complain at start of exam but the girlies giggling with the receptionist left. Two desks in room side by side with a partition between them. Righ hand side glassed area had stairs down it and was occassionally noisy due to their staff. Temp was ok

    PCs: Looked like fairly new HP workstations, no problems at all

    Staff: Friendly though no-one there when I came out (!) so just had to wait as no bell/buzzer apparent to call anyone

    Overall: 3.5/5
     
    Certifications: BA (Hons), MBCS, CITP, MInstLM, ITIL v3 Fdn, PTLLS, CELTA
    WIP: CMALT (about to submit), DTLLS (on hold until 2012)
  15. Rob1234

    Rob1234 Megabyte Poster

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    Global Knowledge, London, Old broad Street

    Location: Near Liverpool Street train station, as London lots of Publci transport to get there. Need to keep an eye out for building numbers as its only a small part of the building its near a Tesco Express.

    Exam Room: Small room had air conditonering, room was very quiet with good sound proofing as it was quite busy outside the room.

    PCs: Average PCs no real problems.

    Staff: Helpful adn friendly same person everytime I have been for exam, told me to put my bag etc. a cupboard which he locked but it also contained other peoples bags takign exams so not the securest thing really.

    Overall: 4.5/5

    QA Middlesex Street

    Location: 5 minute walk from Liverpool street, not as easy to find as above testing centre but still not bad.

    Exam room: Quite a large room. No noise and plenty of space between PCs.

    PCs: Good PCs no problems.

    Staff: Friendly and showed mw where to store my bag had my own locker.

    Overall: 4.5/5

    London College of Business and Computing, Bethnal Green

    Location: 5 minute walk from Bethnal green tube, tucked away behind some apartments but not to diffcult to find. Buzzed to be let in but in the end had to phone them to let me in.

    Exam Room: Was quiet as was at the far end of the building however the bloke left the door open the whole time for some reason, but he was at the other end of the building.

    PCs: Reasonable seemed quite old I dont think they had laser mouses, also had a map as a divider between me and the other PC, and the test crashed several times, they said it was the exam not the hardware. Had my own locker to store my stuff.

    Staff: Helpful and friendly.

    Overall: 3.5/5
     
    Certifications: A few.
  16. Metalstar

    Metalstar Kilobyte Poster

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    Online Learning Centre - Sale

    • Location: Not sure about parking, but the nearest metrolink stop is a 2 minute walk away so anyone in the Manchester Area should be fine

    • Exam room: quite large but is very quiet and free from distractions. There is alot of natural light from the windows which I think is important.

    • PCs: Quite new (sub 12months) - never had an issue

    • Staff: Friendly and helpful

    • Other: There is a fantastic butty shop on the way
      from the tram stop - A sausage and Bacon barm is great way to reward youself for a pass!

    • Overall: 5/5
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: Network+
  17. dales

    dales Gigabyte Poster

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    QA-IQ Reading Berkshire

    * Location: exam location is in the town center so plenty of parking at nearby shopping centers and 2 mins walk from the train station
    * Exam room: large cupboard with 6 stations traditional baffle boards separating the stations. adequate space but would be nice to have a bit more elbow room.

    * PCs: prob 3-4 years old but still ok for the exam (never had one crash on me yet there)

    * Staff: traditional dolly bird on reception to take you mind off things for a bit.

    * Other: Right in the middle of reading so all the normal shopping pleasures are there if you wish. When booking exams they seem to only ever have early morning appointments (suits me) so may be an issue for some.

    * Overall: 3.5/5
     
    Certifications: vExpert 2014+2015+2016,VCP-DT,CCE-V, CCE-AD, CCP-AD, CCEE, CCAA XenApp, CCA Netscaler, XenApp 6.5, XenDesktop 5 & Xenserver 6,VCP3+5,VTSP,MCSA MCDST MCP A+ ITIL F
    WIP: Nothing
  18. Qs

    Qs Semi-Honorary Member Gold Member

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    Hmm, good idea. Perhaps this should be pinned when more people contribute. I'll be posting my review of the Prometric centre at Walsall College, Walsall when I do my 271 next week.

    *watch this space*

    Qs
     
    Certifications: MCT, MCSE: Private Cloud, MCSA (2008), MCITP: EA, MCITP: SA, MCSE: 2003, MCSA: 2003, MCITP: EDA7, MCITP: EDST7, MCITP: EST Vista, MCTS: Exh 2010, MCTS:ServerVirt, MCTS: SCCM07 & SCCM2012, MCTS: SCOM07, MCTS: Win7Conf, MCTS: VistaConf, MCDST, MCP, MBCS, HND: Applied IT, ITIL v3: Foundation, CCA
  19. wagnerk
    Highly Decorated Member Award

    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Location: Kettering, Northants

    Whereabouts: Outskirts of Town centre

    Site Code: Aiedo Limited (GB926)

    Ease of booking an exam: Excellent (online thry Prometric or via phone), added bonus: weekend exams

    Parking: Excellent, onsite (front and back parking). Plus street parking.

    Exam Room: Very Good

    Staff: Excellent, friendly and helpful

    Other: If doing the exam on a weekend, take your phone (and their phone number) just in case there's no-one at reception. Don't believe Google maps on where it it, even though Google maps place it before the Ten-pin bowling (heading out of Kettering Town), it's actually past the ten-pin bowling and round-about.

    They also offer the cheapest courses (they offer both elearning as well as class based ones) so far in the area (that I've found), starting at £150.

    Rest Rooms: In the reception area, however I didn't use them, so I don't know what they're like.

    Overall: 5/5

    -Ken
     
    Certifications: CITP, PGCert, BSc, HNC, LCGI, PTLLS, MCT, MCITP, MCTS, MCSE, MCSA:M, MCSA, MCDST, MCP, MTA, MCAS, MOS (Master), A+, N+, S+, ACA, VCA, etc... & 2nd Degree Black Belt
    WIP: PGDip
  20. Carman

    Carman New Member

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    Global Knowledge Training, London:
    • Location: In between Bank and Liverpool Street tube stations, 5-10 walk from either.
    • Exam room: Small, probably 5-10 computers, each in their own space with dividers. CCTV.
    • PCs: What you would expect...good enough to run exam software, although might not cope with Modern Warfare 2 :p
    • Staff: Very friendly.
    • Other: Global Knowledge Training is located on the lower ground floor. The building is host to other businesses on the other floors. Both the main reception and the Global Knowledge reception were nice. Refreshments, vending machines, water etc. available.
    • Overall: 5/5
    Will use them for further qualifications.
     
    Certifications: A+
    WIP: MCP, CCNA, MSCE

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