It was not an unsurprising email I got last week from VMware certification services confirming what I expected but sincerely hoped wouldn’t happen. I had narrowly failed at my first attempt at the VCAP6-CMA Deploy exam (see my original post here).
As I had complained/registered with the exam center after the exam, they raised a case with Pearson Vue for me. I took to twitter to vent my frustration at PearsonVue and with VMware Education about the quality of the exam (hardly a “world class service” that I’m now expected to pay more money for!) . Both of whom initially responded promptly. Eventually Pearson Vue put on their teflon suit and came back with the response (and I’m paraphrasing) “there is nothing we can do because the Labs are externally hosted by VMware”.
Lesson Learnt – make sure you complain and make a fuss during the exam not only to interrupt everyone else’s exam but to make sure Pearson Vue acknowledge there is a problem.
Surprisingly, VMware Education and Certification services stepped up to the mark and were a little more helpful and I got a free re-take voucher. Thanks to Karl Childs.
So fast forward to this morning, I arrived on time after spending the last 4 days deep in my homelab and frankly neglecting my family to make sure I passed the exam this time. The adjudicator remembered me from the last experience and so I said “I’ll be raising my hand anytime there is a problem, so please keep an eye out…” little did I know that I wouldn’t actually get that far.
The adjudicator attempted to log me in to start the exam and the same error occured as last time. Invalid NeeToken and prompted me to log in with my MyLearn Account. (Note: when taking my VCP6-NV last Monday the Pearson/VMware SSO solution worked flawlessly). This is the only exam I have ever had to log in with MyLearn account manually. So I entered my credentials and then was asked which Tenant to use out of HOL, Certification, FEL or VMworld. How the heck am I supposed to know that? I choose Certification as it seemed the most logical choice… then the first error appeared… Invalid Lab and a timer after 5 minutes of waiting the adjudicator called the Pearson Vue helpline.
After a brief conversation with the helpline, the exam was stopped and I was moved to another machine. Same issue, so I asked adjudicator to ask Pearson Vue, which Tenant I needed to use and I got told they didn’t know and I had to choose for myself (not a very #helpful help line). The adjudicator then had to run a speed test on the machine I was running on. Whilst it wasn’t the best speed/latency, it was within “normal” parameters.
Pearson Vue then said they would contact VMware and that I had to stop the exam and wait for VMware to get back to Pearson Vue, baring in mind 10:30 GMT is 0330 PST (iirc) then someone was getting out of bed… or NOT as after waiting another hour, Pearson Vue called back to say VMware hadn’t responded and we can try one more time and then we’d have to reschedule.
Guess what? same issue another “Invalid Lab” error.
So the exam center has raised another case with Pearson Vue, so I now get the opportunity to re-schedule.
So that is approximately another 4 days of my time that I will never get back re-prepping for an exam that didn’t even work on a product that is near enough obsolete. To top it all off, let’s not forget, that from April 1st 2018, VMware Education will now charge $450 for this #WorldClassService.