This week was my first attempt at the RHCE. I did not succeed; however, in this attempt I realized that there are a few testing points that I can cover here that will be helpful to others and for my re-take. I have two sets of glasses and, of course, I forgot my computer glasses because of the long drive to the testing facility.
My first point is if there is anything you need to work on a computer screen for 3.5 hours, make sure you have it for the test.
The second thing to know about is that restroom breaks are allowed if you ask permission first. The negative to the break is that the timer does not stop during the break so, if possible, use the restroom right before you start your test.
As I was starting the test, there were a couple of little things that I noticed and might have done a little better on the test had I practiced them. The first thing to remember is that there is only going to be one screen. This may not sound like a big deal at first but you are not allowed to write anything down and the instructions for the exam are also on the screen. The interface that you are given is a RHEL workstation, for obvious reasons. Also, the more familiar you are with the terminal, web browser interface, window switching, and keyboard cut and paste the more efficient you will be during the test. The cut and paste really slowed me down. It was about 20 minutes into the test before I figured out the paste shortcut key in the terminal. Prior to that, I was either typing it out or having to grab the mouse and use the right click context menu. While I am practicing for the retest, I am planning on using a RHEL virtual machine in full screen mode to help with familiarizing my hands with the keyboard shortcuts.
After the test, I received my results within an hour. Within the results, there is a link to ask questions and comments on the test. I decided to send them a few suggestions on the nuances of the testing environment. I am pleased to say that they replied back to me very quickly and took my feedback about the testing environment very seriously. The big one that I hope they implement soon is the dual monitor so that the instructions can be on one screen with all the work on the other. I hope, as a bare minimum, they add a small walkthrough on how to do window switching, keyboard cut and paste from the browser, and keyboard cut and paste from the terminal.
To continue with this series, read the next post here.