Where do I go and what do I need to take an exam?

Exams are delivered online and can be taken from anywhere in the world. Candidates need to make sure they meet system and identification requirements. Please review the Candidate Handbook for full details.

Will my ID be acceptable for the exam?

Please review the "Candidate Identification and Authentication" section in the Candidate Handbook and make sure that you satisfy the ID requirements listed there. Failure to meet requirements may mean the proctor will not be able to allow you to test and may cause you to forfeit the exam attempt.    If you need to update the name associated to your exam so that it matches the ID that you will be presenting for the exam, login to the portal (portal.linuxfoundation.org/portal) and look for the Verify Name step in the Exam Prep Checklist. The "Verify Name" step allows you to verify if the name listed on your account matches the name on your government photo ID. This is a required step that all candidates must complete before taking the exam. If you need to make changes to the name on your account so that it matches your gov't photo ID, use the "click here to change it" link.   During the check-in process for the exam, the proctor will ask you to present your gov't photo ID to them via the webcam so that they may confirm your identity against the name on your account. Your name will need to match what's listed on the ID that you present.  This will be the same name printed on your certificate, should you pass the exam and become certified.

What are the system requirements? How can I test my machine?

Candidates are expected to provide:

  1. Front-end hardware (e.g. laptop or desktop) with Chrome or Chromium browser installed*
  2. Stable and high-speed internet access
  3. A webcam and microphone.
*Please note that you will need to enable 3rd-party cookies when you take the Exam. These cookies can be disabled as soon as the Exam is completed. To test the system you plan on taking the exam from, use the compatibility check tool provided by the Exam Proctoring Partner to check if your system and testing environment meet the minimum requirements. Select “Linux Foundation” as the Exam Sponsor and “LFCS” or “LFCE” as the Exam. If you already registered for an Exam, you can also login to My Portal and click on the Check System Requirements step to be directed to the compatibility check tool.

My gov’t ID does not have my name in Latin characters; will I be able to test?

Please review the "Candidate Identification and Authentication" section in the Candidate Handbook at https://docs.linuxfoundation.org/tc-docs/certification/lf-candidate-handbook and make sure that you satisfy the ID requirements listed there.  Failure to meet requirements may mean the proctor will not be able to allow you to test and may cause you to forfeit the exam attempt.  

What are the identification requirements?

Exams are proctored remotely and include a check-in process with the proctor prior to an exam being launched. Watch this video to learn about the proctoring process. During check-in, candidates must present non-expired Primary Identification, containing photo and full name, to the proctor to verify their identity.  If the Primary ID contains non-latin characters, then the Candidate must also provide a non-expired Secondary ID containing their full name in Latin Characters OR a notarized English translation of their Primary ID along with the non-latin character Primary ID.

Primary ID (not expired and including photograph) IF Primary ID has non-Latin characters then: Secondary ID (not expired and Candidate name in Latin characters)
Passport Government-issued driver’s license/permit Government-Issued local language ID (plastic card with photo and signature) National Identity card State or province-issued identity card Debit (ATM) Card Credit Card Health Insurance Card U.S. Social Security Card
Exams may be administered to citizens of a sanctioned country listed below PROVIDED the citizens are tested OUTSIDE the sanctioned country and their exam registration and current ID show an address OUTSIDE the sanctioned country. 
  • Cuba
  • Iran
  • Syria
  • Sudan
  • North Korea
  • Crimea Region of Ukraine

I have an ID with name listed in non-Latin characters and a credit card with name written in Latin. Is it possible to take the exam with this?

It should suffice as long as your gov't ID otherwise matches the requirements for the primary ID and your credit card matches the requirements for the secondary ID as outlined in the Candidate Handbook and as pasted below:   Candidates are required to provide a non-expired Primary ID that contains Candidate’s photograph, signature and full name (see acceptable forms of ID below).   If the Candidate’s full name on their Primary ID contains non-latin characters, then the Candidate must ALSO provide a non-expired Secondary ID containing their full name in Latin Characters and signature, OR a notarized English translation of their Primary ID along with the non-latin character Primary ID.   PRIMARY ID: (non-expired and including photograph and signature) Passport Government-issued driver’s license/permit Government-Issued local language ID (plastic card with photo and signature) National Identity card State or province-issued identity card   SECONDARY ID: (non-expired and including signature with Candidate name in Latin characters) Debit (ATM) Card Credit Card Health Insurance Card U.S. Social Security Card  

What is the format for the exam?

The LFCS and LFCE exams are performance-based and require all work to be done on the command-line. A server is provisioned for the candidate’s use during the exam, the candidate does not need to setup their own server. The server is provisioned using the candidate’s distribution selection and will be made available to the candidate within a web-based exam console. This exam console can be accessed from either a Chrome or Chromium web browser (please review the system requirements). For exam security, candidates are monitored by a proctor during the exam session via streaming audio, video, and screensharing feeds. The screensharing feed allows proctors to view candidates’ desktops (including all monitors). The audio, video, and screensharing feeds will be stored for a limited period of time in the event that there is a subsequent need for review. A chat function located in the exam console allows for candidates to communicate with the proctor during the exam. Communications with any other individuals or entities during the exam is strictly forbidden. Be sure to review the Candidate Handbook for more detail.

Where do I upload or provide my ID for the exam?

The certification exams are proctored remotely via webcam and desktop streaming. During the check-in process for the exam, the proctor will ask you to present your ID in order to confirm your identity. The ID must be government-issued and bear your name and photo. It must not be expired. You will be asked to hold up the original ID to the webcam for the proctor's review, and you will not be asked to upload it anywhere separately.

Which distributions are available for certification exams and how do I choose a distro for my exam?

Currently, the following distributions are available for the LFCS and LFCE exams:

  • CentOS 7
  • Ubuntu 18
You will be prompted to select from one of the available distributions for your exam during purchase. A server will be provisioned for your use based on your selected distribution, you do not need to provision your own server for the exam. If you already purchased an exam registration, you can verify your distribution selection in the Exam Info panel of the Certifications tab in My Portal. You can also use the Change Distribution link located in the portal to request or make changes to your selection. You may change your selected distribution for an exam as often as you wish prior to scheduling an exam reservation. Once an exam reservation is scheduled, you can submit up to two (2) requests to change your distribution. The request must be made at least three (3) business days before the Exam reservation date. You will receive a confirmation if your request can be processed. Until such confirmation is received, you should assume no change has been made to the distribution selection for your Exam.

What if I have internet issues during the exam? How do I reconnect?

It is ultimately the responsibility of the candidate to ensure they have an internet connection that is of high-enough bandwidth, as well as stable and reliable enough to sustain a connection to the exam for the duration of the exam. (It's the only way we're able to deliver online, remotely-proctored exams that can be taken anytime, anywhere.)    If your network or internet is experiencing issues during an exam session and causes you to lose your connection to the exam temporarily, you can contact PSI support to find out how to reconnect to the exam.  (You can contact PSI Support via the online chat or the Support menu item on http://www.examslocal.com/linuxfoundation.)   You may also be able to ask the proctor for added time in cases where your internet connection is interrupted. However, please note that it's ultimately the proctor's discretion as to whether to honor such request and it will be based on what they observe during the exam.  For this reason, we recommend that candidates test from the most robust network possible.

How do I schedule, reschedule, or cancel exam reservations?

Once you purchase an exam registration, you will have 12 months to take the exam. That means you may schedule a reservation date to occur within 12 months of purchase only. After 12 months, your exam registration expires and you will no longer have eligibility to schedule or sit for the exam.

  • To schedule an exam, just login to My Portal and click on Schedule Exam for the exam you purchased. This will take you to the Exam Proctoring Partner’s scheduling site where you will be prompted to search for your purchased exam by its code (e.g. “LFCS” or “LFCE”) or sponsor name. If you get a message indicating you don’t have eligibility, you may want to check that you’re searching for the correct exam code by checking the code listed in the Exam Info panel on training.linuxfoundation.org/portal. Please also note that it can take up to 30 minutes for a new exam purchase to be processed by the Exam Proctoring Partner’s site before it can be scheduled.
  • You may cancel or reschedule an existing exam reservation when there are more than 24 hours before the scheduled start time of a reservation. At 24 hours or less, no changes will be allowed and you must either take the exam or forfeit the exam.
Additional notes on scheduling:
  • Timeslots are subject to availability. We recommend going through the scheduling process at least 3 weeks before a desired Exam date.
  • Exam reservations require a 24-hour lead time and the earliest date you will be able to select for your Exam reservation will be the next day.
  • The latest possible date in the scheduling calendar is sixty (60) days out. If a later reservation is desired, you will need to wait to schedule until your desired date is within 60 days.

Can I attach an external monitor to my computer or laptop for the exam?

Only 1 monitor/display may be in use for the exam. That 1 monitor/display can be an external monitor connected to a laptop computer.  However, you must choose which display to use for the exam; you cannot use both during the exam. If needed, you can check the system requirements for the display at https://www.examslocal.com/ScheduleExam/Home/CompatibilityCheck (or click the Check System Requirements step in the Exam Prep Checklist in the portal).   Please also keep in mind that the proctor will typically ask you to pan your physical surroundings with your webcam, so if your webcam is built-in on your laptop, you may want to test whether you can do this successfully while hooked up to an external monitor.  Most candidates seem to be able to do this without issue, but if for any reason this presents an issue for your setup (i.e. too short of cables or maybe laptop is quite large), you may need to consider an external webcam that you can move independently.

Are there any exam pre-requisites?

There are no prerequisites for either the LFCS or LFCE certifications, and it is not required that you pass the LFCS exam prior to taking the LFCE exam.

Can I use an internal or built-in webcam for the exam?

You are welcome to use a webcam that is built-in to your laptop/computer. Just remember that you will be asked to do a full pan of your room and physical surroundings with your webcam (sometimes, this can include panning the area beneath your desk). While many candidates are able to satisfy this request with their laptop's built-in webcam, if you believe this could present an issue for the webcam that is built-in to your computer, then you may need to look into getting an external webcam for use during the exam. (So it really will depend on how well you can move your laptop around.)

How can I prepare and study for the exam?

LFCS Practice Questions are available, and please be sure to review the Certification Prep Guide for resources and tips for both the LFCS and LFCE exam. Although encouraged, any courses offered by The Linux Foundation or our training partners are optional and are not required to take the exams.

Can bookmarks created on my browser be used to access allowable resources for the CKA or CKAD exam?

You are only allowed to access items hosted on one of the following domains:   - https://kubernetes.io/docs/ and its subdomains - https://github.com/kubernetes/ and its subdomains - https://kubernetes.io/blog/   So the item you have bookmarked must have a domain that matches one of above.  No other sites may be navigated to. The allowed sites above may contain links that point to external sites. It is the responsibility of the candidate not to click on any links that cause them to navigate to a domain that is not allowed.   The Resource Policy for the CKA and CKAD exam can be reviewed in the Candidate Handbook - https://docs.linuxfoundation.org/tc-docs/certification/lf-candidate-handbook

What resources or tools are allowed or forbidden during the exam?

The following resources are allowed during the exam as long as they are used by Candidate to work independently on exam objectives (i.e. not used for 3rd party assistance or research) and are accessed from within the exam console on which the exam is delivered (resources that cannot be accessed from within the console are not allowed):

  • Man pages
  • Documents installed by the distribution (i.e. /usr/share/doc/)
  • Packages that are part of the distribution. (May also be installed by Candidate if not available by default.)
As long as it fits the above description of allowable resources, Candidates may choose to install and use any tool to complete an objective. The following resources are forbidden during the exam:
  • External web pages
  • Text-based email clients
  • Browsing the Internet using installed tools such as Vim and Emacs
  • Communications with other Candidates or outside resources
  • Use of devices other than the exam desktop
  • Notes
  • Documentation
  • Notepads
  • Course manuals
  • Devices external to computer on which they are taking the exam, including but not limited to: mobile phones, PDAs, wearable computers, smart glasses, smart watches

For the LFCS or LFCE exams, do I need to take the exam from a Linux machine?

You do not have to take the exam from a Linux machine, but you can if you want to.  The main thing is that you need to take the exam from a Chrome or Chromium browser.  (Please be sure to review the System Requirements for the exam, which you can find in the Candidate Handbook or if you have already purchased the exam, by using the Check System Requirements step in the portal.)  A Linux server will be provisioned for your use and on the distribution that you selected for the exam, and you will access that server via your browser.

What score is needed to pass the exam?

  • For the LFCS Exam, a score of 66% or above must be earned to pass.
  • For the LFCE Exam, a score of 57% or above must be earned to pass.
  • For the CKA and CKAD Exams, a score of 66% or above must be earned to pass.
  • For the JSNAD Exam, a score of 68% or above must be earned to pass.
  • For the JSNSD Exam, a score of 68% or above must be earned to pass.

How soon should I expect my exam results?

Exam score reports are made available 36 hours from the time an exam is completed.  If more than 36 hours have passed since you completed the exam and you have not yet received your score report and you have checked your spam/promotions folder of your email, please contact Customer Support for assistance.

How are exams scored and how soon will I get my results?

Exam scores will be made available via email and My Portal within 36 hours of the Exam being completed. Do note that it’s 36 hours from time the exam was completed, not started. Exams are scored automatically and are graded for results. There may be more than one way to perform an objective on an Exam and unless otherwise specified, the Candidate can pick any available path to perform the objective as long as it produces the correct result. Exam items have different point-values. For example, some questions may be multi-part and so tend to be worth more in points. Additionally, some questions will involve tasks or skills that are considered more difficult and/or more time-intensive; such questions will be weighted more than a question that is simpler and/or involves basic skills only to complete. The score report you receive will provide you with the score (in percentage) that you earned on the Exam. It will also indicate the minimum score (in percentage) that was needed to pass the Exam. (Both these pieces of data will also be available in My Portal.) At this time, we are not able to provide a breakdown on scoring by knowledge Domain. However, we are working on adding this to the data available to candidates. The Linux Foundation and the Exam Proctoring Partner will review Exam records for scoring accuracy, for evidence of possible misconduct, and for response patterns that may suggest any other irregularities. The Linux Foundation will also use statistical analyses of exam data (“Data Forensics”) to identify patterns indicative of test fraud including cheating and piracy. The Linux Foundation reserves the right to invalidate an Exam score and certification result if review of an Exam record reveals scoring inaccuracies (attributable to The Linux Foundation or the Exam Proctoring Partner) or response patterns indicative of possible misconduct or measurement error. If The Linux Foundation determines that an Exam score is invalid due to issues that are beyond the control of the Candidate, the Candidate will be advised of options to retake the Exam at no charge.

What data/information is made available about my Certification? Can you verify if someone has active Certification?

The Linux Foundation provides a verification tool on its website that allows individuals with active Certification(s) to market their Certified status to potential employers or clients. To submit a query on this verification tool, a user must enter the Certificate ID number and the corresponding Last Name as listed on the Certificate of a successfully Certified individual. (The Last Name must be entered exactly as listed on the Certificate, including any special characters.) The results for a successfully submitted query will include the full name of Candidate, Certification title, status of Certification, and the date that the Certification was achieved.

How can I renew my certification and keep it active?

Candidates may keep Certification valid by completing one of the renewal requirement options below. Renewal requirements must be completed prior to the expiration of the Certification.

  • Retake the exam. Candidates have the option to retake and pass the same exam to keep their Certification valid. The Certification will become valid for 3 years starting on the date the exam is retaken and passed.
  • Achieve a higher-level Certification. On the date that a Candidate with an active LFCS Certification achieves LFCE Certification, the expiration of their LFCS Certification will be extended for 3 years so that both their LFCE and LFCS Certifications expire on the same date. The date on which their LFCS Certification expiration is extended (i.e. renewed) becomes the Renewal Date. (For example, a Certificant holds an active LFCS Certification expiring on August 20, 2019. The Certificant then achieves LFCE Certification on March 1, 2019. Their lower-level LFCS Certification will be extended for 3 years effective March 1, 2019 and both their newly achieved LFCE and renewed LFCS Certifications will have the same expiration date of March 1, 2022. March 1, 2022 becomes the Renewal Date for their LFCS Certification.)

Is there a waiting period before I can re-take my exam?

The deadline to complete the free retake is 12 months from the original purchase date.     There is no enforced wait period for retakes currently. However, the following factors affect how quickly you can get and schedule a retake:   - A free retake can only be issued if the first attempt has been graded as a No Pass, and exams are scored 36 hours from the time an exam is completed. (That means it's at least 1.5 days before eligibility for a free retake can be determined.)   - There is a 24-hour lead time needed for exam reservations, meaning the earliest possible reservation would be 24 hours ahead.   If you are wanting to ensure you have enough time to fit a retake in before the retake deadline, then we recommend that you schedule your first attempt at least 2 weeks before the expiration date of your exam.

How do I change the distribution of my exam?

LFCS & LFCE Currently, the following distributions are available for the LFCS and LFCE exams:   CentOS 7 Ubuntu 18.04   If you login to My Portal (trainingportal.linuxfoundation.org), you can click on the Start/Resume button for your LFCS or LFCE certification to load the Exam Checklist for that exam. Please then look for the Platform Selection step to change the distribution selection for your exam.  Just remember that changes are only allowed up to 24 hours before the scheduled start of an exam reservation.   CKA & CKAD The CKA and CKAD exams support only Ubuntu, as can be confirmed in the Candidate Handbook available from https://training.linuxfoundation.org/go/cka-ckad-candidate-handbook

How do I change my name for the exam?

 If you are looking to confirm or to make a change to the name that will be used for the exam, please login to the portal (trainingportal.linuxfoundation.org) and click the Start/Resume button for your certification. This will open a page with your Exam Checklist.  Please use the Verify Name step in that checklist to confirm or make changes to the name listed for your exam. You'll want to make sure it matches the name on your government photo ID. Please also note that if you make a change to your name in the Verify Name field, the change submission will be logged right away on the back-end, but the exam checklist interface takes up to 15 minutes to show the recorded change.     Verify Name is a required step that all candidates must complete before taking the exam.  During the check-in process for the exam, the proctor will ask you to present your gov't photo ID to them via the webcam so that they may confirm your identity against the name on your Exam Checklist. Your name will need to match what's listed on the ID that you present. The ID you present must be government-issued and bear your name and photo. It must not be expired.