Guest Post by Marjolein Droog who attended our CX Masterclass in 2017 and recently took the CCXP exam at the Amsterdam Test Center. In this guest post, she shares her experience and gives good tips for those considering taking the exam in the Netherlands.
“How was your exam journey Marjolein?” Rosaria asked me. “You are one of the first who took the exam in NL, and I am curious about your experience at this new exam center.” My first reaction: “great!” But that was the happy-me talking as I had just passed the exam! In reality, it went a bit different than I expected and here is why.
Scheduling my exam
The choices for a date and time were limited (1 or 2 days a week, nine o-clock only) but found a good option and after again an extra page (additional info) my appointment was verified and completed. I received very nonpersonal (do-not-reply) email with Global Test Center Security Procedures and driving directions and no contact details, only a link to the general Prometric website. And this link about preparation for the exam, which I – of course – clicked.
Besides the otherwise expected stuff like study, prepare, rest and arrive on time, there was a lot of information about the Security. To protecting honest test takers and ensure fair test experiences they are a lot of rules and policies. It starts with a valid ID, but you also you can’t wear jewelry, need to show your pockets are empty, they will take your fingerprints, etc. Although they explain it in a friendly way, it feels a bit like you are going to visit a prison instead of taking an exam. So important to be on time because this could take a while!
The hours before the examOn the day of the exam, I got up early to avoid traffic jams. The Test Center does not provide parking space (for a car lover like me that’s doesn’t feel welcome) so checked for the nearest parking and found one that was closer than the one Prometric suggested as the one closest by. I arrived 45 minutes early and thought I had plenty of time to find the location and go through all the procedures. I walked to the street I thought Prometric was located but didn’t find it. Asked the mailman and he did not know but warned me that the numbering was very complicated in that area. After about 10 minutes I started to panic… I had to be in 30 minutes before; otherwise – according to the information – I would not be allowed to take the exam anymore!
Luckily I stumbled upon a coffee bar about to open in one of the buildings; I jumped in and asked for directions. What do you think: what looked to be a coffee bar was also the entrance to the office building where Prometric is housed. Lucky me, but what lousy signage! I ran up the stairs and opened the door and got hit by the second disappointment. Not a nice desk where you can sign up but a waiting area with ten other test takers staring at me, and a note that read something like ‘please take a seat, somebody will come and register you shortly.’ It felt a bit like a going to the doctor without an appointment.
Adding to the welcome, they handed out the Prometric Test Center Regulations which included the forbidden items. I read through, and guess what headed the list in bold? Weapons! Okay, I understand that you are a US company, but a bit customisation to the Dutch (or European) market won’t hurt!
The exam itself
Finally, I was called into a small office with two friendly ladies who indeed went through all the (security) procedures I was prepared for after having spent some time reading their website. They showed me my test space (incl. earplugs or headphone to reduce the noise), and I was ready to go! The only things I could take with me were my ID and an erasable plastic card + pen to take notes. No drinks, no food (only outside the test room, lots of extra rules apply.) The test computer was very easy to use, you skip or mark your question and go back whenever you want. The most exciting moment is when you decide to hit the ‘I am finished’ button as you get your results directly.
YES! I passed!
All excited I got out of the testing room and went back to the ladies hoping – of course – for some cheers! But no, I had to tell them myself I passed and after a kind but simple ‘congratulations’ they printed and stamped my result. That was it. No present, no balloons, no nothing. This small test center – but part of a larger US-based company – was all about process and protocol and not about emotions. What a missed opportunity if you are working with people every day.
My most important takeaway
Prometric is an inside-out company, making sure all the requirements, security and procedure boxes are ticked first before looking at the customer’s needs. From a practical standpoint, this is a secure way to take the exams worldwide, especially for an international oriented organisation like the CXPA. Nevertheless. Better not to expect a great experience.
If you want to be cheered, better call your fellow CXPA members. They will give you the cheers you so well deserve!
More about CX
Interested in learning more about CX? Check the CX Framework Series we review all the 6 CX disciplines that represent the CXPA Framework around which the CCXP exam is structured and that we cover in the CX Masterclass.