Finally got around to knocking-out one of my certifications (changed to a new contract and this customer was a lot more concerned about their SMEs being certified). I opted to do the kiosk-based exam since they offered a lot more scheduling flexibility. Gotta say: it's really nice getting your exam results back in under half a business day!
That said, there were a few things about the kiosk experience that were sub-optimal:
* My test was slated to start on the hour - and we're told in the arrival instructions to be in your seat by a quarter to the hour. I got to my seat well on time. The test delivery, however, wasn't ready on time. It finally allowed me to do the sign-in steps about a minute before the hour, but the automated provisioning of the testing-hosts didn't complete until about seven after the hour.
* The test station, itself, is singularly unsuitable for someone with other than 20/20 vision. The screen was positioned not only closer than either a normal desktop or laptop screen, but closer than I even hold a book or e-reader. I'm far-sighted and wear glasses to correct my vision. Unfortunately, with the stupidly-close positioning of the screen, it placed the screen well inside the optimal focus-distance of my glasses.
* Exacerbating the screen-distance problems was the requirement to wear a headset: the chord on the headset prevented me from pushing my seat back to get to the point where I could view the screen without major eye-strain. This would have been merely annoying, had the headset actually been used for anything, but, all of the proctor interaction was done via an onscreen chat interface. So, why the requirement to wear a headset that restricted my movement?
* While the chat tool is a nice idea (especially for asking the proctor "what's up with the testing session not being ready on time"), it chews up precious screen realestate. Given that the exams require creating configurations that closely adhere to the exam specifications. it's helpful to be able to have the instructions appear side-by-side with the system-item that you're configuring. With the screen size of the testing kiosk and the fixed-frame layout of the work and proctoring-tool areas, an already not large screen effectively became like working on a 13", 4:3 monitor. Meant that couldn't effectively do side-by-side specification/system work
My question is, are these kiosks all this poorly implemented or was I just "lucky"?