30 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2017 10:30 AM by julie.arnold

    Every SCP Question Ever


      Who can or should take the SCP Certification exam?

      Successful applicants generally have 2-3 years of network management experience and at least a year working with SolarWinds products.  This exam is aimed at IT network management professionals with experience and a general understanding, with an emphasis on our suite of network monitoring software. Some of the questions are on basic IT Networking information, and some are based on experience with the Network Performance Monitor software product.


      How long is the certification valid?

      The SolarWinds Certified Professional certification is valid for 5 years.


      Do you have any other certifications?

      Currently we offer the SCP certification which focuses on Network Performance Monitoring and Management information and experience with the SolarWinds Network Performance Monitor software product. We will be expanding our test offerings at some time in the future.


      Do I have to sign up for thwack.com to take the exam?

      Yes. If you aren’t registered for thwack Community Forum, please do sign up, even if you are not a customer: http://thwack.solarwinds.com/welcome. It’s a great online community for IT professionals that offers support and information, and adds to the career advancement of network and IT professionals. It’s also a collaborative and fun forum.


      What is the process?

      1. First, take a look at our website: http://www.solarwinds.com/certification/network_certification.aspx, and read through the information, as well as get familiar with the general process. Then be sure to go to the Learning Center, http://www.solarwinds.com/certification/learningcenter.aspx , and review all the materials there.
      2. You must also sign up for a thwack account.
      3. Once you are ready to take the exam, click the “Register for the Exam” link, enter your first and last name, and email address, then submit.
      4. Within 24 hours in the US and 48 hours internationally (excluding weekends), our Certification Team will process your request and register you for the exam. You’ll receive an email with test site login instruction and other valuable informati0n. Please be sure to read that email!
      5. Take the test online at your convenience.


      Where can I find test prep materials for the SCP exam?

      The SCP Learning Center http://www.solarwinds.com/certification/learningcenter.aspx is our official review site. You'll find a program summary, a sample exam, recommended study areas and hours of training videos to help prepare you for the exam. If you don't have a copy of NPM you can download it here to use for 30 days while you prepare: http://www.solarwinds.com/network-performance-monitor.aspx


      How many questions are on the exam and how long does it usually take to complete?

      The exam consists of 77 questions, and takes the typical candidate about an hour and a half to complete. The exam will time out within 3 hours of starting.  You have three attempts to pass the exam, and you must take a cool-down period of at least 7 days between attempts.


      What if I fail the test the first time I take it?

      As we note in the registration confirmation email, you are allowed three (3) attempts to successfully complete the exam, with a seven (7) day "cool down" period between those attempts. 

      Users should not re-register with different information after failing the exam in an attempt to get more “chances” because doing so:

      1. Creates issues in our certification database and slows or prevents communication with you.
      2. May call into question the validity of your test with potential employers.
      3. Interferes with the spirit & integrity of the exam, which is based on demonstrated knowledge, skill and experience of professional admins.


      What happens if I fail all three attempts?

      We ask users to take a 6-month grace period before attempting to take the exam again. During that time, candidates should advantage of our test prep site by clicking on this link: http://www.solarwinds.com/certification/learningcenter.aspx .The SCP prep site provides valuable information about the areas covered in the certification, and includes videos and other tutorials to assist in your preparation. There is also a link to the SCP Exam Prep Guide, which you will want to download.


      We also suggest you visit the thwack community, which has rich content and a great collaborative Network Management and SysAdmin support community. Once the six months is up, email us with your original registration information and we will enable additional attempts: certification@solarwinds.com.


      I just finished my test and I passed! How long until I get all my free stuff?

      Once you pass the online exam, the Test Administrator reviews your answers, and then approves you for certification. (Admin review is completed in 2-4 business days, excluding weekends and standard US holidays.) If you’re gaining SCP Certification to enhance your resume, we recommend you plan in advance.


      Once approved by the Test Admin, we’ll send a SCP certificate-holder 'Welcome email' noting your successful completion of the exam, along with your official SCP number and Verification Code. The email includes instructions for you to verify your name and address so we can order your certification kit. You must reply to that email and correct or verify your name and shipping information in order to get the free Welcome Kit. All Welcome Kits take about 8 weeks to get to you


      Most importantly: Also attached to that email is your digital certificate that you can print out and display for your employer or anyone requesting validation that you earned your SCP credential. It is equally valid proof of completion as the printed certificate and is immediately available when your exam is reviewed.


      What is in the free Welcome Kit?

      The Welcome Kit contains a branded SolarWinds mug, as well as your framed certificate so you can display it in your office.


      How do I find out the status of my free Welcome Kit shipment?

      Welcome Kit orders are sent on a bi-weekly basis to our fulfillment company in California. They build your kit, package it and mail it via USPS. At that point you should receive a tracking email from certification@solarwinds.com. All Welcome Kits take about 8 weeks to get to you. For all shipping questions, email is the most direct communication path over the thwack forum.


      I still haven’t received my Welcome Kit, and it’s been 8 weeks. What do I do?

      First: Make sure you returned the "Congratulations" email from us, and verified your name and shipping information. Also note some international postage destination may take more than 8 weeks to get to recipients.


      Then: If you have your tracking number, please use USPS.com to determine if your package is with your local carrier, and/or out for delivery. We recommend you contact your local carrier/service with the shipping information. If you cannot get any information from your local carrier, we recommend you contact Customer Service at USPS.com.


      My kit did not get delivered and appears to be lost. What do I do?

      Make sure you have your tracking number from USPS.com, then contact Customer Service at USPS.com.  Also be sure to contact your local postal service with the tracking information. If the package fails to reach you because of incorrect or insufficient shipping address information, we can’t send another free kit.  If you provide a UPS or FedEx shipping number we can re-process your kit, but note international shipping fees may exceed $150.


      When do I get my SCP badge and how do I add it to my profile?

      As part of the welcome kit order process, the Certification Team adds your SCP thwack badge. About a week after you pass the exam, go to your profile, drop down "More, then click "Reputation," and your SCP badge should be there. Just hover over the badges area to the right, grab the SCP badge and drag it down. Be sure to add that to your Reputation under your profile in "Me in 3" front and center!


      My information has changed. Can I log in somewhere and revise that myself?

      If your information has changed, please provide that to us via email and we will update your account.


      As always, please be sure to add certification@solarwinds.com to your Contacts list so our communications don't end up in your Spam box. Feel free to mail us anytime with questions. We're Team SCP, and we're here to help!