In an ongoing effort to maintain and improve the reputation of Pyzdek Institute Certification, effective immediately all certification exams for Lean Six Sigma White, Yellow, Green or Black Belt will be proctored. We will be engaging the services of ProctorU, a highly respected proctoring organization used by many major universities and organizations. The Pyzdek Institute will pay the proctoring fee for the first attempt at any of the exams. Students will be required to pay the small fee for subsequent retakes. ProctorU will provide exam-takers with links to detailed instructions, including both print and video tutorials.
Can we use the downloaded pdf storyboards while we are doing the exam ?
Yes, you can. The proctors have instructions to allow you to use the downloaded files and to search them using the Adobe reader program. I recommend that you use the Adobe reader's advanced search function because it shows all instances of your search term on the list which makes it easy to look at the various search answers and find the one you're looking for.
Can we annotate the downloaded files?
Will online practice quizzes still be offered before the exam? How will the exam dates be determined?
There are proctored practice exams for each course. This will allow you to also set up your system so that it will work with the proctor you set up.
Will online practice quizzes still be offered before the exam?
Yes. However, unlike the quizzes the practice exams are timed and they do not let you check to see if your answers are correct.
How will the exam dates be determined?
When you tell us that you want to take the exam we register you in the appropriate exam course for 30 days and send you an invitation to book the exam with ProctorU. Your invitation will also have a 30 day window.
Hello Tom and fellow students,
I passed my 6SBB Certification Exam yesterday using ProctorU and I want to share this experience with you all.
First, all what you need to take the proctored exam online is a Headphone, webcam and a high speed internet connection. ProctorU team are very professional, friendly and helpful. My exam session started with some pre-checks such as: Internet, headphone, WebCam and Flash than the ProctorU agent will ask about your Photo ID which you can show it via the webcam + you have to respond to a 5 authentication questions which are very easy to answer. After you got authenticated, the ProctorU agent will states all exam rules and you have to respond Agree in the window chat. Forgot to mention that you will connected with your live proctor during the whole exam via your web camera and you will be recorded as well. Part of the checking as well, you have to show your ProctorU agent a 360 degree view of the room where you're taking the exam. Any paper, book, cell phones on the table are not allowed :)
After passing all these pre-checks, it's time to take and PASS the exam. you will be asked to remove your headphone, the window chat will be your point of contact with you ProctorU agent in case you face any technical difficulties. My 2 cents to pass the exam is to read all storyboard and do all quizzes, try to understand the concept do not memorize :)
Hope you find these comments helpful somehow. Finally, I want to give all my credit to Mr. Tom Pyzdek and the Pyzdek Institute.This is the best course that I ever attend during my career so thanks a lot Tom and Pyzdek team for sharing your knowledge with us.
Thanks all and good luck!
Paul Karam, PMO
Paul, thanks so much for a very informative post, and for your kind words regarding The Pyzdek Institute and our team. Finally, congratulations on passing the Six Sigma Black Belt exam!
Are we allowed to use any of our hand written notes for the exams?
Sorry, no. There are files in the exam pages with all of the reading and story boards combined. You may search these files. I recommend that you use Adobe Reader's advanced search, which shows a list of the occurrences of your search term so you can quickly navigate to the correct place to find the answers. However, handwritten notes are not allowed.
First of all it was never stated that the exams would not be proctored, so from a student's perspective this should not be viewed as a "change." Proctoring has become standard practice at all major institutions including universities that deliver training online. IASSC online certification exams are proctored and cost hundreds of dollars. ASQ certification exams must be taken in person, and they are also proctored and cost hundreds of dollars.
Secondly it is an open book test. You can download files from the exam course which combine all of the reading and storyboards and you can search those files with Adobe reader, which is far more effective than looking through thousands of pages on a printout. This is about is open book as we can make it. We do not allow the use of handwritten notes or any other materials because a person could write questions and answers on these notes.
Finally, proctored exams are a value added service. Proctored exams have greater credibility than non-proctored exams. The word "Proctored" appears on the certificate. The Pyzdek Institute is paying the proctoring fee, so there is no additional cost to you.
As far as having a computer with a WebCam, this was always been a requirement because we check your ID before you present your project. If you don't have a webcam they are available on Amazon.com starting at less than $2. And that includes the microphone.
Below are my comments and responses to your response.
I must say to begin with I don’t care for the tone of your response to me on what I felt were reasonable questions given the way you have rolled this change out.
Quoting you from the first thread in this topic.
“effective immediately all certification exams for Lean Six Sigma White, Yellow, Green or Black Belt will be proctored.” Plain and simple this is a change from what the Pyzdek Institute has done in the past. I saw on the user forum that you had offered some sort of beta proctoring a year or two ago but this was not the norm for final exams.
I don’t have a problem at all with the “Change” to the exam being proctored per say, I have a problem with the confusion about the way it was introduced. But I must tell you I know nothing about what standard practice is in the educational area, I have been out of college for several decades. I commend you for increasing-improving the quality and reputation of the Pyzdek Institute and I’m sure it will help everyone down the road.
Here is a post from another user posted on July 1, 2014 that was around the same time that I signed up for the LSSBB course.
The exam is very fair in regard to the questions being within the course content, unlike a few other exams I have sat in the past.
My tips would be to ensure you have your course material very organised, meaning the exam is open book, so if you reduce your time in searching for the area that covers the question all the better. This being said, my instructor Peter Bersbach, gave me the best tip and that was to discipline yourself through the exam, by either answering the question immediately or leaving it until the end and use the time at the end to cover those questions that remained unanswered. If you spend too much time on questions, the time just runs away so quickly and before you know it, there is none left.
May I wish you well and good luck!
I assume that if the above forum post was not accurate you would have corrected it or deleted it.
As I mentioned in my first post I have spent the last two weeks getting organized to take the exam assuming that the exam was open book.
Here is a question I asked Peter yesterday and his response
Peter L. Bersbach
Pyzdek Institute Master Black Belt
ASQ CQE#09510 CQMgr#02478
Six Sigma Training Course
Sent: Saturday, February 14, 2015 5:16 PM
To: Peter Bersbach
Subject: New message from Dale Lewis
Peter, The proctored exams are still open book?
So from your response I read that the exam is open book as in you can use the course .pdf’s but only with Acrobat. You cannot use a printed copy of the same material as a reference. I use Acrobat all the time to search content but still prefer the printed page for comprehending and adsorbing information, you can call me old school. In fact I may be the oldest student you have had!
Now, I hope that you know understand why I asked the question the way that I did.
As far as my comment about the web cam and headphone. Yes, I have a laptop with a webcam and I know how to use it. However, I was planning to take the exam on my desktop because it has a larger monitor, this is what I meant by the not having a webcam. So telling me to go to Amazon is not really the issue.
So Tom, in conclusion, I was confused about what materials are permitted to be used during the exam based on what I have read on the Pyzdek forum. I am sure if I was a 30 something and I still had a magnetic mind all of this would be a non-issue. But I’m not, so I need to prepare for the exam in a way that will work for me and permit me to be successful. I hope you now fully understand my questions.
My advise going forward is don’t use a forum setting to explain something like this, post a separate page “How all final certification exams are administered”.
I regret the tone of my response. I have no excuse for it and I apologize.
Regarding the way proctoring was introduced, I gave it quite a bit of thought before I did it. We did a pilot study and used the input from that pilot study. This was not announced in advance, but perhaps it should've been.
As far as exam preparation is concerned, I gave that matter some thought too and starting last year I put combined reading and storyboard files into the courses for reference purposes after the exam as well as for use during the exam. Prior to having these combined files users would have to sift through as many as 70 sets of storyboards and as many sets of reading. We use the six Sigma handbook for this course and that book is a handbook not a textbook for a course. In the training courses we show the material for each lesson with that lesson. However when it came to the exam where the questions are not presented lesson-by-lesson it seemed to me that it would be very difficult to do the necessary research during an open book test. Being able to search these two files at one time seem to me to be a good way to deal with this problem.
As we go through the year and more people take the proctored exams I would be very interested in feedback as to how we might make it better. I appreciate your input, Dale.
I'm taking the yellow belt course and I am downloading the pdf storyboards. I have not finished the course but I have not came across these two files mentioned below in your previous post.
"However when it came to the exam where the questions are not presented lesson-by-lesson it seemed to me that it would be very difficult to do the necessary research during an open book test. Being able to search these two files at one time seem to me to be a good way to deal with this problem."
Here's a screen shot showing where these files can be found.
Thanks Thomas for all your help very helpful.
These are only available if you have finished the coursework and have begun the test preparation, correct? Because I cannot find those for the LSBB course.
Correct. The combined files for Green Belt and Black Belts are only available after completing the training and signing up for the certification exams.
Thank you for making this course one of the best I have ever enrolled in. Every issue, problem, or question I have had has been responded to with incredible swiftness and with just the right response. The process we are undergoing in obtaining Six Sigma training at various levels has obviously been very well thought out. I would expect no less from the process experts who are teaching this course. When I chose to train at the Pyzdek Institute a big part of my decision was that it seemed as if I would have to work harder than in alternative settings where I could get trained in a "few short weeks". So thank you for having a program that is very simple but not easy.
As far as proctored exams go I am in favor of it. At some point I, and I assume most folks enrolled here, will seek to use our training in Lean Six Sigma in the real world running projects. As process experts we will be looked upon to help lead various groups of people into process excellence. All eyes will be on us so to speak. Taking a proctored exam helps ensure that we have actually learned something as students at the Pyzdek Institute. A proctored exam makes it less likely that the questions will be recorded and distributed to future students. A proctored exam reduces the opportunity to cheat. A proctored exam gives Lean Six Sigma Black Belts with the Silver Star from the Pyzdek Institute a bit more cache. Our employers and prospective employers will know that we really did meet the minimum requirements and earned our Black Belts. I am glad the exam is proctored, so thank you for that.
I also am grateful that there are practice exams and that I can retake quizzes as many times as I need to feel comfortable in my understanding of the subjects. I also like that I can use my saved pdf's during the exam. To sum it all up I feel that there is plenty of opportunity and plenty of material to prepare for the exam. I remember reading somewhere on this site that 80% of students pass the exam on the first try and this is before proctoring and I believe before searchable pdfs. I do not think Mr. Pyzdek is trying to harm us or keep us from passing the exam. I think that the opposite is true, he wants us to pass and have the Black Belts trained at Pyzdek Institute to be the best prepared and trained Black Belts out there. Requiring students to pass a proctored exam demonstrates the commitment of the Pyzdek Institute to giving us the opportunity to be the best
Hi Tom and Fellow Students ....I have read some of the comments posted and some of them perplex me. I am fully in favor of the proctored exams and the allowable content. Why would I spend 200 hours + to end up with a certification that may be considered flimsy. I took this journey to improve my skills and I expect those in the hierarchy above me to respect and recognize the place I choose to study. I am a huge proponent of the Pyzedk Institute and I have recommended it to my team......I can be rest assured that my team will earn their respective certifications....as we chase perfection and hope to catch up with excellence !!!
Thanks Tom ...to echo some of the comments below ...one of the best laid out frameworks for a course covering a BOK as extensive as SS that I have taken ...........
I took the practice exam and was not allowed to use the two files: story Boards and articles. I just wanted to make sure we could use these on the real exam?
I will check with ProctorU to see why they did not let you use those files, they should have (see attached.)
Can you use personal notes? i.e. a list of simple equations.
See attached permitted resources.
Rule of Thumb: If it's not on this list, it's not allowed. E.g., using a second computer, having someone standing behind you, headphones, earbuds, cell phones, etc. :-)
Dear Mr. Pyzdek,
I took my practice exam yesterday and the proctor showed me a list of permitted resources without Minitab software.
I would like to know if it has been removed from allowed resources, or if I missed it due to exam situation
You may use Minitab or any other resource during the exam. However, I do not believe that you will need it. The proctors already know that Minitab is allowed. However, I will send ProctorU a message to confirm.
I am waiting for some assignments to be graded, but I have completed all of the course work. I have a full time job (as I'm sure most of you do) and I am a little hesitant to submit my request to take the exam. I fear that 30 days, while also working, will not grant me adequate time to study and pass the exam the first time. I know "readiness" is subjective and different for each person, but would someone who passed the exam please tell me how you prepared and if your results adequately reflected your level of preparedness?
I am thinking about NOT selecting the "finished" box so that I have longer than 30 days to prepare if needed.
I would appreciate it.
Hi Christopher ,
I wrote all three YB, GB and BB last year. I can say that I am by no means a statistics person so that was my challenging area and I worried about it at exam time.
Tom is very good to work with so if you click finished and you find time is running out and u are not in a comfortable place then request an extension.
Perhaps ask Tom if an extension is possible before you click.
P.S. The course material is provided in pdf and is searchable and allowed for the exam. I found it very helpful.
I am almost finished with the assignments and would like to know what preparations I need to make and with which entities. Where are the instructions as to who to contact and exact technical specs? Like others, I have a full-time job and 30 days go by way too fast - any headstart I can get on scheduling tasks would be helpful. I would appreciate having access to those instructions now instead of waiting until I finish all the exercises.
Also - is there a way to view all the quizzes at once to study?
When you finish the course you submit a request to get your Bronze Certificate. Once you've done that we will work with you to get you into the final exam course and set you up with the proctor. Our goal is to help you properly prepare and pass the final exam. We have practice exams that include a practice session with your proctor. If you need more time to prepare, just ask.
As for viewing all the quizzes "at once," you can do that by using the navigation block on the course page. Each quiz is marked with a special icon, as shown on the figure. In the exam course you will find a file with the combined reading assignments and storyboards in PDF format. You can also use these files for review. There's a video showing you how to search the files during the open book exam. Each module is bookmarked so you can jump to a specific lesson.
Our Lean Six Sigma Black Belt exam has a first-time pass rate of over 80%. This doesn't mean that it's easy, it does cover the entire body of knowledge after all. However, after you've completed the training with it's reading, interactive video lessons, self-scoring quizzes, and practice exercises graded by MBBs, you're ready.