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VUE and Prometric: What's the Difference?

By  May 11, 2008

Topics: Certification

Many new IT certification candidates express frustration at the fact that, for many programs, they can register to take their exams by using either Pearson VUE or Thomson Prometric. What is the difference between these two IT certification exam registrars? In this essay I will give you the relevant facts and a personal opinion as to which is better.

With reference to IT certification registration and delivery, there exist two chief providers:

By "provider" I mean that you can register to take your IT certification exam by either calling or visiting the VUE or Prometric Web site. Testing centers are affiliated with either VUE, Prometric, or both. For instance, the training center at which I teach is both a VUE and a Prometric exam provider.

Does it make a difference which exam registrar you choose? Well, yes and no. A rising number of "strategic partnerships" have cropped up in the past year or so that affect certain IT certification candidates:

Consequently, you need to keep this fact in mind if you plan on certifying on Cisco, Microsoft, Oracle, and/or Apple technologies. Be certain to read the "How to register" pages for the certification vendors with which you are interested.

By contrast, programs such as CompTIA and Novell allow you to register with either VUE or Prometric. As far as the specifics of the exam registration process proper, the question to go with Prometric or VUE is determined by your personal preferences and experience.

Now it's time for Tim's opinion. In my 11 years of working in IT, I have been affiliated with a significant number of training centers/IT certification exam providers. Therefore, I have seen how Prometric and VUE work from both the test-taker's point of view as well as from the exam administrator's point of view.

Almost without exception, I have had far better luck dealing with VUE than I have with Thomson Prometric. From the reliability of their exam engine, to the quality of their customer service, to the speed in which incidents are resolved, VUE has it all over Prometric, in my opinion.

Please note the following facts:

  • My preference for VUE as an IT certification test provider is not based upon any scientific data. Rather, it reflects my own experience with the company from a test-taker's as well as a test provider's standpoint.
  • My preference for VUE is totally unrelated to the fact that I work for Pearson. Can anyone say, "Sy Sperling?!"

One inconvenience I have experienced with taking IT certification exams with both Prometric and VUE is that you must maintain two separate profiles. Therefore, keeping your exam history organized can sometimes become problematic.

Ah, capitalism!