Taking CIW Exams - Frequently Asked Questions

CIW Exam Information

Before Taking an Exam

  1. How can I learn details about a specific CIW exam?
  2. Where can I get training and study materials for CIW exams?
  3. Is my training provider an authorized CIW trainer?
  4. Where can I get CIW practice exams?
  5. What is the CIW Exam Agreement?
  6. What is the CIW Certification Agreement?
  7. Why is the CIW Certification Agreement available only in English?
  8. What are the prices for CIW exams?
  9. Do I need to pass the CIW Web Foundations Associate exam before I attempt higher-level CIW exams?

Exam Results and Candidate Records

  1. I just took my first CIW exam, what should I do next?
  2. Can I see exam questions I missed?
  3. Can I challenge my exam score?
  4. How do I review my CIW certification history and contact information?
  5. Why am I unable to log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center?
  6. Can I log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center with an old score report?
  7. Why does my status in the CIW Candidate Information Center not yet show that I earned a CIW certification?
  8. What does "Created" or "Processed" mean in my certification history?
  9. Why does my record say I am "enrolled in" other CIW programs that I have not registered for?
  10. My name is spelled incorrectly in the CIW Candidate Information Center, and I am unable to change this. How can this be fixed?

Certificates and Logos

  1. I completed all the steps, so where is my certificate?
  2. My employer needs immediate proof that I have earned my CIW certification. How can I prove that I am CIW certified now?
  3. Can I get my name corrected on my certificate?
  4. I lost my CIW certificate. How can I get it replaced?
  5. I have earned CIW certification. Where can I get a CIW logo to put on my business cards?

CIW Program Specifics

  1. What are vendor-neutral exams?
  2. Do CIW exam objectives change when CIW courseware changes?
  3. Do CIW courseware version numbers correspond to CIW exam version numbers?
  4. When are CIW exams retired? Do I still receive credit for a retired exam?
  5. Does CIW offer its exams translated into any other languages?
  6. Does CIW still offer Associate credit for the CompTIA i-Net+ certification?
  7. Does CIW still offer Master Administrator credit for Microsoft and Novell certifications?
  8. What does the CIW acronym stand for?

Before Taking an Exam

1. I am preparing to take a CIW exam, and I want some details about the exam itself and the skills I will be tested on. Where can I find details about a particular CIW exam?

Details about specific exams are available on the individual Exam Guide pages. These pages offer information about each exam such as certification credit, prerequisites, number of questions, time allotted, scoring percentages, skills measured, preparation tools and resources, and exam retirement information.

2. Where can I get training and study materials for a CIW exam?

Official instructor-led CIW training materials are available from CIW Authorized Training Partners (ATPs). See our CIW Training Locator to find a location near you to sign up for CIW instructor-led training. CIW Self- Study Kits are available in the CIW Store.

3. Is my training provider an authorized CIW trainer?

Our many CIW Authorized Training Partners (ATPs) offer superior training in CIW skills and exam preparation because only these establishments have CIW Certified Instructors (CIs) teaching Official CIW Curriculum. You can verify whether a specific training provider is an authorized CIW trainer by checking to see if it is listed in the CIW ATP/AAP Training Locator. If the training provider is not listed, then it is not an official CIW ATP.

4. Where can I get CIW practice exams?

Official CIW Certification Practice Exam products allow students and instructors to instantly evaluate an individual's level of IT knowledge. These tools provide students with an additional method of review and assessment to enhance the learning experience. CIW Practice Exams can also be used as a pre-assessment and quiz administration tool to help instructors evaluate their students' knowledge.

Numerous other sites on the Web offer so-called practice exams and other test preparation tools, as well. These sites, known as braindumps, are collections of exam items that have been stolen from high- stakes certification exams. Several international organizations publish, distribute and sell these items illegally, under thousands of different organization names and Internet domains. Using these collections is a violation of both the CIW Exam Agreement and the CIW Certification Agreement and is grounds for decertification. If you are considering a practice test tool and are not sure of the legitimacy of a particular site, you can check it using CertGuard's free search tool at www.certguard.com/search.asp

5. What is the CIW Exam Agreement?

The CIW Exam Agreement is presented at the start of every high-stakes CIW certification exam. Candidates must accept this agreement before proceeding to the first exam question. The CIW Exam Agreement protects the copyrighted exam content and states that exam content may not be distributed by candidates under any circumstances.

The CIW Exam Agreement is fairly long and may interfere with the time available to candidates to take their exams. Candidates may review the CIW Exam Agreement here, so that they need not spend significant time on it at the testing center.

6. What is the CIW Certification Agreement?

The CIW Certification Agreement is a binding legal agreement governing the rights and responsibilities of all CIW certification candidates. It covers exam content copyright and non-disclosure requirements, candidate and certificant conduct, the use of CIW logos and copyrighted CIW trademarks, abuse of certification status, and other legal protections. You are required to complete the CIW Certification Agreement to be eligible for CIW certification. Some candidates who have taken CIW exams in previous years may have completed an older version of the CIW Certification Agreement. This Agreement is still valid if it is documented in your current CIW Candidate Information Center record. To determine whether your Agreement is completed and you are eligible for CIW certification, log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center and click the Candidate Agreement link in the left column.

7. I took a Japanese-translation version of a CIW exam. At the testing center, I was required to accept a CIW Exam Agreement, but the agreement itself was written in English. Why is the CIW Exam Agreement not available in languages other than English?

CIW is based in the United States, and therefore any legal issues and documents must comply with U.S. laws and standards. The CIW Exam Agreement, the CIW Certification Agreement and other legal documents (such as certificates and transcripts) must be published in American English to satisfy U.S. legal language standards and remain valid. However, candidates who take CIW exams translated into other languages are still legally bound not to disclose, share or publish copyrighted exam items, or abuse certification status or copyrighted CIW trademarks in any way.

8. What are the prices for CIW exams?

Prices vary from country to country. View detailed information about exam pricing at the Taking An Exam page under Certifications. This page has information about registration, test-taking, accommodations for the disabled, test results and more.

9. Do I need to pass the CIW Web Foundations Associate exam before I attempt higher-level CIW exams?

No, CIW Web Foundations Associate is no longer required as a prerequisite for any other CIW certifications. Some CIW certification awards require that you pass multiple exams. You are not required to take exams in any particular order. However, because more complex topics build on the CIW Web Foundations Associate topics, we generally recommend that candidates complete their study and take exams in escalating order. For more information about certification requirements, visit the Certification Pathways section.

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Exam Results and Candidate Records

10. I just took my first CIW certification exam, but all I have is my score report. What should I do next?

Your exam result will be automatically transmitted to the CIW Candidate Information Center within two to 10 business days. An automated e-mail message will be sent to you when your exam result has been imported. If you have not previously done so, log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center and review your certification record. If you have not previously logged in, you can use the information on your exam score report to authenticate your identity and create your login user name and password. The first time you log in, you will be asked to verify your mailing address. Update your record, if necessary, and click the Verify button at the bottom of the page.

Next, verify that you have completed the CIW Certification Agreement. Click the Candidate Agreement link in the left column. Read the Agreement, select Yes at the bottom if you agree to its terms, then click the Submit button. The CIW Certification Agreement is required for eligibility for any CIW certification.

Finally, click the Certification Progress link in the left column to review your certification status. You can drill into the certifications to examine the requirements of each program.

11. I failed my first attempt at a CIW exam, so I am studying to take it again. Can I see the questions and answers that I missed on the CIW exam I took?

No, CIW does not release exam items in any form, either questions or answers. This procedure is standard for high-stakes IT certification exams, and helps maintain the value of the credential.

All CIW exam items are copyrighted material. To maintain the security and value of our program, we reserve the right to decertify and/or bar from exams any individual who in any way attempts to republish, distribute, disclose or use our copyrighted certification exam items in an unauthorized manner. You agree to these non-disclosure conditions and other rules by signing the CIW Certification Agreement, which is part of your CIW Certification record and can be viewed in the CIW Candidate Information Center. You are required to complete this agreement to be eligible for any CIW certifications.

12. I think my CIW exam may have been scored incorrectly. What recourse do I have to investigate this?

If you feel that a physical or technical problem interfered with your performance on an exam, please contact the management staff of your testing center promptly for remediation. If your local testing center is not helpful, contact the testing service provider's regional customer service via its Web site or contact phone numbers for further assistance.

CIW exams can be challenged for validity of item content. If you believe you have a legitimate reason to challenge the results of your recent CIW certification exam, you must complete the CIW Exam Item Challenge Form. The directions on the form detail the submission process. Upon receiving your CIW Exam Item Challenge Form, the CIW certification team will review your challenge, consulting content development staff and subject matter experts as necessary. Once the review has been completed, you will be notified of the results by e-mail. Please allow up to 10 business days for a response to your challenge.

13. How do I review my CIW certification history and contact information?

You can review your contact information and certification history at the CIW Candidate Information Center. You can use that site to generate your electronic certificate, review/confirm your mailing address, publish your transcripts, and download logos. You will need information from your Official CIW Exam Score Report the first time you log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center.

14. I took my CIW exam yesterday, but I am still not able to log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center. Why?

It normally takes two to ten business days for exam results to be transmitted from a testing center to the CIW Candidate Information Center. Please be patient while this data is transmitted. If more than two weeks have passed since you took your CIW exam, and your results are still not available, please notify us using the Program Information Request form. Be sure to include complete information from your Official CIW Exam Score Report, including your name as it is spelled on the score report, registration ID, testing ID, site ID, etc. This information will help us locate your record and determine the status of your exam result and certification.

15. I took CIW exams several years ago. I recently tried to log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center, using the information on my Official CIW Exam Score Reports from the time I took the exams. Why am I unable to log in?

Older exam data is periodically archived and may not be readily accessible to candidates. Contact us using the Program Information Request form. Be sure to provide complete information (address, exam score information, registration ID, current and former e-mail addresses) so that we can locate your certification record. Once we have located your record, we will send an automated account recovery message to you via e-mail. This message will provide instructions and a one-time access code. Follow the instructions in that message to create your login in the CIW Candidate Information Center.

16. I passed my CIW certification exam, and I successfully logged in to the CIW Candidate Information Center, but my status does not yet show that I earned the certification. Why?

A CIW certification is awarded only after ALL requirements for that certification have been met. Some CIW certifications require you to pass more than one exam. All CIW certifications require you to complete the CIW Certification Agreement.

Verify that you have completed the CIW Certification Agreement, which is available in the CIW Candidate Information Center. After logging in, click the Candidate Agreement link in the left column. Read the agreement, select Yes at the bottom if you agree to its terms, then click the Submit button. If you require a copy of this document for your personal files, you can also download the PDF version of the Agreement from that location. The CIW Certification Agreement is required for eligibility for any CIW certification.

If you have passed all required exams and completed the CIW Certification Agreement but your certification still has not been awarded, review your status in the Certification Progress page. Each program is listed, and indicates your status in each of the requirements for certification. If you have completed all listed requirements, but certification has still not been automatically awarded, please contact us using the Program Information Request form so we can investigate. Be sure to include your CIW ID (shown at the top of all pages in the system).

17. My History record in the CIW Candidate Information Center says that my certificate has been "Created" and/or "Processed." What does this mean?

This message means that your certification status has been communicated to us, for archival purposes. Certification Partners no longer physically mails paper certificates for free. Certificates are now available electronically within the CIW Candidate Information Center. They can be printed and/or saved as a PDF file. Certification Partners reserves the right to distribute certificates in any manner it deems appropriate and cost-effective.

18. Why does my record in the CIW Candidate Information Center say that I am enrolled in several programs? I did not register for these programs.

You can ignore messages about enrollment history. This message is a technical requirement of the database that powers the CIW Candidate Information Center. Some requirements, such as the CIW Certification Agreement and certain exams, contribute toward some or all certification tracks. Completing one such requirement automatically sends a message to the database that you have satisfied a requirement for, or "enrolled in," other related tracks, regardless of your plans to pursue them. This message does not indicate that you are scheduled for any courses or exams.

19. My name is spelled incorrectly in the CIW Candidate Information Center, and I am unable to change this. How can this be fixed?

Contact us using the Program Information Request form so we can investigate. Include your CIW ID and the complete information from your Official CIW Exam Score Report, including your name as it is spelled on the score report and the way it should be correctly spelled. We will update your name in the CIW Candidate Information Center.

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Certificates and Logos

20. I logged in to the CIW Candidate Information Center, verified that my address is correct, and verified that I have met all requirements for certification. But I still have not received my certificate in the mail. Why?

As of Sept 2nd, 2014, CIW is no longer automatically mailing free paper based certificates. You can now generate your certificate immediately in the CIW Candidate Information Center, by clicking on "Printable Documents" in the left side menu. This will bring up a list of your current certifications. Click on the "Print Now" link on the far right side. A popup will appear (enable this in your browser, if necessary), displaying your certificate. You can print the certificate out, and/or save it as a PDF file on your local system. There is no limit on the number of times you can generate your certificate.

21. My employer needs immediate proof that I have earned my CIW certification. How can I prove that I am CIW certified now?

Log in to the CIW Candidate Information Center, and click the Publish Credentials link in the left column. Select the credentials you want included, and enter your employer's e-mail address. You can also include a brief message. Check the appropriate boxes. Then click the Submit button. An e-mail message will be sent to the address you supplied; it will include a URL and security code that your employer can use to verify your CIW certification status directly with us. Your employer will see only the CIW certifications you have earned and the award dates; no history of your exam attempts or scores will appear.

22. I was certified prior to Sept. 2nd, 2014 and I received my CIW certificate in the mail, but my name is spelled incorrectly. Can the certificate be corrected?

Yes, CIW will issue you a new certificate if an error was made on a previously issued paper certificate. Contact us using the Program Information Request form, and be sure to include your CIW ID and the complete information from your Official CIW Exam Score Report, including your name exactly as it was spelled on your score report, the correct spelling that should appear, registration ID, testing ID, site ID, etc.

CIW issues certificates with names spelled exactly as they are recorded in the CIW Candidate Information Center. Your name is recorded exactly as it was registered at the testing center. If your testing service provider has an incorrect version of your name, contact them directly to request a change.

23. I lost my paper CIW certificate. Can I get it replaced?

Yes, you may purchase a replacement certificate. Contact Customer Service, at +1-800-228-1027. Tell them you wish to order a copy of product code: 0CERTIFICATE. You MUST provide your CIW ID, and your current address. Replacement certificates are $30, and includes all programs you are currently certified in. Payment must be made via credit/debit card.

24. I have earned CIW certification. Where can I get a CIW logo to put on my business cards?

CIW logos can be downloaded from the CIW Candidate Information Center. Click the Download Center link in the left column.


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General Info about CIW Exams

25. CIW touts its curricula as "vendor-neutral." How does this apply to CIW certification exams?

CIW exams are also vendor-neutral and therefore do not include questions about vendor-specific applications, such as word-processing, Web design or graphics programs. The CIW certification program tests vendor-neutral Internet job-role skills, rather than computer application knowledge.

Exceptions that should be noted are operating systems and servers, which some CIW exams cover in two general categories: Microsoft Windows Me/2000/XP/2003/NT and Red Hat Linux/UNIX. These two major system types function differently but are widely used and necessary as a basis for most computer skills. Some knowledge of both systems is essential for any practical job-role skills in areas of Internet security, internetworking and server administration.

26. Are CIW exam objectives updated when CIW courseware is updated?

CIW exam objectives are not necessarily changed when CIW courseware is updated. CIW exam objectives persist throughout the life of the exam. Currently, live CIW exams are numbered in the 500 and 600 series.

Like most high-stakes certification exams, CIW revises objectives (and exam versions) periodically. By contrast, CIW courseware is updated more frequently to include errata corrections and changes to industry standards, technology or application software. However, current CIW courseware always covers the current CIW exam objectives.

27. I am studying for the CIW Web Foundations Associate exams using the CIW coursebooks I got in class last year. I noticed in the page footers that some of my coursebooks are version 1 and some are version 2, but I read on the exam info Web pages that the exams are version 510 and 610. Will my v1 or v2 CIW coursebooks prepare me for a CIW 510 or 610 exam?

CIW courseware versions use different numbering schemes than CIW exam versions. A courseware version number represents an independent content revision cycle only for that course. Exam version numbers represent a set of technology skills objectives for the entire series of exams.

The current CIW Web Foundations Associate courseware titles are v1.x or v2.x, corresponding to the 1D0-510 or 1D0-610 exams, respectively.

28. What happens when a CIW exam is retired, and can I still receive credit for having passed a retired exam?

A CIW exam may be retired for various reasons, including the release of a new exam series, changes to related certification programs, or determination by the IT industry that a job role has evolved or become obsolete.

Once retired, the exam is no longer available at testing centers, although in some cases candidates can still apply a previously passed exam result toward a multi-exam certification. For more information about retired CIW exams, see the Exam Retirement page. CIW provides at least six months' notice for retirement of any exam, so that interested candidates have time to prepare and take the exam while it is still available. Retirement notices are posted on our Web site. You can find information about retirement status for a particular exam by visiting that exam's Certification Series page.

29. I want to take a CIW exam in a language other than English. Does CIW offer translated versions of its exams in other languages?

Translation of CIW exams into other languages is available to selected international partners. Your local training provider can advise you about availability of exams in your local language. Currently, some CIW exams are available in Japanese (in Japan only).

30. I thought you offered a program for applying my i-Net+ certification toward a CIW Associate certification, but I cannot find any information about it. Do you still offer this program?

No. The i-Net+-to-CIW-Associate equivalency program was retired in February 2005, after the CIW v4 exam was retired. That program was created because the CIW v4 Foundations exam (1D0-410) was considered nearly equivalent to the CompTIA i-Net+ certification exam. However, the CIW Foundations objectives and exam were updated to CIW v5 Foundations, at which time the successor CIW Associate certification and the existing CompTIA i-Net+ certification were no longer similar enough to be considered equivalent.

CompTIA retired the i-Net+ exam and certification in 2007. CompTIA no longer offers any similar Internet skills certification.

31. I have heard that the CIW program will accept Microsoft and Novell certifications toward its Master CIW Administrator certification. Is this still true?

No. The CIW i-Accelerate program, which allowed candidates to submit MCSE and CNE certifications for partial credit toward the Master CIW Administrator certification, was terminated in Fall 2004. The Master CIW Administrator certification track was retired in June 2011.

32. What does the CIW acronym stand for?

The CIW brand has come to represent quality standards in IT and Web-based certification, education and skills validation. The program's original name has evolved and is therefore de-emphasized in favor of the simple CIW brand. The acronym "CIW" was adopted to represent a family of professional certifications and associated curriculum originally known as the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW). Since then the CIW program grew to include job-role certifications that exceed the boundaries of the Internet and the role of the Webmaster. CIW certifications now validate skills and expertise in more advanced and diverse IT disciplines, such as server administration, security, application development, programming languages and enterprise solutions, as well as computer and Web skills practical for every job. As such, the program title was modified for the 21st century to "Certified Internet Web Professional."

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For more CIW Training and Certification questions and answers, please visit our CIW FAQ page.

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