- What do you recommend concerning exam preparation?
- How do I find training related to certification topics?
- How do I register for an exam?
- How much do the exams cost?
- How many questions are on the exams, and how long does it take to complete one?
- How are the F5 Professional Certification Program exams developed?
- What are beta exams?
- Why should I take a beta exam?
- What should I bring with me to the testing center?
- Why do I need to give my palm-vein scan?
- How and when will I get my exam results?
- What if I need extra time or equipment to take an exam because of special circumstances or if the exam is not available in the language of my choice?
- What is the passing exam score?
- How can I get a copy of my transcript or see which exams I have passed?
- What happens if I fail an exam? Can I retake it?
- Once I’ve completed all requirements, when will I receive my certificate?
- Is there a telephone number I can call for information on my certification status?
- How can I get a copy of my certificate(s)?
- Which of the various Technology Specialist certifications should I pursue first?
- Do I have to be an F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator to be certified as a Technology Specialist in iRules?
- I'm not able to login. What should I do?
- I registered for a new account, but what is my password?
- What if I forgot my password?
- I don't have my password. I tried to register for a new account, but it says it is a Duplicate Account.
- Is there a way to create/edit/view customer service incidents with my new account?
- I am stuck and need help on this. Who can I contact?
Where should I start?
Unlike many certification programs, the F5 Professional Certification Program requires candidates to register before they take their first exam. This is primarily to protect program integrity and security. Candidates can start the registration process on the F5 Candidate Management System (F5-CMS).
Once registered, candidates can arrange to take exams at Pearson VUE testing centers. Please find the latest information and available exams at the Pearson VUE website. To learn more about exam costs, read the cost information below.
Once I’m certified, can I indicate my F5 certification or use the F5 logo on my business card?
Yes. By achieving F5 Professional Certification, you have earned the use of specific logos developed exclusively for F5 Certified individuals and subject to the Logo Usage Guidelines. Also, feel free to advertise your certification status through social media (Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook).
When it is time to recertify, you will only need to take the exam for the highest level of certification achieved. You will not need to retake exams for lower-level exams, just the most advanced certification level exam.
Program Transition and Previous Program FAQs
Why do we need a new certification program?
F5 products and markets have substantially changed since the creation of the first F5 certification program. The F5 Professional Certification Program adequately addresses today’s needs and trends and captures the true power of integrated IT solutions.
What will happen to the old program and certifications?
Candidates who have achieved certification under the old F5 program (which ended June 29, 2012) will have valid certifications for their full two-year expiry. Full rollout of the F5 Professional Certification Program will take about three years, and the validity of previous certifications is important to our partner program, for which partners must maintain a certain number of certified individuals to be eligible.
When certifications from the old program expire, however, individuals will not be able to simply recertify. They will need to achieve certification in the new F5 Professional Certification Program.
For the purposes of the F5 partner program and for F5 internal or service organizations using the certifications as a business tool, the transition plan is up to the sponsoring organization. If you participate in such a program, please contact your program representative for more information.
Why don’t we grandfather old certifications into the new program, instead of making candidates start over?
Because the F5 Professional Certification Program incorporates a new philosophy and exam process, it does not map to the previous program. Therefore, grandfathering is not an option.
What about FirePass and ARX certifications?
New certifications for ARX and FirePass have been released. Given the current lifecycle of the FirePass product, we still encourage candidates to take the BIG-IP Access Policy Manager certification exam.
However, to register for either exam, please visit the F5-CMS and complete both the F5 Candidate Agreement form and the appropriate Candidate Agreement form. This is an individual certification with no relationship to the new F5 Professional Certification Program.
What do you recommend concerning exam preparation?
Each exam has an exam blueprint. This blueprint lists all the objectives an exam expects to measure, much like a syllabus for the exam itself. These blueprints provide a detailed breakdown of the skills/knowledge we expect a candidate to have.
Also, you can register at F5 University for free F5-specific training resources.
How do I find training related to certification topics?
All courses offered at F5 training facilities are listed by region in our Course Schedules section.
How do I register for an exam?
First, register in the F5 Credential Management System (F5-CMS). After registering for the program, you will receive an email stating that you are eligible to sit for your first exam. Once you receive the email, it can often take 24-48 hours before your exam appears on the Pearson VUE website. Once it is available, you can locate a Pearson VUE testing center and schedule your exam.
There occasionally may be opportunities to participate in beta exams at a reduced cost. Please find the latest information, including specific pricing, on the Pearson VUE website.
How many questions are on the exams, and how long does it take to complete one?
The number of questions on an exam depends upon the level and type of exam, but in most cases, exams are scheduled to fit within a 90-minute test session. Beta exams generally have twice as many questions and take up to twice as long to complete.
How are the F5 Professional Certification Program exams developed?
F5 Certification exams are developed through a rigorous and legally defensible process led by an industry-leading psychometric consulting organization. This process includes a full job-task analysis of the skills and knowledge necessary at each defined level, item development workshops, beta exams, psychometric analysis and review, and industry accepted cut-score analysis. All in all, each exam takes more than 1,000 hours of subject matter expert time over more than six months from test design to publication.
What are beta exams?
Beta exams are F5 Certification exams in the later phase of the exam development process. They generally include twice as many questions and can take up to twice as long to complete.
The objective of a beta exam is to gather data about the questions to determine whether they achieve the intent and to eliminate questions that cause problems. Beta exams are a critical part of developing exams that are fair, dependable, and valid.
Why should I take a beta exam?
Beta exams are often offered at a price discount and the results count toward certification. While final beta exam results might not be immediately available, the beta process gives candidates an opportunity to influence the development of the exams and the program.
What should I bring with me to the testing center?
Pearson VUE testing centers require two forms of identification: a currently valid, official government-issued photo ID with signature (such as driver's licenses, state-issued photo IDs, military IDs, and passports) and a secondary valid ID with signature.
Typically, candidates are not allowed to take anything into the testing environment. Anything that candidates bring with them must be checked in with the testing proctor. Contact your local Pearson VUE testing center for more details.
Why do I need to give my palm-vein scan?
F5 requires that Pearson VUE collect and/or verify various pieces of personal candidate data upon exam admission. Unless unlawful in your local region, this data includes your photograph, your digital signature and, potentially, biometric data (a palm-vein scan). This data is critical to ensuring that only valid candidates are allowed to take exams toward certification.
Waivers are allowed in cases where the collection of this data may conflict with the personal religious beliefs of the candidate or for other reasonable objections; however, waivers must be approved through F5 after your exam is scheduled, but prior to your actual exam date. Admissions Data Waivers may be requested by submitting the Admissions Data Waiver form in the F5-CMS, may take up to 30 days to approve, and must be requested and approved for every unique exam. If you apply for waivers, F5 is not responsible for forfeiture of exam fees if you fail to provide enough time to process a request for waivers or fail to cancel/reschedule your exam while waiting approval of your waiver.
How and when will I get my exam results?
In general, you can expect to receive a provisional pass/fail notification once your exam is complete. For more information, refer to the F5-CMS, which will notify you when full, final exam results are available for review within the system.
Beta exam results are different. You will not get a pass/fail at the testing center and you may not find out your final results for 60 days for more. Beta results cannot be calculated until:
- The beta is closed. Processing the beta is a statistical model and requires ALL the exams to be in.
- The beta is processed to create a production version of the exam (some questions may be removed or modified).
- The “cut” or passing score is calculated for each unique exam.
- Beta exams are “re-played” through the production exam and compared to the cut score.
This process takes about 45 days following the close of the beta.
What if I need extra time or equipment to take an exam because of special circumstances or if the exam is not available in the language of my choice?
F5 exams are currently published in English only. A 30-minute extension is automatically granted in countries where English is not the primary language.
If a candidate needs special accommodations because of a disability, extended testing time or other accommodations may be provided. All special requests must be made 30 days prior to testing date via the F5 Credential Management System (F5-CMS) or by emailing F5Certification@f5.com.
Information provided when you sign up for an exam includes all of the pertinent information: number of questions, time allowed, and passing score.
How can I get a copy of my transcript or see which exams I have passed?
Visit the F5 Credential Management System (F5-CMS).
- If you attempt an exam and do not pass, you will not be allowed to take that exam again for 15 days.
- If you do not pass a second time, you will be required to wait 30 days before taking the exam again.
- A failure on the third attempt will require the candidate to request permission before attempting the exam a fourth time and waiting 45 days from the date your request is approved.
- If you fail an exam for the fourth time, you will be ineligible to take that exam for two (2) years.
Once I’ve completed all requirements, when will I receive my certificate?
Candidates will be notified by the F5-CMS when they have been granted certification, and when their certificates are ready for download. This will typically take place within 72 hours of successfully sitting for the final exam of the certification level.
Is there a telephone number I can call for information on my certification status?
No. Certification status can be found on the F5 Credential Management System (F5-CMS). If you can’t find what you’re looking for there, queries can be sent to F5Certification@F5.com.
How can I get a copy of my certificate(s)?
Copies of certificates for the F5 Professional Certification Program can be downloaded from the F5-CMS. Copies of the certificates from the old certification program can be obtained by sending an email request to F5Certification@F5.com. F5 does not currently provide physical certificates for any certifications.
Which of the various Technology Specialist certifications should I pursue first?
Technology Specialist certification can be pursued in any order. Many people start with BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager Technology Specialist or iRules Technology Specialist certification, since both are required for any Solution Expert certification. After that, consider the requirements of the Solution Expert certification that interests you most.
Do I have to be an F5 Certified BIG-IP Administrator to be certified as a Technology Specialist in iRules?
No. The iRules Developer exam is the only 300 Level exam that does not require passing the BIG-IP Administrator exam.
- Reset your password by clicking on "Forgot Password" link in the left navigation pane or below the login prompt.
- You will be prompted to enter your last name and the email address you used when you registered for your account.
- An email with an account recovery link and authentication code will be sent.
- Click the link and then provide the code in the appropriate space and click submit.
- You will then have the opportunity to create a new password and be redirected to login with your new password.
If you do not have an account:
- Register in the F5-CMS by clicking “Register for an Account” in the left nav or below the login prompt.
- Accept and submit the F5 Candidate Agreement and F5 Non-Disclosure form.
- You can then start creating your profile.
- Once you register, an email is automatically sent with an account activation link and an account authorization code.
- Click the link and submit the code.
- You can then change your username from the default Candidate ID (depending on availability and listed restrictions) and create a new password (password restrictions are also listed).
- Once you click submit, you will be redirected to the main login page to login with your new username and password.
- Click the link, provide the code in the appropriate space, and click “submit”.
- Then change your username from the default Candidate ID to one of your choosing (depending on availability and listed restrictions) and create a new password (password restrictions are also listed).
- Once you click submit, you will be redirected to the main login page to login with your new username and password.
- Click on "Forgot Password" link in the left navigation pane or below the login prompt.
- Enter your last name and the email address you used when you registered for your account.
- You will receive an email with an account recovery link and authentication code.
- Click the link and then provide the code in the appropriate space and click “submit”. You will then have the opportunity to create a new password.
- Once you have created a new password, you will be redirected to the main login page to login with your new password.
I don't have my password. I tried to register for a new account, but it says it is a Duplicate Account.
This indicates that the system detected an existing account with nearly identical personal information. In an effort to protect your privacy and the system integrity, the system will not update or overwrite the existing account, nor will it create a duplicate.
- Click on the "login" link on the error page to take you back to the main login page and then select the “Forgot Password” link in the left navigation pane or below the login prompt.
- You will be prompted to enter your last name and email address.
- When you submit your request, you will be sent an email with an account recovery link and authentication code.
- Click the link and then provide the code in the appropriate space and click “submit”.
- You will then have the opportunity to create a new password. Once you have created a new password, you will be redirected to the main login page.
To open a new incident:
- Login to your account and select “new incident” from the left-hand nav.
- Enter a detailed explanation of the reason for opening an incident.
- Then click “create incident detail”.
To update or view and existing incident:
- Login to your account and select “incident history” from the left-hand nav.
- Select your incident from the list of all incidents in the system.
- To add additional information or update, select “Add Comment” to add a comment to the incident.
When you create an incident or an incident has been updated/closed by F5 personnel, you will get a confirmation email with the details of the event.
I am stuck and need help on this. Who can I contact?
For all issues and questions regarding the F5 Professional Certification Program, or the F5 Credential Management Solution (F5-CMS), email F5Certification@F5.com.