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Red Hat Frequently Asked Questions

General

What is the purpose of the Red Hat's certification programs?

Red Hat certification programs provide validation of an individual's technical skills and knowledge. Organizations hiring employees, contractors, and consultants can look to Red Hat certifications as an input into hiring, assignment, promotion and other management decisions. Similarly, individuals who earn these certifications benefit by having official, impartial validation of their skills and knowledge.

What is meant by "performance-based" testing?

Performance-based testing is testing by doing — that is, by having examinees perform real-world tasks similar to those they must perform in a job role. Performance-based testing is also called hands-on or practical testing. All Red Hat certification exams are performance-based tests and Red Hat is the industry leader in IT performance-based testing.


Certification Changes: RHCSA Certification Introduction

Reinforcing its commitment to provide IT professionals with the best training and performance-based assessments in the industry, Red Hat has announced a new addition to its line of performance-based certifications—Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA), which will replace Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT).

Why is RHCSA replacing the RHCT?

First, RHCSA represents a more accurate description of the job role held by people with this credential. Most have the job title System Administrator.Second, RHCSA arises from a thorough analysis of the skills and abilities required of today's system administrators. Over the past two years, Red Hat has been gathering information from its certified community on their work. This effort has included an in-depth technical survey and task analysis, focus groups at the Red Hat Summit, RHCE Loopback events, online focus groups with RHCAs worldwide, and other occasions in which feedback has been sought and given. While much is similar to RHCT, some adjustments have been made to reflect what Red Hat has learned from the community of professionals using its technologies in the field.

What's the difference between the new RHCSA and the outgoing RHCT certifications?

While the new RHCSA exam and the earlier RHCT exam have much in common, it is important to understand that these are two different exams and that the differences reflect the evolution of Red Hat technologies and the ways in which its customers use the technologies. For example, Logical Volume Management (LVM) was introduced in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 and LVM skills became an RHCE exam objective at that time. Since then, use of logical volumes has become the default in the Red Hat Enterprise Linux installer and LVM has become the standard, ubiquitous approach to disk management. Red Hat's survey of certified professionals found that this is a core skill that all system administrators should have, not just senior system administrators, so LVM is an exam objective of RHCSA.

What is the difference between RHCSA and RHCE?

RHCSA is intended as the "core" system administration certification offered by Red Hat. Going forward, everyone who wishes to earn a system administration certification from Red Hat will begin by earning this credential. RHCE is intended as a senior system administration certification. In order to earn RHCE under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 and after, one must earn RHCSA and pass a separate RHCE exam. Having a current RHCE certification remains an eligibility requirement for taking any Red Hat Certificate of Expertise Exam, and thus it remains a requirement for upper-level credentials such as Red Hat Certified Architect, Red Hat Certified Security Specialist, and Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist.

I was trained on Red Hat Enterprise Linux version 5. I understand the RHCSA and RHCE certification exams will test on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. What impact will this have on my potential to pass?

Someone who has recently trained on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 is well on their way to being prepared for the RHCSA and RHCE exams on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. New releases of Red Hat Enterprise Linux are evolutions, and what is similar from release to release far outweighs what differs. Nevertheless, candidates are advised to review the Exam Objectives document and spend some time doing the tasks it describes on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 before undertaking the exam.

What are the changes to the exams?

The Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) Exam and the previous Red Hat Certified Engineer Exam (RH302) will not be offered for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. The RHCSA Exam and the updated RHCE Exam will be take the place of the retired exams. These exams will be retired March 1, 2011 and will no longer be administered. Most regions will cease offering the RHCT and other Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 exams between November and December.The previous Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) Exam (RH302) will be replaced by the Red Hat Certified Engineer Exam (EX300) and the Red Hat Certified System Administrator Exam (EX200).The RHCSA (EX200) and RHCE (EX300) exams will now be two clearly separate exams: RHCE will not have RHCSA embedded within as it was previously.Beginning with Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, candidates must pass both the RHCSA and RHCE exams in order to earn their RHCE. This is similar to the existing requirement that candidates pass both RHCT and RHCE components in the existing RHCE exam, except that the two exams are now separate.

How does this change the path to RHCE certification?

Under the new program, RHCSA is the universal entry point into the program. One might choose from among a number of different potential training paths to get there, but earning one's RHCSA is a requirement to becoming an RHCE. It will not be necessary to earn RHCSA first before being eligible to enroll for an RHCE exam. It is necessary to have earned RHCSA before one can be an RHCE. By making RHCSA the prerequisite to everything else, we make it easier for individuals to make the appropriate choices in their training and certification decisions.

What if I pass the RHCE exam but do not pass or did not take the RHCSA exam?

Under the new model, someone who passes the RHCE exam before passing the RHCSA exam will have their record retained and a record identifier will be issued. Once the candidate passes RHCSA, the earlier RHCE exam pass record will be joined to the successful RHCSA and the person will then be an RHCSA and an RHCE.

How should one prepare for the RHCSA and RHCE exams?

The manner in which an individual prepares for these exams depends on the background of the individual. Red Hat now offers more approaches to preparation than ever, with assessments to help guide individuals to the training path best suited to their experience and skills.

What is happening to RHCT?

Red Hat Certified Technician (RHCT) will be not be offered for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Red Hat Certified System Administrator (RHCSA) will be launched in place of RHCT. No one is losing their certification. The certification verification page will continue to report if one has earned RHCT and RHCTs may continue to use the title per the terms and conditions of the program.

What if I recently earned my RHCT on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5?

While RHCSA differs from RHCT, Red Hat will issue RHCSA retroactively to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 RHCTs in order to provide continuity for them and potential employers who are not yet familiar with RHCSA.The similarities between RHCT and RHCSA make it reasonable to award RHCSA to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 RHCTs retroactively. However, the differences mean that version 5 RHCSAs who wish to upgrade to RHCE must re-certify as RHCSA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in order to ensure that their skill sets are complete. In other words, an RHCSA on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 must pass both the RHCSA exam and RHCE exams on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in order to become an RHCE on that release.

Can Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 RHCTs (RHCSAs) take just EX300 under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in order to upgrade to RHCE?

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 RHCTs who receive RHCSA must take the RHCSA and RHCE exams under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in order to earn RHCE. This is essentially the same situation as they would have faced had the program not undergone any changes.

Will there be any considerations given to those who already passed the RHCT prior to Red Hat Enterprise 5?

Those individuals that have already taken and passed the RHCT exam on releases prior to Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, will be offered a discount for a limted time on the all new RHCSA exam.RHCTs earned under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 or earlier are already non-current. Those earned under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 were earned three or more years ago and will become non-current 60 days after Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 is released. Because these older certifications are either already non-current or soon to be non-current, those holding them will not be issued RHCSA retroactively.

Is Red Hat changing the re-certification policy?

A new re-certification policy will be in effect for certifications earned on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or later. All earlier certifications will remain under the policies under which they were issued.Certifications earned on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 will become non-current 60 days after general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Certifications earned under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 will be considered current until 60 days after the general availability of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7. Under the new policy, RHCSA certification will be current for three years. We refer to this three-year period as the currency window. If someone passes a higher-level exam during that three-year period, Red Hat will reset the three-year currency window to the date of the more recent exam. For example, if an RHCSA earns RHCE, the currency window is moved to the date one passes the RHCE exam. If an RHCE passes a Certificate of Expertise exam, the currency window moves to the date one passed that exam. In order to qualify for the extension, the exam cannot be one that has been taken before on the same operating system release or the same layered technologies. For example, a Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization exam could be taken again to extend one's currency status if the exam uses a newer release of Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization.Certificates of Expertise only extend currency for certifications earned on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 or higher. Someone who earned RHCE on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 or earlier and then earns a Certificate of Expertise after Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 will not have his or her currency changed by doing so. However, one can move to the new currency policy by re-certifying as an RHCE under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6. Only RHCEs earned under version 4 will need to do this to retain upper-level credentials such as Red Hat Certified Architect (RHCA), Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS) and Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS.) Those who earned RHCE under version 5 can wait until Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7, or they can accelerate the process by re-certifying under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.

How are professionals who have earned RHCA, RHCDS, and RHCSS affected by these changes?

Everyone currently holding these titles is subject to the re-certification policy in place at the time they earned them. Consequently, those who have earned certification under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 will need to re-certify under Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6 in order to remain current. Thereafter they will remain current for three years and can extend the currency window by taking new exams or retaking ones they have previously taken, provided the exam is on a newer technology.

 

Certification Exam Questions

Where can I find general information regarding certification requirements or test information?

A description of each certification, and its requirements, is provided at http://www.redhat.com/certification/

When do I get my certificate?

You will be issued an electronic certificate that will be attached to your results email.

What sort of identification is needed to be allowed to take the test?

A government-issued photo identification is required in most areas. Candidates in regions for which government-issued photo IDs are not available should contact their local Red Hat office or their authorized Red Hat training partner for guidance on acceptable forms of identification.


Red Hat Certified Security Specialist (RHCSS) Questions

What is the Red Hat Certified Security Specialist? (RHCSS)

The RHCSS is a credential available to IT professionals whose job roles involve securing Red Hat Enterprise Linux systems and other parts of an organization's IT infrastructure. An RHCSS is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) who has passed an additional three performance-based exams in the following subjects:

  • Network Services Security
  • SELinux Policy Administration
  • Directory Services and Authentication

Who is eligible to earn RHCSS?

One must be an RHCE on a current release in order to take the Certificates of Expertise exams required for RHCSS.

Are the courses required for RHCSS all on the same level? Which should be taken first?

The courses are peer level and can be taken in any order.

How long does an RHCSS certification remain current?

RHCSS currency is pegged to the currency status of one's RHCE. Consequently, as long as one's RHCE is current (three years), one's RHCSS is current. When an RHCSS's underlying RHCE is no longer current, the certification verification page will list the non-current RHCE along with all Certificates of Expertise. Once someone has earned a new, current RHCE, their Certificates of Expertise will be attached to the new RHCE number and the verification page will report that the number belongs to an RHCSS.

What are the benefits to becoming an RHCSS?

The biggest benefit to becoming an RHCSS is the skills and knowledge you will acquire to earn it. The second biggest benefit is being able to provide your RHCE number to someone so they can verify your status on the verification page. As an RHCSS you will receive a plaque and other items from Red Hat that are for RHCSSs only. We hope to extend additional benefits in the near future.


Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) Questions

What is Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS)?

Red Hat Certified Datacenter Specialist (RHCDS) is credential available to IT professionals responsible for planning, deploying, and managing systems in mission-critical datacenter environments. An RHCDS is a Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE) who has passed an additional three performance-based exams in the following subjects:

  • Deployment and Systems Management
  • Directory Services and Authentication
  • Clustering and Storage Management

Who is eligible to earn RHCDS?

One must be an RHCE on a current release in order to take the Certificates of Expertise exams required for RHCDS. Please see the Certificates of Expertise FAQ and the pages about each exam for more information.

Are the courses required for RHCDS all on the same level? Which should be taken first?

The courses are all peer level and any order is fine. Some customers find that Red Hat Enterprise Deployment and Systems Management RH401 gives them a good foundation for other courses.

How long does an RHCDS certification remain current?

RHCDS currency is pegged to the currency status of one's RHCE. Consequently, as long as one's RHCE is current, one's RHCDS is current. When an RHCDS's underlying RHCE is no longer current, the certification verification page will list the non-current RHCE along with all Certificates of Expertise. Once someone has earned a new, current RHCE, their Certificates of Expertise will be attached to the new RHCE number and the verification page will report that the number belongs to an RHCDS.

What are the benefits to becoming an RHCDS?

Readiness to handle the rigors and responsibilities of mission-critical datacenter environments is the biggest benefit. Being able to communicate that readiness to others is another benefit. By providing your RHCE number, you can allow others to verify your RHCDS status on the verification page. In addition, as an RHCDS you will receive a plaque and other items from Red Hat that are for RHCDSs only. We hope to extend additional benefits in the near future.

I have already passed the three required exams. Am I now an RHCDS?

If you have already passed the required exams, congratulations! You have earned RHCDS and will be notified. If you are an RHCA, you will also receive an RHCDS

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