GIAC Proctor Program Overview

All GIAC exams are required to be proctored.

Certification Exam Format

One Exam Format

All GIAC certification attempts are comprised of a single exam that will cover all certification objectives. Certification exams are 2-5 hours in length, depending on the specific certification attempt. For details on individual certifications, go to

Please note that once you possess a certification attempt, the only reliable source for your exam-version's passing point score may be found in the Certification Information READ ME FIRST link found in your account under "Certification Attempts."

Open Book Guidelines

GIAC exams are open book format. Workstation space may be very limited, so please plan accordingly. You may bring an armful of hardcopy books and notes into the testing room. However, hardcopy reference materials having the appearance of practice test and/or exam questions and answers are strictly prohibited.

You will be provided with the following:

  • A computer to access the exam
  • An erasable note board and pen
  • An onscreen calculator, should you need one during the exam.

GIAC exams are not open internet or open computer. You will not be able to access anything stored electronically on any computer during the exam such as PDF or Word documents. Electronic devices including but not limited to extra computers, CD-ROM, USB flash drives, cell/smart phones, watches and cameras are strictly prohibited from being accessed during the exam. All other personal belongings are not permitted into the testing room. This includes personal writing implements, wallets, purses, hats (and other head coverings), bags and coats. Weapons are not allowed on testing center premises. Please leave weapons (guns, knives, etc.) at home or stored securely in your vehicle.

Skipping Questions and Taking Scheduled Break

You have the option to skip a limited number of questions during your exam in order to answer them at a later time. You also have the option to take one 15-minute break during the course of your exam. Please note, however, that any questions you skip during the exam must be answered by clicking the "Answer Skipped" button before you take a break. Otherwise, skipped questions will automatically be displayed close to the end of the exam.

Please note that you may not return to answered questions to review your answers. If you are unsure of an answer, GIAC provides the option to skip the question to answer later in the exam.

Finding a Proctor for your GIAC Certification Exam

The primary method for taking a proctored exam is through our testing partner Pearson VUE. Pearson VUE is an industry leader and offers more than 3,500 testing centers worldwide. It is expected that any candidate within 60 miles of a Pearson VUE testing center will utilize this option. Please click here to find a Pearson VUE testing center near you. Pearson VUE is adding testing centers as coverage gaps are identified. The list of Pearson VUE sites is updated frequently.

Once you have registered and gained access to your GIAC certification attempt in your SANS/GIAC account, you may schedule your exam appointment at a Pearson VUE Testing Center through your SANS/GIAC account for any date before your exam deadline. Please click on How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam for instructions. Exams slots are available on a first come, first serve basis. A good rule of thumb is to schedule your appointment at least one month before you wish to take your exam.

If you need any assistance scheduling your exam appointment or do not see a testing center within 60 miles of your location, please email or call +1(301) 654-7267.

Pearson VUE Guidelines

Please arrive at the testing center 15 minutes before your exam is scheduled to begin. This will give you adequate time to complete the necessary sign-in procedures. Please review the GIAC Candidate Rules Agreement prior to your exam appointment. GIAC requires the capture of a digital signature as your acknowledgement of the rules. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late and are refused admission or miss your exam appointment completely, you will forfeit your exam appointment and be charged a $150 seating fee if you wish to schedule a new exam appointment.

Please be prepared to show two (2) forms of personal ID and reference the Pearson VUE ID Requirements for all ID stipulations.

Military Testing Centers: Any testing center with 'Military' or 'DoD' in the name indicates a U.S. military installation. Any candidate that schedules an exam at a testing center with 'Military' or 'DoD' in the name must provide a U.S. military ID or be turned away and charged a $150 seating fee if you wish to schedule a new exam appointment.

  • During your exam, if you encounter:

    • Distractions/disruptions - Notify your proctor immediately
      • Ex. Noisy environment (Other candidates and a moderate noise level should be expected in the testing room. Earplugs or noise canceling headphones may be available upon request.)
      • Ex. Uncomfortable room temp
    • Technical difficulties - Notify your proctor immediately *
      • Ex. The system crashes
      • Ex. You lose connectivity
    • Non-technical difficulties - Note your concerns in the comments section at the end of your exam and/or follow the GIAC grievance procedure at after your exam.
      • Feedback about an exam question
      • Failed exam dispute

    * Please note that in the event of a technical difficulty, GIAC has an exam feature with an auto-sense capability to detect disruptions and abnormal latency during exam delivery. The exam clock, which indicates the exam time remaining, will automatically adjust to account for anomalies.

If you wish to cancel or reschedule your exam, you must do so at least one business day (24 hours) prior to your exam appointment by following the procedure outlined on pg.15 in How to Schedule Your GIAC Proctored Exam. If you need to cancel or reschedule your exam less than 24 business hours in advance or do not show for your scheduled exam appointment, you will be charged a $150 seating fee if you wish to schedule a new exam appointment.

If you have any questions or need further assistance, please call +1(301) 654-7267 or email as soon as possible so that your inquiry can be addressed well in advance of your scheduled exam appointment.