Quarter 4 2020, Volume 8 Issue 4

Five Steps to Success: Taking the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam Online

Housing counselors have two options for taking the HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam: in person at a testing center or remotely using an online proctor. While many testing centers are closed during the COVID-19 national emergency, online testing is an option for a housing counselor to become HUD certified while maintaining social distancing. Online testing is also a convenient and cost-effective method for taking the exam.

There are five easy steps for online testing:

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Register for the exam.


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Meet the technology requirements.

  • Review the equipment criteria outlined on the HUDHousingCounselors.com - Taking the Exam: Online vs. Test Centers page to ensure your equipment meets the requirements. As of August 6, 2020, HUD will accept any camera for the online HUD Housing Counselor Certification Exam.
  • Before scheduling your exam, HUD recommends testing your equipment compatibility. Check that your hardware, software, internet browser, microphone, and webcam all meet the requirements listed on Kryterion’s Online Testing Requirements webpage.
  • Go to Kryterion’s System Readiness Check to test your video speed and ensure your microphone and webcam work together.
  • Install the Sentinel Secure software at least one day in advance of taking the exam. This software creates a secure connection between you and the proctor during your exam.

Note: If you encounter technical difficulties, check with your system administrator to install the Sentinel Secure software.


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Prepare your exam space.

  • Plan to take the exam in a room that is well lit, quiet, and free from distraction. Ensure your testing surface contains only one computer, keyboard, and mouse.
  • Remove sticky notes or papers from your workspace. Remove all items such as watches, bracelets, and necklaces from your neck and wrists before the exam. Glasses are permitted during the exam. Please note that the proctor may ask you to remove your glasses for inspection at some point during the process.
  • Read through the instructions for launching the software and taking your enrollment photo at HUDHousingCounselors.com: Proctoring and Kryterion: Creating your Biometric Profile.
  • Print out any technical instructions you may need or load them on a different device so you can easily reference them, since you will not be able to access any applications or documents on your computer once the Sentinel Secure software is launched. Close all other applications running on your computer, and confirm you are not connected to any external monitors or devices.

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Take the exam.

  • Log in to HUDHousingCounselors.com and launch your exam on time. The launch button will appear 10 minutes prior to your appointment and remain available for 20 minutes after the appointment time.
  • If you need technical assistance during the exam, you can message Kryterion Technical Support within the Sentinel Secure software by selecting the “Help” button during the exam.
  • During the exam you will not be allowed access to personal belongings and devices or to leave the testing area. Other individuals are not allowed in the testing area. No eating, drinking, or smoking is permitted, and no headphones or headpiece that blocks any portion of the face.

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Know the next steps.

  • Each time a housing counselor takes the exam, they must pay the fee. You can take the exam as many times as necessary to achieve a passing score.
  • Once you have passed the exam, you must transfer your results to FHA Connection and have your employment validated by an FHA Connection application coordinator at your agency to complete your certification. View instructions for applying for certification in FHA Connection.

Visit the new Certification Examination Preparation and Testing for additional information. If you need further guidance, please email Housing.Counseling@HUD.gov.