An Accurate Assessment?

A review of the LPIC process.

My knowledge is not where it could be, and I continue to learn every day. But, the exams still need considerable improvement to be considered a fair assessment of an administrator's skills. I believe the work is actively underway at LPI to improve the certification exams. Even with the minor difficulties, this certification program is still my choice over the others, mostly due to the wide support and vendor neutrality of the program.

Computerized testing doesn't allow one the luxury of fiddling with the options to obtain an exact result (like regular expressions) and thus was not a good mechanism for testing some areas of system administration, where bizarre and varied problems are encountered daily. Other exams may have a more practical approach in challenging you to fix a broken system within an allotted time period.

In summary, taking the LPIC exams can be a good personal assessment of system administrator knowledge even though quantifying that via a computerized exam may not be entirely perfect. Plus, I feel that certifications, along with strong and relevant experience cannot hurt your chances in our competitive world. I recently registered for the 102 exam to be taken soon.


Richard Morgan ( lives on a mountain and works in northern Virginia as a systems engineer. When not at work or spending time with his wife and daughter, he hides in the basement with his computers doing fiendish things. He contributes his free time to the northern Virginia Linux Users' Group and as their webmaster, along with tracing his ancestors back some 500 years. You can visit him on the Web at


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