The table below summarises key differences between the two exams:
Hotel-based CRT exam New CRT exam (delivered via Pearson VUE)
Candidate uses own laptop and tools Virtual Kali box with pre-installed tools
Open book Closed book
CREST is working closely with Pearson VUE to potentially enable pre-upload notes and will provide an update on this matter in Q1 2024
All multiple choice Single word answers and multiple-choice questions
Candidates must use a SMB share at the beginning to access papers Exam questions are integrated to the exam screen
PDF fillable answer sheet Exam questions are answered on the same exam screen
Heavily focused on Infrastructure More evenly balanced across Infrastructure and Web Applications
Assessor required to validate exam environment Non-technical invigilator present
Smaller skillset tested Larger skillset tested (desktop breakout, network routing, more web application, more exploitation variety)
The new syllabus has been updated and restructured adding greater depth to the exam.
The exam duration has been extensively assessed to ensure that the time allocated is appropriate to answer all questions.
The new CREST Registered Penetration Tester (CRT) exam is recognised by the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) as the minimum standard for CHECK Team Member Status.
It is an intermediate level exam that tests a candidate’s ability to carry out basic vulnerability assessment and penetration testing tasks.
The new CRT is the exam available in selected Pearson VUE Test Centres across the globe.
The new CRT exam is available in selected Pearson VUE Test Centres across the globe. You can book your online exam now via the Pearson VUE website.
Promo codes are available for a limited period of time both for CREST Member who can get 75% off and non-members who can get 40% off. You can find more information and claim your promo code here.
CREST members must ensure they utilise their CREST member email to unlock the maximum discount.
Yes, you need to claim the promo code and book your exam by 31 January 2024. You must have sat your exam by 30 April 2024.
Please see the following Pearson VUE link and select the correct region for Pearson VUE’s customer support.
In order to allow candidates to familiarise themselves with the tooling available in the exam environment, a virtual machine is available here. The virtual machine will host a version of Kali Linux that can be used to perform all required tasks within the exam. This machine has a large number of tools installed, including licensed versions of Nessus Professional and BurpSuite Professional.
Additional resources to help with your preparation include:
Examples of questions that help candidates to understand what to expect from the examination environment.
This document offers some useful tips to help prepare for the exam.
All current CRT certifications will be valid until their expiry date.
The CRT exam has been approved by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) for CHECK Team Member (UK Only).
CHECK is a UK Government programme under the NCSC which approves cyber security service providers to carry out authorised penetration tests of public sector and critical national infrastructure (CNI) systems and networks.
The new CRT is a practical assessment where the candidate will be expected to find known vulnerabilities across common network, application, infrastructure and database. CRT validates a practitioner’s ability to conduct vulnerability scans using commonly available tools and to interpret the results.
The CRT is a closed book exam. Therefore, no books, written notes, internet access or other electronic devices will be allowed.
Although this might not be ideal for some candidates, CREST has set up a link where candidates can access the Kali Virtual Machine and familiarise themselves with the tools that will be available during the exam. We also recommend candidates to read the Exam Top Tips which provides guided suggestions on areas to focus when preparing for the CRT exam.
We are currently investigating functionality to pre-upload notes to use in the new CRT exam. We are working to provide an update on this matter in Q1 2024.
The image below reproduces the exam environment:
Screenshot of exam layout in Pearson VUE
Previously the options were all multiple-choice answers however, the new exam will feature short form, trophy answers and some multiple choice. Click here to view the new CRT syllabus.
The hotel-based CRT will run until 30th November 2023 and candidates intending to book or who have already booked should refer to this syllabus.
Candidates who are planning to take the new CRT exam, available from 14 November 2023, should refer to this syllabus.
The syllabi are different, and candidates must ensure they are using the correct version to prepare for their exam.
Yes. It remains valid for 3 years from the date you sat the exam.
CREST Training Partners are in the process of updating their course material and will be added to the training webpage when ready. Lab based training is also available.
Then new CRT exam is available in selected Pearson VUE Test Centres across the globe. Book online your exam now via the Pearson VUE website.
The exam duration is 2.5 hours and candidates will be given an additional 15 minutes for reading time.
The exam remains a practical assessment consisting of multiple choice, short form and trophy answers.
The exam will be auto-marked and the results sent within 5 working days.
You will be required to sign both when booking the CRT exam at Pearson VUE.
Yes, you must have a valid CPSA certification to sit the CRT.
The CRSA certification was part of a pilot program and has been renamed as the new CRT exam.
Candidates must contact the CREST support team at least 2 weeks before the potential exam date with a formal medical report from a qualified medical practitioner specialising in the particular condition. Candidates should register an account with Pearson VUE but not book an exam date until the accommodation request has been processed. For more information please contact [email protected].
Yes. You can only book the CREST CRT exam through a Pearson VUE account. Please follow the link to set up an account if you have not already done so: Pearson VUE.
You need to bring two forms of government issued IDs one of which must have a picture. Most candidates bring their passport and the driver’s licence. No photocopies will be accepted. Please see the following link for more detailed information: English (pearsonvue.com)
Pearson VUE provides relevant information for candidates via their resource hub: helpful resources for test-takers
Until the end of November 2023 as published on the CREST website: UK examination dates – CREST (crest-approved.org).
You can re-take the hotel-based CRT in the UK as long as there has been 8 weeks since your last exam. The hotel–based CRT exams will cease on the 30 November 2023. The new CRT will then be available for you to retake at a Pearson VUE centre.
However, we do fully appreciate that some people may have been studying for the hotel-based exam for some time and therefore may wish to take the exam in that format. If you would like to do so, then please get in touch with [email protected] ASAP and we will try to schedule early in 2024.