You can now take the PMP exam online; from the comfort of your home! Yes!!! PMI made the announcement this week.
This helps a lot of professionals who have prepared and planned to take the exam before the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak restrictions.
How does this work?
Basically, all you need is a computer with a webcam; a quite space where you can take the exam without any interruptions and most definitely; stable internet connection.
So how do you go about scheduling the exam?
First of all, as usual you need to have an approved application before you can pay for the exam and schedule the exam.
Check out my post on PMP exam eligibility requirements to know what you need to apply for the exam and get approved
Once payment is received, you will then be able to schedule your online exam.
Steps to take
- Log in to the PMI website
- Go to myPMI tab and click the Review Application status tab
- Click Schedule Exam
This will direct you to the Pearson VUE website to create an account and schedule the exam
If you already scheduled your exam and it was cancelled; you can go directly to your Pearson VUE account and select the option for taking the PMP exam online.
If you have an existing scheduled exam in a test center but would prefer taking the exam online from your home; you would have to cancel your existing booked exam and reschedule to take the exam online. PMI has waived all rescheduling fees until July 1st so you won’t be charged for rescheduling your exam.
What happens on the exam day?
It’s pretty similar to what happens if you had to go to a test center. Ensure you are there (at your computer) at least 30 minutes before the exam time slot selected. There are much more time slots available if taking the exam online. Have a valid form of identification. You would be required to self-check-in and this process takes approximately 15 minutes according to the PMI website. Read more on the Pearson VUE website.
Now, I know there are various concerns related to if taking the PMP exam online will make the certification less credible as it currently is.
I really don’t think so, because there will be an online proctor who will be monitoring individuals while they take the PMP exam online. The proctor would have a microphone and a webcam; a microphone to speak to the individual and a webcam to see the individual.
Also, it would be difficult for someone else to take the exam on behalf of individuals. This is because before the exam starts, the individual will undergo a self-check-in process.
This process requires the individual to take a picture (headshot); picture of their surrounding and also a picture of a valid ID card.
Obviously, the ID card will have your name and your picture and these have to match your headshot and the name used to register for the PMP exam.
Once the exam starts, the individual won’t be able to leave the proctor’s view. You won’t be able to use your phone during the exam and if used, the proctor will terminate the exam.
You also won’t be able to use the internet or any software applications while taking the exam because the individual’s computer would be locked down as soon as the exam starts.
I believe these are sufficient measures to ensure that examination malpractice is avoided while taking the PMP exam online and thus ensure that the PMP exam certification is still credible.
Two factors that could make the online experience different from that of the test center
There are two factors I have noted that may make the online experience different.
The first factor is the new 10-minutes break introduced with taking the PMP exam online.
So basically, the exam is divided into 2 parts, once you finish part 1, you can take the 10-minutes break (you can leave the room during the break).
However, you can’t access the part 1 after the 10-minutes break. This means that you can’t decide to review the entire 200 questions before the end of the exam. You have to review the first part and finalize on all questions in that part before the 10-minutes break.
This limits the flexibility of answering the exam questions as some people prefer to try to attempt all the questions quickly (answering easy questions) then come back and answer more difficult ones. With the new exam style, you can’t do this.
I understand that this workflow is important because PMI doesn’t want individuals to have access to Part 1 after the 10-minutes break because they might have gone to check what the right answers for some of the questions are. However, it’s an important difference to note.
The second factor is the restriction of use of hand held calculator and a scrap paper.
Now, PMI wants to enforce the use of the built in calculator and white board as alternatives for the calculator and scrap paper.
Honestly, I am not a fan of the built in calculator. Not because it doesn’t work but because I would rather hold a calculator, press the buttons with my finger and calculate..haha. Yes, I am old school.
This is the same reason for the scrap paper, I would rather write with a pen on a paper than try to do so on the white board because I feel I would be faster and it’s much easier for me.
Again, I understand that PMI is trying to remove any room for exam malpractice which is good but it’s an important difference to note because it definitely makes a difference.
So, what are your concerns, thoughts, factors that could make taking the PMP exam online different from the test centers and questions regarding taking the PMP exam online? Let us discuss in the comments section.
Read more on writing the PMI certification exam online on the PMI website