The Project Management Institute’s (PMI) PMP Certification can also be done online. This is a relatively recent change to the program, which came into effect during the height of COVID. Unable to host students in person, the PMI worked with the myriad of institutions that administer the exam to facilitate it online.
PMP Exam Online From Home Experience: In Person vs. Online
The main differences of doing the exam online vs doing them offline (in person) are:
- it’s proctored, meaning that you will be monitored throughout the exam, through your webcam. This means that you need to have a compatible machine in the first place to do the exam, so if you don’t have a webcam, it could be a good time to buy one (and possibly expense it back to your organization),
- There are 200 questions, broken down into two blocks:
- 89 questions in a first block, a 10 minute break and then,
- 111 questions in a second block.
- It’s worth noting in the above that once you finish the first block, you can’t go back to to it, i.e. it’s like two separate exams. This threw off quite a few people who might have expected to be able to go back to the first part, but the proctor should be clear enough to you about this.
- No note pads allowed. You will have a “digital whiteboard”, that lets you make notes, as well as a calculator. No use of offline tools allowed. The proctor will ask that you provide visual evidence of your work area before taking the exam to verify that you can’t gain an unfair advantage.
- A student from the Northern Italy chapter of the PMI had noted that the virtual notepad wasn’t that user friendly and that they would have appreciated a tutorial before beginning the exam. There’s precious time lost in figuring out the tool that should be better spent digesting the questions.
- Apparently if you’re moving around too much, you can catch the attention of the proctor, who might think (or assume) that you’re trying to grab notes or otherwise, so it’s best to not move around too much. This also means you may not be allowed to simply go to the bathroom when you want to
Don’t Take the PMP Certification Online If…
- You don’t have reliable devices. You don’t want to spend time messing around with these during the exam. Worse yet, you might be automatically failed if these aren’t working during your exam.
- You don’t have reliable internet. Similar to the above.
- You would rather focus entirely on the exam and aren’t as worried about COVID exposure. As of writing this blog, COVID is not as scary as it once was. More people are going back to doing the PMP certification in person. You likely won’t find a clear advantage doing it online unless you lived far from any test center or are quite immunocompromised.
More Actual PMP Exam Online From Home Experiences
Ultimately, listening to people who have done it is the best way to put yourself in their shoes and experience it. The comments are also a great place to see what people who are in your shoes are asking that you might not have thought of yet as a potential problem.
Hope these help and as always, best of luck!