PMP® Exam – Prometric Testing Center – Fact vs. Fiction

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The most difficult 4 hours of my life. Torture. Nerve-racking. Stomach-churning. Terrifying. These are a few of the descriptive words I’ve heard my fellow project managers use when describing their exam experience.  Let’s face the harsh reality…these certification tests are stressful.

So, how do you tackle a challenge like this?  How do you set yourself up for success?  Two words: preparation and expectation.  You’ve got to be well-prepared, and you need to enter the testing facility with proper expectations.


The contributors to this blog have a lot to say about exam preparation.  That’s our specialty – our area of expertise.  However, in this post, I want to offer some advice on the 2nd idea: expectation.  When you walk into your local testing center, I want you to know what to expect.  Let’s separate Fact from Fiction.  I’m sure this post will morph into follow-up entries, but I’ll bring up a short list of what to expect:

Fiction: Because the exam is standardized, you can take it from any computer with internet access.

Fact: PMI has contracted with Prometric to administer PMI’s certification exams.  Those exams must be taken at Prometric testing facilities.  (There are very few exceptions to this rule.)

Fiction: The only identification you need to bring to the testing center is your confirmation letter from PMI.

Fact: You should bring one valid form of identification that includes a photo (examples: government-issued driver’s license or passport) plus another form of ID (example: credit card).  Both forms of ID must be signed.

Fiction: The PMP® exam is 4 hours long.  During the exam, you can stop the clock to take short breaks.

Fact: The PMP® exam is indeed 4 hours long.  And, you are allowed to step out of the testing room for a drink of water, to eat a snack, or take a health break.  However, the clock keeps running!

I’ve briefly listed 3 examples of setting proper expectations – separating Fact from Fiction about the testing center.  Prometric addresses several frequently asked questions – I suggest you read through those explanations so you’ll know what to anticipate.

Preparation and expectation – two keys to transforming your exam stress into success!