Exam Security


PMI is dedicated to keeping the highest levels of security, integrity, and validity for all of our examination programs. In early 2019, PMI formed an internal Exam Security team who, in coordination with external vendors and exam security experts, has the sole purpose of maintaining the integrity of PMI sponsored exams. Our Exam Security team does that by ensuring that:

  1. Only qualified individuals pass our exams and earn PMI certifications.

  2. No candidate has an unfair advantage over another.

  3. Exam content is secure.

  4. PMI’s certification programs, policies, and procedures meet or exceed the international standards for high-stakes testing, as described by ISO 17024.

Candidate Responsibilities

All candidates in PMI sponsored examination programs agree to the PMI Certification Application / Renewal Agreement. As part of this agreement, candidates are required to follow the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as well as all PMI Certification Program policies and requirements. Certification Program policies can be found in each respective examination program’s handbook. Exam takers are reminded of these responsibilities during the Candidate Security Acknowledgement, which is presented immediately prior to beginning an exam.

Candidates who violate the Agreement, Code of Ethics, or any Certification policies or requirements will have disciplinary action taken against them.

Data Forensics

As mentioned in the PMI Certification Application / Renewal Agreement, PMI performs statistical analyses (data forensics) on test administrations. These analyses, which are common in the testing industry, look for signs that the score a candidate received on the exam might not be accurate. If PMI sees evidence that a score might not be accurate or valid, that score is canceled and the candidate is provided an opportunity to retest at no cost. Individual data forensics results are not enough to accuse a candidate of misconduct or take disciplinary action. However, data forensics may be used as part of investigations into candidate misconduct and as evidence during disciplinary actions.

Proxy Testing and Other Candidate Misconduct

Since the switch to online testing for the PMP, PMI has seen a significant increase in the advertisement of services that promise a “100% pass guarantee” or “pass without taking the exam.” We have also noticed that these services are being advertised using direct messages on WhatsApp, LinkedIn, WeChat, and other social media platforms. For the most part, these services are simply a trick to take candidates’ money. However, the Exam Security team has found that a few of these services are instructing candidates to commit intentional misconduct during their exam session.

PMI uses multiple methods to detect all forms of candidate misconduct, including but not limited to those who hire someone take the exam for them (proxy testing), stealing exam content, having access to exam questions prior to taking the exam, and having live assistance during the exam. PMI has already begun taking action against candidates who commit misconduct. Such actions include score cancellations, revocation of certification, permanently banning candidates from being able to take any PMI examinations, and even working with local authorities to pursue criminal action. Please know that PMI will do everything in its power to protect our exams and our credentials. If you are contacted by any of these services, please send an email to [email protected] with a screenshot or picture of the message so that we can investigate.

We make sure exam candidates are qualified through our certification application process, which ensures that only qualified candidates are able to take PMI sponsored exams. 

All our exams are proctored. A proctor is an individual who actively monitors test-takers during exams. If you take an exam at a testing center, the proctor remains in the room while you complete your exam. If you take your exam online, your proctor will monitor you live through your webcam and microphone. Proctors are specially trained to identify signs of misconduct. Misconduct includes any behavior that is against PMI’s rules, including receiving assistance on the exam, having unauthorized people or items in your exam area, or stealing exam content. If they detect misconduct, proctors have the power up to and including immediately ending your testing session.

We also employ a practice called data forensics. We conduct statistical analyses of testing data to look for patterns of responses that indicate potential misconduct or other issues with scoring accuracy. We then use these analyses to take remedial action, including, but not limited to invalidating your exam score or revoking your certification.

Exam misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

  • Receiving - and not reporting - confidential information about the exam prior to your exam
  • Taking pictures of exam questions and content and sharing them with individuals in any way 
  • Leaving the testing room during an exam (unless it is during a scheduled exam break)
  • Bringing unapproved products or personal items into the testing room, including: calculators, notebooks, cell phones, etc.
  • Participating in proxy testing: Proxy testing is when someone is paid to take and pass an exam on behalf of a registered candidate.

We’ve seen a significant increase in the advertising of services that promise a “100% pass guarantee” or “passing without taking the exam.” While many of these services are a scam to take candidates’ money, some are actually services offering proxy testing. These services are often advertised via direct messages on WhatsApp, LinkedIn, WeChat, and other social media platforms, which are hard for us to monitor. If you are solicited by any of these services, please send an email to [email protected].

First, if your proctor detects misconduct during your exam, they can immediately end your testing session. Additionally, our Exam Security team will investigate any instances of suspected misconduct. If the investigation shows misconduct did occur, we can take the following actions:

  • Canceling your score
  • Revoking your certification(s)
  • Banning you from taking PMI exams, either permanently or for a period of time
  • Pursuing legal action

Important Security Message

Read an important message about protecting the integrity of PMI certifications from Jennifer Tharp, PMP, chair, 2022 PMI Board of Directors.

Read Message

Keeping the PMP Exam Secure

Check out our recent blog post where we explain what we’re doing to keep the PMP® exam secure and provide some helpful tips for exam success.

Read the Blog