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, are designed to protect the validity of the examination by looking for evidence that suggests a candidate’s score may not be a true measure of their knowledge or ability, including evidence of candidate misconduct. If PMI sees evidence of severe misconduct, we will cancel the test score and categorize the exam as a security failure. If a candidate chooses to retake the exam after receiving a canceled score, they must do so in-person at a test center and pay the applicable re-examination fee.

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 professional certification 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, stealing exam content or using stolen content to prepare, providing fraudulent documents at any time during your exam journey, and/or having others take the exam for you (i.e. proxy testing services). 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. If your exam is invalidated, you will not receive a score report or analysis of your exam performance. We may permit you to take the exam at your own cost if you have remaining eligibility, but we may limit where you can retake the exam.

  • Exam misconduct includes, but is not limited to:

    • Receiving – and not reporting – confidential information about test questions 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, TaoBao, and other social media platforms. 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 disciplinary action, including:

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

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