Taking your PMP Exam from home? A few Tips & Gotchas

///Taking your PMP Exam from home? A few Tips & Gotchas

Taking your PMP Exam from home? A few Tips & Gotchas

I passed my PMI-ACP exam from home recently (OPT – Online Proctored Test from Pearson VUE) and I wanted to share a few tips from my experience (#4 below),  plus a few from my PMP students who have tested from home during the quarantine.

1) “No Talking!” (IMPORTANT)

No Talking! (Robert Klein: Child of the 50s)

One of the rules about the OPT (Online Proctored Test) is that it’s prohibited to talk to yourself out-loud in any way during the exam.

It feels a bit uncomfortable not to be allowed to talk in your own home. But this is one of the rules you pledge to follow when you click “Accept Conditions.” Failure to follow the rules can risk forfeiting your test (and exam fee).

  • If the proctor believes you are talking to yourself out-loud in any way, they may stop your test and you will need to re-schedule (and possibly pay for) a new test.
  • Usually the proctor will give one warning to you first about this (the first time they notice it) but only one.
  • If this happens and they cancel your test, my advice is to call PMI ASAP and try to persuade them to give you the re-take for free. Many people talk to themselves without even realizing it. But the proctors are not flexible about this.

2) No Scrap Paper Allowed – But there is a Whiteboard APP provided with your test

Test-takers are NOT allowed to write on scrap paper of any kind. But you ARE permitted to use the test-software’s Whiteboard feature (for calculations and for creating a brain dump).  Pearson Vue provides the Whiteboard to practice with in advance of the test at this link:


NOTE – A Calculator App is also provided.  Very easy use, just like a typical calculator you would find on Google. You can practice with it before your test starts just a get comfortable with it. You’ll see it’s super-easy.

3) No External Monitors Allowed

One of my students told me that just before her test was about to start, her proctor told her she would not be allowed to use the large external monitor connected to her laptop. She was all ready to test, and had to disconnect the monitor and use just the small built-in screen.

You don’t want to be told you can’t use your planned configuration when you’re all geared-up to start your test.  So if you need a larger screen, you might want to borrow a friend’s PC in advance.

4) Bug with the Pearson VUE Camera App – Signing in to take the test

As my late Jewish mother used to say, “I suffered so you don’t have to.” In that spirit, I’m letting you know in advance in case you encounter this bug, or anything similar to the issue I encountered with the Pearson-Vue camera software.

What happened before my test:

You will be asked to take a couple of photos as part of the initial signing-in process. The instructions told me to use a smart-phone for the photo. But I encountered a glitch, where the camera option didn’t work. So I had to quickly switch to  my laptop’s camera for the picture.

Fortunately the time I lost from this glitch did NOT come out of my testing time, because it happened before my test started. I took the needed photos with my laptop camera, and jumped into my test no prob.

NOTE – I reported this bug to both PMI and to Pearson VUE, so hopefully it will be fixed asap, before others encounter it.

5) If you lose your connection, the Whiteboard is wiped clean

If this happens, you’ll be able to go back into Whiteboard, but all the scrap-paper data you created earlier will be lost. You can’t recover the lost Whiteboard info. But if you’re ready for the possibility, it won’t throw you.

6) Try to prevent any applications (hello, McAfee!) from starting during your test

One of my students told me an application started in the middler on her desk-top (McAfee updates). This was very distracting to her, and it wound up costing her more than 20 minutes out of her test (which the proctor DID NOT give back to her)

Run McCafee or any similar apps the day before, if that might prevent them from running the day of your test.

7) Are you ready to use your phone as a Hot-Spot?

We’ve all experienced WIFI outages during the quarantine. But if you can quickly switch over to your phone’s Hot-Spot, you have a great back-up plan that will work.

Most of you already are adept at creating a Hot-Spot using your phone. But if you have not done this already, it’s worth setting it up and testing it out in advance of your PMP Exam.

Also you’ll want to make sure you have the Hot-Spot service enabled on your plan.

8) Hardware Speed? Backup Equipment?

I recently called my phone provider just to double-check the speed of my system.

It turned out my access was much slower than it should have been. The provider determined the problem to be that the router was old, and on its way out (they replaced the router for free, and the speed went up dramatically). I also boosted my plan to gain some more speed.

  • Your upcoming PMP Test is a perfect occasion to have your provider test your system.  Maybe they can help speed up your WIFI for you, as they did for me.
  • Also, because I teach from home a lot, I have a backup laptop, chargers, cables, etc.  You might not feel the need to go as overboard. 🙂 But your PMP test is worth a little extra protection!
By | 2021-11-03T00:23:24+00:00 November 2nd, 2021|NYU PMP|0 Comments

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