Once you are approved to take the exam, you have one calendar year to take the exam. The exam is offered whenever there is capacity at a test center. You can take the exam up to three times in a year. If you do not pass after three attempts you have to sit out a year before you can retake the exam.
The exam is $555 if you are not a Project Management Institute (PMI)® member, and $405 if you are a PMI member. Membership is approximately the price difference. If you have to retake the exam it is $275.
PMI will email you letting you know that you have been approved to take the exam. Your email will have a unique number in it that relates to you. This is how the test center will identify you. The email includes a link you can go to on the internet to look for exam dates. You can also call the toll free phone number, or simply show up once you are approved.
My experience has been that the online scheduling doesn’t always show every option. I suggest if you don’t like what you see online to call the toll free number and see what they have. I was able to schedule a test on 2 days notice via the phone number, but online it didn’t show an option for a week or more.
Showing up is something that I learned about recently as well. Once you are approved to test, you can simply show up at the test center. If they have room, they can seat you and you can test. You might have to wait, but if you are ready, study while waiting and then test. I showed up once with no notice for a PMI exam and the test center told me it would be a three hour wait. I sat down to study. Five minutes later they asked me if I minded being in a room by myself? I told them no, and had a 200 question test all by myself with no noise, no distractions, etc….
I will say that I suggest you are sensitive to the time of the day you are at your best. For example, don’t test during the part of the day when you are typically eating lunch. Try to test where you would be done with the exam before being hungry, or go in right after lunch. Also, if you suffer from anxiety, I suggest you go in first thing in the morning. You have less time to think about the upcoming test. Finally, don’t test toward the end of the week if you are working. Test on a Sunday or a Monday. That gives you a chance to flush work from your mind. If you test on a Monday afternoon DO NOT go to work on a Monday morning.
Also, DO NOT tell anyone other than your spouse and trainer/coach your test date. Everyone has good intentions, but all it does by having more know the date is create pressure for you. You have enough pressure. You don’t need more.
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