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Once your application is approved, PMI will send you an authorization to test letter. This letter contains the contact information for the Prometric testing center where the exam is hosted. You’ll call Prometric and schedule your exam using an exam code that PMI will provide to you in the authorization to test letter.

Fair warning: These Prometric centers are busy! Don’t expect to stroll in the day after your letter arrives and take the exam. You can expect to wait ten days to six weeks before a slot opens for you. Plan accordingly—you know, scheduling and all.

The PMI-SP exam has a total of 170 questions, though only 150 questions actually count towards your passing score. Twenty of the exam questions are considered seeded questions that are sprinkled throughout the exam. These seeded questions don’t count towards your exam score and are included to test their validity for future PMI-SP exam takers. In other words, you’re testing these questions for PMI, as you won’t know if you’re answering a seeded question or a live question. Answer all the questions—blank questions are incorrect answers.

You’ll have three-and-a-half hours to complete the exam. Prior to the launch of the exam, you can complete a 15-minute tutorial on how to use the PMI exam software, but if you’ve ever played Solitaire before, you’ll be fine. After the exam, you can also participate in a survey about the exam and your experience at the center. Neither the tutorial nor the post-exam survey eat into your exam time. Beware: Once you start the exam, the timer’s running and you can’t stop until you’re through with the test. There is no pause button or time-outs.

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