Blog Post Image

Taking your APM PFQ or PMQ Exam Online

Paul Naybour Paul Naybour

Published: 1st February 2021

Updated on the 1st February with further information for corporate IT teams.

Updated 12th January 2021 to include the changes to the qualification based on the 7th edition of the Body of Knowlege.

Given the current situations, we are really pleased that the Association for Project Management have announced that you can take you APM PMQ exam online. This in addition to the APM PFQ exam which had been available online for a few years now.

Visit the APM Frequently Asked Questions about online exams.

Preparing for you APM PFQ exam on-line
Preparing for tour APM PFQ exam on-line

Is it the same APM PMQ exam?

The exam questions and format of the answers is staying the same. So still ten written answers from sixteen in three hours.

The big change is that the answers are now typed into an online form rather than handwritten. Many people will be extremely pleased to get away from handwriting. As it has for many years been the biggest complaint about the PMQ.

Updated Exam Based on the 7th Edition of the Body of Knowlege.

The APM has now withdrawn the APM PMQ based on the 6th Edition of the Body of Knowlege and launched a new revised qualification based on the 7th Edition of the Body of Knowlege. We did a blog post on the differenced between the 6th and 7th editions qualifications. In summary, they are:

  • Several new topic areas including iterative lifecycles, critical chain, virtual teams, deployment baselines.
  • New questions command verbs such as Outline and Interpret.
  • New marking guidance and approach

In the spring of 2020 we did a series of YouTube live broadcasts explaining the main differences between the BoK6 and BoK7 exams. You can watch them here:

We are also putting together a cost effective course on how the pass the APM PMQ based on the 7th edition of the Body of Knowlege. This isn’t a full course, it primarily focused on exam technique and the differences between the BoK6 and BoK7 qualification.

How will they invigilate the exam?

The exam is invigilated by a remote proctor. The monitor you though a microphone, webcam and an app on a mobile phone. The APM is issuing detailed guidance on the technology required but in summary, you need a personal computer with Google Chrome installed, webcam and microphone and mobile device (phone or tablet). The exam system will not load any software on your computer, they do ask you to add an extension to Google Chrome. This is why Google Chrome is the only supported browser. The APM advise that the exam is unlikely to work on a corporate PC unless you have admin rights. Just like classroom exams, you will need a photo ID.

Preparing for you APM PMQ on-line
Preparing for you APM PMQ on-line

We strongly recommend testing your system in advance and you will get an e-mail from the exam service 36 hours before the exam. This way you know that at the time of your exam all the technology will work and you can focus on the questions.

Where do I go for technical support?

In the first instance if the remote proctor will provide support. If the test is not working then the best approach is to contact the APM qualifications team and they will investigate the problems for you.

What do I need to to to set up my system?

How do I Book the Online APM PMQ Exam?

For now, the APM is asking that training providers book and schedule the exam. We are planning to give you a selection of dates on which you can take the exam. One will be the time you would have taken the exam on a traditional classroom course (typically Friday afternoon for an APM PMQ course). The other will be the following week, to give you time to prepare, this second option might be in the evening to accommodate people with child care commitments.

What happens if I need extra time of reasonable accommodation or a scribe in the room?

This can be arranged, as it was with a paper exam, but needs suitable medical evidence to be submitted to the APM in good time before the exam. Typically we would recommend the medical evidence be submitted at least 10 days before the exam.

What environment do I need to take the exam?

To take the exam you will need an “exam conditions” room where you can concentrate for 3 hours without interruption. The room should be silent during the exam. And you cannot use books, notes, mobile phones or other devices during the exam. If you really need to then you can go to the toilet.

When will I get my results?

The results will come out 10 weeks after the completion of the exam as with the normal APM PMQ results.

Next Steps

If you have an exam coming up with Parallel, we will be in touch once we have the final details from the APM on how the exam will work.

Download the user guide here:

Here you can download the full APM PMQ Online Exam user guide.

Information for corporate IT teams.

The below is information that may be useful for corporate IT teams who are whitelisting the APM exam portal.

Links to whitelist;

https://surpass.proctorexam.com

https://apm.surpass.com/secureassess/htmldelivery

Information for IT Teams;https://www.apm.org.uk/media/48206/association-project-management-it-online-examination-sheet.pdf

The “BTL Surpass” assessment platform is a turnkey solution powering the development and delivery of tests for credentialing and licensure organisations, schools, Higher Education, governments and national
testing programmes across the world. It has securely delivered over 25 million tests in test centres or through secure online invigilation with “Proctor Exam”. This document sets out the information required for providing technical support to employees who are seeking to undertake an APM exam using equipment owned and administered by their organisation.

IT Requirements

Devices

To take an online exam using BTL Surpass and with remote invigilation carried out by ProctorExam, it’s necessary for a candidate to have two devices – one laptop/desktop computer and one smartphone or
tablet.


Both devices must have a webcam and microphone and must allow external websites to have access to

those webcams and microphones.

Please see detailed specifications below:
 Laptop/desktop with Windows 8 (or higher) or MAC OS X (latest and previous releases)
 A webcam is required (maximum resolution of 1280 x 720), along with a microphone and audio. Ensure the microphone and camera are allowed in

Chrome.
 Android 4.1+ and iOS 8.0+ smart devices – smartphone or tablet – with a camera.
 To enable the dual camera monitoring, the ProctorExam app needs to be downloaded onto this device. Please Note: Huawei P30 and Google Pixel 3 are not compatible with the app.

Internet Speed
 A reliable internet connection is required, via either an ethernet cable or a strong wireless network. Being close to the router and with no other equipment using the same network is also recommended, if at home.
 We recommend a minimum of 1.5Mbit/s upload, 10Mbit/s download and ping under 25 ms. I would test these before and after the exam at

Speed Test by Measurement Lab


 Tethering to the internet via a mobile phone is not supported.
Latest version of Google Chrome

In order to take the examination, candidates need to use the latest version of Google Chrome and have it set as their default internet browser.

Candidates will need to install a screen sharing extension and allow pop-ups from Proctor Exam as
below:

 Install the Proctor Exam extension:
https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/proctorexamscreensharin/digojkgonhgmnohbapdfjllpnmjmdhpg
 Click on “Add to Chrome”
 Click on “Add extension”.

Allow ProctorExam pop-ups in Chrome – by doing the following:
 Type chrome://settings/content into the address bar and press Enter.
 Select Pop-ups from the Content Settings screen.
 In ‘Allow’, click ‘Add’ and enter https://surpass.proctorexam.com

Please whitelist the following sites:
 https://surpass.proctorexam.com
 https://apm.surpass.com/secureassess/htmldelivery

  1. Great post I must say and thanks for the information. Education is definitely a sticky subject. However, is still among the leading topics of our time. I appreciate your post and look forward to more.

    • pnaybour says:

      Thanks for stopping by to comment. Yes, these are difficult times to continue education, but we are pleased that the APM has responded so quickly to provide exams on-line. What is the situation with PMP exams?

  2. Through this post, I know that your good knowledge in playing with all the pieces was very helpful. I notify that this is the first place where I find issues I’ve been searching for. You have a clever yet attractive way of writing.

  3. Eoin Cheevers says:

    Hi, I have recently sat the exam on the 18th March, and I have just confirmation that I failed. It was a difficult time for me due to family reasons and the coronavirus closing London where I sit the exam. I have done a 5-day class room course and a workshop also. I am wondering what options and dates I must do a re-sit. The exam I did was a BOK6 exam, and I am worried that the BOK6 is finishing in Dec 2020. Can I do a BOK7 exam without paying again for the course. Your help will be greatly appreciated.

    • pnaybour says:

      Eoin. it’s a pity you did not pass. You can re-sit either the BoK6 exam before the end of the year or transfer to BoK7. Both exams are now available on-line. We are giving everyone free access to the BoK7 on-line resources. It you want the new study guide we will send you this at cost. The syllabus is fairly similar, we did a youtube session on the differences, have a look on our channel. The marking criteria for BoK are a bit more general, not 5 sentences per paragraph so that could play to your favour. Give us a call and we can make the necessary arrangement for you to re-sit.

  4. Georgia says:

    Hi,

    I am interested to know what the protocol here is if your internet connection is unstable.
    If your wifi cuts out, will you receive extra time (if it affects the portal in which the exam is taken in), will the invigilators know? How will this work?

    I am due to take the exam in about 3 weeks and just want to make sure my (sometimes dodgy) internet won’t be a problem.
    Thanks in advance

    • pnaybour says:

      The APM say the system is robust enough to cope if the internet disconnects. However, they do have a requirement for at least 1Mbytes. They do say you can’t use a hot spot off your phone. The full details are on the APM website herehttps://www.apm.org.uk/qualifications-and-training/project-management-qualification/. I would recommend plugging your computer into a wire connected to your router if you can. If you have any doubt I would contact the APM.

  5. Marco says:

    for the APM PMQ online exam do I need to have a calculator or the calculator will be provided on the web platform?

    • pnaybour says:

      There is a calculator in the on-line platform, but you can still use a basic calculator or the popup calculator in windows.

  6. Gloria says:

    Hi, when typing, we can get many typos, particularly when we do it quickly and we are not English native speakers. Has the online platform integrated any spell checking? I have installed https://app.grammarly.com/ in my browser, is this allowed to be used in the APM PMQ exam?

    • pnaybour says:

      Yes I use Grammarly it should work in the on-line exam, if not you still get Google Chrome in-build spell checker.

  7. Paul says:

    Hi I’m resitting the PMQ Will it be a new set of questions to the original exam?
    Thanks

    • pnaybour says:

      Paul

      Yes you will get new questions in the exam. If you took a exam based on the BoK 7 exam then the changes will be quite small. However if you took an exam on BoK 6 then there have been quite a few changes, the BoK 7 course has some new topics such as iterative lifecycles, the APM also changes the style of the questions and the making guidance. The changes are not huge but they are significant. We have had quite a few people asking about the changes in the past few weeks so I am putting together a short conversion course which covers the differences but also our latest hints and tips on how to pass the APM PMQ. This will be aimed at three groups of people. 1) People who are self studying or with other providers and they just want to get the latest hints and tips from Parallel. 2) People, like you who are res-sitting and they just want a refresher on exam technique and 3) people who have to convert from BoK 6 to BoK 7. I finished the course on Friday and we are just doing some internal reviews. We plan to sell it at and affordable cost of £50 plus VAT but if you are willing to give us some feedback and complete a review I am happy to let you have access free of charge. I hope this helps.

      • Greg says:

        I also need to re-sit the exam so I would be more than willing to give some feedback and complete a review if I could get those materials you have been working on. Felt really confident when I finished the exam so I am now quite concerned I have not been answering the questions in a specific way (the right technique). I am one of those people that self studied and did not interact with any tutors to receive helpful ‘tips’.

        Many thanks

        Greg

  8. Sarah says:

    I have watched this course today ahead of my resit next week and found it really informative and useful. I’ve also gone back to the podcasts which I’ve been listening to as Ive been pottering round the house. Has reaffirmed to me that I do know stuff and actually for me it’s how I was structuring the response.

  9. P Nickolson says:

    Do you happen to know what the current turnaround is on PMQ BOK 7 exam results? I’ve seen mixed times online ranging from 10 to 12 weeks.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.