Should I take Paper Based Test (PBT) for PMP Certification?


As such this is not an option for all. PMI organizes Paper Based Test (PBT) only for the candidates who live minimum 300 km away from a computer based testing (CBT) centre. However it seems PMI is not so hard on this rule to make it convenient for PMP aspirants. Pune is less than 300 Km from Mumbai but PMI is organizing Paper based exam for some time. I am sure it has made it quite convenient for many people in Pune. PMI is organizing Paper Based Test in other cities across globe however I am not sure if they are sticking to 300km limit or not. I think PMI has relaxed this condition. So if you think that CBT centre is quite far away from your place of living, explore and apply for PBT. If there are 10 or more people for PBT, PMI may organize a paper based test in your city.

Should I take PBT? Is PBT better than travelling to nearest CBT centre? What are pros and cons of PBT and CBT? These are some questions come to your mind if you have an option of PBT. The answer to these questions are important so that you can take an informed decision.

Here I provide comparative study on various parameters to help you understand if PBT is good for you or CBT.

Paper Based Test Vs Computer Based Test


Parameter PBT CBT Comparison
Pre-condition Candidate should live at least 300 km (186.5 miles) from a CBT Centre. 300 km limit does not apply if a corporate organizes PBT for it employee. Anyone can apply for CBT CBT has edge over PBT as there is no pre-condition for CBT
Scheduling PMI Announces a date for PBT. You do not have flexibility to schedule. There is a possibility of cancelation if number of candidates are less than 10. You need to schedule yourself on Promatric website. You can choose date and time convenient for you. Chances of cancelation are negligible. Scheduling a CBT is easy. For PBT schedule, you may need to wait.
Rescheduling/Cancelation To reschedule or cancel, you must email to PMI at least 35 days from scheduled exam date. Wait for next PBT date from PMI to give exam. If you fail to inform PMI for rescheduling before 35 days of exam date, you need to pay full re-examination fee to reappear. Do it yourself on Promatric website. If you reschedule at least 30 days before exam date, no fee is applicable. If you schedule within 30 days and 2 days before exam, a fee of USD70 is applicable. Within 2 days of exam date, you cannot reschedule, you can only cancel. Your exam fee will be forfeited. CBT has more flexibility, easy to reschedule and provide more grace period to reschedule.
Fee PMI Members: USD389(USD250 Exam fee + USD139 Membership fee)Non-Members: USD400 PMI Members: USD544(USD405 Exam fee + USD139 Membership fee)Non-Members: USD555 PBT is economical
Exam Results Exam Results may take 6 to 8 weeks after the exam. Exam result is shown immediately on completion of exam Immediate results in case of CBT
Examination Report An examination report will be available online after 6 to 8 week of exam. An exam report is printed and provided immediately at exam centre. You can access it online with 10 days after exam. CBT is faster in providing report
Hand Scoring A hand scoring is available up to six months. However there is a fee of USD45. Hand scoring is not available. PBT is better if you want to do in depth analysis of your exam attempt
Re-examination PMI Members: USD150Non-Members: USD300Waiting for PBT event may consume valuable time in your 1 year period available for 2 re-examinations attempt PMI Members: USD275Non-Members: USD375Scheduling re-examination is faster. You can schedule as soon as you find yourself prepared for 2nd attempt PBT is economical however CBT is more flexible to schedule re-examination.


PBT is more economical and convenient as it may prevent you travelling to other cities but it has less flexibility, have longer timelines to schedule and more waiting period. Take your call accordingly.

I hope this comparison of CBT Vs PBT for PMP Exam will be useful for you. Should you have any question, please post it in the comments and I will try my best to respond to you as soon as possible. Also please do share your views.


  1. Oluwadara Oluwalana Author April 28, 2015 (4:42 am)

    Thanks for the info, Vivek.

    Please, I want to know if there is any difference between the exam questions of pbt and cbt.
    The option I have here in FCT, Nigeria is pbt. I want to be sure if it ok to use vce past questions (simulation) to practice for the pbt exam.

    Thank you.

    Reply to Oluwadara Oluwalana
    • Vivek Prakash Author April 30, 2015 (1:27 pm)

      Hello Oluwadara Oluwalana,

      There is no information from PMI on this side. I am an active volunteer of PMI for over 10 years and have contributed to various projects. With my experience I can say, there will be no difference in questions. You can use any method or any resource to prepare for exam.

      All the best to your exam.

      Reply to Vivek Prakash
    • Ojiugo Author October 19, 2015 (9:15 pm)

      Hello Oluwadara,there are no differences in the exam questions. The only difference is waiting for your results within 2 weeks of taking your exams.

      Reply to Ojiugo
  2. Salomon Quijada Author July 26, 2017 (9:17 pm)

    I dont find any information regarding reschedule an exam from paper based to computer based. does anyone have this information or experience?

    Reply to Salomon Quijada
    • Vivek Prakash Author July 27, 2017 (9:23 am)

      Dear Salomon,

      You cannot reschedule a paper based exam to computer based exam. Fee for these exams are different. You need to decide before enrolling into the exam and paying the fee. You can reschedule only dates and that too min 35 days in advance.

      Reply to Vivek Prakash

Leave a Comment

*Required fields Please validate the required fields