[Updated!] Using PMP Exam Language Aids for the PMP Certification
The PMI PMP® Certification Exam is administered in English only (the official PMP® Exam Language). For those whose mother tongue is not English, including me, answering an English exam paper may require more time. We are at a disadvantaged position as the final result of the exam would need to be compared to those English native speakers. Fortunately, PMI does offer some assistances for us – the PMP® Exam Language Aids. This article will describe how to make use of the language aids and what to look out for during the PMP® Exam.
What is PMP® Exam Language Aids?
Note: The new PMP® Exam provider Pearson Vue has made changes to the use of Language Aids. From now on, if you change the Language Aids, you will ONLY be presented with the exam with the chosen language and you will need to pick the answer from the choices available in the aids language! While the English version will still be available, you will need to press the “Translate” button to view it.
Therefore it is highly advised that if you study in English, you should NOT choose any language aid now.
Language aids can be thought of as “translation” for the questions and answers.
The translated questions and answers are put right under the original English questions and answers on the same page in the computer-based PMP® Exam. But PMP® exam takers will still need to mark the answers on the English questions.
PMI has made available the language aids for the questions and answers of the PMP® Exam to candidates whose mother tongue is not English for FREE. Currently, the language aids are available in the following 13 languages:
- Brazilian Portuguese
- Chinese (Simplified)
- Chinese (Traditional)
However, for the language aids is provided for the PMP® Exam questions and answers only. No translation will be provided for the exam taking tutorial before the PMP® Exam and the survey right after you have submitted your PMP® Exam answers. These two parts will still be in English only.
How to Apply for a Language Aid for the PMP® Certification Exam?
To apply for a language aid for the PMP® Exam, you will need to pay attention while completing your PMP® Certification application. After you have passed the PMI pre-screening of your PMP® application, you will receive an email asking you to settle the payment for the PMP® Exam. Don’t just click “OK” and “Confirm” to proceed without reading the details on the page. There is a section asking you whether you will need a language aid for the exam. Select the language aids you need and proceed to payment.
If you are lucky enough not to be selected for the dreaded PMI PMP® audit, you will receive an email confirmation immediately containing your exam eligibility information and your requirement for a language aid. I was not fortunately enough and therefore my PMI notification was entitled “You have successfully completed PMI’s audit process for the PMP® credential”:
Do review this notification email carefully and find the line on “PMP® Exam Language Aid” (it is right before your “Eligibility Expiration Date”). If you have requested a language aid, but this is not shown in the notification email from PMI, you would need to contact PMI immediately at firstname.lastname@example.org
My Own PMP® Exam Language Aid Experience Since my mother tongue is not English, I did apply for an language aids in Chinese (Traditional) during my PMP® Certification application process. However, my PMP® Certification preparation (including the online PMP® training and PMP® practice exams) was in English only as it was very difficult to find quality materials in Chinese (and likely for other languages) on the market. In the real PMP® Exam, I would usually read only the English questions and answer them immediately without looking at the translated parts. The only questions I made use of the PMP® Language Aid were the long situational questions. I actually did not know most of the PMP® PMBOK® Guide glossary in Chinese and therefore the translated answers were of no use to me. The translated questions were much much shorter than the original English one and so I could focus only on the important facts for the questions. This strategy served me well as I could get 4 proficient in the PMP® Exam. If your mother tongue is not English and you know any one of the 13 available languages for the language aid, I do encourage you to apply for a PMP® Certification Exam language aid. After all, you will have nothing to lose if it is not useful as the PMP® Exam language aid is FREE.