Are PECB exams open-book or closed-book?

There are two PECB exam types:

  1. Multiple choice closed-book where candidates are not allowed to use anything but the exam paper and a pen. Usually, Foundation and Transition exams are of this type.[1]
  2. Essay type open-book where candidates are allowed to use the following reference materials:
  • A copy of the standard
  • Training course materials
  • Any personal notes made by the candidate during the training course
  • A hard copy dictionary

[1] Essay Type exams transitioning to Multiple-Choice exams will be “Open book.

Can I eat or drink during the exam?

Smoking, or eating is not permitted.  However, candidates are allowed to consume non-alcoholic drinks during the exam session. Drinks should be contained in such a way as to avoid spilling accidents. In case of a spilling accident, the candidate will be held responsible, and their exam will not be replaced nor will they be granted extra time to finish the exam. If the exam proves to be illegible because of the spilling accident, the candidate will automatically fail the exam.

Coupon Code

As there are fees for scheduling an online PECB exam and submitting a PECB certificate application, Partners will provide course participants with coupon codes through their PECB Partners Dashboard.

PECB course participants are provided with coupon codes, which depending on the event exam type, can be used for:

If the event exam type is paper-based, the coupon code is valid for:

  • Applying for the Certification if the exam is passed successfully;

If the event exam type is online, the coupon code is valid for:

  • Scheduling one first take online exam session;
  • Schedule one retake online exam session (if you have failed the first attempt);
  • Waive the Certificate application fee;

Participants will be provided with the coupon code via email from the PECB system, and in case the email is lost or not successfully delivered, the coupon code can also be found within the My Courses tab under the Coupon Code column.

The coupon code is bound to a specific PECB account and to a specific course. The coupon code cannot be used by another PECB account, nor for another PECB course.

Exam Tips

PECB recommendations before and during the exam:

  1. Get a good night’s rest the night before the exam.
  2. Eat a well-balanced meal prior to going to the exam center. Avoid excessive stimulants such as caffeine.
  3.  Plan to arrive at the exam site at least 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam session.
  4. Read and follow the instructions carefully. Ask the invigilator for clarification if you are not sure about the instructions.
  5. Periodically check your progress. This will allow you to make any adjustments in time. Pay attention to the time you have left to finish the exam.

How to register for an exam?

To schedule PECB certification exams, candidates have two options:

  1. Contact one of the PECB partners who provide training courses and exam sessions. To find a training course provider in a particular region, candidates should go to Active Partners. The PECB training course schedules are available on Training Events.
  2. Take a PECB exam remotely from their home or any location they desire through the PECB Exam application, which can be accessed here: Exam Events.

To ensure equal opportunities for all qualified persons, PECB will make reasonable accommodations for candidates, when appropriate. If candidates need special accommodations because of a disability or a specific physical condition, they should inform the Partner/Distributor in order for them to make proper arrangements. Any information candidates provide regarding their disability/need will be treated with strict confidentiality.

Click here to download the Candidates with Disabilities Form.

What is a sequential number?

In order to ensure exams remain anonymous, invigilators should assign a sequential number in the Sequential Number fields in form A and form B. These sequential numbers refer to a serial number that is based on the total number of candidates. For example, if there are five candidates in the exam session, the numbers to be used are from one to five.

What is PECB’s exam cancellation policy?

For any changes regarding examination date, time, location, or other details, please contact examination@pecb.com.

What is the duration of an exam?

The duration of PECB exams varies depending on the certification exam taken:

  • Foundation exam: 1 hour
  • Manager exam: 2 hours
  • Lead-exam: 3 hours

If requested on the day of the exam (paper-based exams) additional time can be provided to candidates taking the exam in a non-native language

  • Foundation exam: 10 additional minutes
  • Manager exams:  20 additional minutes
  • Lead-exams: 30 additional minutes

For more details, please visit the Exam Preparation Guide section in the PECB website.

What is the exam structure and domains?

PECB Exams are based on competency domains, specific for each exam, and exam questions are developed to evaluate candidates’ competency by measuring their comprehension, application, analysis and evaluation of these domains.

As an example, the 7 competency domains that are evaluated in the ISO/IEC 27001 Lead Implementer exam are:

  • Domain 1: Fundamental information security principles and concepts
  • Domain 2: Planning an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 3: Implementing an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 4: Information security control best practices, based on ISO 27002
  • Domain 5: Performance evaluation, monitoring and measurement of an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 6: Continuous improvement of an ISMS based on ISO 27001
  • Domain 7: Preparing for an ISMS certification audit

To see the competency domains for each exam, please visit the Exam Preparation Guides in the PECB website, and then select an exam.