The PMP (Project Management Professional) certification exam is a highly respected credential in the field of project management. Whether you’re considering taking the exam or are already preparing for it, understanding the exam’s ins and outs is crucial for success. In this comprehensive guide, we will cover everything you need to know about the PMP certification exam, including the facts, myths, and the PMP passing score. By gaining a deeper understanding of the exam, you can better prepare and increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.
What is the PMP Certification Exam?
The PMP certification exam is a rigorous assessment designed to evaluate an individual’s knowledge and competence in project management. It is administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is based on the PMBOK® (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide.
Who Can Pass The PMP, And How?
Something you need to know before we get into the exam itself, is that the Project Management Institute doesn’t disclose a lot of information about the PMP, including, but not limited to, the number of people that are able to get certified on their 1st attempt. The PMI provides their own training, resources and materials, however they will not disclose how they select the questions and what specific criteria they use to determine a passing rate.
This quote from the Project Management Institute sums it up pretty well,
“The PMP exam passing score for all PMI credential examinations is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts -project professionals from around the world and many different disciplines- to determine how many questions you must answer correctly to pass the exam. Each scored question in the exam is worth one point, and your final score is calculated by totaling the points you have earned on the exam. The number of questions you answer correctly places you within one of the performance rating categories you see in the report.”
So basically, a definitive number for the PMP passing score from the Project Management Institute does not actually exist. Since every applicant gets a different batch of questions, with a varying range of difficulty, trying to find the magic number is close to impossible. Because not every exam has the same questions and some of them can be relatively simple or easy in comparison to others, it would be unfair to expect them all to have the same value.
Many have tried before to work out the system and figure out how to calculate the PMP exam passing score, to no avail. Still, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re properly prepared for the PMP exam, and to help increase your chances of passing the PMP exam on the first try.
Some Facts About The PMP Certification Exam
- It has one hundred and eighty questions
- The first stage consists of a tutorial
- You get a survey after it, which you can complete in fifteen minutes
- The time you are allotted to finish the exam is close to four hours, with no official breaks
- If you want, you can take a small break, but the time is going to be deducted from the allotted four hours
- There is a random number of multiple selection questions
- It has a specific amount of questions where you need to add the right word or number
When Should I Apply To Take the PMP Certification Exam?
It is suggested that once a candidate reaches a high score on their Project Management Professional sample exam of 70% to 80%, it’s time for them to apply and reserve their spot to take the PMP Certification exam. The Project Manager’s Institute’s PMBOK does provide some info on the type of questions that will appear in the PMP exam, split into five core groups, in which you’ll need to show proficiency. Of these five core groups, the PMI state that the split of questions are as followed:
- Business Environment – 8% of PMP Certification Exam Questions
- Processes – 50% of PMP Certification Exam Questions
- People – 42% of PMP Certification Exam Questions
How Much Do We Know About The PMP Pass Rate?
In 2004, the third edition of the PMBOK Guide was released. The Project Management Professional exam was updated in July of the next year to correspond with the third version of it. Around those months, the Project Management Institute pushed the pass rate to an incredible eighty-one percent.
The percentage of applicants that are able to pass the Project Management Professional certification exam on their 1st try has declined considerably as the pass rate has increased. By December of 2004, the Project Management Institute moved fast and reduced the PMP test passing score to a manageable sixty-one percent.
Up until 2005, the Project Management Professional Certification Exam Handbook mentioned the sixty-one percent pass rate, until they suddenly stopped sharing any information about it.
Another change occurred in the last half of ‘07, when the Project Management Institute modified the results reported in the PMP certification exam passing score articles around this period. Moving away from %’s connected to domains, the Project Management Institute began using a different way to rate every domain according to proficiency levels, meaning the number you scored on each category became obsolete when measuring pass rates and what the ideal score should be.
Debunking Common Myths About the PMP Exam
There are several myths surrounding the PMP certification exam. Let’s debunk them and provide you with the facts:
- Myth 1: The PMP exam is too difficult to pass.Fact: While the exam is challenging, with proper preparation and study, you can increase your chances of success.
- Myth 2: You need extensive project management experience to take the PMP exam.Fact: While project management experience is a requirement for the PMP certification, the exam is designed to assess your knowledge across various project management domains.
- Myth 3: The PMP exam requires memorization of the PMBOK® guide.Fact: While the PMBOK® guide is a valuable resource, the exam tests your understanding and application of project management concepts rather than rote memorization.
- Myth 4: You must answer all questions correctly to pass the PMP exam.Fact: The PMP exam follows a scoring system based on proficiency levels, and you can pass even if you don’t answer every question correctly.
Preparing for the PMP Certification Exam
To increase your chances of success in the PMP certification exam, consider the following tips:
- Thoroughly review the PMBOK® guide: The PMBOK® guide is a primary reference for the exam, so make sure you understand its concepts and processes.
- Utilize PMP exam prep resources: Use reputable study materials, practice exams, and online courses to familiarize yourself with the exam format and content.
- Create a study plan: Develop a study schedule that allows you to cover all exam domains and topics effectively.
- Join a study group or seek a mentor: Engaging with fellow PMP aspirants or experienced professionals can provide additional support and insights.
- Take practice exams: Practice exams simulate the real exam environment and help you assess your readiness and identify areas for improvement.
- Review and analyze your mistakes: Learn from your practice exam results and focus on areas where you need further study.
Sign-up for a 7-day free trial! Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
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Try the first two modules of Brain Sensei’s story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
The PMP certification exam is a significant milestone for project management professionals. By understanding the facts, debunking myths, and familiarizing yourself with the PMP passing score, you can approach the exam with confidence. Remember to invest ample time and effort in exam preparation, utilizing reputable study materials and practice exams. With dedication and a well-rounded study plan, you can position yourself for success and earn the prestigious PMP certification.
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