The Project Management Professional Certification exam, or the PMP exam by PMI consists of 200 multiple choice questions, to be completed within 4 hours.
UPDATE: The PMP Exam changed on 31-August-2011. At least 30% questions have change. See my detailed blog post on the changes.
There is no negative marking, so you should attempt each and every question, even if you have to guess. Never leave a question un-answered.
Of these 200 questions, only 175 are testable. This means that there are 25 “pre-test” questions, which are only there to test the suitability of the exam question for future exam takers.
Whether you get these 25 right or wrong will not matter. Unfortunately you do not know where are these 25 questions among the 200… they are spread all over the place. This does not give you any benefit.
But it effect, there are only 175 questions that matter.
Upto 2005, PMI used to publish the passing rates in the PMP Handbook. It used to be 61%. But now PMI does not publish the passing mark any longer.
So to be safe, you need to get a minimum of 61% or more of the 175 questions correct. This comes to 107 questions. And since you don’t know about the 25 un-testable questions, you’d better get these right too. So you need to have atleast 132 questions correct of the total 200 questions in the PMP exam.
However, most of the project managers who have recently passed the PMP exam in 2011 think that the exam is quite tough. Even though they were scoring high in the Rita’s mock PMP exam prep tests – getting as high as 85 or 90%, but could not clear the PMP exam in their first attempt. Then they studied for some more time, took more mock PMP tests, and took the exam aiming to secure a much higher percentage of marks.
This leads me to believe that the PMP exam passing score could be a rung higher, and you must not bank upon the 61% rate. Aim to go for 75% or higher to ensure success in the PMP exam. Do as many mock tests as possible.
Aim to Pass the PMP exam in your first attempt, with the right guidance and the PMI perspective of thinking. Join our Online PMP Exam Prep Coaching Workshop
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And let me know once you pass the exam. All the Best!
Vinai Prakash, PMP
P.S. – The PMP Exam changed in 2013. At least 30% questions have changed. See my detailed blog post on the kind of changes to the exam questions.
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