How Hard Is The PMP® Exam?

1. What is the PMP® Exam?

Established in 1984 by the Project Management Institute (PMI®), the Project Manager Professional or PMP® certification is the gold standard in the project management industry around the world. Accordingly, the PMP® exam has earned its reputation as a universal assessment for any candidates to perform in the role of project managers.

2. What are the PMP® requirements?

Candidates must fulfill several requirements to obtain PMP® certification and take the exam. The education requirements include these following options: either a secondary or primary degree or a diploma with the adequate training and relevant work experience. To be specific, with a secondary degree including a high school diploma or associates degree, you need 5 years of work experience in professional project management with 7,500 hours of leading professional projects. In addition, with a primary degree such as a bachelor’s degree or higher, you are required to have 3 years of work experience with a minimum of 4,500 hours of directing projects. In either case, with a Secondary or a Primary Degree, you must complete 35 hours of certified or accredited project management education by passing a project management course offered by a Project Management Institute (PMI®)-recognized provider. 

3. How is the PMP® exam scored?

The current PMP® exam content includes 5 parts, each of which tests your competence in a variety of skill areas. For each skill area, the exam also tests your ability, knowledge and understanding that are required of industry-standard project managers. Remember that the new exam content is now published, so keep yourself up-to-date with the changes. The exam consists of 175 scored questions and 25 unscored questions as pretest questions to monitor the question performance better. Unanswered questions are marked as incorrect, so try to answer all of the questions.

4. How hard is the PMP® exam?

The fail rate for the PMP® exam is quite remarkable at an estimate of 40-50% for test-takers at the first attempt. You don’t need to answer correctly a specific number of questions to pass the exam. Actually, each question is marked in accordance with its relative difficulty, which means that if you get all the easy answers right but all the difficult ones are wrong, then you can fail the exam.

All you can do is to get as many right answers as possible. The best plan is to prepare with thorough study through quality materials. Moreover, make sure that you’ve familiarized yourself with the questions and type of the content that are likely to show up in the exam by taking several practice exams.

A PMP Certification Training Course is highly recommended if you need additional instruction on what to study and how to keep yourself on the right track. Many prep courses are available with practice questions and explanations, one-on-one time with live tutors, and various full-length exams. With practice tests, you should get at least 80% in order that the minimum pass rate on the actual exam will be around 65%.

You can also register for a prep course that offers guarantee or a supporting plan so that you will have access to additional assistance in case you fail the test. If you don’t pass the exam at your first attempt, you have two more chances within a year to re-take the exam. Unless you pass the exam after a maximum of 3 attempts in a year, you must wait for 1 year to sit for the test again.

In conclusion, taking the PMP® exam is not a piece of cake. With hard work, thorough study of the exam content and a proper plan, you definitely can achieve great success.

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