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PMP Exam Tips and Things to Keep in Mind during Exam

Like most other exams, PMP is also time constrained. So, it is important to understand what to expect during exam and how you can maximize your chances of achieving PMP.

Understanding PMP Exam Format

It is important to understand exam format and what to expect during PMP Exam.

  • PMP Exam is 200 questions multiple choice exam. Out of these 25 questions are experimental questions. These questions are not counted. These are the questions PMI attempts to validate before including in future exams. These questions will be placed randomly in the exam. You will be scored on remaining 175 real exam questions. You need 61% i.e. 106 correct answers to pass the test. (Note – This information was disclosed by PMI some time back. However, the passing percentage is not officially disclosed anymore)

  • Every question will have only one correct answer.

  • There is no negative marking in the exam. So, there is no penalty for guessing.

  • Here is the breakdown of questions.Thesemay be presented in random order in the exam.

    • Initiation – 11%

    • Planning – 23%

    • Executing – 27%

    • Monitoring & Controlling – 21%

    • Closing – 9%

    • Professional and Social Responsibility – 9%

  • The duration of exam is 4 hours.

PMP Exam tips

Keep following tips in mind while taking exam.

  • The questions sometimes contain extra information that is not relevant and is not required to answer the question. Learn to ignore such information.

  • Each question has only one correct answer. Learn to choose best answer. Read all options before answering.

  • Keep PMI perspective in mind while answering.

  • Generalized answers (uses always, never, must etc) are often incorrect.

  • Special cases (uses often, sometimes, may, generally, perhaps etc) are often correct.

  • Eliminate impossible choices first.

  • There is no negative marking for incorrect answers. So, guess if you do not know.

PMI Perspective

Some of the PMI perspective you should keep in mind while answering

  • The project manager takes proactive approach and does not wait until risk or problem occurs.

  • Project manager does not escalate problem to the higher management or customer without analyzing and identifying options.

  • Assumes lessons learnt and historical databases are available.

  • Assumes good Process assets are available including PM methodologies, risk and quality procedures etc and project manager adopts these to his/her project.

  • Gold plating is not allowed.

  • WBS is great tool and is always used.

  • Scope and Roles & responsibilities are clearly defined.

  • Project Manager should be assigned early in the initiation phase.


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