“What is the format of the PMP exam” is constantly asked by project managers aspiring to get certified. The exam is made up of 200 situational multiple-choice questions. Of these 200 questions, only 175 are actually graded. The 25 questions that are not graded do not affect the score. They are considered pretest questions and are used to validate future exam questions. If you are ready for some free practice exam questions, click here.
PMI in most cases offers the computer based test (CBT). Only under specific circumstances, such as distance from testing center, will the paper based test (PBT) be offered. The computer based tests are given at Prometric Test Centers.
The PMP® is a long exam. Each exam taker has a total of 4 hours to finish the exam. This doesn’t mean you must take the full 4 hours to finish the test. If you finish in 3, you are allowed to click “finish test” and leave the Prometric Test Center. There are no halfway points for breaks, but you may raise your hand, and a Prometric staff member will come. All you have to say is bathroom break, and he will escort you out of the test room. You will have to sign out with your ID. On returning from your short break, you will have to sign back in. The sign in process consists of presenting your ID again, signing the sign-in paper, and then checking your pockets for any cheating material. Then you are readmitted to the testing area. One thing to remember is that even on break your test time continues to roll. So, if you are worried about time, make sure you go quickly.
At the beginning of the exam, you will have a 15-minute tutorial explaining how the test works and the different buttons and their respective functionalities. At the end of the test, you have a survey about the test center. Both are optional. Don’t forget to add your brain dump right after you take the tutorial!
Let’s take a look at the content outline for the PMP® exam. As we study for the exam, you will learn about each of the 5 domains: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. For each of these domains, there is a specific percentage of questions. More information on this in the PMP Handbook page 16.
Monitoring and Controlling
As we can see, each domain has a different percentage. You may need to give more effort to Executing, and Monitoring and Controlling because there will be more questions on these two domains. Regardless, it is wise to go over each domain and study it well. Go through sample exam questions and try to determine in which areas you have difficulty. Mark these and go back over them. For more in-depth information on the PMP Exam Outline, check out the PMP® Examination Content Outline.
Now that you know what is the format of the PMP Exam is, check out some more information on getting a project management certification, check out the Get-Certified Articles page on the site.