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What Is The PMP Passing Score?

What Is The PMP Passing Score?

Will we ever know what the PMP passing score is?

What Is The PMP Passing Score? – Will We Ever Know What It Is?

This is the million-dollar question: what is the PMP passing score? From high school days, to college, and now to professional certifications, we expect to know the passing score so as to better prepare ourselves for the big exam.

This test is a different story. It is entirely different. PMI uses a psychometric approach to score tests. OK, so what is this? From the PMP Handbook:

Establishing the Passing Score – The passing score for all PMI credential examinations is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts from across the globe to help establish a point at which each candidate should pass the examination(s) and the examination point of difficulty. Data that show how candidates actually performed is cross referenced with the subject matter experts to ensure that the point of difficulty on each examination is healthy.




Since we do not know what is the PMP passing score and will probably never know it, we should take a few steps to get prepared for the exam. One of the best ways to test your knowledge after going through, or during, your reading of the PMBOK is to use an exam simulator. Simulators provide us with several benefits:

  1. Gives a real feel for the exam
  2. Prepares you for the length (four hours) of the exam
  3. Helps you read, identify the key points, and eliminate the fluff of the questions
  4. Ameliorates time needed for reading / understanding the question
  5. Boosts your confidence – (Make sure you use a reputable simulator)
  6. Simulator questions really mirror exam questions – You will be better prepared on exam day
  7. Access to hundreds of questions and multiple scenarios helps you perform better
  8. Helps you determine when you are ready to schedule your test


My Experience

I strongly suggest using a simulator to practice for the exam. I started for the PMP my first time around by reading the PMBOK and then Rita Mulcahy’s book. Her book has questions at the end of each chapter. Suffice to say, having my MBA, and having read both books and solved those chapter-end questions, I felt prepared. Test day would prove otherwise. I scored well, but it wasn’t enough.

For my next time around, I was determined not to make the same mistake and underestimate the test. I bought the PM Prepcast, which has nine PMP practice exams. I made sure to take all the exams at least twice. This made me feel much more mentally prepared for retaking the exam. One of the great things about such practice is that you get used to sitting down and focusing for three or four hours to take the test. On my first time around, I was mentally drained. Second time around, I completed the exam in about two hours forty minutes and felt great. I also found the test to be very similar to the practice exams that I had purchased.


Are You Ready To Take The Exam?

Are you ready to take the exam? Be honest with yourself. If you are doing the questions and not scoring well, probably it is still a bit premature. Keep on practicing to improve your odds at passing the test. If you are paying for your exam, you don’t want to shell out another $275 (member) or $375 (nonmember) to re-test. Additionally, if your company is paying for your certification, it may reflect negatively on you if you do not pass. So be prepared for the exam. I always tried to score 80% or higher on my practice exams. Once I scored 80% or higher on all nine of the practice tests, I felt confident and scheduled my exam.

I hope this has shed some light on what is the PMP passing score and offered some tips on passing the test your first time around. Please leave any comments and other tips you have on how to pass the exam. For more articles on project management certification, click on Get-Certified Articles.


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