The Project Management Professional certification is one of the most prestigious credentials in the IT industry that every project manager should have. Ever since the PMI (Project Management Institute) introduced this certification, the process of obtaining it has undergone several changes over the years. But passing the PMP exam is still the only way for you to actually receive this credential. Quite a few years ago, you needed to get at least 122 of the 200 questions correct (61%) in order to pass the test, but nowadays finding out what the passing mark is can be quite confusing.
There are 200 questions on the PMP exam and you have 4 hours to complete them. PMI stopped publishing the passing score in their Project Management Guidebook a few years ago and to date nobody knows what the exact passing score or percentage is. The only thing you can do is solve as many practice tests as you can and get your hands on every single sample PMP test question you can find online, in books, or in magazines.
One thing PMI did release is the rate of test takers who pass the exam on the first time, which was on average 60% to 72%. The more training you get and the longer you spend preparing for the test, the less you’ll have to worry about what the PMP exam passing score is.
For peace of mind, as long as you are getting 80% of the questions correct when solving a sample PMP test, then you will most probably be able to pass the real exam on your first try. On the real exam there are actually only 175 questions that will be marked and the rest will be used to give the examiners testing data for the next exam. But since you don’t know which one’s won’t be marked, you’ll still have to solve all the questions equally!
You should also answer every single question, even if you’re entirely sure about the answer because questions answered incorrectly will not be counted as a negative. Eliminating answer choices will help you minimize your chances of getting a question wrong by guessing, but that’s still better than leaving it blank.
Studying and sufficient training are still the best ways to pass the Project Management Professional exam, so don’t skimp out on them if you want to succeed on your first try. Make sure you are 110% sure that you are ready for the exam before taking it or else you’ll just be giving PMI a free $500 for the cost of the test registration.
Check out several books and recommended forums if you’re looking for some good advice on what to study for the test and other general study tips.