The PMP exam has 180 questions and you get 230 minutes to answer these questions.
The above statement provides a straightforward and simple answer to the query posed in the title of this post but everything about PMP is far from simple. So, we have written this post to clear some air around the PMP exam.
You will find answers to the following questions in this post:
- What is the total number of questions in the PMP exam?
- What is the duration of the PMP exam and how long do you get to finish it?
- What is the passing criteria for the PMP exam?
- How many questions should you practice to crack the PMP exam?
After reading this post, you will know all the nuances of PMP credential test. You will also get to know the structure and pattern of the PMP exam.
How Many Questions come in the PMP Exam? How Long is the Exam?
The PMP exam is conducted both as a Computer Based Test (CBT) and Paper Based Test (PBT). The CBT is conducted by Perason VUE on the behalf of PMI.
The exam has 180 multiple-choice questions that come from the tasks listed in 3 different domains. You are given 230 minutes to complete the exam, which means you get approximately 76 seconds per question.
In addition to the 230 minutes exam time, you also get an option for two scheduled breaks of 10 minutes each. No breaks are given for the paper-based exam.
The two breaks are not counted towards your exam time. So, effectively, you get 250 minutes to complete the exam.
You can treat the exam to be divided into three sections of 60 questions each. After completing the first 60 questions and again after completing the next 60 questions, the Pearson VUE software gives you an option to take a 10 minutes break.
The software will start the break only after you have confirmed that you have reviewed your responses. Once you start the break after reviewing your responses, you cannot return to the questions from previous section. So, you should be absolutely sure before taking the break.
You should budget approximately 76 minutes for each section. You can use the breaks to stretch yourself and take a snack.
Percentage of Questions from Performance Domains
The questions in the PMP exam are based on the tasks listed under these performance domains. Following are the names of these domains along with the percentage of questions coming from each of them:
- People (42%)
- Process (50%)
- Business Environment (8%)
You can refer to our articles on the latest edition of the PMBOK Guide to understand more about the PMP Exam Content Outline and performance domains.
How Many Agile Questions in PMP Exam?
You can expect 90 questions related to Agile approaches in the PMP exam. As per the ECO, about half of the question in the exam will be based on predictive project management approaches, whereas the other half will come from agile or hybrid approaches.
What is the Passing Criteria for the PMP Exam?
PMI has not published any fixed score or criteria for passing the PMP exam. In 2007, there was a fixed score of 61% for passing the PMP exam but after that no one knows if there is a fixed score or not. Instead of using a fixed score, PMI may be using an entirely different mechanism like percentile scoring to pass or fail the candidates.
PMI gives a score report after a candidate finishes the exam. The score report shows ratings of the candidate on a 4 points scale for each of the 3 domains that are listed in the previous section. These are called performance rating categories.
One of the following rating is given to the candidate for each domain:
- above target
- below target
- needs improvement
You can refer to our other article on passing criteria of the PMP exam to understand more details about how PMI passes or fails a candidate.
How Many Questions Should You Practice to Crack the PMP Exam?
Practicing mock question is must for the PMP exam prep or, for that matter, any exam preparation. But, then this question comes up – how many mock question should one practice before writing the PMP exam.
Frankly speaking, there is no definitive answer to this questions since every individual has a different learning curve and style. What could be easy for you may be difficult for others.
Some people feel comfortable after doing 500-600 questions but some others are not confident even after doing 3000 questions.
Having said that, let us tell you about a strategy to determine how many questions you should do pass the PMP exam.
You should do 40-50 questions per chapter while studying the PMBOK Guide. Similarly, you should do about 100 questions while studying Agile Practice Guide. That will make a total of about 700 questions for the 13 PMBOK Guide chapters and Agile Practice Guide.
After finishing the PMBOK and and Agile Practice Guide, you should do 3-4 full length tests of 180 questions each. This will make a total of 720 questions.
The grand total comes out to be about 1500 questions, which is the right amount for most most people.
If you do about 1500 questions and start scoring about 80% in the practice tests then you should feel confident of passing the PMP exam. However, if you still don’t feel confident then you can practice a few more questions.
You can check our PMP exam simulator for practicing the different styles of questions that appear in the PMP exam. It has very tough PMP exam style questions. We believe that you will feel confident of passing the exam after practicing and reviewing our simulator questions.
Note: You can download a free copy of the PMBOK Guide by becoming a PMI member.
How to Pass the PMP Exam?
PMP exam is one of the most prestigious certificates present across the globe. Only professionals with good work experience in project management are eligible to take the certification exam.
You must not delay your PMP certification because of the uncertainties. With each passing day you are potentially losing a 16% increase in your salary.
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PMP certification extremely valuable in the real world. PMP is a tough exam to pass but it is not impossible to do so. You can easily crack the exam by enrolling into a good training program, which will give you a proper platform to prepare for the exam.
Our training program not only provides 35 hours of training certificate but also comes with very tough 1500+ questions exam simulator.
If you are serious about passing the PMP exam then there is nothing to lose by enrolling into a 35 contact hours course. A 35 contact hours training is mandatory for appearing in the PMP exam and its certificate remains valid till you appear for the exam.
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After completing the course, you should practice a lot of questions from a good source to be fully prepared for the PMP exam. A good source like our simulator will help you to pass the exam in your first attempt.
You can invest in our PMP simulator to practice questions and feel confident about passing the exam.
Our simulator has very difficult PMP exam style mock questions. It will enable you to pass the exam in your first attempt. It comes with unlimited lifetime access so you can attempt the questions again and again till you fully understand the concepts.
Over to You
Have decided about taking the PMP exam? If not, what is holding you back?
We would love to hear your thoughts in the comment section below.