If you are planning to take the PMP exam, one of the first things that you will definitely want to know is the passing score – this way, you can prepare to even score higher than the required score. It is way better to score higher than to score lower than the required score.
The Project Management Professional (also known as PMP) exam consists of two hundred (200) multiple choice questions which are to be completed in four (4) hours.
Please be informed that you should try to attempt all the questions, even if you need to guess some of it – because there is no negative scoring.
Out of all 200 questions, only 175 questions are “testable”. This simply means that 25 questions are “pre-test” questions. These 25 questions are there in order to test the suitability of the PMP test for prospective exam candidates. Whether or not you get the 25 questions right, it really does not matter. Well, the not-so-pleasing part is that you will not know where these 25 questions are among the 200 questions. Translation: the 25 questions are peppered all over the place.
So the main thing is that you get the 175 relevant questions right.
You may be thinking “So, what is the ACTUAL passing score for the PMP exam?!”
Well, up until 2005, The Project Management Institute (PMI) used to publish the PMP exam passing score in the PMP Handbook. The passing score used to be 61 percent. But (yes, there is a “but”), PMI no longer publishes the passing score any more.
So in order to be on the safe side, you will need to make sure that you get at least 61 percent (or even more) of the 175 question correctly. 61 percent of 175 questions comes at 107 – yup, you will need to pass 107 questions correctly in order to pass the PMP exam. And because you will have no idea which questions are the 25 un-testable questions, you will need to get those questions right as well. So out of the 200 questions in the PMP test, you will need to get 132 questions absolutely right.
Although, a lot of the project managers who passed the PMP test think that the exam is pretty tough. Even though they scored pretty high marks in many PMP mock tests – scoring as high as 85 or 90 percent, but didn’t do well when they first sat for the PMP exam. Many project managers had to study harder, took more mock PMP exams and then sat for the Project Management Professional for the second time and scored a much higher percentage of marks.
This simply means that the PMP passing score could have been moved higher, and it is important not to bank on scoring only 61 percent in the exam. It is a lot safer to aim for at least 75 percent or even higher in the PMP test. You should ensure that you do as many mock PMP tests as you can lay your hands on – also ensure that these mock tests are considerably tough.