Is there a passing score for the PMP exam? Updated for 2018
Here’s what the PMI has to say
Sound psychometric analysis determines the passing score for all PMI credential exams. PMI employs subject matter experts from all over the world to help determine the point at which each candidate should pass an examination and the exam point of difficulty. To ensure that each examination point of difficulty is healthy, data that shows how candidates performed are cross-referenced with subject matter experts.
The short answer is NO. There is no set score that will help you pass the PMP exam. It all depends on how difficult the questions are. There will be no two candidates getting the same set. It makes sense that the passing score will vary. A test with simple questions will score higher than an exam with more difficult questions. Each question is not equal in weight. It is therefore difficult to estimate the score you will need to pass the exam.
Let’s first look at the PMP pattern before we tackle some myths about the exam.
PMP exam pattern
On the PMP exam, there are 200 multiple-choice questions. Only 175 of these 200 questions are scored. The rest are pre-test questions that do not contribute to your score. These questions are experimental and are intended to be valid in future examinations. They are scattered throughout the exam. You will not be able to identify which questions are experimental or which are not. All questions must be approached with equal seriousness.
PMP is a closed-book exam. This means that you cannot refer back to any material during the exam.
The exam will take you 4 hours. During these 4 hours, there are no scheduled breaks. You can still take breaks, but the time will be taken from the 4 hour period. The tutorial is followed by a survey. It might take you around 15 minutes to complete the exam. This time is not included in the total of 4 hours.
These questions are based on the PMBOK specifications and PMP Code of Ethics. You must demonstrate proficiency in five domains.
Below is a table showing the percentage of questions that will come from each domain area.
Percentage of questions
Initiating the project
Plan the project
Executing the project
Monitoring and controlling the project
Closing of the project
History of PMP exam scores
PMI established a passing score of 68.5% in 2005. To become a PMP professional, you must answer 137 questions from 200. It then raised the passing score to 80.6% (141/175). It changed the passing score to 60.6% after 60 days because it noticed that the number of candidates passing the exam at this score had dropped significantly. To pass the exam, you had to answer 106 questions out of 175 questions. This was the last published passing score.
From 2007, PMI changed the criteria for passing the exam. The announcement of the results was no longer made in percentages. Instead, the test results will mention the proficiency level for each domain. You will not be able to determine the numerical percentage of each domain if you take the exam. Your score will not indicate whether you are proficient, proficient, or below proficient in any of the domains.
Top myths about PMP exam
Here are some myths about the PMP passing score.
1. PMP’s passing score is 61%
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