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10. Scoring on the PMP Exam

Project Management Institute (PMI)® doesn’t release a passing score on any of their eight credentials. I have heard opinions on a passing score throughout the years. They are simply that, opinions. The last two public passing scores from around 2007 for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam were 61% and 68.5%. Given the process PMI goes through to establish the “cut” score (if you made the cut, you pass), I don’t think that the passing score has likely changed out of this range since these numbers were the standard.

The more important question in my opinion is what score should you be doing on your practice exams before you attempt to take the real exam? I like to see 85% to 90% from my students on practice exams before you go take the real exam.

Some might say this is quite an increase from the last known passing scores. Think of it this way, you can’t guarantee the specific version of the exam you will get. They call this a form. The questions in the specific form you get might not align with your specific type of experience. You could suffer from anxiety. You could get sick the day before the exam. You could be fired the day before the test. Any of these things, or other major things that life can throw at you can impact your ability to get into the test center and perform well.

It’s better to be performing REALLY WELL on practice tests instead of barely being comfortable on practice questions when you go into the test center.

It’s also important to remember that there are 25 questions out of the 200 that are not scored when it comes to your passing the exam. What PMI does with these questions is measure the statistical performance of the question. In other words, if enough people get the question correct, then in the future it would count toward the passing score on a future exam. Some people I teach get bent out of shape about these questions. They say they are going to try to guess which questions these are.

Here is the best thing you can do to increase your exam score….with each question eliminate two answers as quickly as possible. Of the remaining two answers, select the one you are typically drawn to originally. DO NOT worry about questions you have already answered or have yet to answer. One question at a time.

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