How Many PMP Practice Questions Should be Done to Pass the Exam?

Last updated on December 2, 2016

Do At Least 2000 PMP Practice Questions to Pass the Exam

pmp practice questions

I did my PMP certification in the year 2005. In those days, apart from the reference books, there were very few sources to do the PMP practice questions. We had to rely on what was available. The trick was to study hard and prepare for all kinds of surprises.

Before appearing for the exam, I would have barely done 1000 questions. However, things have changed in last few years. Now, there are many sources of the PMP practice questions – both  paid and free. Moreover, the competition for the exam has increased drastically. So, in my opinion, doing 1000 questions is just not enough.

Over last few years, I have noticed something very interesting. I have observed that, if someone has a good understanding of the PMBOK Guide and practices about 2000 questions, she/he invariably passes the exam. Now, this is not an foolproof number. The actual number may differ from individual to individual. However, you have an extremely good chance of passing the exam, if you do about 2000 PMP practice questions.

Let us look at a complete strategy for doing the 2000 questions.

2000 PMP Practice Questions Strategy


Step I – Study PMBOK Guide Processes & Do 500 PMP Practice Questions

The best source for studying the PMBOK Guide processes is the Guide itself. Many people claim that it is not reader friendly book. But, I have a different opinion. It is not the easiest book to read but it is not too difficult also. I have written a series of articles that will help you in reading the PMBOK Guide. If you want you can read a PMP reference book before you study the Guide. You can refer to my article on the best PMP reference book to choose your reference book.

In posts related to reading the PMBOK Guide, I have recommended reading the Guide Process Group (PG) wise. However, you can read it Knowledge Area (KA) wise also, if that is easier for you. You can also read my article on “How many times one should read the PMBOK® Guide?“.

Whether you read the PMBOK Guide PG wise of KA wise, eventually you would study the Guide’s processes. After finishing a logical group of processes, you should attempt some questions specific to the processes that you have studied. This will help you in understanding the processes in sufficient detail. You might not find any process specific questions, so you can take one of the following 2 approaches:

  • If you are studying the PMBOK Guide processes Knowledge Area (KA) wise, then you should do 30-50 questions for each KA (depending on the size of KA).
  • If you are studying the the PMBOK Guide processes Process Group (PG) wise, then you should do about 125 questions each for Planning, Executing & M&C PGs. In addition, you should do 50-75 questions each for Initiating and Closing.

These number may vary for each individual, but you must do about 500-600 questions while studying the PMBOK Guide. You should feel comfortable with the content of the Guide before moving to the next step.


Step II – Do 1500 PMP Practice Questions

After you have read the PMBOK Guide (and maybe another reference book) and have done 500-600 questions, then you are ready for this step. In this step, you should do many questions from varied sources. I have seen individuals who feel confident after doing about 500  questions in this step. But, I would recommend that you should do at least 1500 questions before sitting in the exam.


Remember These Points while Practicing Questions

You should follow a few important points while practicing the questions. You should:

  • do the questions from 4-5 different sources (authors) to get different flavors.
  • do some topic specific (both KA and PG) tests. This way you will be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Work on your weaknesses by reading specific portion(s) of PMBOK Guide again.
  • do a few questions everyday without fail to maintain the continuity.
  • do sample tests of varying lengths. However, you must do at least 2 full length tests in one single sitting. This will test your ability to sit for 4 hours and withstand the stress levels.
  • do the questions from authentic sources. There are plethora of websites that have old/incorrect questions or wrong answers/explanations. You should avoid these sources, so that you don’t get demotivated and/or disappointed.
  • do the questions from a source which provides answers with good explanations.
  • read the answers & explanations carefully after doing the sample tests. You should do this even if your answer was correct in the first place.
  • try to re-frame each question to suite the other 3 incorrect options. This can be mentally done after you have completed the sample test. This way you will be potentially doing 4 questions instead of only 1 question.
  • not avoid specific type of questions like numerical, long questions, case study based questions, questions from a particular topic etc.

Final Thoughts

Whew! That was lot. Let us do some questions. Er…I mean let me answer some Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Will 2000 questions be sufficient to pass the Exam?

Each individual has a different style of learning. What is good for the majority may not work in your case. Some individuals learn by reading PMBOK Guide multiple times but they do only a few questions. While, others feel comfortable after doing 4000-5000 PMP practice questions. But, in my experience, 2000 questions is good number for most aspirants.

Should I do questions from free sources or paid sources?

I believe, you should do a mix of questions from both free and paid sources. You should read my article on 13 Reasons to Invest in a Paid PMP Practice Exam to understand why it is important to do the questions from a paid source.

If you are looking for free questions, you can check my post having 3000+ free PMP practice questions. If you are looking at some good sources for paid questions, then you can consider either PMP Exam Simulator by Cornelius Fichtner or PMP Practice Exams by Christopher Scordo. For complete details about my recommendation, you can look at my article that compares 6 popular PMP exam simulators.

When will I know that I am ready for the exam?

You will be ready for the exam, once you are consistently scoring 78.5% or more in the practice tests and when you are sure that you can sit for 4 hours without getting too stressed. 78.5% is just a thumb rule. I have provided an explanation for this percentage in another article –  Best Way to Determine PMP Exam Passing Score. In fact, you should read this article to determine your readiness for the exam. After reading this article, you may not need an answer to the question written in title of this post.

Please leave a comment with your opinion.

Disclosure: This article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you buy from any of these links, then I will receive a small commission that would help me in maintaining this blog for free. However, for you, there is no extra cost. I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.

Praveen Malik, PMP is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 20+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor and Consultant. He regularly conducts Project Management workshops in India & abroad.

2 thoughts on “How Many PMP Practice Questions Should be Done to Pass the Exam?

  1. Hi,

    Could you provide some examples of “authentic sources. There are plethora of websites that have old/incorrect questions or wrong answers/explanations”? Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *