PMP Exam Experience: Is 60% In Practice Tests Enough To Pass The Exam?

pmp exam experience

Sometimes, actual PMP exam experience belies well entrenched beliefs. Amy Herman’s experience from the PMP certification test contradicts one such strongly ingrained belief.

Most experts, including me, believe that you should score about 80% in the practice tests to pass the exam. Even though PMI has not said anything about the qualifying marks, past experiences suggest that 80% is required to crack the PMP exam.

Amy recently passed the credential exam. She was mostly scoring between 60-70% in the mock tests. You may not believe it but, in the final test, she scored Above Target in 4 of the 5 domains.

However, it is always better to be prepared for the worst. You should score more than an average person to succeed in the exam.

There are many good lessons to be learned from Amy’s tryst with the PMP exam. Just go through the remainder of this post for Amy’s PMP Exam experience.

Amy’s PMP Exam Experience

I took the PMP today, and (somehow) ended up doing really well (AT-AT-AT-T-AT). I wanted to say thank you to the people here who pointed out some great resources and really helped me understand how to approach these questions. Wanted to add in a few thoughts of my own. 🙂 I discovered this subreddit in the 11th hour – just over a week ago, and it made ALL the difference in my ability to pass.

PMP Certification Test

Nothing new here to report. High security, etc. but they were very fast. I thought the interface of the test was GREAT – very easy to move around and the highlight and strike out features were critical. I thought the questions were much shorter than most practice tests I took.

Exam Preparation Study

I studied all wrong until a little over 3 weeks ago. I had taken a PMP prep class in grad school in 2015 coincidentally, and I work at a software company managing…projects haha. I read the PMBOK and made notes, then I read Rita’s book and made more notes in another color. I found the comparing of the two sources helped me process the info. Then, last Friday, I got Andy’s book in the mail and I read it cover to cover over the weekend. I watched Joseph Phillips’ videos for the topics I needed help with. Some kind soul here mentioned his Blitz reviews, and I did those twice…as well as PMTraining quizzes. Maybe 400 questions or so? I also did Oliver’s 200q test this week.

PMP Lessons Learned & Takeaways

I wish I had watched Ricardo Vargas’ video first. It probably would have made my time MUCH more productive. Most importantly, for me, I needed to slow down. I was done the test today in about two hours. I went through and answered the ones I knew right away, and narrowed down choices on the others. THE BEST THING I DID was highlight the process or situation or thing the question was asking for. That made it really easy to choose the right answer out of 4 true statements. I then spent another hour reviewing every single answer – and contrary to others’ advice, changed many answers. But I only did so when I realized I had misread the question.

I got a 66% on Oliver’s test, a 70% on Andy’s, and my highest score on the PMTrainings was a 78% (but most were 60-74%). Reading about all the people who got 80+ on every test really scared me, and I was convinced I was gonna fail. But slowingggg down today is surely what made it for me so that is my advice to anyone trying to improve.

Over To You

What should be the minimum score in practice tests before applying for the PMP exam?

How much are you currently scoring? And how about reading the questions slowly? What should be the average time spent per question?

Let us know through comments.

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Praveen Malik, PMP

​Praveen Malik ​is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) with a rich 23+ years of experience. He is a leading Project Management Instructor, Coach and ​Advisor. He ​has successfully trained thousands of aspirants for the PM certification exams.

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