PMP Practice Questions – How Many Should Be Done To Pass The Exam?

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 of 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 practiced barely 1000 questions. However, things have changed in last few years. Now, there are umpteen sources of the PMP practice questions. And, at the same time, the competition for the exam has increased substantially. In my experience, practicing 1000 questions is not enough to pass the exam.

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 2000 questions.

PMP Practice Questions Strategy


Step I –  Practice 500 Questions While Studying PMBOK Guide Concepts

The best source for studying the PMBOK Guide concepts is the Guide itself. But many people claim that it is not reader friendly book. I have written a series of articles that will help you in reading the PMBOK Guide. However, if you find it difficult to follow the Guide then you can study from a good PMP reference book. You can refer to my article on the best PMP reference book to choose your reference book.

While studying the PMBOK Guide concepts, you should practice about 500 questions. This will help you in understanding the concepts in sufficient detail. You can take either of the following 2 approaches:

  • If you are studying the PMBOK Guide 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 PGs.

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

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Step II – Practice 1500 Questions

After you have understood the PMBOK Guide concepts and have done about 500questions, then you are ready for this step. In this step, you should do 1500 questions from independent sources. I have seen individuals who start feeling confident after doing about 500 questions in this step. But, I would still recommend that you should do at least 1500 questions before taking the exam.


Remember These Points while Practicing Questions

You should adhere to the following points while doing questions. You should:

  • practice questions from 4-5 different sources 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.
  • practice 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 a single sitting. This will test your ability to sit for 4 hours and withstand the stress levels.
  • practice 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 a 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 the PMBOK Guide multiple times but they do not practice many 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 that describes 13 reasons to invest in a Paid PMP Exam to understand why it is beneficial to do the questions from a paid source.

If you are looking for free questions, you can check my post having 3500+ free PMP sample questions. If you are looking at some good sources for paid questions, then you you can look review and comparison of 7 popular PMP Simulators.

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

You would be ready for the exam, once you consistently start scoring 78.5% or more in the practice tests. 78.5% is a good working figure. I have provided rational for this percentage in another article –  Best Way to Determine PMP Exam Passing Score. You should read this article to determine if you are ready for the exam. In fact, after reading this article, you would not need an answer to “how many practice questions should be done to pass the exam?”.


How many questions do you intend to do? From which sources? What is your study strategy? Please leave a comment.

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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 “PMP Practice Questions – How Many 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!

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