PMP certification exam is unlike any other test. You have to practice a lot of PMP sample questions and mock tests before you can say that you are ready.
But you would ask, how many sample questions should you answer? How many is enough to help you get through the exam?
Read on and you will find answer to these queries.
PMP Sample Questions
I Practiced Only 600 Mock Questions
I did my PMP certification in the year 2005. In those days, there weren’t many sources of PMP sample questions. There were a few reference books and that it.
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 600 questions.
However, things have drastically changed in the last few years. Now, there are umpteen sources of the mock tests & sample questions. And, at the same time, the competition for the exam has increased substantially.
Now, practicing 600 or even 1000 sample 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 sample questions, she/he invariably passes the exam.
Now, 2000 is not an foolproof number. The actual number may differ from individual to individual. However if you do about 2000 questions, you have an extremely good chance of passing the exam.
Let us look at a complete strategy for doing 2000 questions.
PMP Mock Questions Strategy
Step I – Practice 500 Questions While Studying The PMBOK Guide
The best source for understanding the PMBOK Guide concepts is the Guide itself.
But many people find it difficult to read. It is not a reader friendly book. I agree.
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 a good reference book.
You should practice about 500 questions while studying the PMBOK Guide. This will help you in understanding the Guide’s 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.
The actual number may vary for each individual, but overall you must do about 500-600 questions while studying the PMBOK Guide.
You can also look at my Chapter Wise KA mock quiz for practicing sample PMP questions.
You should feel comfortable with the PMBOK Guide’s concepts before moving to the next step.
Step II – Practice 1500 Questions After Understanding The PMBOK Guide’s Concepts
In this step, you should do 1500 questions from a few different reliable sources.
I have seen individuals who start feeling confident after doing about 500 sample questions. But, I would still recommend that you should do at least 1500 questions before taking the exam.
And, you should do these questions from 4-5 different sources.
PMP is a difficult exam. The questions are composed by a committee of authors. So it is better to be exposed to different styles of questions before taking the final test.
Free vs Paid Tests
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.
Whew! That was lot. Let us do some sample 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 or paid sources?
I believe, you should do a mix of questions from both free and paid sources. You should read my article that talks about 13 reasons to invest in Paid PMP Tests 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 reliable sources of free tests.
If you are looking for the top sources for paid questions, then you you can look review and comparison of Top PMP Mock Tests.
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 – Are You Ready For The Certification Exam?. 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?”.
Over To You
How many questions do you intend to do? Which sources are you using? Are you satisfied with your preparation level?
Please leave a comment.