pmp practice exam

Free Or Paid PMP Practice Exam?

You must be wondering if there are so many free sources for PMP practice exams, why I should invest in a paid exam.

Your dilemma is absolutely understandable. In fact, I have written a post that has a compilation of 3500+ PMP practice questions. Some of the free exams are very good, but in order to complete your preparation you should do some paid exams also.

In my previous article, I talked about how you can check your readiness for the PMP Exam by doing both free and paid exams. Go ahead! Read that article and then come back here. My point is that you should not follow “either free or paid” strategy. You must do both free and paid PMP practice exams.

In the previous article, I had listed some of the reasons for investing in a paid exam. In this article, let us look at the complete list of reasons for investing in a paid exam.

The Reasons for Investing in a Paid PMP Practice Exam

In the previous article, we discussed the importance of the free exams and how they can be used for the exam preparation. In this article, let us discuss how & why the paid exams score over the free exams.

The PMP practice exams

  1. should be periodically upgraded – Every few years PMI changes the Exam Content Outline and the PMBOK Guide. The practice exams should be updated with these changes. Most of the free exams are not updated regularly but the paid exams are. You should not prepare for the exam from old & outdated content.
  2. should provide exam simulation experience – Very few free exams provide simulation experience. The real PMP exam is conducted on a computer terminal. Before you appear in the PMP Exam, you should have practiced a few tests in a simulated environment.
  3. should provide really serious & difficult questions – Most of the free exams have non-unique & regular content. You should not do questions that everyone else is also doing. It does not give you any extra advantage over the other aspirants.
  4. should provide multiple sets of full length 200 questions – Very few free exams provide complete 200 questions sets. It is important that you do at least two full length tests before sitting in the PMP exam. By doing this, you will get to understand your sitting & concentration capacity over a period of 4 hours.
  5. should be frequently revised and updated to incorporate the aspirants’ feedback – This does not usually happen with the free exams.
  6. should be reviewed by an expert(s) before being published – Free exams are prepared but rarely reviewed by experts or peers. The chances of error in a paid PMP practice exam are much less than a free exam.
  7. should conform to the latest PMP exam trends – The free exams follow the delayed exam trends. You will not get to know what is happening the PMP world by doing free tests only.
  8. should allow you to randomly pick questions based on Knowledge Area (KA) and Process Group (PG) – There may be some free exams that provide this feature but I do not know of any. Most of the popular paid exams provide this feature. Using this feature, you can brush-up specific PMP concepts.
  9. should provide extensive reporting features – Again, I have not seen any free exam that provides this feature. As you prepare for the PMP Exam, you should gauge your strengths & weaknesses and check your progress. You can achieve this by doing a few paid exams.
  10. should allow you to assess your performance against the global audience – By doing free tests, you cannot assess yourself against the other aspirants as there is no standardized database for free tests.

In addition to the reasons listed above, there are 3 other reasons why you should invest in the paid PMP practice exams.

    1. The paid exams are not really expensive when you look at the overall cost – The exam fee is about $550. A classroom training or instructor led online training can cost anywhere between $200 to $2000 depending on where you live. In addition to these costs, you may buy an exam preparation book for about $50. In all, you would be spending quite a lot of money. It makes sense to spend another $50-$100 for paid PMP practice exams, if it increases your chances of success.
    2. The paid exams forces you to crack the PMP exam sooner – There is a time limit associated with the paid tests. Once you buy them, you get a window of few weeks to a few months. This forces you to complete your PMP Exam within that window. PMP Certification is a prestigious & respected certification. Many salary surveys suggest that PMPs, on an average, earn higher than non-PMPs. It is better to get the increase (in the salary) sooner rather than later. A paid exam is worth the extra investment.
    3. checks your readiness for the PMP exam and boosts your overall confidence.


I believe it make lot of sense to invest in a PMP practice exam. It gives your preparation an extra push and increases your chances of success. If you decide to invest in a paid practice exam, you should choose a popular online exam simulator and not a CD based system. CDs are outdated and you will not get as many benefits as you would get from an online exam.

I would recommend that you look at PMP Exam Simulator by Cornelius Fichtner and PMP Practice Exams by Christopher Scordo, if you decide to invest in a paid PMP practice exam. For complete details about my recommendation, you can look at my article that compares popular PMP exam simulators.

Over To You

Do you think an aspirant should invest in paid simulation tests? Are they worth the investment? What is your opinion? Do leave a comment.

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  1. Practice tests are a very important part of training for the PMI Certification and while there are many online tests simulators it is important to make sure that the tests which you practice on are fully up to date with the new methods and guidelines of PMP since there are many outdated tests online. Investing in a good paid practice examination will make sure that you get the best training.

  2. Every test is unique, so selecting the right one solution for prep can be challenging. But a paid test is must.

  3. There are many people/websites who claim to offer things like “valid PMP PDF exam dumps”, “real exam questions”, etc. I think these should be avoided at all costs.

  4. That is really nice that a practice exam should provide a simulation experience. Having an exam preparation training for the real thing is something that I would love to have. Testing has never been something that I have done well at and it would serve me well to be trained and prepared before I take an exam.

  5. Hello Sir,

    I am planning to take the PMP exam in the first week of March 2020. My study material consists of the following

    Head First PMP, 4th edition
    PMBOK Guide, 6th edition
    Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep Book, 9th edition

    Now I am looking for a good exam simulator, but confused which one to choose as there are many options available. Could you please guide me regarding this.

    As per Google search, I had shortlisted 2 simulators –

    Master of Project Academy

    Please let me know which one is good from the above two or if you could suggest something else. Waiting for your reply.


    1. Hi Amit, You should choose a simulator that has been around for a few years and has all the features that a modern simulator should have. I have not reviewed Eduhubspot and I would not recommend Master of Project as they are not an REP. For the best practice tests, you can refer to this post –

      Good luck,

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