Passing Score for the PMP Exam… Is There One?

Is there a passing score for the PMP Exam? The simple answer is no. There is no set official percentage that you have to obtain in order to pass the PMP Exam. In the early years of the PMP Exam, 61% was the stated threshold, but several years ago the PMI changed that requirement and that is no longer the case. Since then, the PMP Exam is differently structured and the scores are strategically calculated.

To explain this further, here is a passage taken straight from the PMI’s PMP Handbook:

The passing score for all PMI credential examinations is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts from across the globe to help establish a point at which each candidate should pass the examination(s) and the examination point of difficulty. Data that shows how candidates actually performed is cross referenced with the subject matter experts to ensure that the point of difficulty on each examination is healthy.

So, basically this means that there is no set percentage to pass or fail the PMP Exam. This level varies for each exam and is reflective of the exam’s overall difficulty and how well all the student’s taking the exam score. As well, each question is given an individual rating and weight depending on its level of difficulty.

As for the structure of the PMP Exam, it is comprised of 200 multiple choice questions. There are 25 questions that are considered pretest and are randomly and strategically placed throughout the exam. They do not affect the final score and are used to test the validity of future exams. So, it is only the other 175 questions that will be counted in the final score. These questions cover the 5 Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing). It is worth noting that the PMI does not specify a passing score for these areas either. On your PMP Exam scorecard each area is broken down and given a rating of Proficient, Moderately Proficient, or Below Proficient.

As for the PMP Exam Simulators that you use for your training, most (including ours) do have a passing score, with the score of each area of expertise broken down further. A score of 75% is generally what everyone aims for. When practicing, aim for this score and you should be well prepared for the Exam and up for the challenge.

The PMP Exam is tough, but understanding how the exam questions and scoring are structured should help in preparation and your overall success. Good Luck!


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