Frequently Asked Questions

If you have basic questions related to the PMP exam then you have come to the right place.

What is the PMP exam?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional certification. This is an exam offered by PMI (the Project Management Institute) for practising Project Managers. The PMP is a globally recognized certification exam and is well respected in the industry. The exam is extremely popular. There are about 380,000 certified PMPs all over the globe. About 10,000 professionals sat for the exam just in February, 2012 alone.

What kind of organization is PMI?

The Project Management Institute was founded in 1969. The goal of PMI is continuous growth and development of the discipline of Project Management. PMI started the PMP exam in 1984. PMI has chapters all across the globe. These chapters provide extensive help in preparing for the exam. PMI offers four types of services/products. These are Project Management certification, Project Management Research and Standards, Project Management Professional Development programs, and Project Management publications.

What certification exams are offered by PMI?

PMI offers now six different exams related to the discipline of Project Management. These are -

  1. PgMP: Program Management Professional
  2. PMP: Project Management Professional
  3. CAPM: Certified Associate Project Manager
  4. PMI-SP: PMI Scheduling Professional
  5. PMI-RMP: PMI Risk Management Professional
  6. PMI-ACP: Agile Certified Professional
Among these PMP certification is most popular. This site focuses on PMP certification. PMI provides a handbook for each of these exams.

What is the procedure to get PMP certified?

The certificate requires that you have at least 4500 hours of experience in Project Management. Also the candidate should have attended at least 35 hours of class room training on Project Management. PMI explains the eligibility criteria in detail in the PMP certification handbook.

If you meet these criteria, then you can file the application from PMIs site Certification section . You also have to submit the application fees when you submit the application. After you have submitted the application, PMI will review your application. If everything goes smoothly, in a few days you will receive an acceptance letter/e-mail from PMI. After this you can schedule the exam by visiting or by calling the Prometric Center.

How many questions are there in the exam? How much time do I get?

The PMP exam is a computer based exam conducted in the Prometric centers. The exam has 200 multiple choice questions. Each question has exactly one correct answer. You will get four hours to answer these questions. Most people find four hours to be more than sufficient for the exam. Out of these 200 questions, 25 questions are pretest questions. These are randomly places through out the exam and are used for research purposes. These questions are not evaluated while computing exam results. You will only be evaluated on the basis of 175 questions.
To pass the PMP examination, you must answer a minimum of 106 of the 175 scored questions correctly. After you finish and submit the exam, in the Prometric center you will immediately receive the overall mark-sheet for the exam in the Prometric center.

Is there any negative marking in the exam?

There is no negative marking in the exam. Unanswered questions are treated as wrong questions. Exam is preceded by 15-minute computer tutorial on the format of the exam.
After clearing the exam, you will receive the PMP certificate by mail after 2 months. Examination scores are confidential. About 80% candidates clear the exam.

What is the new format of the exam?

As of August 1st 2013, the PMP exam is based on PMBOK 5th edition. The PMBOK 5th edition was launched in January, 2013.
Exam results are divided in six areas. There are no minimum marks in separate areas. There are now 14 knowledge areas in which to be proficient.

Can I view my exam results at the PMI site?

You can view your PMP credential status at You can also view certification status of other individuals at

How much does it cost to take the exam?

PMP is an expensive exam. This ensures that only serious candidates pursue it. It also ensures that the certificate remains prestigious. The exam costs $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. Since the annual fees for PMI membership is $139, it makes sense to become a member and then apply for the exam.

How do I prepare for PMP certification?

The program is mainly based on the PMBOK. PMBOK stands for Project Management Book of Knowledge. When you become a member of PMI, you get the PMBOK on a CD. PMBOK is very short and concise. Most people find it a bit difficult to read. The current exam is based on the fourth edition of PMBOK.
The approach that we suggest is the following:

  1. Read the PMBOK
  2. Read EdWel's Free PMP Textbook.
  3. Read the tutorial on PreparePM
  4. Take a few mock exams.
  5. Revise the sections of the books and PMBOK on which you are not scoring well.
  6. When you start scoring above 80% in the mock exams, you are ready to visit a Prometric center for the exam.
As an additional note, for many students, text-based learning can be extremely difficult and/or time-consuming. To fast track the process, we recommend taking a classroom-based preparation course, like the one offered by EdWel Programs (see sidebar for details).

Do you have any other tips for the exam?

The two important tips that I suggest are -

  • Sleep well the night before the exam.
  • After you enter the exam room, spend the first five to ten minutes to write down some key notes on the rough sheet, before starting the exam. This will be like a brain dump of what you have memorized. These notes can include Earned Value Management (EVM) and other formulae, list of processes and their inputs, outputs, and tools and techniques. Later in the exam, these notes will act as a good reference for you.

How much time does it take to prepare for the PMP certification exam?

The amount of time it will take you to prepare for the PMP certification exam will depend on how much experience you have as a project manager, how familiar are you with PMI's terminology, which book you use to prepare etc. Because the exam is expensive, you should spend enough time so that you feel comfortable. I think you should plan to spend four to eight weeks spending one to two hours per day before you take the exam.

Do I need to memorize all the Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs?

Opinions vary on this one. The most important thing is to understand the meaning and concepts related to all the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. You do not have to memorize the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for all the processes to clear the exam. You may get few questions that directly ask the inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs for a process. So if you can memorize a few key ones that will be helpful too.

Will the PMP certification help me get a job?

More and more Project Management related jobs in today's world require PMP certification. Getting PMP certification is not a guarantee for a successful job search. But it can help you get those elusive interview calls. In today's competitive job market if you are looking for a Project Managers position, then getting PMP certified can significantly increase your chances of getting a job. Also many organizations use the terminology and tools that you will learn as part of PMP certification. The certification will certainly help you do your job better.

I like this site but are there other sites on PMP certification?

Please refer to the Links to Other sites section of this site.

Which books are available for preparing for the PMP certification exams?

Please refer to the PMP books section of this site.

What am I allowed to take inside the exam?

You are not allowed to take anything except your IDs into the exam room. Inside the examination center you will be provided with rough sheets, pencils, a calculator and ear plugs.