Examsnap – How Difficult is PMI PMP Certification Exam?

No doubt, the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam is quite hard. If you really want to pursue the PMI PMP credential, you must be ready for rigorous and extensive study. Many candidates do not pass the test at their first attempt and there are still many people who do not pass it on their second or even third try. The implication of this is that you must be ready to dedicate your time and make a lot of sacrifices to be able to prepare adequately for the exam.

The Examsnap test is made up of 200 multiple-choice questions and the students have four hours for the completion. The exam questions are designed to be hard to decipher and they are aimed to evaluate the candidates’ knowledge of the subject and their capability to solve problems. Some questions are situational and some are theoretical. Some other questions require graph drawing and calculations. In addition, you have to study and understand the PMBOK Guide content to be able to answer correctly. Your work experience as a project manager will also be tested during the exam. We cannot over emphasize the difficulty nature of the PMP certification test.

Hand completing a multiple choice exam.

Why is PMP certification exam difficult?

Of course, PMP is not the only globally recognized and well-respected credential in the field of IT. Why is it as difficult as people proclaim? Let us look at some of the things that make the exam difficult and how you can prepare to pass it at your first attempt.

  • Difficulty in exam structure

The first thing that adds to the difficulty nature of the exam is the complexity of its. You cannot pass the PMP test with only your work experience and personal logic. You have to understand the standards set out in the PMBOK Guide and must be able to structure them in a clear and concise manner. Thus, when answering your exam questions, you must be ready to refer to the PMI PMBOK Guide standard.

  • Difficulty of exam questions

The PMP exam questions are usually tricky and there is no way you can answer correctly if you don’t understand them. The best way to work round this is to take the simulated exams. There are many platforms online that offer simulated practice tests and mock exams to the PMP candidates. The simulated tests will help you develop competence in the answering techniques of the exam questions and will also get you familiar with the exam pattern and question format. When taking the actual test, look out for keywords and make sure you understand the questions perfectly well before answering them. Working with practice questions before the exam will help you with this.

  • Difficulty in preparation 

Prior to taking the certification exam, PMI requests that the candidates have at least 35 hours of project management education. This is to equip the individuals with the practical and theoretical components of the test. In addition, you have to study the main reference book, the PMBOK Guide, before you write the exam. Note that the PMBOK Guide is like the Holy book of project management. It is critical for prospective certified project managers to read it. The PMP certification exam is focused on five domains, which include Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitor and Control and Closing. The students must fully grasp these concepts and understand them extensively. PMI has outlined the exam objectives that one must study before attempting the test and they cover five domains of the test. Each of the domains has specific percentage, which reflects the number of questions that may be expected from each of them. It is crucial that you understand the details of the domains and develop your competence.

While preparing for the PMP exam, it is recommended that you spend enough time working on practice questions to develop your level of confidence. Get a study guide and create a study plan based on it. Ensure you cover every aspect of the guide prior to writing the test. You may also want to consider taking some training courses to help you prepare for the certification exam.

In summary, it can be said that the resource materials to study for the exam are quite voluminous and the hard truth is that you need to read everything to improve your chance of success at the exam. The PMBOK Guide takes time to read and assimilate and there are also other books you have to study with. Although everything you learn will definitely not come out in the test, but you are better off having excess knowledge than having a shortage of it. Remember that the cost of writing the PMP exam is not cheap,as well as the cost of re-taking it. Therefore, give it all it takes at your first attempt so you can increase your chances of success.

Pass and failure rate of PMP certification exam

The passing rate of the PMI PMP exam is pretty low and this is majorly because of the nature of the test. It is important to mention that PMI does not make the pass and failure rate of its exams available to the general public but if you take a cursory look through the Internet, you can get the estimations from training course providers on the rate of success or failure of the test. Based on these estimations, it can be said that there are50% to 60% success rates of the candidates at their first attempts, which means failure rate is between 50% and 40%.

However, you don’t have to give up. You can pass your PMP exam at your first attempt. The major criterion is to dedicate adequate study hours and understand your materials very well. Take courses if required and study all the resources available to you. Work through practice questions and set goals for your study. If you study right, you certainly will pass your PMI PMP exam on your first try.

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