Easy to Digest Tips on Passing the PMP Certification Test

Whether or not it’s your first time to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) examination, these tips and tricks will help you prepare and ace this certification test.

The written PMP exam is the most important industry-recognized certification for project managers.

For a project manager or a business person to qualify to take this exam, the following requirements must be met, according to Project Management Institute:

  • A secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or its global equivalent)
  • 7,500 hours of leading or directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education


  • A four-year degree
  • 4,500 hours of leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

In 2018, there were over 800,000 PMP certified individuals across the world, making it one of the fastest-growing certifications in the world. The PMP Exam requires a huge effort and extensive preparations in order to pass the exam and become certified.

Passing the PMP exam is really difficult, and failing it isn’t exactly farfetched. In fact, some project managers took the PMP exam three to four times before they could pass.

There are many reasons why some people fail the PMP exam. It may be because of the lack of understanding the exam concepts or the lack of mock exams you took, prior to taking the actual exam.

But whatever the reason for failure is, never let it stop you from becoming a certified project manager. There are ways to prepare for your upcoming PMP examination, it would also depend on your learning style and needs.

Understanding the PMBOK Guide

The PMP exam is based on “A Guide to Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide ” (PMBOK Guide). The first step to acing the exam is to fully read and understand the entire PMBOK Guide which is the foundation of your study plan for the PMP exam.

You must read through the UPDATED PMBOK Guide, to understand the structure of the PMP exam.

But keep in mind that this 200-item exam will not depend on the PMBOK Guide, alone. This is where you’re project management experience will also come into play. The exam is an application of the principles of the PMBOK Guide to various situations in the industry. So, a good balance between work experience, and the PMBOK Guide is needed.

Undergo a formal 35-hour training program

A 35-hour project management program is required to take the PMP exam. Some might think that college credentials and previous training hours will suffice, but they won’t.

To increase your chances of passing the test, enrolling in a formal training program will help a lot. There are study courses offered by the PMI and the Registered Education Providers.

Enrolling in training programs will give you a great advantage.

Take the mock exams

Believe it or not, failure to take the PMP mock exam could also mean failure in the actual PMP test. Truth is those who undergo the mock tests register a higher success rate in passing the actual PMP test over those who don’t. Harnessing your project management skills and knowledge of the PMBOK Guide will definitely help you perform better in the actual exam.

If you decide to go for the mock test, make sure to review all your answers and look consult the PMBOK Guide for clarifications. Don’t make it about the number of mock exams you take, but rather about the knowledge you were able to gain, in the process.

A PMP exam passer said you need to score more than 70 percent in your mock test, to get a good shot at passing the actual PMP exam.

Take the PMBOK Guide to heart

In the real world, you likely employ different strategies in managing your projects. Project management experience, however, will not be enough to answer the PMP exam well.

This is why studying the PMBOK Guide and knowing it by heart is necessary. Understanding its principles and applying these correctly to the exam will serve to compliment your project management know-how where it counts.

Develop self-discipline during your review

Let’s be real: studying is difficult since there are many distractions today. To avoid them, you must have a PMP study plan and schedule.

In preparing your PMP study plan, assess yourself and analyze which departments you need to focus on for your review. Your plan must be able to bridge the gap between your strengths and weaknesses in project management. And make sure to establish a realistic study schedule and stick to it. An hour or two a day is okay, it all depends on you and how much time you can devote to your review, daily.

The PMP certification exam is such a huge step in your career as a project manager or a business person. With the right preparations and self-discipline, you’ll be able to pass the 2019 PMP exam and become a certified project manager.

So best of luck to you this year. You can ace that test!

Recommended Project Management Software

If you’re interested in learning more about top rated project management software, the editors at Project-Management.com actively recommend the following:

1 monday.com

Visit website

monday.com Work OS is the project management software that helps you and your team plan, execute, and track projects and workflows in one collaborative space. Manage everything from simple to complex projects more efficiently with the help of visual boards, 200+ ready-made templates, clever no-code automations, and easy integrations. In addition, custom dashboards simplify reporting, so you can evaluate your progress and make data-driven decisions.

Learn more about monday.com

2 ClickUp

Visit website

ClickUp is one of the highest-rated project management tools today. Use Docs, Reminders, Goals, Calendars, Chat, scheduling, assigned comments, custom views, & more with this all-in-one project management tool.

Used by 800,000+ teams in companies like Airbnb, Google, and Uber, it brings all of your projects into a single app! Built for teams of all sizes and industries, Our fully customizable & proprietary features make it a must-have for anyone wanting to keep project management in one place.

Learn more about ClickUp

3 Wrike

Visit website

Tackle complex projects with Wrike’s award-winning project management software. Break projects into simple steps, assign tasks to team members, and visualize progress with Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and calendars. Manage resource allocation and forecasting with software that’s easy to launch. Automation and AI features strip away time-consuming admin tasks so you can do the best work of your life. Streamline your practices, align your team, and ensure you hit deadlines and stay on budget.

Learn more about Wrike

Share Article


Kimberly Grimms Avatar
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.
Get the Free Newsletter!
Subscribe to Project Management Insider for best practices, reviews and resources.
This email address is invalid.

Demos, trials & More information

Check out our library of 60+ pm books