PMP Exam: How To Pass the PMP Exam? Full Guide With Exam Questions!

PMP Exam: How To Pass the PMP Exam? Full Guide With Exam Questions!

Written By : Bakkah

29 May 2024

Table of Content

The PMP (Project Management Professional) exam is a crucial milestone for project managers aiming to validate their expertise and advance their careers. With its rigorous structure and comprehensive content, mastering this exam requires careful preparation and a focused approach.

In this guide, Bakkah Learning will help you explore essential aspects of the PMP exam journey, offering insights and strategies to help you navigate this challenge and emerge successful.

Whether you're a seasoned professional or embarking on your project management journey, this guide is your companion to conquering the PMP exam and unlocking new opportunities in the field.

What is PMP Certification?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized credential awarded by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It validates a project manager's expertise in leading and directing projects.

To attain the PMP certification, candidates must demonstrate their knowledge, skills, and experience in project management by passing a rigorous examination based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide.

This certification is highly regarded in the industry and demonstrates an individual's commitment to professional excellence in project management. PMP certification holders are equipped with the necessary tools and techniques to effectively manage projects of various sizes and complexities, enhancing their career opportunities and earning potential in the field of project management.

PMP Exam Questions

The Project Management Professional (PMP) exam is a globally recognized certification for project managers offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The exam is designed to assess a project manager's knowledge, skills, and abilities in leading and directing projects.

Here's a general overview of the PMP exam:

1. PMP Exam Structure

The PMP exam comprises 180 multiple-choice questions, with 25 being the pretest questions randomly interspersed throughout the exam. These pretest questions don't impact the final score but help in future exam development. Candidates are not informed which questions are pretest questions, so it's essential to answer all questions to the best of your ability.

2. PMP Exam Content Areas

The exam covers five main domains, which represent different aspects of project management:

  • Initiating the project
  • Planning the project
  • Executing the project
  • Monitoring and controlling the project
  • Closing the project

The questions are based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide, which is a comprehensive guide to project management published by PMI.

The exam evaluates candidates on various levels, including knowledge, comprehension, application, analysis, and synthesis of project management principles.

3. PMP Exam Question Types

The questions in the exam can vary in format and difficulty. They may include situational questions, scenario-based questions, knowledge-based questions, and formula-based questions.

Overall, the PMP exam is challenging, but passing it can significantly enhance your career prospects in project management. It demonstrates your expertise and commitment to the profession.

PMP Exam Fee

The PMP exam fee varies depending on whether you're a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) or not and your location. For PMI members, the PMP exam cost is typically lower than for non-members.

Additionally, PMI offers different pricing tiers for candidates based on their geographical location, with lower fees for those in developing countries.

The standard PMP exam fee for PMI members is around $405, while for non-members, it is approximately $575. However, it's essential to check the latest fee structure on the PMI website or contact PMI directly for the most accurate and up-to-date information, as fees may change over time.

Additionally, there may be other costs associated with exam preparation materials or courses, so candidates should consider these expenses as well when planning to take the PMP exam.

PMP Exam Duration

The PMP (Project Management Professional) exam duration is four hours. You'll have a total of 230 minutes to complete the exam. This timeframe includes the time required to answer all the questions and any breaks you may take during the exam.

It's essential to manage your time effectively during the exam to ensure you have enough time to review and answer all the questions within the allotted time frame.

PMP Exam Simulator

A PMP exam simulator is a valuable tool for candidates preparing to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam. It provides a realistic simulation of the actual exam environment, allowing candidates to practice answering multiple-choice questions under timed conditions. 

Typically, a PMP exam simulator offers a vast question bank covering various topics from the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide.

These questions are designed to mimic the format and difficulty level of the questions on the actual exam. Some simulators also include detailed explanations for correct and incorrect answers, helping candidates understand the reasoning behind each option.

Using a PMP exam simulator allows candidates to assess their readiness for the exam, identify areas where they need improvement, and build confidence by familiarizing themselves with the exam format.

It's an essential resource for effective exam preparation and increasing the chances of passing the PMP exam on the first attempt.

How to Prepare for the PMP Exam

Preparing for the PMP exam requires a structured approach and dedication.

Candidates should familiarize themselves with the exam requirements, study the PMBOK Guide, utilize additional study resources, practice with mock exams, engage with study groups or forums, create a study schedule, focus on weak areas, and stay updated and motivated throughout the preparation process.

Here's a comprehensive guide to help you prepare effectively:

1. Understand the Exam Requirements

Familiarize yourself with the PMP exam eligibility criteria, application process, and exam format. Ensure you meet the prerequisites and understand the exam content outline provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI).

2. Study the PMBOK Guide

The PMBOK Guide is the primary reference for the PMP exam. Study each knowledge area thoroughly, understanding the processes, inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs (ITTOs).

Pay attention to the five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing.

3. Use Additional Study Resources

In addition to the PMBOK Guide, utilize other study materials such as PMP exam prep books, online courses, video tutorials, and flashcards. These resources can provide additional explanations, examples, and practice questions to reinforce your understanding.

Join Bakkah's PMP course today and gain the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to excel.

4. Practice with Mock Exams

Take advantage of PMP exam simulators to practice answering multiple-choice questions in a timed environment. Aim to complete full-length practice exams to simulate the actual exam experience.

Review both correct and incorrect answers to understand the reasoning behind each option.

5. Join Study Groups or Forums

Engage with other PMP aspirants through study groups, online forums, or social media communities. Discussing concepts, sharing tips, and supporting each other can enhance your understanding and motivation during the preparation process.

6. Create a Study Schedule

Develop a study plan that suits your schedule and allows sufficient time for each knowledge area. Break down your study sessions into manageable chunks and set specific goals for each study session.

Consistency is paramount, so allocate dedicated time each day or week for exam preparation.

7. Focus on Weak Areas

Identify your strengths and weaknesses through practice exams and self-assessment. Allocate more time to areas where you need improvement and revisit challenging topics until you feel confident in your understanding.

8. Stay Updated and Motivated

Keep abreast of any updates or changes to the PMP exam syllabus or exam format. Stay motivated by setting milestones, rewarding yourself for progress, and visualizing your success as a certified PMP.

Remember, PMP exam preparation is a journey that requires commitment, perseverance, and strategic planning. By following these steps and staying focused on your goals, you'll be well-prepared to ace the PMP exam and advance your project management career.

PMP Exam Registration

To register for the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam, follow these steps:

1. Check Eligibility

Ensure you meet the eligibility requirements set by the Project Management Institute (PMI). That typically includes a combination of education and project management experience.

2. Create a PMI Account

If you don't already have one, visit the PMI website and create an account.

3. Prepare Required Documentation

Gather documentation to support your eligibility, such as copies of your education certificates and project management experience records.

4. Submit Application

Log in to your PMI account, navigate to the PMP certification section, and complete the online application form. Provide accurate information about your education, project management experience, and contact details.

5. Pay Exam Fee

Pay the PMP exam fee online using a credit card or other accepted payment methods. The exam fee varies depending on whether you are a PMI member or a non-member, as well as your geographic location.

6. Application Review

PMI will review your application to ensure you meet the eligibility criteria. This process may take a few days to several weeks, depending on the volume of applications.

7. Schedule Exam Appointment

Once your application is approved, you'll receive an eligibility notification from PMI. You can then schedule your exam through the PMI website or by contacting a Pearson VUE testing center. Choose a convenient date, time, and location for your exam.

8. Prepare for the Exam

Use this time to study and prepare for the exam. Familiarize yourself with the exam content outline, study the PMBOK Guide, and take practice exams to assess your readiness.

9. Take the Exam

On the scheduled exam day, arrive at the Pearson VUE testing center on time with the required identification documents. The exam duration is four hours, during which you'll answer 200 multiple-choice questions.

Remember to refer to the official PMI website and the PMP Handbook for the most up-to-date information and detailed instructions on exam registration and preparation.

PMP Exam Requirements

To be eligible to take the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam, candidates must meet specific requirements set by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The requirements typically include a combination of education and project management experience. Here are the general eligibility criteria:

1. Education Background

Candidates must have a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree, or equivalent) or higher. Alternatively, candidates with a four-year degree (bachelor's degree or equivalent) or higher can meet the education requirement.

2. Project Management Experience

Secondary degree holders: Minimum of five years (60 months) of non-overlapping project management experience, with at least 7,500 hours leading and directing projects within the past eight years and 35 contact hours of formal project management education/training or CAPM® certification.

Four-year degree holders: Minimum of three years (36 months) of non-overlapping project management experience, with at least 4,500 hours leading and directing projects within the past eight years and 35 contact hours of formal project management education/training or CAPM® certification.

3. Contact Hours of Project Management Education

All candidates must complete 35 contact hours of formal project management education from a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) or equivalent.

4. Agreement to PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct

Candidates must agree to adhere to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct.

5. Application and Payment

Candidates must complete the online application form, provide accurate information about their education and project management experience, and submit the required application fee.

6. Passing the Application Review

PMI will review the candidate's applications to ensure they meet the eligibility criteria. This process may take a few days to several weeks.

Once the application is approved, candidates will receive an eligibility notification from PMI, allowing them to schedule and take the PMP exam.

It's essential to review the detailed eligibility criteria and requirements outlined in the PMP Handbook provided by PMI. Candidates should ensure they meet all requirements before submitting their application for the exam.

Is the PMP Exam Online?

PMI offers the option to take the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam online in addition to the traditional in-person testing at authorized testing centers.

The online PMP exam comprises 180 multiple-choice questions that assess your understanding of project management concepts. You'll have a total of 230 minutes to complete the exam, during which you'll be seated at your computer.

The online proctored exam allows candidates to take the PMP exam from the comfort of their own home or office, provided they meet the technical and environmental requirements specified by PMI.

To take the PMP exam online, candidates must ensure their testing environment complies with PMI's online proctoring guidelines, including having no unauthorized materials or individuals present during the exam.

Candidates must also schedule their online exam appointment in advance through the PMI website and pay the exam fee. PMI provides detailed instructions and guidelines for candidates to follow before, during, and after the online exam to ensure a smooth testing experience.

Candidates need to review PMI's policies and requirements for the online exam thoroughly and familiarize themselves with the online testing platform before scheduling their exam appointment.

PMI Authorized PMP Exam Prep

PMI offers authorized PMP exam preparation resources to help candidates effectively study for the exam. These authorized resources include study materials, practice exams, online courses, workshops, and training providers that align with PMI's standards and cover the content outlined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide.

By utilizing PMI's authorized PMP exam prep resources, candidates can ensure they are receiving accurate and relevant information to help them prepare for the exam.

Choosing PMI-authorized PMP exam prep resources can give candidates confidence in the quality and reliability of the materials they are using to study, increasing their chances of success on the exam.

Additionally, PMI-authorized training providers may offer support and guidance throughout the exam preparation process, helping candidates navigate the complexities of the PMP certification journey.

Is the PMP Exam Hard?

The difficulty of the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam can vary depending on factors such as your background, experience, and preparation.

However, many candidates find the PMP exam to be challenging due to its comprehensive nature and the depth of project management knowledge and concepts covered.

Here are some factors that contribute to the perceived difficulty of the PMP exam:

1. Comprehensive Content

The PMP exam covers a wide range of project management topics, including project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing.

Mastering all these areas requires a solid understanding of project management principles, processes, and best practices.

2. Application of Concepts

The exam doesn't just test your ability to recall information; it also assesses your ability to apply project management concepts in various scenarios and contexts. This requires critical thinking, analysis, and decision-making skills.

3. Complex Questions

Many PMP exam questions are situational or scenario-based, presenting you with real-world project management situations and asking what action you would take next or what the best approach would be.

These questions can be challenging and require careful reading and analysis.

4. Time Pressure

The PMP exam is four hours long, and with 180 multiple-choice questions to answer, time management is crucial. Managing your time effectively to ensure you have enough time to answer all questions can add to the challenge.

5. Passing Score

PMI does not disclose the passing score for the PMP exam, which can create uncertainty about what level of performance is required to pass.

While the PMP exam is undoubtedly challenging, it is certainly achievable with thorough preparation, dedication, and the right study approach.

Many candidates successfully pass the exam on their first attempt by following a structured study plan, using quality study materials, taking practice exams, and gaining practical project management experience.

Remember that everyone's experience with the PMP exam is different, and what may be challenging for one person may not be as difficult for another. With proper preparation and a positive mindset, you can overcome the challenges and achieve your goal of becoming a certified PMP.

How to Pass the PMP Exam 

Passing the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam requires thorough preparation, dedication, and a strategic approach.

Here's a step-by-step guide to help you pass the PMP exam:

1. Understand the Exam

Familiarize yourself with the PMP Exam Content Outline provided by PMI, which outlines the domains, tasks, and knowledge areas covered in the exam.

Review the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) Guide, which serves as the primary reference for the exam.

2. Meet Eligibility Requirements

Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria for the PMP exam in terms of education, project management experience, and formal project management education.

3. Create a Study Plan

Develop a structured study plan with specific goals, study materials, and timelines. Break down the exam topics into manageable study sessions.

4. Gather Study Materials

Obtain study materials such as the PMBOK Guide, PMP exam prep books, practice exams, and online resources. Consider enrolling in a PMP exam prep course.

5. Study Effectively

Read the PMBOK Guide thoroughly to build a strong foundation in project management concepts and processes.

Use additional study materials and resources to supplement your understanding and reinforce key concepts.

Take notes, create flashcards, and use mnemonic devices to aid memorization.

6. Practice with Practice Exams

Utilize PMP exam simulators and practice tests to assess your knowledge and readiness for the exam.

Take full-length practice exams under timed conditions to simulate the real exam experience and improve time management skills.

7. Review and Analyze

Review your performance on practice exams, identify areas of weakness, and focus your study efforts on those areas.

Continuously review and reinforce your understanding of project management concepts through regular study sessions.

8. Stay Confident and Motivated

Maintain a positive attitude and stay confident in your abilities. Believe in yourself and your preparation efforts.

Stay motivated by setting achievable goals, tracking your progress, and visualizing your success.

9. Prepare Logistically

Familiarize yourself with the exam logistics, including exam format, rules, and requirements.

Schedule your exam date well in advance, considering your study timeline and availability.

10. Take Care of Yourself

Prioritize self-care, including getting enough rest, eating healthily, and managing stress.

Ensure you are physically and mentally prepared for the exam day.

11. Exam Day

Arrive at the exam center early to allow time for check-in procedures.

Stay calm and focused during the exam, carefully read each question, and manage your time effectively.

Trust in your preparation and approach each question with confidence.

12. Receive Exam Results

After completing the exam, you'll receive your results immediately on the computer screen.

If you pass, congratulations! You'll receive your PMP certification within a few weeks. If you don't pass, analyze your performance, identify areas for improvement, and consider retaking the exam after additional preparation.

By following these steps and staying committed to your study plan, you'll be well-prepared to pass the PMP exam and achieve your certification goals.

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PMP® exam preparation strategy:

The techniques of preparing for the exam are eliminated to the following 4 factors:

1- How to deal with the exam.

2- The study time for the exam.

3- The material to be studied.

4- The strategy of the exam.

Try the PMP Exam Simulator with Bakkah today!

What to do before the PMP exam?

● Attending a training course in Project Management PMP®.

It is advised to attend a training course in project management at a rate of 35 training hours for the big role the training has in explaining the PMBOK® and its application in practical situations, as well as the trainee, along with the trainees, is supposed to explain and apply, during the session, a series of questions that are often repeated in the exam.

Attending the session saves time for the trainee in understanding and reading the PMBOK® and earning practical skills to deal with the PMP® exam questions. You can attend the session in certified training centers such as Bakkah inc for Consultation and Training which offers such courses throughout the year in several cities.

● Reading 3 books or booklets:

1- PMBOK®, 5th Edition: Which is the main resource. We refer here to reading the book to understand it, not keeping it by heart. What is required is to understand and learn how to apply Processes in the project and also to understand all the tools and methods in what is used. We stress that the PMP® exam checks your understanding of the processes and tools rather than keeping the book by heart.

2- Studying the training material that had been prepared by Bakkah, which combines the most important information from other references such as (Rita, Andy, etc).

3- Studying Bakkah Q&A materials in all their details regarding the common questions and the techniques to deal with them.

● Study smarter, not harder.

1- Do not put too much pressure on yourself in the study. Don’t make yourself a prisoner of the test. What is required is understanding.

2- Do not sink among books and references for the study, but we recommend that you join discussion groups and forums for PMP® exams as well as read the references that we have mentioned.

● Focus on understanding ITTO in every process.

(ITTO) is the input & output and tools used in each process, and the exam includes a large part of it, but what you should exactly understand is: Why do you need every one of the 47 inputs and what are the outcomes, and what are the different methods of operations (tools) for the extraction of outputs.

● Solving several simulation models of the exam.

There are nine different models offered by Bakkah Inc. for trainees.

What to do during the PMP exam?

● Prepare yourself to sit and solve questions for 4 hours continuously (the time of the exam).

● Completely trust that there are questions you might not answer or even understand. In this case, put the answer that you think is closer, flag these questions, and move to the easier questions. In the end, go back and think judiciously to answer the difficult ones.

● Do not leave any question without an answer. Write from your own experiences.

● The exam time is long but enough, so try to relax and relieve your thinking for a few seconds each hour.

PMP® exam questions template to Download

The article does not include tips only, but it also includes valuable materials for the trainee, which will help them organize their time and focus their thinking for the test and which can be downloaded for free from the following links:

1- Schedule for preparation and studying for the exam. Click for download

2- An elaboration on the nature of the common questions and How-tos on answering them. Click for download

Take the PMP Simulator exam with Bakkah Now! Click Here

Register in one of the PMP® courses organized by Bakkah

Register NOW


In summary, successfully passing the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam requires thorough preparation and dedication.

Candidates should understand the exam requirements, create a structured study plan, utilize study resources effectively, practice with practice exams, stay confident and motivated, prepare logistically for exam day, and trust in their preparation.

By following these steps, candidates can increase their chances of passing the exam and achieving their certification goals.