What is a good PMP Score?

Certification: PMI PMP - Project Management Professional


PMP is one of the certificates that are considered to be high on demand when it comes to improving the success rate of projects in all areas of knowledge. With this in mind it is clear that for one to be awarded this accreditation they have to pass well when it comes to the exams. Normally the paper is comprised of two hundred questions whereby one hundred and seventy five are used to determine whether one has passed well or they need to re-do the paper and therefore there was the introduction of the pass score by PMI that is used to the above fact.

Before determining the pass score one has to know what it takes to do the PMP examination. First of all they have to meet the requirements either a high school diploma with sixty months project management experience and also thirty five contact hours of project management education. Alternatively one can be a bachelor’s degree holder with thirty six months of project management education and thirty five contact five hours of project management education.

After meeting these requirements, the next stage is to pay the examination fee in this case US $405 for the PMI members and US $555 for the non members then one is free to book for specific date suitable for them to sit for the exam. Alternatively there are those who live away from the prometric centers and therefore they are allowed to sit for a paper based examination. One pays US $205 if they are members and US $405 if they are not members of the PMI.

The examination:

The examination is mainly based on the PMBOK guide in this case the fifth edition and the processes. For one to at least have the assurance that they will meet the pass score then they have to be complacent with the forty seven processes and how they have been compressed into nine knowledgeable areas that include:

  • Project scope management
  • Project cost management
  • Project integration management
  • Project time management
  • Project quality management
  • Project human resources
  • Project risk management
  • Project stakeholder management
  • Project communications management

This only means that one has to prepare very well before sitting for the exams by using lots of the available resources and by also doing as many practice questions as possible from different training kits.

The score:

Once the examination is done, one has the privilege of receiving their results. The time when the results are received depends on the mode used to do the paper if one does the computer based exams they receive their results almost immediately and if one does the paper based exams their results take up to a week before they receive their actual results. Previously the pass score was set at 70% and on the introduction of the fifth edition the pass score was further decreased to be at 62%.This was the case so as to ensure high rate of passing among the candidates since the exams had become more complex. One may wonder how exactly this pass score established was done. It was always being determined by psychometric analysis that is sound and the subject matter of this fact is that it was done by experts. As time went by the idea of a specific percentage as pass score was discarded.

There are a number of reasons that made PMI do away with this percentage. The fact that each exam at any given time had its own approach in terms of complexity, difficulty and the level of understanding among each and every examinee. The fact that there was the usage of much modified methods to adjust the level of difficulty in different exams made it difficult to stick at a specific pass score. The passing score is now determined on the level of difficulty of the paper and also how the candidates performed in the paper which changes from good to bad and with this, the structure of the results and the terms used are; proficient, if one has done very well, moderately proficient, if one manages an average score and lastly their results can be below proficient in this case it is way below average.

Benefits of the passing score

Though this passing score is always determined by a volunteer group of those who hold the PMP credential globally, it has some advantages; first of all it ensures that whoever qualifies and gets this credential is the best when it comes to all aspects of project management be it indoors or outdoors, it is also used to determine the level of difficulty of the examination this is clearly reflected by the number of candidates who have passed or failed the examination. Another benefit is that it increases the level of seriousness, discipline and commitment of the candidates since it is well known that those who take this credential are adults but not youngsters therefore controlling them to do what is expected of them becomes a challenge. Another benefit is that the examiner is able to know the trend of the questions their effect for instance the fact that nowadays most of the questions are more of knowledgeable than situational then what impact the question have created to the candidates.

Disadvantages of the passing score

In as much as there are lots of advantages of the passing score there are also disadvantages for instance, if the pass score is too high most of the candidates fail to reach it and as a result they are forced to do the exam again. Doing the exam again is not the issue but the fact that one has to pay an extra fee in order to be reexamined is the disadvantage making it too expensive to afford.


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