PMP Exam Tips: The Ultimate Tips To Pass PMP Exam

PMP Exam Tips: The Ultimate Tips To Pass PMP Exam.

This new and updated guide will show you all the technique’s, tricks, and tips to pass pmp exam in first attempt.

Tips to help you write the pmp exam.

Are you are new to PMI’s PMP Exam Certification?.
Are you looking for some juicy tips to prepare for pmp exam?.
Well, hopefully these 10 best tips to pass pmp exam, that have been collected over the years and updated in 2018, will be of great help.


Formula Questions


PMI Always Win


PMBOK is Bible


Mock Questions


Avoid Extra Materials


Time on Questions


Choose an Option


Utilize Process Groups


Exam Check List

PMP TIP # 10

Thinking at Exam

PMP TIP # 11

Utilize 15 minutes

PMP TIP # 12

Utilize 4 hours

PMP Exam Tips and Tricks was initially created as a long list.

The list was based on my pmp lessons learned, and from other pmp aspirants, professionals, trainers, and experts.
It was just a bullet points list with hardly any explanation.

The list includes various pmp tips, techniques, and tricks covering different aspects of the pmp exam certification.

  • Study time.
  • Study material.
  • Test taking strategies.
  • Choosing the best answer.
  • Things to do before the exam.
  • Measures taken during the exam.

But then I thought and also received a couple of requests, to further elaborate and explain each tips, techniques and tricks in detail for the ease of pmp aspirants.

So far, I have been able to collect 10 best tips to help you pass the pmp exam.
But, this post will be updated and I will try to write any tips, techniques, and tricks occasionally with explanation and put a link in here.

I know the pmp (project management professional) exam is a little bit tricky and different then the rest of the certification.

But, hopefully these tips will be beneficial for you in order to pass your exam on first try.

A Disclaimer:

Please keep in mind that these pmp tips and tricks are not a guarantee and standard.
It’s not necessarily that some thing worked for me and others will work for you too.

But, the idea of writing these pmp exam passing tips is to help you, avoid all the mistakes that have been done previously.

You can also contribute:

If you have come across some good tips, technique, and tricks either during your study or heard from some one and want to share with us.
Please do.

We would love and encourage you to do so, and make this thread a one stop for all pmp aspirants.

Find below three ways you can do so:

  • Submit it as a comment. You can comment below.
  • Submit it as a post. You can Contact PMBody. (Please make sure you are the owner of the content in this case and the post is not shared else where).
  • Submit it in the Forum. Here is the link: Project Management Community Discussion Forum
    (Update: Temporary disabled , cauz of too much spam)
    (Update Forum was closed for 2 years but now opened again)
    (Update 2018: Forum is disconnected again cauz of spam)

Tip # 1:

How to deal with pmp formula’s?

There will be a few questions on the pmp exam based on the formula’s mentioned in the pmbok guide.
First, a bonus tip regarding the formula questions.

You need to know and understand project management formula’s, where they are mentioned in PMBOK or not.

Since, there will be a few questions related to it.
So understanding these formula’s will help you get those answers right, and ultimately ensure your chances of passing the exam on your first try.

Let’s get back to the tip.

May be you have a very clear understanding of these formula’s, but people tend to forget things during the exam. And so, there are high chances you might forget the formula’s on the exam.

So how to overcome it ?

At the prometric test center, you are given a pencil and a sheet.

Before your real exams starts, you have to go thorough a 15 minutes tutorial, on how to use a computer mouse, keyboard etc.

Which I am sure you must already be familiar with and may not require that training.

So how should those 15 minutes be utilized?
and how it can help you with today’s tip?.

Well, dring the 15 minutes tutorial:

  • Take your pencil and sheet and write down all the formula’s.
  • Refer to the sheet, throughout your 4 hours without recalling each formula from memory.

Tip # 2:

PMI Always Win.

The PMP (Project Management Professional) exam is conducted by PMI.
PMI has the sole ownership and authority over the exam, and hence is the only authentic source of information.
The PMP (Project Management Professional) exam is started, conducted and sponsored by PMI.

What that means is: PMI has the sole ownership and authority over the exam and hence is the only authentic source of information.
So what ever PMI advocates and dictates, you have to follow.

PMI has introduced and identifies PMBOK as their guidelines for the CaPM, PMP and other exams.

The subject of this post is quite self explanatory and needs no explanation further.

But in case it’s not clear yet and you wonder, what has the heck the subject of this post to do with today’s tip?
and what does it mean?.

Well, it’s a very important concept that will help you alot.

Before and during the PMP exam remember PMI always win:

  • No matter what: You have to answer all questions based on PMI and PMBOK point of view.
  • When ever before taking on the exam and while you are at the exam center and are stuck in a concept or question, refer to and recall PMI concepts and ask yourself:
    What PMI has to say about it?.
    What PMI is expecting in this situation?.

Tip # 3:

PMBOK is Bible.

In our previous tip, i.e: PMP Tip #2.
We admitted the authority of PMI and it’s influence over the exams.
PMI advocates the use of PMBOK and will judge you based on the recommendations and guidelines mentioned in it.
This tip is basically a continuation and in support to the above tip. i.e: Tip #2, PMI Always Win.

In the above tip, I explained the authority of PMI and it’s influence over it’s exams.

PMI advocates the use of PMBOK and will judge you based on the recommendations and guidelines mentioned in it.

PMBOK is Bible and your guide for passing you on the exam.

Almost 60-70% of the questions are from PMBOK directly or indirectly.
The questions are situational.
So, be prepared for it and you can only answer those if you have a clear understanding of :

  • The PMBOK4 guide and its processes.
  • Real Project Management experience based on PMI and PMBOK guidelines as well.

The normal questions are also not that straight forward as well, like what is WBS or RBS.

It may be defined in a situational way as well, So you can only answer if you have a clear understanding of the definition of WBS or RBS and its usage.

Anyway, those above were some bonus tips.

PMBOK is Bible, and is always right.

  • Always refer to PMBOK.
  • Answer all questions based on PMBOK recommendations and guidelines.

Tip # 4:

Practice on Mock Questions.

The exam is lengthy and many aspirants are trapped at the time limit.
There are many reliable sources, where one can either take a mock test online or get a downloadable version for practice.
We all know about PMP exam questions and format.

If you have landed directly on this post and are unaware of exam questions, I would encourage you to read:
PMP Exam Format to have a better understanding of the exam.

The exam format related to questions distribution keep on changing, there’s a new update to PMP Exam Format in 2018.
I will write about it and put a link here, if I remember.

Just to give a brief over view of the exam:

  • The exam has 200 questions.
  • You will be given 4 hours to complete it.

There are no schedule breaks, that means the clock will continue ticking while you take a break.

Mock questions are the one of the best way or technique to know your time of attempting the questions on the real exam.

There are thousands of free mock questions available online, but I would suggest to be cautious, as many tests are poorly designed.

Today’s topic is not about how to gain your time, rather is to attempt mock questions before the exam for pratice purpose.

Attempt mock questions before the exam.

  • Attempt as many mock questions as possible.
  • Attempt mock questions from reputable sources.
  • Attempt at least 4 complete set of 200 questions.

Tip # 5:

Avoid Useless Materials, Books, Forums.

You must have heard alot from me saying, the pmp exam is not a rocket science.
I still hold on to that statement.
Knowledge is a great thing, but too much and unnecessary regarding to a subject, I don’t think so.
You must have heard alot from me saying, the pmp exam is not a rocket science.

I still hold on to that statement.

Knowledge is a great thing but too much and unnecessary regarding to a subject, I don’t think so.

I am not some one who is in a position to pass judgment but just my 2 cents.

OK, so let’s come to today’s tip to clear pmp exam.

Although the title of the page is quite self explanatory but this is a very important tip.

I have seen and including my self, when I start the pmp journey, I had to grab any material that some one asked me to read and subscribe to every forum out there.

Of course you can do that but after passing the pmp exam, I touched this topic in another blog post as well: Pass PMP Exam on First Try.

Before your pmp exam, avoid all unnecessary materials, books, blogs, and forums.

  • No need to go through every book and material.
  • No need to subscribe to all pmp blogs and forums.
  • Read pmbok with a good reputable study guide.
  • 4 set’s of 200 questions from reputable source.

Tip # 6:

Spend Less Time on Lengthy and Formula Questions.

Time is one of the most important and crucial factor on the pmp exam.

If you plan and utilize your time well, hopefully you will be on top of the exam.

Time is one of the most important and crucial factor of the exam.

If you plan and utilize your time well, hopefully you will be on top of the exam.

When the pmp exam starts, you will have 15 minutes prior of the exam given to you and then the four hours of the exam.

I had written two articles on both of those topics and would like to encourage you to go through it as well.

The articles are:
How To Utilize Fifteen Minutes Of PMI PMP and Other Exams and
How To Fully Utilize Or Plan 4 Hours Of PMP and other PMI Exams.

Let me come back on to today’s tip.

So this pmp exam tips techniques is about:

  • How you should attempt the questions in a way to save your time?.
  • Also to complete the exam with in the four hour time span.
  • but not only that, you should have at least some time for revision.
  • Also how much time and effort you need on each question separately?.

During the PMP Exam, do not spend too much time on lengthy and formula questions.

  • You should not spend too much time on lengthy questions.

By this statement it doesn’t mean that you totally ignore the lengthy questions.
You cannot ignore them, as there will be many lengthy questions.
Most of the aspirants, spend 4 to 5 minutes on just one question, reading it and trying to understand.
If you read it the first time and it make any sense to you, go and select an option and if doesn’t make any sense it won’t make any difference.

  • I have seen many people stuck in attempting formula’s and they spend a heck of time, solving it.

If you feel, solving a formula question is taking your time, then it’s better to leave it and move ahead.
Do not over spend your time solving a single lengthy question or a few formula’s.

Tip # 7:

Choose an Option.

We don’t want new aspirant to repeat the same mistakes repeated by others and in today’s PMP tip, we will try to uncover a test taking strategy that many people avoid and are trapped in the time’s up.
Let’s jump straight into this test taking strategy for PMP Exam, and note it down before appearing in the exam.

This technique is during the exam, when you are taking the test and the clock had already started ticking.

There is a feature on the test taking software called:
“Mark it for later review”.
(The words may vary but the concept is to mark a question and revisit later again during the exam to change your answer, if you are in doubt).

On the pmp exam, there would be many questions that are difficult and lengthy.
You will wonder throughout the exam, who the hell made these questions.

Remember, Rest takers heavily rely and use the option “Mark it”.

Why people mark a question?

Normally test takers read the question and then read the answers.
But either they don’t understand the question or they don’t find the correct answer in the four optins given.
So they mark it for later review.

Don’t just mark a question, choose an option as well ?

Four hours for the pmp exam is pretty much good time.

Normally test takers have some time left to review their previous questions.

They are also allowed to change a new option as their final answer.

But many people are slow in reading questions and answers and they have limited or no time left for review their previous options.

When you read a question and it’s available options, it means that you have already spent the time allocated for that particular question.

So, instead of coming back to the question and spend double time over it and who knows you got no time at the end and your answer’s are blank.

So the advice and tip is to read a question and available option and then choose at least an option that you think is the best answer and mark it.

There are many benefits but I will mention a few of them:

  • You can come back to this question any time and change the option, if you find an answer to it during the exam.
  • If you are short of time during the exam, you are not worried that some of your mark questions were not answered and they will not be counted.
  • When you leave an option blank and unable to answer later, the probability of the answer to be correct 0%.
  • When you select an option, you increase the probability of the answer to be correct 75%.

In simple words, if you are in doubt for a question, choose an option and mark it.

If you got the time to come back and review, well and good.

and if you didn’t find time, then there is nothing to worry about as you have already raise the probability bar.

Tip # 8:

Utilize Initiating and Closing Process Groups .

Although, the pmbok guide has been organized in knowledge area’s, but in the pmp exam you will be tested on Five Process Groups.
i.e: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & controlling, and Closing.
According to the pmp exam changes in 2011, the professional responsibility questions has been distributed on all these five process groups.

Initiating process group was previously holding 11% and Closing process group was 9% of the overall pmp exam.

With these changes:

Initiating is now 13% while Closing has drop 1% making it 8% of the Exam now.

That is really good for aspirants and especially those, who focus on Smart study rather than Hard.

Initiating and Closing combine makes 21% of the pmp exam and these two processes have the least processes and can easily be master.

So tip for the day is to master these two processes i.e: Initiation and Closing and increase your chances of passing the pmp exam in first try.

Tip # 9:

Check List before Exam Day .

This tip is less related to taking the pmp exam but more focused on the things that needs to be done prior of exam day.
This is kind of last minute tips for pmp exam.

I have personally use this tip and is highly recommended.
This tip is not limited to pmp exam but is helpful for every exam, interview, important meeting or any  other important event etc.

1: Go visit the test venue prior of exam day.
It’s always best to familiarize yourself with the environment. Also try to peak inside, if they let you enter the premises, so that you don’t find yourself stranger on the D-Day.

2: It’s also best to check the route, bus, train, car and how much time it would take you to reach.
If you are taking your car, make sure the test taking center provide car park facility.

3: You are not allowed to take yourself watch, mobile, paper and other things in the test center, so make sure leave most of the things at home.

But if you had to carry all these things with you, make sure the test center provide a locker (They normally do) but it’s always good to know in advance..

4: Not everyone is allowed in test center room or hall, whatever in your case until valid identification is provided.

You should make sure that you have valid passport, Id or any identification card set in advance for the exam.

I suddenly recall these tips and thought to quickly write it. Will update this post in future. Meanwhile, if you have any points to be added, please feel free to add in the comments.

Tip # 10:

What to think on Exam Day .

The Preparation time is over.

All your hard work has partially pays off by bringing you to the Prometric Examination Center, where you are going to embark a new project.

So your application is accepted. You spend a few months preparation for the exam and now finally you are at the test center.

After these four hours,
The decision has to be made by the computer on your screen whether you can have the prestigious title of PMP® with your name
you burn your first chance out of the three in a year.

The countdown has just begun and the clock start ticking in reverse order.

The question is what you need to think when answering the PMP 200 exam question’s.

You have to imagine as you are playing poker.

You have to read the mind of the person whom imagine sitting behind the computer.

You have to play your cards well.

You have to imagine what cards he/s is holding.

You have to think how he/s thinks.

You need to get into his mind and visualize his move.

You have to defeat that person.

You should put yourself in his shoes and you need to answer accordingly.

The following tips should be kept in mind before answering the questions:

  • What will be PMI’s choice in this situation?.
  • What PMI expect from me in this situation?.
  • Why PMI wants me to choose this particular choice?.
  • Finally you should know and tell yourself am I thinking, what PMI wants me to thinking?.
The best tip, I can give you in order to pass PMI PMP or any other certifications offered by PMI  is to answer all question’s according to; PMBOK and PMI.

Tip # 11:

How To Utilize Fifteen Minutes Of PMI PMP?

Almost on all PMI’s Certifications, the user is given fifteen minutes prior of starting the real count down.

Those fifteen minutes are very crucial and important for your success in the certification, whether the certification is for CaPM or PMP or any other.

I strongly suggest and recommend that those fifteen minutes prior to the exam should be very well utilized.

You do not need to exhaust your self at this very early stage of the exam.
Try to relax and note down only important things that you think might appear on the exam.

You may not remember them and instead of recalling, it’s better to write it down in advance.

Another tip or strategy could better be to write all those things before the exam on a piece of paper so that you know what you are going to write in the exam.

That piece of paper is not allowed, so you should have it in your mind and then write it down on the piece of paper received at the exam center.

Of course, you will receive a pencil and a paper before the exam starts).


What is this fifteen minutes tutorial all about?


This is a computer-based tutorial, and will generally tell you on how to use computer accessories, e.g: Mouse, keyboard etc.

Also how to navigate the exam questions.

If you are already familiar with it, then you do not need to concentrate on it, rather use it as a bonus.


Do these fifteen minutes free time and not included in the real exam?


Yes, these fifteen minutes will not be counted in the exam time.


How To Utilize fifteen minutes Of PMI Exam?


Before the exam starts, you are given pencils and writing sheets.

1: Brainstorm.

Write down all the tips, tricks and techniques that you have learned before appearing on the exam. But as mentioned above, please do not exhaust yourself.

2: Formulas.

If there are any formula’s involved, write down all the formula’s, especially for the pmp exam, there are a few formula’s and they will be part of the exam.
Please check PMP Tip #1: Formula’s.

3: Diagrams, Charts & Figures.

If there are any diagram’s, charts or figure’s involved, write it down.


This thread will be updated, so you can say, it’s a work in progress. What are your recommendations on how to utilize fifteen minutes of pmi pmp and other exams.

Tip # 12:

How To Utilize Or Plan 4 Hours Of PMP?

If you are a good project manager, then definitely you better understand the power of proper planning.
If you plan well, things will go well hopefully.

You should also properly plan for the 4 hours of the pmp exam.

If you are new test taker, you must be saying, man is this a joke, there are 4 hours and I have to complete 200 questions, very simple !!

No am sorry, it’s not that simple as you may be thinking.

There are no scheduled breaks on the exam, which means, if you spend time in toilet or taking tea or any drinks or if you are a smoker and smoke a couple of cigarettes in one hour during the exam, the clock will not stopping ticking for you, and there are high chances that you may get short of time during the exam.

So isn’t it wise to plan the exam in advance and fully utilize the 4 hours of pmp exam?

You can plan it according to your project management skills but I will give you a couple of tips:

1: Distribute the questions on hours and minutes.
We know the pmp exam has 200 questions and 4 hours.

So how to plan:

A: In hours:
1 hour = 50 questions

4 hours = 200 questions.

B: In Minutes:

1 hour= 60 minutes.
4 hours= 4*60= 240 minutes.

Means for every question, you have one point some seconds.

If you give one minute to one question
1 min= 1 question.
you still will have 40 minutes left.

2: Concentration.

This is very important to know about your psyche, if you are a type of person that could concentrate through out the 4 hours of the exam and is normally distracted or loose concentration while taking breaks.
Then do not take a break.
But if you are opposite to the above then do take regular breaks, but again the breaks should be the plan breaks keeping in view point 1.

So it’s wise to plan in advance to what kind of strategy to adopt on the pmp exam and other pmi exams, so be on top and not getting short of time.

This post is also one of the work in progress post and will be updated as I recall other strategies and also while receiving feedback from other professionals.

Now it’s your turn to answer below questions:

What strategy you had adopted when you were appearing for the pmp and other pmi exams?.
What strategy have you planned for taking on the exam?.

Over to you.
Please share the post with your friends, colleaque and well wisher and don’t forget to give me your feedback.