Category: Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam using A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)

What to Do If you Fail PMP® Exam Twice

project manager fail pmp examOK, I really hope that you will NEVER have to make use of this Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam tip: If you fail PMP® Exam twice, then consider waiting a bit instead of taking it for a third time right away. Here's why:

Once your PMP® Exam application is approved you are given one year and three attempts to pass. In case you fail PMP® exam thrice or all of these three attempts, you need to wait one year before filing another application to try again.

So... If we assume a worst case scenario of you failing the exam twice within ten months, this means that you now have two months and one more attempt to pass the exam left. But think about it: you are already nervous, studying to pass the exam has become a real chore and you may question your ability to pass the exam. Add to this your personal life, your work load that may come in the way of your studies and you can see that your third attempt might not go well either. And if you really fail a third time, then you'll have to wait one year to re-apply.

So why not give yourself a clean slate?

Instead of going head first through this wall and failing for a third time, simply let your PMP® Exam application expire, apply again and give yourself another year and 3 fresh attempts. Granted, doing this is more expensive (The Project Management Institute (PMI)® members pay $275 for a re-examination vs. $405 for a full application), but it removes the pressure of having to cram for your 3rd attempt in the short time left as well as as the mandatory 1 year wait after the failed 3rd attempt.

Of course, this is a very personal choice and the timing of when you failed your first two attempts must be considered as well. If you take good measures to pass on your third attempt, or if your two failed attempts happen early on in your eligibility period then it might be better for you to go and try for a 3rd time right away. But if you're unsure about your readiness or if time is running out, then letting your application expire is a valid choice.

The PMP® Exam is not an easy exam. You have to find the correct answer to 200 multiple choice questions within 4 hours. That's just 1.2 minutes for each. And sometimes it looks like more than one of them are correct. In this free episode of The PM PrepCast we discuss 2 concepts and 4 techniques of how to approach questions and finding the "best" answer so you make sure you don't fail PMP® exam the third time.

Training for Project Management Professional (PMP)®, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)®, and Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)®