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TOPIC: Understanding of the passing methodology for PMP

Understanding of the passing methodology for PMP 4 months 1 day ago #7617

  • Shabs
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I am of the understanding that 61% is the passing score (106 out of 175 Qs correct). But what I am not sure is, how the breakup is needed to have a pass score.
1. Is it necessary to score a moderate proficient on all 5 domains to get pass?
2. What if i score above proficient on 3 domains and below proficient in other 2 domains and still with a total score of 120 Qs correct?
3. Is it that you should never get below proficient at all in any of the domains to pass the exam?

Any insights that can be shared will be helpful. Thanks.

Understanding of the passing methodology for PMP 4 months 1 day ago #7618

  • Rahul Kakkar
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Hi Shabina,

The short answer is “unknown”.

PMI does not disclose the passing score nor how many questions a PMP® candidate should answer correctly (proficiency levels in different domains).

You would have read from different websites about the PMP® Exam passing score wherein some would proclaim that the PMP® passing score is 61%.

You can be assured that the information is obsolete (or even wrong) now.

PMI published the “Frequently Asked Questions regarding the new PMP® Examination” in the year 2005 (over ten years ago), which contained the PMP® Exam passing score (106 out of 175 = ~61%).

A few years later after the FAQ, the PMP® Exam has now adopted a new structure by incorporating ‘sound psychometric analysis’. The passing score is determined candidate by candidate on the overall difficulty level of the PMP® Exam questions in the PMP® Exam paper.

Since no two CBT candidates receive exactly the same PMP® Exam paper, the passing score is considered irrelevant in determining whether a candidate can pass the PMP® Exam or not.

One or two “Below Proficient” would not automatically declare a fail to the PMP® Exam. In fact, whether a candidate will pass or fail the PMP® Exam is judged on the overall performance of the exam. I have personally know some candidates who got two “Below Proficient” and yet pass the exam. As PMI has put it, the proficiency levels for the domains are intended as a guidance for PMP® candidates to understand their strengths and weaknesses so that they will know which area(s) to focus on for their PDU activities or re-exam.

Therefore, don’t rely on the “61% passing score”. You should aim at at least 75% – 80% for all the PMP® Mock Exams you attempt in order to be quite confident that you can pass the actual PMP® Exam. Again, this is only a guideline and not set in stone.

Hope this helps.
Rahul Kakkar, PMP, MBA
Community Moderator

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Last Edit: 4 months 1 day ago by Rahul Kakkar.
The following user(s) said Thank You: Gunaseelan Shanmugam

Understanding of the passing methodology for PMP 4 months 1 day ago #7619

  • Lazard Toe, MPM, CIPM, PMP, ITIL
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You are very correct and it is like you read from my mind.
We have warned students to do not speculate about the passing score. PMI has the sole responsibility to grant passed or failed to any candidate.

The only reference that Cornelius gives to our candidates is to score at least 3 times the full exam 80% of correct answers of new questions, I repeat only new questions that you can be confident to pass the exam. You could pass with less but that is the comfortable reference point

Candidates should endeavour to be as good as possible.

Best regards
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