Know: Is the PMP® Exam Hard to Pass? 

Project Management has been witnessing increasing importance across all industries. Given the millions of roles related to project management coming up each year, the scope is endless. Candidates wanting to be hired by top organizations in such roles might want to obtain a PMP® certification. Preparing for the PMP exam requires diligent studying as well as practice. Once you are committed to appearing for PMP® certification, it is compulsory to prepare for a continuous effort towards studying and practising concepts important for project management. 

Difficulty Level of PMP® Certification 

PMP® Certification is obviously the best choice for people wanting to make a living out of project management. First of all, check whether you qualify for the eligibility criteria for PMP.  

After making sure that you fulfill the PMP eligibility criteria, you now have to appear for the PMP exam with the goal of clearing it. The PMP exam is difficult enough to need proper and serious preparation over the course of months. With good preparation and mock test practice, the exam should not seem too. 

PMP is considered one of the comprehensive project management certifications as it tests a candidate’s complete knowledge of concepts and practices related to project management. Without proper preparation for the questions asked in the exam, it will obviously be hard to score good marks. 

How is PMP Exam Hard? 

The study material required for the preparation of PMP is diverse and detailed. Therefore, it demands a significant chunk of your time and energy to reasonably prepare for this exam. The syllabus is set on the basis of the Exam Content Outline of the PMBOK ® Guide published by PMI® for reference. This book covers ten areas of knowledge in the field along with a variety of methods, tools, etc. to explain the process of implementation in real-world projects.  

The current PMBOK® Guide book is updated till the seventh edition with 370 pages categorized into 4 segments that respectively cover: 

  • Introduction 
  • Domains of project performance 
  • Adapting project management to suit particular projects 
  • Models and methods   

Structure of the Exam   

The PMP Exam is conducted over a duration of 230 minutes within which you must solve 180 questions. When you take the exam through a Centre, you are not allowed to take breaks.  However, you can also opt for the online PMP Exam where you will be allotted two ten-minute breaks excluding the total time of the examination. 

The examination can be divided into three broad categories (namely, people, processes, and business environment) for ease of understanding.  

Difficulty Level of Problems  

The extent of difficulty faced for the PMP Exam depends on the candidate’s preparation level. The project-based experience along with a clear understanding of concepts is important to smoothly pass the exam. The PMP® certification Exam is essentially designed to comprehensively check your idea of concepts, tools, and practices required for project management.  

Please note here that in case you prepare well and get a difficult exam, it is possible to pass because PMI sets the passing percentage on the basis of overall difficulty.   

Time Required for Preparation 

If you wish to prepare comprehensively for your PMP Exam, a few months of consistent preparation is mandatory. The syllabus is vast and thus requires thorough preparation. It is advised to create and follow a particular schedule in order to make sure that you are spending adequate time on each topic that must be studied. Other than insufficient preparation, being unfamiliar with the format of the examination can also reduce your chances of success. Candidates might need to appear for mock tests to practice answering in line with the PMP format to ensure proper preparation for the exam.     

Passing the PMP Exam   

The PMI prescribes a 5-step method one must follow in order to become PMP® certified on the first attempt.   

  1. Prepare a timetable for studying 

Dedicate a particular time for preparation for the PMP exam so that you are able to finish your syllabus by properly covering each and every topic. Make your preparation clear to your acquaintances to avoid any kind of disturbance or distraction during your preparation time. You can also check whether you will be eligible for preparatory leave from your employer. 

  1. Understand the exam format 

Make efforts to get used to the PMP® exam format. It is fairly possible to encounter new question formats which can confuse you during the exam in case of poor preparation.  

  1. Depending on professional experience 

Get in touch with the local PMI chapter to seek guidance and assistance to prepare for this exam. You can also network with study groups that you might want to practice with. Ensure that you get training only from an Authorized Training Partner (ATP) of PMI. Trust your training partner while preparing yourself and continue taking properly timed practice tests.  

  1. Study materials and resources 

Other than the PMBOK® Guide candidates are also advised to study from other resources in order to obtain a clear knowledge of all concepts related to project management. It is a good idea to consult the different PMP presentations recommended by PMI, along with some popular textbooks to help you prepare yourself for the exam.  

  1. Online sources 

Along with the local PMI® Chapters, one can also look for groups that can offer aid and support online. The PMI LinkedIn Page as well as groups are a great source for clarifying your doubts and queries. The PMI® Blog also contains several topics related to project management.   


In general, clearing the PMP® exam is definitely not a piece of cake. A total of 180 questions must be completed within 230 minutes. Therefore, if you are seriously planning to pass the exam you must prepare with dedication and enroll in the best PMP certification training course.  

In case you have experience in the field of project management and have familiarized yourself with almost every major concept related to the examination, you can expect the exam to seem easier for you in comparison to other fresher candidates.