How Difficult is the PMP Exam [Practical Explanation]

How Difficult is the PMP Exam

How difficult is the PMP exam? Would I pass the exam? If you have these questions in your mind, you are in the right place. Our primary goal from this article is to let you understand the difficulties of PMP examination. Without further due, let’s start with your interest first.

If you have any interest in managerial posts, then you must have heard about the PMP exam. Perhaps, you are already in a managerial position, but you need a promotion or want to improve yourself. Whatever the reason might be for you to come across the PMP exam, one thing you must have wondered – How difficult is the PMP exam? Well, here we will discuss all that.

PMP Certification

PMP certification means Project Management Professional Certification. Project Management Institution offers this certification, and this exam validates for skillset as a project manager.

This is a globally recognized examination and certification. You can provide this certificate for any managerial job to exhibit your experience, skills, and knowledge. Many employers look for PMP certification while hiring a project manager.

PMP Examination Module

Before we learn about the difficulty level of the exam, let’s first know about the exam module. This will help us understand the difficult parts of the exam and how to solve them effectively.

From 2021, the PMP exam offers both computer-based exams and paper-based exams. The duration of the exam is 230 minutes. In the computer-based exam, you will get a total of two 10 minutes break, which is not applicable for the paper-based exam.

Previously, there were only multiple-choice questions on the exam. However, from now on, there will be multiple choices, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank.

The questions are based on three domains. The exam will be taken based on these domains and percentages. Take a look at the domains and number of related questions.

Domains of PMP Exam

According to the 2021 update, three new domains are introduced for the Project Management Professionals Certification exam. Therefore, here we will discuss those three domains.

1. People

This domain emphasizes the ability to handle human resources. As a project manager, one should know and have the skill to deal with and manage people who are working with him or under his guidance. This is an essential skill for a project manager to have.

To verify this critical skill of an examinee, the PMP exam incorporates questions that are associated with effectively leading a group of people or teams.

2. Process

Managing projects is not just about managing the team and instructing them. A project manager should have enough knowledge of the technical parts of the projects as well. Using their technical knowledge in appropriate situations is a key requirement from project managers.

The PMP exam includes several questions to validate the skill of one’s ability to reinforce the technical aspects of managing a project

3. Business Environment

The ultimate goal of a project is to improve business. A project manager should have the adequate capability of combining strategies and organizations. Managing a project successfully also means having business development too.

The ability to create a connection between different parts of the project and strategies successfully – can be proved by the PMP exam. Hence, some questions based on these criteria will take part in the exam.

How Difficult is the PMP Exam?

The PMP exam certainly is one of the difficult tests among all the project management certification tests. It takes a certain level of skills and experience to pass this test. Moreover, apply for this test. There are several reasons why people are concern about PMP exam difficulty.

  • It takes a long preparation time. To answer a question correctly, you will need to hone your skills and knowledge, which takes time.
  • You will have to study a huge amount of material. The process seems lengthy and difficult. Most likely, you will not be able to cover the entire syllabus.
  • PMP questions are complex, and you will need to study PMI’s books to solve them. You cannot solve them with your logic.
  • The questions are tricky, and you will often feel discouraged to answer them.
  • The PMP exam is long, and people lose focus. Having concentration for a long period of time might be difficult for many people.

How Long to Study for PMP?

As we are already aware of PMP difficulty, you might have realized by now that it will take longer to prepare for this exam. Firstly, you must have real-life experience in project management to apply for this certification exam. After that, you might need months or years of study to ace this exam.

Ideally, it takes2 to 3 months, devoting a minimum of 3 hours each day to prepare for the PMP exam. If you study less in a day, the overall time needed will increase.

Failure Rate of PMP Exam

PMP exam difficulty level reflects on the failure rate. The failure rate is quite high for first-time exam takers, which is 40-50% approximately. With a proper study plan and preparation, passing this exam becomes easier.

Check Now: PMP Exam Passing Score

PMP Exam Preparation

To make your preparation fruitful, we have divided the preparation into four parts. Try to improve these four criteria, and you will get a good result in the overall process.


Firstly, get familiar with the study materials. Determine what things you are going to cover. You should also select the books or guides you are going to complete. You should scan the books to understand the topics covered there. Arrange your materials and plan things in an organized way.


Find your motivation. Being a hard exam, it is easier to lose motivation in the studying process. Find what your goal is for the day. What topics you want to cover at a specific time. If your preparation guide has some tasks, then complete those tasks.


Planning the things that need to cover is necessary. However, planning time is also essential. Divide your time for a different task. Take breaks in between. It is proved that taking breaks helps people understand and engage more in studies. This way, you will be able to recall things a lot easier.

project management test questions

Tips for Acing PMP Exam

project management test questions might be hard; however, it is feasible to pass this test successfully. With the right strategy and determination, this test can be aced. Here are some tips that helped many examinees with the PMP exam.

Study PMP Guide

PMP exam is largely based on the PMPBOK guide. You must study this guide book for good results. Learn and read the book thoroughly. Read about different topics, get ideas, learn new strategies, solve problems or tasks. We have the best PMP exam guide for you. It will help you to pass the exam easily.

Complete PMP Prep Book

You must complete a PMP prep book. Otherwise, it will be very difficult to pass the exam. The prep book is full of questions and answers. It will be helpful for practicing, and you will also get to know different types of question patterns. Understanding the question types will help a ton in the PMP examination.

Use Flashcards

Using flashcards is a great way to memorize things in studying. It is a tried-and-tested way of getting good results in the project management exam. You can make your own flashcards, which is very helpful. You can also get online flashcards or apps on your mobile devices.

Take Advantage of PMP Prep Workshops

If you prefer classroom settings for studying, then joining PMP workshops will be a good idea. You can learn and practice in workshops. Moreover, you will get to know professionals who have already achieved a PMP certificate. You can find inspiration to do better in the exam.

Try Online Prep Workshop

You can also learn new things or helpful strategies from online workshops as well. Some online prep courses are available online, and they can be very useful for your studies. Online prep workshops offer flexibility; hence you can prepare according to your preference.

Take Online Exams

There are many online prep exams available. You can take advantage of that. As the actual exam is computer-based (if you are not taking the paper-based exam), giving online exams is beneficial too. Online exams replicate the PMP exam format and timing, which helps a lot you get ready for the real one.

Check Our Free PMP Exam Simulator

Join Study Groups or Forums

You can find study groups or forums both online and offline. On these platforms, they do in-depth discussions. You can learn new strategies or methods to do better in the exam. These discussions can help you prepare for the exam.

No Need to Answer Everything

PMP is a hard and lengthy exam. Completing the exam by answering everything is quite impossible. You do not need to answer 100% of the questions either. It is suggested that correcting 70% of the questions is good enough to pass this exam.


Project Management Professionals Certification exam might be a very difficult one, but it not impossible to do better. With the right strategy, materials, and preparation, any project manager can complete this exam.

Hopefully, you have got the answer to the question of how difficult is the PMP exam. If you still have confusion then read the above article again, you will understand everything you need.