PMP aspirants tend to wonder about one key aspect before sitting for their certification exam: the PMP passing score.
This point was and still is subject to many interpretations which causes a lot of confusion. In this blog post, we’re going to explain everything you need to know about the current PMP passing score, how it’s calculated, and how to check yours.
PMP passing score
While queries concerning the PMP passing score are frequently raised, the truth is that there is no official score set or specified by the PMI.
The Project Management Institute (PMI) does not provide much information about the passing score for the PMP test. In the past, the passing score for the PMP exam used to be 61%. However, the PMI stopped defining and publishing a precise passing rate for the exam after 2005.
Since then, the PMP exam report format has undergone numerous revisions, still not including an exact passing score. Although some sources indicate that a score of 61% is still adopted as the proven pass rate for the PMP exam, attempts to identify an official resource indicating the particular pass percentage are often unavailing.
How the PMP score is calculated
While the exact PMP exam passing score required by PMI is undisclosed, we’re breaking down everything we know about the 2021 PMP exam passing score, including how it can be calculated and how you can check yours.
According to the PMI, “The passing score for all PMI exams is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts – project professionals from around the world and many different disciplines – to determine how many questions you must answer correctly to pass the exam.”
This means that the passing score is dependent on the exam’s set of questions. Since no two PMP® aspirants get the same exam questions, establishing a fixed passing score for the PMP certification might not be equitable to all candidates. Psychometric analysis is a scientific approach used to calculate the passing score for the PMP exam of each candidate according to the difficulty of the questions they dealt with during their exam.
How to check your PMP score
Rather than displaying your actual numerical score, PMI currently provides a PMP Exam Report at the end of the exam, which breaks down your result into performance rating categories.
PMI explains, “Each scored question in the exam is worth one point, and your final score is calculated by totaling the points you have earned on the exam. The number of questions you answer correctly places you within one of the performance rating categories you see in the report.”
So, each topic domain has four performance ratings: above target, target, below target, and needs improvement, which are further explained as follows:
- Above Target: Performance exceeds the bare minimum.
- Target: Performance meets minimum requirements.
- Below Target: Performance is somewhat below target and does not fulfill minimum requirements. More preparation is needed.
- Needs Improvement: Performance is below target and further preparation is strongly advised before re-examination.
The PMP exam exact passing score remains a mystery known only to the PMI. Therefore, our advice for you is to not focus your attention on figuring out the PMP passing score but rather prepare thoroughly for the exam and practice using several mock tests from different sources. You should strive for a 75% or above on your practice exams in order to sit for the exam with confidence.