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Author: Karen Young

For many project managers , the PMP test is a goal they hope to attain in order to formally recognize their project management skills and experience and to increase their own marketability. and hopefully, profitability in the workplace. This article will help explain the format and structure of the PMP test for those considering taking the plunge!

The PMP test has 200 questions to be answered in a four hour time period. The questions are in a multiple choice format. 25 of the questions on the PMP test are actually 'pre-test' questions. This means that they are being 'tested out' by the managing authority and do not count toward your final score for the test. The pre-test questions provide a valid way for the Project Management Institute to test questions before they become part of the real set of PMP examination questions. They are distributed throughout the test so you will not be able to tell which questions are part of the scored set of questions.

The scoring methodology for the test is called a modified Agnoff method. This is a well document and validated method for setting standards in many different types of mulitiple choice examinations. In this modified Agnoff method, panels of PMPs discuss and determine, using an iterative review process, the expected results and agree upon the pass mark for the PMP test. Presently, of the 175 scored questions contributing to the final score, you must answer 61%, or 106 of these questions correctly in order to pass the PMP test.

The questions cover the following PMBOK domain areas in the following proportions:

The spread of questions is based around the following domains : Initiating (11%), Planning (23%), Executing (27%), Monitoring and Controlling (21%), Closing (9%) and Professional and Social Responsibility (9%).

Sitting the PMP test involves paying a fee as well as meeting requirements around levels of education, project management and leadership experience as well as project management specific training.

The PMBOK Guide is the basis of the PMP certification and therefore is an absolute must read and must have item. There are many tools and resources that can help you in your study, including study guides which can focus your study and make it much more efficient, video tutorial courses that provide you with materials in video and audio format, sample pmp questions and pmp prep exam. PMP simulation software is also a great investment to assist you with the format and timing of the PMP test.

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