How to pass PMP ? – 3 powerful strategies that 100% worked for me

How to pass PMP exam? I am sure this is the question every PMP aspirant will have in his/her mind.

Passing PMP is comparatively a difficult task, but not a rocket science. It is doable, if you devise a strategy and plan your preparation properly towards the PMP exam.

Unlike many other certifications in the market today, PMP certification is different in a way that it requires lot of preparation and practice and consumes good amount of time and effort. Hence prepare your mind, to invest good amount of time and effort towards the preparation. This post explains some of the top strategies for passing the PMP exam.

How to Pass PMP

How to pass PMP – The planning part

To know how to pass PMP exam, here are the few questions that will address the PMP Study plan queries below:

  1. What to study?
  2. How much time you want to spend on the preparation every day?
  3. When to complete each topic?

How to Pass PMP – The Strategies that 100% worked for me

While preparing for the PMP exam, I have followed the below provided strategies to simplify my PMP preparation for the exam.

I am sure this will help you too.

How to pass PMP

How to Pass PMP – Strategy 1 – Complete your first round of reading of the study guide and PMBOK

Studying these two books (PMBOK and your PMP study guide) will not ensure your success in the PMP exam. This is just a first step towards your preparation. The time taken for this step depends on how much time you spend daily on the study. If you are spending 4 to 5 hours a day, you can complete this step in 2.5 to 3.5 months’ time. For some people it may take a little longer, depending on their experience in project management.

Learn about PMP Certification Prerequisites, PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements, PMP Exam format, and much more in this detailed blog post.

How to Pass PMP – Strategy 2 – First look at the topics that are easy to score

I would say this is the most important strategy.

Once you complete the first round of study, look at the areas, which need to be focused more.  See the following table explaining on the questions distribution against each of the process groups.

Process GroupPercentage of QuestionsNumber of QuestionsDifficulty Level [Low (1) to High (5)]
Monitoring & Controlling25%505

Initiation Process Group

If you observe closely only Initiation process group has 26 questions, which is 13% of the total questions in the exam. And this process group has only two processes. They are

  • Develop Project Charter
  • Identify Stakeholders

These are only two processes, which will carry you 26 questions on the exam. Answering these questions is pretty simple. One cannot afford to go wrong with these questions on the exam.

Closing Process Group

Similarly Closing process group has 8% of the questions, which are 16 questions. This is even simpler than initiating process group. Closing process group also has only two processes. They are

  • Close Procurements
  • Close Project or phase

Again, this is another area which will earn you good amount of marks in the PMP exam.

Executing Process Group

Then Executing process group is relatively difficult. However there are only 8 processes in this group. Focus more on this group, which will give you 60 questions on the exam.

Planning Process Group

Planning group is relatively easy. However there are more processes in this process group. Most of the questions pertaining to Planning process group are easy to answer.

Monitoring and Controlling Process Group

Monitoring and Controlling process group is considered to be the most difficult process group among all others. Focus this one at the last. I didn’t mean that this is not important for the exam. However we should first look at the easy ones and be confident on them, before we approach difficult ones.

Network Diagram

Network diagram and critical method questions are not the difficult ones. If you understand the concepts clearly and practice sufficient exercises, these are easily doable.

Earned Value Management (EVM)

EVM (Earned Value management) questions are dependent on good amount of formulas.  However understanding the concepts behind the formulas is not so difficult. Practice makes you win this case.

Communication Channels

There would be one or more questions on calculating communication channels. You need to read the question carefully, as the question is always not straight forward asking you to calculate on how many communication channels required. Instead the question may ask, about the increased or decreased communication channels, after changing the number of people or teams. You also need to see whether project manager is included in the question or not. PM should also be considered while calculating these number of communication channels.

PMBOK is always right

Always consider PMBOK is right. Do not consider real time project experience if there is a conflict between PMBOK concept and your real word project experience.

Just in case, if you are looking for how to choose the best PMP book that suits your reading style, here is the detailed post on How To Choose A BEST PMP BOOK That Suits You

Professional responsibility questions

There will be some questions on project manager’s professional responsibility and ethics. This is an easy read from any PMP book. If you think that, project manager is a role model, ethical and socially responsible then you can easily answer these questions correctly.

How to Pass PMP – Strategy 3 – Practice Mock Exams

You know what, this probably makes you surprise to hear that majority of the PMP main exam questions you would be able to answer easily. However due to the time pressure we answer the known and easy questions wrongly. Broadly due to the following reasons, we will go wrong in answering related to some of the known and easily doable questions in the exam.

  • Overlook some of the words or phrases in the question.
  • Ignoring some phrases.
  • Not understand when you read the question for the first time.
  • Not reading all the options provided

However the same questions, when you read for the second time or even the third time, you will be able to easily answer the question.

So, if you can read the question correctly for the first time itself, then you save plenty of time for reviewing and spend good amount of time on other questions, which are difficult to answer. Alright! That sounds good. But the point here is how to read the question correctly for the first time. This is where we keep saying that, Practice would give you the skill of reading through the questions for the first time or second time, and make you choose the best answer without making any mistakes to the known questions.

In case if you are looking for PMP Exam tips, here is the post “Stunning TIPS & Tricks to Pass PMP Exam on your First Try“.


To answer the question How to pass PMP, this post gone through the topics that can be scored easily. One should not miss any chances of scoring in these easy topics. In this way, one can increase the chances of passing PMP exam.

In general, PMP exam questions may contain some queries for which you do not know the answer, and in some cases you might have not read that concept at all. And this happens almost to everyone. However the catch is, this percentage would be very less. Majority of the questions are related to the topics which you know already, studied and practiced through lot of mock exams.

So the trick is to master the concepts which were there in the study guide and PMBOK. Do not make a mistake in the easy and known questions or topics. This strategy would increase your chances of winning the PMP certification.

So what are you waiting for? Go, get your PMP certification. Prepare smart, not hard.

If you have not read my blog post on what are the do s and don’t s on your pmp exam day, please go through a detailed post PMP Exam Day – Ultimate Guide to Dos and Don’ts on the The D-Day.

I would also love to hear from you, if you have any experiences on how to pass PMP. Drop me a note below if you have any feedback or any queries regarding this post.

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