4 Solid Tips to Crack The PMP Exam In First Attempt

PMP Certification is something that sets your path for your PMP career. It is something that you can’t take lightly if you want to make it big in the project management industry. But do you know that 7 out of 10 people fail to clear PMP in their first attempt? But why? Is it because the PMP exam is difficult to crack? Probably yes! But that’s not entirely true.

There are tonnes of other factors that determine the probability of passing. A research survey showed a typical pattern among the people who don’t pass the PMP in their first attempt. For example, either they run out of time, or they haven’t given enough mocks. Following that, we have listed down 4 solid tips on how to crack PMP certification in the first attempt.

How To Crack The PMP Exam On Your First Attempt: 4-Step Formula

1) Master the PMBOK Guide

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, commonly known as the PMBOK Guide, is nothing less than a bible for the PMP exam. It is published by PMI and updated every 4-5 years with new Project management guidelines. Mastering the PMBOK® guide is one of the most critical steps in passing the PMP exam.

Even though there are many other guides and books in the market, nothing can compensate for the official PMBOK guide. People often misunderstand that PMBOK contains the questions for the PMP exam, but this is not true. All the PMBOK guide does is give you conceptual clarity for all the project management terminologies and systems that are to be followed in project management. 

People often don’t give much importance to the PMBOK Guide and sometimes don’t even touch it because it’s lengthy and boring to read. But ignoring this guide is a sure-shot way to fail the exam. PMBOK guide is so important because it helps you build the foundation for your preparation. So, don’t only read it; master it to avoid getting confused in the middle of the exam.

2) Understand The Exam Pattern

Be it PMP or any other exam; it is important to understand the structure of the exam paper. To make it easy for you, here is the PMP exam structure in brief- 

The PMP Exam consists of different questions that test your knowledge and skills in tackling various project management problems.

Questions include:

● On-point short questions

● Lengthy questions to test your knowledge about project management styles and terminologies.

● Situation-based questions.

● Formula-based questions

● ITTO questions.

There would be about 200 questions in the exam, and all of them are Multiple Choice Questions. Out of these 200 MCQ-based questions, 25 pilot questions are not counted toward the final score.

3) Take Help Of Mocks/Simulated Tests

Most of the questions you will face in the exam will be situation-based questions, and the situations in these questions can be pretty diverse.

To solve these questions, you need to have practical knowledge, and that practical knowledge doesn’t come from gulping down the books. Give as many mocks/simulated tests as you can to get enough practice for the exam. Mocks/Simulated tests replicate the exact environment of the actual PMP exam.

The main goal behind giving these mocks is to help you identify different kinds of PMP questions as you read them. So that on the final day, you should be able to recall the strategy to solve the questions without wasting much time. 

Furthermore, simulated tests help you track progress and make test-taking strategies.

After each simulated test, you need to analyze these things:

  • Was I able to complete the test in the given time?
  • Which types of questions are giving me trouble?
  • Is my efficiency going down as the exam progresses?
  • Am I able to retain the things that I learned?

Ask yourself these questions after every simulated test and work wherever you are lagging. You can surely pass the actual exam if you are getting more than 80% consistently* in your mocks/simulated tests. In summation, use the mock tests as a training and feedback mechanism and amplify your strategy according to the results to excel in the exam.

4) Become A PMI Member & Connect With Other Project Managers

Well, there are lots of benefits to becoming a member of PMI. First of all, the exam fee is cheaper for PMI members. Secondly, it opens up a huge opportunity to network with other project management professionals.

Project management is a dynamic field, and it is essential to keep track of the latest developments in the industry. And one of the best ways to do it is by connecting with other project management professionals.

Also, you can connect with a lot of other PMP aspirants and make a group for group study and brainstorming. You can discuss, learn, and clarify a lot of things about project management. Believe me, this is one opportunity that nobody would want to lose.


Before wrapping up, I would like to tell you that treat your PMP exam as a project itself. Define goals, make plans, gather resources(books, mock papers, courses, etc.), break down the process into small parts, and start working ASAP.

Keep a check on your progress and make changes based on the performance in mocks. Believe me, this approach will help you build the mindset to crack the exam on the first attempt and input consistent efforts.

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