PMP Exam 2021 FAQs: 100+ Frequently Asked Questions about PMP Certification

38 minute read    Updated:    Harwinder Singh

PMI PMP Certification Exam Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

PMP FAQ - Frequently asked questions about Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification exam (Updated for PMP Exam 2021): With thousands of sites dedicated to PMP certification, it shouldn’t be hard to get detailed information on PMP certification, correct? Wrong. While most websites are able to provide basic information about PMP certification, it’s extremely hard to find a comprehensive and authentic resource on all matters concerning the certification. This page is an attempt to answer almost all the frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the PMP certification program from the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA. I wish I had access to such a resource when I started preparing for the PMP certification back in 2007. I was literally groping in the dark and had no idea how to proceed. It took me several months and plenty of hardships to finally get on to the right track for my certification. This page is the result of hundreds of hours of effort that I’ve spent in gathering all the information.

1. General FAQs about PMP Certification

1.1 What is PMP Certification?

The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential recognizes demonstrated knowledge and skill in leading and directing project teams and in delivering project results within the constraints of schedule, budget and resources. It is accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI), USA, which is the leading global association for the project management profession.

1.2 Who should apply for PMP Certification?

Those who lead and direct cross-functional teams to deliver projects within the constraints of schedule, budget, and scope.

1.3 What do PMP candidates do?

Candidates are responsible for all aspects of individual projects for the life of the project.

2. FAQs on PMP Application Process

2.1 What are the Eligibility Criteria for the PMP exam?

Please refer to PMP Certification Eligibility Requirements for the educational qualifications and professional experience required to apply for the PMP® Certification.

2.2 What is the application process for the PMP exam?

Refer to the PMP Application Walkthrough guide for a detailed step-by-step walkthrough of the PMP application process.

At a high level, the PMP application process involves the following steps:

  1. You submit an online application for the exam to PMI.
  2. PMI reviews your application and if it is determined to be complete, PMI will send you an email to submit the exam fee. Your application approval is valid for one-year from the date you receive the approval email.
  3. After you pay for the exam, PMI will send you an email indicating one of the following next steps:
    • Examination scheduling instructions to help you schedule your examination
    • Application has randomly been selected for PMI audit process
  4. If you receive exam scheduling instructions, you can go ahead and schedule your exam with Pearson VUE.
  5. If your application is selected for an audit, PMI will provide you the follow-up instructions to comply with the audit.

Note: If your application is selected for an audit, your one-year eligibility clock stops, and would restart only when you successfully clear the audit.

Tip: Please make sure that you meet the eligibility criteria before submitting your application. Also, fill your application form honestly and truthfully. If you follow these guidelines, you would have nothing to fear from the audit.

2.3 How do I report my Project Management Experience in the PMP exam application?

You need to report your Project Management experience hours to PMI as part of your PMP exam application. The experience is reported process group-wise for all relevant projects.

2.4 How far back can I go for the Project Management Experience on my PMP exam application?

All project management experience must have been accrued within the last eight consecutive years prior to your application submission.

2.5 How do I apply for the PMP exam?

PMP exam application must be submitted online through PMI’s Online Certification System.

2.6 Can I apply for PMP exam offline through hard copy application form and post mail/fax my application to PMI?

Unfortunately, no. PMI has discontinued hard copy application forms since mid-2015. The only option available now is online application through PMI’s Online Certification System.

2.7 How far in advance should I apply for the PMP exam?

Read How to get PMP Certification to understand the process of certification. It will help you determine how far in advance you need to apply. As a general guideline, it’s good to apply for the exam about 4-6 months before you intend to take the exam.

2.8 What are the fees for the PMP exam?

The examination fees vary depending upon whether you are a PMI member.

UPDATE (Aug 2021): PMI has probably discountinued paper-based exam. They have removed most of the information about it from their website and handbook.

For PMI Members

  • Computer-based exam: USD 405
  • Paper-based exam: USD 250

For Non-PMI Members

  • Computer-based exam: USD 555
  • Paper-based exam: USD 400

Tip: There’s an obvious benefit in joining PMI before signing up for the PMP exam. The discount on the exam is more than the membership fee. For more on PMI Membership benefits, read 10 Benefits of PMI Membership.

2.9 Is it possible to apply for the PMP exam without being a PMI member?

Yes, absolutely. You don’t need to be a PMI member to apply for PMP certification. But no one in their right mind would do so. PMI membership costs $139, and gets you a $150 discount on the exam. So, why would you want to apply for PMP certification without joining PMI? For more details, refer to the 10 Benefits of PMI Membership post linked in the previous section.</a>.

2.10 Will PMI refund the membership discount, if I sign-up for the membership after submitting payment for the PMP exam?

PMI members enjoy $150 discount on the PMP exam fee. However, you must be a PMI member at the time of submitting your payment for the PMP exam, in order to enjoy the discount. If you sign-up for the PMI Membership after submitting your payment for the exam, PMI would NOT refund the membership discount amount to you. Therefore, it is important that you sign-up for PMI membership before you submit your payment for the PMP exam.

2.11 How do I pay the fee for the PMP exam?

You can pay the exam fee on PMI’s Online Certification System.

Note: You pay the exam fee to PMI, not to Pearson VUE.

2.12 How long does PMI take to process each PMP exam application?

The processing time for applications submitted online is 5 days.

2.13 I’m experienced, but unemployed. Am I eligible for PMP Certification?

Being employed at the time of application submission or examination is NOT among the eligibility requirements for PMP certification. As long as you have the required experience, you are eligible for PMP certification.

2.14 I made an error on the PMP exam application? What should I do?

To err is human. We all make mistakes. If you have made a mistake in your PMP certification application that you submitted to PMI, do not panic. Email to PMI Customer Care, admit your mistake, and cooperate with them to get it resolved.

3. FAQs on PMP Audit

Refer to the following link for all the details about PMP Audit.

PMP Audit Process - Step-by-Step and FAQ

4. FAQs on 35 Contact Hours

Refer to the following link for all the details about PMP contact hours / PDU.

What are Contact Hours?

5. FAQs on PMP Exam Preparation

5.1 How do I prepare for the PMP exam?

That’s a 10 million dollar question. You are asking the well where the water is. All the information that you need to prepare for and pass the PMP exam can be found here:

How to get PMP Certification

The above post will guide you through all the steps, resources, tools, tips, techniques, lessons learnt etc. that you need to pass the PMP exam.

5.2 How much time does it take to prepare for the PMP exam?

There’s no right answer for this. Preparation time varies by individual. Most people take about 3 months for preparation. Some claim to do it within a month too, while others take as long as a year.

Tip: You can drastically cut down your preparation time if you know the right approach and get the right PMP Certification resources quickly.

5.3 What is the easiest, fastest and cheapest way to achieve PMP certification?

Please read Easiest, Fastest, Cheapest and Safest way to PMP Certification.

5.4 Which edition of PMBOK® Guide is the PMP exam based on?

Since March, 2018, PMP exam is based on the PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition.

5.5 What were the January 2021 changes to the PMP exam?

Here is the document that exactly captures the Jan 2021 changes to the PMP exam. It clearly provides the domains, tasks, and knowledge and skill statements as defined by PMI’s Role Delineation Study (RDS):

PMP Exam Content Outline (Revised 2021)

5.6 Is there any change in PMP exam pattern from January 2021?

Many PMP aspirants are anxious to know whether there’s any change in the exam pattern (such as the number of questions, passing score, type of questions, difficulty level etc.) from January 2021. Yes, the questions were updated based on PMI’s Role Delineation Study. The new exam has at least 50% of the questions based on adaptive (Agile) methodologies.

The PMP Exam 2021 has 180 questions (down from 200) with 5 pretest questions (down from 25). There are two 10-minute breaks built into the exam. Moreover, the PMP exam can now be taken online. The total exam duration is 230 minutes (down from 240) excluding the two 10-minute breaks.

Read PMP Exam Change 2021 to learn more.

5.7 What is the difficulty level of the PMP exam?

PMP exam is generally considered difficult. To know more, read the article What is the difficulty level of the PMP Exam.

5.8 Is PMBOK® Guide sufficient to clear the PMP exam?

Simple answer is ‘no’. The PMP exam is not based on the PMBOK® Guide. Rather it’s based on the PMP Exam Content Outline. There are topics on the PMP exam that aren’t covered in the PMBOK® Guide. So, you cannot completely rely on the PMBOK® Guide for your preparation. A very important resource for the PMP Exam 2021 is the Agile Practice Guide as at least 50% of the questions are now based on adaptive (Agile) methodologies.

Usually, a combination of a good PMP training course, the PMBOK® Guide, Agile Practice Guide, a good PMP exam prep guide, and free resources available on the web are what you need to pass the PMP exam.

5.9 What percentage score on sample exams indicates readiness for the real PMP exam?

There’s no right answer here, but here are some general guidelines that might help you:

BrainBOK PMP Practice Exam60% (toughest)
PM Exam Simulator70%
Oliver Lehmann's Sample Exams  75%
Rita Mulcahy's PM Fastrack80%

These scores are applicable to the “first attempt” on the exams.

5.10 How can I get a copy of the PMBOK® Guide?

PMBOK® Guide, 6th Edition PDF Download

5.11 How often is the PMBOK® Guide revised?

The Project Management Institute (PMI) revises the PMBOK® Guide every 4 years or so. For example, the second edition of the guide was released in year 2000, the third in 2004, the fourth at the end of 2008 (beginning of 2009), the fifth in Dec 2012, the sixth in Sep 2017, and the seventh (most recent) in June 2021.

The sixth edition of the PMBOK® Guide missed the 4-year cycle by about 3 quarters.

5.12 Can I Print the PMBOK® Guide PDF legally?

No, you cannot. Read Why can’t I Print the PMBOK Guide, 6th Edition PDF? for details.

6. FAQs on PMP Exam Prep Resources

6.1 Where can I find resources to prepare for the PMP exam?

Here’s the address to the “Gold Mine” of PMP exam resources:

PMP Certification Resources for PMBOK 6th Edition

Here you’ll find information on PMP exam prep books, PMP exam simulators, PMP mobile apps, PMI’s official documents, lessons learned posts, exam prep forums, and a lot of free resources.

PMP Books & Resources

You can get a list of the best study guides for PMP here.

6.2 Which is the best PMP Exam Prep Book?

The best PMP exam prep book is PMP Exam Prep, 10th Edition - by Rita Mulcahy.

I’ve personally used it and highly recommend it for all PMP aspirants. In one of the surveys I conducted in the past, more than 60% respondents recommended this book for PMP exam preparation. Read 10 Reasons to Buy Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep Book for more details. This guide is also available for an online subscription.

6.3 Which is the best PMP Exam Simulator?

Pro Tip: Even if you purchase an exam simulator, you should try at least couple other free mock exams as well. Remember the age old advice to not put all your eggs in the same basket. Read the next section for the list of free mock exams.

I have 2 recommendations for PMP Exam Simulator:

  1. BrainBOK PMP Exam Simulator: It is a subscription based exam simulator that has 6 PMP sample exams, which are developed and reviewed by PMP-certified professionals to ensure the highest level of quality. Each exam consists of realistic, unique and challenging question designed to simulate the format and difficulty level of the real PMP exam. Each question is backed by detailed and crisp answer explanations and authoritative reference sources that instill confidence in the students.
  2. PM Exam Simulator - 1800 Qs: This is another subscription based exam simulator from the publishers of PM Prepcast. It has 1800 realistic PMP exam practice questions. You can read a comprehensive Review of the PM Exam Simulator to learn more.

6.4 Where can I find the best free PMP exam questions?

I’ve compiled the list of 7000+ best free PMP sample questions from across the web. It is by far the most comprehensive list of PMP sample question available on the internet.

7000+ Best Free PMP Exam Questions

6.5 What are ITTOs?

ITTO is an acronym for Inputs, Tools and Techniques, and Outputs. The PMBOK® Guide is organized by 10 Knowledge Areas, their 47 processes, and 618 ITTOs of those processes. Understanding the ITTOs is a key to passing the PMP exam.

Worried about ITTOs for PMP?

Meet - BrainBOK - world’s best tool to master ITTOs!

7. FAQs on PMP Exam Administration

7.1 Where do I take the PMP exam?

All computer-based tests (CBT) are administered by Pearson VUE. You can select the most convenient testing center and schedule the exam on the Pearson VUE - PMI website.

7.2 Can I take the PMP exam online (internet-based)?

Yes, since mid-2020, the PMP exam can be taken online. Refer to OnVUE Online Proctoring for more details.

7.3 How are PMP exams administered?

Computer-based testing (CBT) is the standard method of administration for all PMI examinations.

However, paper-based testing (PBT) is available in the following situations only:

  1. Candidates who live at least 186.5 miles/300 km from a Pearson VUE CBT site.
  2. Employers (Corporate Sponsors) who wish to administer a PMI examination to their employees. In this case, there is no restriction on distance; however only employees of the corporation may test at these events.

UPDATE (Aug 2021): As mentioned earlier, PMI has probably discountinued paper-based exam. They have removed most of the information about it from their website and handbook. The information I’ve listed above is from the archives.

7.4 Where can I find the list of Paper-Based Test (PBT) Centers for PMP exam?

PMI has removed most of the information about PBT from its website. Please write to PMI Customer Care to get the details.

7.5 How often are PMP exams conducted?

PMP Computer-Based Tests (CBTs) and Online Proctored Tests (OPT) are conducted everyday, all over the world. As I mentioned above, the exam is administered by Pearson VUE. You need to book the exam slot with the Pearson VUE. When you get to take the exam depends upon the availability of test slot.

Paper-Based Tests (PBTs) are conducted on pre-scheduled dates.

7.6 Can the PMP exam be taken in a language other than English?

No and Yes. All PMI examinations are administered in English. However, language aids for the questions and answers of the PMP and CAPM examinations are available to assist you if English is your second language.

Language aids are available in the following 12 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Chinese (Simplified)
  • Chinese (Traditional)
  • French
  • German
  • Hebrew
  • Italian
  • Japanese
  • Korean
  • Russian
  • Spanish

Language aids are online instructions in one of the 12 languages listed above.

7.7 What do I need to bring to the test center for taking the PMP exam?

You are advised to bring the following items to the test center for taking the PMP exam:

  • Two forms of identification (see the next section for valid forms of identifications)
  • A copy of the exam confirmation email from Pearson VUE (though not absolutely required, it's better to carry a copy along)
  • Water
  • Light Snacks
  • A sweater or a jacket (just in case it's cold inside the test center)
  • A calculator (though most probably you won't be allowed to use your calculator)
  • Simple Ear-plugs (test center usually provides their own ear-plugs)
  • Last, but not the least, Yourself :)

7.8 What type of identification must I bring to the test center for the PMP exam?

The exam confirmation email that you will receive from Pearson VUE will contain the exact identification policy which is applicable to you. You must follow the requirements listed in that email. If you have any questions or concerns, call your test center before the exam and clarify with them.

In general, the identification policy is:

Candidates must present one form of un-expired, government-issued identification that contains the candidate’s name, photograph and signature. The following forms of identification are acceptable only if they meet these requirements: Passport, driver’s license, national identity card, military ID, other forms of un-expired, government-issued, identification that has both signature and photo. If any of the above forms of identification contain the candidate’s name or photograph, but not his/her signature, the candidate can use another form of un-expired identification what provides a signature to supplement the photo-bearing, government-issued ID. Examples are: Employee ID, Bank card, Credit card.

For more details, check out Pearson VUE - PMI Exam-takers’ FAQs.

7.9 Can I visit the Pearson VUE Test Center before the PMP exam?

Yes, you can visit the Pearson VUE Test Center before your scheduled exam date. In fact, you are highly encouraged to do so. This will allow you to know the directions to the test center and avoid the risk of getting lost, showing up late for the exam, or missing your exam altogether.

Tip: When you visit the Pearson VUE Test Center, you can carry along your identification documents and have them verified in advance by the staff at the center to avoid any last minute surprises before the exam. Note that even if you had your identification documents verified in advance, you must bring them again for the exam.

7.10 What (stationery) does the test center provide for the PMP exam?

The test center usually provides a dry erase marker, an eraser, and a small erasable board. Some test centers may provide a few blank papers and sharpened pencils instead.

7.11 How much time is allotted for the PMP exam?

The allotted time to complete the computer-based examination is 230 minutes excluding the two 10-minute breaks between the three sections of the exam (details in the next section). The examination is preceded by a tutorial and followed by a survey, both of which are optional and can take up to 15 minutes each to complete. The time used to complete the tutorial and survey is not included in the examination time of four hours.

Tip: Exam takers usually use the 15-minute survey, which precedes the exam, to do brain dump of formulas, important terms, or anything else they want to get off their head. Some even take this time to relax or meditate.

7.12 Is there any official break during the PMP exam?

Yes, there are now two 10-minute official breaks built into the exam. Here’s how it works:

  • The exam is now divided into three parts of 60 questions each. You get the breaks after completing the first 60 questions (part 1) and the next 60 questions (part 2).
  • The break is not mandatory. You can break for up to 10 minutes, or you can choose to continue to the next part of the exam immediately after submitting the previous part.
  • During the break, you can leave the room, but once the break begins, you CANNOT revisit questions from the completed parts of the exam.
  • You must keep track of your break. If you do not return at the end of the maximum 10 minutes, the exam session will be terminated.
  • At the end of each break, you will be checked in by your proctor for the next part of the exam.
  • The exam time is separate from the break time. You cannot use the break time to answer questions.
  • The two breaks are independent of each other i.e. the time of one break does not affect the other break.

NOTE: No scheduled breaks are available for paper-based exams.

TIP: It’s better to let your proctor know before you leave the examination area for the break. Sometimes, the proctor may not be fully aware of the examination rules, and may void your test if you leave the exam area without their permission.

7.13 Are 230 Minutes enough to complete 180 questions on the PMP exam?

Yes, 230 minutes are enough to answer 180 questions on the PMP exam. You have about 1:15 min for each question. Since, all questions are multiple choice questions, it usually takes less than a minute to answer the questions. Most people complete their first pass of all 180 questions within three (3) hours, and the remaining time is spent in reviewing the marked questions.

Tip: Try not to spend more than a minute on any question during the first pass. Mark all wordy questions for review and answer them on the second pass.

7.14 Do I need to use a calculator during the PMP exam?

Yes, you may need to use a calculator. The exam is not a test of your math skills and if you can do primary school level calculations in your head, you don’t need a calculator. However, people are known to mess up ‘2+2=4’ type calculations under intense pressure, and it won’t hurt to verify your results on a calculator.

Nowadays, the exam has a calculator application built into it. In the initial tutorial before the exam, you’ll be guided on the steps to use the calculator. So, rest easy. You don’t need to carry your own calculator (in fact, you won’t be allowed to).

7.15 Can I end the PMP exam earlier than the and walk out of the test center?

Yes, definitely. You can end the exam anytime after starting it, and walk out of the examination center. However, you cannot pause and resume the exam other than during the 2 official breaks.

7.16 Can I read books or review notes during the break in the PMP exam?

You can walk out of the room during the break. You can review your notes during the break outside of your examination area. However, once you finish a section of the exam, you cannot revisit that section.

7.17 What if I do not show-up for my PMP exam?

No-show is as good (or rather as bad) as failing the exam. Unless it’s a matter of life and death, you’ll have to pay the re-examination fee to take the exam again.

But if it is indeed a “special case”, you can write to PMI Customer Care for consideration.

8. FAQs on PMP Exam Schedule

Refer to PMP Exam Schedule and Reschedule FAQ post for details.

9. FAQs on PMP Exam Questions

9.1 What is the format of the PMP exam questions?

PMP exam questions are a combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot and fill-in-the-blank. See PMP prototype questions to learn more.

9.2 How many questions are there in the PMP exam?

The PMP exam comprises of 180 questions. Of the 180 questions, 5 are considered pretest questions.

9.3 What are Pretest questions?

The PMP exam consists of 5 Pretest questions.

Pretest Questions:

  • Are "trial" questions.
  • Are used in examinations as an effective and legitimate way to test the validity of future examination questions.
  • Do not affect the score.
  • Are randomly placed throughout the exam.

Tip: If you have studied the PMBOK® Guide well, referred at least 2 exam prep guides, attempted at least 1000 sample questions, reviewed other exam resources, and you still see a totally “out of the blue” question on the exam, there’s a high probability that it may be one of those 5 Pretest questions.

9.4 Is there any negative marking in the PMP exam?

No. There’s no negative marking on the PMP exam.

Tip: Even if you don’t know the answer, take a guess, but don’t leave any question unanswered.

9.5 Can I bookmark a question on the PMP exam and revisit it again?

Yes. You can mark a question for ‘review’ and revisit it anytime during the exam. You can use this feature to your advantage.

Tip: If you are not sure about the answer of a particular question, just go by your instincts or your best guess and select an answer. Mark this question for review. Complete the first pass of all the questions and then revisit the questions marked for review at the end.

By the way, don’t forget to bookmark this page and revisit it again.

9.6 Are the answers to questions marked for review on the PMP exam counted?

Yes. As long as you’ve answered the question, it is counted at the end of the exam, regardless of whether it’s marked for review or not.

9.7 What is the domain-wise distribution of PMP exam questions?

The PMP examination is developed based on the PMP examination blueprint contained in the PMP Exam Content Outline. The examination blueprint details the percentage of questions contained in each project management process group. The following represents the percentage of questions in each domain that are included in the examination.

PMP Domain-wise distribution of Exam Questions

9.8 Which are the toughest topics on the PMP exam?

Among the Knowledge Areas, the toughest are Procurement Management, Risk Management and Integration Management. I remember that I had loads of questions from Procurement Management. Also, many times one question cuts across several different Knowledge Areas.

Among the Process Groups, Monitoring & Controlling and Initiating are the toughest.

The new PMP Exam 2021 contains at least 50% questions on Agile, and some more on hybrid methodologies.

9.9 Which formulas should I know for the PMP exam?

All the formulas that you need to know for the PMP exam are mentioned on this post: Review of PMP Formula Study Guide.

10. FAQs on PMP Passing Score

Refer to the following 2 part series on PMP Passing Score.

  1. 5 Popular Myths about PMP Exam Passing Score
  2. The Best Kept Secret of the PMP Certification Exam (Passing Score)

11. FAQs on PMP Certificate

11.1 What does a PMP Certificate look like?

Pretty anxious huh? Refer to the post What does the PMP Certificate look like.

11.2 Does the PMP Certificate show the score?

No, the PMP Certificate does not indicate the score or proficiency level as you can see (or cannot see) in the image above.

11.3 How long does PMI take to mail the PMP Certificate to successful candidates?

You get the certificate in about 4-6 weeks after passing the exam. The time varies depending upon your coordinates on the globe.

UPDATE (Aug 2021): PMI no longer provides a hard copy of the PMP Certificate.

12. FAQs on PMP Re-examination

12.1 What if I fail the PMP exam?

Hell won’t break loose if you fail your PMP exam.

PMP exam is not an easy by any means. Many candidates fail the exam on their first try. You should not get disheartened. Rather use the experience as a springboard for your next big leap and pass the exam.

You can take the exam up to 3 times within one year from your application approval date. If you fail the examination three times within the one-year eligibility period, you must wait one year from the date of the last examination you took to reapply for the credential.

You need to pay a re-examination fee for each retake. The re-examination fees also varies depending upon whether you are a PMI member.

Re-examination Fees for PMI Members

  • Computer-based exam: USD 275
  • Paper-based exam: USD 150

Re-examination Fees for Non-PMI Members

  • Computer-based exam: USD 375
  • Paper-based exam: USD 300

12.2 What percentage of people fail the PMP exam?

According to popular guesstimates, about 30-40% people fail the exam on the first try.

UPDATE (Aug 2021): Based on the latest information I have gathered, the passing rate on PMP exam seems to have improved with the 2021 version of the exam.

12.3 Why do people fail the PMP exam?

If you thought that a high percentage of people fail the PMP exam because the exam is too difficult, then you would be wrong. Read Top 5 Reasons People Fail the PMP Exam for some interesting insights.

12.4 How many times can I retake the PMP exam?

As mentioned above, you can take the exam up to 3 times within one year from your application approval date.

12.5 If I fail the PMP exam, how soon can I retake it?

PMI does not mandate any “cooling off” period to retake the exam. You can retake the exam anytime provided:

  1. You apply for re-examination and pay the reexamination fee. Normally, it will take about 3-4 business days for your previous exam result to be registered in PMI's system. So, you'll have to wait until your previous result is recorded in their systems before applying for re-examination.
  2. You book the exam slot again with Pearson VUE.
  3. The new exam date is within the one-year eligibility window.

12.6 How do I apply for PMP re-examination?

You can apply for PMP re-examination through PMI’s Online Certification System.

12.7 If I fail in the PMP exam, can I apply for re-evaluation?

Yes, you can apply for re-evaluation. You may submit a written request to the PMI Certification Department for review of their decision. Requests can be sent by postal mail to PMI, or by e-mail to

12.8 Does the PMP exam score report indicate previous failed attempts?

Neither the PMP exam score report nor the PMP Certificate has any reference to any previous failed attempt.

12.9 Will anyone know if I fail the PMP exam?

Yes, you will know, and anyone you tell will know. But rest assured, PMI does NOT disclose your test history to anyone other than you. Though they do publish a list of certified PMPs on PMI Online Registry, they do NOT publish a list of unsuccessful candidates.

12.10 What is the value of PMP Certification?

I’m glad that you asked this question. I have a collection of useful links to articles and discussions on this topic here - Value of PMP Certification.

12.11 Where can I find more information about the PMP exam?

The most authentic source of information for the PMP exam is the PMP Handbook.

You can also refer to the official FAQs from PMI here: PMI’s Certification FAQs

If you still have unanswered questions, you can post them as comments at the bottom of this page. I’ll try my best to get the answer and even include them in this FAQ list.

13. Other FAQs on PMP

13.1 How do I contact PMI if I have any questions?

You can contact PMI through email at or through phone. They have customer service centres in four countries. Refer to the PMP Handbook for details.

13.2 How long is the PMP Certification valid for?

PMP Certification is valid for 3 years. Certified PMPs must earn at least 60 PDUs every 3 years in order to renew their certification. Refer to PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements System for more details.

13.3 What is the difference between PMP and CAPM Certifications?

Read the article PMP or CAPM: Which Certification is Right for Me? to understand the difference between PMP and CAPM certifications.

13.4 How many total number of PMPs are there in the world?

As of June 30, 2021, there are 1,141,147 active certified PMPs in the world. If you have other similar questions like “What is PMI membership strength?” or “How many people pass PMP exam each month?”, please refer to the PMI Fact File.

13.5 How can I verify a person’s PMP credential?

PMI publishes an online registry of all certified PMPs. You can verify a person’s PMP credentials if you know his/her last name.

You can view the registry here: PMI Online Registry

13.6 How long does it take for my name to appear in PMI Online Registry after passing the PMP exam?

It takes about 7 to 10 business days for PMI to receive the exam result from Pearson VUE. Overall, it may take upto 4 to 6 weeks for your name to appear in the PMI Online Registry.

However, in my experience, the registry gets updated within 2 weeks.

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Harwinder, here is a question for you to answer....... Does PMI actually FOLLOW UP on what you claim if you've been audited?

In other words, does PMI randomly select people and check with their references to see if the "evidence" they submitted as part of the auditing process was true?

Follow on question- If NO, then doesn't it raise some serious questions about the credibility of the auditing process- rendering the whole auditing process to be nothing more than eyewash? A meaningless exercise with no purpose?

Dr. PDG, Jakarta, Indonesia

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Dr. PDG,

First of all, welcome back. I'm genuinely honored that you still follow my blog even though it was dormant for a long time.

Coming to your question, I'm not the one to defend PMI and you know it from our past interactions. Starting with my personal experience:

1. I have got 2 PMI certifications, but my applications were not audited.
2. I know a very few people who have actually gone through the audit process. Based on my guess, the percentage of applications audited might actually be less than 10%.
3. I have never come across or heard of a case where PMI actually called up the references.

Now my personal opinion on this matter:

I think that the audit process is not effective. It is really hurting the credibility of the PMP certification, and the interests of qualified and skilled Project Managers who have put in their hard work and hard-earned money to achieve this certification.

So yes, I think it's a futile exercise - a waste of time and resources. I don't think it's a deterrent for unqualified applicants (which is a huge percentage of total applicants). PMI is not doing enough to scrutize the applications for reasons which seem too obvious, and it will hurt them in the long term. I have been running a poll on this very same topic at the bottom of this page (you can see it right now).

Thanks for raising this point.


Missing Avatar

In the PMP bootcamp I attended, my instructor told us that 2 of his students were auditted and could not attend the exam in time. It does happen. There were some corridor rumours at my workplace that if you are with big reputable companies, the chances of you getting auditted is slightly less...

But that's what I heard.

Missing Avatar

Hello, I have a question. I have the required hours of experience (>4500); however, I worked for 2 years and 11 months which is a month less than the required 3 years quota for persons having 4 years Bachelor's degree. Previously I worked as a lecturer at an university. My question is if I am still eligible to appear for PMP. I have a CAPM certification already. Thank you.

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello ShUbHrAjIt'S CoRnEr,

Technically you are not, but if you have other experience like volunteering (with documented evidence) where you used project management skills, you can probably qualify. Or if you have experience in a technical role, where you've partially done project management activities like project planning, scheduling, costing/budgeting, communications management, vendor management, etc., then that experience can count as well.

Otherwise, you could just wait and gain more experience and go for PMP.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Missing Avatar

Hello Harwinder,

Thank you for the reply. It clarifies the things I need to do. Also, I would like to mention here that the BrainBok CAPM material was very helpful when I was preparing for the certification. Thank you for the excellent material.

Missing Avatar

Hi Harwinder,
First of all, I want thank you for detailed explanation.
I have a test on April 14 and my eligibility period ends on April 21. This will be my first attempt and I didn't prepared well for exam due my tight schedule at work. So two questions will arise here.
1. What if I don't go to my first attempt and reaplly. Do I have to wait a year for reapplying? How soon can I re-apply?
2.If I fail the first attempt, how soon can I retake it? Do I have a chance to retake before my eligibility is over?

Thanks in advance for your help.

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Firdavs,

1. I don't think you have to wait for 1 year. That rule applies to people who fail 3 times. You should be able to reapply immediately.
2. There's no written rule that says you must wait 'x' days, but I believe when you try to apply for the 2nd attempt right away, PMI system may not be updated with your first attempt results. Usually it takes a few days for your result to reflect in their system. So that might introduce a lag. Moreover, you may not want to go for the second attempt right away without proper preparation.

I suggest you write to PMI Customer Care to get these issues clarified.

Hope that helps. Good luck.

Mudasir Avatar

I have worked as a Branch Manager in HDFC Bank for 5 years and have done my MBA. During the job i was leading a team of 7-8 persons and delivering on the objectives and targets of the management. All this involved planning, managing, alocating targets/tasks, motivating the team. Basis this am i eligible for PMP.

Harwinder Singh Avatar

Hello Tim,

The job’s title doesn’t matter but the responsibilities do.

Refer to page 13 of my PMP Application Walkthrough guide and understand the responsibilities of a project manager. If you can map your responsibilities with it, you should be fine.

You need to have experience in all 5 process groups.

Hope that helps.