Safe percentage

Anyone knows what's the "safe" %age to keep in mind when preparing and taking the mock tests? I have read on a couple of websites that you only need to get 106/175 questions right. Is that figure correct? I couldn't find anything related to that on PMI website. Thanks much!

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Typically around 75% and above is considered a good score. People who are well prepared, may touch upto 85%, but average score in mock tests which is around 70% to 75% is a good benchmark.

Thanks for your reply. I have been in the 70-80% range till now in all the practice questions sets, short tests and a couple of mocks I have given till now. Would you say I am on track?

Hey Jay –

PMI has officially removed the documentation for PMP passing. What you see, hear and read across are now just the individual perception unlike I would do for you.

To my knowledge being in this field, PMI now calculates your PMP passing verdict based on various parameters including some minimum overall percentage, each process group analysis, psychometric analysis etc. But again I say, these are not documented anywhere, but I do know they follow this because I have seen PMI response for queries from various aspirants who asks them on this topic.

Having said so, never see overall percentage you score in any mock test. Always look for your score each "process group" wise. Depending on the complexity of mock test look for 65% or above (70% desirable) in each process group. In this case, you are sure to pass.

Hope this helps.

Saket, PMP

It does, yeah. Thanks.

It's hard to judge how you're doing when you're doing questions from books or online question sets. My understanding is that you need atleast 4 MPs and 1 BP to pass, 2 BPs and you fail. Is that a correct assumption?

Hi Jay,

I took my exam today and passed.

My breakddown is 4 Proficient (Ini, Plan, Exe, M&C) and 1 Moderate Proficient (Closing).

My mock tests breakdown:

Solved 2 & 1/2 Simplilearn paid mock tests -> Scored 77% and 80% on the first two tests. Got 70% on the half exam (did 100 questions). Total Score - not breakdown by process group.

PmStudy paid mock -> 2 full tests. Got 75% and 79%. Total Score - not breakdown by process group.

PMPforSure -> They have a free set of 100 questions. Got 75% in that. I don't remember the breakdown for each process group but I do remember that for Closing Process group I was Below Proficient. So I focused on Closing for few hours.

Lastly, PM-exam-simulator -> allows 10 questions in each Process Group plus 3 quizes with 30 questions each (the quizes do take some questions from the packets of 10 questions that were used for each process groups). During these, I started scoring 80% ( some process groups, I got 100%). I thought these were easier mocks then others - but doesn't mean that they were not inline with the real pmp test.

Hope that helps in giving you some idea.

When you do questions, a lot of us do from books or from soft copies of the mocks, which do not give breakdown. So at the end, try to do some online free stuff that I mentioned - it gives a breakdown. If you are doing from somewhere that can't give a breakdown for each group - try to be AT LEAST 75%+ in 3 groups, 70% in 1 and 60% in 1. (just my own formula - I could be wrong but it is conservative).  

Personally, the actual pmp has a lot (80%) of scenario based questions. Get use to extracting the necessary information from all the blah blah. The mock will help you with that. Otherwise, be careful with the mocks - Not all mocks are made equal ! So getting 80% in mock doesn't mean much if it a crappy mock test.

Sometimes the mock test questions are way too wishy washy and the choices are every more whisy washy. Like someone on pmzilla wrote - choices are Green Apple, Greener Apple or Greenest Apple !

Good Luck !



Thanks for your reply, that's helpful.

I have the following list of exams which I found online:

Oliver Lehman 75 questions
PM Study free
PM Study 1-4
Oliver Lehman 175 questions
Exam Central
Headfirst PMP
Simpilearn free
PMP for sure
PM Zilla
TechFaq360 (200 Q)
Passionatepm (100 Q)
Bestsamplequestions (160 Q)

I have done the PM Study free one and Simplelearn free. Scored 75% and 77% in them. Will try to finish the rest in the next few days and see how it goes.

Would you recommend buying any tests out of the above mentioned ones? Which ones do you think were closest to what you saw in your exam? Thanks!

PMStudy - Seemed pretty close to the actual tests. Had 4 paid, did only 2.

PM-for-Sure - Close to the real thing. (Did there 100 free questions)

PM Exam Simulator (Cornelius) - Again close to the real thing, though I thought this was easier to the others. But then, what is the real point of trying to solve more difficult questions than those that you will see in the exam.

Simplilearn - Good. But after a while they were getting way too much wishy washy. I though the actual tests was easier than this.

Like I said in my previous post, the key is the quality of questions and the quality of explanations given in the answer key. If the explanation is incorrect, it will come back to bite you during the exam.

IMO, out of the 200 questions, only 2~3 questions seemed that 2 of the choices were pretty close.

Some questions tend to be tricky in a weird way. (and I had noticed this in the pm-exam-simulator questions too - hence, I like pm exam simulator). The ask for a technique and 3 out of the 4 choices are nto techniqus but input or output. So even though I didn't know the correct answer, I eleminated the 3 choices simply based on the fact that they are not Tools or Techniques but simply input/output documents.

Try not to get over ambitous and solves 100 mock tests. Try anything around 5~10, but take your time in understanding the explanation for the one's that choose the incorrect answer. In fact, even for the one's you got right, make sure you got them right for the correct reason.

Hi Jay,

When are you scheduled to take the PMP exam? I believe you have made a lot of research about many providers and your posts are a real treat I must say. They are so informative.

I also took the PMstudy free tests and they appeared quite close to the real deal. Hence I decided to take up the PMstudy Bootcamp in the later part of November after some preparation for a month from my end.

Hope I am  successful and PMstudy lives upto its reputation.




Hey Pete - Sorry, missed your post and just saw it. My exam is on the 3rd Nov. Have you scheduled yours? How is the prep going?

Hi Jay,

The D-day is approaching soon and I am sure you will do just fine.

Keep up the spirit and do let me know how does it pan out.



Cheers, Pete. Hopefully it'll go well.

have you read it , it says something over safe%age

Interesting research. Thanks for posting that.

Just finished the HeadFirst PMP exam, scored 85% in that.

Will give another one tomorrow or day after and see how it goes.

Its good going Jay, I bat for 4ps

One thing I noticed was that I was able to finish the exam (including reviewing the questions I marked) in 2 hours 45 minutes. Is this exam considered too easy and not up to the standard you expect to see in the real one?

 Hi Jay,

I personnaly found Head First easy but scoring 85% is pretty good. I would say you are ready for the real exam. I suggest not to stress too much. Keep on reviewing/reading concepts from PMbok.

Few things that I found when I was preparing for the exam:

* Many people need 2h30mns to finish the 200 questions

* 80% or so of the questions are situations/scenarios based

* Expect 8-12 formula related questions (for sure expect earned value questions)

In my opinion you are doing good if you finish your first run in 2h30-2h45mns and take the rest of the time to review.

Good Luck and Relax before the D-Day.

 Brahima, PMP.

Hi Brahmina,


I am also a PMP aspirant and have enrolled for the PMstudy Bootcamp and have scheduled my exam in the last week of November. I have been preparing myself with PMstudy's online materials and have been taking their mock tests regularly. 

I have been touching a pass percentage of 75% regularly. Am I on the right path?

Could you please elaborate a little more on the preparations needed and how was the exam in totality?



 Hi Pete,

Few of my friends who are already a PMP once told me that scoring more than 70% in PMstudy test is really great.

All the best!!!