How is the PMP Exam graded?

When you take the PMP exam, the results will be broken down by performance domain just like they are for this practice exam. You'll get a sheet that lists the percentage of questions that you got right in each performance domain and task. There are six performance domains, and each of them is divided into tasks. Each of the tasks can span several processes.

The full PMP exam lasts 4 hours, and it has 200 questions. Only 175 of those questions count towards your grade—the other 25 are used by PMI for research. Here's how those 175 questions break down:


Initiating process group Planning process group Executing process group
  • Conduct Project Selection Methods
  • Define Scope
  • Document Project Risks, Assumptions, and Constraints
  • Identify and Perform Stakeholder Analysis
  • Develop Project Charter
  • Obtain Project Charter Approval
This is where you're tested on everything that has to do with getting a project up and running: what's in the charter, developing the preliminary scope, understanding what your stakeholders need, and how your organization handles projects.
  • Define and Record Requirements, Constraints and Assumptions
  • Identify Project Team and Define Roles and Responsibilities
  • Create the WBS
  • Develop Change Management Plan
  • Identify Risks and Define Risk Strategies
  • Obtain Plan Approval
  • Conduct Kick-off Meeting
Every knowledge area involves a lot of planning. This domain tests you on how you create all of those plans, and what should be in them.
  • Execute Tasks Defined in Project Plan
  • Ensure Common Understanding and Set Expectations
  • Implement the Procurement of Project Resources
  • Manage Resource Allocation
  • Implement Quality Management Plan
  • Implement Approved Changes
  • Implement Approved Actions and Workarounds
  • Improve Team Performance
This is where the work happens, but it also includes a lot of information about contracts. That's why it's the performance domain with the most questions.
Monitoring and Control process group Closing process group Professional and Social Responsibility
  • Measure Project Performance
  • Verify and Manage Changes to the Project
  • Ensure Project Deliverables Conform to Quality Standards
  • Monitor all Risks
This is where you see all those earned value calculation questions.
  • Obtain Final Acceptance for the Project
  • Obtain Financial, Legal, and Administrative Closure
  • Release Project Resources
  • Identify, Document and Communicate Lessons Learned
  • Create and Distribute Final Project Report
  • Archive and Retain Project Records
  • Measure Customer Satisfaction
You'll need to know all about how the stakeholders accept your product, and what you need to do before you close out the project.
  • Ensure Individual Integrity
  • Contribute to the Project Management Knowledge Base
  • Enhance Personal Professional Competence
  • Promote Interaction Among Stakeholders
PMI places a lot of value on personal integrity. Before you can become a PMP certified project manager, you need to demonstrate that you know the right thing to do in a lot of tricky situations.
Wait a second. How do you guys know all this stuff?




PMI doesn't keep it a secret!

They publish a specification for the exam. It's called the Project Management Professional (PMP©) Examination Specification, and you can buy it from the "Bookstore" section of the PMI website. It's got a lot more details than what we put on this page—this is just the broad strokes. But we were careful to stick closely to the spec when we created this final exam.


Have more questions about how the PMP exam is graded? Get your answers at the Head First PMP Forums.