This article describes how to interpret scores from The PM Exam Simulator™ and how PMI scores its certification exams.
What We Know about PMI® exam scores
Let's begin by asking: How does the Project Management Institute (PMI)® score the "real" exam?
The short answer is: We don't know!
Let's take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam as an example. According to the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Handbook, "The passing score for all PMI exams is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts – project professionals from around the world and many different disciplines – to determine how many questions you must answer correctly to pass the exam. Each scored question on the exam is worth one point, and your final score is calculated by totaling the points you have earned on the exam. The number of questions you answer correctly places you within one of the performance rating categories you see on this report."
What about The PM Exam Simulator™ scores?
Psychometric scoring is a rather complex process that is impossible to simulate unless you know all the scoring details. It was therefore decided that the passing score of The PM Exam Simulator™ will be determined by a simple percentage as follows:
- Pass = 70% and above
- Fail = Less than 70%
- Needs Improvement: The number of questions you answered correctly is less than 50%. Your performance is far below the target and fails to meet the minimum requirements for this exam. Additional preparation is strongly recommended before re-examination.
- Below Target: The number of questions you answered correctly is between 50% and 65%. Your performance is slightly below the target and fails to meet the minimum requirements for this exam. Additional preparation is recommended before re-examination.
- Target: The number of questions you answered correctly is between 65% and 75%. Your performance meets the minimum requirements for this exam.
- Above Target: The number of questions you answered correctly is above 75%. Your performance exceeds the minimum requirements for this exam.
Our rule of thumb is: If you consistently score 70% or more questions on your first attempt (i.e., when you answer an exam simulator question that you have never seen before), you can consider yourself to be ready to sit for the real PMI® exam. This rule is, of course, only a generalization. Everyone is different. There is no guarantee that attaining passing or high scores in The PM Exam Simulator ensures that you will pass the actual exam from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®.
Are the PMI® exam questions as challenging as The PM Exam Simulator™ questions?
Anecdotally, we are being told by our students that the questions in The PM Exam Simulator™ are very close to what you will find on the real PMI exam. In some instances, The PM Exam Simulator™ questions are more challenging than those on the real exam. This fact meets the simulator's vision and mission, which is to provide a tool that simulates the actual exam as closely as possible by going above and beyond what you need for the exam.