PMP® exam questions
Nobody can tell which kind of questions you will face in the real PMP® exam, neither we do. Anyway we think it is useful to provide you with an overview of the types of questions you will find in the PMP® exam simulator that we offer in this website: these questions are specifically designed to test your readiness for the exam. The following list is not exaustive.
These questions describe a situation and ask how would you behave if you were the project manager appointed to manage it. Beware: sometimes the question asks you to identify what is the best thing to do, and sometimes what is the worst thing to do, so take care to read the question properly. Pay attention: some of these questions do not clearly state that you are the project manager in charge, but you must implicitly assume so.
Example of situational PMP question:
Answer to question 1
The correct answer is a. Take notes about the discussion.
Explanation: to correctly answer a situational PMP exam question it is always helpful to ask yourself: "Which PMBoK process am I managing?" and also "Am I into the initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, or closing process group?". In this specific question, prototypes are tools to Collect Requirements, so that's what the meeting is about and you are in the planning phase. This scenario is further confirmed by the presence of the sponsor. So you should be taking notes of the discussion about the prototype feature = collect requirements. Please note also that the question assumes you are the Project Manager, without explicitly saying so.
Unneccessarily verbose questions
These questions are very long, and often contain unnecessary information that has the purpose to distract you. In this case it is very important to carefully read the question in order to identify and discard the useless information and at the same time to identify the key information.
Example of verbose PMP question:
Answer to question 2
The correct answer is b. No.
Explanation: to correctly answer a verbose PMP exam question you need to identify the correct bits of information. To do so you need to start from the actual question "Is the project behind schedule?". The useful bit of information is "To date, earned value is greater than planned value.". The rest of the information provided is irrelevant. Please also note that answer d. is by purpose trying to shift your attention on irrelevant information.
Invented terms questions
These questions contain invented, often plausible words: they can be very easy for those who have spent an adequate time studying, while they can easily fool those who have studied in an approximate way.
Example of PMP question containing invented terms:
Answer to question 3
The correct answer is c. Balanced matrix.
Explanation: answering a PMP exam question containing invented terms requires adequate studying. Invented terms here are "Hard matrix" (the correct term is "Strong matrix") and "Projectized matrix" (the correct term is "Projectized").
Questions with a list of terms in each answer
The answers to these questions are composed by a list of terms. Each list is only slightly different from the others: often only one term is replaced in each of the answers. To properly answer these questions it is essential to exclude the answers that clearly contain wrong terms.
Example of PMP question containing lists of terms:
Answer to question 4
The correct answer is d. Firm fixed price, Fixed price incentive fee, Fixed price with economic price adjustment, Cost plus fixed fee.
Explanation: This type of PMP questions require adequate studying. You can exclude answer a. because "Cost plus economic price adjustment" is invented. Also invented are "Fixed price performance fee" in answer b. and "Fixed price plus benefits" in answer c.
Questions that require some calculation
These questions are easy if you have studied adequately. We may for example ask you to identify the critical path, or to calculate the CPI, SPI, CV, SV, or other simple indices or formulas. Do not underestimate the value of this type of questions: while other questions may be ambiguous, questions requiring a calculation are not and can give you a good advantage should you face them in the exam. For this reason we carefully covered those part of the standard that may turn into a question that requires a calculation.
Example of PMP question requiring calculation:
Answer to question 5
The correct answer is c. 0.80.
Explanation: This type of PMP questions can be easy if you remember the basic EVM formulae. In this case the relevant formula is CPI = EV / AC.
Actual cost is 25% of 2 Million $ = 500.000 $.
CPI is then 400.000 $ / 500.000 $ = 0.80.
It can also be useful to remember that SPI and CPI are dimensionless quantities, so answer a. is clearly to be excluded.
Questions that directly refer to the PMBOK® project management processes (inputs, tools and techniques, outputs - sometimes referred to as ITTOs) or other parts of the standard
These questions may seem just a mnemonic exercise to you, therefore we have used them sparingly and we have carefully balanced them in our PMP® exam simulator in order to help you identify what, in our opinion, are relevant topics of the standard that need your careful consideration.
Example of PMP question referring to PMBoK inputs, tools and techniques, outputs:
Answer to question 6
The correct answer is c. Reserve analysis
Explanation: PMP question referring to PMBoK inputs, tools and techniques, output can be annoying if you just try to memorize the intricate web of the 47 PMBoK processes ITTOs! We strongly suggest you to understand the logic behind the PMI standard, and not just try to memorize it. In the case of question 6, it should be easy to recall that Project schedule and Scope baseline are both needed information to determine the project budget. Risk register is an input because you need it in order to aggregate the risk response costs. Reserve analysis is a technique, and in fact is a tool and technique to Determine budget, and not an input.
Questions asking what would you do first.
To answer these kind of questions correctly it is helpful to possess both project management experience and good understanding of the overall methodology that is described in the PMBoK. These are often situational PMP questions, and all the answers provided may be actions you would anyway perform to correctly manage the situation. Please also note that the first thing to do may be not be included into the four answers: you need to pick the first thing to do among the options provided.
Example of PMP question asking what is the first thing to do:
Answer to question 7
The correct answer is a. Update the change log.
Explanation: the question states that you have now received notice of a change request approval, therefore the first thing to do is to document this change to the project. You will then need to integrate the new budget in the cost baseline (determine budget), even though you should have created already a new budget draft in order to quantify the additional funding needed. The conduct procurement process comes afterwards, as control costs.
Do you like these questions? Want to test your readiness for the PMP exam more? Then you may try either:
- Free PMP exam simulator: try out our free PMP exam simulator (registration needed): the 50 questions version is completely free, the test is timed like in the real exam and the results are graded.
- Weekly PMP question collection: we publish weekly a new sample PMP question. We send it directly to your email too, if you like. Access a collection of over 30 quality free PMP exam questions specially designed to test your comprehension of the PMBoK standard and project management practice.
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