Project Management Professional Posts

The Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification Exam: Insights From Those Who Have Passed

What is the hardest part about taking the PMP exam?

It’s a question that gets asked a lot. And although there are a lot of questions about obtaining a Project Management certification in general–who should consider it, does it help your career, what jobs or industries require it, etc.–all the questions get boiled down to one single concern once someone decides to pursue a PMP certification: Will I pass the test? Just how hard is it? How should I prepare?

So we asked certified project managers, people who have taken the test before and passed, what was the hardest part for them?


Preparing Before You Prepare


In my view, there are two significant challenges to earning the PMP certification:

1. Earning the required experience hours for the certification on all aspects of project work. These experience hours need to be documented in case your application is selected for an audit.

2. Completing enough practice questions and full length (200 question) practice exams.

Bruce Harpham,

The Best Online Resources for Free PMP Exam Sample Questions in 2015

Ask any professional who has taken (or is preparing to take) the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam how to study for the test ahead of time, and they’ll likely tell you the same thing: Practice, practice, practice.

Get your hands on as many PMP practice tests and sample questions as you can, the advice always seems to go. Not only will taking practice tests make you more comfortable when it’s time for the real thing, but seeing sample questions will give you a better sense of how you’ll be tested—not only will you learn what information you need to know, but you’ll also be able to see the way the test will ask you for that information.

It’s easier said than done, though. Until very recently, practice tests or sample questions were found primarily in small sections of much larger (and expensive) books or training programs. There’s nothing wrong with books and training programs of course—they are excellent ways to learn. But what if you’re just looking to get your hands on as many practice questions as possible?

Luckily, these days there are some great resources available for free online that will let you practice a seemingly infinite amount, including the site you’re reading this blog post on. Here are the best places we’ve found so far. Know of even more? Leave a suggestion in the comments section!

Oliver Lehmann
Available Questions: ~150 (Plus links to several resources)
Format: PDF and Mock Test
Cost: Free
Information: Oliver Lehmann is a first-class name in project management leadership. His personal website is loaded with resources, and he offers guidance and information in a frank and detailed way. He also keeps a running list of every practice test he comes across, which we certainly appreciate, and is always on the lookout for free PMP exam sample questions.


Available Questions: 5,000+
Format: Interactive Online Practice Tests
Cost: Free
Information: In this instance, I don’t think you can fault us too much for including ourselves on this list. We’ve worked hard to build the largest, most advanced testing engine available for this exact purpose—giving hungry testers the unlimited amount of practice questions they’re looking for. Questions are grouped into specific skills so you can see exactly where your skill gaps lie, and you can track your progress every step of the way. Skillset also regularly adds hundreds of new questions, and just this month added 500 new situational PMP questions.