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Home » Types of PMP® Exam Questions For You To Pass The PMP® Exam!

Types of PMP® Exam Questions For You To Pass The PMP® Exam!

You now have the required 35 contact hours; you’ve read A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) cover to cover but is it enough for you to pass the (Project Management Professional) PMP® exam?

People who have appeared for the PMP® exam know that studying the PMBOK® Guide and having 35 contact hours is not enough. People will tell you that when someone takes their PMP® Exam, they cover a lot of ground, and the questions are not as straightforward as people think. An overwhelming percentage of those that have passed their PMP test say they used more than just one study source.

The PMP® Applicant must study the mechanics of taking the exam and what to expect when they arrive on game day. Employing multiple study methods may give you a triangulated understanding of the material and illuminate what you do know and what you don’t know.

To get the most out of your PMP® Exam, you need to know how to answer sample questions. There are many question types, including multiple-choice and typed text, which can be challenging, but they won’t be impossible to conquer with a bit of practice.

This blog provides you with PMP® study guides and other helpful PMP information. You will find everything you need to pass the test in one convenient place.

You will find answers for:

  1. What are the different types of questions in the PMP exam?
  2. Total Number of Questions come in the PMP exam?
  3. How many right questions do you need to pass the PMP exam?
  4. How to answer the PMP questions?

What are the Different Types of Questions in the PMP® Exam?

You will find seven different types of questions in the PMP® Exam. These are:

  1. ITTO Questions
  2. Definition/knowledge Based
  3. Mathematical/Formula Based
  4. Diagram Based
  5. Data Interpretation
  6. Professional Responsibility Questions
  7. Situational Questions

Let’s understand them in detail.

Are you a professional who is aspiring to be a project manager? Try answering this PMP Practice Test Questions and assess yourself.

ITTO Questions

These are based directly on the ITTO (Inputs, Tools & Techniques, and Outputs) that are listed in the PMBOK® Guide.

Example Question:

Which of the following is not an Output to the Close Project or Phase?

  1. Final report
  2. Formal acceptance
  3. Lessons learned
  4. Final product, service, or result

Answer : A is the correct answer.

Definition/Knowledge Based

This is directly based on the concepts enumerated in the PMBOK Guide. They are usually come from Process definitions or Tool and Techniques as explained in the Guide.

Example Question:

Which of the following technique is used for idea generation and analysis?

  1. Focus groups
  2. Mind mapping
  3. Affinity Diagrams
  4. Brainstorming

Answer : D is the correct answer.

Mathematical/Formula Based

These are based on the formulas and mathematical concepts that are explained in the PMBOK Guide. Usually, these come from the following chapters:

  • Integration Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Communication Management
  • Risk Management
  • Procurement Management

Example Question:

Given that, PV = $4000, AC = $7000, and EV = $6000.

The Project is:

  1. Ahead of schedule and over budget.
  2. Ahead of schedule and behind budget.
  3. Behind schedule and over budget.
  4. Behind schedule and under budget.

Answer & Explanation:

Option A is the correct answer.


SV = EV – PV = 6000 – 4000 = 2000

CV = EV – AC = 6000 – 7000 = -1000

Since Schedule Variance is positive and Cost Variance is negative, the project is ahead of schedule and over budget.

Diagram Based

These are based on the figures and diagrammatic concepts that are explained in the PMBOK® Guide. Usually, these come from the following chapters:

  • Schedule Management
  • Risk Management

Example Question:


For that same network diagram, what’s the float for activity A?

  1. 0 days
  2. 1 days
  3. 2 days
  4. 4 days

Answer & Explanation:

A is the correct answer.

After solving the network diagram, difference between Late Start and Early Start of activity A is 0 days.

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Data Interpretation

These are based on the data interpretation concepts that are explained in the PMBOK Guide. Usually, these come from the following chapters:

  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management

Example Question:

Given figures for a Schedule Variance Control Chart

LCL: -5.9%, UCL: +5.9%

LSL: -3.9%, USL: +3.9%

10 consecutive weeks of Schedule Variance data: -3%. -2%, -1%, 0%, +1%, +2%, 3%, 4%, -4%, 6%

The project schedule can be considered out of control after week:

  1. 10
  2. 9
  3. 8
  4. 7

Answer & Explanation:

Option D is the correct answer. According to “Rule of Seven”, a process is out of control when seven consecutive points are in a upward or downward trend.

Professional Responsibility Questions

These questions are based on the “PMI Code of ethics & professional conduct” as defined by PMI.

Example Question:

You submit a bid for an advanced technology telecom software project. You are likely to win the project as you are the only bidder. The software representative has been friendly with you from the beginning and he advises you to increase your bid by a factor of 23%. He informs you that his organization always negotiates for cheaper prices.

What is the best way to handle this situation?

  1. Give an accurate estimate and don’t increase the cost. However, highlight the cost reduction as a risk in the proposal.
  2. Give an accurate estimate and add 23% as the contingency reserves because the risk of reduction is already known.
  3. Give an accurate estimate and add 23% as the management reserves because you do not want to highlight the risk of reduction in the proposal.
  4. Since you enjoy a good relationship with the customer representative, do not mention the cost of reduction as a risk in the proposal. Just pad up the cost for each task.

Answer & Explanation:

A is the correct answer.

As per the “PMI Code of ethics & professional conduct”, honesty is one of the core values for a project management professional.

Situational Questions

These too are based on the concepts that are defined in the PMBOK Guide. However, they are not direct questions. They try to test your ability to apply the project management concepts in practical scenarios. Usually, these questions are very tricky.

Example Question:

You are performing schedule network analysis along with your team. You want to analyze different schedule scenarios and their impact to the project. Which of the following technique would be useful?

  1. Alternatives Generation
  2. Schedule Compression
  3. Delphi Technique
  4. What-if scenario analysis

Answer: D is the correct answer.

How Many Questions Come in the PMP® Exam?

The current exam contains a total of 180 questions out of which 175 questions are scored and 5 are not scored.

These questions come from three different domains. The following represents the names of these domains and the percentage of questions that come from each domain:

People: 42%
Process: 50%
Business Environment:

There are a number of questions from each of the seven types mentioned above. Generally, it is believed that situational questions form the bulk of the exam but no one knows for sure if it is true as PMI keeps on changing the Exam Content Outline and the format of the exam.

Here are the estimated number of questions for each of the seven types:

  1. ITTO questions: less than 5
  2. Definition/knowledge Based: 15 to 20
  3. Mathematical/Formula Based: 5 to 10
  4. Diagram Based: less than 5
  5. Data Interpretation: less than 5
  6. Professional Responsibility Questions: less than 5
  7. Situational Questions: 140 to 150

Note: PMI does not segregate the questions based on their type. They do it for the three domains mentioned in the Exam Content Outline. The above numbers for each type of questions is just an estimate. No one knows how many questions are actually there for each type.

How Many Correct Questions Do You Need to Pass the PMP® Exam?

The PMI used to have a definite passing criterion, before 2007. Candidates needed to answer 60.6% of the questions correctly to pass the exam. But, the passing criteria became obscure in 2007.

The passing criteria for PMI certification are not disclosed. PMI’s certification is based on a lot of experience and on the number of questions people answered correctly.

In the PMP® exam, the score report does not mention anything about number of correct or incorrect questions. It contains something equivalent to grades. There are four of them: Above target, Target, Below target, Needs improvement.

Related Topic – Also Read – Top Tips For PMP Exam Preparation!
How to Answer the PMP® Questions?
  1. Read the question carefully
  2. If the question is long (usually PMP® questions are long with redundant information) then identify the main part of the question.
  3. Identify the keyword(s) in the question to determine what the question is really asking.
  4. Determine the PG (Process Group), KA (Knowledge Area), and Process of the question.
  5. Eliminate the obviously incorrect choices and choose the correct option.
Final words

Taking the PMP® Exam is challenging, but essential for any Project Management Professionals. The PMBOK® guide provides all the information needed to pass this difficult test.

And, for the most part, be extra careful when answering the situational questions.

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