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Reasons Why You Have Failed The PMP® Exam


The (Project Management Professional) PMP® certification is considered the most valuable and sought-after certification in the project management field. However, many candidates for this career-enhancing credential fail their PMP® exam simply because they were not having enough guidance or focused roadmap, or they were not able to offer required bandwidth to their self-study. 

You’ve put in your fair share of studying, and you still didn’t pass! What went wrong? In this blog post, find out what caused your failure and why you missed that PMP® Certification!

You might have failed because you were not focused on developing your knowledge, skills, and abilities for the project management profession. Remember that what others perceive as failure is often just a new opportunity when faced with a new challenge.

So, if you have been studying and practicing as much as possible, and after months of hard work still failed the PMP® exam, it is time to look into what went wrong. 

This blog article will break down the common causes for failure that people often experience when taking this highly competitive PMP® certification test!

What Is PMP® Certification?


The Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification is an internationally recognized accreditation that confirms a person qualified enough to manage a project successfully. It has been designed to improve the quality of the process of project management, enhance project leadership skills, and increase awareness of the PMI’s Code of Ethics for the Profession. The PMBOK Guide is the foundation document for all knowledge regarding project management, which is referenced in this exam.

It is an internationally recognized program for project management professionals sponsored by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The most crucial aspect of PMP® Certification is that it shows employers that the candidate has passed an exam and has demonstrated crucial knowledge of project management skills.

The objectives of the PMP® Certification are to provide global standards of PMI & standardized framework for professional development and to recognize project managers who meet the rigorous criteria.

However, to be a project manager, you should know the following skills: 

  • Analyze project management documents (PMP®s) and understand the purpose and content of each element; 
  • Lead project team members to gather the required information from all stakeholders; 
  • Make decisions that keep the project on track, within budget and schedule constraints; 
  • Create periodic status reports for various managerial levels promptly; 
  • Enhance organizational commitment to the success of all projects through leadership, communication, motivation, and feedback.

Reasons Why You Failed Your PMP® Exam & Missed to Get Your PMP Certification

There could be multiple reasons for you’re not clearing the PMP® exam. However, realizing and identifying what went wrong could be difficult. So, we have mentioned some of the WHY’s you might have played your PMP® exam and missed getting your PMP® certification.

1. Lack of Understanding of Different PMP® Topics

The PMP® exam is a tough and challenging one. Only after passing the PMP® exam can an individual attain the PMP® credential. A certification is only given to those well-versed in different aspects of project management. And lack of Understanding of PMP® topics can prevent you from passing the exam and cause your failure. The PMBOK is a stand-alone document, and any project managers who have received their certification are required to know it by heart. But the best way to learn it is by understanding each topic and its sub-topics in detail from other sources as well. In short, do not rely on a single point of learning. Always go through different materials on project management in order to gain all around information of the field.

2. Did Not Take The PMP® Practice Mock Test Exam

The PMP® exam is a challenging exam designed to test the applicant’s knowledge and skills in different areas of project management. Knowing that this certification proves a lot, people often ignore certain things and try to pass on their own while they have no clue what they are going to face. The main reason many candidates fail their exam is the lack of practical preparation. So, it would help if you practiced more. For this, you must take PMP® practice mock tests regularly. It will not only prepare you for the questions you are going to encounter, but also will prepare you psychologically for a 4-hour-long test with 180 questions to attempt.

3. Lack of A Strong Technical Foundation

Lack of solid knowledge in the technical topic is usually one of the reasons why you will not pass the exam in the first place.

Without a sound foundation, the exam designed to test the subject matter skills of candidates would be impossible. Therefore, if you lack this area, it could be a significant problem. Many prospective applicants fail to understand PMI’s technical proficiency requirements. So, it would be helpful if you are focused on this area as well.


4. Didn’t Read Enough PMBOK Guidebooks 

The PMBOK Guide is a compelling book that can help someone understand how to be a good project manager and evaluate their current knowledge. So reading enough PMBOK Guidebooks is the most crucial part for any PMP® aspirant. The guidebook is a workbook with all the questions and answers. It contains all the essential terms used in project management. If you don’t read PMBOK Guidebooks, you can’t know how to study it or will not use the book enough, resulting in your failure. But again, do not rely on a single source. Gather as much knowledge you can about different aspect of project management.

5. Your Resource Books Was Out of Date

Resource PMP® Books can be very helpful in preparing for your PMP® Exams. Unfortunately, some Resource PMP® Books can be outdated and useless. There is a significant shift towards agile methodologies in PMP® Certification content. If a Resource PMP® Book is obsolete, it will not be updated with any new information, as compared to other books having more accurate information. When a resource book becomes outdated, you can’t use it to prepare for the exam. The exam is based on the Ultimate guide that has shown you how to prepare for the PMP® Exam at every level up to Master.

6. You Have Lost the Confidence to Pass The Exam

The confidence to pass the exam is highly crucial throughout the duration of your PMP® preparation. This confidence can be either gained or lost, and this ends up affecting your certification. You will find a substantial likelihood of passing the exam if you give it a lot of hard work and put enough time into studying. So, it’s not only about the study material or preparation that can bring you to the ground. It is the overall motivation, dedication, and application of everything you learn in your study. You should have all these things at once before going for any test or examination, and if they are missing, you will be losing in the result itself. That’s exactly where PMP® mock test from PMI ATP can help you out to boost your confidence as per the PMP exam blueprint.


The PMP® Exam is a rigorous test that assesses a project manager’s skills and ability. If you have worked in the project management field, you should be able to pass this exam easily. However, not everyone who sits can pass the same in a single attempt. As per my recommendation, you should go for a professional PMP® training course from an authorized PMI ATP in order to ensure your success.

If you have failed the PMP® Exam, there is no need to worry. There are plenty of tips that can help you improve your chances of passing it on your next try, like the ones mentioned in this blog post.

But you should remember, the PMP® exam is a tough test, and the passage of time doesn’t mean that you can slack off while studying. One key idea when taking this test is to keep track of your progress and not focus on just one aspect. Taking short breaks throughout the day will make it easier to concentrate for a more extended period during intense study periods.

Hence, when you complete the exam with a passing grade, you are awarded the PMP® certificate. 

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