How Difficult is the PMP Certification?

PMP Certification is the advanced-level Project Management certification credential offered by the Project Management Institute. It is inevitably a very difficult challenge for any professional seeking to get certified. Be it the PMP exam format, the PMP certification syllabus, or the extended PMP certification eligibility requirements, everything requires a very structured approach starting from the very beginning until the day you get certified. Even then the hustle only pauses for a while because the candidates have to put up hard work and learning to maintain the PMP certification credential through PMI® PDUs. Let’s try to understand How difficult is PMP certification, and how you can pass PMP certification in your first attempt.

Why is PMP Certification Difficult To Do?

There are several reasons for the entire campaign to be challenging enough for the candidates. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

PMP Eligibility Criteria

The eligibility criteria for the PMP certification is quite elaborate and tests the candidate’s proficiency on three different levels. The first being the educational qualifications, then comes the Project Management experience and in the end the mandatory 35 hours of Project Management education. While the educational qualifications and mandatory 35 hours of Project Management education is not really a challenge in itself. The educational qualification has a requirement of either a 4-year degree or a high-school diploma. The 35 hours are acquired by a PMI authorized training partner, PMP Certification training like Invensis Learning. The challenge comes with proving the 36 months of Project Management experience in case of a 4-year degree and 60 months of Project Management experience, in case of a high school diploma. The candidates often fail to prove the experience or are not able to document the experience with correct timelines in case of an audit in the application process.

Note: Check if you are eligible for the PMP certification exam or not - PMP Certification Eligibility

PMP Exam Format

The PMP exam format is also a challenging feat to achieve in recent times. The updated exam format has 180 multiple-choice, hotspot, fill-in-the-blanks questions in a closed book setting. The time duration of 230 minutes and a reasonably great deal of pressure to clear the exam in the first attempt takes a toll on the candidates. This is why many people are not able to clear their PMP certification on the first attempt. The misconception is that PMP is easy, which is quite opposite. One needs a lot of practice and dedication to clear the exam in one attempt.

Note: Learn more about the PMP Certification exam format - PMP Exam Format in 2023.

PMP Syllabus

After the changes to the PMP certification exam earlier in January 2021, the domains have been reduced from 5 to 3 i.e people, process, and business environment. Each of the domains holds 42%, 50%, and 8% weightage of questions in the PMP certification exam. The introduction of the agile or hybrid approach of Project Management in the PMP certification exam also poses a great challenge for the aspirants who now will have to familiarize themselves with the agile methodology in Project Management. To top that, the tasks have been reduced to 35 from 42 and a concept of enablers has been introduced in the PMP certification exam. Therefore, the syllabus automatically became more challenging yet rewarding since the candidate will come out well aware of the agile principles and methodology at the end of the certification.

Note: Here are the changes that were introduced to the PMP certification in 2023 - PMP Exam Changes in 2023.

Lack of Learning Resources

While the PMBOK Guide is sufficient for exam preparation, the PMP certification exam preparation still requires a lot of other credible learning resources like case studies, mock tests, etc. Most people miss out on the opportunity to be prepared for the exam beforehand and fail miserably.

Lack of Planning And Execution

One of the many reasons why candidates fail in the PMP certification exam despite taking care of all of the above is the lack of planning and execution. And, it is more or less the most important reason that makes PMP certification difficult to achieve. PMP certification requires the candidate to plan their preparation beforehand and abide by it religiously to be able to reap the benefits of the whole process. It includes analyzing self, analyzing performance, performance improvement and dedicatedly working towards the goal.

Maintaining The PMP Credential

The struggle doesn’t stop at the finish line. For most certifications in any field, once you have cleared the exam it’s over. But, PMI makes sure that the candidate remains up to date with the trends and developments in the field of Project Management. Therefore, for the next 3 years, the candidate will have to maintain 60 PDUs to be able to retain the credential. Failing to do so results in losing the credential and applying through the same process all over again.

Note: Learn about how you can maintain PDUs for PMP certification - Maintaining PMI PDUs for PMP certification.

Now, that we are familiar with the challenges a candidate has to face, let’s figure out how to deal with them to get it right.

How to Pass PMP Certification in 2024?

While the PMP certification poses a great challenge for the candidates, one can always take good measures to clear the certification exam in one go. Let’s take a look at various proven ways to get your PMP certification in 2024.

PMP Certification Training

The certification training will take care of most of the challenges that the candidate faces for the PMP certification preparation. Some of the key features of the PMP certification training are listed down below:

  1. PMI authorized training partners will provide an updated PMP certification syllabus and solve the shortcomings of the learning resources.
  2. The PMP certification training will also come with other learning resources like mock tests, case studies for an enriching learning experience.
  3. The PMI ATP instructors are vetted through a rigorous process, which means the instructors are coming from experience and have tremendous project Management knowledge.
  4. You will be granted the 35 hours of Project Management Education certificate in the end which will fulfill the eligibility requirements. And, by taking the PMP certification you will be able to utilize the 35 hours properly instead of doing it just for the sake of eligibility requirements.

Note: Check out the training dates for Invensis Learning’s PMP certification training.

Learning Resources

Apart from the PMP certification training, the candidates must not limit themselves on the learning part. They can explore other options to familiarize themselves with the agile or hybrid approach of Project Management. And since almost 50% of the questions will have questions based on agile methodology, it is better to explore other options and prepare thoroughly.

PMI Local Chapters

Another option is to grow your network and understand the terminologies and other practices that are being used by the community members. PMI chapters are one such way to interact and network with fellow Project Management professionals/aspirants/members. Look at the bright side - you may find people in your PMI local chapter who have already cleared the new PMP certification exam. And it doesn’t take a genius to tell how much help that can be for someone who is planning to take up PMP certification.

Note: Here are a few more details about the PMI Chapters - PMI Chapters.


All in all, "How difficult is PMP certification" depends on individuals, and with the new introduction of Agile and Hybrid approaches of Project Management in the PMP certification exam, it's only going to get more and more difficult. There is a silver lining to all the struggles that will be endured during the exam preparation process, the candidates will gain financial well-being, professional expertise, and many more advanced Project Management skills at the end of the certification. So, take your journey of Project Management to a new level and enroll in Invensis Learning’s PMP certification training program.

FAQs on How Difficult is the PMP Exam?

What is the pass rate for the PMP certification?

It is not exactly clear as to how many questions must be answered to clear the PMP certification exam. But based on previous developments by the PMI, it is safe to assume that the candidate must aim for at least 80% of questions to be answered correctly.

How long does it take to prepare for the PMP certification?

If you have already secured the Project Management experience required for the PMP certification eligibility, you will need 2-4 days to complete 35 hours of Project Management education and then 2 - 8 weeks to complete the exam preparation depending on how much time you can spare for the PMP certification exam prep.

Why is the PMP certification exam so difficult?

Since it is a globally recognized credential, the PMP certification has to hold a certain standard in the market. What it means for the candidates is that, if you clear the PMP certification exam, you are officially certified to have undergone a very structured and advanced level of Project Management certification. It entitles you to the best of the rewards in the industry because you possess the best skills and knowledge in the field of Project Management.

FAQs on PMP Certification

Why should I consider getting PMP certified?

PMP Certification enhances your project management skills, credibility, and career opportunities. It validates your expertise and demonstrates your commitment to the profession.

Numerous options for PMP exam preparation are available, including courses offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), universities, colleges, and private companies. Your choice should align with your learning preferences and budget. Selecting a course that matches the latest PMI standards is vital.

Invensis Learning provides a PMP Certification Training course tailored for PMP-credentialed project managers. This course prepares you comprehensively for the PMP exam and meets the latest PMI standards. Choose a course that suits your learning style, and Knowledgehut's PMP Certification Training is recommended.

Undertaking the re-examination for Project Management Professional certification needs to be completed. You possess three opportunities to take the PMP exam within a year of approval. Failing all three mandates a one-year hiatus. To reapply, visit, remit the re-examination fee, and obtain a fresh eligibility ID. This ID facilitates exam scheduling without a required waiting duration. Follow these steps:

  • Request re-examination
  • Await prior result registration (typically 3-4 business days)
  • Secure a new exam slot within the one-year eligibility window

You can utilize a non-programmable basic calculator to address questions within the PMP exam.

The PMP exam comprises questions from three distinct domains:

  • People (42%): Focuses on vital soft skills for leading cohesive teams
  • Process (50%): Concentrates on the technical intricacies of orchestrating successful projects
  • Business Environment (8%): Emphasizes aligning projects with organizational strategies and objectives

PMP-certified professionals are in demand globally, especially in regions with powerful industries, such as technology hubs, financial centers, and emerging markets.

PMP-certified professionals can pursue roles such as Project Manager, Program Manager, Portfolio Manager, Project Coordinator, and other leadership positions.

Yes, statistically, PMP-certified professionals tend to earn higher salaries than their non-certified counterparts, reflecting the value of their expertise. PMI says that PMP-certified professionals earn 16% higher than non-PMP-certified professionals.

Many employers actively seek PMP-certified professionals for project management roles due to their proven skills and ability to drive successful projects.

PMP Certification is valued across IT, construction, healthcare, finance, manufacturing, and more industries, wherever project management is essential.

PMP Certification enhances your professional credibility, career growth, and earning potential. It opens doors to leadership roles and global opportunities.

You'll receive a preliminary pass/fail result immediately after completing the exam. PMI will send you an official score report later, which includes details about your performance.

Depending on your chosen mode, the exam is typically conducted in a secure testing center or online. It's monitored to ensure a fair and secure testing environment.

The PMP exam syllabus covers many project management domains, including people, processes, and business environment.

Register for the PMP exam through PMI's official website. Select a testing center or opt for an online proctored exam, depending on your preference.

At Invensis Learning, we are dedicated to aiding your PMP certification journey. Our expert team supports you through the application process, ensuring all requirements are met. Valuable insights, tips, and strategies are provided to increase your chances of PMP exam success. Our resources encompass a comprehensive training course, practice exams, study materials, and a supportive PMP community. Our services not only enhance your application process but also provide exam readiness. This holistic approach distinguishes us from other PMP certification courses, making us a preferred choice.

Invensis Learning's PMP course and training material offer the most effective resources to excel in your PMP exam on the first attempt. It comprehensively covers the exam syllabus and provides valuable practice opportunities, making it an optimal choice for aspiring PMP candidates. To ensure a strong exam preparation, start early, diligently follow the step-by-step study plan, seek guidance from mentors, solve mock and simulation exams, and engage with PMP-style questions. With determination, you can achieve exam success and earn your certification.

Apply through PMI's online portal, detailing your project management experience, education, and contact information. If your application is accepted, you'll receive instructions for scheduling the exam.

Read the question carefully, identify the problem, analyze the options, and choose the best answer based on project management principles.

Plan to allocate time wisely for each question, but don't dwell too long on one question. Skip difficult ones and return to them later.

Yes, we have many PMP practice exams and simulation tests available that mimic the real exam environment and help you assess your readiness.

PMBOK Guide, practice exams, study guides, assessments, and reference books from reputable sources are essential for comprehensive preparation.

Prepare systematically by studying the PMBOK Guide, using reputable study materials, taking mock exams, and reviewing your weak areas.

There are a set of minimum requirements to be met for PMP certification. The prerequisites to take the PMP certification exam are:

Option 1

  • Educational Background: Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate's degree, or the global equivalent)
  • Project Management Experience: 60 months leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

Option 2

  • Educational Background: Four-year degree
  • Project Management Education: 36 months hours leading and directing projects
  • Project Management Education: 35 hours of project management education or CAPM certification

Yes, our PMP training is available in various formats, including in-person classroom sessions and virtual live training, allowing you to choose what suits your learning style.

Look for accredited training providers that offer a comprehensive curriculum, experienced instructors, flexible schedules, and positive reviews from past participants. Invensis Learning is one such training provider which is recognized globally.

Our PMP training covers project management concepts, methodologies, and exam-specific topics. It prepares you for the PMP exam and provides practical skills for effective project management.

Upon successfully finishing the PMP course, you'll earn two certificates:

  • A course completion certificate signifies your mastery of project management concepts and skills
  • A 35-hour PDU (Professional Development Unit) certificate validating completion of the training required by PMI for PMP Exam eligibility
  • These certificates underscore your expertise and dedication to professional growth in project management.

Enrolling in PMP Training with a PMI Authorized Training Partner offers numerous advantages:

    Access to PMI-approved, up-to-date training content aligned with the PMP Examination Content Outline
  • Instruction from PMI-approved instructors with practical project management experience
  • Guidance and support to ensure your success
  • Networking opportunities with fellow project managers to learn from diverse experiences
  • Flexible learning formats, such as online, in-person, or blended, tailored to your preferences

The journey toward PMP certification follows these steps:

  • Confirm eligibility for the PMP exam
  • Complete 35 hours of training from a PMI Registered Education Provider
  • Apply for and schedule the PMP exam
  • Pay the exam fee ($405 for PMI members, $555 for non-members)
  • Develop a study plan utilizing the PMBOK Guide and other resources
  • Successfully passed the exam to earn the title of Certified Project Management Professional
  • Showcase your PMP credential to establish global recognition in project management

Yes, PMP Certification is widely recognized and respected internationally. It's a testament to your skills and expertise, opening doors to global opportunities.

PMP Certification is valid for three years. You can renew it by earning Professional Development Units (PDUs) and demonstrating ongoing professional involvement.

The PMI ceased disclosing pass rates after 2005. Nonetheless, it is widely believed that the PMP pass rate remains below 70%. The amalgamation of commitment and intensive training from a PMI Authorized Training Partner forms the successful formula for acing the PMP exam on your initial endeavor.

What are the modes of training provided by Invensis Learning?

Invensis Learning provides 5 different modes of training in the form of:

  • Instructor-led live online (virtual) training
  • Instructor-led classroom training
  • On-site group training
  • Focused 1-to-1 training
  • Self-paced E-learning

You can enroll for training by following below mentioned points:

  • Select a course
  • Select a schedule of your choice
  • Select the mode of your training
  • Click on “Enrol Now” button
  • Fill the necessary details to make the payment
  • Get all the course materials to prepare for the training
  • Join the training on the scheduled date

Yes, you can opt for a customized schedule which is not there on the website. But getting custom schedules will depend on few criteria mentioned below:

  • Focused 1-to-1 training can be customized as per your choice
  • Group training of more than 5 participants can be customized
  • On-site training can be customized as per clients’ requirement

Please check the website regularly to check for new offers and discounts happening throughout the year. You can also get in touch with one of our training consultants through chat to check if any discounts are available.
For all the certification training courses, you will receive their official certificate. Upon completion of the certification exam, the results will be immediately announced. If a participant has cleared the exam, your digital certificate will be made available immediately. But, if you require a hard copy of the certificate, you may incur additional cost and it will be delivered to your address in 2-3 weeks of time.

Once you enroll for training from Invensis Learning, you will receive:

  • A copy of course material
  • Study guide Prepared by SMEs
  • Practice Tests
  • Retrospective session
  • Access to free resources
  • Complimentary additional training session
  • PDUs for relevant courses
  • Course completion certificate/Official certificate

Please check out our refund policy page to know more if you cancel your enrollment.

No, English is the preferred language for the mode of training delivery. Any language other than English will have to be custom request which will be fulfilled at additional cost and availability of a native language trainer.
If you would like to know more about a course, you can mail us at or call us at (+91 96202-00784) or chat with our training consultant to get your query resolved.

Post-certification, typical roles can include:

  • Quality assurance coordinators
  • Team leaders in process improvement projects
  • Junior project managers
  • Operational support roles in a Six Sigma team

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