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PMI® has lowered the passing score for the new PMP® exam, reducing it from 81% to 61%.

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Thursday, 1 December 2005

This new score will be retroactively applied to all PMP-examinations taken since September 30th of 2005.

Announcement from PMI:

“PMI® has been actively collecting test scores and results on each question of the new Project Management Professional (PMP® exam from over 800 candidates since its release on 30 September 2005. Now that PMI® has captured sufficient data, we can perform a psychometric analysis that is statistically reliable from which to make conclusions about the performance of questions as well as candidate performance

Before offering the new examination, PMI® assembled a group of volunteers to help establish the passing score. Using a method known as the “Modified Angoff Technique” (a proven exam development method), a group of global PMPs in the summer of 2005 assessed each test question and independently evaluated the questions to determine their difficulty level. Their responses were then sent to PMI’s psychometric (exam development) experts and averaged. From that information, PMI’s psychometricians recommended that PMI® adopt a passing point of 81 percent (141 correct questions).

After the examination was introduced, PMI® monitored candidate performance to verify the validity of the passing score. In addition to its analysis of the actual test results from over 800 candidates, PMI® sought review by an additional volunteer team. After performing a statistical analysis of the additional data, PMI® and its independent psychometricians were able to make conclusions about the performance of questions as well as candidate performance.

This second review, initiated by PMI® as part of standard exam development procedure, indicated that the passing score should be adjusted. Accordingly, PMI® revised the passing score for the exam to 61 percent (106 correct questions). PMI® then applied the new passing score to all examinations taken since 30 September 2005 by candidates who sat for the new exam. PMI® is in the process of updating the candidates' records. While we remain extremely sensitive to candidate and trainer concerns about such a change in the passing score, these considerations must be weighed in context of the overall purpose of the exam: to provide a consistent global standard that all practitioners must meet to ensure the credential is awarded to qualified individuals. We need to ensure that candidates who do not meet the knowledge and experience criteria do not receive the credential but more importantly, we do not want candidates that are qualified to be prevented from receiving the credential because the exam presents such a strenuous challenge to the test taker.

The steps PMI® is taking include:

  • Candidates who were not successful on the new exam have had their test re-scored using the adjusted passing score.
  • Where the result of this review determined that the candidate’s score is above the adjusted passing score, he or she is awarded the credential and notified through a communication.
  • Candidates who were granted the PMP® Credential will be mailed their new PMP® packages and will have their names added to the online PMP® registry within 8 weeks.
  • Candidates who still have a failing grade after having their test re-scored are advised through a communication and are encouraged to re-take the test.
  • Candidates, regardless of whether they have passed or failed, received a communication from PMI® advising them of their revised status.
  • Candidates testing between now and the December deployment will have their test score evaluated by PMI® and will receive a communication as outlined above.
PMI® recognises the importance of the credential and the challenges that a pass/fail classification has on the examination preparation effort by candidates and their trainers. If you have any questions regarding this communication, please contact