Don’t worry; if you fail in your first attempt of the PMP exam, there will neither be an earthquake nor will the sky fall, believe me.
If you failed in your first attempt, you still have two attempts left to retake the test within one year of your eligibility period.
Please note that although you have two attempts remaining, you have to use these chances within one year of your eligibility period.
Failing to do so will ban you from filling out the PMP exam application for one year. Even if you don’t attempt the exam or you failed in the remaining two attempts, you cannot sit the test for the next year.
Anyway, before I lay down the strategy for your next attempt, let me give you some key facts.
- The fee for the second and third time will be less than the first time test fee. This fee will be different for PMI members and non-members.
The second or third time re-examination fee for computer-based testing is as follows:
- For a PMI Member: 275 USD
- For a Non-Member: 375 USD
The second or third time re-examination fee for paper-based testing is as follows:
- For a PMI Member: 150 USD
- For a Non-Member: 300 USD
What Should You Do if You Failed the Test?
If you fail the PMP exam, you should start a self-audit.
On your test result, you can see that in which process group your performance was poor. You only need to find the weak spot in those process groups and fill the knowledge gap.
In the PMP exam you will see six types of questions, such as:
- ITTO based questions
- Definition based questions
- Situation based question
- Formula based questions
- Interpretational questions
- Questions on Professional and Social Responsibility
I have noticed that most of the time professionals claimed to score less on ITTO based questions. They find these questions very difficult to solve.
Other tough questions are mathematical, and questions based on situations.
If you scared of ITTO based questions, I suggest you read the PMBOK Guide and visualize the flow of processes in the project. Never try to memorize ITTO; it is very difficult to memorize them and doing so will diminish the purpose of these ITTO. PMI wants you to understand the process flow and ITTO, not memorize them.
Now we come to the mathematical questions. Many professionals find these questions very difficult and they don’t study them. They think it is a waste of time for them and they can compensate for these questions by scoring more in other areas.
This is a wrong approach and you must avoid it. If you understand the concept, mathematical questions are very easy to solve and can help you score in the exam. Try to practice mathematical questions and understand each formula used in the calculation.
Regarding situational based questions, while solving these questions professionals think the way they would while doing their job. Note that you are attempting the PMP exam, and during this exam you have to think the way a PMI thinks. You have to assume that you’re working in an ideal world and everything should go as the PMBOK Guide says.
You have to be very careful while solving the situation based questions.
For example, let’s say that you are going to attend a meeting, you are a little late and you see a red light signal. Nobody is there and you don’t see anyone on the road. What will you do now?
The options are as follows:
- Since no one is there, you can will break the signal
- You will not break the signal
- Only this time you will break the signal, not again
- Since you are going for an important meeting you can break the signal
In the above question, you may think that since you are going for an important meeting and nobody is there, you can break the signal. However, this is wrong. You cannot break the law in any case.
Likewise there will be many questions in the PMI, and to answer those questions you have to sync your thinking with the PMI.
Strategy to Prepare for the Exam
There is no need to be panic if you fail the PMP exam. Take a rest for one or two days, develop your strategy and restart your preparation.
I suggest you read any two good PMP exam reference books and try one good PMP exam simulator.
I have seen many professionals complaining that they got more than 70% on one online test, 80% on another test and so on, but they failed the exam. Please note that there is no guarantee that passing any practice test with a good score does not mean that you will pass the real test.
While reviewing some of these tests I have noticed that they lacked the ITTO based questions, which is a major chunk of questions in the real exam. I believe this is because of copyright issues. So if you pass the tests, this means you pass the test without attempting many ITTO based questions, which can give you false confidence.
Therefore, to pass the exam you must understand the ITTO based questions, and to do this you have to go through the PMBOK Guide. Read the PMBOK Guide as many times as you can.
I see many people who failed the exam become nervous, frightened and demoralized. They feel that they cannot pass the exam again. However, this is not true. If you don’t pass the exam on your first attempt, it is likely that you will pass the exam in your next attempt.
Passing the PMP exam is not like winning a race where only one candidate wins. There are more than half a million PMP certified professionals who have passed the exam; therefore, there is no reason that you cannot pass the exam as well. Don’t be frightened if you don’t pass the exam on your first or second try. Find your mistakes and knowledge gaps, make a plan to correct the mistakes and fill the knowledge gaps, and follow this plan. I hope you pass the exam.
I wish you good luck on your next attempt. If you need any help from me, you can ask through the comment section. I will be happy to reply to your comment.
I have written a free eBook for professionals who have failed the PMP exam on their first attempt and want to pass it on their second try. You can claim your free copy from below given link: