Should I Ignore Math Based Questions on the PMP Exam

A few days ago, I received a query from a PMP aspirant. He does not have a science background, and he was facing problems with math-based questions. So, he was worried and planned to avoid formula based questions on the PMP exam.

He wanted to know how this would impact his score.

This is a common problem, and many PMP aspirants have similar issues.

Math formula based questions are not so difficult, it is just a math phobia that makes exam-takers nervous. 

On the exam, you will find the following types of questions:

  1. ITTO-based questions
  2. Definition-based questions
  3. Situation-based questions
  4. Formula-based questions
  5. Interpretational questions
  6. Questions on professional and social responsibility

Math-based questions are part of the exam and you must study the complete syllabus to pass the exam.

How Many Formula-Based Questions Will You See on the Exam? 

Every exam is unique and all aspirants get a different set of questions. The PMI never discloses the number of types of questions you will receive in the exam.

I know many exam takers who got 15-20 math-based questions, and others who got around five math-based questions. Very few exam takers told me that they did not receive a single math question.

Moreover, during my interaction with those professionals, I discovered that these questions are not very difficult. They are mostly definition-based or involve simple calculations.

Occasionally, they are a little tricky.

Should I Avoid Formula-Based Questions? 

No, you should not.

You may think you can ignore this part of the syllabus and score in other areas, but this is not a good strategy. You never know how you will perform. A single question can cause you to fail the test, so it is in your best interest to complete all of them.

The calculations required to solve these questions are not too difficult. The PMI is not testing your math skills; they only want to see if you understand the project management concepts.

So, I recommend you work on it, understand the concept behind the formula, and increase your chances of passing the PMP exam.

What Resources Should I Use to Understand PMP Math Formula Questions? 

Many PMP exam reference books are good at explaining project management concepts, but most of them don’t explain formula-based questions. Therefore, I recommend you use any specific resource which helps you understand all the formulas and gives you enough examples and sample questions.

One such resource is my PMP Formula Guide.

I explain all PMP mathematical formulas with examples and practice questions. This guide has all the math formulas mentioned in the PMBOK Guide and others that have appeared in questions on the exam.

This is the most comprehensive book on PMP formulas and it’s available at an affordable price.

Click here for more details.


These mathematical formula based questions might look difficult to you, but if you invest some time, you can solve them easily. Contrary to other types of questions, a formula-based question means you can find the correct answer with confidence. If you understand the concept, you won’t have a problem solving such questions. An understanding of these concepts not only increases your chances of passing the exam but it will boost your confidence.

So, I again recommend you work on the concepts, fill your knowledge gaps, and attempt the PMP exam when you are prepared.

Are you still afraid of formula based questions on the PMP exam? If yes, please share your concerns in the comments section.