PMP Exam Questions, Why Are They So Hard?

Passing the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam is a dream for most project managers. The PMP® credential is highly coveted, and can mean a larger salary and a lot more respect and prestige. The exam has been characterized as one of the most difficult certification exams on the face of the planet. One of the biggest reasons that it is so difficult is that the Project Management Institute (PMI®) has a set of vocabulary that is specific to the PMP® exam and project management in particular ISACA CISM.

The words have specific meaning to the PMI®, but may be used differently or more loosely in the field. The exam usually contains an answer to questions that use the vocabulary the way the PMI® understands it and then also an answer in the way that many in the industry use it (which is the wrong way according to the PMI®). Many multi-year project management veterans will not pass the test because of this particular aspect of the exam.

Learning the vocabulary in the right way will be the key to really being ready to sit for the exam. There is a huge vocabulary to learn, but I am going to focus on a few of the terms that are specific. These terms are sometimes called PMI-isms.

This term signifies the five segments of the project management process. They include Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing. Many test takers don’t take note of where they are at in this process. The question will ask what the project manager should do next. The correct answer will depend on which process group the current task is in.

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