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The Power of Formulas in PMP Exam

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There are several types of questions in PMP exam. There will be a good portion of the questions that are related to formulas. Once you know how to approach them and find the right answer, you are guaranteed to score 100%. There is no ambiguity.

Follow this article to get some good insight into answering formula questions in PMP exam.

How to Score 100% in PMP Exam Formula Questions?

If you are a PMP aspirant preparing for the examination, you might be wondering what kind of questions you can expect in the exam, how to tackle them and so on. This article sheds light on one major category of questions and how to prepare to handle them effectively in the exam.

PMP exam questions come in different flavors. Some categories include

  • Questions directly related to processes groups, knowledge areas and ITTOs
  • Formula questions
  • Situational questions


In this article, I am going to discuss the formula questions. Formulas play a major role in the PMP exam. Out of 200 questions in the exam, there will be significant number of questions that would require you to know, understand and apply formulas. Formulas can make or break the PMP exam. If you know them well, you can rest assured that you will be able to correctly answer certain questions and score well. On the other hand if you are not strong in formulas, you may end up confused and fail the exam.

It is very important to understand the formulas instead of just remembering them. What I mean by this is that you should know what each variable in the formula means and how to use it in computation. Otherwise a slight twist in the question will throw you off.
PMP exam questions related to formulas may appear in different forms. In some cases there could be multiple formulas to calculate the same result.

Some types of formula questions you can expect in the PMP exam are

  • What is the formula to compute XYZ. These are straight forward questions which you can answer by just knowing the formula.
  • Give few variables in the formula compute the rest


Example: EV = 108 and SPI = 0.957. How much is the Schedule Variance (SV)?  These questions require good understanding of the formula. The question may ask you to compute any variable by giving you the rest. Then you should be able to appropriately modify the formula to compute the variable asked in the questions.

  • Describe a situation in words and ask you to compute a specific parameter such as standard deviation, estimate to complete and so on.  Here you have to interpret the situation,deduce different variables available, decide the equation and then find the answer.


Once  you understand the formulas thoroughly, you are guaranteed to get these questions right. On the other hand if you don’t have good grip on them, simple confusion could lead to disaster and it may cost you the exam.

I am not scaring you here. But encouraging you to prepare well so that those PMP exam questions can be counted on.
For the exam just knowing the formula is not enough. Understanding them, being able to apply them appropriately is equally important. Another added complexity with the formulas is that , the same formula can come in different flavors. So, you need to remember them all to handle questions in the examination.
Why put extra emphasis on the formulas?

  • It boosts your confidence before you go to the exam
  • You know, you will get formula related questions right. The reduces the pressure
  • You will be able to save time on answering questions when you know the formulas well.


Mastering PMP exam formula requires a methodical and comprehensive approach. You should have a list of ALL possible formulas and good understanding of them. In the internet you will find many cheat sheets and notes with formula collections. While some of them could be good references, you don’t know if any of them are incorrect. Without knowing, if you follow the wrong references you will end up losing some questions. Make sure you do your due diligence before start referring to any formula cheat sheet.


Cornelius Fichtner
, PMP has put together a very comprehensive formula guide for PMP students. This guide not only provides  comprehensive list of formulas, but also helps you to understand and apply them. Good thing about this guide is that, all the formulas have been cross checked and verified against several PMP study guides and books. I think , when it comes to formulas, this is the only guide any PMP aspirant needs.  The guide is specifically developed keeping formula related PMP exam questions in mind.

He also provides several FREE bonus items such as formula practice questions and cheat sheets worth $120.00 with this guide. Just for few bucks you can secure good chunk of questions in the PMP exam.For great success in the exam, be prepared to attack formulas. Include difficult formulas in your brain dump before you begin the exam. Keep a formula cheat sheet with you always during exam preparation time. This will help you refer to them frequently and also remember them better.

Good luck with your exam.

 PMP Exam Formula Study Guide => Get It Now


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