Dear PM Advisor. Oct 6, 2014

Dear PM Advisor, I see that the grades I can receive when taking my PMP exam are 'not proficient', 'moderately proficient' and 'highly proficient', Can you explain the value of securing moderately proficient versus highly proficient on my PMP certificate in career perspective?

Overachiever in Delhi

Dear Overachiever,

As far as anyone other than you is concerned, the PMP test is graded Pass/Fail. Nobody asks for your grade. Like most credentials, you either have it or you don't.

So why does PMI grade it in such a way? Self-preservation.

The PMP exam is a HUGE moneymaker for the organization. $500 a pop for hundreds of thousands of people adds up fast. When I took the exam back in the last millennium (1999), there was a minimum score and they graded applicants with a number. I believe I barely passed which told me I studied exactly enough.

But picture what happens to those who barely fail. They are out $500 and want to argue with the PMI on the correctness of their answers. Especially some of the philosophical questions that ask you what you would do in a certain situation. You can claim to be doing the right thing and PMI disagrees. Who to mediate?

So the PMI protects itself by not telling you which questions you got right or wrong. It only tells you that you scored each section with a particular proficiency.

Never mind, just take my advice and pass the test and tell everyone you scored highly proficient.

Good luck,

PM Advisor.

Send your questions to Bruce@RoundTablePM.com