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Pass Rates – The Real Story!

As an exam prep provider, a common question we get from potential students is “What is your pass rate?”.

At PPM we have a policy of transparency. We want our clients (current and perspective) to feel confident in their investment in an exam prep course from us and so we do publish our pass rates – just as do many other training companies. We stake our reputation on ours being accurate and up-to-date!

However, determining a pass rate isn’t as easy as it seems.

Here’s how we approach tracking our pass rates:

  1. Prior to class, we encourage students to compete their PMI PMP application, have it submitted, and have the exam scheduled. There is a correlation between success rates and the amount of delay between the class and the actual exam.
  2. During class we set expectations with our students. We have them contact us prior to taking the exam (so that we can validate readiness) and contact us after their exam with their results – pass or fail!
  3. We track the students’ scheduled test dates. If we do not receive any communication from the student regarding their test, we follow-up with them, repeatedly if necessary.
  4. On a monthly basis, we go through our student database and validate our list against PMI’s Credential Registry to see if they completed the exam without notifying us.

It’s quite interesting: we leverage instructors that deliver classes for other training companies and the feedback is very consistent from those instructors: PPM stands out in it’s quest for accurate and up-to-date data regarding the student pass rates. Other companies simply do not follow-up with their students.

Doing a quick search of the internet, we found these claims:

  • “Prepare for the PMP with Our 3-Day Class. Highest 1st Time Pass Rate.”
  • “Highest Audited Pass Rate” (audited by whom?)
  • “Best documented success rate – 99%”
  • “95% of 1st Time Takers Pass After Our Prep. Only 5 Days. Join Now!”
  • “Our PMP Certification Bootcamp Classes have the Highest Pass Rate”

Needless to say, none of the companies listed above contacted us to compare our stats head-to-head, so anyone claiming to have “the highest” is questionable. Highest compared to what?

So why am I blogging about this? A couple of reasons:

  1. I hate to see anyone duped by false advertising
  2. It really infuriates me when I see companies out-and-out lying about their company and taking advantage of people
  3. I hope that if someone is looking for an exam prep boot camp, that they dig deeper than just the claimed pass rate. CHECK OUT THEIR BBB REPORT!! Ask for testimonials or references where you can actually talk to previous students.
  4. I would love, love, love to see PMI enforce reporting standards. When a candidate takes their exam, they complete a survey. It would be fabulous if the information from that survey could include the training company name and the actual results of the exam. This should be tracked and made available to the public by PMI – a 3rd party!

Just my opinion…. we welcome yours!! What do you think?

5 Comments

  1. Harwinder on April 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Hello,

    You said:

    “Prior to class, we encourage students to compete their PMI PMP application, have it submitted, and have the exam scheduled.”

    I’m not sure how that’s possible. Aren’t you supposed to submit your application “after” completing 35 Contact Hours of project management education? Don’t you need to affirm on your PMP exam application that you have achieved the 35 contact hours (one of the eligibility requirements)?

    Please help me understand this.

    Thanks.

  2. Belinda Fremouw on April 9, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    That is correct, Harwinder. We offer our students a free pre-course online 35 hour module that provides the students with the required Project Management education. The module is approved through PMI and is available to students in any of our PMP/CAPM courses.

    Some folks like to submit prior to class (using this module) while others simply wait until after their boot camp and utilize the 35 hours from the live class.

  3. Reginald on July 24, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I am really surprised that I don’t see a lot more comments by PMP aspirants. I find it hard to believe that not a single comment has been made to this topic in over 4-years. I just want to say that I wish I had seen this earlier. I would have loved to work with your tools. I find them interesting and fun. I have spent the last 3-days on your website re-calibrating my book of knowledge. I self-studied the complete PMP. I took advantage of down time while training US Forces here in Kuwait. Thank you for your website and desire to see others succeed. I take my test this Wednesday.

  4. Reginald on July 24, 2016 at 4:56 pm

    I am really surprised that I don’t see a lot more comments by PMP aspirants. I find it hard to believe that not a single comment has been made to this topic in over 4-years. I just want to say that I wish I had seen this earlier. I would have loved to work with your tools. I find them interesting and fun. I have spent the last 3-days on your website re-calibrating my book of knowledge. I self-studied the complete PMP. I took advantage of down time while training US Forces here in Kuwait. Thank you for your website and desire to see others succeed. I take my test this Wednesday.

  5. Kevin on July 4, 2017 at 2:22 pm

    As a PMP instructor, what is just as interesting to me is the number of students who finish the class and then go take the exam. Studying for the PMP is grueling. While many people will make the time for the test, it takes far more dedication to spend the extra hours to go study for it. I would highly recommend the boot camps that have you take the exam right after you finish, rather than the ones that you need to continue on your own, even if they are more expense/require more time.

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