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The Best PMP Exam Simulators for 2021

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Here’s the TL;DR: the best PMP exam simulator is the PM Exam Simulator from the team at the Project Management PrepCast.

I have used it and can vouch for it, and that’s what I’d buy if I were you.

If you want to know why that’s my top choice, and check out some other options, read on for my independent reviews!

It won’t come as a surprise to you that using an exam simulator for your Project Management Professional® exam is a key criteria for successful prep and a massive boost to your chances of success.

So many students I hear from say that taking mock questions and PMP practice exams is the single biggest thing that helped them feel prepared for their real test.

Let’s look at some simulators that help you do exactly that.

I’ve looked at these popular realistic PMP exam simulators:

  • PM Exam Simulator (from PM PrepCast)
  • PM Fast Track (from Rita Mulcahy)
  • Master of Project Academy Simulator
  • BrainBOK exam simulator

Summary of features

The table below shows a summary of the exam simulator features from the products I looked at.

Product# of questions# of examsFree option available?Explanations provided?Price
PM Exam Simulator2,100+5YesYes$149 for 90 days
PM Fast Track2,000+Not specifiedYesYes$299 for 12 months
Master of Project Academy1,600+9YesYes$177 lifetime or $57 per month
BrainBOK1,000+6YesYes$89.99 for 90 days

All simulators had these common features:

  • Ability to work through questions within a time limit
  • Internet-enabled for online use
  • Free questions
  • Difficult questions (although of varying quality)
  • Answer explanations (although of varying quality).

Now let’s dive into the detail and review each of the simulators.

PM Exam Simulator

  • Number of questions: 2,100+
  • Number of exams: 5 plus separate question bank for timed quizzes
  • Free sample questions available? Yes
  • Explanations provided? Yes, for all answers (even the incorrect ones). References to a variety of sources provided.

The best part about this exam simulator is the confidence you get from using it. I think that comes from the detailed explanations and references and the realistic exam environment. It’s a learning tool, not just a test tool.

Each answer – even the wrong ones – is explained so you know exactly what you got wrong, and more importantly, why.

That’s the secret to great PMP exam prep. It’s not enough to simply know you got the wrong answer, you have to understand why and see where you can go for more information to deepen your knowledge on the topic.

PM Exam Simulator sample question

It also includes hints, so if you think you’re almost there but just need a little prod to get to the right answer, then tap the hint button for a clue.

It also has amazing analytics. The anonymised responses from all users combine to give you a benchmark of where you are. You can see your personal journey, track your progress, drill down into different domains and topics so you make the most of your study time.

Because why waste time studying something you already have a pretty good grip on?

Subscriptions are available on a 3-month basis. The clock only starts when you choose, so don’t worry about buying it in advance and waiting until you are ready to use it.

The PM Exam Simulator has the largest number of practice questions of the products I looked at and a good range including EVM questions.

PrepCast Exam Simulator sample question

You can extend your subscription if you need to, but the focus is on getting you exam ready in the shortest possible time and maximizing your chances of first-time success. So fingers crossed you won’t need to extend your access to the test questions.

There are dozens of Google reviews and case studies from satisfied students. For me, that means a lot.

See more on their website.

Order now
PMP Exam Simulator
$149.00

Practice on over 2,000 questions that have been prepared by experienced project managers in a realistic exam environment. Fully updated for the 2021 exam.


Recieve 10% in April 2021 when you use the code Apr21 at checkout.

Learn more Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you #ad

PM Fast Track

  • Number of questions: 2,000+
  • Number of exams: not specified
  • Free sample questions available? Yes
  • Explanations provided? Yes, for the correct answer. References provided.

Brought to you by the RMC team behind Rita Mulcahy’s brand, this online subscription exam simulator is another solid option and would be my second choice, although it is a hefty price tag in comparison to other available simulators. That’s because you get a year of access.

I love that it is available in Spanish and Portuguese too. 

It has a clean user interface and works perfectly on a touch screen. You’ll want to spend as much time as possible using realistic PMP exam sample questions, so it’s important (to me, at least) that the design is good and the tool is easy to use, which this one is.

The team at RMC are constantly working to update the questions and the student reviews are good. If you need a product that you can use continuously for a longer period, this is the one to get as it’s representative of the real exam.

PM Fast Track sample question

It’s also available as part of a PMP test package, so if you are looking to get an exam prep book and flashcards too, it works out cheaper to buy the bundle. There are also bulk discounts so if a group of project managers wanted to study together, at your work, for example, there are corporate deals.

I hear that many PMP candidates love the products from RMC and I can see why.

See more on their website

Master of Project Academy Simulator

  • Number of questions: 1,600
  • Number of exams: 9
  • Free sample questions available? Yes
  • Explanations provided? Only if you get the answer wrong, and only for the correct answers. No references provided.

The thing that bothers me about the Master of Project Academy product is that they advertise it as something that provides “28 PDU (contact hours) to help your PM education eligibility”.

PDUs aren’t relevant here. You don’t get PDUs until after you are certified. Before you earn your PMP, you need contact hours. Other simulators don’t advertise that their products help earn contact hours… because they don’t.

PMI states in the PMP Handbook that contact hours are hours of “classroom instruction” that “addressed learning objectives in project management”. In other words, formal learning that is structured around different PM topics and has communicated learning outcomes.

Not just doing practice questions.

The product has a good selection of customer reviews, but the website has many examples of poor English grammar. I contacted the website owner with some examples, and they have since corrected the things I pointed out.

However, the sample questions provided in the free trial are well-written, updated to the latest exam content outline, and from what I can see, without grammar mistakes.

Explanations are only provided for the correct answer if you got the answer wrong. You might guess and get the answer right, and there’s nothing to tell you why.

There are also no references to the PMBOK® Guide or any other reference materials to point you to where you can learn more about a topic if you did get it wrong, unlike other simulators.

The questions provided in the demo do not reflect the latest style of PMP exam questions, in the new styles like hot spot, multiple response, limited fill in the blank etc. The demo only has ‘classic’ multiple choice questions.

master of project academy simulator sample question

I asked the site owner whether the full simulator provides all the new styles of questions and their response was: “The demo is just to provide a sense to our prospective students. Our comprehensive simulator is even better and including all types of questions as you can clearly see from the happy students’ reviews on TrustPilot.”

At the time of writing, I read a bunch of recent TrustPilot reviews and agree that students do rate this simulator highly. However, I did not see one review mentioning styles of questions.

It’s not expensive, and if you want a bank of questions to work through then this will do the job, but in my view it will only assess the knowledge you already have. It won’t help you get any better at your PMP studies.

See more on their website.

BrainBOK Exam Simulator

  • Number of questions: 1,000+
  • Number of exams: 6
  • Free sample questions available? Yes
  • Explanations provided? Yes, and references

BrainBOK is more than simply a simulator. It also includes Flashcards, and online study guide, a formula guide, a test purely focused on PMP exam formulas and because it includes the PMP prep materials, you’ll get the 35 hours certificate.

It’s a complete bundle. The unlimited access option to all the tools is a cost-effective way of meeting your study needs for passing on your first attempt, if you think you’ll only need 90 days access to the tools. Having said that, it’s not very much more expensive to extend your access for 180 days.

If you only want the exams, you can buy a 5 exam bundle at a reduced rate.

I like the interface, the reviews are good (although there aren’t that many recent reviews).

BrainBOK Exam Simulator question

There are no recent blog posts as the blog hasn’t been updated for some time but the product itself looks like it is good quality and I enjoyed using it.

There’s nothing that says the exams have been adapted to fit with the new 2021 PMP exam format of having two breaks and only 180 questions, or that the new exam question styles like hot spot and matching are included in the tests.

They might be, but in the sample I saw, it didn’t look like they were.

See more on their website.

Simulator buying tips

Here are a few tips for buying a PMP exam simulator:

  • Check around for discounts. Many vendors offer discounts if you sign up to their mailing list or use a coupon code which they share on social media.
  • Remember that you’ll probably need a PMP exam prep course as well: sample questions are good, but an online course will give you a faster headstart and shorten your exam prep time.
  • Make sure your simulator of choice is fully updated. PMI changes the specs regularly, so get one that reflects the latest question formats and exam content outline. For example, there’s less focus on process groups and knowledge areas in the 2021 version. Project performance domains is where it’s at. ITTO questions are handy if you want the confidence boost but no longer feature on the exam.
  • The best way to check out a PMP simulator is to use the free trials. Get a feel for what each product is like before clicking to buy.
  • PMI does not publish the passing score. Simulators may indicate if you have ‘passed’ or not, but this will be due to the company setting an internal benchmark for a passing score. It is not representative of any pass mark that PMI applies, so be wary of that.
  • Look at what other study materials are offered by the company. Many vendors bundle together their products and that makes them cheaper.
  • Review the refund and guarantee policies before you buy. It’s often not possible for companies to genuinely guarantee you’ll pass – how do they know you simply aren’t lazy or didn’t study for the test? If you are in any doubt, don’t purchase, because you might not be able to get your money back.

Conclusion

If I were you, I’d be buying the PM Exam Simulator from the PM PrepCast. It’s a good PMP exam simulator and a robust learning tool, updated to the latest PMI specs and with enough questions to keep you busy and focus your studies.

It’s a good price, with an excellent support team and responsive help desk. The data inside will definitely help you prepare effectively and cut your study time.

Buy now.

Order now
PMP Exam Simulator
$149.00

Practice on over 2,000 questions that have been prepared by experienced project managers in a realistic exam environment. Fully updated for the 2021 exam.


Recieve 10% in April 2021 when you use the code Apr21 at checkout.

Learn more Learn More
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase, at no additional cost to you #ad

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About Elizabeth Harrin

Elizabeth HarrinElizabeth Harrin is a Fellow of the Association for Project Management in the UK and the award-winning blogger behind A Girl's Guide To Project Management. She helps managers juggle their projects and ditch the overwhelm, making tools and techniques work in the real world. She's also the author of several books including Engaging Stakeholders on Projects: How to harness people power.

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