PMP Formulas and Calculation for PMP Certification Demystified
Download the FREE 1page guide on what maths formulas you will need to remember for the PMP Exam
Summary: Many consider the most difficult part of the PMP® exam to be the calculations and PMP® formulas. Luckily PMP® calculation is not quantum physics, you just need to understand and memorize the following PMP® Calculation formulas. Keep calm and study on! (You can read more about my PMP® exam and certification journey here.)
Note: There is no need to bring your own calculator to the PMP® Exam centre, either an onscreen calculator and a physical one will be available to you. Plus, there is not much questions that would require you to make use of the calculator.
Article Highlights
PMP® Formulas mentioned in the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
The table below summaries the most important PMP® Formulas that Aspirants would need to understand and learn by heart in order to answer all the PMP® maths questions correctly. There are tons other formulas you may find from the internet that claimed to be related to the PMP® Exam (e.g. there are over 40 different EVM formulas). The good news is the other formulas not listed below are mostly from previous versions of the PMBOK® Guide / PMP® Exam that Aspirants are safe to ignore as proved by my own and many other Aspirants writing their PMP® Exams.
As PMI requires Aspirants not only to remember the PMP® formulas but also understand their meanings and application, I have published another article with indepth explanations of the Earned Value Management (EVM) formulas. You can click the link to read the article for free.
Click here to download the PMP® Formulas table for free
Name (Abbreviation)  Formula  Interpretation 

No. of Communication Channels 
n (n1)/2 n = number of members in the team 
n should include the project manager e.g. if the no. of team members increase from 4 to 5, the increase in communication channels: 5(51)/2 – 4(41)/2 = 4 
Schedule Performance Index (SPI) 
SPI = EV/PV EV = Earned Value 
< 1 behind schedule = 1 on schedule > 1 ahead of schedule 
Cost Performance Index (CPI) 
CPI = EV/AC EV = Earned Value 
< 1 Over budget = 1 On budget > 1 Under budget sometimes the term ‘cumulative CPI’ would be shown, which actually is the CPI up to that moment 
Schedule Variance (SV) 
SV = EV – PV EV = Earned Value 
< 0 Behind schedule = 0 On schedule > 0 Ahead of schedule 
Cost Variance (CV) 
CV = EV – AC EV = Earned Value 
< 0 Over budget = 0 On budget > 0 Within budget 
Estimate at Completion (EAC) if original is flawed 
EAC = AC + New ETC AC = Actual Cost 
if the original estimate is based on wrong data/assumptions or circumstances have changed 
Estimate at Completion (EAC) if BAC remains the same 
EAC = AC + BAC – EV AC = Actual Cost 
the variance is caused by a onetime event and is not likely to happen again 
Estimate at Completion (EAC) if CPI remains the same 
EAC = BAC/CPI BAC = Budget at completion 
if the CPI would remain the same till end of project, i.e. the original estimation is not accurate 
Estimate at Completion (EAC) if substandard performance continues 
EAC = AC + [(BAC EV)/(CPI*SPI)] AC = Actual Cost 
use when the question gives all the values (AC, BAC, EV, CPI and SPI), otherwise, this formula is not likely to be used 
ToComplete Performance Index (TCPI) 
TCPI = (BAC – EV)/ BAC = Budget at completion TCPI = Remaining Work BAC = Budget at completion 
< 1 Under budget = 1 On budget > 1 Over budget 
Estimate to Completion 
ETC = EAC AC EAC = Estimate at Completion 

Variance at Completion 
VAC = BAC – EAC BAC = Budget at completion 
< 0 Over budget = 0 On budget > 0 Under budget 
PERT Estimation 
(O + 4M + P)/6 O= Optimistic estimate 

Standard Deviation 
(P – O)/6 O= Optimistic estimate 
this is a rough estimate for the standard deviation 
Float/Slack 
LS – ES LS = Late start LF – EF LF = Late finish 
= 0 On critical path < 0 Behind schedule 
If you wish, you can download the PMP® Formulas table above as a PDF file instantly for your future reference.
The above 17 PMP® formulas are all that you’ll need for the PMP® Exam. Learn them and understand their application. You will be able to solve the calculation questions in the certification exam.
Additional Free PMP® Maths / Formulas Questions Resources by Edward
 PMP® EVM Formulas Explained in Simple Terms — just enough for Aspirants to answer PMP® questions correctly
 20+ PMP® EVM Mock Exam Questions — with detailed explanations and tips on answering PMP® Maths questions
Other articles in the series PMP® Exam Preparation← PMP / PMIACP Certification Study Notes  Professional and Social ResponsibilityPMP Earned Value Management (EVM) Calculation Explained in Simple Terms → An Introduction to PMBOK Guide 5th Edition: Knowledge Areas, Processes and Process Groups
 How to Study for PMI PMP? Learn PMIism First!
 PMP Certification Study Notes 1  Terms and Concepts
 PMP Certification Study Notes 2/3  Project Management Processes and Knowledge Areas
 PMP Certification Study Notes 4  Project Integration Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 5  Project Scope Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 6  Project Time Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 7 – Project Cost Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 8  Project Quality Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 9  Project Human Resource Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 10  Project Communication Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 11  Project Risk Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 12  Project Procurement Management
 PMP Certification Study Notes 13  Project Stakeholder Management
 PMP / PMIACP Certification Study Notes  Professional and Social Responsibility
 PMP Formulas and Calculation for PMP Certification Demystified
 PMP Earned Value Management (EVM) Calculation Explained in Simple Terms
 Top Tips for Tackling PMP EVM Questions (20+ Practice Questions Included)
 Are You PMP Exam Ready? List of Free PMP Mock Exam Questions w/w Benchmark
Most Popular PMP Certification Exam Articles
 My Exam Prep Tips and Free Resources (I got 4P and 1 MP)
 How to Get 35 Contact Hours Fast and Easy?
 Detailed Comparision of online PMP Courses
 Over 1000+ FREE Quality Mock Exam / Practice Questions
 A FREE Guide to Formulas and Calculation (with explanation and sample questions)
 47 Commonly Confused Terms with detailed explanation
Hi Edward – I wanted to share my experiences in preparing for the PMP exam. Where could I email you my narrative?
I passed mine yesterday (‘Above Target’ on all domains), and your website was extremely helpful! Many thanks for putting this together!
Hi Angelo,
Congratulations on your excellent results and thanks a lot for your willingness to share. I will email you separately.
Thanks again!
Hi Edward,
yesterday I passed the PMP test at first attempt after 2 weeks of selfstudy only (very extreme but i had to! – 8 hours per day, every day) and a lot of credit goes actually to YOU and your website.
I found most helpful of my prep experinece 1/your explanation of 47 easily confused terms, 2/your study notes and 3/ your list of mock exams.
I spent last 5 days before the exam taking the mock tests (i confirm it is a MUST) starting at exactly the time of the day when the actual test was scheduled (2PM), and the results were 69% for Oliver 75q, 76% for Headfirst, 70%50%69% for Free PM exam simulator, 69,5%for SimplyLearn, 76% for Oliver PDF, 82% for Edwel Mock. As one can imagine, i was not confident at all about the test 🙂 and even wanted to reschedule it the day before the exam but found out it is not allowed.
The test took actually 3 hours 40 minutes (vs my usual 3hours at mock exams), probably because i could only get 5 hours of night sleep (not advisable but happened!) because I was very nervous, and most of the questions i had to read twice to answer.
(in fact, the rest 10 minutes of tutorial time i spent taking somewhat of a power nap, right there sitting in the class room)
As for the exam experience, 90% of the questions were situational, not math! And i must say in 90% of the questions the two wrong answers were rather obvious! And as you strike them out, it makes so much easier to make a final decision.
last 20min of exam i cam back to marked questions, but managed to review only half of them. Still that was helpful – i corrected answers in around 10 of them, as i think.
I would say that if one is limited in terms of prep time, it is better to focus on getting firm understanding of basics – 47 process and ITTOs, the logic and maybe memorise to some extent (personally i got numerous questions on “whic type of diagram”), EVM/NPV formulas and project docs!
I got 1 Proficient on Initiating and 4 Moderately. It probably could be better if i had more than 2 weeks but i was very limited for time. In the end i am so happy I passed it, because starting from the 1st half of the exam i was 100% confident i will not, and this “Congratulations” note came as a very big surprise i must say.
Having said all that i wanted to once again say huge “THANK YOU” to you! You are doing amazing work, and your website is extremely useful, i will recommend it everywhere I can for PMP prep!
I wish you all the best in your future achievements and career!
Thank you
Ksenia
You are amazing! Thanks a lot for sharing your experience of passing the PMP with just 2 weeks’ selfstudy! Your experience proves that it is possible to pass the PMP Exam with a short period of preparation.
Thanks and congratulations!
Thank you
Thank you, very useful
Dear Edward,
Many thanks for providing PMP formulas interpretations, notes, discussions on various topics and last minute preps. It clarified lots of concepts to me and I referred to them in days and hours prior to giving PMP exam (which I passed).
Wanted to check on the general topic of Change management (there were so many questions on this topic …). Scenario – if a previously unidentified stakeholder requests/demands a change during UAT which is critical to the product acceptance what should PM do next? Should he accept the change request or should he revise his stakeholder management plan?
Although I passed PMP exam, I am not sure that I have all the ideas of change management sorted as required by PMI.
Congratulations on passing the PMP Exam!
Yes, I agree that change management is a very important but confusing topic as in reality whether including a change depends on a number of factors.
For your question, if “performing change analysis and escalating the change request to change control board” is an option, I would choose that.
And you view on this?
I selected for revising the stakeholder management plan as first activity. By reviewing the stakeholder management plan, and identifying the reason why this stakeholder was not found at earlier stage, one can contextualise the related other requirements as well apart from the newly identified by this stakeholder. The other follow on activities would be for the PM to analyse the impact of the changes based on stakeholder analysis and providing a CR to change board. but according to me, first activity would be to review stakeholder management plan..
but as you correctly said, its very confusing and I am sure there are other arguments in favour of other options.
Hi Edward,
Please help with the below question.
You are managing a software project which is due for design document release next week. You are currently reviewing the document, when an influential stakeholder asks you to add a feature to the existing design. This stakeholder has earlier also tried to bother you with unreasonable demands at the last days of release. What is the best you can do in this situation?
I just assume that this question is for PMP Exam (as PMIACP would handle this differently).
If I were the project manager, I would ask the stakeholder’s to submit change requests and meanwhile focus on finishing the product for release.
If after careful consideration, the feature is just a simple one and the change control board has approved the change, I will definitely have to include this in the release.
But if the change is considered too much, I would object this strongly in the CCB.
Hope I have answered your queries. Thanks!
Thanks so much for your reply Edward. Yes This is for PMP.
As per Rita’s course material, before submitting a change request, one has to analyze the impact as well and then raise a change request and that is where I am confused.
Whenever a customer asks for a change and he has not raised a change request and the project manager has also not analysed the impact, should the project manager then also ask the customer to raise a CR and then analyse the impact?
Does the impact analysis for a change start only after the customer has submitted a CR?
Just my two cents as I am not quite sure how to answer this question. Maybe if the change is to be raised by the Project Manager, they have to analyze the impact first. But for changes raised by customers, the analysis will only be able to carry out after the change is submitted. That’s from my working experience, but probably may not be aligned with PMIisms.
First, thanks for posting your notes and formula sheet. I hate reinventing something the wheel. Anyway, for the formula sheet the note next to VAC is incorrect. If VAC > 0 then you are under budget. If it’s < 0, you are over budget. Probably a typo.
Hi Shane,
Thanks for your comment. Since VAC is the difference between the original estimate and recent estimate, if the recent estimate is smaller (i.e. VAC is positive), the project would be under budget and vice versa.
Hi, Edward. I have read your articles many times and I also liked your formulas on Facebook, where I was provided a link; however, I was not able to download the PDF of the formulas. Would you kindly send them via my email address? Thank you!
Yikes! I shared on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (more than once) and still do not see the link. I don’t know if it’s not showing up because I’m using my iPad, but I feel a bit silly. Could you provide me with the link to the .pdf? Thanks!
I’m having the same issue with the PDF of the formulas that it looks like a number of people are. I liked this post on FB and the PDF appeared but when I opened it, there was just one page. Can you please send me the full PDF asap – this is my second request. Thank you.
Edward,
I am a person who prints and write notes on side. Is there a way to print your study notes without all these ads (I don’t want to get distracted and waste paper)? Is there a separate link where I can download your study notes and print them (no Ads), please? Lastly are your notes upto date with latest PMBOK?
Yes, you can get the download link to the notes in the box titled “New function! Download this post as PDF” at the end of every article. Simply share the post and you will be able to download the notes without any ads.
Yes, the PMP notes are for PMBOK Guide 5th Edition (i.e. the latest edition).
Wish you PMP success!
Hi Edward,
I’ve just shared on my tweeter but don’t see where the downloadable formula sheet can be found.
Could you please help?
Thanks,
FZI
Hello, I shared you post on both FB and LinkedIn and could not find a link to download the1 page formula sheet. Can you please email it to me?
Thanks!
Samantha
Hi Edward,
I shared this post and do not see a link to the PDFs file for the formulas. Can you email it to me please?
Thank you.
Lily
Hi Edward,
I’ve shared on my social media platform but don’t see where the downloadable formula sheet can be found. Could you please email it to me?
Many Thanks,
Rhonda
Hi Edward,
Should the formula for the “Estimate at Completion (EAC) if substandard performance continues” actually be the following:
EAC = AC + [ (BAC EV)/(CPI*SPI) ]
Notice the use of the square brackets. The way you have it written could imply that the the AC is included as part of the divisor rather then added to the result of the division part of the equation.
Hi Max,
Thanks a lot for your comments. I agree that your suggestion looks much clearer and I have amended it in the post. Thanks!
Edward – I posted your formulas to my Facebook page but there is no PDF that I’m able to download – can you please email to me?
Hi Edward – I shared the link on Fb but i can’t see a download link. Can you please send me PDF in email?
Thanks
I expected to see formulas for Point of Total Assumption (PTA) for different contract types in the list. This would have increased the number of formulas from 17.
Hi Cornald,
Thanks for your comment. Yes, the formulas for Point of Total Assumption (PTA) are mentioned in some PMP Exam Prep books. However, it seems that not many PMP exam takers have reported having questions on PTA calculations in their PMP Exam paper. In the interests of simplicity, the PTA formulas are intentionally left out. Thanks!
Edward,
Thank you for your time and patience in helping so many prepare for the exam. I am testing on 8/13. Can you send me the formula PDF? I wrote out the processes and am writing them again. Some stick better than others, can you give me something to help me here? The mind maps might help, memorization is probably not the best tool for me to remember these things. Thank you for your help! Best regards, Jim
Sent to you already, wish you best of luck!
what about PTA (Point of Total Assumption)
PTA=((Ceiling Price – Target Price)/ Share Ratio) + Target Cost
you do not mention it with PMP Formulas. why?
Thanks for raising this question. It seems that Point of Total Assumption calculation is not mentioned in PMBOK 5th Edition and therefore it is not included here. However, since the PMP exam is not just about the PMBOK Guide, you may encounter questions about Point of Total Assumption in the real PMP Exam. Thanks!
Hi Edward,
I did share on my facebook and did see the pdf link, but the contents did not have the formulas. Can you please email the formula sheet?
Thanks. I located the .pdf for the formulas.
Hello,
Thank you for the great information. After liking your site on Google +, I was not able to download the full page of formulas. Any suggestions?
Hi Edward, your site’s been very helpful. Thank you so much!
I have a question for you, when you signed up for language aid, was it more of a distraction for you?
I’m having a hard time trying to decide if I should sign up for language aid or not. English is not my first language but I’m Ok for the most part. the trouble is that my reading speed is very slow and understanding the question takes couple of passes. If I were to read my own language, I can read faster but may not be able to recognize PM vocabulary. I just wanted to get an idea if it would be more of a distraction for me or not. thx
The language aid will never be an distraction. You just scroll down to read the language aid if needed, other than that, you will have to answer questions normally (i.e. you will have to mark the answer on the English version of the question NOT the language aid).
Hint: the translated question is usually a bit shorter and more direct in its presentation, this is especially useful for longer questions!
Hi Edward,
Great site!! Are these formulas provided in any form within the exam, or do their application AND forms need to be committed to memory? Thanks very much!
You will have to memorise all the PMP formulas as these will not be shown on the exam paper but you will have to use them to calculate the answers. It is therefore highly advised to commit all these to your memory. Thanks!
Great resource! I shared with my friends on Facebook but was unable to find the pdf download link. could you email it to me?
Hi Edward, I have shared in tweeter but I cant download the document. Appreciate if you can email it to me.
I too could not find a link to download the PDF, after I posted on Twitter. Could you please email the PDF?
Thanks so much.
Hi,
I shared in tweeter, can you share the document in email since i could not get the download link.
A great resource. Just finished Knowledge Acadamy Online and just bought Dummies book but your notes help me figure most important areas for studying.
Good summary of the required formula. I was struggling to grasp the formula required to pass the PMP. good job!
Hi Edward, I left a comment about not being able to access the link to the download yesterday, but now I can’t see it in the comments section. So, I hope you receive this. I shared on my G+ acct so could you please email me the PDF? Thank you.
Hi! I shared via my Google+ acct but can’t seem to access the download (not sure if it’s because I’m using Chrome) so can you email me the link to it please? thanks!!
I liked the page on my facebook and did not receive the instant link or any link for that matter to download the formulas in pdf. Please email to me. Thanks!
Hi,
great site, congratulations
.
I think you are missing one formula for TCPI: PMBOK page 224 last formula in the table TCPI= (BACEV)/(EACAC).
pls share the formula sheet. Thanks!
Edward – your site is awesome. Our study group is really benefitting from your posts. Just a note: you mention that you had a .pdf formula sheet download… but we can’t seem to find it.
Hi Sheryl,
Thanks for your comment. There is a box below the formula table which will show the download once you have shared the post through facebook, google+ or twitter. Thanks!
Scenario 1: If the exam state that you (meaning PM) have 4 team members. So, in this case the N = 4+1 = 5, correct?
Scenario 2: There are 7 stakeholders in the team. In this case, N = 7, correct?
Scenario 3: You have 3 team members and 8 stakeholders. In this case, N=11, correct?
The question I encountered on the real PMP exam is more or less like scenario 1.
I would agree scenario 1 and 2 are correct. But for scenario 3, I would take N as 12 as it is said that you “have 8 stakeholders”, i.e. you is not counted as a stakeholder.
Do you agree?
PM is not counted as a stakeholder, but he is included as a team member… 8+3 = 11… where does the extra communication channel (12) come from Edward?
Hi Massimo,
For questions like this, you need to read the question *very* carefully. “You have 3 team members” and “There are 3 members in your team” are DIFFERENT.
You have 3 team members meaning that there are 4 members in the team.
Hope this help solve your queries. Thanks!
My understanding is, by default PM is included only when stakeholders # are mentioned since PM is one of the stakeholders. For anything else, unless or otherwise explicitly stated about the PM we should always add PM to the number. Could you help me to get more details on this please? There are number of questions in the exam, at least 24 questions are sure, depending on this. If one question goes wrong all the questions in this area would probably go wrong because of this confusion. All i need to know when to add PM and when not to add PM to the given number.
As fas as I know, PM is NOT considered as a “stakeholder” in the PMBOK Guide as the PM is responsible for “stakeholder management / communication” (though by definition, stakeholder can include the PM as well as the team members). I did encounter 1 questions on my PMP exam about communication channel and I included the PM as a team member in the calculation. Hope this clarify your doubts.
In your first formula about the no. of comm. channel, should it not be 6 * 5 / 2 – 5*4 / 2 = 5
Assuming…the team number is not included PM. It’s kind of confusing when to add PM or not to add PM in the given number. Can you clarify?
From my experience, if the question mentions the number of team members, the PM is included.
I do agree sometimes the PM is not considered as “team members”, but for calculation of communication channels, the PM is always included.
Hi Robert,
I have reviewed Figure 712 of the PMBOK Guide and found that the figure is for a project that is over budget (the VAC is negative in this case and would require the use of management reserve). The figure and the VAC formula are telling the same thing.
Thanks!
Hi,in your coment you say when VAC is negative then it is over budget.However, in your formula explanation you have < 0 under budget.Thanks for sharing your materials.
For the VAC formula, isn’t your interpretation the opposite of Figure 712 on p. 219 of PMBOK 5e? That is, if as in the figure the EAC is greater than the BAC then the VAC is negative and the project is running over budget. Please clarify.