Top Tips for Tackling PMP EVM Questions (20+ Practice Questions Included)

Learn these PMP EVM techniques to help you with EVM questions in the PMP Exam. Practice questions are also included to help applying the techniques.


PMP Earned Value Management (EVM) Calculation Sample Questions

Earned Value Management (EVM) Calculation questions are usually regarded as one of the most difficult part of the PMP® Exam. However, if Aspirants can understand the EVM Calculation formulas correctly and master a few skills to tackle the EVM questions, these dreaded EVM questions would become life-savers as nearly every Aspirants can get all the EVM questions correct.

Below you will find 20+ EVM practice questions categorized by related skills to help you understand what you are required to know in order to correctly answer all the EVM questions that would appear on the PMP® Exam. Try them and understand thoroughly how to tackle the questions through the explanations to each question.

You too will be able to get all EVM questions correct.

Note: the answer explanation to each question is directly under the question choices in the “grey box” — you can either move the cursor over it or highlight it with the mouse to reveal the answer……

EVM Graph Questions

The EVM graph questions are one of the easiest questions to answer as you will only need to understand the meaning of the relative positions of the AC, PV and EV:

  • AC vs PV: whether the project is under or over budget (AC > PV = over budget; AC < PV = under budget)
  • EV vs PV: whether the project is ahead of or behind schedule (EV > PV = ahead of schedule; EV < PV = behind schedule)

  1. With reference to the diagram below, it can be inferred that the project is currently:
    PMP EVM Question 1

    1. ahead of schedule and under budget
    2. ahead of schedule and over budget
    3. behind schedule and under budget
    4. behind schedule and over budget
    Solution: D
    As of today, AC > PV = over budget and EV < PV = behind schedule, so the project is both “behind schedule and over budget”.

  2. With reference to the diagram below, it can be inferred that the project is currently:
    PMP EVM Question 2

    1. ahead of schedule and under budget
    2. ahead of schedule and over budget
    3. behind schedule and under budget
    4. behind schedule and over budget
    Solution: C
    As of today, AC < EV = under budget and EV < PV = behind schedule, so the project is “behind schedule and under budget”.

  3. With reference to the diagram below, it can be inferred that the project is currently:
    PMP EVM Question 3

    1. ahead of schedule and under budget
    2. ahead of schedule and over budget
    3. behind schedule and under budget
    4. behind schedule and over budget
    Solution: B
    As of today, AC > PV = over budget and EV > PV = ahead of schedule, so the project is “ahead of schedule and over budget”.

Definition of EVM Metrics

These types of questions will test you on your understanding of the meaning of various EVM metrics:

  • Planned Value (PV) — how much work was scheduled to date
  • Earned Value (EV) — how much work was completed to date
  • Actual Cost (AC) — the amount of money spent so far
  • Budget at Completion (BAC) — the total budget for the project
  • Estimate at Completion (EAC) — the estimated total amount of money needed to be put into the project based on the information available as today
  • Estimate to Completion (ETC) — how much more do we need to put into the project to complete it
  • Variance at Completion (VAC) — the difference between the estimated total cost and the original budget
  • Cost Performance Index (CPI) — ratio between EV and AC, to reflect whether the project work is under / on / over budget in relative terms
  • Schedule Performance Index (SPI) — ratio between EV and PV, to reflect whether the project work is ahead of / on / behind schedule in relative terms
  • To Complete Performance Index (TCPI) — the efficiency needed to finish the project on budget, it is the ratio between budgeted cost of work remaining and money remaining

  1. If a project has a Schedule Performance Index (SPI) of 0.90, this means that:
    1. 90% of the work planned to date has been completed
    2. 90% of the work of the whole project has been completed
    3. 90% of the budget planned to date has been spent
    4. 90% of the project budget has been spent
    Solution: A
    The Schedule Performance Index (SPI) represents the performance of the project in terms of schedule up to the moment. If it is smaller than 1, less than 100% of the scheduled work has been completed to date.

  2. If a project has a Cost Performance Index (CPI) of 0.90, this means that:
    1. 90% of the work planned to date has been completed
    2. 90% of the budget planned to date has been spent
    3. 111% of the budget planned to date has been spent
    4. 111% of the project budget has been spent
    Solution: C
    The Cost Performance Index (CPI) represents the performance of the project in terms of budget up to the moment. If it is smaller than 1, the project is currently over budget (i.e. has spent more than what has been planned).

  3. If a project has a To Complete Performance Index (TCPI) of 0.90, this means that:
    1. 90% of the work planned up to today has been completed
    2. 90% of the budget planned up to today has been spent
    3. the project can spend money at a rate 11% higher than planned and still meet the project budget
    4. the project can spend money at a rate 10% lower than planned to meet the project budget
    Solution: C
    The To Complete Performance Index (TCPI) is the efficiency needed to finish the project on budget. If it is smaller than 1, that means that we have more money left on the budget than the remaining Planned Value (PV) to achieve. Therefore, in theory, we can spend more money yet can still finish the project on budget. (However, in reality, it is generally preferred to finish the project under budget. A TCPI smaller than 1 is a good sign that the project is going healthy.)

  4. A project with both Schedule Performance Index (SPI) and Cost Performance Index (CPI) of 0.80. The project is currently:
    1. ahead of schedule and under budget
    2. behind schedule and under budget
    3. ahead of schedule and over budget
    4. behind schedule and over budget
    Solution: D
    CPI < 1 = over budget and SPI < 1 = behind schedule, so the project is both “behind schedule and over budget”.

  5. According to EVM, which term below represents the outstanding amount of money required to finish the project?
    1. Planned Value (PV)
    2. Earned Value (EV)
    3. Estimate to Complete (ETC)
    4. Estimate at Completion (EAC)
    Solution: C
    By definition, Estimate to Completion (ETC) is the amount of money we need to put into the project from today in order to complete it.

  6. According to EVM, which term below represents the budgeted cost of the work to be completed to date?
    1. Planned Value (PV)
    2. Earned Value (EV)
    3. Estimate to Complete (ETC)
    4. Estimate at Completion (EAC)
    Solution: A
    By definition, Planned Value (PV) is how much value of work was scheduled to achieve to date.

Simple EVM Calculation Questions

For these types of questions, you will simply need to recall the correct EVM calculation formulas and correctly substitute the values into the formulas to arrive at the correct answer. Please do make use of the on-screen calculator / physical calculator provided to do the calculation even if you are a Maths wizard. It is a pity to lose marks for careless calculation even if you have selected the correct formula.

Also, most of such simple EVM calculation questions will supply more than enough information for you to use as a kind of distractor, it is a test of whether you can select the correct formulas as well as the correct values to substitute into the formulas.

  • SV = EV – PV
  • CV = EV  AC
  • SPI = EV/PV
  • CPI = EV/AC
  • VAC = BAC – EAC

  1. A project with Earned Value (EV) = $1000, Actual Cost (AC) = $800 and Planned Value (PV) = $800. What is the Schedule Variance (SV)?
    1. $200
    2. $0
    3. -$100
    4. -$200
    Solution: A
    SV = EV – PV
    SV = $1000 – $800 = $200
    Note that the Actual Cost (AC) is not used in the calculation.

  2. A project with Earned Value (EV) = $1000, Actual Cost (AC) = $800 and Planned Value (PV) = $800. What is the Cost Variance (CV)?
    1. $200
    2. $0
    3. -$100
    4. -$200
    Solution: A
    CV = EV – AC
    CV = $1000 – $800 = $200
    Note that the Planned Value (PV) is not used in the calculation.

  3. A project with Earned Value (EV) = $250, Actual Cost (AC) = $200 and Planned Value (PV) = $350. What is the Schedule Performance Index (SPI)?
    1. 1.25
    2. 0.80
    3. 0.71
    4. 1.40
    Solution: C
    The formula to be used to calculate SPI is:
    SPI = EV / PV
    SPI = $250 / $350 = 0.71

  4. A project with Earned Value (EV) = $250, Actual Cost (AC) = $200 and Planned Value (PV) = $350. What is the Cost Performance Index (CPI)?
    1. 1.25
    2. 0.80
    3. 0.71
    4. 1.40
    Solution: A
    The formula to be used to calculate CPI is:
    CPI = EV / AC
    CPI = $250 / $200 = 1.25

EVM Estimate At Completion (EAC) Questions

Since there are multiple Estimate at Completion (EAC) formulas, Aspirants should be able to get clues from the questions on which EAC formula to use:

  • EAC = BAC/CPI
    If we believe the project will continue to spend at the same rate up to now (e.g. the delay is caused by reasons which is likely to continue)
  • EAC = AC + (BAC-EV)
    If we believe that future expenditures will occur at the original forecasted amount (no more delays of the same kind in future)
  • EAC = AC + [(BAC-EV)/(SPI*CPI)]
    If we believe that both current cost and current schedule performance will impact future cost performance
  • EAC = AC + New Estimate
    If we believe the original conditions and assumptions are wrong

  1. For the project with original project budget $1000 and both the Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) equal 1. Assuming the project will continue to spend money at the same rate, what is the Estimate At Completion (EAC) of the project?
    1. $833
    2. $933
    3. $1,000
    4. $1,033
    Solution: C
    As the project will continue to spend at the same current rate, the formula to be used would be:
    EAC = BAC/CPI
    EAC = $1000 / 1 = $1000

  2. For the project with Earned Value (EV) = $360, Actual Cost (AC) = $400 and both Cost Performance Index (CPI) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI) equal 0.90. The original project budget is $1,000. Assuming the remaining work will be impacted by the current cost performance and current schedule performance, what is the Estimate At Completion (EAC) of the project?
    1. $1,090
    2. $1,190
    3. $1,290
    4. $1,390
    Solution: B
    As the project will be impacted by the current cost performance and current schedule performance, the formula would be:
    EAC = AC + [(BAC-EV)/(SPI*CPI)]
    EAC = $400 + [($1000 – $360) / (0.9 * 0.9)] = $1190

  3. For a project with Estimate at Completion (EAC) = $120,000 and Cost Performance Index (CPI) is 0.90. What is the Budget at Completion (BAC)?
    1. $108,000
    2. $118,000
    3. $158,000
    4. $208,000
    Solution: A
    As no information is given on the future performance of the project, we could safely assume that the project will spend at the same rate. So we will make use of the formula:
    EAC = BAC / CPI
    $120,000 = BAC / 0.90
    BAC = $120,000 * 0.90 = $108,000

Wordy Calculation Questions

Usually these questions will describe you as the project manager of a project which is X months into the schedule and X% of work has been completed so far along with lots of other information. The questions will span several lines. Then it will ask you to calculate some EVM metrics based on the information provided.

Also, the questions will usually not make use of EVM terms (like Planned Value, Actual Cost, Earned Value, etc.) but you can easily infer those values from the descriptions provided. The key to answering wordy questions correctly is to read the questions carefully and extract useful information from the questions and write down PV, EV, AC, etc. while you are reading the questions.


  1. You are the project manager of a housing project in which a total of 10 houses are to be build over 10 months (1 house per month). The total budget for the housing project is $1,000,000. The project is now at the end of the 6th month with 5 houses built and $500,000 spent. The project is behind schedule owing to a work strike for a month. The Cost Performance Index (CPI) for the project is:
    1. 1.0
    2. 0.9
    3. 1.1
    4. 1.2
    Solution: A
    The formula to be used to calculate CPI is:
    CPI = EV / AC
    CPI = $500,000 / $500,000 = 1.0

  2. You are the project manager of a road paving project. A total of 10km of road is to be paved over a 5-month period. The total budget for the project is $10,000. The project is now at the end of the 3rd month with 8km of road paved and $8,000 spent. The Schedule Performance Index (SPI) for the project is:
    1. 0.78
    2. 0.98
    3. 1.20
    4. 1.33
    Solution: D
    Since the road is assumed to be paved linearly, i.e. 2km of road per month. At the end of 3rd month, the PV should be $6,000 (for 6km of road). The formula to be used to calculate SPI is:
    SPI = EV / PV
    CPI = $8,000 / $6,000 = 1.33

Complicated EVM Calculation Questions

These types of questions will required Aspirants to make use of more than 1 EVM formulas. These questions are considered the most difficult of all PMP® EVM questions. Most Aspirants not coming from a Science / Maths background would not even know which EVM formulas to pick, let alone arriving at the correct answer. But the good news is that these questions would seldom appear on the PMP® Exam (for your reference: I got none in my PMP® Exam).


  1. For a project with Earned Value (EV) = $300, Actual Cost (AC) = $350 and Planned Value (PV) = $400. The overall project budget is $1,000. Assume that you will continue to spend at the same rate as you are currently spending. What is the Variance At Completion (VAC)?
    1. -$150
    2. $150
    3. -$167
    4. $167
    Solution: C
    As the project will continue to spend at the same current rate, the formula to be used would be:
    VAC = BAC – EAC
    EAC = BAC/CPI 
    CPI = EV/AC
    VAC = BAC – BAC/(EV/AC)  =$1000 – $1000/($300/$350)   = -$167

  2. For the project with Earned Value (EV) = $300,  Actual Cost (AC) = $250 and Planned Value (PV) = $300. The original project budget is $1000. Assuming the project will continue to spend money at the same rate, what is the Estimate At Completion (EAC) of the project?
    1. $833
    2. $933
    3. $1,000
    4. $1,033
    Solution: A
    As the project will continue to spend at the same current rate, the formula to be used would be:
    EAC = BAC/CPI
    CPI = EV/AC
    EAC = BAC/(EV/AC) = $1000 / ($300/$250) = $833

  3. For the project with Earned Value (EV) = $350, Actual Cost (AC) = $300 and Planned Value (PV) = $400. The original project budget is $1,000. Assuming the remaining work will be impacted by the current cost performance and current schedule performance, what is the Estimate At Completion (EAC) of the project?
    1. $837
    2. $937
    3. $987
    4. $1,280
    Solution: B
    As the project will be impacted by the current cost performance and current schedule performance, the formula would be:
    EAC = AC + [(BAC-EV)/(SPI*CPI)]
    SPI = EV / PV = $350 / $400 = 0.875
    CPI = EV / AC = $350 / $300 = 1.167
    EAC = BAC/(EV/AC) = $300 + [($1000 – $350) / (0.875 * 1.167)] = $937

Further Reading

After learning the skills of EVM questions and tackling the questions here, you will be equipped with necessary skills to answer EVM questions correctly.

* Hope this post and the PMP® Exam Formulas Guide will help you with your PMP® Exam.

 

Most Popular PMP Certification Exam Articles

50% discount coupon code for GreyCampus PMP online training courses

Support website running for FREE, thanks!

If you find this post helpful and if you are thinking of buying from Amazon, please support the running cost of this website at no extra cost to you by searching and buying through the search box below. Thank you very much for your help!

Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

29 Responses

  1. Dr. Nazia says:

    Hi Edward,

    I am on my last week of preparation and I am so happy I came across your blog and very smart questions. Thank you for the great article!!

  2. Manish says:

    Hi Edward…..Please check.
    QUESTION :
    For a project with Earned Value (EV) = $300, Actual Cost (AC) = $350 and Planned Value (PV) = $400. The overall project budget is $1,000. Assume that you will continue to spend at the same rate as you are currently spending. What is the Variance At Completion (VAC)?
    As the project will continue to spend at the same current rate, the formula to be used would be:

    Answer :
    VAC = BAC – EAC
    EAC = BAC/CPI
    CPI = EV/AC
    VAC = BAC – BAC/(EV/AC) =$1000 – $1000/($300/$350) = -$167

    is VAC formula in last line is correct? it should be BAC-[EAC/(EV/AC)]…..Please check and advise for correct answer

  3. Muyiwa says:

    Where are the answers?

  4. Magdalena says:

    I’ve just went through all the questions and nailed all of them except 2. My PMP exam is scheduled for tomorrow. These test questions were extremely helpful to find out where I stand, thank you for posting this.

  5. Edward says:

    Hi Edward, thank you so much for this blog! I used the material here a lot during my 3 months prep period. I took the exam today and passed on the first attempt! Thank you so much. I cant help feeling guilty that I didn’t pay a penny to use your material.

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Edward,

      Congratulations on being PMP certified! It is my humble hope that my sharing would be able to offer some assistance to fellow PMP Aspirants. Thanks a lot for letting me know I did help you a bit in your PMP preparation!

  6. saurabh says:

    Hi Ed,

    Thanks for sharing article !
    I believe explanation for Q2 is not correct.
    CPI is for to know under/over budget problem.
    if EV/AC is less than 1 it is over budget.
    Comparing AC to PV not always right for budget graph problem.
    In this question what if reverse EV & AC lines ??

    S

    • Edward Chung says:

      Hi Saurbh,

      Thanks a lot for spotting the typo. Yes you are right, when asked about budget problems, it is always a comparison between earned value (EV) and actual cost (AC).

      EV > AC = under budget
      AC > EV = over budget

      Wish you PMP success!

  7. Deno says:

    This article is awesome!! I understood all about EVM through this page, so cool, well-structured and easy to understand.
    And the formulas here are so easy to understand:
    http://edward-designer.com/web/pmp-calculation-formulae/

  8. Shelli says:

    THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Clint Amspacher says:

    Dude, this site is awesome! I stumbled on it while preparing for my exam tomorrow. I really like how you can roll over an area to get answer like the flash cards and the calculation questions above, keeps your focus only on that question or term. Keep up the great work!

  10. Edilene da Silva says:

    Hi Edward, why it is 111% ?

    • Kumar says:

      That was the other question I had…why 111%? Hoping Edward or someone else can shed some light on this.

    • Kumar says:

      This is what I understood from that question but the answer does not match:

      “This means for every $1 spent, the project is producing only 90 cents in work.”

      • Edward Chung says:

        Hi Kumar,

        Yes, you are right for “This means for every $1 spent, the project is producing only 90 cents in work.”.

        Since CPI = EV / AC, if CPI = 0.9, that means the project is now over budget (i.e. AC > EV by 111% [1/0.9 * 100%]).

  11. Kumar says:

    Great website Edward! Appreciate the awesome work you’ve put in. Thank you!

    You have the answer as C for #2 “If a project has a Cost Performance Index (CPI) of 0.90, this means that:”. Is the answer not B? Please advise.

    Thanks,
    Kumar

  12. Harideva Anand says:

    In a 1 liner – this blog is a life saver – extremely well structured – taking the reader step by step.
    With very useful, short and straight to the point example and explanations.

    I’d say every PMP student MUST read this blog – well shared Edward.
    It is very rare to find such comprehensive yet simple to understand – especially on the EVM topic.

    Thank you again, you do deserve a medal my friend !

  13. Anil says:

    As per PMBOK5 VAC=BAC-EAC but its given as EAC-BAC. Pls clarify.

  14. Gabriel says:

    For number 1 why are we using AC vs PV to determine budget ??? Sjhouldn’t it be SPI= EV/PV and CPI =EV/AC therefore SPI <1 and CPI <1 behind sked and underbudget ?? thanks for your help

    • Gabriel says:

      COrrection CPI <1 is over budget

      But I would just like to know the logic behind using Ac vs PV thanks !

      • Edward Chung says:

        Hi Gabriel,

        Thanks for your comments. Actually, it is okay to make use of CPI and SPI to make inference from the graph.

        However, it is enough just to compare AC vs PV as PV is the *planned* expenditure for a specific point during the project while AC is the *actual* expenditure. If the project is on budget, AC = PV.

        If you spend more than what’s planned, then the project is currently over budget and you will need to take measures to reduce expenditure from now on in order to meet the overall budget.

item->publish_up) < 1483833600) : ?>