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Project Management Professional Certification or more popularly called PMP® Certification is one of the most renowned certifications in the field of Project Management. All the professionals, irrespective of the industries they belong to, are trying to be PMP certified. There are various facts, myths as well as general doubts surrounding this certification. Through this article on PMP® Exam, I will try to cover most of the details that you need to know before you apply for this certification.
In this article, I will be discussing the below topics:
Project Management is the discipline that helps you in implementing various processes, methods, knowledge, skills, and experience for achieving the objectives of a unique project. You will find a highly skilled project manager behind every successful project irrespective of the industry. But how do you judge the efficiency and credibility of a Project Manager to entrust your project?
When it comes to project managers there are quite a few certifications, that help you gauge their knowledge and expertise they hold in handling challenging projects.
Below are the major project management certifications that are preferred by major companies across the globe:
Now, you might be wondering, out of all these certifications, why I did I chose PMP® Certification in particular. Well, folks, there are various reasons and I will be sharing them with you in the next section of this article. To know some of the major differences between the top two project management certifications, you can refer my blog on PMP® vs Prince2.
You may also go through this recording of PMP® vs PRINCE2 where you can understand the topics in a detailed manner with examples.
PMP® Certification is known as the golden standard of Project Management as to achieve this certification you have to go through a rigorous exam. As per the current data, there are around 833,025 active PMP® holders all around the world. With every passing year, this number keeps on skyrocketing.
But, what is the reason behind so many professionals flocking towards PMP® Certification? Well, below I have listed down the few major ones:
I guess these reasons are enough to explain PMP® certification‘s dominance in the market.
In the next section of this article, I would be getting into the nitty gritty of PMP® Certification.
Project Management Professional Certification acronymed as PMP® Certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). PMI is a not-for-profit professional membership association dedicated exclusively for the project management profession.
PMP exam is based on PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge)® Guide and includes everything that you need in order to prove your knowledge and skills in managing the triple constraints i.e. time, cost, and scope. But in order to get the PMP® Credentials, you are expected to clear the PMP® Certification examination that is held by PMI. You can trust me when I say, clearing a PMP® certification exam is no joke. But don’t worry, with proper planning, scheduling, and hard work you can definitely bag it in the first go. I have also written a detailed blog on the topic, here’s the link for your reference PMP® Certification.
You may also go through this recording of PMP® Certification where you can understand the topics in a detailed manner with examples.
In the next section of this blog, I will be talking about anything and everything that you need to know about PMP® Exam.
PMP® Certification is the most prestigious examination in the field of project management across the globe irrespective of the industry.
I will talk about them later in this article. For now, let us find out who can apply for the PMP® certification.
Being one of the most prominent certifications, PMI sets certain educational and professional experience requirements. You need to fulfill these requirements to be able to apply for this certification. PMI expects the PMP® certification aspirants come with a high school degree along with an Associate’s degree or a global equivalent degree. Along with this, the candidate must have 60+ months or 7,500+ hours of project management experience. Below are the prerequisites in a nutshell:
|High School Diploma|
|Global Equivalent Degree|
|Global Equivalent Degree|
One thing I would like to bring into your attention is that you can only attempt the PMP® exam thrice in one year. The experience must have been acquired within the last eight consecutive years prior to your application submission. But the mentioned project durations must not overlap with each other. Moreover, you need to have an experience in all the five process groups across all your projects. You don’t need to be a project manager for acquiring all this experience, you can be a professional who has experience in leading and directing projects. Thus, you can belong to any domain like marketing, programming, event management, construction etc. to be able to take up the PMP® exam and bag it.
In the next section of this article, I will be discussing the details regarding the examination fee of the PMP® certification exam.
When talking about the PMP® Certification exam, people generally have a doubt regarding, how much does a PMP® Exam cost?
Well, to avoid any kind of confusion let me make it clear that there are two ways in which PMI charges for the registration of PMP® certification exam. One of these registration includes the PMI membership charges while the other one doesn’t. If you are a new member and want to take up the PMI membership, it will cost you around 129 USD along with 10 USD as a one-time application fee. This membership is valid for a span of just one year, after the completion of which you need to renew it by paying 129 USD on a yearly basis.
As I have mentioned earlier in this article, you can take the PMP® certification exam in two modes:
The PMP exam fee can vary based on the mode of exam. The current fee for a non-PMI member going for CBT is 555 USD whereas for a PMI member it is just 405 USD. Similarly, exam fee for a non-PMI member opting PBT is 400 USD whereas for a PMI member it is just 250 USD. But, you can apply for a PBT only if you stay within a radius of 300 km from your nearest Prometric center or if the PMP® examination is sponsored by your Employer for the employees within the organization.
What if you schedule your exam but for some reason, you fail to appear for it. To avoid any kind of inconvenience or loss for the candidates, PMI provides a refund policy as well. But to claim it you have to request PMI at least 30 days prior to the expiry date of your exam which is exactly 1 year from the date when PMI finishes your PMP® exam application review. If you successfully apply within the valid period, PMI will charge you 100 USD as the processing fee and the rest will be returned back to you.
If you fail to meet the PMI’s audit requirements for the certification, you will be charged 100 USD out of your refund amount.
Unfortunately, if you are not able to clear your exam in the first attempt, then be disheartened as PMI provides an option to retake the examination. You are eligible for 3 retakes in a year. For each retake, PMI charges 275 USD for PMI members and 375 USD for non-members for computer-based testing. Similarly, for Paper Based Test, PMI charges 150 USD for PMI members and 300 USD for non-members. However, I would suggest you, not to consider re-examination as an option and aim to clear the PMP® certification exam in the first go only. Below is the PMP® Certification exam fee in a nutshell:
Fee for PMI Members
Fee for non-PMI Members
|Computer Based Test||405 USD||555 USD|
|Paper Based Test||250 USD||400 USD|
|Re-examination Computer-Based||275 USD||375 USD|
|Re-examination Paper-Based||150 USD||300 USD|
I guess I have answered your queries like:
Now, that you know the eligibility and the fees required for the PMP® Certification exam, let me now take up the next topic where I will be discussing the various privileges that a PMI member enjoys.
PMI members hold some special privileges. In the previous section, we learned about the concessions the members get in the examination fees. Well, the list doesn’t end here. Before we talk about these privileges, let’s understand different types of memberships that PMI offers. There are three types of memberships provided by PMI:
Now that you know about the types of PMI memberships, let me now generalize the privileges, each of these offers:
All the above-listed benefits are really of a great help if you are a project management practitioner and want to maintain the PMP® certification. Now, it’s up to you whether you want to take up the membership and enjoy all these benefits or suffer in vain. So, this pretty much concludes everything you need to know regarding the PMI memberships.
In the next section of this article, I will be giving you a complete timeline that you can follow to clear your certification exam in the first attempt.
Frankly, for a distinguished exam like PMP® certification, the amount of preparation put in barely reaches the satisfaction level. Because these certification exams are not at all easy and require you to put in maximum efforts. Hence it is important that you balance your work responsibilities so that you can devote maximum time for preparation.
But after a great amount of research, an ideal exam preparation timeline was curated. According to this timeline, it takes approx 10-12 weeks for a working professional to prepare for the exam. Below is the diagrammatic representation of the estimated timeline.
Let me elaborate on this timeline for you.
Before you apply for the PMP® certification exam, it is advised to take up a PMP® Exam preparation training course. These training courses not just help you in gaining the mandatory 35 contact hours but are excellent for gaining confidence over the subject. They help you in gaining better insights into various parameters and requirements of different types of projects.
Now, if you are thinking where you can get this kind of training, then let me tell you, there are online as well as offline training available. You can opt for any of them as per your preference. But if you ask me, I would suggest you to go for an online one. That way, you won’t be time or location bounded and on top of that, it is more affordable.
You can check out PMP® Certification Exam Training by Edureka. We provide structured training where you will be guided by PMP® Certified Trainers, who have years of experience in training.
You may also go through this recording of PMP® Training where you can understand the topics in a detailed manner with examples.
Talking about the training, they are generally 4 weeks long be it online or offline. With these, you get proper guidance from an expert along with various study materials. For the PMP® certification exam, I would say, the more the merrier. Not only this, going through the training will help you in gaining a stronghold on Project management fundamentals.
While undergoing the training, you can apply for the PMP® exam application form. I will be discussing the complete application procedure later in this article, for now, let’s focus on our timeline. So, by the time your training is over, you can schedule your exam. It will be wise to schedule the exam after an interval of 6-8 weeks as it will give you enough time to study thoroughly about project management. Also, you can enhance your speed and boost your confidence by taking up various full mock exams. These 6-8 weeks will be a crucial part of your preparation as this is the time where you have put your mind and soul into the preparation. The concepts you study and learn now will be helpful for the rest of your life.
Since PMP® is not an easy exam, the passing rate on the first try lies between 50-60%. But, if you can follow the above schedule, I can assure you that, you can bag the PMP® certificate in the first attempt. For some tips and tricks to prepare better, you can refer my blog on PMP® Exam Prep.
With this, I hope I was able to tackle the basic queries about preparation time for PMP® exam such as:
You may also go through this recording of PMP® Exam Prep where you can understand the topics in a detailed manner with examples.
Till now I have discussed quite a few essentials but now let’s break the mold and dive deeper to discuss the exam format and syllabus of the PMP® exam.
The syllabus for PMP® certification is extensively based on PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge)® Guide. It covers 49 process groups and 10 knowledge areas that are mapped within 5 process groups which are Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring, and Closing. I have discussed more on PMBOK® guide in my PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition blog.
Now, all these phases are further categorized into various tasks/processes mapped into various Knowledge Areas. The following table represents the exact mapping of processes:
|PROCESS GROUPS||INITIATING||PLANNING||EXECUTING||MONITOR & CONTROL||CLOSING|
|Project Integration Management||• Develop Project Charter||• Develop Project Management Plan||• Direct & Manage Project Work||• Monitor & Control Project Work|
• Perform Integrated Change Control
|Project Scope Management||• Plan Scope Management|
• Collect Requirement
• Define Scopes
• Create WBS
|• Validate Scope|
• Control Scope
|Project Time Management||• Plan Schedule Management|
• Define Activities
• Sequence Activities
• Estimate Activity Resources
• Estimate Activity Duration
• Develop Schedule
|• Control Schedule|
|Project Cost Management||• Plan Cost Management|
• Estimate Costs
• Determine Budget
|• Control Costs|
|Project Quality Management||• Plan Quality Management||• Perform Quality Assurance||• Control Quality|
|Project HR Management||• Plan HR Management||• Acquire Project Team|
• Develop Project Team
• Manage Project Team
|Project Communication Management||• Plan Communication Management||• Manage Communications||• Control Communications|
|Project Risk Management||• Plan Risk Management|
• Identify Risks
• Plan Qualitative Risk Analysis
• Plan Quantitative Risk Analysis
• Plan Risk Responses
|• Control Risks|
|Project Procurement Management||• Plan Procurement Management||• Conduct Procurement||• Control Procurement||• Close Procurement|
|Project Stakeholder Management||• Identify Stakeholders||• Plan Stakeholders Management||• Manage Stakeholders Engagement||• Manage Stakeholders Engagement|
The only mantra to clear your PMP® certification exam is to learn the entire PMBOK® Guide by heart. The PMBOK® Guide is the best source of learning and identifying the fundamental aspects of project management like ITTO (Inputs, Tools, Techniques & Outputs). which are very essential to clear this exam. Well, people generally fail because of the false assumptions like their experience in project management will serve the same purpose as studying the PMBOK® Guide. So folks please stay away from such wrong notions and make the PMBOK® Guide your oxygen. Remember, if you have a limited amount of time it is of utmost importance that you optimize and utilize your time well.
You may also go through this recording of PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition where you can understand the topics in a detailed manner with examples.
In the next section, I will talk about the exam format of the PMP® certification exam.
The PMP® Certification Exam is comprised of 200 MCQs, out of which 175 are scored questions and rest 25 are unscored questions. You have to solve all these questions within 4 hours. And since there is no negative marking, I would suggest you attempt each and every question, even if you are not sure about the correct answer. If you leave a question blank it won’t give you any marks but if you attempt it, you have at least a 25% chance for securing the score.
Now, let me show you the distribution of questions across specific process groups in project management.
I guess its clear from the diagram where you have to dedicate more time. As the Planning, Executing and Monitoring phases together cover more than 80% of the syllabus carefully plan and decide on your schedule.
But the biggest question that still stands is the passing score of the PMP® exam.
Well, sorry to break it to you guys but there is no fixed score to clear the PMP® exam. The marks you obtain will be based on the difficulty level of the questions you get. PMI follows such a format because the PMP® certification exam is a psychometric test. In this, no two candidates get the same set of questions nor all the questions carry equal weightage. If you get a questionnaire with easy questions, then the passing score is likely to be higher for you. Similarly, if you get difficult questions, then the passing score will be much lower.
I guess, I was able to clear all queries related to PMP® Exam Format like:
Now we know that what to prepare and how to do it, in the next section I would be addressing the resources you must refer to prepare for the PMP® Certification Exam.
Below I have listed down the most popular resources preferred by the PMP® aspirants. They can act as a perfect foil for PMBOK® Guide and supplement some of the concepts which you might otherwise miss. The fact that the PMP® exams consider PMP® Exam Outline as a source of questions, the following resources would prove immensely useful.
There are more resources available online, which you can refer as per your requirement.
In the next section of this article, I will be talking about the complete application procedure for the PMP® certification exam.
Before you apply for the PMP® application form, please make sure you are fulfilling the eligibility criteria. As this form is really long and time-consuming, it will be a total waste if your application gets rejected. Once you have made sure of these requirements, you can go ahead and fill the form. Well, earlier PMI provided two modes for application fill up which are online and printable PDF mode. But now, PMI has retired the paper-based application and encourages everyone to fill credential exams online.
Above image depicts the four steps involved in the PMP® Certification application process. Let me now discuss them in detail:
This concludes the PMP® application procedure. Hope, through this section, I was able to clear some basic doubts like:
So, how do you renew the PMP® Certification? Let’s get into the details in the next section.
Now, if you are successful in bagging the PMP® Certification don’t think you are done and dusted. If you are not aware, then let me tell you, PMP® Certification is nothing like any other certifications. It’s more like a journey of project management practitioner, where you reach the first milestone by cracking the exam and getting PMP® certified. Once you have received your PMP® Credential, you need to work hard to keep your credential active else it will be dissolved after 3 years.
To maintain your credential status active, you need to participate in the Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program. According to this program, being a PMP® credential holder, you are expected to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDU) in a cycle of 3 years. Well, one PDU is equivalent to one hour spent in any Professional Development activity. Don’t worry, PDU’s are easy to earn as you earn a PDU while you contribute to your profession and most of the training courses help you in gaining them. Once you have enough PDU’s you can easily apply for the certification renewal. For certification renewal, PMI charges 60 USD for PMI members and 150 USD for non-members.
In this section, I tried covering queries like:
In the next section of this article, I will be discussing a few tips and tricks that can help you out in your PMP® exam preparation.
As said, “Last minute preparation is the best preparation”, thus, I will be sharing a few tips that will help you prepare better. If you want to know the tips for PMP® exam preparation, you can refer my blog on PMP® Exam Prep.
Well, it is quite natural, to feel nervous before your exam, as you have been preparing just for this day and you want everything to come out fine. The tips I am going to share are based on the experience of successful PMP® credential holders and will help to keep the stress and nervousness at the bay.
Now, these were very basic things that you must pay attention if you wish to come out with flying colors. Next, in this article, I will talk about the most popular myths surrounding the PMP® Certification.
With the abundance of knowledge and information, PMP® certification has become the magnet of myths. There are many facts related to PMP® that we know, are nothing but myths. These myths are so popular that you won’t be able to differentiate them from the truth. Through this article, I will be exposing few of the most popular myths that you might come across regarding PMP® exam.
The truth is PMP® Certification is for everyone who meets the eligibility criteria as stated in PMI handbook. There is no restriction in the type of industry or the background knowledge to be able to apply for PMP® certification.
Well, this might have been partially true till 2005 but not anymore. Nowadays, PMI judges you based on a sound psychometric analysis as I have already mentioned earlier in this article.
The actual fact is, you need 35 contact hours not the PDU’s to be able to apply for this exam. You don’t have any use of PDU’s unless and until you bag the PMP® Certification. You need to earn 60 PDUs every three years to keep your PMP® Credential active.
Well, a candidate must have unique non-overlapping professional project management experience as specified in the eligibility criteria irrespective of the process groups or domains.
There is no authorized or unauthorized training material for the PMP® Exam. You can get trained from any trainer irrespective of they are registered or not. The only benefit of getting trained by a REP is that their course content is pre-approved by PMI.
There are approx 500 ITTO’s listed in the PMBOK® guide and there is no point in memorizing them. It is better to utilize your time in understanding the concepts behind each of the processes.
PMP® certification can help with salary hike, but it will ultimately depend on your potential. Along with this, several other factors that can also effect include the country of employment, years of experience, and the size of the projects you have worked in etc.
With this, we come to the end of this article on the PMP® Certification Exam. I hope I was able to provide you with all the necessary information that you need to get familiar with PMP® Certification and its exam.
If you found this “PMP® Certification Exam” article relevant, check out the PMP® Certification Exam Training by Edureka, a trusted online learning company with a network of more than 250,000 satisfied learners spread across the globe.
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