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Earning PMP Renewal with PDU

By September 13, 2022No Comments

It used to be that you could see trends counted in terms of decades. The fifties had leather jackets and car hops. The sixties had long hair and music festivals. Now you turn around and the phone you bought yesterday is already obsolete, or the version of your operating system needs to be updated.

Keeping with the world around us takes time and effort and being a Project Management Professional is no different. Once you have your PMP you have to keep up with the times in order to stay current.

PMI, the Project Management Institute is a version ahead. The number one global PMP certificate is recognized globally because they keep their standards high and they expect certificate holders to do so as well.

PMP certification has opened a wealth of opportunities for you, better pay, better projects, maybe even international travel. To keep that momentum going you have to keep up with the trends. You have to make sure the version of You is the latest version. You have to keep updating.

Your PMP certificate has to be updated. It has to be renewed.

PMP Renewal

This isn’t the certification exam. You’ve already met those requirements. You have the education and field experience necessary and you have completed the 35 contact hours necessary to sit for the exam.

Most importantly, there isn’t an exam. You’ve passed, and one of the first things you need to do is start working towards renewal to keep your certificate current.

Every three years, PMI requires you to submit proof that you are the latest and best version of a project management professional that you can be and the following is how you do it.

Change is Good

The process of getting your PMP certification took into consideration your experience, and your knowledge. Issac Asimov said “If knowledge can create problems, it is not through ignorance that we can solve them.”

As a PMP certificate holder, you are a problem solver. PMI sets certain standards that you have to meet, not just to get your certificate, but to hold your certificate. This is what PMP renewal is all about.

Most of the requirements are things you are already doing, it’s just a matter of keeping records and submitting your time. Professional Development Units (PDUs), and the outline that PMI gives you to earn them has been found to be the best way to keep your knowledge up to date.

All certifications through PMI require renewal, not just PMP. So learning about what it takes to get your PMP renewed can help with any other certificates, like CAPM, Agile, or Scrum.

Each certification requires you to report Professional Development Units (PDU) in order to meet your Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR). PMI aims to preserve their status by maintaining yours. Ensuring that you are continuing to meet the rigorous demands of a project management professional, putting your best foot, or version, forward for years to come.

PDUs vs. Contact Hours

PDUs aren’t the same thing as contact hours. They can be earned the same way, through coursework but there are a variety of other ways to earn your PDUs as well.

PDUs also aren’t perpetual. Once they are submitted they can no longer be counted. The 35 contact hours that you earned in order to sit for your exam, on the other hand, never expire. You can use them for other certifications, such as Agile, or Scrum.  

Contact hours are earned by learning the knowledge areas and processes in the Project Management Book of Knowledge (PMBOK). The exam is centered around this knowledge. PDUs, however, are earned by retaining and updating your understanding of what it means to be in the field of project management.

When and How Many PDUs Do You Need?

Every three years, from the date you received your certificate, you will be required to submit 60 PDUs for renewal. If you received your PMP on October 2, three years later, PMI will need your renewal packet completed.

PDUs can be earned in a variety of ways and many of them you were planning on or have already completed. By understanding and planning ahead, which is what you excel at, and taking the Agile approach, constantly adapting to meet the needs of your profession, you are well on your way.

Ways To Earn PDUs

Sixty sounds like a lot, but when you break it down over three years, that’s a half a week of work each year. As stated above, many of the items that can be submitted are tasks you are or were going to complete anyway.

PMI has broken down the PDU requirements into two classifications, Education and Giving Back to help you know where you stand. Both of these have several categories to choose from. There are limits, so make sure to document another thing you are a pro at.

Before going forward let’s talk a little about PMI membership.

PMI Membership

PMI membership can provide you with a variety of educational opportunities. By joining PMI renewing your PMP Certificate becomes a lot easier, and there are numerous benefits to being a member

For $129 a year (as of Sep 2022) you:

  • Become a part of the largest PM community
  • Have the ability to track your certification status with myPMI
  • You can download the latest PMBOK® Guide for free
  • You gain access to PMIstandards+ digital content solution
  • You unlock 1,000+ tools and templates
  • You have more, free opportunities to earn PDUs
  • You save on career-advancing certifications
  • You have access to relevant jobs with the PM Job Board
  • You are able to stay up-to-date with PMI publications
  • You can access the digital download of the Disciplined Agile “Choose Your WoW” book
  • You have the opportunity to join local chapters for educational and networking opportunities (an additional annual fee for local chapters may be required)
  • With local chapter membership you can earn PDUs through meetings, local seminars and other opportunities as well as network with Project Management Professionals in your area.

Membership in PMI can help you to network with other project managers as well as provide you with the opportunities to meet your educational requirements for your PDUs.

PDU Education

Pretty straight forward. Any time you are learning about project management you may be able to count that time as a PDU. Each PDU is equal to one hour of actual time. One hour of sitting in a classroom, one hour of watching a TedTalk, one hour of reading a white paper, all can be counted.

Documenting is key to all PDU submissions. The education category allows you to earn at minimum 35 of your 60 PDUs in the three year period, 35 Minimum.

You can choose to earn all 60 of your PDUs through education:

  1. Training or courses
  2. Organizational Meetings
  3. Informal Learning
  4. Online/Digital Media or
  5. Reading.

1.           Training or Courses

PMI provides a list of approved educational events. From seminars and conferences, to chapter meetings and workshops, PMI offers a variety of project management specific courses and training to help you increase, update, and inform you of all the changes within your field.

Courses may be a few hours, or a few days. Different industries are represented to allow you to focus your continuing education. A variety of places and times are also available so that you can work them into your schedule.

Many courses provide online opportunities, so travel time doesn’t need to be considered. Just a good connection.

“The Global Accreditation Center for Project Management Education Programs (GAC) is an independent academic accreditation body with policies, procedures, and standards for project, program, portfolio management and related programs at the bachelor’s, post graduate and doctoral degree levels.” For individuals looking to receive their degrees, these approved colleges and universities furnish certified study specialized to project management. Training courses by REPs and third-party providers: Registered Education Providers(REP) and third-party institutions also provide training on topics related to project management. They announce their calendar of programs from which if anything suits your budget and convenience, you could sign up for these.

Many organizations are PMI Authorized Training Partners. These organizations provide professional development units pre approved by PMI. PMI’s website has a list of such opportunities. It’s just a matter of finding ones that fit your schedule and signing up.

2.           Organizational Meetings

If you have joined a local chapter of PMI you can attend meetings, seminars, and workshops while networking with fellow project managers in your area. These meetings all offer PDU credit that you can submit.

Your company may also sponsor meetings, or brown bag lunches that can provide you with PDUs. Check with your HR department to find out if any company wide meetings meet the criteria.

3. Informal Learning

Structured professional discussions, learning lunches, and brainstorming sessions are all informal learning situations that can be counted towards your PDU requirements. Keep track of time, place, subject matter, and participants.

4. Online/Digital Media

Webinars and video learning opportunities are a couple of different ways that you can utilize the internet to earn your PDUs. ProjectManagement.com is an excellent source of PMI approved online and digital media opportunities.

5. Reading

Articles, blogs, books, white papers, and even information about PMI and the PMBOK can all be counted towards a PDU. As with online/digital media, ProjectManagement.com offers a variety of reading PDU possibilities. Keep track of time, title, author, and subject matter.

The Talent Triangle

The talent triangle is PMI’s way of assuring that your Continued Certification Requirements are well rounded. Ways of Working, Power Skills, and Business Acumen are the three sides of the triangle. You must complete 8 hours of each of these parts of the triangle in order to renew your certificate. After those 24 hours are fulfilled, the rest of your PDUs can fall under any category.

Some courses and workshops or seminars may provide you with the entire block of 60 PDUs required for the three year period. Make sure to check they provide you with opportunities in all three areas of the triangle.

Ways of working is a way to show that you are keeping up with the technical aspects of project management. Getting your Agile certificate, receiving training in new programs or apps to help facilitate the scope of work, or a variety of other skills, or behaviors that you learn to work within a specific field, program, or project can all count towards the 8 hours of Ways of Working PDU.

Power Skills are the leadership skills that you use to communicate with team members, stakeholders, resources, etc. Learning the latest ways to communicate as well as knowledge of how to communicate, especially in the current work environment are key to keeping and getting ahead. Professional project managers are consistently ensuring that they have the ability to and capability of communicating effectively with anyone they come in contact to for the job.

Business Acumen was formerly known as Strategic and Business Management on the triangle. Being aware of “macro and micro influences” PMP certificate holders help keep the organization, as well as the industry they are working in, to the high standards set by PMI. Developing productive strategies to facilitate good decision making and staying aware of the overall sustainability of projects to focus on local as well as global impacts is key. Learning opportunities that focus on the business benefits which go beyond the project management position, help to complete this final part of the triangle.

The sides of the triangle don’t have to be completed in any special order. There may be some renewal periods where the focus of the industry leans more towards one side than the others, but each part of the triangle must have 8 hours within the three year renewal period.

Giving Back PDU

Unlike the education PDU, Giving Back has a maximum that you can earn. There is no requirement that you earn any, but if you do go forward with Giving back as part of your PDU renewal requirements there are a few things you should know.

You can only count 25 PDUs from the Giving Back category. Of those, 8 can be counted just for being you. That’s right, 8 of the Giving Back PDUs are “Working as a Professional”. PMI recognizes that by working in your certified role as a project manager, you provide value to others with your knowledge and skills. Your PMP allows you to give back.

The other 17 Giving Back PDUs that you can earn fall into the volunteering & creating knowledge category.  

  1. Creating Content: Writing a blog, white paper, creating presentations, or conducting webinars on project management all count towards the 17 Giving Back PDUs. Even preparing a presentation for your own organization can count towards creating content, a blog you might write for your company’s website or a presentation that you create for one of the stakeholders.
  2. Presentation: By presenting that slide presentation, through video, webinar, or in person seminars or chapter meetings, you can earn PDUs. Most companies have social media platforms that they engage on and represent your company and your profession gives back to others.
  3. Sharing Knowledge: Teaching and Mentoring are also a great way to give back. You got to where you are because people helped you and now you have the chance to pay it forward. There may be a person in your organization or local chapter that has a CAPM and wants to go forward with their PMP, or you may be able to teach a course at your local community college. Share your knowledge to keep the field of project management growing and the professionalism standards at their highest level.
  4. Volunteer: PMI provides you with a variety of opportunities to volunteer through PMI. The Standards Committee, Education Foundation, or Insight Teams among other other opportunities are all available to you through the website if you are a member. Check with PMI to see if there are outside organizations that you can count as well. If you are a project manager in the construction field, you may lend your talents to Habitat for Humanity, or if you are in the IT field you may be able to find a STEM program that could use your abilities.

PDU Recap

You need 60 total PDUs in a 3 year period. You need a minimum of 35 hours of Educational PDUs. Of those 8 need to be earned on each side of the triangle, Ways of Working, Power Skills, and Business Acumen. You can earn all of your 60 PDUs through the education category.

If you want to earn some of your PDUs through Giving back you can count no more than 25 of those hours. Eight of those hours can be counted as Working as a Professional. The other 17 can be obtained by Volunteering and Creating Knowledge.

Many find that the easiest way is to sign up for a PDU package that provides you with the entire 60 hours. These are often online and self paced. However, you may want to opt for the seminars, or workshops. They provide you with excellent networking opportunities and access to the next big thing before it is the next big thing.

Final Steps: Reporting your PDUs

On the PMI website you will find the CCRS portal. Use your User ID and Password to login. Make sure you have the following information available:

  • Provider Name/ID
  • Title of the course
  • Start and end date of the course
  • Number of PDUs you are claiming under Technical, Leadership and Strategic & Business Management

You can login and submit throughout the three years and PMI recommends that you do this so that you aren’t left short at the end. You will be able to see the completed PDUs on your dashboard and know what you still need to complete, including what areas of the triangle may be lacking.

PMI can audit your renewal just as they can your initial certification information. Make sure to keep and submit accurate records.

Remember, you can earn PDUs just for being you. You have value as a PMP certificate holder. You are the latest version, the newest update. You have the technology. You’re a Project Management Professional.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.69 out of 5.0 stars based on 99 review(s).

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I expected more interactive material. But the practice tests are invaluable with 1500 questions!!

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This is a great tool to support the PMBOK Guide. Quizzes, presentations, and videos help break down the massive amount of information that comes with the PMBOK, truly helping you prepare for the actual exam. Great way to get your 35 hours classroom credit!

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I think the course is good. I wouldn't mind a few more videos and audible in the trainings. I do a lot do reading. I bought the PMBOK book on the side and sometimes have trouble connect the class to the PMBOK book. I do enjoy your format. I am learning. Personally I need buckle down and spend more time on it.

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Easy to navigate the platform

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I really enjoyed the Brain Sensei self learning course as well as the virtual course with the instructor. I was able to pass the PMP with above target ratings for every section. I am so pleased with how easy and efficient the courses were to navigate, and how simply the PMI approach was placed into every day situations. I would highly recommend this course to everyone wanting to either freshen up on their Project skills or to master the PMP.

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Hi Folks, good course there. More info/exercises on EV and formulas would be really helpful. Thank you very much.

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The course was thorough and the practice exams enhanced my learning. However, I am having a hard time receiving my PDU credit for taking the course.

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Excellent test prep for the exam, though some more practice tests on agile would be beneficial

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It is often hard to figure out what the right answer was on a quiz or practice exam. Frequently, the correct answer is buried in a lot of text about what options are wrong.

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The content was spot on and I am much more confident in understanding the processes and how everything works together now. (The) course is great; however, the customer service team is Exceptional! Very responsive and thorough, and at all times; and when I had some technical difficulties (or questions) they stuck with me through resolution. Highly recommended program and company.

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Good Value.

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Passed on the first try!

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Good courses, lots of text and reading. Not as many videos or interactive pieces that I was expecting. And some misspelled words.

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It was great!

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The Course documents should remain open for longer than 6 months, given that PMI gives you 365 days to prepare for exam. Also, the option to extend visibility for the course documents, costs almost a 5th of the course, but opens up the docs for just 30 more days. Propose to extend this to 90 days at the very least.

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The format of the prep-course is great overall and a great alternative to reading the PMBOK. Barring a few minor glitches here and there, the flow of information ensures that concepts are well understood not only from the point of examination but to the point of application in day to day professional activities. Explanations provided in the answers of prep exams (apart from the 1st one) are also a key to understanding the thought process to be applied. With the focus being on Agile approaches from 2021, the information in the course seemed adequate to cover the concepts. All the Best to all aspirants.

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رقص ترانه وشادب5

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اشحنولي

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Your course, quizzes at the end of most modules and practice exams truly challenged me. I definitely derived the value and knowledge I was looking for in preparation for taking the PMP Certification Test. In particular, I appreciated the explanations that popped-up in the tests after an answer was submitted - very educational and helpful to my learning/understanding the material and concepts better. Some areas that could be improved (and some of this is nit-picking) include: * Some of the grammar and overall sentence structures, particularly in the latest set of practice exams, needs to be cleaned-up. Some were missing 'of', 'for, or had an extra 'an' in the narrative - got confusing at times. * In the practice exams, I'd like to see shorter sentences rather than the flurry of 'and' and 'or' conjunctions that made reading the sentences go on forever (had to read them multiple times to truly understand their meaning). That said, I enjoyed the overall online course taking experience and thank you for accommodating my requested time extensions. Best regards, Scott Conn

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Liked it. Need access for longer though.

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What I like best about Brain Sensei is the interactive nature of the course. I think this material would be numbing if delivered as simple lectures with slides. This method is an improvement on that. On the other hand, an in-person course, while more expensive, would likely be even more useful if you have the funds and the time. I haven't taken the PMP exam yet, so I can't comment on how useful the practice tests are.

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Great

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Passed first attempt

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Truly the best course in town if you wish to pass the PMP exam on the first try. I love the idea of playing the role of the samurai and practice your project management skill in her shoes. And not to forget, the generous amount of practice exam gave me just the right dose of confidence before taking the real one. Highly recommended

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The course was great, though I found a lot of parts hard to comprehend. I feel a lot more prepared and better skilled to manage projects in my career. Thanks, Brain Sensei.

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very useful

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I have studied with other programs and I didn’t feel prepared. After a short time with Brain Sensei, I had the confidence to succeed on exam day, which I did on the first try after studying with Brain Sensei. It was worth every penny.

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Course is made for people who are already grounded in the material, not for someone that needs all the basics. Was budget friendly and OK content.

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Brain Sensei is great tool to have in the study arsenal while preparing for the PMP exam.

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Overall layout is good, but there are some quality issues. Progress isn't always saved across all devices and progress gets lost. Some small spelling mistakes. I loved the practical storyline...

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Passed my PMP on first attempt using Brain Sensei Prep course.

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Quick and helpful response. Thanks!!

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Need improvement in presenting more relevant real exam type questions. The practice exams are too simple and easy and do not prepare you for the real exam. Otherwise, good concept presenting material

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The prep materials provided plenty of content which prepared me well for the PMP exam. The questions were packed with information.

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Teaches the PMP in a solid manner, some things you need to know as a potential consumer: -The Samurai backstory is extremely short, and didn’t really assist me with recall in any in-depth way. It only gave broad brush-strokes as to what each phase entailed. -MOST of what was on the test was covered in the lessons, however if I had zero real prior PM knowledge prior to the test, I would have failed. -The first practice test forces you, as the student to actually read into the PMBOK, which was a benefit in the long run as it assisted me with quickly referencing what I needed to find. -The course will likely cover wave tops and subjects, forcing me to self-study for a week before my test... not a bad deal all things considered. -Brain Sensei’s course has incorporated Agile into one of their practice tests, and this test IS mandatory. This may seem strange, and I didn’t get a satisfactory reason why I needed to take a purely Agile test when I only wanted to take the PMP, for anyone else in this scenario, this is the reason: In June, PMI is revamping the PMP test to include Agile as a significant portion of the PMP. Brain Sensei is just ahead of the curve trying to get students prepared... fret not. Their customer service is extremely responsive and does take care of their members. My program had a couple bugs, and the customer service fixed my problems within 24 hours. All in all... it was absolutely worth the money for me.

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- said durra

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At first, I was attracted to Brain Sensei training for their original learning program using a Samurai's story. And indeed it made the whole learning experience funnier - so easier. I felt like the Samurai. Then, I was amazed by The Brain Sensei Team's reactivity and help when I reached out through contact@brainsensei.com Their support was constantly reliable and efficient. I appreciated their professionalism and didn't feel on my own. At last, the course and the practice exams proved to be efficient since I passed the PMP exam - with 'Above Targe't in all Domains. So thank you so much Brain Sensei Team !! Charlene

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Overall very good. Got stuck a few times trying to find resources which I should have downloaded the before starting the program. Customer service has been great.

- Jonathan Williams

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SO far I am thoroughly enjoying the Brain Sensei PMP prep course. I have taken a Project management class as a part of my degree which I recently completed and project management has always interested me. I find the course to be educational and easy to follow. I am grateful that this course has been designed in such a way that is simple to understand all of the complexities in project management and that allows me to study at my own pace.

- Eric Browne

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The content is good and easy to understand

- Glenn

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This review is based on completing all course work through module 102. The story and interactive nature of the course are helpful for learning and relating the material. It would be nice to have the page numbers to the PMBOK guide where references are made to it. Other information that will be helpful, are the explanations to the practice questions at the end of each module. These are provided only after immediately answering the questions. Having these available in the score summary from the 'history' tab will be helpful to refresh why the answer is correct and other options are not.

- Rohan Punit

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Overall I would rate this course an 8/10. I liked how there were exams towards the end of every module and I felt that it was very useful having it laid out in different scenarios. I rate it only an 8/10 as I had some glitch/software issues and lost my progress resulting in me having to re-do modules/exams multiple times. All in all, that was maybe useful in the end as it was a way for me study or 're-learn' the course material. Thank you!

- Nikki Cordy

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Clear and precise explanations of how things work. I was never lost navigating the course.

- Gary Nicol

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A smart approach to present the information which makes it fun and engaging while at the same time preparing for the PMP exam. Brain Sensei differentiates itself from other PMP exam preps in that it delivers the knowledge through the use of storytelling technique. I recommend this course because it will help you pass your PMP exam on the first try.

- Jamal

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Loved the story telling and the practice exams. I felt very prepared when the actual exam came around.

- Josh

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One of a kind training that was truly engaging!

- Claire

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Excellent course for preparing for the PMP exam in a fun and engaging way! The practice questions resemble the actual questions on the exam making it a completely worthwhile experience.

- Rossetta

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I passed the PMP exam after taking Brain Sensei's Online PMP Certification Exam Prep. The practice exam questions were so similar to the questions that appeared on the exam. On exam day, when I sat down to take the test and started running through the questions I felt so relieved! The practice exams are also timed so you get more comfortable with the exam experience and feel better prepared when you sit down to take the test. The other differentiator was the video content throughout the modules. The concepts are taught through a story of a young samurai defending her kingdom. This will probably be the only PMP prep course where you can learn all the knowledge areas and feudal Japan at the same time. I'd recommend this course not just because of the videos but because it helped me pass my exam on the first try.

- Jackie

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Good course, but a few grammatical errors with how some questions were worded.

- Sonia

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It was good!

- Sergei

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Loved the unique approach and it still had all the info I'd expect from a full PMP exam prep course. Very responsive on questions too.

- Chris