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PDU: Renewing your Certifications

By January 13, 2023No Comments

You are certified. Whether it’s CAPM certification or PMP certification, you’ve done the work and passed the exam. Now, the real work begins.

However, if you have gotten this far, the work to maintain your certificate isn’t really work at all.

Think of yourself as a long term project. The first version has been released, but you’ve built updates into your project life cycle.

Professional Development Units (PDUs) are the steps to accomplish the updates.

PMI

Before you go further, you may want to go forward with PMI membership.

Default PMI membership fee is $129 and there is a one-time $10 membership application fee. If you are a retiree you will have discounted PMI membership fees.

Membership

PMI Membership Fees($USD)

Note

Normal

$129

Plus, one-time US$10 application fee

Retiree

$65

Retiree Membership is $65.00 a year to renew. It will allow you to stay involved with the PM community for a special rate if you’ve been a PMI member in good standing for five consecutive years and have retired from active employment. PMI may ask for the documents to prove your status.

Annual Renewal PMI Member fees:

If you are already a PMI member and if you want to renew it, you will be paying an annual renewal fee. The annual renewal fee is $119 for PMI-members. If your PMI membership has expired and if you want to rejoin PMI, you will be considered as a new member. You will be paying $129 membership fee plus $10 application fee as well.

Other than the discount you will have on exam fees there are a variety of other benefits to being a member:

  1. Download the most up to date PMBOK Guide for free
  2. Save money on other globally recognized certifications
  3. Master new skills through free webinars and events
  4. Stay ahead of deadlines using 1,000+ free tools and templates
  5. Join the community to make local and global connections

PMI also has local chapters that can help you with earning your PDUs and put you in touch with other project managers that you can mentor, or that you may want to seek advice from. The local chapters are great for networking and staying up to date in the field of project management.

That being said, let’s look at what a PDU is.

What is a PDU?

Professional Development Units (PDUs) are similar to continuing education credits required in other occupations. However, PMI requires a little bit more than just taking a class.

PDUs must be earned each three year period for CAPM and PMP certifications. Please check PMI’s website for other certifications you may hold and the requirements for their renewal.

Contact hours used to acquire your PMP can’t be used towards your PDU hours to renew your PMP. PDUs are a one and done. You submit them, they are counted, and they can’t be reused.

Professional Development Units represent one hour of time spent on learning, teaching, or volunteering your time in a project management capacity. PMI breaks down the PDUs into two categories:

  • Education: PDUs earned in the course of attending professional seminars, webinars, classes (on line or in person), workshops, or self learning.
  • Giving Back: PDUs earned for working with professional groups, volunteering, mentoring, and more.

PMI requires you to submit these hours in order to renew so that they can make sure that certificate holders are held to a higher standard. They want you to be constantly learning and updating your skills in order to enhance and promote the field of Project Management.

PMI is constantly updating and improving their information to keep abreast of current technologies and trends. Members are expected to do the same. If you aren’t a member of PMI, the benefits of becoming one are numerous. Not only are your fees on renewals and many seminars and certifications reduced, but you become a part of the global community that is Project Management. This provides you with the ability to stay in step and often one step ahead of those that aren’t members.

CAPM renewal:

Education PDU

CAPM renewal requires 15 PDUs every three years. Education PDUs must account for a minimum of 9 hours of the 15 PDUs required for renewal. Within this 9 hours you must complete 2 hours for each of the three categories in the PDU Talent Triangle:

  1. Ways of Working
  2. Power Skills
  3. Business Acumen.

The rest of your educational PDUs can be earned by:

  • Attending local meetings, activities or events that relate to the field of project management.
  • Informal learning such as attending a brown bag lunch for other project managers, or engaging in structured professional meetings about the profession.
  • Reading relevant articles, magazines, books, or studies. PMI offers several resources to help you find these items.
  • Obtaining information through online resources such as blogs, vlogs, project management courses, or podcasts. PMI recommends checking ProjectManagement.com for acceptable resource materials.
  • Attending professional relevant seminars, conferences, workshops, meetings or events that are organized, either online or at location. PMI’s events calendar is a great place to start for such resources.
  • Coursework, classwork, or training that is led by an instructor in a formal setting either in person or online.

Giving Back PDU

Giving Back PDUs can only count for 6 of your 15 required PDUs. A maximum of 2 hours must be in the Working as a Professional Category and the other 4 may be earned in the Volunteering and Creating Knowledge category.

  • Just by being you on the job you can earn PDUs. Applying and utilizing your skills and knowledge can count towards the Giving Back category.
  • Creating content, writing articles, or producing videos can all count towards Giving Back.
  • Presenting at a seminar, conference, or even a structured meeting, where you present project management content can count towards PDUs.
  • Mentoring and teaching team members, candidates, or fellow project managers allows you to share your knowledge.
  • Volunteering at PMI in the Standards Committee, Education Foundation, or Insight Teams among other other opportunities can also fulfill the Giving Back PDU requirement.

PMP renewal:

Education PDU

Education PDUs must account for a minimum of 35 hours of the 60 PDUs required for renewal. Within this 35 hours you must complete 8 hours for each of the three categories in the PDU Talent Triangle:

  1. Ways of Working
  2. Power Skills
  3. Business Acumen.

The rest of your educational PDUs can be earned by:

  • Attending local meetings, activities or events that relate to the field of project management.
  • Informal learning such as attending a brown bag lunch for other project managers, or engaging in structured professional meetings about the profession.
  • Reading relevant articles, magazines, books, or studies. PMI offers several resources to help you find these items.
  • Obtaining information through online resources such as blogs, vlogs, project management courses, or podcasts. PMI recommends checking ProjectManagement.com for acceptable resource materials.
  • Attending professional relevant seminars, conferences, workshops, meetings or events that are organized, either online or at location. PMI’s events calendar is a great place to start for such resources.
  • Coursework, classwork, or training that is led by an instructor in a formal setting either in person or online.

Giving Back PDU

Giving Back PDUs can only count for 25 of your 60 required PDUs. A maximum of 8 hours of Giving Back PDUs must be in the Working as a Professional Category and the other 17 may be earned in the Volunteering and Creating Knowledge category.

  • Just by being you on the job you can earn PDUs. Applying and utilizing your skills and knowledge can count towards the Giving Back category.
  • Creating content, writing articles, or producing videos can all count towards Giving Back.
  • Presenting at a seminar, conference, or even a structured meeting, where you present project management content can count towards PDUs.
  • Mentoring and teaching team members, candidates, or fellow project managers allows you to share your knowledge.
  • Volunteering at PMI in the Standards Committee, Education Foundation, or Insight Teams among other other opportunities can also fulfill the Giving Back PDU requirement.

Friendly Reminder:

  • You must complete a total of 60 hours in 3 years for PMP renewal and 15 for CAPM.
  • 35 hours minimum must be obtained through Education PDUs for PMP and 9 for CAPM.
  • You can acquire the entire amount of PDUs through education.
  • Each line of the PDU Talent Triangle for Education to renew your PMP must account for a minimum of 8 of your Education PDUs, a total of 24 and for your CAPM, 2 from each line of the Talent Triangle for a total of.
  • For CAPM no more than 6 PDUs can be counted and no more than 25 PDUs can be for Giving Back with PMP renewal.
  • A maximum of 8 PDUs for Working as a Professional in the Giving Back category for PMP and a maximum of  2 PDUs can be for Working as a Project Management Professional for CAPM renewal.

The following chart breaks down the different ways you can earn PDUs and where they fall within the Talent Triangle:

Ways of Working

Power Skills

Business Acumen

Life Cycle Management

Coaching & Mentoring

Customer relationship & satisfaction

Time, Scope, Risk Management

Problem Solving

Benefits realization

Estimation

Team Building

Legal & Regulatory compliance

Agile Practices

Emotional Intelligence

Strategic planning & analysis

Governance

Conflict Management

Operational Functions

PDU Online from Education Category

PMI

Whether you’re a member of PMI, one of the best places to look for PDU opportunities is through their website.

When you attend training or sign up for events and courses that are sponsored by or acknowledged by PMI, you know the PDUs will be accepted.

  • Educational events conducted by the project management institute PMI
  • Elearning on-demand courses
  • Education Courses that are recognized by Global Accreditation Center of PMI
  • Training courses by REPs and third-party providers

PMI also offers the quickest way to renew. By signing up you know that the courses meet the criteria so you don’t have to search. There are even packages that you can look up that show you all of the coursework necessary from PMI that will fulfill the requirements necessary.

PMI provides qualified trainers and has exceptional support. They allow you to update your knowledge and give you insight into the current and up and coming tools of the trade.

You may even be inspired to go forward with other certifications offered by PMI, such as:

  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA),
  • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA),
  • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP),
  • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP),
  • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP),
  • Disciplined Agile Scrum Master (DASM) Certification,
  • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® Certification.

Each certification provides you with more knowledge. Again, please remember that contact hours required for any certificates aren’t PDUs. But contact hours you have acquired for your current certificates may be used towards additional certifications.

The great thing about PMI is that if you have questions, you can ask. They want to make sure you are the best project management professional you can be.

Other Training or Courses

Technology has provided more opportunities for education PDUs than ever before. From Podcasts, to online classes, even teleconferences make earning PDUs more accessible for the busy working professional.

If you had more hours than certification required, you can use the additional hours towards your first renewal. However, if you had those hours for CAPM certification you may want to keep those to earn your PMP.

Online PDUs give you the ability to schedule your PDUs. If you want to complete self-paced courses or watch instructional videos, you can fit those into your schedule.

They provide you with the opportunity to earn your PDUs in the most flexible way possible and, in many cases, they are low or no cost.

PMI and other sources also provide webinars. Many professional sites conduct webinars that may be low or no cost and many of them also provide you with the ability to watch the sessions after the scheduled event.

Scheduled training, seminars, and conferences may also be a way to go. While you will be required to “attend” online in order to get the hours, you can still do so wherever you have internet capability. This is particularly helpful for individuals that are working on international projects, where travel to the actual event may not be possible.

As with the self-paced coursework, most of these are lower cost than if you actually attended, especially when you take into account that you won’t be incurring travel costs, airfare, or gas, lodging costs, or meal costs.

The most important thing about any of the online courses or training that you seek out is to make sure it counts towards your PDUs through PMI. Again, they are more than happy to help.

Unlike getting your PMP certificate the first time, you are totally in control of obtaining your PDUs. You choose:

Considerations

When: You can complete your 15 or 60 hours spaced out the three years, or go to three seminars that count for 20 each year. You are in charge of your schedule.

How: You can take a complete course that provides you with all of your PDUs at once, or attend a conference that counts towards half of the PDUs. You can choose to have 35 PMP or the 9 CAPM education PDUs from attending meetings and seminars and 25 PMP or 5 CAPM PDUS from volunteering or presenting at a seminar.

Where: Online, at the local meetings, or at a conference in India, the choice is yours. As long as it meets PMIs criteria, you are good to Go. If you want to stay home in your Zoom approved pajamas, there are online seminars that can fulfill the requirement as well.

How Much: Reading a blog, attending a local meeting, and watching a training video all count, but they don’t usually cost. Many online seminars may also be free of charge. But be aware that free may not count. Check with PMI or the provider of the training to see if they are approved by PMI.

When choosing a provider for training, just as with your original certification, there are things to consider.

The cost: PDU complete packages can range from $49 for CAPM up to over $2500 for 14 PDUs in a classroom setting for PMP. Understand the cost and the benefit before signing up. You may think you are getting the whole enchilada and only end up with a packet of sauce.

The travel: You may find conferences that are local, but many will be out of state or even out of the country.

The approval: PMI lists companies that they have vetted on their website as well as approved PDU courses. Check their site to make sure the PDU you plan to earn is valid ahead of time.

Login to report 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.

Complete the Renewal Application

Once you have completed and submitted all of your PDU hours you can complete the renewal application. If you have any questions or require more information you can get that on the PMI website as well.

Reaffirm PMI Code of Ethics

When you obtained your PMP Certificate you agreed to the PMI Code of Conduct. Every three years you must reaffirm with PMI that you understand and will continue to abide by the professional Code of Ethics that has been put into place. You are still a Professional.

Pay the Renewal Fee

As you recall PMI Membership has its privileges. Non-members will have to pay $150 in order to renew their CAPM or PMP certificate while members can maintain their good standing for $60.

Conclusion:

Every 3 years you need to show PMI that you understand the importance that being a certificate holder shows employers, sponsors, clients, and other people in the field. You do this to keep in good standing, but also because you understand that project management is constantly evolving and changing, new projects, new industries, new technologies. PMI gives you the mandate, and the opportunity to keep up in your field, from the beginning to the end.

Want a refresher of your core project management skills and knowledge AND earn 35 PDUs?  Why not take a self-directed online PMP exam prep course?  If you haven’t already submitted a specific course as part of your PMP application or a past renewal, you can use that course towards earning PDUs.

Read Our Reviews

Brain Sensei is rated 4.57 out of 5.0 stars based on 109 review(s).

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Overall course and practice exams are very helpful. Could use more time on Agile throughout the material

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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 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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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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I've sent several emails to BrainSensei (one of them not so nice, but the rest were okay) and the team has always been so polite in answering the questions. I'm a very straight-forward person and don't like the PMI-ism type questions because they seem like 'gotchas' or traps, and this is not how I manage my team. I took the Master of Project course (which was garbage) then failed the PMP exam. Throughout the PMP exam I felt so out of touch. Even with the first practice exam on BrainSensei I felt out of place, but I am not getting the hang of things. I hope to pass the exam on the second attempt! The brain sensei experience has been *miles* ahead of the Master of Project garbage. Brain Sensei should be proud of both their product and of their team! I love getting replies to my concerns so quickly. Nice work :) !!!

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very useful

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I was very pleased with the preparation provided for the PMP certification. I went through the materials twice and passed the exam on the first try. A couple of the questions need to be polished up, but very good training overall.

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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.

- Cameron

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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.

- Kevin

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I am very impressed with this learning system. The content is laid out in a way that will make any learner understand all the process groups and ITTOs in order to understand Project management and be equipped to excel in the test. The learning system is engaging and fun at the same time. It's very different than other learning material which is composed mostly of videos. Some improvements are needed, but in my opinion Brain Sensei is great value for money

- 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

- Charlene LU

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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