If you are in the process of advancing your career, you have likely heard of the PMP certification. This is an extremely common certification that is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), a very highly accredited organization. If you want to sit for the exam and earn your PMP certification, there are a few things you need to do in order to ace the exam. In this article, we will outline everything you need to know about the exam, along with the study tips to help you pass on the first try.
What Do I Need to Do in Order to Qualify for The PMP Exam?
In order to sit for the PMP exam, there are a few qualifications you will need some meet:
- 4,500 hours of project management experience in the real world
- Four-year bachelor’s degree in a field of study of your choice
- 35 contact hours of project management education, also known as PDUs
If you have yet to complete a four-year degree and earn your bachelor’s, you can bypass this requirement by:
- Earning a secondary degree or high school diploma
- Completing 7,500 hours of project management experience in the real world
- 35 contact hours of project management education, also known as PDUs
How Many Education Hours Do I Need?
Prior to submitting your application for the PMP certification exam, you will need to complete 35 hours of project management education, or 35 “contact hours”. This is required by the PMI. Many people choose to take a PMP Exam Prep course, which serves to both prepare them for the exam as well as provide them their 35 education hours. We recommend Brain Sensei’s Self-Paced PMP Exam Prep course. They provide a whopping 1 year of access (or a low-cost monthly subscription option) and it includes a PMP Exam Simulator with 1,500 realistic exam questions. They also provide a 100% pass guarantee and a 30-day refund guarantee. On top of providing all the material you need to pass the latest exam, they deliver the information in an interactive fashion, with their unique (and fun) story-based approach. They also offer virtual live instructor classes as well as a standalone PMP exam simulator (if you already have your 35 hours and just want to test yourself). They boast a 99.6% first-time pass rate for their students on the actual exam.
Earning The Required Project Management Education Hours
In order to build the foundation necessary to sit for the exam, we recommend you:
- Attend a Boot Camp in person for 5 days
- Join a weekend classroom session over two weekends, which is preferred by many working professionals
If you are a working professional with a busy home life, being available for these educational hours can be a challenge. There are a couple of options to best accommodate your schedule:
- Attend an online PMP certification education course with a live instructor. These typically have a 5-day bootcamp format or evenings and weekends for 5 or more weeks.
- Online PMP courses can also be self-paced. This means you can stop and start your educational journey as you please. There aren’t many providers, but we recommend Brain Sensei’s story-based self-paced exam prep courses. In addition to one full year of access, they include all the material you need, an exam simulator, a 100% pass guarantee and are very reasonably priced.
How Do I Earn My PMP?
In order to earn your PMP, you will need to take the following steps:
- Log onto PMI.org and create a user ID and password for your account
- Apply online for the certification exam by completing the required application form. Be sure to have your contact details, educational details, and project experience ready.
- Reach out to previous project management mentors and ask them for a recommendation
- Reference your 35 contact hour information in the project management education section
Steps After Confirmation:
Once you are confirmed, you will need to pay a fee to the PMI. If you are a member of the PMI, you will pay $405. If you are not, you will be required to pay $555. We recommend joining the PMI as a member, as not only for the discount on the exam, but you’ll also get a PDF version of the latest PMBOK Guide. Once the payment is processed, you will get an eligibility ID. Congratulations, you can now schedule your exam! Proceed through the calendar and decide on a date that works best for you. Once you have selected a date and time, continue studying and prepare to attend a Pearson VUE center on exam day or just take the exam online from the comfort of your own home (as of May 2020).
What is the PMP certification exam? How do I prepare for it?
Next, it’s time to seriously prepare to pass the PMP exam. The exam will last four hours and requires you to answer 180 questions. Remember, there will be no negative mark for a wrong answer, and each question offers 4 multiple-choice options. Once the exam is completed, you will see a congratulatory banner across your screen notifying you of your new PMP status!
Preparation for PMP certification exam:
As you prepare for the PMP exam, we recommend studying the PMBOK concepts. The questions on the PMP exam will test your understanding of these concepts. Focus on understanding the value behind each process and how the core concepts of project management can apply to the real world.
One of the best ways to test your knowledge is to complete a PMP practice exam. Purchasing and using a PMP exam prep course will allow you to solidify your strengths and weaknesses. The best PMP exam prep courses will include a PMP exam simulator that you can use to track and see which sections you struggle in, so you know what concepts to focus on. Typically, students will find the math portion of the exam the most challenging. So, be prepared to allocate extra time to the quantitative aspects of the exam.
We also recommend taking the entire 4 hours allowed to complete your practice exam. This will help you prepare for the real deal when test day comes! You will learn how to manage your time and how long you should allocate to each section. This is a great way to train your brain to get in the PMP exam mode.
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Try the first two modules of our story-based PMP and CAPM Exam Prep courses and a mini practice exam and see how it all works
Happy exam day! The day you’ve been preparing for is finally here. If you’re attending in person, be sure to bring proper identification with you as well as the exam form you submitted when applying. If taking the exam in person, you’ll want to arrive at the Pearson VUE test center with enough time to spare so that you don’t miss the exam due to traffic or other unforeseen circumstances. You are given a piece of blank paper to use as scrap paper, and you are given an on-screen calculator for basic mathematical equations.
The exam is also offered online now (as of May 2020), so you can complete it from the comfort of your own home.
Be sure to review your work before submitting the exam. Once you submit, you will get a notification stating if you passed!
Remember, you have to renew your PMP certification every three years. This way, you are able to maintain your credentials and refresh your project management knowledge. We hope this article helped you better understand what is required to complete the PMP certification exam. Best of luck!
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