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Path to PMP Certification

Back to the PMP Information page

  1. Join PMI
    There are several reasons for joining the PMI. Two are economic. It costs $129 to join the PMI. The cost of the exam for members is $405. The total of membership and exam fee for a member is $534. The exam fee for non members is $555. So $21 dollars is saved and one gets the benfits of membership such as the forums for people studying for the exam and the organization's publication. A copy of the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) is needed to study for the exam and is often cited in the study guide available at this web site. The PMBOK is free to members but cost $49 to non-members. Finally there are other benfits to membership, besides being able to cite membership as evidence of one's committment to the profession.
  2. Complete 35 Contact Hours
    Before one can apply for the PMP exam one must have 35 contact hours. Contact hours are an educational prerequisite required by the PMI to apply for the PMP. Don't worry about the Contact Hours they are not hard to get. A more complete explanation of Contact Hours and how to get then are at this link.
  3. Submit Application
    Determine how much project management experience you will need to show on your application. The amount of experience to be eligible for application is shown in this graphic.
    You can apply for PMP Certification online using PMI's Online Certification System.
    You need to report your project management experience (hours) to PMI as part of your application. Record your project management hours in an excel sheet first. This will come very handy when filling up the online application form. You need to achieve 35 Contact Hours of Project Management education before you apply for PMP Certification with PMI. Therefore, step 2 is a pre-requisite for step 3. PMI reviews your application and if it is determined to be complete, PMI will send you an email to submit the exam fee. PMI typically takes about 1 week for application approval. Your application approval is valid for one-year from the date you receive the approval email.
  4. Receive Application Acceptance After you pay for the exam, PMI will send you an email with examination scheduling instructions to help you schedule your examination.
    If you receive exam scheduling instructions, you can go ahead and schedule your exam with Prometric. If your application is selected for an audit, PMI will provide you the follow-up instructions to comply with the audit. Note: that PMI does not ask for any documentation or other evidence at the time of application. However, if your application is selected for audit, you will be asked to provide copies of your degree/diploma certificates, signatures from your manager(s)/supervisor(s) verifying your project management experience and your Contact Hours certificate(s).
  5. Schedule ExamThe exam should be scheduled after you receive the email from PMI with exam scheduling instructions. Try to schedule the exam with Prometric well in advance (at least 2 months in advance), as slots are always limited. Also, having a clear target date will also bring focus into your preparation. Note that you have exactly one year to take the exam from the date your application is approved. It is your responsibility to ensure that you book and take your exam with Prometric within the one year eligibility window.
  6. Study for Test Read the PMP PMBOK
    Online Forums: Join one or more online forums mentioned on the resource directory page. These forums offer Lessons Learnt by exam takers, PMP Exam Tips & Tricks, free question banks and more. Read as many lessons learned posts as you can find. Take practice exams such as the ones offered at this web site. Create an Excel spreadsheet study guide numbered with numbered the same as the practice exam questions. An example of a Excel spreadsheet can be found this link. Print it out and have the spreadheet study guide and a pen available when you take the practice exams As the parctice axam is taken mark which questions are understood and answered correctly and which questions are not understood and answwered correctly. If the answered to the question is not known but is guessed correctly that is the same as if the answer was not known. Use the study guide and references in the practice exam to understand the correct answer to the questions and why that is the correct answer to the question. Keep going throught the practice exams until eighty or ninety percent of the questions can be understood and answered correctly.
  7. Take and Pass Exam PMP exam is four hours long.,The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions. Out of 200, only 175 questions are actually scored. Remaining 25 are 'trial' questions and are not scored. Which questions are scored and which are not is not known.. The distribution of exam questions across different project management process groups is:
    Initiation - 11%
    Planning - 23%
    Executing - 27%
    Monitoring and Controlling - 21%
    Closing - 9%
    Professional and Social Responsibility - 9%
    More details on the exam read the PMP Handbook. This is a link to the PMP Handbook
    Among the Knowledge Areas, the toughest topics are the Project Management Processes, Procurement Management, Risk Management and Integration Management. There are quite a few questions on Procurement Management. Some of the morew difficult questions touch upon several different Knowledge Areas.
    In the PMBOK there are five Project Management Process Groups. Some of the hardest questions om the PMP exam are on the Monitoring & Controlling and Initiating process groups.
Back to the PMP Information page