The Project Management Professional (PMP) certificate, from the Project Management Institute (PMI), remains one of the most popular in the world. According to our job offer sites, the desire of the employee for a person in the position of “Project Manager” to have a PMP certificate was mentioned in 67% of cases in 2017, 72% cases in 2018, and 87% cases in 2019.
PMI Exam Requirements
- The financial side of the issue: the exam and membership in the PMI cost $544 = ($405 + $139).
- There is enough time for the exam, do not rush. Estimated time – 4 × 60/200 = 1.2 minutes for one question.
- A practice test for 200 questions is a very important part of the preparation.
Officially, the PMI requires 36 calendar months of project management hands-on experience (at least 4 500 hours have been spent directly on project management). In the application, you need to divide the hours by field of knowledge. In case you are not lucky, and the application falls under the “Audit” (see below), a confirmation letter from the managers will be required (to prove, that you really managed enough projects).
Though, no confirmation of the length of service, the identity of the person who wrote the letter, or even the existence of such an organization is required. Don’t take it as practical advice – just an indication of the “vulnerability” of the process.
Higher education is also desirable for passing the exam. It is confirmed by a scan of the diploma (in English). Sadly, this requirement is easily dispensed even with verification: the PMI does not verify the authenticity of the diploma. However, there is the option of obtaining a certificate without higher education. This requires 60 months of experience instead of 36, during which 7 500 hours were spent directly on project management.
Another point of requirement is 35 contact hours – that is, hours of PMI training. Both online and offline courses are suitable (even if it was 20 years ago). Contract hours do not require the course to be taught by a registered PMI training provider.
You can fill out an application in a few ways: in “one go” or several “tries” per application/ An application can be saved in a “half-filled” state for 90 days. Most often, it takes about a week for the notification that the application is verified, and you are admitted to the exam, after filling out the application. If the answer has not arrived within two weeks (this happens), then you need to write or call PMI: for some reason (this happens quite rarely), the application can “freeze” somewhere in the middle of the process.
Some believe that the application is being audited for some reason: incomplete information or a “suspicious” look. In practice, this part of the exam is purely “random”: the system randomly selects 10% of all applications and sends out letters about the need to send confirmations of documents through the courier service. You attach a copy of the diploma, certificates confirming the training, and receipt of PDU (or a letter in free form from the trainer, confirming that you took the course), as well as a letter from the head of your department at the time, confirming your practical experience. In practice, no one checks the accuracy of letters (and their authors).
In very rare cases, they call on the specified phone or write a letter to the contact e-mail. The identity of the respondent is not verified in any way. Within 2-3 weeks after sending your info, a letter arrives at the successful completion of the audit. Thus, an audit can only increase the cost of obtaining a certificate, but not ensure that the candidate meets the requirements.
Self-study of the PMBOK Standard and Additional Literature
- Read PMBOK
- Read Rita’s “PMP Exam Prep”
- Watch a series of CBT Naggets and iZenBridge Consultancy Pvt Ltd videos
- Solve test tasks.
The first thing to do is to read the PMBOK standard. Then study Rita Malkakhi’s PMP Exam Prep. In the book “PMP Exam Prep” it is worth doing all the tasks qualitatively and be sure to do the tests at the end of each chapter, analyzing the answers to all questions, including those that were answered correctly. This is necessary to understand whether you reasoned correctly when choosing an answer, and whether you understood and interpreted the material correctly. Do not be lazy and read the explanations to all questions.
Another great online resource is the DeepFriedBrain project. There you can find many useful articles for a more detailed study of many aspects that you will not find in the PMP Exam Prep and in the standard itself. There are also many examples of calculations using formulas.
You can find many videos on YouTube about project management and exam preparation. However, in my opinion, not all of them are equally useful, and many take valuable time. You can allocate the resource iZenBridge Consultancy Pvt Ltd. Also check out the CBTNuggets footage.
It’s only minus is that it is paid. This video material is ideal for “polishing” and organizing the knowledge learned in PMBOK and PMP Exam Prep.
Video presentation of product
The test solution is best to start earlier. The most similar to examination and quality questions can be found in the following tests:
- FastTrack by Rita Maklahi – may seem even more difficult than a real exam;
- Edwel 1 and Edwel 2 – for 50 and 100 questions. Questions of medium difficulty, but also help to recall once again and repeat what was learned;
- Oliver Lehmann test 1 and Oliver Lehmann test 2;
- Kaplan test (which requires registration). The test was created for CAPM, but this is no less useful.
Working With Smartphone Apps
Applications on a smartphone/tablet are a very useful thing. You can always usefully spend time on the road. Many applications have been developed. We want to distinguish two: PMP exam prep and PMP Exam Mentor.
The PMP exam prep h/as good practice tests and the PMP Exam Mentor has two particularly useful sections – Formula and Glossary. The formula contains all the necessary formulas; the Glossary contains a list of more than 500 definitions. It is very useful to read, leaf through, and repeat before going to bed.
In case you need more, here is the list of all the help you might need preparing for the test:
- Prep Book by Master of Project Academy
- Project Management Body of Knowledge
- The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
- Head First PMP Prep Book
- PMP Exam Simplified Book
- PMP Pocket Prep
- PMP Prep Questions & Videos
- PMP Exam Prep: 100%
- Hyper PMP8
Reasons VS Rumors: Why Should One Get a PMP Certificate in the First Place?
Many speculations are always associated with obtaining any certificate of an international standard. For example, a lot of good and bad rumors are associated with the PMP certificate, which needs clarification.
- First rumor – everyone has already become PMP, only I remain PMPless. For Example, in Poland, as of December 2018, there were about 4000 certified project managers with a PMP certificate. After joining the EU, the country experienced a boom in PMP certification. And this was caused by the requirements of European companies for specialists in projects. It is worth noting a different trend; over the past two years, the number of PMP project managers in American companies has grown one and a half times. This is evidenced by the results of the latest PMI survey (September-November 2018.)
- The second rumor – the salary will immediately increase at times. It’s hard enough to confirm the growth at times. In fact, in the US, there is an increase of 1.7 times. It is worth noting that this indicator is influenced by many factors, such as the personal qualities of a person, and the corporate culture of the company. Therefore, the figure is rather arbitrary. In large companies, certified professionals get more. But more than half of the new PMPs change jobs within six months. But then again, it all depends on the employer. For example, in cases where the company pays for training, this trend is not observed. Most likely, here are the personal strategies of project managers. For example, to complete a project, prepare and receive a certificate, and find new horizons and goals for yourself.
- Rumor Three – With PMP, it’s easier to find a new and interesting job. This is not to say that having a PMP certificate has become a mandatory requirement for a project manager. But as was mentioned before 87 cases out of 100, a PMP certificate is required. This applies to a greater extent to high-level specialists applying for a good position and high salary. On the other hand, in international companies or projects, the team must have several project managers with PMP – this is a requirement. PMP is a kind of quality mark that is accepted all over the world, for companies, it means that you are a specialist and your experience allows you to manage a large project.
Besides the stats mentioned above, you should consider this:
- Get your PMP only when you’re ready. This is an exam for successful project managers.
- (CAPM is much more suitable for beginners.)
- Do not be afraid to apply. This is easier than getting a visa to the UK or Bahrain.
- No need to cram. Better cultivate your knowledge.
- Do it – strong challenges make us stronger.