Most Important Tip: Begin Your PMP Certification Journey Now

Begin your PMP Exam preparation now to reach your dream soon!


Most Important PMP Tip: Begin Your PMP Certification Journey Now

The other day an Aspirant asked me what the single most important tip I would offer to fellow Aspirants. I replied without hesitation that the most important tip is to “Begin Your Certification Journey Now”! No matter where you are in your project management education or career, it is never too early to begin the journey to your dream of getting certified.

I must confess that the first time I have seriously considered getting certified was more than 2 years before I actually begin my  journey. I hear you ask: “more than 2 years? why so long?” Yes, I thought I was not ready, I thought I could not afford the time and money to spend on PMP® preparation, I thought I was not qualified……

In hindsight, I would just lament that I have wasted considerable time for my exam journey — I should have started early… right away when I first thought of getting certified. Below I will tell you why “NOW” is the best time to begin your exam journey!

Why is it More Difficult to Get Certified Later

  1. The PMP® Exam is changing in 2018 (probably in January)
    • New exam syllabus, new PMBOK® Guide, new study books, new training courses, new mock exam questions…… new things to panic about.
    • It is often recommended to take professional exams that is in the 2nd year or more of running as Aspirants can learn from the experience of early exam takers. Also the study guides, books and resources are more readily available at that time.
    • Implication: It is getting more difficult to pass the exam later.
  2. The Exam Fee is expected to increase
  3. The Exam training courses are getting more expensive year by year
    • According to experience, the increase in PMP® Exam training course fees (whether online training or classroom training) is around 10% or above year by year as a result of inflation and new resources are being added.
    • Implication: It is getting more expensive to get certified later.
  4. You are getting busier and busier
    • As you progress through the career ladder, you are tasked with more and more responsibilities that would make finding the time to study PMP® Certification Exam more difficult. Some Aspirants may need to take a whole week’s leave before the exam to be well prepared.
    • Also, you may be getting married or having children (if not yet) as you get older. You are obliged to take care of your family needs and obligations. And this is my own story and that’s why I took an online training course instead of studying in a classroom.
    • Implication: It is getting more difficult to find the time to prepare for PMP® Certification later.

Begin Your Journey Now

As most aspirants would agree, the single most important obstacle to certification is FEAR — fear that one would fail the exam, fear that one cannot make it for the exam preparation, fear that it is too expensive to get certified…

Just like many other aspirants, I have the following questions before I ever began my journey:

  • “There are too many things to learn and remember for the exam”
  • “The PMBOK® Guide is too difficult and dull”
  • “It takes hundreds of hours to get prepared for the exam”
  • “Just that if I am too busy with work and I cannot finish my preparation, my time and money would be wasted”
  • “I just cannot afford the time”
  • “PMP® bootcamps are too expensive and the US$1000+ lesson fee is out of my budget, not to mention the exam application fee and study materials”

These are very real worries. That are fears about the process. When dealing with doubts, the best action is always “no action”. But one must be prepared to face the consequence — you will be nowhere in your certification journey. Changes are hard, new lessons are hard, but the hardest part is to initiate the change. Once you have determined to get certified, the process is NOT THAT DIFFICULT — I could get PMP® certified with around 2 months’ preparation while taking care of my daily full-time job and my family with 3 kids. I can attest that the exam is not too difficult but reasonable (after all if exam is easy, it will not be valuable any more). I spent much less time on the preparation than I had originally thought (I have found out PMP® bootcamp alternatives — online courses that can be watched/listen to anywhere they prefer without having to take 5 days’ leave from work and family! Online courses are perfectly accepted by PMI as the source of 35 Contact Hours Certificate. The online courses have made the PMBOK® Guide easy to read and they are just around US$200 or below!)

Another type of fear is fear about the outcome. I think most Aspirants would worry about the following:

  • “What if my application get rejected?”
  • “What if I cannot pass the audit?”
  • “What if I fail the exam the first time? the second time? and the third time? — I wasted my time and money”

Yes, for every exam or move in life there are just 2 results — success or failure. There are chances of getter a failure in the exam. However, with the right efforts and preparation, almost many aspirants I know can pass the exam in the first or second try. And you can too. That’s why reading the lessons learned / exam journey of exam takers is very important. I have read hundreds of lessons learned before I have decided to begin my PMP® journey.

Eventually I passed the PMP® Exam with 4 Proficient and 1 Moderately Proficient with just around US$800 (including exam fee) — refer to my Certification Cost here. I can do it and you can TOO.

Conclusion: Take Action Now

As I have gone through the pains of fear and procrastinated continually, I understand your doubts at the very beginning of your exam journey. That’s why I build up this website to help fellow Aspirants to overcome the single most important obstacle to certification success by offering all the important information on my journey — from application, preparation to taking and passing the exam. The journey to certification is documented in details here so that Aspirants would be able to understand what it takes to get certified. If you have considered PMP® Certification, now it is time to get started. You are recommended to read my certification journey here as the very first step.

And according to unofficial statistics of training courses (whether online or in person), the top reason for the Aspirants not getting certified is NOT failing the exam but procrastinating(If you have read that some training institutes stating that the passing rate for the exam of their students is over 90%, read carefully. They ONLY include those who have made it through the course to writing the exam. Those who dropped out of the training course / have not yet applied for the exam owing to procrastination is NOT counted. The actually passing rate is lower than 50% if those are included!)

And if you still have doubts, I will be more than happy to answer your queries. Please feel free to leave your question in the comment section below and I will answer your questions asap.

Wish you PMP® success!

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Edward Chung

Edward Chung aspires to become a full-stack web developer and project manager. In the quest to become a more competent professional, Edward studied for and passed the PMP Certification, ITIL v3 Foundation Certification, PMI-ACP Certification and Zend PHP Certification. Edward shares his certification experience and resources here in the hope of helping others who are pursuing these certification exams to achieve exam success.

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