How to Get the Required 35 Hours of PMP Training Cheap and Easy?

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35 Hours of PMP Training

The PMP® training required for Project Management Certification is termed as “35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education” by PMI in the PMP® Handbook. The term “contact hours” creates a lot of confusions as “contact” usually means direct contact, many PMP® aspirants assume that the education must be obtained from a classroom. The reality is that PMI does NOT stipulate that the PMP® training must be obtained through fact-to-face classroom education, it allows the project management education to be taken in any form as long as the course involves an assessment at the end.

Types and Benefits of PMP® Training to Get the 35 Contact Hours

PMP® project management training can be broadly divided into three types:

  • Classroom Face-to-face Training
  • Online Training (2 types)
    • Online Course
    • Downloadable PodCast Training

No matter which type of training you choose, you should find those offered by PMI R.E.P (Registered Education Providers) as their courseware has been accredited and approved by PMI. The contact hours obtained in such way are deemed to be pre-approved by PMI.

Benefits and downsides of the various types of training are listed below:

Classroom Face-to-face Training

Face-to-face exam prep course is the more traditional type of PMP® training in which a instructor presents to a group of students and answers any questions the students may have.


  • The instructor can attend to the questions and queries of individual students.
  • One may be able find a study partner from the course to co-study to PMP® success.
  • Some face-to-face training may be organized in a bootcamp type in which the class runs for 4 days in a row and the students will take the actual PMP® exam on day 5. This arrangement allows the students to focus fully on the PMP® exam.


  • Face-to-face PMP® courses are very expensive, often around US$1000 or above.
  • If there is none PMP® exam prep course available in your area, chances are that you will need to travel a long way to the classroom.
  • Busy professionals may not be able to take several days off to attend the classroom training.

Online PMP® Training

Online PMP® training and downloadable podcast PMP® training both offer flexibility not achieved by classroom training, students are able to watch the video lessons on their intelligent phones (e.g. iPhone, Andriod, Blackberry) and watch the lessons on the go.


  • Much cheaper than classroom training.
  • Downloadable podcast lessons allow the students to study anywhere, anytime (even during commuting and driving) using an iPod or intelligent phone.
  • Video lessons are also great for visual learners as there are lots of illustrations and charts.
  • Unlike classroom training, online PMP® training allows students to proceed at their own pace without affecting others.
  • The best part is that one can repeat a lessons to further understand the topic whenever needed.
  • Allows busy professionals to obtained the required contact hours without causing disruptions to their lives.


  • The instructors may not be able to answer your questions immediately

FAQ: Contact Hours vs PDU

The confusion between contact hours and professional development units (PDU) arises from the fact that the same PMP® training course can allow different people to obtain either contact hours and PDU (but not simultaneously). But this not just confuses PMP® aspirants but also PMP® training providers. I have seen some advertise their PDU courses to PMP® aspirants!

But it is not difficult to differentiate between the two. Just remember:

  • If you wish to obtain the PMP® credential, you need “Contact Hours” (i.e. 35 contact hours of project management education).
  • If you have obtained the PMP® credential, you need “PDU” (i.e. 60 PDU in 3 years).

So, if you are reading this PMP® guide, you should aim to get 35 Contact Hours.

What’s Next?

Once you have identified your preferred way to obtain the 35 contact hours of project management education for your PMP® exam, do take action. You will also need to obtain or purchase the PMBOK® Guide guide, at least 1 PMP® study guide and practice exams as your study companion.


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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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