Early in my PMP® journey, I have the following questions in mind:
- Do you find it is hard to find the time for bootcamps while you are having a full-time demanding job as a project management professional?
- Preparing for the PMP® Exam is very expensive?
- People say that the certification is very difficult and the passing rate is low?
- Taking a 4 hour exam would be impossible?
After spending hundreds of hours searching the internet and reading numerous documentations…… fortunately I have found the answers to the above questions to be NO.
Getting PMP® Certified is Much Easier Than You Think!
Read here for the summary of my PMP® Exam process with a view to easing the path to getting certified — as the information provided by PMI nor on the internet is clear enough. My time and cost saving tips may also be able to help you out.
Overview: How to Get PMP® Certified?
The following is the detailed account of my PMP® Exam process , including how to meet the requirements of the exam (please refer to PMP® Certification Process Overview for an annotated discussion of the requirements, application process and more):
- [Experience requirement] Project Management Experience (4500 hours for degree holders / 7500 hours for sub-degree holders)
- [Education requirement] 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education
- I got the 35 Contact Hours using PM PrepCast™ which is reasonably priced but excellent in quality. Best: the whole course is downloadable.
- Detailed comparison of various online PMP® training courses
- [Limited Offer Alert] If you are tight on budget, you are highly advised to try the GreyCampus US$149 training bundle including PMP, PMI-ACP, ITIL Foundation, PRINCE2 Foundation and more online courses for 35 Contact Hours and 60+ PDUs.
- Fill the online application form & schedule the exam (tips below)
- Study for the exam (you may refer to the PMP® Exam study resources below)
- Take & pass the PMP® Exam and get certified
Free and Recommended Prep Resources
I got my PMP® for around US$700 (including all the courses & study materials). Not expensive? Yes, here is the PMP® Cost details. For your easy reference, below is a list of useful study resources (good quality but free/cheap) to help me and other Aspirants pass the exam:
- Online training for 35 Contact Hours of Project Management Education & exam preparation
- Recommended PMP® Certification Prep Book / PMP® Study Guide
- [FREE] My PMP® Study Notes (updated for both aspirants taking the exam before and after 26 March 2018)
- [FREE] PMP® Mock Exam Questions
- [FREE] PMP® EVM Formulas Explained in Simple Terms — just enough for PMP® Certification Aspirants to answer PMP® questions correctly
- [FREE] 20+ PMP® EVM Mock Exam Questions — with detailed explanations and tips on answering PMP® Maths (EVM) questions
- [FREE] PMP® Glossary Flashcard
- [FREE] 47+ Commonly Confused PMP® Terms
In the sections below, I will include all the exam prep study resources & tips that helped me to pass the PMP® Exam in first attempt. Hope you will find them useful.
PMP® Training & Application
Perhaps the most obscure part for the PMP® Certification require is the “35 Contact Hours”. I spent tens of hours to search for the best exam prep course and discovered that the best is NOT the most expensive. With online training courses, I got both the 35 Contact Hours as well as the preparation to pass the PMP® Exam in the first attempt!
Below are some useful articles to help you get started:
- Is the PMP® Certification for Me?
- Decompose the 35 contact hours required for application at will
- [35 Contact Hours] Online PMP® Training Course Review
- I made use of the PM PrepCast™ and GreyCampus online courses eventually. Below are the most updated discount coupon codes for these courses:
- How to pass the PMI Audit – my first-hand experience
Study Notes, Sample Questions & Formula Guide
That’s how I passed the PMP® Exam after getting a go for my exam application:
- Took the PM PrepCast™ online course
- Read PMP® Study Guide by Andy Crowe
- Practised hundreds of mock exam questions
I wrote down everything I learned during my exam prep in the following study notes in the style of “Cliff notes” — i.e. brief and to the point. I have also included many FREE PMP® sample questions which are similar to the difficulty of the real PMP® Exam.
- An Introduction to latest PMBOK® Guide: Knowledge Areas, Processes & Process Groups
- What is PMI-isms & why PMI-isms are important for the PMP® Exam?
- PMP® Study Notes 1 – Terms & Concepts
- PMP® Study Notes 2/3 – Project Management Processes & Knowledge Areas
- PMP® Study Notes 4 – Project Integration Management
- PMP® Study Notes 5 – Project Scope Management
- PMP® Study Notes 6 – Project Schedule Management
- PMP® Study Notes 7 – Project Cost Management
- PMP® Study Notes 8 – Project Quality Management
- PMP® Study Notes 9 – Project Resource Management
- PMP® Study Notes 10 – Project Communications Management
- PMP® Study Notes 11 – Project Risk Management
- PMP® Study Notes 12 – Project Procurement Management
- PMP® Study Notes 13 – Project Stakeholder Management
- PMP® Study Notes 14 – Agile Practice Guide
- PMP® Study Notes 15 – Professional & Social Responsibility
- PMP® Calculation & Formulae Guide
- List of FREE PMP® Exam Questions (with benchmarks to assess your exam readiness)
My exam preparation tips can be found here.
Taking the Exam
I confess I was quite nervous while taking the exam despite I had spent over a hundred hours on exam prep and I got around 80% in my mock exam questions. Luckily, I passed with 4P and 1MP. Below are my exam taking experience and tips:
- Schedule exam thru Prometric Website
- On the day of taking PMP® Exam
- What would be expected after passing the exam?
- Lessons Learned: Remember these ITTOs for your exam
- Additional Lessons Learned to read: More than 100 PMP® Exam Lessons Learned
- Psychological preparation tips for the exam
- How to do time management during the exam?
Earning PDUs for Recertification
Every PMP® need to earn 60 PDUs every 3 years in order to be able to renew the PMP® Certificate. Earning PDU is not expensive (can even be free) if you know the following tips:
- [FREE] Ways to Get Free PDU for PMP® & PMI-ACP®
- Earn PDUs to maintain the PMP® certification
- [Free PMP® PDU] Six Sigma White Belt Certification Program
- Claim PDU for Watching Recorded PMI Webinars
- Claim PDUs for Reading Books Related to Project Managment
Step-by-step PMP® Certification & Study Guide
If you are still at a loss of what to do. I have created a step-by-step guide to help Aspirants like you. Just follow the steps outlined in the Guide and you are ready to get certified. This Guide is created with a view to answer thousands of queries I have got from Aspirants around the world over the past few years. Again, getting PMP® is easier than you think if you know the ins and outs!
- The Complete PMP® Certification & Study Guide
- The PMP® Certification Process Overview
- How Much Time, Effort & Money is Required for the PMP® Credential?
- How to Get the Required 35 Contact Hours Cheap & Easy?
- Study Resources: PMBOK® Guide, PMP® Guide plus Practice Exams
- How to Correctly Fill the Online Application Form?
- How to Pass the Audit Process Smoothly?
- Schedule & Take the PMP® Exam
- Once You have Passed the Exam …
- What You should Know about PDU?