Comparison of Popular Online PMP Training Courses
As I have mentioned in my PMP® journey, I did not attend any bootcamps but get my 35 Contact Hours through online training courses. I have researched a vast number of online training courses providers during my search for quality online courses and this article documents my selection criteria and findings.
Note: all the online training courses listed below has been updated to cover the new PMP® Exam syllabus
I document my research and findings in details below with a view to helping fellow Aspirants to decide the best online courses for their Certification success!
- 1 Why Online Training and Not Bootcamps?
- 2 Criteria for Online Training Courses
- 3 Popular Courses
- 4 Summary Comparison of the Top 5 Online Courses
- 4.1 PM PrepCast™ — by OSP International LLC
- 4.2 PMP® Training – Online Self Learning — by GreyCampus
- 4.3 PMP® Certification Training Course Self Paced Learning — by Simplilearn
- 4.4 PMP® Certification Bootcamp On-Demand Course — by PMtraining
- 4.5 PMP® E-learning Course — by KnowledgeHut
- 5 Conclusion:
Why Online Training and Not Bootcamps?
First thing first, why not bootcamps? For me, there are two core reasons:
- I cannot take a leave from my work and my family for 5 consecutive days owing to my professional and family obligations.
- The bootcamps are way too expensive for me. The online training courses are just around 1/10th of the bootcamps.
I know Bootcamps are quite effective in helping Aspirants to ace the exam. But the kind of commitment and expense is just out of my exam prep budget both in terms of time and cost. As the project manager for my exam prep project, I have to search for alternatives that would serve my end purpose equally well (or, at least as effective).
Criteria for Online Training Courses
After reading numerous lessons learned of successful exam takers, I have established my list of criteria for the best online courses that I consider most effective in helping me best prepared for the real exam:
- A PMI R.E.P. training course provide is highly preferred.
- The 35 Contact Hours certificate can be obtained after going through the course.
- The access period to the course materials is long enough in case I need to reschedule my exam date.
- There are at least dozens of aspirants recommending the online course that can really help one to pass the exam.
- The course comes with guaranteed refund if I am not satisfied with the quality.
- The course can be watched on my mobile phone on the go.
The following is the top 5 courses I have found during my research. These courses match many of my selection criteria. Though I did not make use of them ALL in my exam prep, I will document my findings here as the best online courses for me does not necessarily be the best training for others as we may have different studying preferences, learning styles and budget(!) (in order of my preference for the best online Courses).
- PM PrepCast™ — by OSP International LLC
- PMP® Training – Online Self Learning — by GreyCampus
- PMP® Certification Training Course Self Paced Learning — by Simplilearn
- PMP® Certification Bootcamp On-Demand Course — by PMtraining
- PMP® E-learning Course — by KnowledgeHut
(note: except Simplilearn which was a PMI R.E.P. up to 2016, all the course providers above are current PMI R.E.P.)
Summary Comparison of the Top 5 Online Courses
|Updated for PMBOK® Guide 6 (for the PMP® Exam after 26 March 2018)||in late Jan 2018||✔||–||–||–|
|35 Contact Hours Certificate||✔||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Lecture Videos Downloadable||✔||—||—||—||—|
|Mock Exams Included||(9 in PM PrepCast™ Elite^)||4||5||1||6|
|Course Progress Tracking||—||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Study Aids (notes, flashcards…)||—||✔||✔||✔||✔|
|Full Refund||90 days||3 days||3 days||24 hours||24 hours|
|Access Period||Forever#||1 year||30 days||90 days||45 days / 180 days|
|Pricing||US$199 (will be adjusted to US$229 soon)||US$349||US$120 / 170|
|Learn More||PM PrepCast™||GreyCampus||Simplilearn||PMtraining||KnowledgeHut|
|Discount Coupon||Coupon Code||Coupon Code||Coupon Code||–||Coupon Code|
# While students can keep the downloaded course lecture files forever, the access period to the download area for PM PrepCast™ will cease once the PM PrepCast™ has been updated to a new exam edition.
^ PM PrepCast™ Elite is the package of PM PrepCast™ video lecture course plus PM Exam Simulator 2.0
Below are the descriptions, pros and cons of online courses recommended for your reference:
PM PrepCast™ — by OSP International LLC
The PM PrepCast™ is a downloadable training course which can be stored and played on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Android or any mobile phones capable of playing videos. All the video lessons can be downloaded at once after purchase. What I like best is that every course is only around 10 – 30 minutes long, short enough to be watched during my transit time or waiting time — make the best use of my time. And once downloaded, the files are mine to keep, forever.
The course instructor, Cornelius Fichtner is a seasoned trainer with over 30,000 students. He will guide students all the way and teach everything one will ever need to know before, during and after the exam. There are 15 review questions after each chapter for students to check whether the course materials have been correctly understood. There is a 25-question final exam for the course and students can try as many times as needed to pass it and to get the 35 Contact Hours Certificate.
Additionally, over 1800 mock exam questions are included in the PM PrepCast™ Elite bundle which includes the PM PrepCast™ online course plus the PM Exam Simulator 2.0. A 90-day full refund is offered in case I am not satisfied with the purchase provided I have not tried the final exam and got the 35 Contact Hours Certificate (fair enough).
- Downloadable — can be carried everywhere to study during idle time
- Comprehensive — covering almost everything required for the exam
- Quality Guaranteed — 90-day full refund allowed if haven’t taken the “Final Exam”
- Flexible — can obtain the 35 Contact Hour Certificate in as short as two weeks’ time
- Access Forever — the downloaded lecture files can be kept forever
- 1800+ Mock Exam Questions — PM Exam Simulator included in the PM PrepCast™ Elite package includes “live feedback” feature in which your queries will be answered by PMP®s asap
- No Tracking — as the lectures are downloadable, there is no online dashboard to track the progress
- No Access Deadline — according to the Parkinson’s law (Aspirants will tend to fill up all the allocated time to finish the course), no definite access deadline would mean the progress on the online course would be slow as there is no urgency to finish the course
- No Course Textbook — aspirants will need to make their own study notes
PMP® Training – Online Self Learning — by GreyCampus
Update: GreyCampus is among the first to publish the updated PMP® Exam Prep Course aligned with the new PMBOK® Guide 6th Edition. The updated course is now available for purchase at GreyCampus website (discount coupon code here).
The GreyCampus Course includes almost all the resources Aspirants would need to be prepared for the exam — video course, 35 Contact Hours certificate, questions, ITTO games, course notes… (except the PMBOK® Guide which can be downloaded for FREE on PMI website if you are a PMI member). The GreyCampus PMP® Training comes with an access period 1 year. The 35 Contact Hours Certificate for project management education can be obtained after successful completion of the course and the exam. The course itself includes 4 Simulated Exams and Chapter Quizzes for Aspirants to understand their knowledge gap. Online Flashcards are also included to help remember key facts and definitions for the exam.
The downside is that all the video courses need to be watched online. Though the videos can be watched on a mobile phone browser, a data connection is required as the videos cannot be downloaded to the phone.
GreyCampus online Self-Learning courses have a 3-day refund policy. If you are not satisfied with the course within 3 days from the date of purchase, GreyCampus will refund the entire amount.
- Downloadable Course Book — can help you study the course materials while no watching the lecture videos
- Lots of Studying Resources Included — chapter quizzes, mock exam questions, ITTO games, etc.
- Course Dashboard — track your progress through the course and mock exam performance according to knowledge areas
- Free PMBOK® Guide 6th edition instructor-led seminar — get an additional 2-day instructor-led course covering additional topics added in the new PMBOK® Guide 6 edition for FREE (a US$199 value)!
- Only 3-day refund guarantee
- No Video Download — Lecture videos must be watched online
- The instructor presentation was a bit dull according to some students of this course
- The mock exams included are not as good as other paid options available on the market (e.g. the PM Exam Simulator)
PMP® Certification Training Course Self Paced Learning — by Simplilearn
The Simplilearn course is an online course package which provides almost all the materials and resources for the exam. It provides an access period of 180 days to watch the lessons and attempt the mock exams. There is a course-in-a-book e-book that can be downloaded and kept — the e-book is virtually a transcription of the online course. Five Simulation Exams are also included to allow Aspirants to understand their exam readiness as the level of difficulty is on par with the real exam.
There is a mobile app (called Simplilearn) provided to allow Aspirants to go through the course easily on mobile phones. However, since the course videos cannot be downloaded, much mobile data would be needed if there is no WIFI access.
100% Money Back Guarantee is provided for the first 3 days of purchase and the progress must be less than 50% of the whole course.
Update: Simplilearn is again a PMI R.E.P. as of today.
- Mobility — can be assessed through a dedicated Simplilearn mobile app (note: must be connected to the internet to access the course materials and lecture)
- Mock Exams Included — 5 simulated mock exams are included in the course package
- E-book — an e-book can be downloaded for studying which can form the basis for notes taking
- Only 3-day refund guarantee
- No Video Download — even though there is a mobile app for accessing the courses, the course lecture must be viewed online
PMP® Certification Bootcamp On-Demand Course — by PMtraining
The PMtraining Online Course includes most of the study materials Aspirants would need, including access to the course for 90 days, 35 Contact Hours Certificate of project management education, downloadable course lecture slides, 1 Mock Exam, Quiz Questions and Exam Prep e-book. In particular, there are also downloadable “Memory Map” Exercise, Printable Process Maps, Formula Cheat Sheet and Exam Taking Tips. The PMtraining course includes much more study materials and study aids than other online courses.
The PMtraining website is coded with the most advance responsive technology so that it is convenient to watch the videos and attempt the exams on mobile phones. But as many others, videos cannot be downloaded.
Students can request a refund within 24 hours provided that the student has not used the content.
- Responsive Website — course website fits the screens of mobile phones, iPad and desktops perfectly
- Lots of Study Aids — downloadable “Memory Map” Exercise, Printable Process Maps, Formula Cheat Sheet and Exam Taking Tips
- PMP® Exam Prep E-book — an e-book can be downloaded for studying which can form the basis for notes taking
- 24-hours refund guarantee
- Online 1 Mock Exam is included
- Relatively more expensive
PMP® E-learning Course — by KnowledgeHut
KnowledgeHut is one of the largest online and classroom Certification training provider featuring a large portfolio of certification training courses. KnowledgeHut offers both classroom, virtual classroom as well as e-learning training courses for the PMP®. The exam prep kit of the e-learning course includes an array of resources including online video lectures, 1800+ practice exam questions, downloadable lecture powerpoint PDF and more. This e-learning course has an emphasis on mock practice questions as it includes one of the largest mock exam question bank.
- Economical — the KnowledgeHut online course is the cheapest among all recommended courses as it offers an access period of 45 days as an option. Aspirants on a budget will find this option extremely helpful for them to get the 35 Contact Hours without breaking their banks
- 1800+ mock test questions included — all the questions are explained in details so that Aspirants will be able to understand their knowledge gaps
- Lots of extra exam prep resources included — downloadable lecture powerpoint PDF, additional mock questions, application guide, etc.
- Strict refund conditions (within 24 hours)
- Video lectures are not long enough to cover every details of the PMBOK® Guide
The above are my findings from my research into the best PMP® online courses. I hope the info provided here would be useful for Aspirants to find the best online course that is most suited to their learning style. I finally chose the PM PrepCast™ and GreyCampus ones — which I consider are great in quality and value-for-money.
But remember: the most popular online course is not always the best online course for you. You may choose the course based on your budget, learning style and requirements of study aids.
Wish you PMP® success!
Please note that the information for the online training courses provided above is accurate at the time of writing. Aspirants are highly advised to look through the respective websites of the online courses for the latest information and offer.