One effective PMP exam prep method is to use mock exam simulators and practice tests. That’s because you can practice questions that are very similar to the content on your exam. Additionally, this can be done in a simulated environment nearly identical to the actual exam.
Category: PMP Exam
What is a PMP?
Projects arise in every industry and organization at some point in time. Whether the project is large or small, carefully executing and managing the project is crucial to maintaining budget, timelines and overall success.
That's where a Project Management Professional (PMP) comes in!
The PMP is a professional certification tested and maintained by the Project Management Institute (PMI). Recipients of the PMP have passed a four-hour exam to test knowledge and skills of project management. Furthermore, PMPs are expected to keep their credentials active by continuously seeking education in the evolving trends of project management and earning Professional Development Units (PDUs).
Hence, PMP certification is a gold standard and the most commonly recognized certification for project management globally. However, to understand why the PMP is such a valuable credential, it helps to understand what a project is.
What is a Project?
Depending on the industry, organization or individual company requesting a project, the definition can look very different. For example, a plan from an IT Tech company (a software or new process) will have very different results than a construction project (a bridge or building). However, projects all have a few critical elements in common, as defined by the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).
Here’s what they are:
- A project is temporary with a definite beginning and an end.
- A project creates a unique service, product or result.
- A project will incorporate some form of scope, schedule, and budget.
Ultimately, a project manager is crucial to the last point: maintaining scope, schedule, and budget.
What Does a Project Manager Do?
A Project Management Professional (PMP) manages a project, mainly through the 'triple constraint' that we mentioned above - scope, schedule, and budget.
For a quick refresher, here's what those terms mean:
- Scope- What defines the service, product or result from the project. This includes the services of the project team and the ultimate deliverables of the project.
- Schedule- The time frame in which a project begins, progresses, and ends.
- Budget- The forecasted cost of completing the project.
A project manager successfully maintains these elements of a project and manages the relationship with the project team and the stakeholders (company executives, investors, etc.) Because managing schedules, budget and keeping a project on task is highly involved and takes a lot of skill, a PMP certified project manager is highly sought after by most companies undertaking a project.
Additionally, another crucial role of the PMP is risk management - analyzing potential risks, reporting them to stakeholders, and managing them carefully.
Consequently, an official PMP certification designates the holder as a master of project management: someone well-versed in the PMBOK guide.
So how do you become a PMP? Let's take a look below!
How Do You Become a PMP?
To earn your PMP credentials, you'll first need to meet all the requirements set by the PMI and pass the PMP exam. However, the PMP certification isn't for people just starting in project management. Instead, it's for individuals who have lots of project management experience and are seeking a professional credential to set themselves apart. If you'd like to earn a professional certification to help you gain project management experience but don't have any relevant expertise yourself, we suggest you pursue a Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) accreditation.
The requirements for the PMP exam application are split into two main parts: education and experience. Depending on the level of your educational background, you can satisfy the certification requirements in one of two ways:
If you have a High School Diploma, Associate's Degree or the global equivalent:
- You'll need to record 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects
- You'll need to collect 35 hours of formal project management education
If you have a four-year degree, such as a Bachelor's or the global equivalent:
- You'll need to record 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects
- You'll need 35 hours of formal project management education
Proving Hours of Project Management
As you can see from above, a hefty amount of hours leading and directing projects are required to sit for the certification exam. On the initial application, you can list out the relevant project management hours you have. However, you need to be prepared to prove it!
A percentage of random PMP exam applications are automatically selected for an audit. Therefore, if your application is audited, you'll need to provide line-by-line details accounting for each hour of project management experience with a signature from the project supervisor.
Project Management Education
An additional requirement for the PMP exam is 35 contact hours of formal project management education. Fortunately, there are several avenues to do this, including in-person classes, boot camps, and other registered education providers (found on the PMI website).
According to the PMP Handbook, one classroom hour equals one contact hour. Therefore, taking a university or college course on project management meets this requirement. However, you can only count the part of the class that deals specifically with project management.
Be prepared to meet this education requirement by providing certification proving your educational hours!
Taking the PMP Exam
After your application is approved, you'll have a time window to schedule your PMP exam at a registered test center. You can find a list of designated testing centers near you with Prometric.
The PMP Exam is a 200-question, multiple-choice exam based entirely off the elements of Project Management contained in "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge," or PMBOK. Below is a quick breakdown of knowledge areas covered on the test. Out of the 200 multiple choice questions, the following percentages of questions will cover these domains:
- Initiating - 13%
- Planning - 24%
- Executing - 31%
- Monitoring and Controlling - 25%
- Closing - 7%
We don't recommend applying for and sitting for the exam unless you feel genuinely prepared.
Conveniently, studying and preparing for the PMI exam can help you avoid racking up a considerable cost. That’s because exam fees are hefty, even though you'll receive a discount as a PMI member.
Take a look at the exam costs below:
- Exam Fee for PMI Members: $405
- Exam Fee for Non-Members: $555
- Re-Examination Fee (Member): $275
- Re-Examination Fee (Nonmember): $375
How Much Can I Earn With a Project Management Certification?
Once you get through the headache of the PMP exam, you'll earn your project management certification and begin making up for the considerable time and cost investment. After all, the PMI Earning Power Salary Survey discovered that project managers with the PMP certification earned 20% more on average than project managers without the certification.
Speaking of earnings, are you curious about how much a project manager makes?
According to Glassdoor.com, the average salary of a project manager is $75, 474 per year. However, this number skyrockets well past $100,000 when the project they are managing dips into more technical fields such as IT.
Are you interested in earning your PMP certification? The first step is to study for the PMP exam! Check out our full reviews of the top PMP exam reviews available on the web to help you choose the right prep course for you!
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