How to Become PMP Certified

How to Become PMP Certified

There are several requirements you ll need to fulfill in order to sit for the PMP exam. PMI has detailed the certification process quite extensively at their website. Go to and click the Professional Development and Careers tab to reveal the Certifications selection to get the latest information on certification procedures and requirements.

As of the date of this publication, you are required to fill out an application to sit for the PMP exam. You can submit this application online at . You will also need to document 35 hours of formal project management education. This might include college classes, seminars , workshops, or training sessions. Be prepared to list the class titles, location, date, and content.

In addition to filling out the application and documenting your formal project management training, there is one additional set of criteria you ll need to meet to sit for the exam. These criteria fall into two categories. You need to meet the requirements for only one of these categories:

  • Category 1 is for those who hold a baccalaureate degree. You ll need to provide proof, via transcripts, of your degree with your application. In addition, you ll need to complete verification forms ”found at the PMI website ”that show 4500 hours of project management experience that spans a minimum of three years and no more than six years .

  • Category 2 is for those who do not hold a baccalaureate degree but do hold a high-school diploma or equivalent. You ll need to complete verification forms documenting 7500 hours of project management experience that spans a minimum of five years and no more than eight years.

The exam fee at the time of this publication is $405 for PMI members in good standing and $555 for non-PMI members . Testing is conducted at Prometric centers. You can find a center near you at the PMI website. You have six months from the time PMI receives and approves your completed application to take the exam. You ll need to bring a form of identification such as a driver s license with you to the Prometric center on the test day. You will not be allowed to take anything with you into the testing center. You will be given a calculator, pencils, and scrap paper by the center. You will turn in all scrap paper, including the notes and squiggles you ve jotted during the test, to the center upon completion of the exam.

The exam is scored immediately, so you will know if you ve passed at the conclusion of the test. You re given four hours to complete the exam, which consists of 200 randomly generated questions that cover the following process groups and areas: Initiation, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing, and Professional Responsibility. All unanswered questions are scored as wrong answers, so it benefits you to guess at an answer if you re stumped on a question.

After you ve received your certification, you ll be required to earn 60 professional development units (PDUs) every three years to maintain certification. Approximately one hour of structured learning translates to one PDU. The PMI website details what activities constitute a PDU, how many PDUs each activity earns, and how to register your PDUs with PMI to maintain your certification. As an example, attendance at a local chapter meeting earns one PDU.

Tips for Taking the PMP Exam

Here are some general tips for taking your exam successfully:

  • Get to the exam center early so that you can relax and review your study materials.

  • Read the exam questions very carefully . Make sure you know exactly what the question is asking and don t be tempted to answer too quickly.

  • Unanswered questions score as wrong answers. It s better to guess than to leave a question unanswered.

  • If you re not sure of an answer, use a process of elimination to identify the obvious incorrect answers first. Narrow the remaining choices down by referring back to the question, looking for key words that might tip you off to the correct answer.

  • You ll be given scratch paper to take with you to the exam station. As soon as you get to your place, write down all the formulas and any other memory aids you used while studying before starting the exam. That way you can relax a little, because you won t have to remember the formulas when you get to those questions on the exam ”you can simply look at your scratch paper.

  • Visit the PMI website at for the latest information regarding certification and to find a testing site nearest you.