To be eligible to apply for the PMP®, a candidate must have a combination of education and experience in any one or a combination of the following:

A four-year degree that included 60 semester hours in business administration or in engineering. A year’s training in an accredited school of business administration, accounting, engineering, law, medicine, or architecture. At least 3 years of experience as a project manager, including 4,500 hours leading and directing the work of others in the same or similar type of effort over a period of 5 consecutive years.

A combination of education and experience may be used to qualify for the PMP® if the applicant has a minimum of five years of progressive project management experience (PM Experience) out of the past 10 years.

The candidate must have at least 4 years of PM Experience before applying for the exam. You cannot combine PMP education with non- PMP® experience to qualify. A combination of education and PM Experience does not constitute PM Experience.

What are the eligibility requirements to sit for PMP® certification? The candidate must have a four-year degree or equivalent from an accredited institution.

In addition, a candidate must have at least 4 years of “directly related”* project management experience within the past 10 years before applying for the exam. (*If you don’t have 4 years of directly related experience, look to your entire work history and identify 5 or more projects that required limited project management skills and directly related to the skills required for project management.)

What is the duration of PMP® certification?

The current validity for the PMP® certificate is 36 months. The time period starts from the date that PMI receives your exam application and fees (plus any late payments). The clock stops when you receive your final results (with a passing score) or if you fail to pass the exam, stop before starting a new application and send an e-mail to PMI that you want to extend the validity of your current exam results. The clock can be extended (reset) for another 36 months. In the past, it was common to see PMP® certification valid for 60 months.

The candidate must have held a currently valid PMP® credential for at least 24 consecutive months before applying for renewal. A second-time renewal applicant who holds a current/valid credential does not need to re-establish eligibility or provide additional references but must pay a full application fee once again during the next scheduled application period. What if I don’t have 4 years of directly related project management experience? No problem! Look back further in your work history and identify 5 projects that required limited project management skills and were directly related to the skills required on projects today (for example: setting up simple schedules, simple Gantt charts, etc.).

What is the PMP® Exam like? The exam consists of 200 multiple-choice questions to be completed within 4 hours. The passing score is 72%. All PMP exams are taken electronically (computer-based) at Prometric test centers around the world. Once you pass the PMP exam, you do not need to take it again for another 36 months (3 years). You can see your scores immediately after completing your exam.

How many times can I apply for the PMP certification? There is no limit on how many times you can attempt or schedule an appointment to write for this examination. As long as one meets all eligibility requirements, he/she may apply for this exam as many times as he/she wants.

Why should you sit for the PMP® Certification exam? (Positive question)

  • When you pass the PMP® exam, it is a major global recognition of project management excellence and expertise demonstrating your knowledge of the entire scope of project management.
  • The PMI credential (PMP®) is highly valued around the world and helps create greater visibility for you as a qualified and experienced professional in project management.
  • Many organizations require that their employees be PMP certified before they give them greater levels of responsibility or position authority.
  • You will learn about all areas of project management and gain valuable insights from those who have done research on practicing project managers’ opinions about what separates an average performer from an excellent one.
  • Your chances to get promoted will improve tremendously as more and more companies are requiring candidates to possess the PMP® certification as a requirement for a promotion.

It is important to note that the PMP certification will not guarantee employment in project management. There are other factors companies consider when hiring, but project managers with PMP certifications have a much higher chance of being considered for an interview/hire because they have proven their ability in managing projects.

Top 4 Reasons to Take the PMP® Certification

1. It Boosts Your Resume

PMP certification is more important than you think. When a potential employer is scanning through resumes, they’ll look for PMP®certificates before considering anyone else. If your resume isn’t at the top of their stack and another applicant has it instead- well good luck! They might just pass over yours in favor of someone who meets qualifications earlier on during the hiring process because that person already has some certifications under his belt too – but not as many or any related field knowledge as yours would provide him with though which could be what really sets one candidate apart from others.

2. It Shows Employers You Have Experience

The PMP® certification exam reveals a lot of information about you and your potential. It helps employers see what they might be getting themselves into if they hire someone who has taken this test, so it’s important to study up! You should prepare for the following: 

  • You need an Associate’s Degree in order to apply; five years’ worth of experience as a project manager with 60 months leading or directing projects at least 30 days long each (not including unique tasks). If these requirements don’t match how old/experienced etc., then start fresh by applying again.

3. It Provides Networking Opportunities

Project Managers are always on the go. When you join PMI, not only will your members get a discount but there is so much more! As part of being an active member in this great organization-you can take advantage of other benefits like remote proctoring which allows test takers to have their exam administered at any time during its duration by another qualified professional who meets established criteria. This makes it possible for anyone with access to even just one hour per day could complete all three parts without having live interaction outside those scheduled hours – saving money while still achieving certification objectives.

4. It Ups Your Earning Potential

One area in which PMP® certification makes a significant difference is that it increases your chances of getting IT jobs. Mark Langley, president and CEO at the time for Project Management Institute (PMI), said “We’re seeing huge demand for project managers with information technology qualifications.” He added, “The data demonstrates this trend clearly; there has been no letup since our last survey on these issues eight years ago.”

This was back when job prospects were already looking bleak – but they only rose more after he made his statement!

How difficult is PMP® certification?

PMP® certification is difficult. The PMP® exam covers a large amount of material in a very limited timeframe. In order to pass the PMP® examination, you must have extensive real-life experience in executing projects and be able to map that knowledge into the correct answers. Almost 60% of all first-time test takers fail the exam on the first try.

If you’ve had extensive real-life project management experience and can map that into correct answers, passing the PMP examination is not difficult; however, if you’re new to project management or haven’t been in a role where you were executing projects on a day-to-day basis, it will be very difficult. You need to know your stuff—the PMBOK® Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) describes every possible question that could be asked on the PMP examination and there are no trick questions. If you do not understand how something works or why it works that way, then you will probably get it wrong. To pass the PMP examination, you need to be able to demonstrate your understanding of the material and not simply recite facts.

What is the passing score on the PMP® exam?

The PMP examination covers five process groups and ten knowledge areas. These process groups and knowledge areas are not weighted equally. For instance, for a total of 200 questions (four choices per question), the candidate has 210 minutes (for 35 questions). The minimum passing grade is approximately 70% or 126 correct answers out of 170 possible points. This means that you must answer about 63 questions correctly in order to pass the test. Each wrong answer counts as one “unanswered” question. Answering 14 unanswered questions will cause you to fail the examination and require you to schedule again at another time to take it again. That’s why answering each question accurately can be so challenging!

What are the benefits of becoming PMP® certified?

Once you become PMP certified, it means that you have successfully completed an extensive project management training course and have passed a rigorous certification examination that covers the standard practices in leading and directing projects. Having this credential increases your marketability as well as enhances your earning potential. It distinguishes you from your peers because there are currently about 750,000 professionals who hold the PMP certification. Anecdotally, I can tell you that many hiring managers won’t even look at an individual’s resume unless their education includes the PMI certifications (PMP or CAPM). The certification exam gives you exposure to real-world project situations and how others have dealt with these situations. Many practitioners believe that it is the equivalent of an advanced degree in project management. Furthermore, because the PMP certification is accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), many companies and government agencies require it as a prerequisite for employment.

What is the difference between PMP® and CAPM certification?

Capability Maturity Model (CMM) Certification: The CMM was developed by the Software Engineering Institute (SEI), a part of Carnegie Mellon, to measure an organization’s capability to produce software. The five levels of the CMM are: Initial, Managed, Defined, Quantitatively Managed, and Optimized. It measures how well an organization manages and improves its processes and provides a model for process improvement across all types of organizations—manufacturing or service driven.

The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) credential is offered by PMI. It shows that you have successfully completed coursework covering the fundamental knowledge of a project manager and passed a rigorous exam. The CAPM shows that you have a basic understanding of the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be a project manager. It is typically pursued by someone who has less experience in project management or wishes to explore it as a possible career path.

PMP Certification: The PMP certification requires considerably more hours of training (it’s roughly an extra two years beyond the CAPM) and encompasses many more areas within the “knowledge” domain than the CAPM does. You will also need three or more years of full-time work experience as a project manager—or four years part-time—in order to qualify for this credential.

How long does it take to become certified? If you prepare for about five months with daily study, you should be able to pass the PMP exam on your first attempt. Once you have passed, it takes about two weeks or less for PMI to receive your application and send out the certificate if you meet the eligibility criteria outlined above.

How much does it cost?

The fee is approximately $555 USD, plus a one-time membership initiation fee of $99 USD. This initiation fee covers your four years of membership in PMI which includes four monthly/quarterly issues of The Project Management Journal. One way to save money is to purchase books and study materials from one of PMI’s partner companies. The cost will be approximately $400 USD, as opposed to the normal price which is close to $1,000 USD! This fee can also vary depending on your country and currency. For example, in my country, there is a 15 percent VAT (value-added tax) on the certification exam fee.

If you are wondering whether it’s worth taking the test, here are some of the benefits I think it brings:

1.  Increased marketability

2.  Enhanced earning potential

3.  Gives credibility when speaking to clients or management

4.  Recognition among peers and industry professionals many project managers already working in the industry often tell me that they feel like imposters. They don’t feel like their education and experience have adequately prepared them for managing projects. PMP credentials give these people the validation they need to participate more fully in their profession—and to advance within it!

What are the prerequisites for attempting the PMP® Certification exam?

You must have 35 contact hours of project management education (training) from an accredited college or university that offers certification programs—typically this means an MBA or MS degree in project management or a discipline-related degree (for example, engineering, computer information systems, etc.). Or you must have four years of project management experience leading and directing the work of others that included: Leading and directing the work of three to seven people; Scheduling projects requiring 20 to 50 person-hours; Accounting for $10 million USD in resources, and managing multiple tasks.

The PMP Certification exam is offered by PMI (Project Management Institute). The contact hours can be accumulated through classes, seminars, or online courses. You will need documentation to show this education a letter from the school where you took the course(s). There are very few other prerequisites beyond the 35 credit hours required before applying for the exam.

As I mentioned in my previous post, it costs approximately $400 USD to study for and take the PMP exam. If you have been thinking about taking the test, this tends to be a good time of year as many training companies offer discounts to encourage employees to prepare for their exams before the beginning of a new calendar year. This also tends to be a good time for self-studiers because training companies tend not to run classes during late fall/early winter due to holiday commitments. Here are some links that might help you begin your journey to PMP certification:

1.  A free study guide (PDF) for the exam taken from the PMI website,

2.  PMP® Exam Prep Boot Camp schedule of classes, which includes online webinars and live weekend sessions. I hope you find these resources useful! Please feel free to leave any questions or comments below. If this post has been helpful, please share it with anyone else who might benefit from what you have found here! Thank you very much for reading. Cheers! -David

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