Earning Your PMP

Posted on March 4, 2009 by

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In order to take the PMP Exam, you must have a certain amount of experience managing projects and have 35 hours of formal education in project management. If your highest degree is a high school or associates degree, you’ll need to document 5 years and 7,500 hours of managing projects. If your highest degree is a bachelor’s degree or higher, you’ll need to document 3 years and 4,500 hours of managing projects. The 35 contact hours of formal education can take the form of various types of instruction, although it is often in the form of taking a course with a Registered Education Provider (REP). A R.E.P. is an organization that is approved by the Project Management Institute (PMI) for providing education and has the ability to award contact hours and Professional Development Units (PDUs) to its students. For example, here at TAPUniversity we are a REP whose 10-week online PMP course both prepares participants for their PMP Exam and also satisfies the requirement of 35 contact hours.

For those that meet the experience and education requirements, the first step is going to http://www.pmi.org to work on the application for the PMP exam. You’re able to save your application and come back and work on it later if you wish. On this application, you’ll be documenting your education and the specific details of the projects you have led. After submitting your application, PMI reviews it for completeness. Then you’ll be asked for payment. The cost of the exam for PMI members is $405. At this point, some applications will be audited. Otherwise, the exam can be taken. The computerized exam is scheduled through Prometrix at a testing center. You’ll be taken to the Prometrix website through the PMI website.

The exam itself is 200 questions. Only 175 of these questions are actually scored. The rest are questions that are being tested for future exams, and you won’t know which questions these are. You’ll have four hours to take the exam. You’re allowed to take breaks, but the clock is still ticking so it’s best to keep breaks short. Immediately after you finish the exam questions, you’ll be informed whether you passed. To maintain your PMP certification, you’ll need to earn PDU’s. During the three years after you earned your PMP, you’ll need 60 PDU’s. There are various ways to earn PDU’s—for example, you can be involved in your local PMI chapter meetings, give talks or write papers on project management, and take classes. If you choose to take classes for your PDU’s, TAPUniversity has a variety of online classes available.

Here’s the link to PMI’s official handbook that goes into more detail on the PMP certification if you wish to read more: http://www.pmi.org/PDF/pdc_pmphandbook.pdf