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How to prepare for PMI PMP certification?

Certification: PMI PMP - Project Management Professional

Certification Overview

The PMI's PMP certification makes sure that the project manager has the skills, ability and knowledge to conduct or manage a project successfully. PMI certifications are world renowned for their flexibility and adaptability. Their certifications are transferable between geographic locations and various industries. PMI conducts research to make sure that their certifications are a reflection of the present day skills and industry best practices. The PMI certifications require individuals to earn PDUs at a regular basis. This keeps these professional updated all the time and allows room for continuous learning.

The project management certification has two main categories: knowledge based project management and competency based project management. The first category requires candidates to pass a certain exam, whereas, in the second category, candidates are assessed when they are working either alone or in groups, followed by interview from exam assessors. The competency based project management is a higher level certification. Most people go for the knowledge based project management certification and is also appropriate for individuals who have just entered into the field of project management. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification includes education, experience and competency of managing and leading projects. So, it is a combination of both knowledge based and competency based requirements.

Who need to do this certification?

PMP certification is most suited for experienced Project Managers. Individuals who want to advance their career in the field of Project Management must attain this certification.


Survey results show that PMP certification leads to 10% increase in salary of Project Managers. This certification allows you to stand out from the rest and is a great way to highlight yourself in front of prospective employers. Employers now look out for experienced professionals and experienced professionals are also great in number. The PMP certification is a way to single out your CV from the rest. This certification is very important if you are looking to pursue your career in the field of project management.

Associated Exams

Candidates must obtain pass mark on the PMP test form being PMP certified. Before appearing in the PMP test, candidates must complete a 35 hours long formal PMP training course. The time gap between PMP training and PMP test must not be more than a year. Candidates can attempt for the PMP test at most three times within this one year period. However, multiple sitting of the exam increases the PMP test cost. So it is better to prepare well so that you can pass the exam at your first attempt.


The candidates should have three to five years of experience in project management. If the candidate has a university degree he/she needs three years experience. For high school graduates or diploma holders, five years experience is required. Before sitting for the PMP test candidates must complete 35 hours of PMP training or education.

Examination Overview

Successful project management means completing the project from start to end maintaining a number of defined processes. A project must undergo the following project phases: Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project Monitoring and Control, and Project Closing. Candidates will learn how to decide on the project requirements, make plan for budget, procurement and human resource. They will learn how to make an accomplishable project schedule. Other aspects like quality issues and risk management plans are also made. Candidates will acquire skills to execute projects according to plans. Candidates will be familiarized with the tasks of control, monitoring and closing of the projects.

PMP sample test questions are great way to prepare for the actual PMP test. PMP test questions or PMP practice tests lets candidates understand their present knowledge level, find the lacking, and identify areas where more concentration in needed. PMP test prep guides are good for self study. E-learning material is also widely available in the internet. PMP online test is taken at designated test centres.

The PMP training includes PMP mock test which is very useful before the real PMP test. A rule of thumb is that if you know minimum 85% of the PMP sample test questions correctly, then you are well prepared for your PMP tests. Taking as many PMP sample test or PMP practice test as possible before the test increases your chance of scoring high in the exam.

Validity of Certification

The PMP certification remains valid as long as you acquire 60 PDUs every three years. These PDUs can be earned through training programs, self learning, professional tasks, or even volunteer services involving project management.

Expert Review

Recently, clients are increasingly demanding project managers having formal project management qualifications and they have begun to consider PMP as the benchmark in the Project Management discipline.

Michlle Booysen

Project Manager, Suncore Tech Ltd., Vancouver, Canada