Tips For Passing PMP Certification In First Try
PMI – Project management institute is “the world’s leading professional association for project management”. PMI establishes global standards and credentials recognized worldwide, has an extensive research program and professional development opportunities for all levels of education and skill. PMI offers a comprehensive certification program for project practitioners, and it consists currently of six credentials, recognized and transferable worldwide. These are: Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Project Management Professional (PMP), Program Management Professional (PgMP), PMI Agile Certified Professional (PMI-ACP), PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP), and PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP).
This article specifically details the PMI-PMP – Project Management Professional – certification. This is the industry-recognized credential for project managers. According to surveys, it has been found that PMP holders earn a higher salary and stand out to employers. PMI website states, “according to the PMI Salary Survey — Sixth Edition, a PMP increases your salary up to 10% more than your non-credentialed colleagues and peers.”
The PMP test is of four-hours and covers 200 multiple-choice questions based on:
Initiating the project
Planning the project
Executing the project
Monitoring and controlling the project
Closing the project
Professional and Social responsibility
The test covers 25 pretest questions, randomly placed throughout the test to gather statistical information on the performance of these questions in order to determine whether they may be used on future examinations. These 25 pretest items are not included in the pass/fail determination; hence the total score is based on 175 questions. All questions, simple or complex, carry the same weight. Each multiple-choice question has four options, out of which one correct answer is to be selected.
In order to be eligible for PMP, one must have a four-year degree (bachelor’s) and at least three years of experience in project management, with 4500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education; OR you should hold a secondary diploma (high school or globally equivalent) with at least five years of experience in project management and 7500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
PMP is a very difficult exam and a huge investment in terms of both financial and personal commitmen3. The PMP Certification Cost website states that the “administered by certified education and training facilities range from $555.00 (exam fee) to $3,150 depending on the amount of pre-prep training required which is a minimum of 37.5 hours.” Passing the PMP test successfully requires months of vigorous preparation and hard work. There are several ways one can prepare for this exam, via study groups, online courses and tutorials, purchasing study books and manuals, private tutors (also available online), and so on. It is important to practice PMP exams online, to know what your strengths and weaknesses are and prepare accordingly. These exams are available both free of cost and also at a fee.
Apart from this, there are some basic tips that one must keep in mind in order to prepare for and pass the PMP test successfully:
1. Remember to plan ahead. Find the right and most convenient preparation and study mode – tutor, self study, online courses, etc. Ensure that the course you enroll in is legitimate and up-to-date and value for the money you are paying for it. Also, if you become a member of the PMI, you save money and gain a lot of benefits. PMI offers classes, seminars and a vast store of information and advice to people in the project management field, at all levels.
2. Prepare extensively and follow a plan. Manage your time and figure out if you work better in groups or individually. Memorize all the formulas, by creating a spreadsheet with names of the formulas, what they mean and how they are to be used.
3. Set a target date to finish your preparation, preferably 2 weeks before your exam date. You should have finished as many practice questions in your preparation time as possible, and become comfortable with the test format. In the final two weeks, focus on your weak areas, brush up your skills and practice related questions.
4. The day before the exam, remember to stay fresh, get your sleep and not spend the whole day preparing. You need to relax mentally and physically, so go to bed early.
5. Exam day: Remember to answer all questions. You have four hours to complete the exam, which means 80 seconds to answer each question. Some answers lead to the next questions so you can read the next question and come back to the previous one and choose the correct answer. Out of the four choices given in the multiple-choice, eliminate the incorrect answers first.
If you have prepared well and in advance and follow these simple tips, there is no reason why you will not pass the PMP test in your first attempt!