How can I crack the PMP Exam

Project Management Professional is a universally perceived professional recognition offered by the Project Management Institute. PMP® aspirants are not just the ones who are Project Managers. If you have the experience in bringing a project to closure and if you meet the criteria for attending the PMP test, then you can attempt the Project Management Certification exam. Being a Project Management Professional helps you to understand the fundamental Project Management process tools and methodologies. According to PMI, there are more than 1,000,000 PMP certification holders worldwide. A PMP certified professional earns 25% more than an uncertified professional. Hence, getting PMP certified helps you to grow in your career, build on your project management skills and also to scale up your salary.  

Any exam can be confusing, complicated and a tedious process to prepare for. This article will simplify that process for you. We will discuss the new format of the PMP exam and the different ways you could use to prepare for your PMP Certification Exam.

What is the best way to study for the PMP exam? 

Even if you have prior experience in managing projects and are also aware of the project planning tools, it is advised not to attempt the PMP exam without attending formal classroom training. The reason for this is, only an accredited trainer along with classroom training can help you to understand the concepts covered in the PMP exam in detail. All our trainers are qualified and have experience in the same domain for many years. Our PMP Training is aligned to the PMBOK6 which is a training material used only by the PMI. You can choose for a 4-day instructor-led online training. Kindly visit our website to know the different training dates and costs for each country.

What is the PMP exam structure? 

The current (2020) PMP exam structure is as follows:

  1. The performance area or the domain ‘Initiating’ takes up to 13% of the exam questions. This will assess the candidate on the initial levels of the project planning cycle. Some of them are:

                                            –  Performing stakeholder analysis using appropriate tools

                                            –  Identifying key deliverable based on customer requirements 

                                            –  Identifying high-level risks, performing benefit analysis.

 

  1. Planning accounts for 24% of the questions. To name a few, it focuses on Change management and cost management planning, requirement gathering, workflow diagramming techniques, etc.
  2. Few of the skill areas where Executing (31%) evaluates the candidate are: Continuous improvement processes, Contract management techniques, Inter-dependencies among project elements.
  3. Monitoring and controlling accounts for 25% of the questions evaluating on skills like Performance measurement and tracking techniques (e.g., EV, CPM, PERT, Trend Analysis)  Process analysis techniques (e.g., LEAN, Kanban, Six Sigma)  Project control limits and so on.
  4. Closing (7%) focus on Contract closure requirements, Close-out procedures, Feedback techniques to name a few.       There will be a total of 200 questions out of which 25 are pretest or un-scored questions. The exam emphasizes the critical thinking of the candidate under situations concerning the different project domains.

Is the PMP exam changing?

A new version of PMP has been announced by the PMI, which will be effective from 2 January 2021 onwards. The last date to attend the exam based on the previous format that we discussed is 31st December 2020. 

For the new version (from 2021), PMI states that “About half of the examination will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches.”

The format is as follows:

The new structure aims at simplifying the exam outline. It has Domain (which is the high level knowledge area pertaining to Project Management), Tasks(these are the responsibilities of the Project Manager under each domain) and Enablers(are the illustrative examples of work related to the tasks)

  1. The People(42%) domain evaluates if the candidate has the capability to manage conflicts, build, support and lead a team, empowering team members, collaborate with shareholders and negotiation skills.
  2. The Process(50%) domain evaluates if the communication, risk management, budget planning, project issues, knowledge transfer and project closure transitions.
  3. The Business Environment(8%) domain focuses on project compliance, evaluating and delivering project benefits and also if the candidate is able to assess and prioritize impact on the project scope.

We constantly update our training materials and also make sure that all our trainers are aware of and conduct the classes according to the latest PMP exam.

What is the cost of the PMP exam?

The PMP exam fee for a member is 405 USD and for a non-member is 555 USD. 

 What is the eligibility criteria for attending the PMP exam?

  • A four-year degree
  • Three years of leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

                                                          OR

  • A high school diploma or an associate’s degree (or global equivalent)
  • Five years of leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

Ideal time needed to prepare and get PMP certified

The ideal time for a candidate to pass the PMP exam is 1.5 to 3 months. This includes the training classes, spending 2-3 hours of time reading on a daily basis and studying the materials related to the PMP exam guide. It is also good to be active on different forums to stay updated about PMP. There are some other PMP books available like Rita, Head First PMP, which are also good to have them read. Though if you have prior Project Management experience, it is always recommended to study for 1.5 to 2 months then appear for the examination.This would really help you to master the subject and clear the examination in one go.

Is PMP an open book exam?

PMP is not an open book exam. You can attend the exam at a Pearsonvue test centre or you could opt for an online proctored exam at home once your application is approved by PMI. 

How difficult is PMP certification

Any certification exam is not easy and the same applies to PMP as well because PMP is a global recognition for all the Project Management Professionals. Apart from attending our PMP certification training program, you need to spend time on each of the above-discussed domains and try to get hands on in as many areas as possible.