How to Get PMP Certification: A Beginner’s Guide to Success

If you are looking for a career boost, PMP certification should be your ultimate goal. PMP stands for Project Management Professional certificate. Administered by Project Management Institute (PMI), it is one of the most recognized certification worldwide.

According to the Project Management Salary Survey, PMP certification holders earn at least 20% more than the non-certified ones. It is not easy to get PMP certified. Before you can attain the certificate, you are required give a certification exam.

Although it requires a high level of commitment and hard work to be PMP certified, it’s completely doable. We have prepared a step-by-step guide for the beginners who are at a loss about where to start. So without further ado, let’s lock in!

How to Get PMP Certified: A Beginner’s Guide to Success

1. Check if you are qualified 

The first step is always the most important one. To attain a PMP certificate, you are expected to have some credentials. You can contact PMI directly or go their website to find out the eligibility criteria. To understand whether you are qualified or not, you can go ahead and answer some questions. 

Firstly, you need to have a high school diploma-or any global equivalent degree. Secondly, you must have the experience of leading a directing project for a minimum of 7500 hours and a minimum 60 months of professional project management work experience. 

Requirements vary for people with undergraduate degree holders. In that case, you would need to have a minimum of three years of professional project management experience, of which a minimum of 4500 hours should be spent on leading and directing.

2. Download the PMP Handbook

This handbook is the holy book during the preparation period. Also called Credentials Handbook, this book can be downloaded from PMI website.

It explains everything there is to know about the PMP examination. After you have downloaded the book, read it through. It actually would take you just around 20 to 30 minutes to read through the book.

You can try to print it out too. It is the most useful resource for you throughout the preparation period and help you pass PMP exam.

3. Become a member

After checking the eligibility criteria and downloading the PMP Handbook, become a PMI member. There are some special advantages of joining PMI. The members receive a notable discount on the PMP exam entry fee and also receives a free PDF guide.

The discounted money is more than your membership fee, so make sure you take the full advantage of the opportunity. There are special prep workshops available to the members.

Perhaps the biggest advantage is that you can connect with other examinee and join a study group. Contact your local PMP chapter and gather the information regarding schedules and membership fees.

4. Create your study plan

Now the real work begins. After becoming a member, you will be able to access plenty of resources required for giving the exam. There are various websites which provide special prep kits for PMP and PMP Brain Dump.

You can avail those if you prefer a concise approach. Usually these prep kits contain courses, practice exams, flashcards and a lot of materials to help you prepare well.

 Or you can go to the PMP website and complete their training courses. The guidebook you downloaded earlier might be difficult to read through, that’s why there are training courses to compliment it. You can opt for classroom courses, bootcamps or go for virtual instructor-led courses.

There is also a self-paced option if you are confident enough. The website has detailed guide on the advantages and disadvantages of all options, you can look them up if confused. Get the PMP prep book if you find the training courses very time consuming. The prep book contains practice questions aside from preparation materials written in easy language. 

5. Sign up for exam

While you are taking the preparation, make sure to sign up for the examination. Your local PMP chapter will notify you about the exam date and application time. You have to complete the online application logging into the website. There is usually a 90-day duration time for the whole application procedure.

After submitting, the PMI will review your application within 5 business days. If you are selected for an audit, you will have 90 days to submit the required documents. The application fee is $405 for member and $555 for non-members. Go to the nearest Prometric Testing Center to schedule exam. 

6. Attempt PMP Exam Simulators

After you have covered all the contents, now it’s time to take the simulator exams. PMP is a complex examination and exam strategy is very important to excel in it.  It spans to multiple hours and often retaining the concentration in the exam setting can be difficult. 

Simulator exams prepare you how to successfully complete the exam in given time constraint.  You will have access to a number of PMP practice exams having the same level of difficulty of real PMP exams. So, it’s a good idea to attempt these to strengthen your preparation.

7. Study hard and practice!

Now that you have most time-consuming things done, it’s time for some final day studies. The simulator exam performances and reviews will help you identify you gaps. Go through the study guide at least twice, as more than 70% questions come from this book.

Lastly, the exam simulator tool is very handy, so try to use it the best way you can. Practice the PMP exam questions of previous years and test yourself. You can find these questions in the prep guide and in a local bookstore. 

8. Take the exam

The moment of truth! After finishing all the steps mentioned earlier, you should be ready to finally take the exam. Honestly, if you’ve done all the work needed, the exam is just a piece of cake now.

Make sure though that you are fully ready to take the exam. Keep track of your scores and determine how you can improve more – only after then, take the exam. Try to get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam and relax.

Final Words

PMP certification will make you professionally stronger and skilled. To keep pace with this competitive job market, PMP certification can come in handy. Our step-by-step guide will help you accomplish your target.

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