Nine Steps to get PMP Certification

Nine Steps to get PMP Certification

Hector Olvera, PMP

1. Make sure you meet the criteria set by PMI before deciding to apply for the PMP certification by visiting

a. You should have documents to prove that you had at least 35 contact hours of formal education in project management

b. If you have a Bachelor's degree, document at least three calendar years experience in project management during which at least 4,500 hours were spent leading and directing project tasks.

Note that experience in all the five recognized project management process groups is required.

The five process groups are Initiation, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Control and Closing.

If you do not have a Bachelor's degree, applicants must have a minimum five years professional project management experience. During which at least 7,500 hours are spent leading and directing projects.

How long back? within the past eight years from the time of application.

Make sure to read the PMP Handbook published by PMI for more details.

Note that you will have to provide the contact information of your manager or supervisor.

If PMI chooses to audit your application, they will contact your manager for verification, or ask your for documentation as evidence.

2. Become a member of the PMI

As of Mar 2012, the annual membership dues are $129.

PMI members get a discount on the PMP examination fee that is bigger than the annual membership fees so it financially make sense to become a PMI member if you are planning to take the PMP exam that year.

You may not want to renew it the following year if you decide you don't want it anymore.

In addition to the discount, you also get an electronic copy of PMBOK guide. Reading this book is essential to prepare well for the exam, and networking opportunities within the PMI community.

Explore about their activities, courses and meetings and decide if you want to become a member of the local PMI chapter.

Some chapters provide PMP preparation courses and seminars which you will find very useful.

It is a great opportunity to meet new and experienced PMPs in person and learn from them.

You will also meet people who are preparing for the PMP exam and you can form a study group and share knowledge.

3. Apply online for PMP certification at PMI ( )

a. You will be filling in all the details that are mentioned in above steps along with your personal information, educational qualification, etc.

b. PMP Examination fees: $405 for PMI members. $555 for non-members. You can use your credit card to pay for this. It is far better to do all the process in line.

Make sure the application is complete.

Once you apply, it may take up to 2 weeks for your application to get approved by PMI. If you apply online, the processing time is only 5 business days.

4. Start preparing for the exam.

Read the PMP Handbook again and understand all the rules.

Start reading on the internet about PMP exam, experiences of recent successful PMPs, lessons learnt during the process, etc.

Join various forums dedicated to PMP examination on the internet and browse through and ask questions.

You can learn a lot from other successful PMPs and those who are in the same boat as you.

5. Schedule a date for PMP examination

If your application is approved, instructions will be sent to you from PMI and you can schedule a date for your exam. You may not get a date immediately.

So, schedule the exam date well in advance. Once your application is approved, you have one-year eligibility period in which to pass the PMP exam.

During this eligibility period, you may take the examination up to three times because candidates may not pass the exam on their first attempt.

There is a $150 re-examination fee. If you fail three times in a year, you must wait one year to reapply.

6. Exam preparation

Prepare rigorously for the exam. It may take anywhere from 3 to 6 months on average to prepare for the examination.


Study Materials for PMP Exams

a. The PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide. It looks like about 75% of the questions on the PMP exam come from the PMBOK guide. So, make sure you study this guide again and again.

However, understand that the PMBOK guide is so dry that it is raw text material only with no interesting examples and is difficult to understand.

There are well written books and audio tapes I am listing below to understand the concepts given in the guide in an interesting way.

b. PMP Audio workshop: If you are commuting a lot or traveling for a long time, audio books are a great way to use the time effectively.

I suggest PMP Prepcast as it has a lot of positive feedback from many successful PMPs. Hot Topics Flashcards for Passing the PMP and CAPM Exams (Audio CD) by Rita Mulcahy

c. The PMP Exam: How to Pass On Your First Try (Test Prep series) by Andy Crowe - Great first book to read to get an idea of the PMP exams

d. Head First PMP: A Brain-Friendly Guide to Passing PMP Exam by Andrew Stellman and Jennifer Greene



7. Take model exams and take them as if they are real exams conducted by PMP.

If you get 80% of the question right, you should be ready for the actual PMP exam.

8. Take the exam

The PMP exam is 4 hours long. Make sure you are fresh and relaxed on the day of the PMP exam.

This means that you will need a good night's sleep the previous night. Have a good breakfast and drive to the testing center early. Do not forget to take your ID with you.


And what is the Number Nine?

9. If you require training for your exams Please contact me on

Want to know the small investment of PMP Certification?

Libro El Director de Proyectos Práctico -

Un Método probado de 28 Pasos para completar tu Proyecto Exitosamente


Por fin ─ un libro sencillo con un método paso a paso para completar tu proyecto.

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Toda la "paja" de la metodología de dirección de proyectos fue eliminada, dejando solo lo que es absolutamente útil para completar la tarea.

El Director de Proyectos Práctico, Project Management for Small Projects. 

Un libro pensado en el líder de proyectos empírico que salió ganador de la rifa del tigre. Pues ya tiene la responsabilidad de un proyecto, pero que no sabe ni por donde empezar. Necesita una receta ABC para seguir.

Contiene 260 páginas perfectamente detalladas con ejemplos e ilustraciones, que te llevan de la mano hasta completar tu proyecto.

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Entrega inmediata.

BONO ADICIONAL:  El libro incluye todos los templates─plantillas─que necesitas, listos para ser usadas. No necesitas comprar nada mas.

COPYRIGHT © 2007-2012 por Hector Olvera Padilla 1853071. Reproduction in whole or in part, or translation without written permission is prohibited. "PMP®", "PMBOK®", and "PMI®" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.