How to Prepare for the PMP Certification Exam

Project Management Professional certification is offered to people who successfully clear the PMP examination. Preparation for this examination is on the higher side of the difficulty level and so is the examination itself. To ensure that you clear the PMP exam in your first attempt, it is important to ensure that you have gone through the educational training and the supplementing material provided. This will help you immensely while you are giving the PMP certification exam. A proper Knowledgehut’s PMP training will help you cover all the material that is required for the exam and help you achieve your goal. Before beginning the preparation for the PMP examination, it is advisable to ensure that you have checked the eligibility criteria for the certification, filled the application form, and enrolled in a training course.

Filling the application for PMP is the first step of preparation. You should first check the eligibility criteria, fill the application form, and get your application approved. Doing this will make sure that your efforts are not going in vain in case your application is not approved. The process for filling the PMP application form is as follows:

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  1. Open the official PMI website.
  2. Go to the ‘Certification’ option to the topmost bar on the website.
  3. Click on ‘Apply Now’.
  4. If you already have an account on the PMI website, you will be asked to log in to your account to proceed to the next step.
  5. If you do not have an account on the PMI website, you will be prompted to sign in by filling in your information.
  6. Once you have logged in or created your account, you will have to click on ‘Apply for PMP Credential’.
  7. After clicking on this button, you will be taken to the form where you will have to fill your details such as your name, contact address, contact number, prior education, Project Management education, work experience, and other personal as well as professional information.
  8. Submit your application and wait for it to be approved. This is done within 5 business days or a week.
  9. Once your application is approved, you can go ahead and pay the fee for the PMP certification examination.
  10. On successful payment, you will be able to select the day of your examination and the slot you wish to give the examination in.
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Clearing the examination is an essential part of getting PMP certified. However, getting the proper training in Project Management is also important. 35 hours of contact training is essential for you to clear the PMP exam. These contact hours can be completed through the relevant training available for the certification. For this training, you can opt for either online sessions or in-person classes. These training facilities are available from any authorized training institutes. These mandatory contact hours can also be obtained by attending the PMI Chapter that is organized by the Project Management training programs. 35 contact hours, along with the examination, are mandatory to complete to get a PMP certification.

The time taken to complete the whole PMP certification process depends on the individual who is taking the exam and the date for the scheduled exam. Many people only get the time to study for the exam occasionally and will only be able to give the exam after preparing for a few months. On the other hand, some will complete the training and prepare for the exam in three to four months and will be able to give the exam accordingly. It is important to schedule the exam date according to the time you will have for studying for the exam.

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Along with this, your application will be active for 12 months after it has been approved and therefore, you should ensure that you give the exam within the 12 months available after application. The examination is of 4 hours and will have 200 multiple choice questions out of which only 175 are the main questions that would contribute towards the score. However, it is advisable to answer all 200 questions as identifying the 25 pre-test questions will be difficult.

PMP certification exam is considered difficult by the people who have taken the examination. It takes deep commitment and adequate preparation to successfully clear the exam and get certified. The time that you require for your preparation depends on a lot of factors such as your work experience, prior education, the time you can devote to studying, and the training that you get. On average, people do their preparation in the following manner:

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  • Start preparing for the examination at least 4 months before the scheduled examination or schedule your examination a minimum of 4 months from your date of application. This will give you adequate time to prepare for the exam.
  • The first three weeks of your preparation should be focused on studying the PMBOK guide. You should understand and learn all the material that is available in this guide as it will help you solve the questions in the examination.
  • Weekend study of at least three to four hours (more, if possible) is a must for at least 4 months, till the date of your exam. Uninterrupted preparation time will help you understand all the concepts better.
  • Regularly give practice tests and mock exams. Doing this will help you gauge your level of preparation and will tell you your strong and weak areas. You can then focus on improving your weak areas and ensure that your exam goes seamlessly.
  • Two to three hours of study per day is a must to clear the exam. Lack of proper preparation and failure to study the PMBOK guide along with other study material are some of the reasons why 40-50% of people are unable to clear the PMP exam in their first attempt.
  • Read the PMBOK guide, third party PMP textbooks such as Andy Crowe and Rita Mulcahy’s books, join PMP exam workshops, groups, and discussion forums to have a comprehensive preparation. Studying in groups and with peers can help you get motivated.
  • Some of the important books for PMP preparation are PMBOK Guide, Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep, Jennifer Green’s Head First PMP, and Eileen Ellis’ PMP Exam simplified.

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