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Project Management Professional Exam Information; FAQ and few practical tips

What is the Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification?
Individuals who hold PMI's (Project Management Institute) PMP credential demonstrate a proficient level of project management leadership skills, and as a result are able to command salaries that exceed those of their non-credentialed counterparts. PMP credential makes a huge difference to your resume. Definitely PMP has a great significance in itself and it also boosts your confidence level as you are a professionally recognized Project Manager.


What is the Eligibility Criteria for PMP exam?
To be eligible for a PMP credential, you must meet specific guidelines that objectively measure experience, education and professional knowledge. You also must agree to adhere to the PMI Code of Ethics & professional conduct and pass a rigorous multiple-choice examination that assesses your abilities in project management.

  • Applicants must have 35 hours of specific project management education.
  • With a Bachelor's Degree (or the global equivalent): Applicants must have a minimum three years' professional project management experience. During which candidate should spent 4,500 hours in leading and directing project tasks.
  • Without a Bachelor's Degree (or the global equivalent): Applicants must have a minimum five years' professional project management experience, during which at least 7,500 hours are spent leading and directing project tasks.

  • Do I have to join PMI individual membership?
    Please visit PMI's (Project Management Institute) for download application form. You can also apply online. Tip from PMPQuest - It was advisable to join the PMI's individual membership. The cost is around $129 (new membership) and it's worth the benefits you get as a member. Please note that you can also join PMI membership as Student and Retiree. Benefits are -

  • Unparalleled access to powerful tools & exclusive services
  • Exclusive members-only content on PMI.org
  • Monthly PM Network magazine and monthly PMI newsletter
  • Discount on PMI® credential exams and renewals
  • Latest copy of PMBOK on Compact Disc
  • Information and networking opportunities to further your career etc.
  • What is the PMP Exam format?
    These four-hour examinations composed of 200 multiple-choice questions out of 25 are considered pretest questions. Please note that pretest questions do not affect the score and are used in examinations as an effective and legitimate way to test the validity of future examinations questions.

    Total Number of questions 200
    No. of Prestest questions 25
    No. of Scored questions 175

    Exam is computer-based testing(CBT). Paper Based Testing (PBT) is also available on request under limited circumstances. Total time allotted for the exam is 4 hrs which excludes 15 minutes of examination tutorial to familiarize with the instructions and verifying your personal details.

    Questions measures your ability to apply knowledge, skills and techniques used in project management. This examination is developed by groups of individuals from around the globe who hold the PMP credential and is routinely reviewed and revised to ensure the best and consistently objective assessment.

    Just started studying for the PMP exam and now the draft version for 4th edition for PMBOK has been released by PMI for review. Any suggestions?
    It's true that PMI has published PMBOK 4th Edition for review and recommendations but believe us it's not an issue. Based on the past history, we believe that once PMI announces new PMBOK version, the new exam pattern would change typically after 1 full year. New PMBOK version release is usually a very public, massively communicated change as well. Expected release date of PMBOK 4th version is in the 4th Quarter of 2008. (PMI may change the schedule)

    What is the link of PMBOK 4th edition for review and recommendations?
    PMBOK 4th Edition is currently available only to provide review and recommendations till Mar 22nd 2008.

  • Click here for more info.
  • Click here to provide review comments on PMBOK 4th Edition.
  • What is the distribution of the topics in the exam?
    The exam is constructed based on the PMP Examination Specification. The Exam Specification details the percentage of questions that are contained in each process group. The following reflects the percentage of questions in each of the performance domains: IEPCC.


    Topics Percentage of Questions
    Initiation 11%
    Planning 23%
    Executing 27%
    Monitoring and Controlling 21%
    Closing 9%
    Professional and Social Responsibility 9%

    What is the PMP Credential Fees?


    Examination Type PMI Membership Status US Dollars
    Computer based testing (CBT) member $405
    Computer based testing (CBT) nonmember $555
    Reexamination CBT member $275
    Reexamination CBT nonmember $375

    Note: For other exam types, currency, refund amount and for latest information, please refer to PMI's (Project Management Institute) website.


    How to fill the application and do you have any template?
    We got this question from many PMP aspirants. So here are the few tips & template -

  • Make sure that you have enough experience on Project Management and you meet eligibility criteria. For more information please refer to legibility criteria.
  • Refer to eHow article How to Prepare and fill PMP application form to go through the steps.
  • Before you fill out online submission form, please document your project management education and experience in your work area. You will need to provide details, especially on your experience
    leading and directing project tasks. We have created a template to complete your homework. Please click here to download the file and feel free to modify the same. Please note that all the figures in the excel are example figures and do not forget to modify as per your professional experience.
  • Keep your PMI member ID handy, provided you have enrolled for the same.
  • Fill the form online with all support data and information. Please make sure to write your name as it appears on your government-issued identification (like Passport, State Driving License etc) that you will present when you take the exam.
  • Pay by Credit card or any other accepted method by PMI.
  • Now your application is under review with PMI. Most of the time application is approved within a week. Please note that randomly few applications will go through Audit process. Please refer to Audit question for more information.
  • Once your application is approved, PMI will process the payment.
  • Congratulation. You completed the first step. As your application is approved by PMI, you can finalize the date of the exam and you can schedule your exam date through PMI's exam administration partner, Prometric.
  • What is Application Audit? Please explain the process.

  • The submission of an application indicates an agreement to comply with PMI's audit terms. Please note that all eligible applications are subject to an audit. Candidates whose applications have been selected for an audit will be notified after the electronic eligibility notification letter is issued and payment of the exam fee is remitted. Upon successful completion of an audit, candidates are permitted to take the examination.
  • The electronic audit notification provides detailed information on how to comply with the terms of the audit. This information is also available through the web-based Certification System.
  • During an audit, candidates will be asked to submit supporting documentation, such as copies of their diploma/global equivalent, signatures of their supervisor(s) or manager(s) from the project(s) documented on the Experience Verification Forms, and copies of certificates or letters from the training institute(s) for each course submitted to meet the required 35 contact hours of project management education.
  • Applicants who fail to meet audit requirements will receive a refund less a processing fee of $100 [US].
  • Please be advised that while the selection process for an audit is primarily random, PMI reserves the right to select any candidate to be audited at any time, including after the credential has been bestowed.
  • Where can I download PMP handbook? It is available on PMI.org website, For your convenience please click here.

    What languages are supported by PMI?

  • All of PMI's credential examinations are administered in English. Examination language aids are available to assist candidates for whom English is a second language.
  • The aids provide a translation of exam questions and answers and are available in 10 languages : Chinese (Simplified), French, German, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese (Brazilian), Russian, and Spanish.
  • Can I reschedule my PMP exam with Prometric?
    Yes, with one year of duartion you can reschedule your exam multiple times. Please refer to Promertic website for detailed information and rules.

    Few practical tips before the exams

  • Take few forms of ID like passport, US driving license, Credit Cards etc. Make sure that name on the application form is matching with your identification ids.
  • Once you confirm the date and location of Prometric, visit the center one day before the exam to find out the route, parking lot, to observer the traffic pattern etc, just to avoid 11th hour surprises on the exam date.
  • Always reach the prometric center 30 minutes before the exam scheduled time.
  • Avoid reading too much on the exam day. Try to be fresh and avoid stress
  • The exam duration is four hours. Try to schedule between 1PM to 4PM. Please take water bottle and some snacks. Please feel free to take breaks, if required.
  • Please do not get stuck on any one question. If you need some time to think, mark the question and proceed. You can come back to the same question wherever you want.
  • Some time exam questions are very shallow. Don’t read too much into the questions as far as political aspirations and influences go. Take each question at face value and assume all the information given in the question is correct.
  • Completing the Project Management (PMP) exam is an example of problem-solving skills. Learn the PMI methods and allow that to influence your "real-world" implementations.
  • My PMP application form is approved. In how many days I have to appear for PMP exam?
    Your application is valid for one year (365 days). So with in a year, schedule the exam with prometric.

    What books we should study for PMP credentials?
    PMBOK is must. You should go through this guide more than two times till you understand the important concepts. We also recommend Rita Mulcahy's book PMP Exam Prep and PM Fastack. Please refer to Reference section for more info.

    Shall I join project management groups?
    Yes. It's a good idea to join such groups as you can clarify your questions, doubts. Yahoo and Google groups are the best. Please refer to Reference section for more info.

    Do I need PDUs before taking the PMP exam? What is the difference between Contact hours and PDUs?
    You do not need to earn any PDUs before taking PMP Exam. Please note that 35 Contact hours is different than PDUs. You can earn 35 contact hours by attending 35 hours Project Management Training program or by purchasing prepcasts. Please make a note of keep a copy all types of documentation (soft or hard) before applying for PMP credential. Please refer to PDUs section for more info.

    What is the passing score for PMP exam?
    As notified by the Project Management Institute, the passing score for the new PMP exam is 61% (106 correct out of 175 possible).

    I am now PMP certified. What next?
    Congratulation on your PMP certification!! Now your PMP certificate is valid for 3 calendar years (CCR cycle) and you need to earn 60 Professional Development Units in next 3 years to maintain your credential. Please refer to PDU page for more information.

    Results Notification and Score Report
    Upon completion of the computer-based exam, candidates receive a printed copy of their results. In addition, candidates may access their test results via PMI's web-based Certification System 5-7 days after the exam date (6-8 weeks for candidates who take a paper-based exam).

    PMI reports candidate scores using a diagnostic score report, which includes not only pass/fail status, but also a percentage breakdown of performance by process group (performance domain). Each of the six performance domains contains a different number of questions and is represented as a percentage that is relative to, but not equal to, the other domains.

    What is Credential Registry?
    Individuals who attain a credential from PMI will be added to PMI's Online Credential Registry and may immediately use the credential designation after their name.