PMP certification bible

#1 PMP Certification Bible – Top 25+ QAs About PMP Exam & Certification62 min. read

I am Resit, Founder & CEO of Master of Project Academy. Since 2012, I am teaching PMP certification courses and helping PMP exam aspirants to get ready for the PMP certification exam. At Master of Project Academy, after helping 125,000 professionals to get their certifications with a 99.6% first attempt pass rate, I wanted to prepare this PMP certification bible. We called this resource “PMP Certification Bible” – Why?

Because, starting from “What PMP certification is”, you will find everything from A to Z about PMP certification in this bible. Besides, we have been inspired from the  25+ most frequently asked questions by PMP certification aspirants through our customer support channels. In short, you will learn a lot and we will clarify all questions you have about PMP certification in this post.


⚠️Important Note: This resource is completely free and you will find various information about PMP Certification and PMP exam throughout the post. DO NOT JUST SKIP THE POST. Otherwise, you can miss important videos, free resources and other beneficial resources for your PMP study.


Although I strongly recommend you to go thoroughly through this post, you might feel that you already have great knowledge about a particular topic. That is why I prepared following content table. So, if you wish to jump in a particular topic, you can use this one – just keep in mind that you can miss some free resources while you are jumping 🤔.

PMP Certification Bible Content

  1. What is PMP Certification?
  2. What are the benefits of PMP Certification?
  3. What are the PMP Certification Requirements?
  4. What is the PMP Exam Structure?
  5. What is the PMP Exam Passing Score and PMP Exam Pass Rate?
  6. How can I apply for PMP Certification?
  7. How can I pass PMP Application Audit?
  8. What is the PMP Certification Cost?
  9. How Should I Study for the PMP Certification Exam?
  10. What is the PMP Exam Schedule? When is the next PMP exam date?
  11. Can I Prepare for PMP Certification Online?
  12. What is the best way to study for PMP Exam?
  13. How should I choose my PMP Certification Training?
  14. Should I read PMBOK in my PMP Certification study?
  15. Should I follow a PMP Book during my PMP Study?
  16. Should I use PMP Rita book?
  17. What are the PMP or PMBOK Knowledge Areas?
  18. How are the sample PMP Exam Questions?
  19. Should I use a PMP Question Bank?
  20. How should I Use PMP cheat sheets?
  21. What Are the PMP Formulas and Earned Value Formulas for PMP Exam?
  22. How much a Project Manager Can earn?
  23. How much a PMP Certification holder can earn?
  24. What are the PMP Exam Changes?
  25. How can I renew PMP Certification?
  26. What are the PMP Certification PDU Requirements?
  27. How can I earn PMP PDU?
  28. How can I earn FREE PMP PDUs?
  29. How can I earn PDUs from PMP PDU Courses?
  30. Conclusion

Let’s go one-by-one through each point now!

What is PMP Certification?

First thing I will cover will be for sure what the PMP certification is. PMP is abbreviation of Project Management Professional. PMI Institute provides PMP certification to the professionals who fulfill the PMP eligibility requirements first, and then pass the PMP certification exam successfully.

PMI (Project Management Institute) has been founded in 1969, in Pennsylvania, US by five volunteers who are working in the field of project management. However, it took 14 years to organize their first symposium in 1983, in Atlanta, Georgia. 83 professionals attended the first symposium of PMI institute.

About PMP certification

PMI institute aimed to prepare a common language of project management profession all around the world. The best thing to achieve this was conducting a certification exam and instructing certification exam candidates on a common ground of project management language.

First PMP certification exam was held at PMI ’84 in Philadelphia, October 6, 1984. There were 43 individuals passed and became the first Project Management Professionals (PMPs). Since then, importance and reputation of PMP certification increased gradually. Today, no doubt, PMP is the world’s most prestigious project management certification around the world and there are millions of PMP certification holders around the world.

Watch What is PMP Certification Video:

By increasing importance of PMP certification, PMI institute published PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) series to ensure a common language of project management. This also helped PMP certification exam candidates to see what the exam content is.

First PMBOK was published in 1996. Then, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th versions were published in 2000, 2004, 2009, 2013 and 2017 respectively. In each four to five years, PMI prepares a new version of the PMBOK based on changing dynamics of the project management profession and industry. Latest PMBOK is PMBOK 6th version, which has been published in 2017.

Recap of this section: PMP is the abbreviation of Project Management Professional and provided by PMI institute to the applicants who fulfill the requirements and pass the exam successfully. PMBOK defines the content of PMP exam. You can read more about PMP certification in our What is PMP post.

What are the benefits of PMP Certification?

There are several benefits of PMP certification. I will be listing the top three benefits here. These are common language of project management, better salary and advantage in job screening.

1- Common Language Benefit of PMP Certification in Project Management World

This is actually the primary purpose of PMI institute. Project management discipline is not industry specific. No matter in which industry you are working, projects are crucial business drivers that help companies to operate and survive in their market. When working with your colleagues, partners, suppliers, or employee of another company, you must be able to speak the same terminology, concepts and jargon. Can you communicate with a foreigner if you do not know his language well? Of course no. Same analogy applies here. Project management professionals must be able to understand each other. When a colleague says “scope”, “change request”, “risk register”, “issue log” etc. other project management professionals must understand what he or she is referring.

PMP certification benefits

PMP certification ensures this common language of project management among the PMP certification holders. This eases the communication and management of projects around the world.

2- Better Salary Advantage of PMP Certification

The biggest benefit of PMP certification to the individual is for sure the value of PMP certificate. A PMP certified professional earns up to 20% more than its uncertified peers do. Based on our previous researches, we found that, in US, a PMP certification holder earns 14% more than a regular project manager who does not have PMP certification.

A PMP certification holding project manager earns around $110,000 per year in US. Depending on the industry, experiences and skills of the project manager, this amount can vary. However, this is an average of the reported salaries.

We will explore PMP certification salary benefits further under “How much a Project Manager Can earn?” and “How much a PMP Certification holder can earn?” headings.

3- Advantage of PMP certification in Job Screening

If you are working as a project manager, or looking for a project management job, most of the reputable and corporate companies will look for PMP certification as a critical merit in candidates. Look what I did.

I searched for “project manager” jobs in San Francisco through LinkedIn when I was writing this post and check out what is mentioned about PMP in these project manager job postings.

Under preferred qualifications area, following was written: “PMP Certification desired”.

Under requirements area, following was written “PMP Certification strongly desired.”

On top of the desired skills & experience area following was written: “PMP (Project Management Professional) Certification required”

Under requirements area, following was written: “Achieved a PMP or / and Certified Scrum Master or other project management certification”

PMP certification

There were several other job postings and most of them were requiring PMP certification as a critical requirement. Can you imagine passing screening of these companies without having PMP certification? Especially in today’s harsh competition, it is almost impossible. Therefore, PMP certification will help you to surpass other candidates in your project management job applications.

Recap of this section: PMP certification ensures the common language among project management professionals around the world. Top benefits of PMP certification for an individual is salary increase and higher possibility of getting a project management job. You can read more in our PMP benefits post.

What are the PMP Certification Requirements?

You have seen the three major benefits of PMP certification above. You decided to get PMP certification. However, are you eligible to sit for PMP certification exam? PMI has eligibility requirements for the PMP certification. PMP eligibility requirements are categorized in two areas. First one is project management experience and the other one is project management education. Watch the following video to learn about PMP certification requirements.

Let us examine these 2 requirements one-by-one.

1- PMP Certification Project Management Experience Requirement

PMP certification candidate must have worked in projects in order to be eligible for the PMP certification exam. This requirement changes depending on the highest level of attained education.

  • If you have an undergraduate or above level of education, you must have 3+ years of project experience (4,500 hours)
  • If you have high school diploma or lower level of education, you must have 5+ years of project experience (7,500 hours).

These are required because PMI wants to assess the theoretical knowledge of the PMP certification exam candidates with their practical experience.

There is a common misconception about the project management experience of PMP certification eligibility requirements. Many people think that in order to be eligible for PMP certification, they must have managed a project. However, PMI clearly states that project management experience here means participating in a project and this might or might not be a leading role. If you have worked as a Business Analyst, Software Developer etc. in an IT project, or if you worked as a civil engineer, architect etc. in a construction project, you will be satisfying the project management experience of PMP certification.

2-Project Management Education Requirement

If you have enough project management experience matching with your education level, you must have attended a 35 contact hours project management education as well to be eligible for PMP certification. The term “contact hours” here means that the 35 hours must be instructional. In other words, if you have studied yourself through a PMP material or PMBOK, these will not be counted as contact hours.

In order to satisfy 35 contact hours project management education requirement, you have to attend a PMP classroom training, PMP live classroom training or online & self-paced PMP training.

It is not a must to obtain all of these 35 contact hours through only one training. You can attend several training sessions and if the total contact hours are over 35, you will be eligible to sit for PMP certification exam. Note that, all of the attained PMP training sessions must be in last five years by the time you are applying for PMP certification.

We have created a quiz that will evaluate your project management experience, education level and contact hours eligibility to determine whether you are eligible to sit for PMP certification exam.

Take PMP Certification Eligibility Quiz

Recap of this section:  If your highest attained education level is undergraduate level or above, you must have 3+ years (4,500 hours) project management experience. If your highest attained education level is high school degree or below, you must have 5+ years (7,500 hours) project management experience.

If you have enough level of project experience matching with your attained education level, you must have attended in a 35 contact hours project management education in the last five years by the time of your PMP certification application. You can read more about from our PMP requirements post.

What is the PMP Exam Structure?

Once you passed the PMP eligibility requirements and after your PMP preparation, you can schedule your PMP exam through a Pearson VUE prometric test center. You can find nearest PMP exam test center from following Pearson VUE website.

You will have four hours to answer 200 questions during your PMP exam. Note that, 25 of these questions are for quality measurement purposes of PMI and they are not scored. However, you will not notify which question is scored or not-scored throughout your exam. Therefore, take each PMP exam question seriously.

There will be four options for each question and you must select one of the correct options. You will have features like scratch paper and mark a question throughout your PMP exam. So, if you are unsure of your answer for a particular question or if you wish you review your answer later, you can mark it. Then, you can go over your marked questions before you complete your PMP exam.

Following is a sample PMP exam question.

A manager and the head of engineering discuss a change to a major work package. After the meeting, the manager contacts you and tells you to complete the paperwork to make the change. This is an example of:

A-) Management attention to scope management.

B-) Management planning.

C-) A project expediter position.

D-) A change control system.

You will receive situational and theoretical questions throughout your PMP exam. These questions will mainly assess your knowledge against the PMBOK knowledge areas.

Recap of this section:  There are 200 multiple-choice questions in PMP exam and you will have four hours to complete the exam. Exam is conducted by Pearson VUE test centers.

What is the PMP Exam Passing Score and PMP Exam Pass Rate?

You know that you will answer 200 multiple-choice questions during 4 hours when you are taking your PMP exam. Ok, but how many correct answers will bring you PMP certificate?

There are many courses, blog posts, books and several authorities mention that PMP passing score is 61%. Although several resources claim that 61% is PMP passing score, this is not an official passing score declared by PMI. 

PMI will assess your PMP knowledge in several domains and you must score above expected levels in order to pass the PMP exam. For instance, you can see a sample PMP exam result report of one of our PMP exam students, Don Wheeler.

pmp exam passing score

pmp exam pass rate

As you can see from the report, there is not a percentage of how many correct answers scored by Don. There are five domains of PMP exam and report shows whether the exam taker scored above or below expected levels.

Although there is not official PMP passing score, I strongly recommend you to score at least 70% from each PMP practice quizzes or exams you take. This will double your chances to crack the PMP exam confidently.

Recap of this section:  There is not an official passing score for PMP exam and 61% is a strong myth accepted by several PMP resources rather than a fact. PMI assess PMP exam candidates from several domains and PMP exam score demonstrates whether the exam taker scored above or below expected target. You can read more in our PMP exam pass rate post.

How can I apply for PMP Certification?

There are two ways for applying PMP certification. Online PMP application and Paper PMP application. I am in the PMP certification business since 2012 and I haven’t heard anyone using Paper PMP application method. The main reason is, online PMP application is more convenient and faster to complete. You can watch the following video to learn more about PMP certification application methods.

If you chose to apply online, you have to create a profile in PMI website (pmi.org) and the PMP application wizard will guide you to fill in your following details respectively:

  • Personal Details (Name, Email, Address etc.)
  • Attained Education
  • Project Management Experience
  • Project Management Education

After you completed the PMP application steps, you will be asked to review your PMP application form. Once you submitted your PMP application, it will take 5 calendar days for PMI to review your PMP application.

You can enroll in our FREE PMP Training to learn more about PMP application steps through a real PMP application.

Free PMP Training

Recap of this section:  There are two main methods of applying for PMP certification: paper and online. Recommended and fastest way is PMP online method. You can read more about application steps in our PMP application post.

How can I pass PMP Application Audit?

PMI selects some PMP applications for audit. This selection is done randomly and regardless of your PMP application completeness, your PMP application might hit audit as well. If your PMP application hits audit, PMI might ask you to provide one or more of the following documents

  • Diploma or a diploma equivalent document showing your attained level of education
  • Reference letters from your colleagues, supervisors or managers as a proof of your project management experience
  • Certificate of completion, letter of enrollment and/or curriculum of the attained project management education.

In case your PMP application hits audit, you have to provide the documents regarding your attained level of education and project management experience yourself. However, if PMI asks for your project management education documents, you have to contact your PMP training provider and they have to provide you related documents to pass the PMP audit.

Watch about PMI Audit Process

Once you completed the documents required by PMI, you have to send the documents by regular mail to following PMI address within 90 days after you received the PMI audit email.

Address: PMI

Attn: Certification Audit

14 Campus Blvd. Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299 USA

PMI reviews documents and approves your PMP application if the provided documents fulfill the PMP eligibility requirements.

Recap of this section:  Recommended way for PMP application is online PMP application. PMI audits PMP applications randomly. Even if you completed your PMP application perfectly, your PMP application might hit audit and when you provided the required documents, PMI will approve your PMP application. You can read more about in PMI Audit post.

What is the PMP Certification Cost?

I categorize PMP certification cost in two different aspects

  • Tangible PMP Certification Cost
  • Intangible PMP Certification Cost

Cost of PMP certification training and cost of PMP certification exam fee are tangible costs. In addition, as a professional, you will spend a significant amount of your time for PMP certification preparation. I categorize the time you will spend for your PMP study as intangible cost of PMP certification.

Let us examine each of these costs one-by-one.

1- PMP Certification Training Cost:

One of the key PMP certification requirement is attending a 35 contact hours project management training. There are three fundamental ways of attending a PMP certification training. These are classroom trainings, live classroom trainings and online self-paced PMP trainings. Your preference for the PMP training will affect the cost of PMP training and overall cost of PMP certification for you respectively.

Course fees for PMP classroom trainings vary depending on the location. I listed the starting fees of PMP classroom trainings for different locations.

  • US, Canada, Australia: ~1,500 USD
  • South America (Brazil, Chile etc.): ~600 USD
  • China, India: ~500 USD
  • European Countries (Germany, Italy, Spain etc.): ~1,200 USD
  • Arabian Countries (UAE, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait etc.): ~2,000 USD

Course fees for live classroom trainings are slightly lower than the fee of a regular classroom training. Prices of live classroom trainings are in parallel to the regular classroom training fees for each country as well.

Third and the most affordable and convenient option is online PMP training. In an online self-paced PMP training, you will have the flexibility to follow the lectures on your own pace and in any place. All you will need will be an internet connected device. Prices of the online self-paced PMP trainings start from as low as $67/month.

However, the best aspect of an online PMP training is not affordable pricing. Almost every PMP certification aspirant is a working professional and try to get this certification while they are working full time in their job. In other words, they have to spare their evenings, weekends or must get off days from their job to attend a classroom training. Even if they can spare their time to fit their schedule to the schedule of the PMP classroom training, it will be tough to be bombarded with a five full day project management training. Therefore, online self-paced PMP training is the optimum method to attend a PMP training.

Brianna summarized the top 3 benefits of PMP Online Training in following Two-Minutes Video

2- PMP Certification Exam Fee

After filling in your PMP application form, PMI will evaluate your application in five business days (if you applied online through PMI website).

If PMI approved your PMP certification application, you have to sit in PMP certification exam in one year after the day of approval. In order to sit for the PMP certification exam, you have to schedule your PMP exam date through Pearson VUE test centers that you will be conducted in PMI website. To do this, you have to pay your PMP exam fee first.

PMP Examination PMI Member Examination Fees($USD) Non-PMI Member Examination Fees(USD)
PMP Exam – First Time $405 $555
PMP Re-attempt Examination $275 $375

PMP exam fee is $405 for PMI members and $555 for the candidates who are not a PMI member. However, since PMI membership is around $140, in total, you will be paying $555 anyhow if you opt for being a PMI member as well. Moreover, you will be able to access PMI documents, including PMBOK, for free for one year during your PMI membership.

Default PMI membership fee is $129 and there is a one-time $10 membership application fee. If you are a student or retiree, you will have discounted PMI membership fees.

Membership PMI Membership Fees($USD) Note
Normal $129 Plus, one-time US$10 application fee
Student $32
Retiree $65

Therefore, choose being a PMI member during your PMP exam application so you will have one-year free access to PMI library including PMBOK.

3- Time Spent for PMP Certification Study

Time you will be spending for your PMP study will be the intangible cost of the PMP certification. Depending on your background and familiarity with the project management, time you will spend for the PMP certification study will vary.

However, considering the 35 contact hours project management training you will attend, roughly it will take two to three times more for you to study for PMP certification training. We will dive into the PMP preparation time in PMP study plan section of this post.

PMP certification study plan

Recap of this section: PMP certification cost varies depending on your location and project management education preference. If you opt for a PMP classroom training, prices may go up to $3,000. However, if you opt for an online self-paced PMP training, your total PMP certification cost will be around $750. Online self-paced PMP training is not only affordable, but also flexible and you can follow the lectures on your own pace in any place. Apart from the financial cost of PMP certification, you will have to spare around 70-85 hours in total for your PMP certification study.

You can read more in our PMP exam cost and PMP exam fee posts.

How Should I Study for the PMP Certification Exam?

You know what the PMP certification is. You are eligible to sit for PMP certification exam. You know how much it will cost to you to get the PMP certification, both tangible and intangible costs. Finally, you decided to prepare for the PMP certification exam! What should you do next? Prepare your own PMP study plan.

PMP preparation takes significant amount of time. Especially, if you are working professional, sparing your leisure time to get ready for the PMP certification exam is unavoidable. Therefore, you have to prepare a solid and good PMP study plan to pass the PMP certification exam.

After helping 125,000 professionals to pass their PMP certification exam, we prepared a 7 step PMP study plan for working professionals. Let us go through each step of a successful PMP study plan.

1-Determine Target Date for your PMP Exam

Evaluate your schedule, your workload for the following months and how well you can dedicate yourself for PMP study. Based on our experience, a typical PMP certification study takes around 70-85 hours in total. Note that, this is just an average and depending on your background and skills, your PMP study can take shorter or longer.

A working professional can spare six hours a week for the PMP study and it makes 12-14 weeks in total for PMP study. Therefore, setting your PMP exam target date four to five months ahead will be reasonable.

2-Prepare Your PMP Study Plan

After setting your PMP exam target date, prepare a detailed plan on what you will study each week till PMP exam date. PMBOK contains project management knowledge areas and introductory sections as well.

Content of each knowledge area or section is different. However, roughly, aim to complete one section or knowledge area per week. Some of the sections or knowledge areas will take longer to complete while some of them take shorter. Also, some weeks might be busier at work and you may not spare enough time for your PMP study. However, if you aim to complete one section or knowledge area per week, it will help you to complete your PMP study in four to five months in total.

PMP certification study plan

3- Take Notes During Your PMP Study

You will see lots of terms, concepts, formulas and several things that needs to be remembered during your PMP certification exam. Since PMP study takes months, it will be perfect to take your notes during your PMP preparation. While you complete new sections or knowledge areas, you can go over your notes to remember the sections you have already completed. This will help you to keep your knowledge fresh.

4- Make Practice as Much as Possible

This is actually a tip that is not applicable only for the PMP certification preparation. No matter for which exam you are studying for, making practices as much as possible will help you to see several alternatives of questions that you might face in your real exam. Same rule applies for PMP exam as well and this will increase your PMP exam success respectively.

5- Go Through Your Wrong Answers

While you are going through PMP exam practice questions, take notes regarding your wrong answers. Go over your wrong answers and take notes about why you did mistake. If you have lots of wrong answers on a particular section or knowledge area, it will be better to go through the section once again.

6- Go Through Your Notes Frequently

PMP study takes month to get ready for the PMP certification exam. You need to remember what you learned months ago. The best way to do is, going through your notes frequently. You can spare 30 minutes of your weekly PMP study for going over your notes to remember the sections you completed already. We will talk about how you can use PMP Flash Cards to memorize your PMP knowledge during your PMP study.

7- Go and Get the PMP!

You completed all sections and knowledge areas, you score over 70% from sample PMP exam questions and you feel confident to sit for the PMP exam.

Schedule your PMP exam date through Pearson VUE test center.  Do not study hard during the last week of your PMP study. Just go through your PMP notes each day to remember the content.

PMP Certification Exam

Before the exam date, take a good sleep and relax. Plan to appear in the exam center one hour before your PMP exam time so you can accommodate any traffic jam or other unanticipated situations.

Recap of this section: PMP certification requires significant amount of time to study. Prepare a solid plan and follow your plan to be successful on your PMP certification exam. You can read more details about each of these steps in our PMP study plan post.

What is the PMP Exam Schedule? When is the next PMP exam date?

One of the biggest misconceptions that PMP aspirants has is about PMP exam schedule. They ask questions like “What is the PMP exam schedule?” or “When is the next PMP exam date?”. The short answer to this question is:

You can take your PMP exam on the date you scheduled it.  

There is not a concrete PMP exam schedule or PMP exam date that you must follow and sit on that date. First you apply for the PMP certification exam. Then, PMI reviews your application and there are three possible outcomes of this. PMI can approve, audit or reject your application. We have mentioned about the audit and application process above.

In case you pass your PMP application, you will have one year to schedule your PMP exam. PMI works with Pearson VUE test centers to conduct PMP exams. After you completed your PMP preparation, you can pay the PMP exam fee and schedule your PMP exam in a nearest Pearson VUE test center.

There is not “solid” or “concrete” PMP exam dates. However, the Pearson VUE test centers do not offer only PMP or PMI exams. They offer other tests as well. So, to avoid busy days of the test centers and take your PMP exam on the date you prefer, we recommend scheduling your PMP exam date at least one month before.

Recap of this section: There is not a concrete PMP exam schedule or pre-defined PMP exam dates. You can schedule your PMP exam from your PMI profile after you pass the PMP application. You can read more in our PMP exam schedule post.

Can I Prepare for PMP Certification Online?

Yes, of course. At Master of Project Academy, we provide all forms of PMP training: in-person classroom, self-paced, and instructor-led. However, after 2010s, with the evolution in online education, We see there is a big shift from traditional “offline” and “in-person” classes to PMP online study methods. I think there are three main reasons for this.

  • Professionals can study around their schedule in PMP online preparation methods. This is the most critical factor I believe. Because I remember myself when I am getting ready for the PMP exam. I was working full-time and I had to study on my own after work or during the weekend to get ready for the PMP exam. There were not online PMP training options at that time and I had to take off days from the work to attend in a training. Now, a PMP aspirant do not need to do this. He/she can attend in a PMP online preparation program and work whenever he/she wishes.
  • Technology improved the delivery quality of PMP online methods. Actually, the biggest flaw of PMP online preparation is “interactive-less”. You cannot reach the instructor promptly as you can do in an in-person classroom training. However, technological improvements almost eliminated this flaw of PMP online preparation methods. In today’s world, whenever a student raises a question in a discussion forum or emails, you have notifications and you can respond their queries promptly!
  • PMP Certification online preparation methods are significantly affordable. I do not see any problem in showing the financial secrets of conducting an in-person PMP classroom training here. Let’s assume that there are 10 attendees in a PMP classroom training. We pay around $1,000 per day to the PMP instructor – in total $4,000. Cost of training venue (hotel conference/meeting rooms etc.) depends on the location and changes from $1,500 to $4,500. Let’s take the average and count it $3,000. As you can see, just the instructor fee and training venue cost is around $7,000 in total and this makes $700 per student. In order to make profit and sustain our business (considering management fees, travel cost of instructor, taxes etc.) we must sell this in-person PMP training at least for $1,300 per student. However, in PMP online training options, these major costs are in play. Therefore, prices are significantly affordable.

PMP online certification

Now, let’s come to the main point – How can you prepare PMP online? There are five steps of earning and maintaining PMP certification online.

  1. PMP online certification application: We have outlined the options and how you can apply PMP online in previous headings. Actually, this is the recommended way for PMP application since it is the fastest and most convenient way.
  2. PMP certification online study: There are several resources on the web for PMP preparation. There are free and paid materials. Just make sure that the PMP resources you are using are credible, up to date and satisfies the PMP requirements.
  3. PMP online training: The major and foundational part of your PMP online preparation will be your PMP online training. There is not a restriction imposed by PMI regarding the form of PMP training you will attend. So, you can attend in a 35 contact hours PMP online training to satisfy the PMP requirements and get ready for the PMP exam. Before choosing your PMP online training, review the curriculum, course materials, recent student testimonials and whether the training satisfies the 35 contact hours PMP training requirement for PMP exam.
  4. Taking PMP exam: You can prepare for the PMP exam online, however, you must go to a test center to take PMP exam. Unfortunately, you cannot do this at your home online for now. PMI started online proctoring for CAPM exam so we expect to have this in future for PMP exam as well.
  5. PMP certification online renewal: After passing PMP exam and earning your PMP certification, you must earn 60 PMP PDUs in every three years to renew your PMP. You can attend in online PMP PDU courses, webinars, conferences or other online activities to renew your PMP certification.

Recap of this section: There is not a restriction by PMI regarding the form of PMP preparation you will choose. You can attend in online or in-person PMP training. There are several benefits of PMP online certification such as working around your schedule and affordable pricing. You can read more in our PMP online certification post.

What is the best way to study for PMP Exam?

Most of the PMP certification aspirants look for the best way to study for PMP exam. There are best practices to study for PMP, however, a way that works best for others may not work for you. Therefore, you have to find “your” best way to study for the PMP exam.

I will give tips to you to determine your best way to study for PMP.

First step is determining your PMP training. There are three fundamental ways of attending a PMP training. PMP classroom training, PMP live classroom training and online self-paced PMP training. Let’s examine the pros and cons of each PMP training method one-by-one.

1- PMP classroom (in-person) trainings are the traditional way of attending a PMP training

PMP training provider in your city organizes open classroom trainings and you can see the available schedules that will fit your agenda. If you like the face-to-face interaction, PMP classroom trainings will be the best option for you. However, many professionals find tough to arrange their schedule for a PMP classroom training. The main reason is, PMP classroom trainings are organized during evenings after a workday or in weekends to ensure the maximum engagement of working professionals. However, attending a dense 35 hours PMP training after work or during weekends will be painful for a working professional since he/she will spend his/her leisure time. Following figure summarizes the pros and cons of in-person PMP classroom training.

PMP certification classroom training

2- PMP live classroom is similar to the PMP classroom trainings in terms of scheduling

However, the difference is, a PMP instructor teaches the class through online mediums (webinar, teleconference etc.) and the PMP certification aspirant must be present on his PC at the time of PMP lecture. Therefore, the PMP candidate must have to fit his or her schedule to the schedule of PMP live classroom training. Following figure summarizes the pros and cons of instructor-led PMP online class training.

PMP certification live class training

3- Online self-paced PMP training is the most convenient way to attend a PMP training.

All PMP content is recorded and you will be able to watch the same lectures over and over again until you feel yourself confident. Only disadvantage of online self-paced PMP training is, since the PMP instructor is not present in the session, your questions may leave unanswered. However, if the PMP training instructor is responsive, as in our courses at Master of Project Academy, you can get responses to your questions you raised in the discussion forum in 24 hours. This makes the online self-paced PMP training the most affordable and convenient way to study for PMP certification exam. Following figure summarizes the pros and cons of self-paced online PMP training.

self-paced online PMP certification training

One of the several questions we receive from our PMP certification aspirants is, whether they have to study PMBOK or any other PMP prep book as well. I will explain this over this in further headings. Considering the tips that I provided above for determining your PMP training, and PMP study plan, you have to draw your own PMP journey!

Recap of this section: There is not a concrete and best way to study for PMP that will work for everyone. You have to determine your own best way to study for PMP certification exam.

How should I choose my PMP Certification Training?

We have outlined the pros and cons of offline and online PMP certification study methods. You know that you must attend in a 35 contact hours PMP training both to satisfy PMI exam requirement and for getting ready for the PMP exam. The next question is, how should I choose my PMP certification training?

We are a training providing all forms of PMP training: in-person, self-paced and live class. We have helped 125,000 professionals in more than 180 countries to get ready for the certification exams. After having this significant experience and following our competitors closely, I would recommend you to follow the steps below to choose your PMP training.

1- Determine which PMP Training form you would like to attend

There are three main forms. In-person, self-paced or live class. Some of the training providers make blended option such as live class+self-paced or in-person+self-paced as well. Some PMP training aspirants are fond of in-person method while others feel more comfortable with online method. You should decide which PMP training option you would like to attend.

2- Search for Alternative PMP Training Providers

If you would like to attend in an in-person PMP training, you will have limited options especially if you are living in a small city. However, there are lots of options in online PMP training. Following are some options to look on the web for PMP training providers

  • In-Person PMP Training Options: search for “pmp training” “pmp course” “pmp classroom training” “in-person PMP training” “pmp classroom training” etc.
  • Self-paced PMP Training Options: search for “online pmp training” “online pmp course” “self-paced PMP training” “self-paced PMP course”
  • PMP Live Class Training Options: search for “online pmp class” “pmp live training” “instructor-led pmp online training”

If a PMP training provider is reputable and credible, you will see the options in the first pages of the search results after your query. Check the options one-by-one.

3- Check whether the PMP training satisfies 35 contact hours requirement

There are several PMP training options especially if you are looking for online alternatives. Make sure the PMP training you will attend will satisfy the 35 contact hours requirement of PMP exam. I am not trying to malign our competitors however there are several training providers claim that they satisfy 35 contact hours requirement although the content itself shows that theoretically it is impossible. For instance, following is a PMP online training I found on web claims that it satisfies 35 contact hours.

PMP 35 contact hours

However, the course content shows that it has 24.5 hours of on-demand video. PMP requirements is clear that, in order to satisfy 35 contact hours requirement, each contact hour must be “instructional taught by a PMP instructor”. So, the course content and what you will earn conflicts with each other here.

How can I check whether a PMP training satisfies 35 contact hours requirement?

This is easy. You can check the PMP course curriculum and make sure the content covers the PMBOK knowledge areas. You can check the legitimate, authentic and genuine recent reviews of the students from several resources (BBB, Google, Trustpilot or Facebook). You can ask the PMP training provider as well whether they satisfy the 35 contact hours requirement and recent student testimonials. Make sure the student testimonials are not fake and coming from real students. 

For instance, we send following email to our students if they ask whether our courses satisfy the 35 contact hours requirement of PMP exam.

Our courses are recognized and approved by PMI as a 35 contact hours PM education requirement for PMP and CAPM exams. The following reviews from the students are the proof!

You can continue your study with our courses to get your certification in your first attempt.

Over 125,000 professionals from 180+ countries enrolled in our PMP and CAPM certification trainings and got their certifications with a 99.6% success rate (1st attempt pass rate)

I am also sending feedback of recent PMP exam takers along with their LinkedIn profiles:

Don Wheeler – Scored the Highest Grades in PMP Exam

Amber Zhao passed the PMP Exam – Read Her Tips

Lena Adams Two-Minute Video – PMP Exam Story

How did Sanjay pass the PMP in 20 days?

Please let me know if you have any further queries.

Regards

If you follow the links above, you will see that each review is made by a real person and you can find links to their LinkedIn profiles as well. Besides, you can check our A+ rated BBB profile which shows we are a legitimate and credible business with lots of student reviews.

You should see similar footprints if a PMP training provider is legitimate and satisfies the 35 contact hours for PMP exam.

4- Consider Pricing & Options of PMP Training Options

After you shortlisted the prospective PMP training options for you, you should consider the pricing and options. Some training providers may offer application guidance, supplementary documents or refund options while others do not. Consider all pros and cons of each alternative and pick the best option for you.

Recap of this section: First, determine which form of PMP training you would like to attend and then search for alternatives. Eliminate the options which are not credible or do not satisfy the PMP exam requirements. Shortlist the options and make your final decision.

Should I read PMBOK in my PMP Certification study?

Should I use PMBOK during my study?

The PMBOK constitutes the main frame of PMP exam content and PMP training providers, PMP exam book authors, and other PMP resource generators align their content based on the changes of PMBOK continuously. This makes the PMBOK as one of the main sources for getting ready for the PMP certification exam. Therefore, although you must attend in a PMP training to be eligible to sit for PMP exam, many PMP exam candidates follow a supplementary PMP exam prep book during their study.

If you are attending a comprehensive PMP training, following PMBOK will not be necessary. However, some of the PMP certification aspirants find it better to go through PMBOK as well. There is not a requirement mandated by PMI that PMP exam candidates must read the PMBOK.

PMBOK is not an easy-to-read source. Although it is a great source of project management knowledge, the structure of the book is designed in a way to concentrate on inputs, outputs and tools and techniques of project management rather than how to apply them. If you wish to follow a supplementary PMP prep book, you can consider other alternatives since they are more focused on how to learn PMP content and pass the exam.

Should I follow a PMP Book during my PMP Study?

Actually, I have answered this question in previous heading. There is not a requirement to read a PMP book to get ready for the PMP exam. Some professionals feel more comfortable to follow a PMP prep book during their PMP study while others completely rely on a comprehensive PMP training. It completely depends on your preference.

The fundamentals of PMP exam content relies on PMBOK guide which is the Project Management Body of Knowledge prepared and published by PMI. PMI works on changing dynamics of the project management world continuously. Depending on the changes and emerging new methods for project management, PMI updates and publish new versions of PMBOK. Therefore, one of the oldest and main ways of getting ready for PMP certification is studying through a PMP book. However, many PMP aspirants find PMBOK very tough to consume. PMP prep books simplify the PMP exam content and focuses more on practices to make PMP content easily understandable.

A PMP exam prep book will have sections aligned with the knowledge areas of PMBOK and it will have several practices, quizzes, and other resources to get you ready for the certification exam. Our recommendation is, once you choose your PMP exam book, plan to complete each section of the PMP book. 

Here is my PMP Exam Prep Book

PMP Exam Prep Book by Master of Project Academy

After helping 125,000 professionals to pass their PMP certification exam with a 99.6% first attempt pass rate, we have harnessed our knowledge and expertise in this PMP prep book. Majority of the PMP books in the market cover theoretical project management knowledge with outdated teaching style. The unique aspect of this PMP book compared to other PMP books in the market is PMP® Prep Book by Master of Project Academy content has been organized like a real project.

While learning PMP exam content, you will be able to see the practical implications of theoretical knowledge and this will help you to grasp the details of PMP exam content easily. PMP Prep Book by Master of Project Academy will help you to pass PMP exam in your first attempt.  

Best PMP book

Unique features of the PMP® Prep Book by Master of Project Academy are:

– Real-life project examples
– 100+ Must-to-Remember Master Points for the PMP® Exam
– 100+ Flash Cards – Mapping Practice for important concepts
– 500+ PMP®  Practice Questions – Answers & Detailed Rationales
– 550+ Pages PMP eBook PDF downloadable right after your purchase!

Besides, unlike the other PMP book providers, Master of Project Academy provides a sample free PMP book for you to review the PMP Prep Book before your purchase.

If you want to learn more, visit PMP® Prep Book by Master of Project Academy page.

Recap of this section: It is not a must or requirement to read PMBOK or any PMP Book to get ready for the PMP exam. If you wish to follow a PMP book, you can consider choosing a PMP Prep Book rather than PMBOK since PMBOK is not easy to follow. You can read more in our Best PMP Books post.

Should I use PMP Rita book?

PMP book by Rita Mulcahy is the most popular PMP book used by PMP aspirants since its first publication in 1990s. Since it is first publication, the book has evolved with recent changes in the PMBOK. PMP Book by Rita was actually the main source for getting ready for PMP exam especially when there were no online PMP preparation resources. Since 2010s, PMP exam preparation industry has changed a lot and online PMP training options started to be the primary source for getting ready for PMP exam. However, there is still a demand for PMP books and for sure; the PMP book by Rita is heading this demand as one of the most popular PMP prep book.

pmp rita prep book

When I was preparing for PMP exam in 2012, I used the PMP Rita book as well. You can read my full PMP storyThe best aspect of the book that I was impressed a lot was its structure. It goes through each knowledge area one-by-one as PMBOK follows and enriches the content with practical examples and practices.

Recap of this section: It is not a must to read PMP Rita Book during your PMP study. It was one of the few resources to get ready for the PMP exam in early 2000s. After PMP online certification resources evolution, it is not a critical or must-to-follow resource for PMP exam. You can read more in our PMP Rita post.

What are the PMP or PMBOK Knowledge Areas?

PMBOK refers that, in project management there are five process groups:

  • initiating process group
  • planning process group
  • executing process group
  • monitoring & controlling process group
  • closing process group.

All project management processes belong to these process groups. But also, there are 10 project management knowledge areas which are also known as PMBOK knowledge areas or PMP knowledge areas as well. And these processes belong to these PMBOK project management knowledge areas as well. Each of the PMBOK knowledge areas has several processes and these processes belong to one of the process groups. Briefly, we can say that there is a strong matrix structure which includes process groups, and project management knowledge areas.

According to the PMBOK guide, the project management knowledge areas help to achieve an efficient project management. As you can also learn in the PMP training, all these project management knowledge areas include the processes which need to be performed in its own discipline. Following is the list of knowledge areas in PMBOK:

  • Integration Management
  • Scope Management
  • Schedule Management
  • Cost Management
  • Quality Management
  • Resource Management
  • Communications Management
  • Risk Management
  • Procurement Management
  • Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area:

PMI will assess your theoretical and practical project management knowledge in these knowledge areas. Each knowledge area has several processes, inputs, tools and techniques and outputs.

How are the sample PMP Exam Questions?

PMP certification exam contains 200 multiple choice questions. 25 of these questions are for monitoring and quality control purposes. They are not scored and do not affect your PMP exam result. However, these 25 questions come randomly during the exam. Therefore, answer each question carefully during your PMP exam.

PMP exam questions come from five project management groups:

  1. Initiating
  2. Planning
  3. Executing
  4. Monitoring & Controlling
  5. Closing

PMP exam questions

PMP exam questions assess your technical knowledge, your theoretical knowledge and your practical experience as well. Let’s examine three different PMP exam questions for each of these categories now.

1- Sample PMP Exam Question – Assessing Technical Knowledge

During project executing, a team member comes to the project manager because he is not sure of what work he needs to accomplish on the project. Which of the following documents contain detailed descriptions of work packages?

A-) WBS Dictionary

B-) Activity List

C-) Project scope statement

D-) Scope management plan

Answer is A. WBS Dictionary. Work packages in a Work Breakdown Structure contain only nouns or a couple of words regarding a work or deliverable. Detailed information on what needs to be done, responsible, prerequisites, successors, due date etc. are included in the Work Breakdown Structure Dictionary.

PMP Knowledge Area: Scope Management Knowledge Area

2- Sample PMP Exam Question – Assessing Theoretical Knowledge

A schedule performance index, SPI, of 0.75 means:

A-) Project is over budget.

B-) Project is ahead of schedule.

C-) Project is progressing at 75% of the rate originally planned

D-) Project is progressing at 25% of the rate originally planned

Answer is C, project is progressing at 75% of the rate originally planned. A, is irrelevant because SPI is a schedule performance index. We cannot derive any conclusion about budget performance of the project with this index. B, is not correct because SPI is less than one, therefore, the project is behind schedule. And D, says that you have completed 25% of the work that you have originally planned, so it’s not correct. The correct answer here is C, because SPI 0.75 means, you have completed 75% of your work that you have originally planned.

PMP Knowledge Area: Cost Management Knowledge Area

3- Sample PMP Exam Question – Assessing Practical Experience

During a meeting with some of the project stakeholders, the project manager is asked to add work to the project scope. The project manager had access to correspondence about the project before the project charter was signed and remembers that the project sponsor specifically denied funding for the scope mentioned by these stakeholders. The BEST thing for the project manager to do is to:

A-) Let the sponsor know of the stakeholders’ request.

B-) Evaluate the impact of adding the scope.

C-) Tell the stakeholders the scope cannot be added.

D-) Add the work if there is time available in the project schedule

Answer is C. Tell the stakeholders the scope cannot be added. After the scope of a project is finalized and scope baseline is determined, it can be changed only with the approved changed requests. If there is not an approved change request, existing scope baseline must be valid and project team must work on to deliver that scope only. In the scenario, scope is defined already but some stakeholders ask to add new work to the scope. This cannot be done unless there is an approved change request. Therefore, stakeholders must be informed that this new work cannot be added.

Knowledge Area: Scope Management Knowledge Area

You can see a PMP exam questions and answers video below:

During your PMP exam, you will be able to mark questions to review once you went through all questions. Use this feature because many PMP exam questions will be tricky. If you feel unsure when you are answering a question, mark it to revisit later. If you will have enough time, you can go over your marked questions again.

Recap of this section: There are 200 questions in PMP exam and there will be three different types of questions assessing knowledge. You will have four hours to complete 200 multiple-choice questions. You can read more in our PMP exam questions post.

Should I use a PMP Question Bank?

PMP question bank is one of the favorite searches of a PMP certification aspirant. I mentioned earlier, making practice as much as possible is critical for your PMP exam success. The more sample PMP exam questions you practice, the better you will get ready for the PMP certification exam.

A typical PMP question bank includes several realistic PMP exam questions, answers and rationales as well. When you are practicing PMP exam questions of a PMP question bank, write down your mistakes. Go over your mistakes repeatedly to improve your weak knowledge areas before sitting on your real PMP exam.

If you can score over 70% from a good PMP question bank’s PMP exam questions, you can schedule your PMP certification exam confidently.

Check out Master of Project Academy PMP Question Bank

PMP Question Bank

Actually, PMP question bank is an old method to see many PMP practice questions. When there were limited online resources in the market and when PMP aspirants were using books or similar resources, PMP question banks were meaningful to use. However, there are PMP exam simulator applications now.

Watch how PMP exam simulator helps PMP exam candidates

My recommendation is using a PMP exam simulator instead of PMP question bank for practicing. Because these simulators will give you real-like examination environment with timer and other features and show results at the end of each PMP simulation exam with a percentage score.

Recap of this section: PMP Question Bank is an old-fashioned method to practice with sample PMP exam questions. They give you PDFs or Book-like resources and you should practice on sheets. Actually, they do not give you the real experience of sitting in a PMP exam. PMP exam simulators are the new trend to practice for PMP exam. You can read more in PMP question bank post.

How should I Use PMP cheat sheets?

A Typical PMP exam consists of 20 formula related questions. One of the parts that some PMP aspirants consider difficult is the math calculations. Because, there are many PMP formulas you must to memorize. Not only they should memorize, but also they must apply the right formula related to question. These are called as earned value formulas or PMP math formulas.

Also, there are some frequently used concepts in the PMP exam that you must know by heart. For instance, you will see terms like “organizational process assets”, “environmental enterprise factors”, “lessons learned” etc.

A PMP cheat sheet includes the PMP math Formulas and frequently occurring concepts in a single summarized document. You can use prepared cheat sheets by your PMP training provider or you can take notes and create your own PMP cheat sheet as well.

FREE Resource: You can download our cheat sheet from PMP cheat sheet post.

What Are the PMP Formulas and Earned Value Formulas for PMP Exam?

We use PMP formulas in various project planning activities. These include but not limited to resource management, cost management and schedule estimation. We also use them in risk estimation activities like EMV (earned value management), in addition to monitor and control activities.

The percentage of questions which are based on PMP formulas range from 5% to 10%. This means there are around 10 to 20 questions, so it seems a pretty small portion, right?! Then you need to rethink your exam strategy! Although the number seems small, PMP formulas are quick wins, because PMP formulas-based questions vary from direct to complex.

PMP Formulas

15 PMP Formulas You Must Know

There are two types of PMP formulas:

A- ) Critical Path Method (CPM) Related PMP Formulas

B- ) Earned Value Management (EVM) PMP Formulas

Let’s go over them one-by-one and learn the details of each PMP formula.

A- ) Critical Path Method (CPM) related PMP formulas

  • PMP Formulas #1: PERT Distribution
  • PMP Formulas #2: Float (Slack) Formulas

B- )Earned Value Management (EVM) PMP Formulas

  • PMP Formulas #3: Cost Variance (CV)
  • PMP Formulas #4: Schedule Variance (SV)
  • PMP Formulas #5: Cost Performance Index (CPI)
  • PMP Formulas #6: Schedule Performance Index (SPI)
  • PMP Formulas #7: Budget at Completion (BAC)
  • PMP Formulas #8: Estimate to Complete (ETC)
  • PMP Formulas #9: Estimate at Completion (EAC)
  • PMP Formulas #10: Variance at Completion (VAC)
  • PMP Formulas #11: To-Complete Performance Index (TCPI)
  • PMP Formulas #12: Present Value Formula
  • PMP Formulas #13: Number of Communication Channels Formula
  • PMP Formulas #14: Expected Monetary Value
  • PMP Formulas #15: Point of Total Assumption (PTA)

You can see details of each PMP formula, sample calculation and how to use in our PMP formulas post.

How much a Project Manager Can earn?

How much a Project Manager can earn depends on several factors. The top three factors affect the project manager salary are following.

  • Location of the Project Manager
  • Experience/Skills of the Project Manager
  • Industry

Since the project manager salaries will change in each country, I will explore Project Manager Salary only in US.

Project Manager Salaries in US

Project manager salaries change in US depending on the city and industry. Average project manager salary is around $80,000 around US.

project manager salary in US
source: Indeed

However, if you look to project manager salaries in San Francisco, you will see that the average is 31% above the national average.

Project Manager Salary in San Francisco
source: Indeed

It is obvious that Project Manager salary increases proportional to the experience and skills of the project manager. Following is the average of Senior Project Manager salaries in US.

Senior Project Manager Salary in US
source: Indeed

How much a PMP Certification holder can earn?

PMP is the world’s #1 project management certification I mentioned above right. How does this affect the salary of a Project Manager if he/she has a PMP?

If you are PMP certified, you can expect up to 20% increase in your PMP salary if you compare with a project manager who is not certified. Therefore, there is a clear PMP certification salary growth of 20%. These figures are not conjured up but you have this straight from the PMI salary survey, 9th edition.

 

PMP certification salary
source: PMI’s PMP Salary Survey Report 9th edition

From the chart above, you see that if you are in Switzerland, you get the highest salary as PMP. While the United States comes third, United Arab Emirates is tenth in the list. What is the basis of this PMP certification salary survey? You are getting this PMP certification salary information from 26,000 project managers from across 34 countries who did a declaration about the PMP certification salary hike.

What PMP certification salary would you get if you were in the United States after PMP? The answer is you may get up to $111,000 if you are a PMP while you may get ~$80,000 per year if you are uncertified. What if you are not in the Unites States? You can go by the median salary figure of $81,000 per year across the world. Moreover, this number is considering various roles and experience levels for a PMP. Therefore, on an average you may get a 20% upward revision in PMP certification salary if you go by the survey results.

You can read more in our PMP salary post.

What are the PMP Exam Changes?

Project management profession is evolving. For instance, agile methodologies were not in common in project management as it is nowadays. In order to be compliant with the changing industry dynamics, PMP exam changes every 3-5 years based on the PMI leadership conducted by subject matter experts from leading organizations around the world.

Note that, PMP exam changes do not mean that PMBOK will change as well. PMI may introduce new PMP exam content and keep the existing PMBOK. However, if PMBOK changes, a PMP exam change is usually followed a few months later after the new PMBOK released.

You can read more in PMP exam changes post.

How can I renew PMP Certification?

After a hard study, you passed the PMP certification exam and earned your PMP certification. PMI will be sending your PMP certification to your mailing address as well. You will be able to see your certification in your profile in PMI website as well.

Is that it? No. You have to retain your PMP certification in each three years to keep your PMP certification valid.

There are 5 steps of PMP renewal process.

PMP certification renewal steps

Step #1 – Earn 60 PDU (Professional Development Unit): One professional development unit is equivalent to one hour of practicing or education in project management area. You have to earn 60 PDUs in each three years after you got your PMP certification or after you renewed your PMP certification.

PMI categorizes project management experience and education in different categories. There are rules and caps for some categories and you can learn more about this process in our PMP renewal post.

Once you earned a PDU from a resource, you have to claim this through PMI website to record in your PMP certification standing.

Step #2 – Fill in the PMP Renewal Application: After you completed 60 PDUs to retain your PMP certification, login to PMI website and fill in your PMP renewal application form.

Step #3 – Confirmation to PMI Code of Ethics: After you completed your PMP renewal application form, you will be asked to reconfirm the PMI code of ethics. Confirm it, and proceed to your PMP renewal process.

Step #4 – Pay the PMP Renewal Fee: After confirming PMI code of ethics, next step is paying for the PMP renewal fee. You have to pay 60 USD if you are a PMI member to renew your PMP certification. If you are not a PMI member, PMP renewal fee is 150 USD.

Step #5 – Receive Confirmation of PMP Renewal: After paying for PMP renewal, your application will be confirmed by PMI.

Then, you have to keep on earning PDUs to retain your PMP certification again in three years. You can read more in PMP renewal post.

What are the PMP Certification PDU Requirements?

PMI requires certification renewal for all of its certifications except CAPM – Certified Associate in Project Management. Therefore, if you have a PMP certification, you must be careful to earn 60 PDUs in each three years. After you completed 60 PDUs, you must submit these in PMI website and apply for PMP certification renewal respectively.

Following figure shows the cycle and PDU needs for each PMI certification.

PMP PDU Requirements

PDU stands for Professional Development Unit, and PMI was not classifying PDUs until 2016. PMP certified professionals were attending to trainings, courses, activities and working as practitioner in the projects. Upon submitting their earned PDUs, they were having the right to renew their PMP certification.

In 2016, PMI introduced the PMI Talent Triangle and brought new requirements for earning PDUs. Changes in the PDU submission cover new PMI PDU categories, PMP PDU breakdown, and PMP PDU limits for each category.

PMP PDU Requirements

PMI Talent Triangle proposes that an ideal project manager skill set includes technical project management skills, strategic and business management skills, and leadership skills. Therefore, a PMP certified professional must earn PMP PDUs, which are corresponding to these three categories of the PMI Talent Triangle. Now, let us go through the details of PMP PDU requirements one-by-one.

PMP PDU Requirements #1 – Minimum 35 Education PMP PDUs

First PMP PDU requirement is a PMP certified professional must earn at least 35 education PMP PDUs. Education category has following sources for earning PDUs:

  • Course or Training
  • Organization Meetings
  • Online or Digital Media
  • Read
  • Informal Learning

Moreover, these education PDUs must contain at least 8 PDUs from each category of the PMI talent triangle: Strategic, Technical and Leadership. Once you completed the 8 PDUs from each category, remaining 11 PDUs of the education category can be from any of the PMI talent triangle categories. Note that, 35 PDU from education category is the minimum PMP PDU limit requirement. Therefore, you can complete all of your 60 PMP PDU need from education category.

This is the way we recommend to PMP certified professionals. Because, we will see the giving back PMP PDU categories that they require you to be more “active” like preparing a content, presentation, volunteering etc. However, in education category, you attend a training, course or meeting etc. You are more “passive” and once you completed the activity, you will earn the associated PDUs.

PMP PDU Requirements #2 – Maximum 25 Giving Back PMP PDUs

The second PMI PDU category is giving back category. A PMP certified professional can submit 25 PMP PDU at most from the giving back category. Giving Back PMI PDU category has following sources for earning PDUs:

  • Work as Practitioner
  • Create Content
  • Give a Presentation
  • Share Knowledge
  • Volunteer

In addition, out of these PMP PDUs from giving back category, PMP PDU limit for the Work as Practitioner category is maximum 8 PDUs. Work as practitioner covers the project management activities you will be doing in your job. You can submit your projects and project management activities during your PDU submission and these will bring you 8 PDUs in each three years.

As you see, other alternatives of earning PMP PDU from giving back category are creating content, giving a presentation, sharing knowledge and volunteering. These all require you to perform additional effort compared to earning education PDUs. Therefore, especially if you are a working professional, we strongly recommend you to earn all 60 PMP PDUs by attending an PMP PDU online course. This is the hassle free, most convenient and affordable way of earning 60 PDUs and renewing your PMP certification.

Following figure summarizes the first two PMP PDU requirements and PMP PDU limits for each PMP PDU categories.

PMP PDU Requirements

You can read more in PMP PDU Requirements post.

How can I earn PMP PDU?

There are several ways to earn PDUs for education and giving back categories. We will be going over how you can earn PMP PDUs now.

Education category has following sources for earning PDUs:

  • Course or Training (PMP PDU Courses Online goes into this category)
  • Organization Meetings
  • Online or Digital Media – You can see online PDU options.
  • Read
  • Informal Learning

Giving Back category has following sources for earning PDUs:

  • Work as Practitioner (maximum 8 PDUs)
  • Create Content
  • Give a Presentation
  • Share Knowledge
  • Volunteer

Note that, the easiest and most affordable way to earn PDUs is attending PMP PDU Courses Online. Let me tell you why. Almost 100% of the PMP certified professionals are full-time employees. Therefore, they are sparing from their leisure times to complete their CCRS cycle and renew their PMP certification.

If you consider organization meetings, reading materials or informal learning sources, you must look for different materials, different meetings to complete your 60 PDU need. However, if you find a good 60 PMP PDU Bundle, which will provide you PMP PDU Courses Online, you can complete the courses in the bundle at your own pace. You will not need to find different resources to complete your PDU needs.

You can read more in PMP PDU Courses Online post.

How can I earn FREE PMP PDUs?

Do you know that 80% of professionals who are related with PMP certification confuse what PDU is? Therefore, before we express about free PMP PDUs in this post, we will clarify a common misconception about PMP PDU.

One of the PMP certification requirements is attending to a 35 contact hours project management education. You can satisfy this requirement by attending to a PMP training. However, many PMP aspirants confuse the contact hours with PDUs. That is why many PMP aspirants search for 35 PDU PMP training or Free PMP PDU training to satisfy project management education requirement of PMP certification.

PDU is the abbreviation of professional development unit. PDU is a term related for PMP renewal. If you have a PMP certification already, you must earn 60 PMP PDUs in each three years after you got the PMP certification in order to retain your PMP certification. There are several ways of getting PMP PDU. You can attend in a training, webinar, online PMP PDU course, conference, read a book or author a book etc. There are many other ways for earning PDUs for renewing PMP certification.

Free PDUs for PMP Certification Exam

In order to be able to sit for PMP exam, you must have attended a 35 contact hours project management education. Many PMP aspirants confuse “contact hours” with “PDU” and they search for free PMP PDUs to satisfy PMP education requirements. If you do not have a PMP certification yet and if you are planning to sit for PMP exam, you need to earn 35 contact hours. However, do not worry. We will help you to earn free contact hours to sit for PMP exam as well.

For instance, if you are reading a PMP book, PMI does not accept it as source of 35 contact hours of project management education. However, if you have a PMP certification already and if you are trying to renew your certification, hours you spent when reading a project management book will count as free PMP PDU. Contact hours must be instructional taught by a project management expert or trainer. However, you can earn PDUs by studying yourself.

To be honest, it is tough to complete 35 contact hours project management education with free resources. Even if you complete it, I am not sure whether they will be comprehensive enough to make you PMP exam ready. However, you can try to search. We have a free PMP PDU and free contact hours resource as well.

Enroll in our FREE PMP training and earn 0.5 contact hours for free. 

Free PMP Training

Free PDUs for Renewing PMP Certification

There are two main categories for earning Free PMP PDU.

  1. Education Free PMP PDU Category
  2. Giving Back Free PMP PDU Category

You must earn at least 35 PDUs from education category and there must be at least eight PDUs from each categories of PMI talent triangle which are technical, strategic and leadership. While there is a minimum 35 education PDU requirement of PMI, there is not a maximum limit. So, you can earn all of your 60 PDUs from education category. Only thing is, you must satisfy the minimum eight PDUs from each category of PMI talent triangle which are technical, strategic and leadership.

You can earn four free PMP PDU from education category if you follow the directions in our PMP PDU podcast post.

You can read more in Free PMP PDU post.

How can I earn PDUs from PMP PDU Courses?

If you attend and complete a course or training related to project management, PMI accepts these as PDUs. Following activities go under the category of course or training.

  • Educational events held by a PMI chapter
  • Face-to-face, instructor-led courses from PMI Seminars World
  • e-Learning On Demand courses –> PMP PDU Courses Online goes into this category.
  • Academic education through programs accredited by the PMI Global Accreditation Center (GAC)
  • Training courses offered by a PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.)
  • Courses from other third-party providers

PMP PDU Courses Online provides you the PDUs you will need to renew your PMP certification. Once you completed the courses, you can claim your earned PDUs as instructed in the PMI PDU Submission post.

You can read more in PMP PDU courses online post.

Conclusion

We called this post as PMP Certification Bible. Doesn’t it deserve this title? Starting from the history of PMP certification and PMI, we have gone through every detail of PMP certification.

PMP certification conclussion

We have listed the three major benefits of PMP certification: common language for project management, salary advantage and advantage in project management jobs screening.

Then, we have seen the PMP exam requirements. We have gone through both project management experience requirement and project management education requirement of PMP certification.

We have seen the PMP application details and what you should expect in case of a PMI Audit.

There are three major pieces of PMP certification cost: PMP training cost, PMP exam fee and time you will be spending to get ready for the PMP certification exam. We examined each of these three cost aspects one by one.

No doubt, you will need a solid PMP study plan to crack the PMP certification exam. After helping 125,000 professionals in 180+ countries around the world, we prepared a 7 step PMP study plan, and we have gone through each step in this post.

Many PMP certification aspirants look for the best way to study for PMP. We told that there is not a concrete and works for everyone best way to study for PMP. However, we provided tips for you to determine your best way to study for PMP certification exam.

Then, we have gone through the PMP exam structure. We have gone through different type of PMP exam questions and provided a link to free PMP question bank as well.

Finally, we have listed the steps of PMP renewal process.

Note that, this guide has been prepared with the knowledge and experience of helping 125,000+ professionals to pass their certification exams. 

Author of PMP Certification Bible

Resit Gulec

Resit Gulec is Founder & CEO of Master of Project Academy, which is helping to professionals to get ready and pass their certifications in their first attempt since 2012. Resit has over a decade of IT project management experience and has been teaching the subject to thousands of students since 2012.

Resit regularly lectures undergraduate and MBA students in project management and has over 10 years of IT project management experience, including 4 years with Nokia (formerly Alcatel-­Lucent) and 2 years with Ericsson.

Resit has worked on multiple major projects with budgets ranging from $200K to $35M, across countries including the US, UK, Belgium, Greece, Portugal, Egypt, Azerbaijan & Turkey.

Resit has an MBA degree from London School of Business & Finance and working experience in various management areas:
-Project Management
-Software Project Management
-Product Management
-People Management
-Account Management
-IT Service Management