pmp certification exam

PMP Certification Exam: The Essential Step for Project Managers Looking for a Career Growth

6 min. read

Have you been thinking of your career advancement? Did you find that ‘PMP’ is required for many positions? Have you been looking for a low down on PMP certification exam?  Do you want to know what you should do for preparing for PMP certification exam? Then, this is the right place for you to get the information you need to ace the PMP certification exam? 

What is Required for Taking the PMP Certification Exam?

Do you want to know what are the PMP certification requirements? Here is what you need:

  • 4-year bachelor degree
  • 4500 hours of project management experience
  • 35 contact hours/PDUs of Project Management Education

Attend our 100% Online & Self-Paced One-Hour Free PMP Training.

If you do not have a 4-year degree, you can still appear for the PMP certification exam if you have:

  • Secondary degree or high school diploma
  • 7500 hours of project management experience
  • 35 contact hours/PDUs of Project Management Education

What kind of education is needed for PMP Certification Exam?

For you to apply for the PMP certification exam, you need 35 hours of project management education. This is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).  PMBOK covers the project management framework. There are 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas and 47 processes in 5 process groups. The entire project management framework is covered through these processes. Therefore, you need to understand these concepts before you can apply for the exam.

How to get the project management education?

So, now you realize this is the foundation you need before even applying for the PMP certification exam. Your next question is how do I get this? You have a few options:

  • Attend a classroom session for 3-5 days typically called a boot camp
  • Attend a classroom session over two weekends on Saturday and Sunday if you cannot take off from work

How to Get PMP Certification article describes the five major steps you should pass for getting PMP certification.

Are you the typical busy project manager?  Unsure of your availability for the classroom session? And, you say you also need to travel often? Not to worry, there are options for you too!

  • You can get the project management education through pmp online certification. While you also have the option of  PMP Boot Camp Online.
  • With these online certifications, you can ‘have your cake and eat it too!’ As a project manager, you are managing many constraints. You have an issue that raised its ugly head or an urgent client meeting which is non-negotiable? You have other possible interruptions too! In that case, go for an online PMP course. You can do these at your pace and where ever you are. You can work as long as you can and want to.

pmp certification exam

What is the process for PMP certification exam?

So, you want to know the steps for getting to the PMP? Here you go:


  • Create a user ID and password at
  • You can apply online for PMP certification exam. In the form, give your personal information, contact details, and education details. In addition, add project experience in the five process groups.
  • Provide references for your project experience
  • Include the 35 contact hour information of the project management education you underwent


You get the feedback from PMI institute asking you to pay your fee for the PMP certification exam. Do you know how much the PMP Certification exam cost? If you are a member, you pay $405, else $555. After you pay the fee, you get eligibility ID and you are asked to schedule your exam. Check your preparation. Are you confident? Then go ahead and choose the exam date and time slot at the Pearson VUE center closest to you.

Hint: Do you wonder when you can take the PMP exam? Read more about PMP exam schedule, the next PMP exam date and how you can schedule and more in PMP exam schedule post.

What is the PMP certification exam? How do I prepare for it?

PMP certification exam is of 4 hours duration. You need to answer 180 questions for which there are four answer options. You need to pick one correct answer from these. Good news is, there is no negative mark for a wrong answer. At the end of the exam, you submit your answers. Lo! ‘Congratulations’ flashes on the screen. You are a PMP from then on.

Participants who earned Project Management Certification: 36.84% increased their salary by 10% or more and 15.13% increased their salary by 20% or more.

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- PMP Question Bank
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Check our “What is the PMP® exam structure?” video

Preparation for PMP certification exam:

PMP certification exam

You need to study the PMBOK and internalize the concept. Most questions in the PMP certification exam test your understanding and application of the concepts. So, focus on understanding the processes. Each process has specific inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. These outputs can become inputs to other processes in the same or different Knowledge Area. Know the Project Life Cycle, Organizational Structures, Organizational Process Assets and Enterprise Environmental Factors thoroughly during your preparation for the PMP exam.

Once you complete one round of study, test yourself using a PMP question bank. There are many resources available such as PMP questions and answers for PMP certification exam preparation which you may want to check. Some providers offer PMP bundle which includes tests along with the training. You may also want to focus exclusively on the PMP Math and tests to assess your readiness for the PMP certification exam.

Enroll in our PMP Exam Simulator to access over 1,400 PMP questions and answers. You can see the demo of the PMP exam simulator here: Free PMP Exam Simulator.

PMP exam simulator

When you complete a test, analyze the answers. You should know why an answer is correct or wrong. This analysis helps you to answer better in the actual PMP certification exam. Taking a full-length test also helps you in preparing for the long haul of 4 hours. Moreover, you learn managing your time effectively for the PMP certification exam. Simulated tests are a great boon to get a feel of the actual exam.

PMP certification exam

The day of the PMP exam

On the D-Day, plan well to be a little ahead of time. You have to show your Identity proof which should match with the name in the application form you submitted for the PMP certification exam.  In the Pearson VUE test center, you will be given a scratch paper to do any calculations or drawing that you may want to do. Moreover, generally, an on-screen calculator is provided for any calculations. You are not allowed to carry anything to your PMP certification exam. Please answer all the questions as there are no negative marks. Therefore, you may mark questions for review and come back to them before final submission. After this, the result will be displayed on your screen. You need to get a moderately proficient or proficient in each of the five process groups to clear the PMP exam. 

And finally, make sure you work on PMP Renewal in the three-year certification cycle from the date you become a PMP. With this focus, you are not only maintaining your credential but also being current in the project management knowledge.

The gist of PMP certification exam is to take good training in an actual classroom or online PMP training and prepare well, also you have to assess your PMP certification exam readiness and then go for it!

PMP Certification Exam

You might be interested in PMP Exam Changes 2017 article as well.

Author Biography:

Sunanda Gundavajhala, B.Tech, M.B.A, PMP has over 25 years of project management. She is a consultant, trainer on project management for different sectors and is the recipient of “Recognition of Excellence” award from PMI, USA and Woman Volunteer award from Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI. She has contributed to the “Practice Standard on Scheduling, PMI”. She has worked as the Liaison officer for PMIEF (Education Foundation) for the Hyderabad, India Chapter of PMI.

17 thoughts on “PMP Certification Exam: The Essential Step for Project Managers Looking for a Career Growth

  1. Thank you for posting this educational blog. It’s always been essential to know about the procedure before attempting anything. It will be very handful for anyone who aims to be a project manager in future. As PMP exam is very top and high-level exam so it’s very important to start with a positive note with well set of information about it. A lot of my friends are preparing for PMP exam in ExcelR Solutions and I saw him developing with times as they provides everything to a student who needs to crack the exam. So again I appreciate your effort in providing your valuable information.

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