PMP Certification Process

The 3 Steps of PMP Certification Process

6 min. read

If you are planning to get PMP Certified, the PMP Certification process tells what you should do to become a PMP. If you want to know what Inputs, Tools & Techniques you need to get your desired output of PMP Certification, you should master the PMP Certification Process.

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What Is PMP Certification Process?

A process is a series of actions that you take to achieve your objective. Therefore, the PMP certification process tells you the series of actions that you need to take to become a PMP. Alternately, you can look at a process as a series of interrelated tasks you do to convert the inputs to the desired outputs. Hence, let us look at what inputs you need and what the PMP certification process is to get to your goal of PMP.

PMP Certification Process

Inputs to PMP Certification Process

What do you need as inputs for the PMP Certification? These are your prerequisites or the eligibility criteria which are:

  1. 4-year bachelor’s degree
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 4500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

Alternatively, you need to have these, to begin your PMP Certification journey:

  1. Your secondary degree or high school diploma
  2. 35 hours of project management education
  3. 7500 hours of experience leading and directing projects

Watch our “What are the PMP® application steps?” video

Tools & Techniques of PMP Certification Process

You need to have certain tools & techniques like PMP Question Bank, PMP Study Guide, Exam Simulators, PMP Study Plan, Mind Maps, Flow diagrams, Data flow diagrams, Flash cards, etc. to sharpen your skills and gear up for the PMP Certification Exam. You can use the Kaizen technique to ensure that you become a PMP. Study-take test-revise-retest can be a technique that you use to ace the PMP or reach your goal. You can benefit from the sample PMP exam questions for this test & retest tasks. These tests will ease the PMP exam process for you and with the help of them, you’ll succeed in the future job interviews, because you’ll be well trained for project manager interview questions as well.

PMP Certification Process

3 Steps of PMP Certification Process

We have seen that a process is the series of steps that you take to reach your goal. Therefore, what are the interrelated tasks that you should perform to be a PMP?

If you have the PMP requirements in place that we discussed above, your first step in PMP Certification journey would be to apply for the exam while preparing for the PMP exam in parallel.

1st Step: Applying for PMP Exam

You can login to the PMI website and start filling the application form online as part of the PMP Certification journey. Here, you have to enter your contact information, educational qualifications, and your experience. When you enter your experience, make sure it is as per the five process groups of Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling and Closing.  In the last section, enter the 35 hours of PMP certification course that you have taken.

Application Review

Once you submit the application online, you will get intimation about fee payment. If your application is picked for audit, you will receive a link to download the audit package. If your application is picked for audit, you can complete the formalities within 90 days of receiving the audit link after which PMI will take about 5-7 days to process the information.

PMP Exam Fee Payment

The next step in the PMP Certification Process if fee payment. You can pay the exam fee of $555 or $405 online through credit card. If you have taken PMI Institute annual membership which is $139, you get to pay $405 otherwise, you pay $555. But, ensure that you get your membership ID before paying the exam fee if you want the discounted fee. Hence, the PMP Certification Process guides you on when to do what.

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- PMP Question Bank
- PMP Flash Cards
- PMP Prep Book Sample PDF
- Free PMP Overview Training
- PMP Cheat Sheets & more

Schedule Your Exam

After you get the confirmation of fee payment, your next step in the PMP Certification Process is to schedule your exam. But, this generally depends on the preparation that you have done so far in terms of study. Normally, schedule the exam date based on the score you get in your practice tests.

But, if you are the type driven by the date, do a reverse scheduling in the PMP Certification Process. Meaning, fix the date and accordingly prepare for the exam.

PMP Certification Process

PMP Certification process helps you understand the checkpoints to focus on. One such point is to check if you are within one year from the time you get your eligibility ID before scheduling the exam.

If you are scoring above 85% in a few reliable PMP Question Banks or PMP exam simulators, book your exam date and time slot at the Pearson VUE center close to your place. If you want to reschedule the exam within one month of exam date, you may have to pay a penalty fee.

2nd Step: Preparation for the PMP Certification Exam

Eligibility- Input requirements

Your 35-hour project management education program or the PMP Boot camp or the PMP online certification course are the crucial factors for success. As part of the PMP certification process, this PMP Exam Prep step not only gives you the needed eligibility but also provides you with the ammunition to shoot your target.


Watch the Top 3 Benefits of PMP Online Training

PMP Certification Process

This program equips you with knowledge of PMBOK or the Project Management Body of Knowledge which forms the foundation for the exam. Therefore, your PMP Certification process should have a well-defined study plan of PMBOK and any PMP Study Guides you get.

As mentioned earlier, use the Study-take test-revise-retest technique to prepare. PMBOK has 47 processes and each process has certain inputs, tools & techniques which produce the desired output. These are spread across the 10 Project Management Knowledge Areas and you should understand the interdependencies of these processes to answer the questions.

As part of PMP Certification process, you also need to be aware not only the content but how to approach the questions in the exam.

3rd Step: PMP Certification Exam

The last step in the PMP Certification process is taking the exam. You need to answer 180 questions within ~4 hours during the exam. The questions test your understanding, application, and interpretation of project management framework and project data. Hence, your PMP Certification Process ensures that you are geared up for this.


By now, you should have understood how to manage your time and approach the questions for the exam. PMP Certification process ensures that you do not miss out any critical aspects of the preparation such as time management, mental makeup for the exam in addition to the PMBOK and application to projects. As you are aware, you do not spend more than a minute on any single question and in case of doubt, mark it for review.

You Are PMP Certified!

This is the desired output of this whole process. Therefore, if you have the right inputs, tools & techniques, your chances of success are higher!

In short, PMP Certification process helps you to ensure that you follow all the steps needed to become a PMP in a methodical and predictable way.

pmp certification process


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. Sunanda 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.

PMP Certification Process
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