How To Get A PMP Certification: A Step-By-Step Guide

Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 30 September 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Project Management Professional (PMP) is a globally recognised management certification programme that evaluates a professional's ability to manage people and processes and help an organisation fulfil business objectives. The certification is available to professionals in fields such as health care, IT, construction and business. If you are interested in project management and want to improve your credibility as a manager, you can consider taking this certification. In this article, we discuss what is a PMP certification, how to get a PMP certification, look at some of its benefits and find out some tips to help you get certified.

What Is A PMP Certification?

Before reviewing the steps on how to get a PMP certification, it is essential to understand the contents of the certification and its benefits. PMP certification, issued by Project Management Institute (PMI) is an industry-recognised credential that validates a candidate's competency in handling projects, leading teams and achieving business goals. Through this course, professionals can become proficient in areas such as change management, cost management, risk management, quality assessment and vendor management techniques. By obtaining the PMP certification, managers can better lead projects, improve transparency and communication and focus on employee development.

The PMP certification focuses on three major domains:

  • People: The course emphasises the soft skills necessary to guide project teams successfully in an increasingly dynamic environment.

  • Process: It strengthens the technical skills required to manage projects effectively.

  • Business environment: It focuses on the alignment of projects and an organisation's goals.

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How To Get A PMP Certification

Follow these steps to help you understand how to get a PMP certification:

1. Review the eligibility requirements

Prior to taking the PMP exam, ensure that you are eligible. You are required to fulfil either of the two requirements:

  • 35 hours of project management course training and at least 36 months of project management experience if you have a four-year degree.

  • 35 hours of project management course training with 60 months of experience if you have an associate degree or high school diploma.

When applying, keep track of all of your projects and training, including your specific role, responsibilities and duration of involvement. According to the guidelines, if you possess the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) certification issued by PMI, you are exempt from the training requirements specified. Maintaining or renewing the PMP certification requires the completion of 60 professional development units every three years. The units are based on the hours spent taking part in approved professional development activities.

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2. Outline Your Project Management And Educational Background

Start the application process by creating a PMI account. As part of the application process, you are required to provide information, including your educational background and previous work experience. The application has the following sections:

  • Provide personal contact information.

  • Provide details about your educational background.

  • Add details pertaining to the past projects you handled, employment dates, experience summary, portfolio and other relevant details.

  • Include additional details, such as courses or training programmes you enrolled in to enhance your project management skills.

Organise all the information and include details of your work experience, educational background and other accomplishments.

Related: How To Become A Project Manager (With Skills And Duties)

3. Submit your application

Ensure that you submit your PMP application within 90 days of starting it. There is a provision for saving your progress in between sessions if you are unable to complete the application process in one session. You can set a reminder to help you remember the date on which you started the application process to ensure that you apply on time.

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4. Pay the examination fees

Upon approval, you can pay the exam fee. Taking a PMI membership can help you save money on your exam, as it costs ₹23,459 for members to take the exam as compared to ₹42,863 for non-members. Taking a PMI membership provides you with the following benefits:

  • Access to a comprehensive collection of tools and templates

  • Access to career development resources

  • Free access to The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) Guide and Standards

  • Real-time tracking of the PMP certification status

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5. Schedule your exam

You can schedule your PMP exam at your local testing centre or online based on your convenience once you receive notification of application approval. It is necessary to take this exam within one year of being accepted. Some guidelines to follow when taking the exam are:

  • Make sure you schedule your appointments on time as appointments fill up fast.

  • Make sure you have a webcam on your computer.

  • Ensure that your Internet connection is reliable.

  • When taking the test, make sure there are no background noises or interruptions.

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Sections of a PMP exam

The PMP certification exam evaluates project managers in the following sections:

  • Initiation: This includes assessing the goals of a project, its scope, its alignment with the organisation's objectives, a timeline of completion and budget requirements.

  • Planning: This step requires project managers to understand the scope of the project, delegate tasks, prepare a framework and create a detailed project schedule using Gantt charts.

  • Executing: This phase includes monitoring the delegated tasks and offering guidance to the team members.

  • Monitoring: This phase requires project managers to ensure that the project is on schedule by monitoring the deliverables and staying updated with the changing requirements. It also includes identifying potential risks in the workflow and taking action to minimise their impact.

  • Closing: The final phase includes creating a project report, completing the paperwork, conducting feedback sessions, incorporating the client's feedback and planning for further releases.

PMP Certification Exam Pattern

The exam includes content from various value delivery approaches, such as predictive, agile and hybrid. This tests a candidate's knowledge of the software development life-cycle and its various processes. The exam pattern is:

  • It comprises 180 questions.

  • The exam has a time limit of 230 minutes.

  • The questions include multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching and limited fill-in-the-blank.

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Benefits Of Being PMP Certified

Here are some benefits of obtaining a PMP certification:

  • Enhances credibility and builds confidence in areas related to project management

  • Improves job prospects

  • Enhances leadership qualities

  • Enriches the knowledge of tools, techniques and processes used in project management

  • Provides access to a community of professionals where one can learn, network and share knowledge in areas related to project management

Related: New Product Development Process: Steps, Benefits And Tips

Tips To Get PMP Certified

Here are some tips that you may find useful:

  • Enrol in a training class. You can consider enrolling in training classes or workshops that help you prepare for the certification examination. You may choose to join online classes or attend offline sessions.

  • Review the PMBOK guide. The PMP exam is primarily based on the PMBOK guide. Plan a schedule during which you can cover certain topics during a specific time period and revise your concepts.

  • Review exam guides. Exam guides provide detailed information related to the certification test. They also provide information on the skills, knowledge and concepts tested in the exam and tips on how to prepare for it.

  • Make use of PMP mock tests. Prepare by taking various online practice tests that help you get acquainted with the exam pattern and the type of questions to expect.

  • Use flash cards. You can use paper or electronic flashcards to help you during your preparation. These techniques help you memorise important concepts and aid during your revision.

  • Participate in study groups or online forums. You may also find it beneficial to take part in study groups and collaborate with other professionals. By attending these sessions, you can learn from different resources, resolve your queries and stay current on the latest developments in the industry.

Please note that none of the companies, institutions or organisations mentioned in this article are associated with Indeed.

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