Using Exam Simulators for your PMP Exam Prep

Taking the PMP Exam can be one of the most important and difficult things you will have to do. The prep time requires you to be incredibly focused on your studies, and various study guides, books, mock exams and training videos can help you be prepared for the final exam. However, no matter how much you know, the day of the exam, you might find yourself unprepared to apply that knowledge and perform well. This is because exam prep is more than just studying; it is having a game plan, an exam taking strategy, and knowing what the questions are actually asking and not getting overwhelmed or ahead of yourself.

These skills are something no book or training video can teach, as they differ from person to person and every individual has to come up with their own strategy. The best way to discover yours and to learn how to apply it is to use exam simulators.

PMP Exam Simulators create an authentic PMP Exam environment and puts you in the middle of it to give you a taste of what the actual exam will be like. The questions are structured like the real exam and you will feel like it is actually the big day, so you will have a real and accurate idea of where you stand in terms of your preparation.

Online PMP packages, such as the ones offered by PM Champion, offer a complete step-by-step prep plan which includes study plans, video training, chapter tests and formula guides, all based on and integrated with your PMBOK to help you prepare for the exam. Included in this is an exam simulator, which you should take after you have taken all other steps and are thoroughly sure that you are ready. However, do not expect to be perfect on your first try. Exam simulators let you take several complete exams so you can keep trying till you have perfected your exam strategy. You will start to see improvement with every test you take, so don’t be discouraged and treat it as a learning experience.

What you can achieve with a PMP Exam Simulator

–          With a PMP Exam Simulator, you will be able to practice several exams under authentic and realistic test conditions, so you will have a good idea of what you are in for. This way, you will not be taken off guard or be overwhelmed on the big day.

–          This will help you learn to manage your time effectively and efficiently.

–          You will also gain confidence and reduce study time, with a realization that you know your stuff, and also which areas you need to concentrate on specifically.

–          You will formulate your test strategies and learn to apply them effectively. For instance if there are topics that you have to memorize you will become aware and start planning for it.

–          You will also know exactly how much you are improving and how long you have left to go. You will also know when you are absolutely ready for the real thing.

PMP Exam Simulators are definitely a great tool to aid you in your studies. They are the perfect way to gauge your preparation in a realistic way, so you can truly be prepared for the big day.

 

How to Isolate Yourself for Your PMP Exam Prep

Deciding to take on a PMP Certification Exam might be one of the biggest career choices you’ll ever make, but most of you will be doing this at a point in life when finding the time to study might be the hardest part of the process. You might be juggling a job, a family, excessive business travelling, or any number of other things while trying to do your PMP Exam prep.  Isolating yourself is an important part of concentrating on the material and here are a few tips on how to achieve this:

Plug Out and Disconnect

Today we have a million more distractions than we did even a decade ago, with too many gadgets supplying too many functions right at our fingertips. Even if you’re quite over Facebook and Twitter (which no one really is, ever), when you’re studying your mind tends to find a dozen more interesting things to do. The best thing to do during your prep time is to completely disconnect from technology. Don’t worry, the world will not come to an end, but it might just slightly unravel if you fail this very important exam.

Find a Fortress of Solitude

The next thing to do is find a quiet place to study with absolutely no distractions. You might have disconnected your gadgets and from social media, but you can never really disconnect the TV or the computer, or even your phone, not completely, especially if you live with other people. So your home and your room is out, so is a friend’s place. The library is your best bet; but if you have any other quiet places where you can really concentrate, like perhaps a personal study, an office, or a study hall, those could work too.

Draw Up a Schedule

If you know how to stick to it, a schedule with realistic goals could work wonders. No one can really isolate themselves completely, and in order to really find peace and quiet for a little while, you need to plan it out properly. You probably have many other important engagements, chores, and responsibilities to take care of, and you need to find the right time to get those done so that your mind is clear when you sit down to study, because a lot of distractions come from within. Isolate your mind by either getting other stuff out of the way, or knowing in your mind that there will be time later.

Headphones Are Your New Best Friend

Many a times when you’re trying to concentrate, the tiniest of noises can be distracting. Headphones go a long way in isolating these sounds and replacing them with white noise, tracks of which you can find on many websites and stores. You can also use these to listen to audio lectures and training sessions while your hands are busy with other mindless chores, such as doing the dishes.

Moderation is Key

Even after all this, your mind might still wander, this is because no one can study for hours on end without getting frustrated, and sooner than later you won’t really retain much anyway. Plus, you have people in your life that deserve a bit of your time even while you’re prepping for PMP Exams, and so you should schedule some time for socializing and fun.

However, it is important to keep this minimal and not to get carried away and party all night. Your mind just needs a short break, and after you’ve freshened up you can get back to work. The important thing is not to lose perspective, and to keep in mind what the goal is and how important your PMP Certification can be for your bright future.

PMP Exam Prep Tips for Frequent Travelers

Do you have a spouse with a nomadic occupation? Or is it your own job that consists of frequent transfers, postings or international conferences? Such circumstances make life very uncertain and it becomes impossible to improve your resume with additional credentials and certifications. Rest assured, that even with such an erratic schedule, you can successfully study for your PMP Exam and pass with flying colors. There are a few things that you will need to do first:

Devise a Study Plan

The most important thing to do, after you make your decision and decide on an approximate exam date is to devise a strategy. Here you need to prove exactly why you should be PMP certified in the first place by thinking of your exam as your first and most important project. Here’s what you can do:

  • Draw out a schedule based on the length of your program, and on your routine. Leave a margin for the changes that frequently take place in your life and the time consumed in transit or in moving in and out of houses. You can either specify a certain number of hours spent studying, or study goals to reach in one day, for example, complete one chapter, or learn and understand 5 new concepts. Also, give yourself test days in between, adjusting the plan according to the results, and a day off at least once a week to do something fun.
  • Stick to the plan, as the plan itself will fall apart if you don’t follow it to the letter. Complete the daily task on the time that you have put aside for studying, and don’t get distracted by your Facebook friends or the latest episode of Game of Thrones.
  • Find a studying spot that is quiet and peaceful, with zero distractions. If you’re on a business trip and staying in a hotel, find a quiet hall or a café. If you’ve moved to a new town visit the local library, if you’re in transit, find a quiet lounge.

Join an Online Course

Online PMP courses provide you with not only a well organized strategy, but also with extra materials and mock exam simulations to help you prepare even better. Since you will not have the benefits a physical institute and instructors can offer, these courses will prove extremely beneficial to not only learning, but also understanding the material. PM Champion provides the Gold and Platinum package, complete with video tutorials, formula guide, exam simulator, Q/A support and email courses, and all for competitive prices. All this can be downloaded onto your laptop and can be taken wherever you go and whether you’re on a plane or a bus or a hotel room, you can easily study for your PMP Exam.

Mobile Apps

There are certain mobile apps available as well that offer exam simulations, on the go flashcards and various videos and study guides that can help you study while you’re in transit, in waiting rooms, in the car or on a plane. PM Champion offers a number of iPhone and iPad apps which give exam tips, guidance, exam simulations and many other features.

 

No matter where you are and what you’re doing, having a well-thought-out study plan, hard work and dedication, and some good on the go study material and guidance from online programs like PM Champion’s can help you realize your dream of getting that valuable PMP certification.

Improving Your Concentration for Your PMP Exam Prep

Staying focused and directing your concentration during your PMP Certification Exam preparation can be extremely challenging, even for the most organized.  It is hard to always maintain the level of dedication that is required to get the most out of your training.  Your time is extremely valuable; not only your personal time but also your professional.  Between work commitments, family time, chores, social aspects and personal time, it is extremely hard to find the time to devote to studying.  Then, when you do sit down to study, not getting sidetracked or interrupted is another set of challenges.

To help assist you in this concentration challenge, below are few tips to help keep you focused.

1. Planning:

Establish good study habits and put into practice. Make a study strategy and plan for how you are going to attack the material, determine how much time you estimate you need to devote to each section and the amount of time you have to devote to it.  Also, build in the objectives you want to achieve for each section.  This will not only help you plan but also help keep you motivated and on track.  This is the key to good time management.  Sticking to a set routine and taking breaks will help not only keep you organized, but will allow you important mental breaks as well, which are necessary so you don’t get too drained and to keep you energized.

2. Location:

Finding the best location that works for you is key.  Everyone is different and different surroundings or set-ups might not work for others but it works for you, and vice versa.  Some like white noise distractions and some don’t.  Some like to work at home, some need to totally escape to a library or setting outside the home.  Others like to study in a group, and some find that they prefer to go it alone.  Find what works for you and stick to it. Regardless of the location you choose, make sure you have a dedicated space to store your material, a comfortable chair, and table, and bright lighting.  Remove any distractions, especially electronics – such as a television, and turn off the smartphone.  Placing a sign up as a reminder to not disturb you can also be a good reminder to others to avoid unnecessary interruptions.

3. Incentive:

If you are having a rough patch and are finding it really hard to get through it, create some incentives that will help keep you focused and motivated to continue.  Build in some personal rewards for achieving a certain level of accomplishment or completing a certain particular task.  Incentives can be anything small such as 30 minute TV break, having a special snack, or checking your messages, etc.

4. Variety:

Make sure you add variety to your studying.  Vary the subject you are focusing on every hour or so.  This will create boredom, which you want to avoid.  Try different activities or exercises with each section you cover.  Create study questions or sets of reviews are great for personally testing yourself.  They can really help you gauge how you are processing and retaining the information.

5. Attitude:

When you undertake the practice exams and simulations and don’t do as well as you thought you would, avoid discouragement by focusing on the positive.  Take this disappointment and view it as a learning experience.  Find out what areas you were weak in and try to determine why that is.  Are you having trouble understanding the material, did you not cover the material in your preparation, did you lose focus?  Carefully examine the situation and your study habits.  Find any holes and determine ways to make changes to improve the outcome on the next simulation.

6. Practice:

This is the whole point of taking several practice exams.  They help you in your preparation.  Going through the process helps you ‘iron out the kinks’ so to say.  They are great opportunities to monitor how successful your studying is going and how prepared you actually are.  Definitely take advantage of as many as possible as you proceed through your preparation.

 

 

How To Use The PMBOK Guide For Your PMP Exam Preparation

PMBOK-Guide-5th-Edition

If you want to become a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), you have to first pass the PMP certification exam. In order to do that, you will need to be willing to devote a certain amount of time and energy to studying project management knowledge areas and processes. Luckily, there are many study guides and tools available to help you pass the PMP exam, including PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge, commonly known as the PMBOK Guide. It is also a good book to help you brush up on your project management skills, even if you don’t plan to take the PMP exam.

What’s in The PMBOK Guide?

The PMBOK Guide contains a treasure trove of valuable information about project management techniques. It is a well-respected and internationally known guide for project management. It contains 47 processes for overseeing projects from start to finish. The PMBOK Guide is broken down into several different sections. Those sections include everything from Initiation to Closure. As a whole, the PMBOK Guide can show you exactly how to oversee various projects and juggle things like time, quality, and costs of those projects. That’s why it is the basis and the most useful guide for those who are planning to take the PMP exam.

Granted ! The PMBOK Guide is Boring !

Some people argue that the Yellow Pages are more fun to read than the PMBOK Guide! So, you should be prepared to really focus when you study this book. It’s not something that you can just breeze through in a few days. Nevertheless, if you focus on the information, you should be able to absorb the gist of what the PMBOK Guide is teaching fairly quickly, specially if you combine it with some good quality PMP video training.

The PMBOK Guide is just a Reference Manual !

The PMBOK Guide is definitely a valuable reference tool. However, that’s all that it is. It’s not a textbook, and it’s not a word-for-word copy of the exam. In fact, many of the questions that are part of the PMP exam cannot be found within the pages of the PMBOK Guide. To put things another way, reading the PMBOK Guide is important, but memorizing the entire thing from start to finish will not guarantee that you’ll pass the PMP exam. The important thing is that you are able to understand the concepts described in the guide and show that you know how to apply those concepts during the exam. Exam questions will test your real knowledge of those concepts.

What You Can’t Find in the PMBOK Guide?

The PMBOK Guide is an excellent reference guide for the PMP exam, but studying it will only get you so far in the process. After all, it doesn’t contain everything that you need to know to be a successful project management professional, or to successfully pass the exam. There are a lot of important things that you can’t find in the PMBOK Guide. For example, it does not contain exam simulations, numerical examples, or multiple-choice questions. It also does not contain stories of hands-on experiences. All of those elements are important parts of your PMP exam preparation process, which is why the PMBOK Guide is not the only tool that you need to use in order to study for the exam.

Using The PMBOK Guide With Other Training Materials:

The PMBOK Guide is an excellent reference guide for you to study before you take the PMP exam. In fact, you should be sure to read it at least once prior to the exam. Nevertheless, no matter how much you read it, it’s best to also study the PMBOK Guide in conjunction with other reference materials. You should begin by choosing a good PMP video training to watch, starting with our Gold/Platinum packages compared here at http://www.pmchampion.com/Compare-PMP-Courses.shtml. They will walk you through the PMBOK chapters, with study plans, chapter tests and other valuable information. You can follow along with the PMBOK Guide while you watch the videos chapter by chapter.

You Need Time to Understand The PMBOK Guide

Regardless of what combination of reference materials you use with the PMBOK Guide, it’s important not to get too stressed before you take the PMP exam. You will do yourself a great disservice if you try to cram too much studying into too short a time. So, be sure to take your time and really understand the concepts in the PMBOK Guide and the other exam guides that you choose. That will give you the best chance of successfully becoming a certified Project Management Professional.

If You Need a Campanion Text Book

If you absolutely need a separate textbook, one of the best companion references is the Rita Mulcahy’s book based on the PMBOK Guide 5th Edition. It’s definitely a must-have guide for the exam, specially if you’re on a tight budget for buying any online video PMP trainings.

 

Why-PMP-Study-Group

 

PMP Exam Day… Five Pointers Before You Write !

cbt-exam

PMP exam time is always stressful and never much fun, even for the most keen.  But it is important to stay positive and put your best foot forward.  You have dedicated a lot of time and hard work into it and you don’t want to waste the opportunity and be ill-prepared.  You want to get as much out of it as possible and achieve the highest score possible (by the way,  Is there a Passing Score on the PMP Exam ?)

No sense putting everything into it and then failing to do these last few key items and causing you setbacks or put yourself in jeopardy of passing. Below are a few pointers to remember as you prepare for the exam, so you come fully prepared and totally on top of your game and surroundings!

1. Advance Surveillance:

Get the address of the exam location and check it out prior to your exam date.  Make sure you know exactly where you need to go and how to get there.  Determine how long it will take to get to the exam location, factoring in traffic, parking and any other foreseen delays.

2. Know What Is Allowed:


You will not be able to bring in any materials with you.  You will be provided with scrap paper to use if necessary.  Be sure to ask for more if you need it. A calculator will be provided to you – either on the computer or a separate device. Don’t wear a watch or other accessories.  You will be instructed to remove them and also to empty your pockets.

3. Be Prepared For The Surroundings:

You will be monitored via video camera during the exam.  Try to ignore the cameras and stay focused on your exam.  In regards to the room temperature, it could vary depending on the time of year and conditions.  Dress in layers so you will have flexibility in removing clothing if necessary.

4. Arrive Early:

It is best to aim to be at the exam location approximately 15 to 30 minutes prior to the start of your exam time period.  This will give you a bit of a buffer if you encounter any delays travelling and will also allow you some time to relax before starting.  You don’t want to be rushed, as it will increase your stress which is counterproductive.

5. Take Care Of Yourself:

Treat your body well.  Eat wisely and be well rested.  Depending on the time of your test, eat a small meal prior.  Fuel the brain!  You don’t want to be hungry during the text, nor do you want to be too full and drowsy from a large meal.  Being well rested will help your brain function better.

You’ve have invested so much into it so far, it would be silly not to go the little bit extra to ensure your success!  Keep these pointers handy, and good luck on exam day!

One last thing: Please check out and share our new partner website elearningchampion.com and take advantage of a vast range of business and management courses online.

 

PMP Exam Stress And How To Deal With It

Just thinking about exams is stressful, but undergoing all the preparation leading up to the PMP Exam takes it to a whole new anxiety level.  Dealing with this stress and turning it into a positive and not a negative is tricky.  But being able to do that will not only allow you to reduce your anxiety and make the process enjoyable (as much it can be) but it will also enable you to concentrate on the learning aspects, on your long-term career, and on  excelling in your daily work.

 

Below are some key pointers on what you should do and what you should avoid doing to proactively manage your PMP exam stress. 

 

What To Do:

 

1. Get organized and make a plan.

As you prepare and study for the PMP certification exam, make sure you have everything you need and understand what is required.  This will eliminate the added stress of any last minute rushing and showing up unprepared.  Put together a game plan on how you are going to tackle the exam.  Consider a 3-month study plan instead of a 3-week one. This will reduce your stress drastically. Also Devise what approach you are going to take when answering the questions. the amount of time you will spend on each section or answer, and what you do when you encounter a question you don’t know the answer to.

2. Relax and stay focused.

Find ways to mentally relax and take a break from the studying.  Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.  Keep a positive frame of mind and de-stress occasionaly.

3. Nourish your body.

It is important to keep yourself healthy, well nourished and well rested during this process.  This will help keep your body in prime condition and mentally strong.  Pushing yourself, lack of sleep and relying on too much caffeine or other stimulants isn’t a good practice.  You will crash, burn out and likely underperform.  Setting aside some time to exercise will help clear your mind and is a great stress reliever.

4. Have a positive support system.

Surround yourself with positive influences, both personally and professionally. If you find you are struggling, ask for help or guidance.  There are lots of sources.  Utilize your instructors or on-line blogs and social networks.  Join a study group or form your own.  Professional mentors, if available within your organization can also be valuable.

5. Stick to your goals and objectives.

It is easy to get caught up in excelling to the next level.  But, it is important to just keep yourself focused on just this task.  Don’t gear yourself up and put added pressure on what you need or want to accomplish after the exam.  Think about that after, not before.  If you do, you are wasting your valuable time and you might not do as well, which will just lead to disappointment.

 

What Not To Do:

 

1. Procrastination.

Many people deal with stress by avoiding the situation until the very last minute.  In regards to preparing for the PMP exam, this is not a great way to deal with the stress.  Don’t ignore it by avoiding it and procrastinating.  Face it head on and start preparing.

2. Negative self doubts.

Don’t be too hard on yourself when you hit a rough patch.  This is just going to increase your stress level and lower your motivation.  Get back on track, refocus, and stay positive.

3. Total seclusion.

In an effort to keep focused, many will force themselves to lock themselves away and be in total seclusion from their normal daily life.  Don’t do this.  This will lead to burn-out.  It is better to find a balance.  It is important to take breaks to mentally rejuvenate yourself and allow your brain to digest all the information.

4. Competition.

Don’t get caught up in a competition with your other colleagues, classmates or others that you know who have taken the exam before.  Focus on doing your best, not in doing better than them.  It is good to be motivated, but not so much that it puts additional unnecessary stress on yourself.

5. Comply with others’ expectations.

Don’t listen to unfounded rumors and don’t let others’ expectations put additional pressure on you.  The situation is stressful enough without adding additional layers of others influences cloud your mind.  Accomplish what you want to accomplish. If you are happy with what you’re doing, those around you who are important to you will also be happy for you.

 

How to Form A Successful PMP Study Group

When preparing for the PMP certification exam, many candidates create PMP study groups. Depending on the members and atmosphere, study groups can either help you grow or pull you down. Before you go and create (or join) a PMP study group, remember that all groups are not created equal. Choose your companions carefully, or study by yourself. To guarantee a successful experience, keep these key pointers in mind when sourcing a group to join, or starting up your own group.

1. Determine Your Expectations

It is best if you have a game plan before you venture too far into the process.  Figure out what do you want to get out of the study group?  What are your expectations?  Calculate how much time do you have to devote to meeting each week?  How often?  Once you have determined what you want, then you can proceed with finding potential candidates.

2. Do Your Research

It is important to understand who you are interacting with before committing yourself to a group.  Talk to your fellow classmate before or after class, and observe them in class.  Find out their motivation level, study habits, personality and schedules.  Are they bossy? Do they work full time, attend classes regularly and participate actively?  Do you think you will get along with them? If you don’t match up, then you are probably going to clash and encounter problems.

3. Establish Group Size, Location and Times

Group sizes of 4 or 5 members tend to work best.  Larger groups than that tend to be too big to manage and be effective.  As for good locations, a meeting place should be selected that is neutral to everyone, convenient, available, quiet, and free of distractions. Libraries, empty classrooms, or boardrooms work well. Having a set, regular meeting time is always beneficial as well.  It is easy to remember and becomes routine.

4. Establish Ground Rules

Once a group is formed, a clear set of rules should be outlined and enforced so that everyone understands what is expected, reducing the chance of misunderstandings and time wasting.  Establishing goals and how the material for each session will be covered will help keep everyone organized and prepared.  A great way to handle this is follow an agenda and to elect a leader, either the same person for each session or on a rotating basis, allowing each member a chance.

5. Avoid Socializing Instead of Studying

The study group sessions should be focused on studying, not socializing.  Keep the socializing and non-PMP material chatter to before or after your sessions.  It is important to also show respect for each other and work together collaboratively.  Discussions should have a positive tone.  Avoid negativity.  Any criticisms or differences in opinion should be constructive and stay focused on the material being covered.

6. Plan Ahead

Before the completion of each session, an agenda or game plan should be stated for the next meeting so everyone knows what will be covered and who’s responsible for what. This will help keep everyone on the same page and come prepared for the next session.

Good luck in your search for a PMP study group, and on your PMP studies!

 

Taking Advantage of PMP Study Groups

Now that you have made the decision to take the PMP certification exam, the next step is to prepare. Some people really enjoy additional companionship, support, and competitiveness that PMP study groups can provide.  Others though, prefer the solitude and individual focus that an independent study provides. If you are one of those who enjoy groups and are looking to find help in your PMP Exam studies, keep reading to learn how beneficial PMP Study Groups can be.

1. Giving Broader Perspective

Like they say “two heads are better than one”.  This can definitely be the case many times over with PMP study groups. Since you are interacting with a group, there are always going to be a few different views and ideas presented on every topic you cover.  Not everyone is going to look at the material in the same way you do.  This will help you understand the material better and further develop your critical skills in explaining your point of view and debating with each other over the various concepts and best solutions.

2. Limiting Procrastination

It is hard to procrastinate when you have others depending on you.  With set meeting times and material to cover, PMP study groups help to keep you motivated and focused on the end goal of passing the PMP Exam. If you are studying on your own, it is easy to skip a night or close the books early.  With a study group, it is a little harder to cancel, as you will get questioned and you will have to explain yourself!

3. Covering PMBOK Material Faster

As stated earlier, “two heads are better than one”. Having multiple individuals working with you that all have differing expertise, it is easy to find someone who can help you out in any problem areas that you encounter. For instance, if one of your group members has experience with a specific topic in their organization (such as Earned Value Analysis) the rest of the group can take advantage. If you have any questions or are confused about any part of the PMBOK Guide, it is easy to ask your study partners for assistance.  This saves you a lot of extra time and aggravation trying to figure it out on your own.

4. Reducing Boredom

Having others around you with the same interests and desires in regards to their PMP Exam studies helps keep you focused and reduces the chance of you getting bored and unmotivated.  Studying on your own requires self-regulation and determination.  Having a few others to bounce ideas off to or to talk about the PMP Exam experience can really keep the juices flowing.

5. Give Positive Influence

If you have a good group of individuals in your group, they can provide you with many benefits in addition to assisting you with the knowledge and content retention that you gain while studying.  They can be a positive influence in further developing your study habits, organizational and time management skills.  You can observe how they do things and then incorporate their successful techniques with yours.

6. Get Group Discounts

Another additional benefit of forming a study group is that you can save money.  Many online training providers offer Group Discounts on their packages and programs. We offer 3 levels, ranging from 5% to 15%, depending on the size of your group.  To start saving, just click on the link below and download the Excel form and complete it.

http://www.pmchampion.com/pmp-group-discounts.shtml

Study groups can be a valuable asset in your PMP Exam preparation.  They offer many benefits, but the key though is to find the right mix of individuals to form your study group.  Choose wisely.  The last thing you need when studying is to have negative influences hindering your efforts.

 

PMP Exam Scheduling: Just Pick A Date & Move On

Picking a date and committing yourself for the PMP Exam isn’t an easy step to make.  However, it is just as important as studying and preparing for the exam.  Outlined below are some key pointers to help you make sure you’re following the correct path and procedures.

When To Schedule Your PMP Exam

You can not schedule your exam until you have submitted your PMP application and PMI has received and approved your credential fee.  Once you have submitted your application and are deemed eligible by PMI, you will be contacted via email with your examination scheduling instructions and your Eligibility ID.  You will need this code when scheduling your exam.

It is important to note that you have a one-year period in which you are eligible to take the exam.  The deadline starts ticking as soon as your payment has been received and approved.  Many applicants schedule their exams at least three months before their eligibility period expires, to avoid running out of time.  If you do not pass the exam on your first try, you are allowed to take the PMP exam up to three times over the course of the year. Refer to the PMP Handbook for more.

How To Schedule Your PMP Exam

PMI utilizes the services of Prometric for handling the administration of the scheduling process.  There are two ways to schedule your exam, online or by phone:

  • Scheduling Online

Visit the Prometric web site – www.prometric.com/pmi and follow the instructions  to complete the following steps:

    • Select your location (Country, State)
    • Select “Schedule an Appointment”
    • Enter your Eligibility ID (which you received in your confirmation email from PMI)
    • Select a test site in your area
    • Choose your examination date and time
  • Scheduling by Phone

Call 1-800-268-2802 during business hours, and an Interactive Voice Response System will guide you through the steps to schedule your exam. It will also provide you with other additional steps to make changes to your exam schedule if required. If you register by phone, you will need to print a copy of your confirmation information.  This can be accessed using the Prometric website. Refer to PMP Handbook for more.

The Costs of PMP Exam

The current exam fees are broken down into two categories based on whether the applicant’s status is a PMI member or non-member.

  • PMI Member = $405.00
  • PMI Non-Member = $555.00

Canceling or Rescheduling Your PMP Exam

If necessary, you can reschedule or cancel your exam.  A $70 fee will be charged if you reschedule or cancel your exam within 30 calendar days of the scheduled date.  If you cancel your exam within 2 days of your scheduled date, you will not receive a refund and will forfeit the full amount of the exam fee.  In order to reschedule a cancelled exam, you will be required to pay an additional re-exam fee and it must also be within your one-year eligibility period.

 

New PMP Training Packages Released (PMBOK 5th Edition)

The Project Management Institute (PMI)® recently released the official dates for when the Project Management Professional (PMP)® and some other of its exams will be updated to the latest standards. Here is what we have learned and our recommendations for studying:
Credential Exam Updated If you take your Exam
BEFORE this date
If you take your Exam
ON or AFTER this date
PMP® 31 July 2013 Use PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition Use PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
CAPM® 1 July 2013 Use PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition Use PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
PMI-SP® 31 August 2013 Use PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition Use PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
PMI-RMP® 31 August 2013 Use PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition Use PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition
PgMP® 31 July 2013 Use PMBOK® Guide 4th Edition Use PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition

A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) is a book published by the Project Management Institute (PMI), outlining a set of standard terminology and guidelines for Project Management. The PMBOK Guide was first published by the PMI as a white paper in 1983 in an attempt to document and standardize generally accepted project management information and practices. The first edition was published in 1996 followed by the second edition in 2000. In 2004, the third Edition was published with major changes from the previous editions. The fourth Edition was released on December 31, 2008.

PMBOK 4th Edition

Work on the fifth edition was completed in 2012 and you can now order the PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition on the PMI Marketplace website.

 

PMBOK 5th Edition

Does this mean that I will have and “old” PMP certificate after the “cut-off” date?

No. The current version of the PMBOK Guide has no influence over your PMP status. You can compare this to your high-school diploma. Even if you received your high-school diploma years back and the school curriculum has changed many times since then, your diploma and your status are just as valid today as they were when you finished high school.

What revision of PMBOK Guide is your Study Material based on?

The new video trainings (for PMBOK® Guide 5th Edition) were launched on July 7th, 2013. This is also the day on which our new PMP® Exam Simulator with 1,800 updated questions, and the new PMP® Formulas Guides became available.

We are excited about this update because this new version marks a major step up in quality for our trainings. To name just two improvements:

  • The visual experience for the students is much more pleasant because the presentation template was redesigned and now also includes professionally shot images
  • The main modules will include a series of self-assessment questions (PDF format) allowing the students to test their understanding of each Knowledge Area.
  • Development and production of lessons will continue until July 31, 2013. Students can begin using the course immediately, watch the lessons that are already available, and will continue to receive additional lessons about twice weekly. Completion is expected by end end of July.

What if I purchased your old study materials (based on PMBOK 4th edition) but could not take the PMP Exam until after July 31, 2013? Do I have to re-purchase again at full price, or is there a discount for PMC members?

Here’s the Good News: If you don’t take the exam by July 31, 2013 and you have to switch to the 5th Edition Exam we will upgrade your training package with the 5th Edition Material following this scheme:

  • If you purchased after May 1, 2013 we will upgrade your materials for FREE.
  • If you purchased between Jan 1, 2013 and April 30, 2013 we will upgrade you for just $40.
  • If you purchased before Jan 1, 2013 you have to pay the full price again.
  • The above offer is valid until Sept 15. After this deadline you will have to pay full price.

What changes have been made on the PMBOK 5th Edition?

Without going into details, here’s a list of the major changes:

  • Addition of a new knowledge area called ‘Stakeholder Management’ (going from 9 to 10 Knowledge areas)
PMBOK 4th Edition PMBOK 5th Edition
Knowledge Area Nb of Processes Knowledge Area Nb of Processes
Integration 6 Integration 6
Scope 5 Scope 6
Time Cost 6 Time Cost 7
Cost 3 Cost 4
Quality 3 Quality 3
Human Resources 4 Human Resources 4
Communication 5 Communication 3
Risk 6 Risk 6
Procurement 4 Procurement 4
Stakeholders 4
TOTAL 42 TOTAL 47
Knowledge Areas 9 Knowledge Areas 10
Process Groups 5 Process Groups 5
Processes 42 Processes 47
  • 5 new processes have been added (going from 42 to 47 Processes)
  • Definition of a Project Management Office (PMO) expanded.
  • Project life cycles expanded.
  • Direct and Manage Project Execution’ changed to ‘Direct and Manage Project Work’
  • Addition of ‘Plan Scope Management process’
  • ‘Verify Scope’ changed to ‘Validate Scope’
  • Addition of ‘Plan Schedule Management’
  • Addition of ‘Plan Cost Management’
  • ‘Plan Quality’ changed to ‘Plan Quality Management’
  • ‘Perform Quality Control’ changed to ‘Control Quality’
  • ‘Develop Human Resource Plan’ changed to ‘Plan Human Resource Management’
  • ‘Monitor and Control Risks’ changed to ‘Control Risks’
  • ‘Plan Procurements’ changed to ‘Plan Procurement Management’
  • ‘Administer Procurements’ changed to ‘Control Procurements’
  • Addition of ‘Plan Stakeholder Management’
  • ‘Manage Stakeholder Expectations’ changed to ‘Manage Stakeholder Engagement’
  • Addition of ‘Control Stakeholders Engagement’
  • ‘Work performance measurement’ changed to ‘Work performance data’
  • ‘Positive Risks’ changed to ‘opportunity’
  • PMBOK 5th Edition has now 248 pages minus the glossary.
  • For the detailed list of changes go to PMI Media website.

Passing Score for the PMP Exam… Is There One?

Is there a passing score for the PMP Exam? The simple answer is no. There is no set official percentage that you have to obtain in order to pass the PMP Exam. In the early years of the PMP Exam, 61% was the stated threshold, but several years ago the PMI changed that requirement and that is no longer the case. Since then, the PMP Exam is differently structured and the scores are strategically calculated.

To explain this further, here is a passage taken straight from the PMI’s PMP Handbook:

The passing score for all PMI credential examinations is determined by sound psychometric analysis. PMI uses subject matter experts from across the globe to help establish a point at which each candidate should pass the examination(s) and the examination point of difficulty. Data that shows how candidates actually performed is cross referenced with the subject matter experts to ensure that the point of difficulty on each examination is healthy.

So, basically this means that there is no set percentage to pass or fail the PMP Exam. This level varies for each exam and is reflective of the exam’s overall difficulty and how well all the student’s taking the exam score. As well, each question is given an individual rating and weight depending on its level of difficulty.

As for the structure of the PMP Exam, it is comprised of 200 multiple choice questions. There are 25 questions that are considered pretest and are randomly and strategically placed throughout the exam. They do not affect the final score and are used to test the validity of future exams. So, it is only the other 175 questions that will be counted in the final score. These questions cover the 5 Process Groups (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring & Controlling, and Closing). It is worth noting that the PMI does not specify a passing score for these areas either. On your PMP Exam scorecard each area is broken down and given a rating of Proficient, Moderately Proficient, or Below Proficient.

As for the PMP Exam Simulators that you use for your training, most (including ours) do have a passing score, with the score of each area of expertise broken down further. A score of 75% is generally what everyone aims for. When practicing, aim for this score and you should be well prepared for the Exam and up for the challenge.

The PMP Exam is tough, but understanding how the exam questions and scoring are structured should help in preparation and your overall success. Good Luck!

 

How Many Hours of Study Are Required to Prepare for the PMP Certification Exam?

Setting aside the proper amount of time for studying for the PMP Certification Exam is extremely important.  Knowing how many hours you should be devoting to your studies will allow you to better focus your efforts and to be less likely to waste your valuable time. If you work full-time and have family obligations you have a limited number of hours, so maximize the most out of them. Keeping that in mind, let’s tackle the first question everybody asks when they start thinking about a PMP Certification: How many hours are required for preparing for the PMP Exam?

With a project management mindset, let’s start by identifying the minimum content that you have to cover during your study. We will base this on the training packages offered at PMCHAMPION.COM but the same can be applied to other online PMP Prep programs.

As a minimum, your prep time needs to cover the following:

  • PMP Video Trainings (review of the PMBOK Guide concepts)
  • Chapter Tests (12 Chapters + Code of Ethics)
  • Formula-Based Questions (at least do 200 tests)
  • Exam Simulations (do a minimum of 5 complete exam simulations)
  • Final Review before your PMP Exam

Based on this breakdown, we can then estimate how many hours each section would take:

PMP Video Trainings = 38 hours

The videos cover the various concepts, tools and techniques taken from material in the latest PMBOK Guide as well as some models, theories and formulas that are not covered in enough detail in the guide.  You will find these videos to be quite interesting and engaging. They are specifically designed to help you understand the concepts; not to just memorize them.  Each lesson averages 26 minutes and focuses on one PMP concept or process. You can watch them as often as you like to enhance your understanding. Each episode has a number that allows for easy sorting on your laptop or tablet, and the episodes in which the PMBOK Knowledge Areas are discussed are numbered following the PMBOK Guide’s chapter numbers, making your interaction with the PMBOK Guide a lot easier.

Chapter Tests = 8 hours

After watching the video trainings related to each chapter of the PMBOK Guide, a selection of 20-35 multiple-choice questions are provided along with detailed explanations and references, to help test your understanding and comprehension of the material covered in the chapter.  As a result, you will spend several hours answering more than 300 questions before moving on to the complete PMP Exam simulations.

PMP Formulas & Formula-Based Questions = 6 hours

Unless you have an engineering education and know your way around formulas and calculations, this is not something you can forfeit. This section will provide you with a deeper understanding of the mathematical concepts and formulas of the PMP Exam.  There are several formula guides to review and over 200 questions covering the 47 formulas, 19 numerical values and 27 important acronyms to know on the exam day.

PMP Exam Simulations = 24 hours

You need to take at least 5 exam simulations (4h exam duration plus some review time after each exam) designed to help you prepare and practice in a very realistic test environment prior to the big exam day.  These simulations not only help in testing the material but also assisting in learning to apply and develop effective test taking strategies.

Final Review = 4 hours

It is important to spend this amount of time after completing all the videos, chapter tests and exam simulations and review your weak areas thoroughly making sure you understand the concepts and highlight any trouble areas that require extra focus prior to the exam.

Total Required = 80 hours

These 80 hours are the minimum amount of time we recommend you spend to ensure a passing score on your first trial. Strategically focusing your efforts and following this format will not only help you to study and cover the material more effectively but also will help maximize your time wisely with regards to your other daily obligations.

Remember, this is for a self-paced study program. Most people cover the 80 hours in about 3 months (much like a 3-credit college course) but depending on how many hours you study every week you can do the same in 2 months, or in 4 months,… it’s really up to you !

And remember one thing: all the hard work and time you put into the PMP Exam will pay off for you in the end.

 

Five Tips to Successfully Pass the PMP Certification Exam

If you plan to take the PMP Exam in 2013 and you’ve made it part of your New Year Resolutions, properly preparing provides the best foundation. Remember these 5 key points when planning for your PMP Certification Exam:

1. Make A Study Plan.

  • Outline your daily and weekly obligations and make a schedule. Aim for 60-120 minutes of daily study time. Establishing a routine and sticking to it will help reduce distractions and allow you to get everything you need done.
  • Assign time limits and allow for breaks. Establishing time limits will prevent your brain from tiring and maximize your valuable time. Taking mini-breaks, and a full day away per week, will allow your brain to mentally recharge, help your focus and increase your knowledge retention.
  • Find out about the latest changes to the PMBOK Guide by reading our blog, specially if you plan to take the PMP exam after July 31, 2013 .

2. Understand the PMBOK Guide.

  • The PMBOK and PMP exam are based on the “ideal” project organization. Understand this and everything else will make sense over time.
  • Don’t just memorize. You need to understand the topics and be able to explain the interaction of the PMBOK processes.
  • Know the type of questions that will appear on the exam. Just reading the PMBOK Guide will not prepare you enough. There are several high quality PMP training packages that you can use as your resource base.
  • Use your Exam Simulations wisely. Many students find it useful to take 2 exam simulations toward the end of their preparation. This is a great way to determine if you are ready for the exam or if you should postpone the date.

3. Use the Right Study Material.

  • If you can make the time, use other resources in addition to the PMBOK. We recommend Rita Mulcahy’s book, “PMP Exam Prep 7th Edition”. It is the best selling (and most popular) book on the market to help you prepare for the PMP exam. Check these PMP books on our website.
  • Use the practice tests provided in your PMP training packages as benchmarks, not as the primary material for your preparation. You should use video-based and static material to study from. Space the tests out at regular intervals. Don’t be tempted to take another test right away if you did poorly on the last test.
  • Read the PMBOK in its entirety, at least once. Use it to validate your answers and to fill in any knowledge gaps after taking practice tests.
  • Buying second hand books is not necessarily a bad thing, but be careful. Use the most up-to-date materials. The PMP Exam content changes every 4 years.

4. Study in a Place Where You Can Concentrate.

  • Depending on your home situation, it might not be the best place to study due to continuous interruptions:
      • Conference Rooms at work after regular business hours
      • Local Library
      • Quiet Coffee Shops

5. Use the Right Test Taking Strategies

  • The correct answer is what PMI says it is, not necessarily what happened on your projects or in your organization. The PMBOK Guide is the reference for the correct answer. Even if you are an experienced project manager but you never read the PMBOK Guide, all answers in any given question might sound acceptable, but by exam time you need to be able to recognize the correct one.
  • Many exam questions include scenarios that involve the project being late or over-budget, or the project manager receiving bad news or being at the crossroad of decisions. Be prepared for answering that kind of question.
  • Many questions are asked in a very difficult manner, purposely to trip and confuse you. The key is to understand what they are REALLY asking and ignore the extraneous information provided. In some cases, the “REAL” question is contained in the very last sentence.
  • Answer the easy questions first. For example, answer all the theory questions first and MARK and SKIP the questions that require calculations and do them after.
  • Before you begin working on your calculations, write down and circle the question number associated with that calculation beside it. This will allow you to easily locate it on your worksheet when you go back to double check your work.
  • There will be times where several questions pass by and you feel that you did not quite know the answer to any of them. Don’t panic … this happens to everybody! Just relax, mark them for review and move on. If this happens too often, take a 5 minute break and come back.
  • Do a time check after completing a small subset of 20 questions to see if you are on pace. If you are planning on 10 minutes for breaks and 30 minutes for review, you will need to complete approximately 1 question per minute.
  • Never leave a question unanswered. The PMP exam does not penalize you with negative scores for giving wrong answers.

Some Other Quick Tips:

  • Plan to start studying at least 4 months out to avoid having to cram all of your preparation into a few weeks. However, don’t despair if you don’t have 4 months. Most preparations take 2 to 3 months.
  • Get to know the 47 PMP formulas, 19 numerical values and 27 acronyms that you are expected to know. Do a brain dump of the important formulas before every full length simulation exam.
  • There are a number of websites devoted to statistics, quality tools, net present value, time value of money, critical path and earned value management. Do a search in Google and utilize them early on in your PMP prep.
  • Set a higher goal to focus on and attain. This could be career related and it will keep you motivated.
  • For more tips visit http://www.pmchampion.com or download our app at http://www.pmchampion.mobi

 

Experience the Connection … It Will Benefit You!

In addition to all the resources available for your PMP Exam Training, an online PMP Forum is a great place to seek additional support from those who are in the process of preparing for their PMP certification. Is there a question you have that you just can’t find the answer to?  Or, are you interested in meeting another person in your geographic area who is currently preparing for the exam and interested in studying together?  Or, are you just interested in feeling more connected and a feel part of the process. PMP forums have been set up to address these issues as well as many more. They are extremely easy to use and navigate.  Outlined below are 5 reasons you need to log on to one today.

Five Benefits of On-line PMP Forums


  1. Allows you to share experiences and gain sage advice.  Learn from others mistakes, their insights, or get tips on studying, and what to look out for and keep in mind when preparing for the exam.  Find answers to any lingering questions or doubts; or provide suggestions and assistance to others.
  2. Keeps you focused and a great source of emotional support and guidance.  Many users find the forum to offer reassurance, feedback and inspiration from others’ postings.  If you are having trouble focussing or are feeling lost, utilizing the forum can help get you back on track and ready to learn.
  3. Valuable informational resource.  The forum contains a search engine to make it easy to look for additional information and research materials.  PMP trainers are also available to assist with finding answers and solutions to your questions or problems.
  4. Excellent networking tool – providing a great foundation to participate and engage with others within the project management industry and create your own community.  It is a great resource for finding others located near you to set up convenient study group sessions.
  5. Assists you in the learning process.  When you share your knowledge and opinions with others and create a dialogue, you are becoming immersed with the material and your familiarity with the concepts and terminology increases.  Thus, helping you better retain the material and improve your understanding, which should help lead to greater success preparing and passing the PMP Exam!

As part of our PMP training packages, we offer access to an on-line PMP Forum that we encourage you to utilize.  Check it out.  Many find it extremely useful when preparing for the PMP Exam.  Experience the connection, it will benefit you!

PMP Application Audit – Quick Tips

PMI Audit Tip # 1

1- If your Application is audited by the PMI

By applying to take the Project Management Professional (PMP) exam you also automatically agree to comply with the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) audit terms. The PMI clearly writes about this in the PMP Credentials Handbook.

  •  If you get audited you will be notified by Email: If your application does get pulled for an audit (after you make the payment) you will not be given a candidate ID to schedule the exam.
  • Information about the audit: PMI will give you information on how to proceed. Throughout the audit process you will be asked to send in hard copies of important information including your education and training. It must be sent to the Project Management Institute through express courier service or regular mail. Your documents will be verified once received.
  • If your audit goes well: You will be given your candidate ID through e-mail, so you can schedule your exam.
  • Audit duration: The entire audit process usually lasts around 10 days depending on how long it takes for information to be received. You can learn more about real-life situations from people who have been audited, in our PMP Forums accessed through our Members Area.
PMI Audit Tip # 2

2- Three ways to fail the audit

According to PMI there are three ways that you can fail an audit:

  • No Fault: Avoid this by making sure you have all your documentation before you submit your PMP Exam application. However, if for some reason, your education or experience cannot be confirmed, through no fault of your own, then PMI will still let you fail the audit. You may reapply as soon as you have your experience hours documented or confirmation of your degree.
  • Non-Compliance: If you are audited and you simply have too much going on in your life to participate in the audit, then you can choose not to give any audit responses. Similar to pleading “no contest,” the candidate is subject to a one year suspension period before he/she can apply for the PMP Exam again.
  • Fraud: It’s not worth it to lie on your application! If you provide false information on your PMP application and you fail an audit because of it, you will be permanently suspended from sitting for any PMI exams. And they truly do mean forever.
PMI Audit Tip # 3

3- Time of Audit Notification

The audits are completely random and you will be informed via email that you have been selected. This email is usually sent to you very shortly after you submit your application.

  • The Clock Stops Here: At this point, it is important to realize that once you are being audited the “clock stops”. By this we mean that normally you have 1 year following the submission of your application to take the PMP exam. But during the audit, this “clock stops” and does not continue until after your audit has been processed. So if your audit takes 6 weeks, then you have 1 year and 6 weeks to take the exam from the moment that you submitted the application.
  • Audit Package: After informing you that you are audited, the PMI will prepare the “audit package” for you. Log on to your account at PMI to find it.
PMI Audit Tip # 4

4- Audit Package tips

The audit package contains the details that you have submitted for each of your projects on your application. It also contains further instructions. You will now have to do the following:

  • Your Reference Contacts: In your application you named a primary contact person for each of the projects that you had worked on. Forward the appropriate section of the package to each of your primary contacts. They now have to verify that the information listed is correct, print and sign the document, put it into a sealed envelope and then put another signature across the sealed flap of the envelope. And yes, the PMI is very serious about this last one.
  • Copy of your 35 Contact Hours Certificate: Just print the certificate that we provide after you pass our Final Test to show that you have received 35 Contact Hours of training related to the 9 PMBOK Guide Knowledge Areas.
  • Copies of your degrees: You might also be asked to provide copies of your degrees.
PMI Audit Tip # 5

5- Submit your Audit Package soon

The sooner you submit your audit package, the sooner you’ll get your candidate ID. PMI is usually rather quick in processing your audit documents after you send them in. It can take as little as 4-10 days.

  • Wait for the confirmation email from PMI: After you send your audit package, you’ll receive an email of acceptance from the PMI and it will give you instructions on how to schedule an exam appointment.
  • Know the Prometric Centers near you: You will take the exam in one of the many Prometric test centers worldwide, and the Prometric website is also the place where you schedule the exam online.
  • Mark your Exam Day: There is usually no problem scheduling your exam on Prometric web site unless you want a Saturday appointment. Many people who have taken the exam recommend taking it on a Monday or Tuesday; you’ve had the weekend to rest up, and the day prior to testing to take care of loose study ends and be absolutely certain of your knowledge.
  • You have a year to fix your exam date: The year allotted between acceptance and actually taking the test is to allow for rescheduling should a complication arise. Once you are accepted, it really is best to go online and set your exam date right away. If you schedule it for about 2-4 months after you receive your acceptance, you’ll have time to study without having to cram.
  • Check your other obligations! Make sure your family obligations, birthday parties, business trips and your other obligations are taken into account before you fix the exam date.
PMI Audit Quick Tips

Quick Tips


Quick Tip 1

Our recommendation is that once you are ready to submit your application to PMI, submit it first to your primary contacts. Ask for their comments and if they don’t agree then you can make changes before you send it off.

Quick Tip 2

Start out by reading the PMP Credentials Handbook to gain a basic understanding of the audit process. Interested in learning more? Go to PMI website in the Career Development section.

Quick Tip 3

PMI audit selection process is completely random, so don’t waste your time listening to and worrying about the rumors of profiling or trigger conditions.

Quick Tip 4

PMI will inform you about their audit decision via email as soon as you make your payment. Should you fail the audit, PMI will refund the money that you paid for the PMP Exam minus an administrative fee of $100.

 

 

PMP Exam Application – Quick Tips

PMP Exam Tip # 1

1- If you know little about the PMP Exam

If you just heard about the PMP Certification Exam, we strongly recommend that you watch our Slideshow and take your time to read it over until you feel comfortable about the basics: Go to PMP Basics Slideshow »

  • Learn about the eligibility requirements to apply for the PMP exam
  • Make sure your Work Experience and Education makes you eligible for applying
  • Still hesitating between an Online PMP Course, a Classroom PMP Course and a PMP Bootcamp? Check one of our other blog articles on this topic.

PMP Exam Tip # 2

2- PMI takes the PMP Application process very seriously

One of PMI ways to ensure the integrity of PMP certification is by auditing applicants throughout their programs.

  • Make sure you read the questions carefully and do whatever is required when you fill out your application.
  • PMI takes its Code of Ethics very seriously and so should you. The more time you take to make sure your application is aligned with your experience, the better it will withstand an audit.
  • Take the time to document your experience clearly. Make sure you know where you stored your degree, training certificates, dates, documentation, contact names, addresses and phone numbers from your projects. Better yet, create a new folder on your computer with all background information that supports your application.

PMP Exam Tip # 3

3- Do not lie on your application !

If you provide false information on your PMP application and you fail an audit because of it, you will be permanently suspended from sitting for any PMI exams. And they truly do mean forever.

  • PM Experience Hours: You should use an Excel sheet to calculate your work experience hours. You can also save yourself lots of time, and purchase our PM Experience calculator for just $10. Check the link on this page.
  • Work Experience Description: When you submit your application you will be asked to provide contact persons for each and every project. Be sure to confirm their current email address and phone numbers. These contact persons could be your managers, co-workers, vendors, clients and any other applicable stakeholders from your past projects. Let them know you’re applying to take the PMP Exam. Refresh their memory about your projects by sharing with them what you’re submitting and ask them if they agree with what you’ve written. Make corrections if they disagree.
  • Education: Do not mention any degrees for which you can not provide a solid proof. A bachelor degree you started for 4 months but did not finish is not a degree you can brag about on the PMI application.
  • 35 Contact Hours: If you take any of our PMP courses (Gold, Platinum, Diamond) we will provide you with an official certificate of 35 Contact Hours that is approved by the PMI. On that certificate we indicate all the information you need for filling out this section of your PMI application. Just copy the exact information from the certificate and keep it in case of audit. Do not fill out this section of your application until you finish your training and pass our Final Test.

PMP Exam Tip # 4

4- Set aside 8 hours for filling out the PMI Application

Most candidates are amazed at the amount of time they spend filling out the PMI application. So be prepared: Mark down a Saturday or Sunday on your calendar to fill out the application.

  • You can fill out the PMI Application in steps: This approach works better for most candidates. Fill out the “Education” section and save your application. Then come back and continue the “Work Experience” section.
  • Printout out your application as you fill it out to make sure the content is accurate.
  • Finish the Education and Experience sections while you study. This way you can finish your application as soon as you pass our Final Test and download the 35 Contact Hours Certificate.

PMP Exam Tip # 5

5- Submit your PMI application after finishing your training

The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you’ll know if you are getting audited or not. The audit process takes time so start acting like a real project manager, and plan for it in your forecasts.

  • Wait for the confirmation email from PMI: After you apply for the exam, you’ll receive an email of acceptance from the PMI and it will give you instructions on how to schedule an exam appointment. You will know if you are getting audited as soon as you make the payment.
  • Know the Prometric Centers near you: You will take the exam in one of the many Prometric test centers worldwide, and the Prometric website is also the place where you schedule the exam online.
  • Mark your Exam Day: There is usually no problem scheduling your exam on Prometric web site unless you want a Saturday appointment. Many people who have taken the exam recommend taking it on a Monday or Tuesday; you’ve had the weekend to rest up, and the day prior to testing to take care of loose study ends and be absolutely certain of your knowledge.
  • You have a year to fix your exam date: The year allotted between acceptance and actually taking the test is to allow for rescheduling should a complication arise. Once you are accepted, it really is best to go online and set your exam date right away. If you schedule it for about 3-4 months after you receive your acceptance, you’ll have time to study without having to cram.
  • Check your other obligations! Make sure your family obligations, birthday ceremonies, business trips and your other obligations are taken into account before you fix the exam date.

PMP Exam Quick Tips

Quick Tips


Quick Tip 1

If you don’t have the necessary Work Experience to apply for the PMP exam, you might fulfill the requirements for the CAPM certification in Project Management. Interested in learning more about CAPM Exam? Check PMI web site for more: CAPM Exam »

Quick Tip 2

Our online PMP courses have a Final Test. This test has 25 multiple-choice questions, and you have to answer a minimum of 17 correctly to pass. You can take the Final Test as many times as you want, at no extra charge.

Quick Tip 3

Interested in getting a “PM Experience Calculator”? Check this link on our site: PM Experience Calculator »

Quick Tip 4

During the application process your chances of being audited are low but real (10% to 15%). They drop dramatically after certification. From the start focus on making sure your information and actions are aligned with passing an audit.

Quick Tip 5

Since the PMP Exam audit selection process is completely random, you shouldn’t waste your time listening to and worrying about the rumors of profiling or trigger conditions.

 

Can I take the PMP® Exam even if my title is not “Project Manager”?

Are you wondering if you can take the Project Management Professional (PMP) ® exam or not?

You might have various concerns regarding the PMP exam such as your designation, size of the organization and benefits of PMP certification in career development. Well, then here I am to address some of your concerns and help you develop an in-depth understanding about how the PMP certification can be beneficial for you.

YES! You can take the PMP exam even if your title is not project manager. To take the exam you need to have the appropriate authority and responsibility rather than the designation: The PMP certification is a credential for those who lead and direct project teams.

A professional with a PMP certification is recognized worldwide to handle projects with diligence and constructive approach. It certifies your expertise in project understanding, time management, risk management, quality control, leadership, budgeting, communication, documentation and integration. All of these skills add value to the organization.

If your role in the current organization involves project management and you have proficiency in handling projects and team related issues then you should definitely go for the PMP certification. It provides you with a strong foundation to effectively manage projects. The idea is not to concentrate on the title but on your responsibilities.

Even if your title is not anything close to a project manager, as long as your role involves handling different processes of a project you can go ahead with the PMP certification to be a an even more successful project manager.

According to Foote Partners LLC, an IT workforce research company, projects managed by people who are not PMP certified project managers have only 25% success rate in contrast to 75% success rate of projects handled by PMP certified managers.

The PMP certification offers immense benefits for you as well as your employer. As a general rule, holders of the PMP certificate have higher salaries, receive more job promotions and better job prospects. A PMP credential gives you the most sought after appreciation and visibility within your organization. Hence, your prospects of growth in your current job and getting a new job increase manifold after being a certified PMP.

Employers who hire PMPs are much more confident about the core competencies of their employees in project management. As a PMP you will be responsible for all aspects of a project such as demonstrating knowledge, understanding and leadership to deliver the project within time constraints, resources, scope and budget. Your role will not only be to lead and direct the project but also oversee project team members.

Here is another area where you can see the importance of role over title: On your application for the PMP certification you need to select one of the following roles:

  • Project Contributor
  • Supervisor
  • Manager
  • Project Leader
  • Project Manager
  • Educator
  • Consultant
  • Administrator
  • Other

So, you are not really asked for the TITLE, you are actually asked for your ROLE. If your role is not included among the options provided, then select ‘Other’.

Here are some more eligibility criteria for the PMP certification:

If you have a bachelor’s degree you must show a minimum of 4500 hours of project management experience or a minimum of 7500 years of experience otherwise. The experience should span across all the five process groups of initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling as well as closing. However, you do not need to have experience in every process group in every project that you have worked on.

You might have joined some projects midway or left some in the middle. All of those projects can be taken into account. However, some experience in all the process groups on any of your projects is required.

You also need to complete at least 35 hours of project management education. This is officially called “35 contact hours”. You will be required to put in the start date, end date, name of the course provider as well as name of the training course when filling in the application form. Pretty much any training that relates to the 9 knowledge areas of the PMBOK® Guide qualifies.

So does your role meet these criteria? Then go ahead and become a certified PMP! It is a step ahead towards enhancing your career and increasing your professional growth. Put yourself in the limelight, and maximize your earning potential without any further delay!

 

PMP Bootcamps vs. PMP Online Trainings

Every once in a while people ask us if taking a PMP Exam Bootcamp is a good option to prepare for the PMP Exam. While boot camps are designed to deliver noticeable results with a high-output of effort in a short period of time, the drawbacks of choosing this path often outweigh the benefits. That’s why most professionals do not recommend a Bootcamp for several reasons:

Reason #1: Boot camps are expensive.

Designed to be the ideal all-in-one exam preparation experience, thesheer cost of boot camps make them less-than-ideal for those of us on a budget. An intensive 4-day course can cost you several thousand dollars, depending on your location, time of year, and the included amenities. Essentially a pay-to-pass program, boot camps pump a large amount of students through a short-term, high-yield course. Boot camps may only be a viable option if time is more valuable to you than money. Otherwise you can find other ways to enjoy spending your cash. For example, if your PMP Boot camp is going to cost you $2700, here’s what you can get with the same amount of money (including an Online Training for the PMP exam):

Online PMP Course $300
iPad 2 $500
iPad Apps $100
Mini Laptop $700
HD TV 50″ $1100
Total $2700

Reason #2: Boot camps are inconvenient.

Unless you live in a large urban area where a course is offered, the 4-day boot camp will usually require travel and hotel accommodations. For most project managers with jobs and families, dropping their responsibilities for four days is not only inconvenient, it’s impossible. Work and life does not stand still (or even slow down!) just because you have an important exam to pass. Most project managers require – and work best with – a study schedule that fits with their lifestyle instead of interrupting it.

Reason #3: Boot camps focus on memorization.

As you are already aware, the PMP Exam is based on concepts from the PMBOK® Guide. Specific principles include communication, cost management, human resources, integration, procurement, quality, risk, scope, and time management. The material is broad and the data is often in-depth. So, how do boot camps ensure you thoroughly internalize and understand these concepts in just 4 days? Well, they just don’t

Reason #4: Boot camps have limited schedules and openings.

Most boot camps have limited space and are only able to offer sessions at certain times of the year. If you thought taking time off from work and your family would be difficult, try doing it around their schedule instead of your own. The only available times may be during a busy work crunch or stressful family situation. At best, this may be inconvenient, often it is impossible. Project managers with home and work commitments will usually have better success with an online study schedule that still allows them to fulfill their home and work responsibilities.

Reason #5: Boot camps focus on passing the exam rather than teaching concepts.

One of the secret ingredients to doing well on the PMP exam is understanding of project management principles, both individually and how they work together. While bootcamps may result in good pass rates, they do not ensure that project managers have gained any new skills that will help their career beyond exam day. Boot camps do not offer an education that will guide or assist you through your career. There is absolutely not enough time in 4 days to extensively cover in-depth concepts. Boot camps cannot offer an “Education” that will help you with project management beyond the exam.

Conclusion:

If your goal is to simply pass the PMP exam without learning new project management techniques to improve your skills, then a boot camp may be just what you’re looking for. However beware that companies hire you for a set of skills in managing projects effectively, not because you passed the exam. If you are genuinely interested in becoming a better project manager on the road to passing the PMP exam, then a more in-depth study approach is what you want. Successfully passing the PMP Exam and achieving lasting and positive effects on your project management skills involves regular study time for 8 to 16 weeks. If you still prefer the structure of a classroom schedule, try to select a training class that spans over several weeks (not just 4 consecutive days). These classes are also expensive but at least your self-study at home will complement the in-class lectures and further solidify the information. At the end, if you are unemployed, if you are single with no family obligations, and if you or your company have more money than you know what to do with, then a 4-day PMP boot camp will probably serve you well.