If you aspire to get PMP certified, you have to pass through various stages before earning your dream credential. Out of the many steps, one is applying for the PMP exam. It is conducted by PMI, which validates the information submitted by you, and if found eligible, you are sent further instructions to complete the application process.
The steps involved might confuse you. So, I have come up with an in-depth guide covering every step and various tips and tried to answer the question of how to apply for the PMP exam most easily.
You must check if you meet the eligibility criteria for the PMP exam. Based on your education level, the requirements vary.
If you hold a four-year degree:
- 35 hours of project management training
- 36 months of work experience in leading projects
If you hold a high school diploma or an associate degree:
- 35 hours of project management training
- 60 months of work experience in leading projects
Ensure Validity of your Work Experience
To ensure your experience counts, it is vitally essential that:
- Only professional project work is considered, and personal projects do not contribute to the experience.
- You must have essayed the role of a project manager as per the mentioned guidelines by PMI in the exam content outline.
- Also, the two projects should not overlap, which means if you worked on two projects simultaneously, then time spent on one of those two will be valid.
Ensure Validity of your Project Management Training
To ensure your training counts, you must complete courses and training that deal with project management learning. You can enroll in workshops, training, and courses by the following types of education providers:
- PMI official training partners
- PMI chapters
- Company-sponsored training
- Distance-learning courses
- University or college academic programs
- University or college continuing education programs
However, self-directed learning and meetings by PMI chapters do not contribute to your educational hours.
Steps to Apply for the PMP Exam
Step #1: Create an Account at pmi.org
Create an account at pmi.org. There is no need to enroll in their membership program to get certified, but it is recommended due to several benefits you get by becoming a member. The cost of membership is $129 per annum.
Once you become a member, you can access the e-PMBOK guide, learning materials, and various other resources to keep you updated in your chosen field. You can also pay an additional small fee to join your local chapter for better collaboration and opportunities in your area.
Step #2: Fill and Submit the Online Application
Once you have created your account, you can log in and access the online application. You first have to fill in information about yourself and your education and experience, deciding your eligibility. However, if you cannot fill it in one go, you can save it and complete it later.
Sections you need to fill:EDUCATION SECTION:
- Highest education level
- Name of institution
- Field and country of study
- Number of years attended
Along with academic information, your professional education information covering at least 35 hours of project management training needs to be mentioned. Also, for each training or course, you did, you have to provide the mentioned details:
- Course or training title
- Conducted by
- Start and end dates
- Qualifying hours
You have to mention your project handling experiences, starting with the most recent one. There should be no overlapping, and the entire months of one project will be considered at a time.
For every project, you need to provide the following information:
- Project name
- Job title
- Organization name
- Functional Reporting Area
- Industry of work
- The methodology used (traditional, Agile, or hybrid)
- Project budget
- Number of team members
- Project’s start and finish dates
- Project description (200-500 words)
Here, you must input basic information about yourself, such as the full name you want on your PMP certificate. You also can decide where you want to take the test and select accommodation if required.
Step #3: Wait for Confirmation Email
Once you apply, you have to wait for 5-10 days to receive a reply from PMI. It validates your application, and if you meet the eligibility criteria, PMI will send a confirmation email with instructions to pay the fees and schedule your exam. If you do not match their eligibility standards, you will be notified that you have been audited.
Step #4: If Selected for an Audit
You will be informed via email if selected for an audit. It is sent before you make the payment. During the auditing process, you need to submit documents like:
- Copies of certificates, diplomas, and authorized letters from institutes you did the training showcasing the total number of contact hours completed for project management education.
- Signatures of your supervisor(s) or manager(s) for the projects specified in the experience section.
You can send the required documents within 90 days of receiving an email. PMI, on receiving documents, will carry out the process within 5-7 days.
Step #5: Pay the Exam Fee
Once your eligibility is confirmed, you will get an email with instructions to proceed further. You have to pay the exam fees, which can be paid online.
Step #6: Prepare for the Exam
PMP exam is quite challenging to pass, and day by day, the competition is getting tougher. Hence you need to follow an exam preparation strategy to pass it. There are multiple ways to prepare for the exam, and here are a few ways that you can follow to ease the preparation process.
- Enroll in training programs by PMI authorized training partners. They teach you official study material that covers all exam domains in detail. It increases your confidence level, and sometimes, you also get access to the PMI exam’s cloned questions that help you prepare better for the final test.
- Practice is the only way to success. Apart from getting your concepts cleared, include as many practice tests in your exam preparation strategy. It will help you get acquainted with the actual exam pattern, prepare you to handle pressure, and train you to complete the exam within a specified timeframe.
Step #7: Appear for the Exam
You can take the PMP exam online in the proctored environment or nearby testing center. Upon completing the exam, you instantly receive your score. Also, a detailed report about your performance in each domain is provided. The test report is based on the four performance levels: above target, target, below target, and needs improvement.
If you cannot clear in the first attempt, you still have two more chances to appear. You get a total of 3 chances to take the test in a year once your application is approved.
After reading the above information, I hope you know what is to be done to apply for the PMP exam. PMP exam though not easy to crack, is not impossible also. If you prepare thoroughly and follow a strict study routine, you can pass the exam. If you are interested in taking an online exam, you can read more about it by clicking the links below:
PMP online proctored exam: Everything you need to know
PMP Exam: Frequently Asked Questions (with answers)