Study Hard: How to Pass the Project Management Professional Exam

Tatiana Sinitsyna
Sep 20, 2018 · 6 min read

Professional qualification enhancement is a natural occurrence in the career of any self-respecting specialist. It also includes the confirmation of — there is one stiff examination called Project Manager Professional. But how to get it right and why is it important to have a PMP certification?

Today we offer you to get acquainted with this PMP exam, to learn its main benefits and to understand the features and nuances of preparation and the further its passing.

Project Management Professional: what is it?

First, let’s analyze the essence of such thing as PMP — it is a kind of exam that allows a specialist to confirm his professional knowledge and competence and provides an opportunity to obtain the official certificate supervised by Project Management Institute (PMI).

Project Management Professional certificate is an internationally recognized document that gives a project manager the possibility to land an upmarket position practically in every industry. It opens the door to the membership of one of the largest prestigious professional project manager community.

To be honest, not so many project managers are bent on this challenge because of the rather complex approach to training and longstanding difficult testing. However, practice shows that the receipt of this certificate promises a lot of useful things to the future career.

PMP has the following benefits:

  • The ability to perform a qualitative test of your own knowledge in the subject area and to identify the most vulnerable points of competence. It will allow you to improve your skills and rise in your own opinion as a real professional!
  • Raising your own profile in the labor market. Undoubtedly, project managers with this certificate are highly valued by large and successful companies and can receive not only decent work but also a high salary, in comparison with other specialists without PMP certificate.
  • You will be able to become a part of a huge professional community and to participate in the improvement of project management standards and the development of new approaches and management techniques.

It’s not easy but it worth: PMP examination requirements

As we have already mentioned before, the Project Management Professional exam is a rather complicated process. Anyway, if you are a confident person and you are ready to make efforts to achieve a worthy goal — dare for it and do not give up in your decision!

Step 1. Selection criteria

A raw enthusiasm is not enough: there are some absolute requirements for PMP passing that you should certainly meet:

  • possession of a document certifying a higher education (on the basis of a four-year program or an alternative graduate degree)
  • experience in project management specific education (at least 35 hours in the projects certified in PMI such as Project Development Unit and other)
  • at least 36 months of working experience in project management. There are two ways of acting: if an applicant has a higher education, he should have at least 4500 working hours during the last 3 years; in case of the absence of higher education an applicant should have at least 7500 working hours during the last 5 years.

Besides, every specialist, who is going to pass PMP exam, has to file the application through the PMI official website. Then an applicant receives the answer and the email with the necessary information about the exam, nearest point of exam passing and the code of access to the exam. After that an applicant should make registrate himself on the date of the exam.

Step 2. Preparation & Trials

There are some some basic figures about PMP:

  1. The Project Management Professional test includes 200 questions and 4 hours of its passing.
  2. Every applicant has 3 attempts to pass this test, and in case of the third failure he will have to expect the next year to realize three new trials.
  3. It is also important to note that the price for PMP certification is $ 405 (PMI members) and $ 555 for persons who are not members of PMI — that’s rather expensive, but believe us, these costs can pay off well from the first salary as a certified project manager!

It may look obvious to say that every man approaches to the exam preparation in his personal way and there is no any single method to do this. Nevertheless, PMP exam has its own specialties and according to them it is possible to give the future applicants some useful tips how to manage it well.

Step 3. Useful tips how to do PMP exam properly

Advice 1 — The most important is PMBOK!

During the time of your preparation to the Project Management Professional exam your handbook should become PMBOK, what stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. It is a kind of guide of the exam, which contains the main provisions, concepts, descriptions of modern practices and the most relevant changes concerning the rules and requirements of project managers’ work. We recommend you to provide yourself with the latest relevant version of this document and canvass it fully!

Advice 2 — See the past in order to get the success in future!

You should mandatorily review the PMP tests of previous years in order to understand what the questions represent themselves. Try to spend at least 2 hours a day for test solutions with obligatory 10 minute-breaks on every 50 minutes of training to keep your mind lucid and your reflexes good.

Advice 3 — More useful literature!

Nowadays there is a plenty of great and profitable study books and educational materials for PMP examination. From our point of view, it is good to have a look at such a learning guide as “” written by R. Mulcahy (9th latest version) — this book provides all the necessary information about the exam, its rules and specific features. Also we would like you to read that are concerned with project management and that contain working experience and good examples of problem solving.

Advice 4 — Don’t forget about digital preparation!

For the most qualitative preparation for such a complex exam, it is necessary to involve all channels of information perceiving. So we would recommend you to watch the related videos, for example, Youtube channels like and — there you can find a lot of informative tips and professional advice how to manage PMP challenge. Also you can try many mobile apps that are quite helpful for the exam preparation: (on Android basis), (for AppStore) and many others.

Advice 5 — Be concentrated & get enough sleep!

It is a good practice to make a day-off for yourself on the eve of the exam. It is critical to take a step back for the stressful preparation and try not to think about the coming test. We would like you to relax the whole day, watch your favourite films or go walking — it all will allow you to acquire new strength and build yourself up. The next day is going to be hard but the eve should be smooth and lightweight.

Conclusion

In our present article we succeeded to learn the main points related to Project Management Professional exam, as well as talk about all the intricacies of preparing for it. Now you are savvy about the PMP and you really know why it is worth passing and the receiving of the official certificate — it is salutary for your project manager’s career!

We would appreciate your contribution to this topic — if you have the experience of PMP certification, please write to us about it in the comments there.

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Tatiana Sinitsyna

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