Blog, Project Management

How to Get a PMP Certification (Project Management Professional)

This is a translated version of the original article in Bahasa Indonesia that you can find here.

PMP (Project Management Professional) is one of the most prestigious certification for a project manager. It is sought after by employers as it show an expert level of understanding in the theory and implementation of project management best practices. In this article, I will walk you through the benefit and process of getting this certification.

BENEFIT

There are numerous benefit that you can gain from having a PMP certification under your belt, especially when you are pursuing a career in project management..

During your preparation, you will learn a lot more about project management. You will be exposed to basic theories you didn’t know or thought you didn’t need in your daily work. I personally experience this wih risk management, formerly I didn’t know and never use it, to be honest, even after PMP I didn’t use it like it was described on the book, but at least I now consider it when planning a project.

An obvious benefit is how it will add value to your CV and LinkedIn profile, having that PMP ceritification written there will increase your attractiveness for future employers. Some vacancy even specifically require applicants to have a PMP, while other consider it an added value. Even if it wasn’t mentioned, having a PMP will for sure increase your likelihood to be accepted.

Even if you are not currently looking for a job, having a certification might help you get that promotion you’ve been yearning for, or the trust of your superior, or even a salary raise for leveling up.

The other benefit comes if you are joining you local PMI chapter. These chapters usually have events where you can grow your network with other project managers.

REGISTRATION

You can register for the certification exam at PMI’s website at www.pmi.org.

Before you register, make sure that you met the eligibility requirement for taking the exam, the requirements as stated on PMI’s website are:

  • A four-year degree
  • 36 months leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

— OR —

  • A high school diploma or an associate’s degree (or global equivalent)
  • 60 months leading projects
  • 35 hours of project management education/training or CAPM® Certification

The registration fee differs whether you are a PMI member or non-member, a member will get additional discount. You can also register to be a PMI member at the same time as registering for the exam.

The examination fee for PMI members are $405, while for non-PMI members are $555. If you wish to also become a PMI member, that $555 will also cover your membership fee for one year. You will still have to pay $555 even if you don’t want to be a PMI member.

PASSING GRADE

To pass this certification, there were no specific passing grade, but from people’s experience, the passing grade is around 60% of correct answer.

In your PMP graded, there will be competency categories for each phases of the project. There will also be an overall grade. The competence was graded in scales of Needs Improvement, Below Target, Target, and Above Target. I got below target monitoring and controlling, but my overall grade was Above Target and I passed the exam.

PREPARATION

To prepare yourself for the test, the absolutely must thing you must do is mock exam! It’s very crucial to do as much mock exam as possible, don’t depend on a single book, website, or application, the more the better. There are a lot of websites and apps that offers PMP mock exam. My favorite one from when I was preparing for the exam was “PMP Practice Test 2018 Edition“, I loke this app because not only that it has huge question bank, it also gives explanation on why an aswer is wrong, and if you get a question wrong, it will ask you that question once in a while until you got it right every time. We can also set how long and how many question there will be in a practice session.

Do I need to read the PMBOK? The formal answer is: you do. The practical answer is: you don’t. I honestly didn’t read the PMBOK cover-to-cover, I only read section I’m weak at. I highly recommend you read prep exam books instead, one of the best is PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy.

Other than learning by yourself, there are also some courses that offers PMP exam preparation. On these courses there will be trainers and training program to help you get your preparation more structured. If you are unsure where to begin, these prep courses might be a good start.

THE EXAM

The PMP exam is 4 hours, seriously. In this 4 hours, you are expected to answer 200 multiple choice questions. When I did my exam, it was done online on a computer. During the exam, you can go out to relief yourself or get some refreshments, but the exam time won’t be paused.

RE-EXAMINATION

If things didn’t go your way and you failed your attempt, you can get a re-examination after three months. There will be an additional $275 fee for re-examination for PMI members, for non-PMI member it is $375.

RENEWAL

The certificate is good for three years and afterwards you can renew it. To renew the certificate, you need to get certain points and pay the renewal fee.

The point needed for renewal is called PDU, to be eligible for a renewal, you need to collect and report 60 points of PDU. You can get PDU by claiming it to PMI’s website for your project management-related activities. This can be working professionally, reading book, attending seminars, completing courses, doing sharing session, teaching other people, etc.


That’s all for today’s sharing about PMP certification, I hope it’s clear and can inspire and motivate you to pursue this certification. If you have any question, feel free to leave a comment or contact me through my social media.

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