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Advice for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam and Related Certifications


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Title: Advice for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam and Related Certifications

Advice for the Project Management Professional
(PMP) Exam and Related Certifications
Introduction to Project Management Certification
  • Several organizations offer certification
    programs in project management
  • PMI offers the Project Management Professional
    (PMP) certification and Certificates of Added
    Qualification (CAQs)
  • CompTIA offers the IT Project certification
  • Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS) in Microsoft
  • International Project Management Association
    (IPMA) four-level program
  • Singapore Computer Society Certified IT Project

PMI Web Site Information on PMP Certification
  • The Project Management Institute (PMI?) is
    project managements leading global professional
    association, and as such, it administers a
    globally accepted and recognized, rigorous,
    examination-based, professional certification
    program of the highest caliber. The PMI
    Certification Program maintains ISO 9001
    certification in Quality Management Systems as
    evidence of its commitment to professional
  • If you enjoy the prestige that comes from being
    the best in your field, then you will appreciate
    the professional advantages derived from becoming
    a PMP. PMP certification is the professions most
    globally recognized and respected certification
    credential. The PMP designation following your
    name tells current and potential employers that
    you have a solid foundation of project management
    knowledge that you can readily apply in the
    workplace., March 2003
What Are the Requirements for Earning and
Maintaining PMP Certification?
  • Four main requirements for earning PMP
  • Having experience working in the field of project
    management. You need 4,500 hours with a
    baccalaureate degree and 7,500 without a degree
  • Documenting at least 35 contact hours of project
    management education
  • Agreeing to the PMP certificant and candidate
    agreement release statement
  • Completing the PMP Certification Exam Application
    and paying a fee of 555 for non-PMI members and
    405 for members (as of summer 2003)
  • Passing the PMP exam (answering at least 68.5 of
    the 200, 4-choice multiple-choice questions

Maintaining PMP Status
  • Starting in January 1999, PMI started a new
    professional development program for maintaining
    the PMP certification
  • You must earn at least 60 Professional Develop
    Units within a three-year cycle and adhere to
    PMIs PMP code of Professional Conduct
  • Consult PMIs Web site for more details

  • PMIs Certificates of Added Qualification (CAQ)
    Exams PMI launched a CAQ exam for the
    automotive industry in August 2000, and they plan
    to launch one in Information Systems Development
    in early 2002
  • You must have the PMP before taking the CAQ exam
  • The CAQ tests your knowledge of a particular
    industry, not of project management

CompTIAs IT Project Exam
  • In April 2001, CompTIA started offering the IT
    Project certification exam, and materials were
    purchased from the Gartner Institute
  • The multiple-choice exam is 2 hours long and
    costs 207 for non-members, 155 for members (as
    of summer 2003)
  • You must score at least 63 on this 84-question
  • There are no renewal requirements or
  • Detailed information is available from

What Is the Structure and Content of the PMP
Certification Exam?
  • The PMP exam is based on information from the
    entire project management body of knowledge
  • The PMBOK Guide provides an outline of
    information covered
  • Texts like Information Technology Project
    Management will help you learn and understand key

Table B-1. Breakdown of Questions on the PMP
Process Groups
Process Group Percent of Questions on PMP
Exam Initiating 8.5 Planning 23.5 Executing
23.5 Controlling 23 Closing 7 Professional
Responsibility 14.5
Note PMI changes the PMI exam periodically.
Consult their web site for detailed information.
Suggestions on Studying for the PMP Exam
  • Read through the PMBOK Guide and know it well
  • Study the Project Process Group/Activity Matrix
    by Knowledge Area and understand what each
    activity involves (see p. 68)
  • The basic PMP exam is not industry specific.
    PMIs CAQ exams are, but you must pass the PMP
    before taking them
  • The exam includes conceptual, application, and
    evaluative questions. Be ready for each type

How Should You Prepare for the PMP Exam?
  • Know your own learning and testing style and use
    whatever resources and study techniques work best
    for you
  • Many people form study groups to provide support
    and peer pressure
  • Focus on scope, time, and cost management
  • You only need 68.5, and all 200 questions are
    multiple-choice with 4 choices. It is easy to
    over study, but if you fail, you need to pay to
    retake the exam

Ten Tips for Taking the PMP Exam
  • Take the tutorial on how to use the automated
    testing software. Use the marking feature to get
    an idea of how you are doing and to know which
    questions to review
  • You have 4.5 hours for the exam, so you should
    have plenty of time, but plan a strategy like
    answering short questions first and going back to
    marked questions
  • Some people believe it is better to change
    answers you were unsure of the first time
  • Do not try to read more into the questions than
    what is stated
  • Eliminate obviously wrong alternatives, then
    choose among the remaining choices

Ten Tips for Taking the PMP Exam
  • Memorize calculations like earned value
  • Before starting the test, write down important
    things you memorized, like formulas, on the paper
  • Read all questions carefully, especially the ones
    that present scenarios followed by several
  • Be wary of alternatives that include the words
    always, never, only, must, and completely
  • Take a short break after about 2 hours and eat a

Sample PMP Questions
  • Answer the 20 sample questions on pages 559-563
    of your text. If you score about 70 within 20
    minutes, youre probably ready to take the exam
  • There are many other study tools available. See
    the suggested readings on pp. 568-569. Be sure
    to review the free sample questions from PMI
  • There are sample online tests you can download
    from sites like
  • Search for PMP to find other references

Sample IT Project Questions
  • Answer the 10 sample questions on pages 564-566
    of your text
  • Note that these questions include matching,
    sequencing, and selecting more than one answer
    for some questions
  • Go to for more detailed
    information on this and other CompTIA exams

Final Advice on PMP Certification and Project
Management in General
  • Project management is a valuable skill,
    especially in the IT field
  • PMP and other certifications can help advance
    your career
  • Project management also helps you manage and
    enjoy your personal life