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  1. 1. 1 Appendix B: Advice for the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam and Related Certifications MELJUN CORTESMELJUN CORTES
  2. 2. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 2 Introduction to Project Management Certification Programs • 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 Project – International Project Management Association (IPMA) four-level program – Singapore Computer Society Certified IT Project Manager
  3. 3. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 3 PMI Web Site Information on PMP Certification* *, March 2003 • The Project Management Institute (PMI®) is project management’s 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 excellence. • 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 profession’s 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.
  4. 4. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 4 What Are the Requirements for Earning and Maintaining PMP Certification? • Four main requirements for earning PMP certification: – 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 correctly)
  5. 5. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 5 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 PMI’s PMP code of Professional Conduct • Consult PMI’s Web site for more details (
  6. 6. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 6 PMI CAQ Exams • PMI’s 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
  7. 7. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 7 CompTIA’s 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 exam • There are no renewal requirements or prerequisites • Detailed information is available from
  8. 8. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 8 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 topics
  9. 9. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 9 Table B-1. Breakdown of Questions on the PMP Process Groups Note: PMI changes the PMI exam periodically. Consult their web site for detailed information. 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
  10. 10. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 10 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. PMI’s 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
  11. 11. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 11 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
  12. 12. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 12 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
  13. 13. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 13 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 provided • Read all questions carefully, especially the ones that present scenarios followed by several questions • 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 snack
  14. 14. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 14 Sample PMP Questions • Answer the 20 sample questions on pages 559-563 of your text. If you score about 70% within 20 minutes, you’re 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
  15. 15. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 15 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
  16. 16. IT Project Management, Third Edition Appendix B 16 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