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How to get a PMP certification

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This articule explain the process and steps to get PMP certification form PMI, since making the decision to getting the certification.

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How to get a PMP certification

  1. 1. Adela Santana Z PMP November 2015 How to get a PMP certification This article explains basic steps I followed to obtain the PMP certification based on my knowledge, my experience, some suggestions from people who already had it and information I got surfing. The first step is set up a goal, it could be personal or professional, but you need any motivation, something that gives you the courage and the need to get through with this. The second step is to read the handbook for PMP where you will find all the requisites you must complete. Here is important also to check dates for exams, so you can get an idea the time you want to take to prepare everything. There are always many options, so decide when it is best for you with a realistic estimation of the time you will dedicate to preparation. Be aware of the deadline to schedule the exam. Third, make a plan! This part is very important. Many people have not a plan and at the end, they will be in a hurry trying to complete everything, depending on what requisites they are missing. The fourth step is get in action. This part is where you will read, study, research and get all the components you need. You need discipline and be constant because as everything, if you do not have discipline, you will lose time and results will take more time. Now, I want to explain how I prepared myself for the exam. I decide to take the exam so I registered on PMI.org to see the date and be updated of the last news abut project management. In that moment I did not buy the subscription because I had taken already a preparation course and I had PMBOK, but if you have do not had those things I recommend you to take the subscription. With the subscription you will receive for “free” the PMBOK. And you are asking you what about the course? Depending on your way of learning, it could be a very good option. The courses explain you every chapter and give you some additional material and exam examples that can help you to practice and simulated the exam, so you will be better prepared. Also, the course force you to read the book and the trick is you will see all the other topics that are in the exam but not on the book. Yes, it is! The exam always ask for some topics as needs theories or motivation theories that are not detailed or well explained on the book. After registering at PMI I applied for the certification, which means to fill up the form on line with your personal and professional data. The key here is that the projects you register cannot have the same period, even if you develop 2 projects simultaneously, you should register one of them for that period. You need to know what activities, process and time you developed on each project. The form account your experience hours and when you reach the requisite automatically you continue with the
  2. 2. Adela Santana Z PMP November 2015 next step. My advice is to start with the oldest because you only are allowed to register experience form 7 years ago. Then, you latest experience can be used to earn PDU for keeping the certification. If your application is approved, you will receive an e-mail confirmation. There is a probability they ask for an auditory. If that happens, you will need documentation to support your experience. The next step is reading, practicing, researching. In my case, I had to read again the PMBOK for 2 reasons: first, there was a new edition and second, it had been 4 years since I did the course. Anyway, you must read the PMBOK! Other resources are friends who already have taken the exam, books written focused in preparation for the exam and web sites that offer you questions and exam simulators. Of course, it is supposed you have already the experience and knowledge, even for formal or empirical learning. There are many free offers online but limited time, so what I did was take some free options that looked good but in different time, so I could practice with each one in different periods. And I really recommend you take at least 2 complete exam simulators. You have to be prepared for the 4 hours and time your race. On other hand, I also borrowed a book for a friend that have an extract and gives you some tips of every chapter. That book complement my reading of the PMBOK because it also had questions on every chapter to evaluate your level of preparation. In this way, I answered them before and after reading the chapter. The main fact on practicing is not cheating. Be honest with you and answer the questions in the form and time that are asked. It is the sole way you have know what are the areas or process you need to improve or be focused. An important fact of all these activities is I did them every day after work for six weeks approximately. At the beginning it was very hard for me because I was tired and got sleepy on the second page, but then I started to use some tools, as taking a short nap (20 or 30 minutes) before start, drinking a cup of coffee or just fighting with the desire of sleep! My goal was to complete a chapter in 2 days as maximum, knowing that 2 days for me were just between 6 and 8 hours. Finally, I completed my study journey and I reached the exam day. My advice is not try to keep studying that day, be calm and do not drink to much water before and any during the exam. The rule is you cannot bring anything to the exam, just your ID and maybe a coat in case the room be too cold. And trust me, you will need all the time to the exam. During the exam be focused on yourself and do not being distracted for the noise or movements that the other people do. Review the time, not every second or minute,
  3. 3. Adela Santana Z PMP November 2015 but do it every 50 questions maybe, so you can see if you are taking too much time answering the questions. I tried to answer 100 questions per hour and I had 5 minutes to review. Be careful of the tricky questions, they put a lot of things just to distract you, so you have to identify the relevance elements and focus on those to solve the problems and answer the questions. And remember formulas at the beginning, I suggest to write them down on one of the paper they give you. Then, you have to wait to receive the e-mail where they congrats you for obtaining the certification and that’s all! J

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