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PMP® Certification: 
Overview, Study process, 
Lessons Learned 
Irina Zaporozhets, PMP, CSM
Contents 
• About the Project Management Institute (PMI.org) 
• Existing PMP Certifications, Stats 
• Requirements for app...
Project Management Institute (PMI) 
• Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's leading not-profit 
professional m...
Existing PMI Certifications 
• Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® 
• Project Management Professional (PMP)®...
Requirements for applying to PMP 
• A secondary degree (high school diploma, etc.) with 
at least 5 years of project manag...
Filling the application form 
• Register at pmi.org and fill in the contact 
information 
• Spend some time to list all pr...
Exam content 
• Exam consists of 200 situational questions. Distribution between Process 
groups: 
 Initiating the projec...
Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned 
• You need to clearly state WHY do you need to pass the exam to keep 
yourself m...
Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned 
cont. 
• Do no jump from topic to topic, spend some time to read the material 
f...
Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned 
cont 2. 
• Take full length exam simulations (ensure you score at least 75-80%) ...
My study process (3,5 months) 
1. Read RITA chapter by chapter with the reference to PMBOK5 
2. Evaluate progress of infor...
Exam Day Hints 
• Take a break before the exam day. Do NOT study! 
• Sustain a positive feeling and a good health (have a ...
R.E.P.s (Registered Education Providers) – 
My list 
• http://www.pmstudy.com/ 
• Offers Free 200 Question Simulated PMP®/...
PMP vs. CSM? 
If you are choosing between PMP and CSM – take both but PMP first . The trick is 
that PMI certifications a...
GOOD LUCK! 
It takes one woman nine months to have 
a baby. It cannot be done in one month 
by nine women
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PMP Certification: Overview, Study process, Lessons Learned

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The aim of this presentation is to give an overview for PMP certification, study process and my lessons learned.
I've completed my challenge in gaining PMP credential in April 2014 and I will be happy to share my knowledge with others. Feel free to ask me if you have any questions.

Published in: Leadership & Management
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PMP Certification: Overview, Study process, Lessons Learned

  1. 1. PMP® Certification: Overview, Study process, Lessons Learned Irina Zaporozhets, PMP, CSM
  2. 2. Contents • About the Project Management Institute (PMI.org) • Existing PMP Certifications, Stats • Requirements for applying to PMP • Filling the application form at PMI.org • Exam content • Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned • My study process • Exam Day Hints
  3. 3. Project Management Institute (PMI) • Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world's leading not-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession • Main direction - development of standards, research, education, publication, networking-opportunities in local chapters, hosting conferences and training seminars, and maintaining multiple credentials in project management • PMI's standards for project, program and portfolio management are the most widely recognized standards in the profession • The Project Management Professional (PMP)® is the most important globally-recognized and independently validated credential for project managers, perfect if you have demonstrated experience and competence in leading project teams.
  4. 4. Existing PMI Certifications • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® • Project Management Professional (PMP)® • Program Management Professional (PgMP)® • Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP)SM • PMI Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® • PMI Scheduling Professional (PMI-SP)® • PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP)® • PMI Professional in Business Analysis (PMI-PBA)SM
  5. 5. Requirements for applying to PMP • A secondary degree (high school diploma, etc.) with at least 5 years of project management experience, with 7,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. • A four-year degree (bachelor’s degree) and at least 3 years of project management experience, with 4,500 hours leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education. Note: PMI has a comprehensive PMP handbook with exam details and requirements - http://www.pmi.org/certification/~/media/pdf/certifications/pdc_pmph andbook.ashx
  6. 6. Filling the application form • Register at pmi.org and fill in the contact information • Spend some time to list all projects you want to register (during the last 3 years) • Specify your role in the project (which can be different from your job title, e.g. Project Leader, Project Coordinator, Project Expeditor, etc.) • For each project specify name and contact info of your supervisor • Provide a short description of the project, its goals, deliverables and your personal role • Fill in hours spent in each process group for the project • Note: overlapping projects are not summarized
  7. 7. Exam content • Exam consists of 200 situational questions. Distribution between Process groups:  Initiating the project (13%)  Planning the project (24%)  Executing the project (30%)  Monitoring and controlling the project (25%)  Closing the project (8%) • Average time to study PMBOK process groups, knowledge areas and processes - 3-4 months • 4 hours is given to answer 200 questions • Passing score - 61 % (106 questions correct out of 175 scored questions)
  8. 8. Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned • You need to clearly state WHY do you need to pass the exam to keep yourself motivated – make a list of 5 why-items • Treat it as a project!  with all the relevant phases – from initiation through closing • Find and purchase a study book • I used this one - PMP® Exam Prep 8th Edition by Rita Mulcahy (http://www.rmcproject.com/ ) • Register at pmi.org and download PMBOK 5th edition • Review PMBOK and Rita book for its content and sections overview • Review online course providers for the full exam simulation • Prepare a study plan, create a schedule of your study time and exam “dry runs” • Set milestones (yes, treat it as a project!) • Track your progress, evaluate your knowledge by answering test questions • Rita book has a section with questions after each chapter • Repeat sections (chapters) where you have weak results
  9. 9. Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned cont. • Do no jump from topic to topic, spend some time to read the material fully (at least in Rita book). • Read PMBOK thoroughly, in each process try to logically remember what inputs, tools &techniques and outputs are used • Read PMI Code of Ethics, many questions refer to statements from it • Appendix F in PMBOK contains Definitions list • Use online materials (podcasts, online courses, mobile apps) • Use exam simulators (desktop software or websites) • Memorize and understand all formulas • If you have lack of experience working in large scale project, spend a significant amount of time visualizing using the tools and processes. It would help you prepare for the situation based questions on the exam • Many materials in internet are already outdated and refer to older versions of PMBOK, make sure you use the latest ones referring to PMBOK 5th edition • Use only Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.) listed on pmi.org register
  10. 10. Study process, Pitfalls, Lessons Learned cont 2. • Take full length exam simulations (ensure you score at least 75-80%) • Analyze the results of your practice exams to identify where you need to focus your study efforts. • Get PMI membership. The cost of the exam is less for members. Also PMI provides a great virtual library with PMP exam prep books available • Exam questions are asked from the perspective of a large international projects • There may be extra information in the question in order to confuse the applicant • Be prepared for the calculations, many questions require to apply formulas
  11. 11. My study process (3,5 months) 1. Read RITA chapter by chapter with the reference to PMBOK5 2. Evaluate progress of information learned by answering the test questions in the end of each chapter 3. Review sections/sub-sections where my answers were wrong 4. Review unclear sections in RITA with the reference to PMBOK5 5. Register in pmi.org 6. Buy a membership in pmi.org (review of exam rules, requirements, experience, etc. - there is PMP handbook with all this info) 7. Purchase a software for gaining 30 contact hours (learning hours) + exam simulations 8. Mostly I studied from RITA , and reviewed a purchased course 9. Test run for full exam simulation (4 hours) 10. Identify weak areas and review them once again in RITA and PMBOK5 11. During RITA study I made a list of unknown definitions 12. Review the list of available exam questions (not a full length 4 hours long) 13. Another test run for full length exam simulation 14. Weak areas identification - review in RITA and PMBOK5 15. Review questions (1000+) on the PMI.org library (free access to library for PMI members) 16. Another full length exam (once I see that the final score is 75-85% I think it is good enough) for passing 61% needed 17. Fill in the application at pmi.org 18. 5+ business days for approval from pmi.org 19. Pay for the exam 20. Schedule a date. Do NOT read a lot the day prior the exam 21. Celebrate the successful passing! 
  12. 12. Exam Day Hints • Take a break before the exam day. Do NOT study! • Sustain a positive feeling and a good health (have a good sleep, eat heathy food) • Prepare your ID beforehand, prometric testing provider will identify you only by passport • You are not allowed to take anything to the exam room. Do not spend time preparing notes • You are allowed to request a language aid (should be requested during the application at pmi.org) • You can take a short break during 4 hours of the exam but timer is not stopped • Revise formulas before going to the exam room. Write them down from your memory after you review the tutorial of the exam (first 15 minutes) • During the exam use paper notebook provided, use “mark for review” function in a software • Take short breaks for your eyes. After 30 minutes of constant reading you may feel tired
  13. 13. R.E.P.s (Registered Education Providers) – My list • http://www.pmstudy.com/ • Offers Free 200 Question Simulated PMP®/CAPM® Exam Practice Test • Paid course provides 35 Contact hours + exam simulator • http://www.pmcampus.com/ • Paid course provides 35 Contact hours • Paid full-length exam simulator • https://www.project-management-prepcast.com • Paid course provides 35 Contact hours • Many free resources and podcasts • Free exam questions
  14. 14. PMP vs. CSM? If you are choosing between PMP and CSM – take both but PMP first . The trick is that PMI certifications are not based on one specific methodology, they’re flexible and adaptable and provide a base and a structure for your knowledge PMP CSM Exam content Checks the extensive knowledge of PMI PMBOK standard as well as PM experience Checks the knowledge of scrum principles and attributes Requirements to apply for the exam 3 years of full cycle project management experience 2 days training and trainer’s (CST) approval Time to prepare for the exam 2-4 months 2 weeks Cost 555$ 1050 $ # of questions 200 situational multiple-choice questions (4 hours) 35 multiple-choice questions (30-60 min) Credibility Worldwide recognizable certification, can be applied in many industries Well known all over the world, very popular, used widely in software development
  15. 15. GOOD LUCK! It takes one woman nine months to have a baby. It cannot be done in one month by nine women

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