THE PMP EXAM APPLICATION PROCESS

As you may know, to appear for the PMP examination after completing the prequisites as per the PMI, you should go for the application process. Here, we are going to familiarize you with the process of filling the application in 2 parts.
Part -I is about the FAQ's related to application process and the second part is about filling the application process.
Let's look into Part-I first.

PART - I: FAQ's related to the Application Process

If you are eligible for the PMP certification exam and have decided to take up the exam, you can start working on the application process. Filling up the application form is a tedious process by itself. PMP experts recommend the use of best practice of gathering relevant information regarding the PMP application process before filling up the application. This could help you in avoiding a lot of errors and increasing your chances of receiving an approval for the application.

How long does PMI take to process the submitted application?

The application processing timeline by PMI is indicated below:

  • Online application: 5 business days
  • Paper application: 10 business days (for individuals)
  • For corporations: 20 business days

To get more information on paper based testing, you can also write to pbtexams@pmi.org

Once I start working on the online application, do I have a deadline to complete it?

Once you start working on the application, you have only 90 days’ time to complete it. You can edit and save any unfinished work but you cannot cancel your online application.

Is the examination online (computer based) or paper based?

Both the options are available. However, paper based test options are available in the following situations only

  • Candidates who reside in locations which are at least 300 kms from a Prometric Computer Based Test Centre
  • Employers who are keen on conducting the PMP exam for a group of their employees. (In such a case there is no restriction on the distance. However, only employees of the organization would be allowed to take up the test at this paper based testing center).

Can I get a high level overview of the Application Process?

At a high level, the PMP application process involves the following steps:

  • 1. You submit an online application for the exam to PMI
  • 2. PMI reviews the application for completeness and sends you an approval to submit the fee for the exam. This approval is valid for one year from the date of receiving the approval.
  • 3. Once you have paid the fee for the exam, PMI sends you an email indicating any one of the following steps

a) Examination scheduling instructions to help you to schedule your examination

b) Application is randomly selected for PMI’s audit process

  • If you receive scheduling instructions from PMI, you can go ahead and schedule the exam with the Prometric test centers
  • If your application is selected for audit, PMI provides you with the follow up instructions to comply with the audit.
  • Please note that, the application may go for auditing before the payment of exam fee or even after payment of exam fee.

You do not need to be a member of PMI to apply for the exam. However, PMI membership costs $129.

PART – II: Filling in your PMP application

The PMP examination is a tough exam which tests your knowledge in the profession and your ability to apply them in real life scenarios. The first step towards the PMP examination is to get your application approved. This requires the aspirants to provide accurate details while filling in the online PMP application.

PMP experts recommend the best practice of gathering as much information regarding the PMP application process as possible, before actually filling in the application. PMP experts also recommend the use of an excel sheet which records the number of hours spent on each process group in the projects that are considered for the application. This helps the aspirants in accurately filling in the details besides ensuring that they do not miss out on any important ones.

There are three main sections in the application. The first section is about personal details like name, contact details, address, education, name you want to have in the certificate after clearing.

The second section is about the project management experience and the third section is about project management education detailing the institute name, start and end date and number of hours about the education.

Section 1 and section 3 are simple to fill. Only challenge you may face is filling section 2 which is project management experience.

Project management experience sections asks for the project name, start date, end date, your role, industry, your title, organization name and its address, the contact name , their details and the relationship with them. Once again these are simple to fill. The next heading is about project details where in you need to fill the contributed hours.

This link (please provide the link) helps in you in filling the number of hours across all the five domains and all the projects.

Once you fill in this excel sheet, it is easy to translate the same into an online application. Here is a brief about the experience sheet.

Experience sheet:

The online application has a sub section 'Domain areas ' under Add / Edit Experience for filling in the number of hours for the various projects that were considered for your PMP application. For each project that you have worked on during your career, you need to document the hours you have spent in each of the following five PMI Process Groups.

  • Initiating the Project
  • Planning the Project
  • Executing the Project
  • Monitoring and Controlling the Project
  • Closing the Project

To download a copy of the Experience Reporting Template, click here

Most experts recommend the use of a well- documented experience sheet which saves a lot of your time and helps you in accurately filling in the details. Ideally, the excel sheet should contain the following:

1. No. of hours that you have spent on each project

The online application has a section where you need to fill in the number of hours for each project for all five PMP process domains i.e. Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling; and Closing. Each PMP aspirant should have gathered at least 4500 hours of relevant project management experience.

Depending upon the industry, project, domain and your role, you may need to spend more time on particular process groups. For instance project leaders may need to spend more time on the executing process group, business analysts may have spent more time on initiating and planning process groups, and project managers may have spent more time on planning and monitoring and controlling process groups. You would need to record the number of hours in exactly how you have spent on your projects. However, aspirants should bear in mind that the total number of hours for all the projects should be at least 4500 hours.

2. Description of each project that you have considered for the PMP application

The online application has a section where you need to fill in a short description of each project. This includes the project objectives, your role and the key deliverables of the project. This section has a constraint of 300 and 550 characters. Therefore PMP aspirants should fill in only the most important details regarding their project experiences.

3. Contact Details

The online application also has a sub section under ADD/EDIT experience section which allows the aspirant to fill in the contact details of the primary contact. This includes the contact name, contact relationship, contact email id, and contact phone number. In case the supervisors are not working with the same organization, you could still provide the details of the same supervisor. PMI needs to have verifiable contact details of your primary contacts .You should fill in the name of your employer and not your client.

4. Education Overview

The online application has a section 'Education Overview' which enables you to enter the number of hours of project management training. You need to have a minimum of 35 contact hours of project management education to apply for the PMP certification exam.

5. Name on certificate:

There is a section in the online application i.e 'Name on certificate ' which allows you to fill in your name as you would want it to be displayed on the certificate. Therefore applicants should be careful in filling in the details of this section.

6. Review Application progress :

There is a section in the online application 'Review Application progress' which allows you to review the progress of your application. If all the categories in the application is marked complete , then you could go ahead and submit your application for review and final approval.

You could prepare a sheet that could have the contact details of the primary contact for each project that is considered for the online PMP application. This could help you in filling in the details very quickly.

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