Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification, one of the most sought-after certifications across the globe, is provided by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. PMI® defines PMP certification as an application of knowledge, skills, and techniques to execute projects effectively.

Candidates aiming at the job role of Project Manager, Project Executive, Associate or Assistant PM, or Team Manager often require a certificate that bears testimony to their skills. The globally recognized PMP® certification is one of the best assets you can highlight on your resume. A PMP® certification not only gives professionals a competitive edge in the job market but also leads to higher salaries. Moreover, the process of getting certified makes the candidates proficient in their core area, eventually helping them in managing their teams efficiently.

In this article, we will take you through the entire PMP® certification process, from checking PMP® certification eligibility criteria to renewing the PDUs that you have earned.

Are you a professional who is aspiring to be a Project Manager? Then check-out our PMP® Certification course curriculum now!

PMP Certification Requirements & Eligibility 

To be able to take the PMP certification exam, you must have some preliminary exposure. In addition to a specified professional project management experience, you must complete a certain number of PDUs (Professional Development Units). You must ensure that all your project management experience lies within the last eight years prior to application for the certification. 

You must satisfy any one of the following sets of PMP certification requirements:

Set 1

Set 2

  • High School Diploma or Associates Degree
  • 60 months of non-overlapping experience leading projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of formal project management training or CAPM® certification
  • Four-year degree or global equivalent
  • 36 months of non-overlapping experience leading projects within the past eight years
  • 35 hours of formal project management training or CAPM® certification

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PMP Certification Exam Application Process

Candidates should understand each detail regarding the exam thoroughly before starting the procedure, as candidates can’t cancel the application and request a refund. The different steps for the exam application process are as follows:

Step 1: Register for a PMI Membership and Apply

Login to the PMI website. Registration for membership of the Project Management Institute (PMI)® is recommended to save the incurred cost. However, a one-time fee of $139 is to be paid. The benefits are seen in the reduced PMI application fees and exam retakes fees. 

The standard non-member exam fee is $555, while the PMI member price for the exam is $405.

Step 2: Take the PMP Certification Training Course for PMP Certification Requirements

PMP Certification Training helps you complete the 35 hours of education requirement. 

Enrolling on PMP Certification Training allows you to learn from experts. Additionally, these courses are accompanied by test papers to ease the preparation. They grant a globally accepted certificate of completion that will aid you in landing a job at a top organization. 

Step 3: Online PMP Application Submission

If you are eligible as per all the PMI Certification Requirements, apply now. Usually, the institute responds within five business days. 

Approval of the application will be followed by invitation to schedule the exam and pay the requisite amount. 

Step 4: Secure your Test With Pearson VUE

The application approval remains valid for one year. You can take the exam thrice (maximum number of attempts) during this time. Candidates can choose the center of the exam and other options as per their feasibility. 

Step 5: Clear the PMP Certification Exam and Earn the Certificate

To clear the PMP examination, the examinee has to answer 180 questions within 230 minutes. There are three categories of questions: 

  • Business Environment (8%) 
  • People (42%) 
  • Process (50%)

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PMP® Membership and Fees

Once you have submitted the application form, you will receive an email from the PMI® to pay the exam fees. Currently, the examination fee is USD $405 (member) and USD $555 (non-member). Though it is not mandatory to become a PMI® member, you can enjoy innumerable benefits by registering for the membership.

You can become a PMI® member by paying $129 annually. Upon becoming a member, you will receive a free digital copy of PMBOK® Guide; get free access to on-demand webinars, peer-written, and reviewed articles, and business and project management books in e-Reads & Reference.

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PMI® Audit Process

Once you have paid the examination fees for PMP® examination, you will immediately find out if your application needs an audit or not. If selected for the PMI® audit, you need to provide proof of all the details mentioned in the application within 3 months.

  1. Proof of education (photocopy of college/university degree)
  2. Proof of contact hours (printed contact hours certificate)
  3. Signed reference letter for contact person listed in projects in the application. Original signed reference letter by each contact person put into different envelopes which are duly signed over the flap by the contact person.
  4. If the actual contact person is not available, someone else who has knowledge of the role played by the applicant can also complete the said procedure.

Put all these envelopes and proofs in one large envelope and send them to PMI® via registered mail. You should receive the confirmation email within a week.

PMP® Examination Fee Refund Policy

If you choose to withdraw your request to take up a PMP® examination, you need to make a request to PMI® at least 30 days before the exam eligibility expiration date.

Refund of the fees will be received with $100 processing fee deduction if you have not scheduled or taken the examination. The same amount is received if you fail the Audit process.

PMP® Certification Examination Scheduling

Once you are done with the audit process and other formalities, the next step is to schedule your examination. You need to login to the PMI Certification system and choose your examination delivery method i.e. Paper-based Test (PBT) or Computer-based Test (CBT). The date of examination should be within 1 year of submitting the fee.

CBT is the standard method of conducting PMI® examination and PBT is available under limited circumstances. PMI® can cancel the PBT event that doesn’t have a minimum of 10 candidates. For candidates applying for PBT examination center should fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must reside 300km (186.5 miles) from the CBT site.
  • Corporate sponsors want to conduct the examination for employees at the office premises.
Pro Tip: Click Here to know more PMP® Certification Tips and Tricks.

PMP® Certification Examination

The PMP® examination consists of 175 scored multiple-choice questions and 25 pretests (unscored) questions that sum up to 200 questions. The allotted time for the completion of the exam is 4 hours. For clearing the examination, you should answer 137 questions correctly. If you don’t clear the examination in the first attempt, you can schedule for a retest. You will have up to 3 chances to take the PMP® exam within the period of one year.

Upon clearing the examination, you will receive the PMP® certificate within 6-8 weeks. You can also request PMI® to ship a PMP® lapel pin, free of charge.

Here is a video which gives insight on PMP® Exam Preparation. Hope you find it beneficial.

Is your preparation for PMP® certification exam on track? Take up the PMP® Exam Prep Practice Test and assess your skills!

PMP® Certification Renewal

Once you have passed the exam, your 3-year PDU cycle begins and after this time duration, your PMP® certification will expire. You need to earn an additional 60 PDUs per 3-year PDU cycle, to maintain your PMP® credential. However, you don’t need to wait for the 3-year cycle to end for PDU renewal. You can earn 60 PDUs in the certification year itself.

For earning additional PDUs, PMI® has defined two categories namely, Education and Giving Back to Profession. Each hour spent on engaging in the professional development activities will earn you one PDU.

Education (No maximum limit for PDUs earned)

  • You can earn PDUs by attending events like seminars and workshops offered by PMI® or PMI® Registered Education Providers (R.E.P).
  • You can earn PDUs by taking a PMI® Publication Quiz which includes reading an article and answering at least 70 percent of the questions correctly.
  • By completing an academic course offered by a university or by training institutes that are not registered by PMI® such as your employer, corporates, or membership association, you can earn PDUs.
  • Informal activities like reading articles, books, podcasts, watching videos, etc., related to project management, project risk, project scheduling or program management, can also earn you PDUs.

Giving it Back to Profession (Not more than 45 PDUs in a 3-year cycle)

  • By creating a new knowledge base (authoring textbooks, articles, presenting a webinar, serving as a speaker for project management courses, etc) for the topic of your expertise, can also earn you PDUs.
  • Earn PDUs by providing non-compensated project management, project scheduling, or program management services to non-employer.
  • You can also produce letter or certificates from the organization acknowledging your services for leading projects tasks.

Once you take up the activities for earning PDUs, you will need to update the same in the PDU Activity Reporting form that is available on PMI® website. Once you have earned 60 PDUs at the end of the 3-year cycle, you can apply for credential renewal by paying the renewal fee of US $60 (members) and the US $150 (non-members). You will receive your new certificate within 6-8 weeks.

Keep collecting additional PDUs to maintain your PMP® credential. All the best for your certification journey!

Are you a professional who is aspiring to be a Project Manager? Then check-out our PMP® Certification course curriculum now!


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1. What is the PMP certification exam fee?

The fee for the PMP certification exam is $139 for members. The fee to retake the exam is $275. For non-members, the exam fee is $555, and the retake fee is $375.

2. How many contact hours do are needed to be eligible for a PMP Certification?

To be eligible for a PMP Certification, a candidate must satisfy the PMP certification requirements, which include possessing 35 contact hours of PM education.  

3. Can I apply for the exam prior to attending a course?

If you complete the eligibility criteria for the PMP certification exam, you can apply for the exam before attending a course.

4. How many PDUs are required to maintain a PMP Certification?

To maintain a PMP certification, a candidate must earn at least 60 Professional Development Units or PDUs over three years. 

5. How much does it cost to renew your PMP Certification?

The possibility to renew the PMP certification is available at $60 for PMI members and $150 for non-members. The fee is applicable for a three-year cycle. 

PMP® and PMI® are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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Simplilearn is one of the world’s leading providers of online training for Digital Marketing, Cloud Computing, Project Management, Data Science, IT, Software Development, and many other emerging technologies.

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  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.