PMP® stands for Project Management Professional—it’s the name of the certificate awarded to anyone who passes the PMP certification exam. So, if you successfully pass the PMP test, you become a Project Management Professional (PMP).

The PMP certification is the most recognized Individual certification in the area of Project Management and is valued worldwide. In some cases, it’s a mandatory qualification for a project management role. A project manager with a PMP certification can work as a project manager in any industry, anywhere in the world.

Here's a video on PMP Certification Training.

PMP Exam Prerequisites

Anyone can take the PMP test, as long as they meet the prerequisites.

Individuals with a Bachelor’s degree must be able to provide documentation proving at least 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing a project, along with 35 hours of formal project management training offered by PMI chapters or accredited Registered Education Providers (REPs). According to the PMI, you can also review self-study books published by R.E.P.s and other reputable training organizations.

Individuals with a high school diploma must be able to provide documentation proving at least 7,500 hours of experience leading and directing a project, along with 35 hours of formal project management training offered by PMI chapters or accredited REPs. According to the PMI, you can also review self-study books published by R.E.P.s and other reputable training organizations.

About the PMP Exam

The PMP exam itself is a four-hour exam consisting of 200 questions. Out of these 200 questions, 25 questions are not scored. However, you will not know during the test which 25 questions aren’t scored, so be sure to take all the questions seriously. The PMI® includes these questions to see how many test takers are getting them right. Based on the results, they might decide to include these questions in the future exam—it’s kind of like a survey the PMI conducts to help the PMP exam generate the highest quality professionals.

To pass the PMP test, you’ll need to get 141 or more questions out of 175 correct, which roughly translates to 81%. As you can probably guess, the PMP test is not that easy. You are right!

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PMP Exam Syllabus

What is the PMP test like? In the table below, the PMI describes the proportion of questions in each domain that will appear on the PMP exam.

Domain % of Test Questions
Initiating 13%
Planning 24%
Executing 31%
Monitoring and Controlling 25%
Closing 7%
Total 100%

You’ll get questions about each domain to test your knowledge and skills that are required to competently perform a variety of tasks, which are described below.

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Questions in the Initiating Domain Require the Following Knowledge and Skills

Questions in the Planning Domain Require the Following Knowledge and Skills

  • Change management planning
  • Cost management planning
  • Project budgeting tools and techniques
  • Communications planning
  • Contract types and selection criteria
  • Estimation tools and techniques
  • Human resource planning
  • Lean and efficiency principles
  • Procurement planning
  • Quality management planning
  • Requirements gathering planning
  • Scope deconstruction tools and techniques (WBS, Scope backlog)
  • Scope management planning
  • Stakeholder management planning
  • Time management planning, including scheduling tools and techniques
  • Workflow diagramming techniques

Questions in the Executing Domain Require the Following Knowledge and Skills

  • Continuous improvement processes
  • Contract management techniques
  • Elements of a statement of work
  • Interdependencies with project elements
  • Project budgeting tools and techniques
  • Quality standard tools
  • Vendor management techniques

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Questions in the Monitoring and Controlling Domain Require the Following Knowledge and Skills

  • Performance management and tracking techniques (EV, PERT, CPM, Trend Analysis)
  • Process analysis techniques (Lean, Kanban, Six Sigma)
  • Project control thresholds and tolerance
  • Project finance principles
  • Project monitoring tools and techniques
  • Project quality best practices and standards (BS, CMMI, IEEE, ISO)
  • Quality measurement tools (statistical sampling, control charts, flowcharting, inspection, assessment)
  • Risk identification and analysis techniques
  • Quality validation and verification techniques

Questions in the Closing Domain Require the Following Knowledge and Skills

  • Archiving practices and statutes
  • Compliance
  • Contract closure requirements
  • Closeout procedures
  • Feedback techniques
  • Performance measurement techniques (KPI, key success factors)
  • Project review techniques
  • Transition planning technique
  • PMP Exam Prep Checklist

Below is a list of tips the PMI recommends to help prepare for the PMP test:

5 Ways for PMP Exam Preparation 

  • Study PMP Exam Content Outline and understand PMP concepts.
  • Get PMP-certified training or use PMP study materials.
  • Take practice exams to assess your strengths and weaknesses.
  • Create a study plan and stick to it.
  • Network with PMP-certified professionals to gain insights and support.

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PMP Exam Preparation Books 

These books are highly rated by PMP exam takers and considered comprehensive, effective, and easy-to-understand resources for PMP preparation.

  • PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge) by PMI: the official guide to PMP certification and covers all PMP exam topics.
  • Head First PMP by Jennifer Greene and Andrew Stellman: uses a visually rich format to help readers understand and remember PMP concepts.
  • Rita Mulcahy's PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulcahy: a comprehensive guide that includes test-taking strategies and has a reputation as one of the most effective PMP study resources.
  • Andy Crowe's The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try: focuses on practical knowledge and includes a 200-question sample exam.
Learn from a course that has been designed to help you ace your PMP exam in the first attemp! Check out our PMP Certification Training Course today!

Start Your PMP Exam Preparation

Simplilearn offers multiple Project Management training courses and learning paths that can help aspiring project managers get the education they need—not only to pass certification exams like the PMP® but also real-world knowledge is useful for any project management career.

FAQs

1. What is the best way to prepare for the PMP exam?

By following these steps, you can effectively prepare for the PMP exam and increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.

  • Study the PMBOK Guide and other PMP preparation materials thoroughly.
  • Create a study plan and stick to a schedule.
  • Participate in online or in-person study groups.
  • Take practice exams to assess your understanding of the concepts and identify areas for improvement.
  • Focus on understanding the concepts rather than memorization.
  • Use flashcards, mind maps, or other memorization aids to help you retain information.
  • Stay current on the latest project management best practices and trends.
  • Seek feedback from others and stay open to constructive criticism.
  • Use simulations and real-life scenarios to apply the concepts you have learned.
  • Get adequate rest and exercise to maintain your focus and energy levels during the study process.

2. Can I pass PMP in 3 weeks?

Passing the PMP exam in 3 weeks is possible, but it requires intense focus, dedication, and a substantial time commitment. The PMP exam covers many complex topics, and passing requires a deep understanding of project management concepts and best practices.

If you have prior experience in project management and have already studied the PMBOK Guide, you can prepare for the PMP exam in 3 weeks. However, this may only be possible for some, and some individuals may require more time to prepare.

It is important to remember that passing the PMP exam is a significant accomplishment that requires time and effort. If you cannot prepare for the exam in 3 weeks, do not become discouraged. Instead, take the time to prepare properly and increase your chances of passing the exam on your first attempt.

3. Is the PMP exam hard?

The PMP exam is considered to be a challenging exam by many individuals who have taken it. The exam tests a wide range of knowledge and skills related to project management and requires a deep understanding of the concepts and best practices covered in the PMBOK Guide.

However, the difficulty level varies from individual to individual. It depends on factors such as prior experience in project management, study time and effort, and overall familiarity with the exam content.

It is important to note that passing the PMP exam is possible and many individuals have successfully passed it after preparing adequately. You can increase your chances of passing the PMP exam with proper study, practice, and preparation.

4. How long should I prepare for the PMP exam?

The amount of time you need to prepare for the PMP exam will vary based on your background, experience, and study habits. Individuals allocate approximately 2-6 months to prepare for the exam.

If you have a background in project management and have already studied the PMBOK Guide, you can prepare for the exam in less time. However, if you are new to project management or need to build a strong foundation of knowledge, you may require more time to prepare.

Regardless of your background, it is important to create a study plan, allocate adequate time for preparation, and stick to a schedule. This will help you effectively prepare for the PMP exam and increase your chances of passing on your first attempt.

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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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  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.
  • *According to Simplilearn survey conducted and subject to terms & conditions with Ernst & Young LLP (EY) as Process Advisors