PMP Exam Prep



Last updated March 27, 2017


The video covers areas like, what are PMP® and PMI®. These are terms you will frequently encounter in your conversation with certified Project Managers or people preparing for this exam.

 What are PMP® and PMI®?

PMP stands for Project Management Professional. It's the name of the certificate awarded to any one who scores more than the required passing mark in the PMP® certification exam. So if you successfully pass the PMP® Exam, you become a Project Management Professional i.e. PMP®. As evident by the name itself, this certificate is of interest to any one interested in Project Management as a career.

Let me tell you, PMP® is most recognized Individual certification in the area of Project Management. It's valued worldwide. For many of the Project Management Jobs, it's even a mandatory qualification.

PMP® is not for Project Managers from a specific domain. A Project Manager working in any Industry, be it manufacturing or Retail or Defense or Information Technology, can write the PMP® Exam and upon successful completion can become a PMP®.

Now let's look at what is PMI®?

PMI® is a not for profit Organization, who conducts PMP® Examination. PMI® stands for Project Management Institute. PMI® is based in USA and it has local chapter across the globe. So, if you are based in Singapore, you can look for PMI® chapter in Singapore. Such local chapters conduct regular knowledge sharing and networking session for people interested in Project Management. If you need more information about the PMI®, you can check out their website.

A PMP® certificate is valid for only three years. Post completion of this three year period. It can be renewed for another three years. PMI® measures Project Management Experience in units of PDU. PDU means Professional Development Unit.

So, if you attend a Project Management Class of 1 hour by an expert, its equivalent to say 1 PDU. If you write a White Paper on Project Management related topic, it may be equivalent to 5 PDU. PMI® has detailed guideline on what kind of project management activity amounts to how many PDUs. You can check their website for more details.

Every three years, one must have acquired 60 PDUs to retain their PMP® certificate. So first time, when you write the exam, you become PMP® for 3 years.

After this period, to renew your PMP® credentials, you need to submit proof that you acquired at least 60 PDUs in last three year and pay the PMI® certificate renewal fee, your certificate gets renewed for another three years. You can conveniently do this online at

Finally, let's look at what is PMBOK® Guide?

PMBOK® Guidemeans Project Management Body of Knowledge. It's a Book that PMI® releases every four years. The latest version of the PMBOK® Guide is version 4 and it was released in June 2009. PMBOK® Guide acts as a Text Book for the PMP® Exam.You can also think of PMBOK® Guide as Standard for Project Management Profession.

Pre-requisite for PMP® Exam


Well, Can anyone take up the PMP® Examination? Yes, provided one meets certain prerequisite.The prerequisite depends upon person's formal education.As shown in the table, for bachelor degree holder, they have to have at least 4500 hours of Project Management experience and for someone whose highest formal education is High school degree, its 7500 hours of Project management experience.

In addition to this, there is some requirement in terms of total no of years of work experience as well. For the first category, one has to have at least 6 years of total work experience and for the second category its 8 years.The 3 years within 6 years in the table means that 4500 hours of project management experience should have happened in last 3 years of total 6 years of experience.

Lastly, one also has to show proof of attending 35 hours of Project Management Training just before writing the PMP® exam.There are many Project Management Training companies, who are PMI® REP.

Now, what is REP?

PMI® REP training institute means, these training companies are registered with PMI® as Registered Education Provider. If you attend their 35 hour contact training, they also give you 35 PDUs. As I explained earlier, PDU means professional development unit. It's a measure of Project management activity by PMI®. Attending Project Management training is also a Project Management Activity.

I would like to clarify here that even if you attend 35 hours of Project Management Training by a company, which is not REP, you can still go ahead and take up the PMP® exam. But you must show proof of attending 35 hours of Project Management training, which is inline with PMI® guidelines.So, if you have gone through our complete 14 lesson material and also attended our virtual classes. You qualify to take up the PMP® Exam.

Let me also inform you that, One has to submit proof of everything (i.e. your educational Degree, your Project Management Experience etc) to PMI® while submitting the online application for taking up the exam. PMI® randomly audits such submission from time to time. So, If you do not meet the prerequisite and still go ahead and submit the online exam application, there are chances of you getting caught. PMI® disqualifies such application.

Also, once your online application for taking up the exam gets approved, PMI® sends an Authorization letter. You must write the exam, within a year of getting the Authorization letter.

About the PMP® Exam

Now, let me tell you more about the PMP® Exam. It's a four hour exam consisting of 200 questions. Out of this 200, 25 questions are not scored. But beware; you will not know which these 25 questions are! So you should answer all 200 questions, with same seriousness.

PMI® includes these questions to see how many test takers are getting them right. Based on this, they might decide to include these questions in future Exam. It's like a survey conducted by PMI®.

The pass marks for the exam is 141 out of 175, which roughly translates to 81%! Now, you must be guessing that PMP® exam is not that easy. You are right! Taking PMP® exam does require certain seriousness in preparation.Next, I have shown in the table on how many questions appear from which part of the syllabus.

Getting confused with so many new terms… Hold on for a moment! For now, assume them to be the six major topics and percentage of questions that typically comes from each of these topics.

PMP® Exam Syllabus

There are three terms that I would like to introduce here.

First, let's see what Process Group is. The whole Project Management discipline is divided into five broad Process group, they are Project Initiation, Project Planning, Project Execution, Project Monitoring & Control and Project Closing.You probably, might be aware of them as well.

When a new Project starts, it's in the Project Initiation phase, from Initiation, it moves to Planning, than to Execution and Monitoring & Control and finally its closed. Project Execution and Project Monitoring & Control processes go hand in hand.

So when a new project is started i.e., initiated, all processes of Project Initiation Process Group should be applied to the Project. Similarly when the project is being closed, all Processes of Project Closing group should be applied.

Let me give you more specific example, "Identify Risks" is a Process of Project Planning group. So when the project is in planning phase, you must identify all the Risks of the project.

Let's see what a Knowledge Area is.

As per PMBOK® Guide, There are 9 Knowledge areas. For example, "Human Resource Management" is one of the Knowledge areas. Knowledge area is a set of specific processes required to be performed to meet a project objective. A Knowledge area may have some processes to be done in Project Planning Process Group and some other processes to be done in Project Monitoring & Control Process Group.

For example, if you take "Human Resource Management" Knowledge area, "Develop Human Resource Plan" is processes in Project Planning Group and another process "Manage Project Team" is in Project Execution group.

Lastly there are 42 process areas; we have already come across two such Process areas. "Develop Human Resource Plan" and "Manage Project Team". If you are totally confused by now, don't worry. This is the whole exam syllabus and there is one lesson dedicated to each of these topics!

For now, just remember that there are 5 process groups, 9 knowledge areas and 42 project management processes.


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

About the Author

Chandana is working as a Senior Content Writer in and handles variety of creative writing jobs. She has done M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University. A PRINCE2 Foundation certified, she has a unique and refreshing style of writing which can engross the readers to devour each sentence of her write-ups.


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