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How the PMP Certification Works

By  Sep 4, 2008

Topics: Certification

Today I would like to describe the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification program for you with a minimum of muss, fuss, or greasy aftertaste.

Why reinvent the proverbial wheel? Let us have Wikipedia supply us with a perfectly succinct definition of the PMP title:

"Project Management Professional (PMP) is a certification in project management. It is managed by the Project Management Institute and is based on the PMP Examination Specification published by PMI in 2005. Most exam questions reference to PMI's ANSI standard A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, abbreviated to PMBOK Guide."

That's really it, friends. If project management touches your IT career to any appreciable degree, then you cannot go wrong by demonstrating your competency by earning the PMP. However, there are some specific prerequisites of which you need to be aware; let's address these now.

PMP Eligibility Requirements

According to the PMI Web site, you need to meet these requirements to be eligible to sit for the PMP examination:

  • 35 hours of specific project management education
  • If you have a Bachelor's Degree, then you must have at least three years' professional PM experience
  • If you don't have a Bachelor's Degree, then you must have at least five years' professional PM experience

Please see the PMI Web site for detailed information concerning what does and does not count vis-a-vis "education" and "experience."

Before you sit for your PMP exam, you also must agree to adhere to the PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct; you can download this document in PDF format by visiting the PMI Web site.

The PMP Examination

Because I am a "bulleted list" kind of a guy, why don't I just present the exam specifics in an unordered list format, mmkay?

  • Exam title: PMP: Project Management Professional
  • Exam format: Multiple-choice, computer-based test
  • Number of questions: 200
  • Passing score: 61%
  • Exam duration: 4 hours
  • Registration fee: $555 USD
  • Registration format: Prometric

In my next posts I will discuss (a) exam study tips; and (b) continuing education requirements for the PMP credential.

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