Introduction to PMP®

What is the PMP?

The Project Management Professional designation is an internationally recognized project management certification, administered by the Project Management Institute.  Worldwide, there are over 700,000 PMP certified individuals.

To obtain the PMP designation, you must have

  • Three years (4,500 hours) of demonstrable project management experience in the last eight years AND a four-year post-secondary degree
    Five years (7,500 hours) of demonstrable project management experience in the last eight years AND a high school diploma or associate’s degree (2-year degree)
  • 35 Hours of Project Management training
  • A passing score on the PMP exam, which is based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge

How do I obtain the PMP?

  1. Go to the website and register for an account.
  2. Complete the online application.
    1. Provide personal information about your location, occupation, and education
    1. Provide details about your project management experience, including dates, hours and responsibilities.  Your project management experience must be broken down into the five process areas (more on this later).
  3. Wait about a week while your application is reviewed.
  4. Some applications are randomly selected for audit.
    1. If your application is selected for audit, you must provide proof of your project management experience, education, and 35 hours of training.
    1. Providing false information on the PMP application will not be tolerated.
  5. Pay the application fee.  It is recommended that you join the PMI as a member (you will receive a discount on the exam, and the discount is more than the membership fee).
  6. Register to take the exam.  You will be invited to schedule the exam online at a nearby Thompson Prometric Test Center.
    1. If you live in a rural area, you may be able to write a paper exam.

Details about the Exam

  • You can register online to take the exam.  The online system will show you the dates and times that are available.
  • You may be able to write the exam on a Saturday or Sunday, depending on the Prometric Test Center.
  • You may reschedule the exam for free, if you do so at least 30 calendar days before the exam.
  • You may reschedule the exam for USD$70, if you do so at least 2 calendar days before the exam.
  • You may not reschedule the exam if there are less than 2 calendar days before the exam.
  • If you do not show up to the exam, or are more than 15 minutes late to the exam, you will not be allowed to write the exam, and will forfeit the entire fee.

  • At the exam center, you are required to show a piece of government-issued photo ID.
  • You will be required to empty your pockets and place the contents in a locker.
  • If you are wearing eyeglasses, they will be inspected.
  • You may be checked with a metal detector.
  • You can only bring your photo ID and locker key into the exam room.
  • The test center will provide you with scratch paper, a pencil, and a basic calculator.

  • While you write the exam, you will be monitored via audio and video surveillance.
  • The exam is 200 questions, and you have 4 hours to complete the exam.
  • You can take a break at any time, but the time on the exam will continue to elapse.
  • It goes without saying that cheating will not be tolerated!

  • The pass mark is unknown, but believed to be between 60% and 80%.  Some speculate that it is 75%.
  • The specific questions that you receive on your exam are chosen randomly from a bank of questions.
  • 25 of the 200 questions are not marked.  PMI develops new questions all the time.  They “test them out” by placing them on real exams and seeing how many people answer them correctly.  If the questions are good, they will appear as marked questions on future versions of the exam.
  • Questions are ordered randomly, and are not grouped by subject area.
  • Each question will have four multiple-choice answers.
  • You must select the best answer.  Sometimes more than one answer will appear to be somewhat valid.
  • You won’t see any answer choices that are “None of the Above” or “All of the Above”

  • At the end of the exam, you will be provided with a PASS or FAIL mark.  You will not be told how many questions you got right or wrong.
  • For each of the five Project Management Processes, the exam will tell you if you are Proficient, Moderately Proficient, or Below Proficient.
  • If you FAIL, you will be provided with a more detailed breakdown of the areas where you need improvement.