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A 12 Step To-Do-List for Completing your PMP Certification Journey

12 Step To-Do-List for Completing your PMP Certification Journey


As Project Management is becoming a highly demanding role in the industry today, more and more project and program managers are looking at earning their PMP certification.

Every PMP aspirant has many questions in their minds as to how will they get their PMP certification, what steps they have to take. The common questions include the following - 

  • Am I eligible for PMP certification?

  • What are the policies of PMI regarding PMP certification?

  • What is my financial investment for completing my PMP certification?

  • Do I need to fill up any application for my PMP examination?

  • What to study and how to prepare for PMP examination?

  • Do I need to undertake a PMP Prep training to prepare for PMP examination?

  • What kind of study plan I need to have?

  • Should I practice questions as part of my preparation? Which practice questions?

  • Do I need to schedule my PMP examination?

  • What happens once I pass my PMP examination?


Here's a step by step action plan to guide you through the process of completing your PMP journey:

1. Eligibility Check: PMP certification is for acting project managers, someone who has been performing some kind of project management activities as a PM or a Lead or a Project Coordinator. Review the eligibility requirements outlined by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to ensure you meet the criteria for taking the PMP exam. You typically need a four-year degree, 36 months of project management experience, and 35 hours of project management education/training. Without a four-year degree, PMI requires 60 months of project management experience.

2. PMP Exam Syllabus: It is extremely important to understand your PMP examination syllabus. Download and thoroughly read the PMP Examination Content Outline (ECO) and the PMP Exam Handbook provided by PMI. These documents provide valuable information about the exam format, content, and policies.

3. PMP Exam Prep Course: One has to complete the mandatory 35 hours of formal education in project management as a prerequisite. For this education, it is always better to enroll in a high quality PMP exam preparation course delivered by an experienced instructor. This not only helps in completing the eligibility requirements but also helps you to gather enough momentum in PMP preparation. 

Look for courses that offer comprehensive coverage of the exam content, practice questions, and exam-taking strategies. Consider online courses, boot camps, or self-paced study programs based on your learning preferences and schedule. Most important from an experienced instructor and coach. 

A well designed PMP prep learning program can reduce your efforts considerably and immensely increases your chance of passing your PMP exam in 1st attempt.

4. Exam Application and Fees: Complete the online application for the PMP exam through the PMI website. Provide accurate information about your education, project management experience, and contact details.

Submit your application and wait for approval from PMI. PMI takes 5 working days to review and approve. Once approved, you will receive instructions on paying the fees and scheduling your exam.

PMP Exam fee is

·         USD 555 or equivalent (Non-members) and

·         USD 405 or equivalent (Members) Plus PMI Membership Fee of USD 139 or equivalent ( Total USD 544)

It is always advised to choose the 2nd option from above. Take your PMI Membership and then pay your PMP examination.

As a PMI member, you get complementary access to all the PMI standard guides and other rich resources without any additional cost.

5. Study Plan Development: Create a study plan outlining the topics you need to cover and the time you will allocate to each. Be realistic about your study schedule and set achievable goals. PMP Preparation requires consistent regular efforts. 2 hours every day for about 4-6 weeks should be a reasonably good effort.

Break down the exam content into manageable sections and allocate more time to areas where you feel less confident.

6. Study Materials: Gather study materials such as the PMBOK Guide (Project Management Body of Knowledge), additional textbooks, study guides, and online resources.

Utilize reputable study aids, practice exams, and flashcards to reinforce your understanding of key concepts and terminology.

If you have selected a good PMP training program for your 35 PDUs, most likely they will provide you almost all the study materials that you will need.

7. Practice Exams: Practicing questions is key part of your PMP exam preparation. Take multiple practice exams to simulate the exam environment and assess your readiness. Analyze your performance on practice exams to identify weak areas and focus your study efforts accordingly.

8. Review and Reinforce: Review the PMBOK Guide and other study materials thoroughly, paying close attention to areas of difficulty. Reinforce your learning through active studying techniques such as note-taking, summarizing key concepts, and teaching others.

9. Exam Scheduling: Schedule your PMP exam at a Pearson VUE testing center or opt for the online proctored exam option. Choose a date and time that aligns with your study timeline and allows you sufficient time for final preparation.

10. Final Preparation: Review your study materials, focusing on key concepts, formulas, and processes. Get plenty of rest the night before the exam and avoid last-minute cramming. Arrive at the testing center early on exam day with required identification documents.

11. Taking the Exam: Remain calm and focused during the exam. Pace yourself and allocate time wisely to answer each question. Read each question carefully and ensure you understand what is being asked before selecting your answer. Flag questions you are unsure about for review and revisit them if time permits.

12. Post-Exam: Once you complete the exam, you will receive your preliminary result indicating pass or fail. If you pass, congratulations! Your certification will be processed, and you will receive your PMP credential. If you fail, review your exam results to identify areas for improvement and consider retaking the exam after further study and preparation.

Continuous Learning:

After obtaining your PMP certification, commit to continuous learning and professional development in the field of project management. Stay updated on industry trends, best practices, and advancements through networking, conferences, and additional certifications.


Following this roadmap will help you to navigate the process of completing your PMP certification successfully. Good luck on your journey to becoming a certified Project Management Professional!

For personal guidance and coaching, please write at:

Visit portal for more information about PMI and PMP certification

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