How Many Times Can I Take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam?

  • 29 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is considered to be one of the most challenging exams, and it is not uncommon that a project manager may not pass on the first attempt. While it is every project manager’s goal to pass the first time, what happens if you don’t?

Passing the PMP exam

Much to the dismay of PMP candidates, the Project Management Institute (PMI) does not release a passing score on the PMP exam, nor do you receive a percentage score on your test result. While this may be frustrating, it is crucial to understand how PMI determines whether you passed or failed.

There are hundreds of questions in the PMP question bank. When you start your exam, 200 questions (175 that are scored and 25 that are unscored) are randomly selected from five domains:

PMP Questions from Five Domain

Each question has been weighted based on its difficulty, with more difficult questions having a higher weighting. That weighting is factored into the final pass/fail result. For example, if you have an exam with more difficult questions, the threshold to pass the exam will be lower.

What happens if I fail?

If you do not meet the necessary threshold to pass the exam, you will be notified immediately upon completion of your exam. In addition, you will receive a score report that indicates your proficiency level in each of the five domains. While the report does not tell you what questions you missed, it does map the results to the different tasks, which provides some essential insight.

You can take your PMP exam up to three times during your eligibility year. Your eligibility year begins the day PMI approves your application. Keep this in mind and ensure that you do not put off your exam until near the end of your eligibility year. In the event you do not pass, you want to ensure that you have time to repeat the exam within that time span.

The reexamination process

It typically takes about 48 hours after your failed attempt for the system to be updated with your result. Once that happens, you will receive an email from PMI advising you that you are eligible to pay your fees and schedule your reexamination. The fees for the re-take are $275 for PMI members and $375 for non-PMI members.

Preparing for your second (or third) attempt

A frequent contributor to a failing result is fear of the unknown and exam anxiety. Now that you have fully had the experience of taking the exam, hopefully, that anxiety is minimized. Take some time to review your results and go back to the areas where you need improvement.

To increase your chances of success, it is essential to prepare adequately, but at the same time, you do not want to put off your reexamination for too long, as you may lose some of your prior learning.

What if I don’t pass after three attempts?

While it is not common, occasionally, a project manager will use all three opportunities without passing. If you do not pass on your third attempt, you will need to wait a year before submitting a new PMP application and starting the process from scratch.

And remember, this is a tough exam! Not passing is nothing to be embarrassed or ashamed about. Instead, use it as an opportunity to receive some feedback to place yourself in the best possible position for success on your next attempt!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 11:03 AM

Tips for Selecting the Right Answer on the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam

  • 22 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

You have been studying and preparing for your Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam, and now it is time to put all of your preparation to the test… literally! You may have heard that the PMP exam is difficult, and the questions—many of which are very wordy—are challenging and often confusing. The good news is that with some proven tactics, you can work your way through even the most difficult questions.

Tip #1: Read the actual question first

Many of the PMP exam questions are long and wordy, and yet, there are typically only a few pieces of information that you may need. To best work your way through a long question, actually read what they are asking you first: skip to the bottom and look at the very end of the question. This is especially important before doing any type of lengthy math or calculations that may end up being a waste of time. And sometimes, you may find you do not need any of the information provided as a lead up to the question!

Tip #2: Read all four answers

You will typically find that one answer is wrong, one answer is kind of right, and the other two both seem to be correct. You are looking for the best right answer, so never stop at the first right answer. Read all four answers before selecting your choice. You may be surprised that there is an even better answer after evaluating all of the options.

Tip #3: Be mindful of keywords

Keywords in the question will enable you to determine the best answer to a question. For example, be on the lookout for words like “except,” “always,” “must,” “never,” or “rarely.” Undoubtedly you will get a challenging double-negative question that gets your head spinning a bit! Please slow down and read carefully what they are actually asking you to answer.

PMP Exam Tips

Tip #4: Know when to change your answer

This is a tough one, and there are a lot of mixed opinions out there. My advice would be not to change your answer under most circumstances. Typically, your first or gut response is going to be the correct answer, even if you are unsure of why it is the right answer. Second-guessing yourself can be detrimental in three ways: you are increasing your anxiety, which feeds your flight or fight response; you are losing precious time sitting on a question; and frequently your second answer will be incorrect.

There are two exceptions for when to change your answer: either another question alerted you that you answered the previous question incorrectly or it was a math problem, and when you double-checked your math, you realized you were off. Just because your math answer is there, does not mean it is correct.

Tip #5: Answer with PMI in mind

This can be one of the most challenging aspects of the exam, especially for more experienced or seasoned project managers. To pass the exam, you must answer the questions from the Project Management Institute (PMI) perspective, not using your own experience as a project manager. This means that there may be questions that, in practice, you would not handle the same way as you are going to answer on the exam. That can be tough, but remember, the goal here is that you pass your exam and hopefully on your first attempt!

While there is no 100% foolproof way to pass the PMP exam, using these tips can undoubtedly improve your likelihood. Good luck on your exam!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 08:21 AM

Top Strategies for Obliterating Anxiety on the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam

  • 18 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

The vast majority of people have some form of exam anxiety, and the intensity can range from just a little nervous to paralyzing or crippling impacts. Exam anxiety is even more common for an exam as challenging as the Project Management Professional (PMP)®. If you have considered pursuing this globally recognized credential, you have likely heard that the 200-question exam is not for the faint of heart. In addition to the difficulty, most folks spend a lot of money and time preparing for the exam, and some also face the additional pressure that their credential is a job requirement. This can significantly add to the pressure you may feel going into the exam, which, in turn, increases the probability of experiencing exam anxiety.

What is exam anxiety?

Unfortunately, the same beautiful brain that is going to enable you to pass the exam may also fight against you based on core biological behaviors that are hard-wired into us from our caveman days. Within the deepest mechanics of our brain lies the limbic system. As the central gatekeeper and communication system, the limbic system signals the fight-flight-or-freeze response when it perceives danger.

While we know that the PMP exam can’t kill us, our limbic system perceives it as just as much of a threat as a grizzly bear. Stress hormones get released, blood flow is redirected to your large muscles, your pupils dilate, and your heart rate and respiration increase. Your body is preparing you physically to deal with the threat while bypassing the logical (or executive) portion of your brain. This can be trouble on an exam that desperately requires your logical brain to be successful.

How can I reduce my anxiety?

The good news is that it is possible to curb your anxiety and decrease the negative impacts of being in fight-flight-or-freeze.

PMP Exam Strategies

· Name your emotion – as silly as it sounds, when your limbic system is being hijacked with anxiety, merely stating your emotion, out loud, invites your logical brain back to the party. This is extremely simple and yet extremely effective! If you are feeling nervous, say, “I’m feeling nervous about this exam.”

· Be prepared and be early – do your research and know what to expect before, during, and after your exam. The unknown is an intense fear provoker. Plan to arrive at the test site early, not giving yourself any extra stress from running late.

· Visualize success – the law of attraction is very real. What you put out is what you will experience, so see yourself being successful! Visualize sharing your success with your friends, family, and co-workers.

· Hydrate – while it may be tempting to skip the water to minimize bathroom breaks, trust me, you will want to be well hydrated! Optimal hydration is imperative for the functioning and processing of our brain and the transmission of information. Plus, because your brain is made up of more water than your body, by the time you are feeling thirsty, your brain is already dehydrated.

· Get rest – staying up all night before your exam will not increase your chances of success. In fact, lack of sleep can be incredibly detrimental, especially for memory recall and analytical tasks. Do yourself a favor and get some good sleep the night before your exam!

· Cycle through your questions – your PMP exam will be split into two sections, with an optional break between the sections. As you start your section, move through the questions at a good pace, answering any that you can answer within a few seconds. Continue to cycle through, answering more with each round. This low-hanging-fruit technique minimizes the fear of the unknown while also burning your adrenaline down to a more functional level. Do not sit on any one question for an extended period. This will simply increase your anxiety.

· BREATHE! Lastly, do not forget the importance of some nice deep breaths! The oxygen will do your brain and your body good!

While exam anxiety is a common concern, there are strategies that you can easily put into place to ensure that the anxiety does not prevent you from passing your PMP exam!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 10:17 AM

Why You Need Your Project Management Professional (PMP)® Credential?

  • 15 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

Regardless of your industry, if you are a project manager, you more than likely have considered pursuing your PMP® credential. As the most globally recognized project management certification, a PMP is undoubtedly a demonstration of your expertise. Still, the road to get those three little letters after your name may have you considering whether or not it is worth it.

To qualify to take the PMP® exam, project managers are required to document both their project management experience as well as their relevant education. If your application is approved, the final step is to pass a notoriously difficult 200-question exam. To best be prepared for success, candidates typically pursue exam preparation classes, invest in multiple study books, and devote time to studying and taking practice tests. So, is it worth it?

If you are serious about your career as a project manager, then the answer is most likely “yes!” There are several benefits to earning and maintaining your PMP that should be seriously considered when deciding if you want to pursue the credential.

· Earning the PMP credential demonstrates that you are an experienced and skilled project manager, as demonstrated by your achievement of the designation.

· According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the median salary for project professionals with a PMP is 25% higher than those who are not certified.

· By maintaining your PMP over time, you are significantly increasing your earning potential over your career.

· The PMP may be the deciding factor in earning a position over another candidate that is not certified.

· In many circumstances and situations, PMP is a condition of employment.

· By maintaining your PMP credential, you are committed to continued education and professional development in the sphere of project management. This ongoing knowledge ensures you keep up with today’s trends for the most in-demand skills.

But isn’t the market saturated with PMP holders?

In 2020, the PMI surpassed 1,000,000 PMP-credential holders worldwide. That leaves some project managers to believe that there are too many PMP holders to make the credential valuable. However, that is not the case.

As the baby boomers leave the job market, as infrastructure becomes more technically complex, as more and more organizations recognize the tremendous value of project managers, and as the pace of change becomes swifter, there is an ever-increasing need for skilled project managers. Do not let the numbers dissuade you!

There is a real and pressing need for skilled project managers in today’s businesses, and there is no better way to demonstrate your capacity as a skilled project manager than with the PMP credential. As a matter of fact, many companies will only hire project managers if they have already earned their PMP.

A little caveat…

Just because someone earned their PMP does not mean they are a “good” project manager. And along with that, there are a lot of amazing, skilled project managers that do not have their PMP credential. Earning your PMP is just one step in your career of being a professional, skilled, and experienced project manager.

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 07:11 AM

What are the PMP Certification Requirements?

  • 11 September, 2020

By Robert Marshall, PhD, CSPM, PMP

One of the most effective ways to demonstrate credibility in almost any career field is to obtain a professional certification. The field of project management is no exception and the Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential does just that. Around the world, project managers with the PMP designation are recognized and sought-out for their high level of project management knowledge, skills, and abilities.

The requirements for earning the PMP represent a competency framework that encompasses an applicant’s past, present, and future. The Project Management Institute (PMI) requires a combination of general knowledge and experience, joined with specialized knowledge and experience, all obtained in the last eight years. PMI understands that at the point where theory meets practice is the moment that the highest levels of competence and readiness occur. To that end, PMI requires applicants to demonstrate the following:

· A four-year degree (bachelor's or the global equivalent); along with at least three years of project management experience of which 4,500 hours must be leading projects. In addition, PMI requires 30 hours of project management training.

· For non-degree holders, a secondary diploma (high school or the global equivalent); along with at least five years of project management experience of which 7,500 hours must be leading projects. In addition, PMI requires 35 hours of project management training.

Applicants who successfully meet the required background requirements will receive an email notification with an eligibility identification number shortly after they apply. The eligibility ID allows the applicant to move from the past to the present.

Within one year of receiving the identification number, PMI requires all applicants to schedule and take the PMP examination. The purpose of the examination is to ensure that everyone awarded the PMP credential has achieved, by observation, an acceptable standard of project management knowledge, skills, and abilities. Just as an applicant’s self-reported education and experience are reliable indicators of competency and readiness, the examination is an equally reliable method of measuring it. Passing the exam means PMP holders have the demonstrated competency to lead and manage projects of all sizes and types.

Are the requirements for the PMP challenging? Yes. Are they achievable? Absolutely. As of this writing, PMI reports that one million project managers in over 200 countries hold the PMP credential. These one million men and women share two things in common: Not only have they met the requirements to earn the certification, but they also have the professional credibility that goes along with it.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 07:30 AM

Can I Self-Study for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam?

  • 08 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is considered to be one of the most challenging certification exams. With the proper preparation, organization, and dedication, however, you can pass this exam and reap the benefits that come with holding a globally recognized certification.

Why is the exam so difficult?

Three facets contribute to the difficulty of the PMP exam:

  1. An extensive volume of information
  2. Vocabulary that may be unfamiliar
  3. Challenging exam questions and a lengthy exam

These three facets have a direct impact on the need for proper preparation to be successful on the PMP. Preparing for the exam may involve taking an exam preparation course, self-studying, or a combination of both. There are pros and cons of all options, and it really is up to you to determine what makes the most sense in your particular situation.

Not studying is not a legitimate option, no matter how good you are at passing exams! This is not a test that you can “logic” your way through.

The self-study option of preparation

For some project managers, self-studying to prepare for the exam may be a legitimate option. Self-studying may eliminate the cost of an exam preparation course, but it will most likely increase your time commitment required.

If you decide to self-study, there are some serious considerations for your preparation approach: the pace of your study plan, the source of your material, and the alignment of your learning with the current version of the exam.

Study plan pace

There is a delicate balance between going too fast and going too slow to prepare for the exam. Attempting to “cram” or study quickly in a short amount of time will leave you feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, and, most likely, poorly prepared. While the content is not necessarily difficult, there is a lot to learn! And regardless of how experienced you are as a project manager, it is more than likely that there will be many new topics and vocabulary terms to learn.

On the flip side, it is essential to stay on-task and focused when learning the content. If you take too long to learn the material, especially without the proper reinforcement, you may find yourself forgetting the concepts you learned earlier in your preparation.

Source of the material

There is a lot of PMP exam preparation materials on the market. Quantity, however, does not equal quality. I encourage you to be incredibly diligent when purchasing any exam preparation material. Keep in mind that each book is written from that author’s perspective of the exam, and as such, each author may describe the context differently. Validate that the author is exceptionally well-versed in preparing project managers for the PMI (Project Management Institute) exams, not just simply someone who holds the PMP themself. Passing the test is one thing. Having the capability to teach others how to pass is another skill set altogether.

Alignment with the current version of the exam

PMI updates the PMP exam regularly, and some of these updates can be very significant. Verify that any and all study materials that you are using are in alignment with the current version of the exam. For further benefit, it is incredibly vital that the materials you are using include access to exams, preferably online exams, to replicate the actual exam experience as closely as possible.

Self-studying is a viable option for individuals that:

  1. Have the time for a set studying and preparation schedule
  2. Have access to top-of-the-line preparation materials
  3. Are disciplined with their studies
  4. Can develop a strong understanding of complex topics
  5. Can stay on-task, on-point, and disciplined with their learning

While self-study may not be the best option for everyone, with time, dedication, and discipline, it can be done.

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 10:25 AM

Top 7 Tips for Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam Preparation

  • 04 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® exam is undoubtedly a very challenging test. However, there are some proven tips and tactics that can significantly increase the probability of a successful outcome. Having taught, mentored, and advised hundreds of project managers on preparing for the exam, I have found that these seven tips build the most robust foundation.

Tip 1: Do not underestimate the difficulty

There are two common misconceptions related to the difficulty of the exam: if you’re good at taking tests, the PMP will be easy, and if you’re an experienced project manager, you will have no problem passing. These are both blatantly untrue. While you will yield some benefit from being a good “test taker,” the PMP is not an exam that you can simply “logic” your way through, no matter how smart or experienced you are. It is essential to understand the project management concepts as described and enforced by the Project Management Institute (PMI), which may or may not align with your experience or practice.

Tip 2: Use reputable resources

There is no shortage of preparation materials available. It seems that everyone who has passed the exam in the past 40 years has decided to write a book. However, merely passing the exam does not make someone an expert in helping others prepare for the exam. Use sources that are authored by credible experts in the field of project management and adult education.

Tip 3: Exercise caution with advice that is given

Just as many PMP holders feel they can write a book, many also feel like it is their moral duty to advise anyone that is preparing for the exam. And while they should be very proud that they passed their exam, take any advice with a grain of salt. Remember that there are hundreds of questions in the question bank, and their experience may not be the same as your exam. People tend to have very selective amnesia upon completing the exam. Do they hate critical path? Guaranteed they will tell you they had a dozen critical path questions when, in reality, they probably had two.

Tip 4: Set the date

An underutilized technique is setting the date to take your exam. And when I say set the date, I mean actually schedule it with PMI. Believe it or not, we work best (and most efficiently) when there is a deadline. Student syndrome is a genuine thing! It is like having kids: if people waited until they could afford them, the human race would cease to exist! If you wait until you feel 100% confident about the exam, you will never take it. Schedule your exam and work tirelessly towards a successful attempt.

Tip 5: Practice, practice, practice

Reading and knowing the information for the exam is just one aspect of being successful. It is imperative that you take multiple practice tests. This will get you used to not only what information they may ask you but also how to work through complicated questions. Just verify that the questions align with the current version of the exam. And be skeptical of free exams. You get what you pay for!

Tip 6: Speak the concepts

Restating the concepts, out loud, is a potent tactic to ensure that you fully understand the project management concepts. While many people read the materials, that is only going to get them so far. To amplify your learning, try teaching the concepts to someone else: your spouse or partner, a work or study buddy, or heck, even your pets may make good listeners.

PMP Exam Preparation

Tip 7: Leverage your experience

I have yet to meet an experienced project manager that uses the exact same vocabulary or follows all of the processes that are detailed within A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). However, I encourage you to “map” the concepts of the PMBOK Guide to your work experience. What PMI may call the project charter, you may know as the project authorization form. By drawing the correlations between the concepts and your experience, the material will be much easier to retain.

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 07:56 AM

How Do I Take the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam?

  • 01 September, 2020

Belinda S. Goodrich, PMP, PgMP, PMI-SP, PMI-RMP, PMI-ACP, CAPM

The Project Management Professional (PMP)® credential is one of the most globally recognized credentials for project managers across all industries and organization types. In today’s competitive landscape, having the coveted PMP credential increases your job and salary opportunities. There are multiple steps required to earn your credential. Being organized and prepared can make this process easier and less stressful!

Step 1: Verify that you meet the criteria

To qualify for the PMP credential, you will need to meet the defined criteria. If you have a four-year degree or higher, you are required to have 36 months leading projects and 35 hours of project management education (or the Certified Associate in Project Management [CAPM]®).

For candidates without a four-year degree, the experience requirement increases to 60 months leading projects and the 35 hours of project management education (or the CAPM).

Step 2: Complete the online application

Once you are confident that you meet the requirements, it is time to complete the online application at It is at this point that you will also be required to set-up your profile with the Project Management Institute (PMI).

To complete the online application, you will need to document where you did your project work, your roles and responsibilities, the approximate project budget, team size, and the duration of your projects. Each project must represent professional project experience (not a personal project, such as a home improvement project), and you must have been responsible for leading and directing the work of the project. You will also document your education on the online application.

WARNING: Approximately 25% of applications are randomly selected for audit. Be sure you can provide proper verification in the event you are in the lucky 25%! In other words, do not lie on your application.

Step 3: Pay for your exam

As the saying goes, “nothing in life is free,” and that is true for the PMP exam! The exam fees are $405 if you are a PMI member and $555 if you are not a member. HINT: given that you save more than the price of membership, it is definitely worth it to become a PMI member, at least while you’re pursuing your credential.

Step 4: Schedule your exam

Once your application is approved by PMI and/or you have successfully completed the audit, it is time to schedule your exam. An exciting change was put into place in 2020, where PMP candidates can now complete their exam proctored online. No need to leave the safety and comfort of your home or office! If you prefer to take your exam at a testing site, the PMP exam is administered at Pearson VUE locations around the world. When scheduling your exam, leverage the time of day when you know you can perform at your best! Remember, this is a 4-hour exam: it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

PMP Exam

Step 5: Pass your exam

And the most exciting step is passing your PMP exam and demonstrating to the world that you are a serious, experienced, and professional project manager. You will be notified immediately upon completion of your exam as to your results. You will receive a proficiency rating in the five domains: initiating; planning; executing; monitoring and controlling; and closing.

With the proper preparation, you will be well on your road to being a PMP! Good luck!

Project Management Professional (PMP)® and “PMP” are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

Posted by EduMind Inc - 09:30 AM