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What is a PMP Exam Prep?

Project Management Professionals or PMPs are important in every industry because they manage individual team members of a project. However, before you obtain the PMP title, you must pass the PMP exam and become certified. In this article, you will discover the PMP exam prep and the importance of having a PMP certification.

Just like the CPA certification for accountants, a PMP certification displays that you are knowledgeable in project management. It also demonstrates that you have the skills and competencies to lead a project and meet the demand of the project and clients. The Project Management Institute (PMI) in the US is a non-profit professional organization for PMPs, and they administer the most sought after PMP certification.

Why do you need a PMP certification?

1. Improves your knowledge and skills

There are five performance domains that you need to build your knowledge on in preparation for the PMP examination. Each of those domains contains the information and skills you need to be competent in as a PMP. These domains are:

  1. Initiating the project
  2. Planning the project 
  3. Executing the project
  4. Monitoring and controlling the project
  5. Closing the project 

The questions included in the five domains mentioned above are mapped out against the PMP Examination Content Outline that is also covered in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). Studying for the examination using these two references will give you clarity on the set of standards, terminologies, and guidelines for project management. Thus, it improves your performance in managing a project and helps to complete a project efficiently.

2. Makes you stand out

Having a PMP credential on your name will give you an edge, and this will help you stand out from the rest of your colleagues and against your competitors if you are an applicant. Companies will see you as a credible candidate that knows how to handle a project if you are an experienced project manager and PMP certified. Being certified is in high demand to the recruiters because it is proof that you are equipped with the right skills to take on challenges and committed to accomplishing a task no matter what.

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3. Offers a higher salary

The difference in the salary of a non-PMP project manager, when compared to the salary of a PMP certified project manager, is about 20%. For example, a non-PMP’s median salary is $91,000, while a PMP certified’s median salary is at $111,000. In the USA, the highest-paid project managers are those in the pharmaceutical industry with a median salary of $125,000, followed by:

  • agriculture, mining and natural resources ($120,640)
  • consulting ($120,000)
  • aerospace ($115,000)
  • engineering ($112,000)
  • utility ($110,425)
  • government ($110,000)
  • information technology ($110,000)

PMP certification does not restrict you to only one industry. When it comes to practical application, your knowledge, skills, methodologies, and standards can be transferred to other industries and geographies. 

How do you prepare for a PMP exam?

The PMP examination is not easy. That is why if you are planning to take the exam, you need to be committed and prepare thoroughly. No matter how much experience you have and even if you are equipped with the right education, you should not be complacent that the exam will be a breeze for you—serious preparation and determination is essential. Most successful candidates spend 35 hours or more in preparation for the PM exam. Here are the best practices for preparing to increase your chances of passing the exam.

1. Review the project management professional (PMP)® examination content outline and handbook.

The PMP exam content outline is a documentation of the important steps to ensure that you will pass the exam on the first try. The questions in the PMP examination are mapped out and aligned with PMP exam content outline to guarantee that the correct number of questions in place is suitable on the actual examination. On the other hand, the PMP handbook contains the necessary information on how you can apply for a PMP certification.

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2. Enroll to a training course on PMP.

When enrolling for a training course on PMP, you must check first if it is a Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) by the Project Management Institute (PMI). The R.E.P.s are institutions that have been granted to provide training in project management and issue professional development units (PDUs) to meet the ongoing education requirements for PMI certificate holders.

You can go to the course catalog in PMI’s continuing certification requirements system for training courses and events. You can also request for group training for your organization.

Enrolling in online courses like PMP Project Management can also help you become more prepared for the PMP exam.

3. Set up a study plan.

You should treat the PMP exam like other major examinations, and this is by creating an effective study plan. In creating a study plan, you must organize a schedule and your learning goal.

4. Review the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide).

As we have mentioned earlier, the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is included in the PMP Examination Content Outline and other self-study books published by R.E.P.s, as well as other reputable training organizations.

5. Make your own test to study.

Creating and answering a mockup version of the exam before taking the real thing has a huge benefit for the candidate:

  • You will find out which topics you need to master.
  • You will be able to focus more on topics that you need to master further.
  • It will reduce fear and anxiety during the actual exam.

You may also find free PMP questions and answers online to familiarize yourself with some PMP test questions

You can achieve success and pass the PMP examination with the right attitude, effort, motivation, and knowledge. Use the tips on how you can prepare for your PMP exam and obtain the PMP certification that you have always been wanting.

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About The Author

Esther B.

Esther B.

Esther is a writer whose work focuses on career and personal development. She has also been YourTango’s Expert Partner where she wrote articles mostly for women to encourage them to have a meaningful life and healthier relationships. Her articles were constantly in YourTango’s weekly top ten for highest number of page views and her works have been featured in MSN and POPSUGAR. She also has almost 8 years of experience working for top publishing companies (Wiley and Cengage Learning) helping authors publish their books and research papers. When she is not on the computer, you’ll likely find her in the kitchen busy looking for snacks to eat.