banner taking pmp exam prep in classroom

What to Consider When Choosing Your PMP Exam Prep

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification administered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) definitely gives project managers a boost in their career. That is why choosing your PMP exam prep wisely to help you pass the examination is essential.

The PMP certification provides project managers with value and visibility within the company. It also certifies that one has the skills and knowledge to become an efficient project manager, thus, increasing earning potential because of the demand in the job market.

Candidates who have successfully passed the examination spent 35 hours or more preparing for the exam, and it is not as easy as you thought. The exam is made up of 200 multiple-choice questions, and you need to answer those questions within four (4) hours. The exam is composed of five (5) domains:  

  1. Initiating the project (13%)
  2. Planning the project (24%)  
  3. Executing the project (31%)
  4. Monitoring and controlling the project (35%)
  5. Closing the project (7%)

Also, candidates should familiarize themselves with the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), as it will also be covered in the examination. 

Preparing for the examination, review materials, and even the study plan can be difficult if you are doing all of those on your own. One way to help you with your review is by taking a PMP exam prep course. You will be provided with a structural method on your review materials and points in dealing with the most important topic areas. 

photo of man holding a book

Here are some things to consider when choosing your PMP exam prep:

1. Choose what you want between online or face-to-face PMP exam prep course

Face-to-face PMP exam prep courses are done in a classroom setting with other students in the same class. It can also be a one-on-one class between the instructor and yourself. The advantage of this traditional classroom setup is the live interactions where the teacher can help the students learn the lessons actively and quickly.

Taking an online exam prep is one of the most convenient ways to study the materials and modules because you can just stay at home and access the needed materials. Most online courses also provide you more flexibility in terms of schedule because you can choose the time when you want to study.

Here are some of the online courses for your PMP exam preparation:  

2. Ensure that the PMP course is based on the updated PMBOK Guide

Currently, the latest edition of the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) is the 6th edition that was published in 2017. This is because the examination is always based on the PMBOK Guide latest version.

3. Look for PMI® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.)

Another thing to consider is that the courses should be PMI® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.) to ensure that courses comply with PMI quality criteria and standard. You can visit the course catalog or even request for group training for your organization on PMI’s website to find courses and apply for group training.

4. The course instructor should be PMP® certified

Ensuring that the instructor of the course is PMP® Certified will be of great advantage because these instructors have the skills, knowledge, and experience in preparing for taking the examination.

woman taking pmp exam prep online laptop

5. Meet the 35 contact hours for the PMP exam

Applicants must show completion of 35 contact hours of formal education in order to apply for a PMP exam. If you fail to complete this, you are not allowed to take the exam. Before you enroll in these courses, you need to make sure that they offer a certificate verifying that you completed at least 35 contact hours. Also, you must complete the coursework before you submit your application for the PMP exam.

As stated in the PMP handbook, you can obtain or complete your contact hours from any training provider, even if it is not a PMI® Registered Education Provider (R.E.P.). Therefore, it will be much easier for you to meet the required 35 contact hours.

6. Compare the courses and plan your budget

Before you enroll in PMP prep exam courses, you must first carefully compare the pricing, as well as other factors such as the duration and the provided modules and materials. 

Becoming PMP certified is not cheap. Non-PMI members must pay an exam fee of $555, while the exam fee for the PMI members is $405. To become a PMI member, you can create a free PMI online account here.

7. Explore the course curriculum and provided modules/materials of the PMP course provider

Don’t just enroll impulsively in PMP exam prep courses. There are courses that are too expensive but do not provide you the criteria that are suitable for your needs, which will not be effective on you. You should consider the following in choosing a course:

  • Ratings of the past students
  • Success passing rate of students
  • Certificate verifying completion of at least 35 contact hours
  • Free sample or practice questions
  • 24/7 live chat support from the expert support team
  • Free study tools
  • Testimonials from past students

By keeping in mind these seven points that you should consider when choosing your PMP exam prep, you will become well-equipped and ready to get a hold of your PMP certification, and finally securing your future as a PMP.

Ready to move up in your career? Advance your skills with 30 days FREE of All Access Pass and learn from over 1,000 online video courses. Click here to get started.

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.