The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a globally recognized professional certification. The certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), as an endorsement of project management experience and knowledge. PMP certification is considered as the best option for the project management aspirants. Many aspirants seek information and guidance relevant to PMP Exam preparation trainings as well as PMP Exam.
Are you interested to be well informed on the critical aspects of the PMP exam? Do you want to know about the recent changes in the PMBok? Or are you keen to explore the PMP Exam requirements? Do you want to have answers to many more PMP related questions? Then you are definitely reading the right article! As in this article, we will provide you information on interesting Top 10+ questions about the PMP exam which will be helpful for project management aspirants to initiate their journey towards project management.
PMP demands a serious focused effort by the aspirants to obtain the PMP credentials. Therefore it is important to get the idea of the PMP Exam so that you can plan to mark the success as certified. Let me take you through these questions one by one. As I understand that the PMP credentials will help you showcase your abilities, experience, in addition to your efforts and consistency you have put in to achieve your target, I surely believe that this little effort of mine may act as a game-changer for you.
PMP Brings Advantages
There are many advantages that PMP certification brings to the PMP certification holders. These advantages surely act as a motivator for the aspirants to initiate and complete their PMP journey. According to independent researches, certified project managers in the United States make an average of $111,000 per year and PMPs make 22% more than non-PMPs. The annual salary ranges from $85,000 to $135,000 depending on the years of experience. So the PMP benefits include high market value, increased credibility and in many cases, higher pay.
- The organizations are looking to recruit best project managers with globally endorsed skills, PMP certification is a must-have requirement of hiring organizations. Even if PMP is not specifically mentioned, one gets preference in the hiring criteria.
- The organizations also get the edge on their PMP certified professionals as they make the profile richer.
- The PMP certification holders earn recognition and value within their current organization. The challenging tasks are generally given to more qualified project managers, so it makes PMP project managers better options. The success in the projects earns them rewards and recognition.
- Companies love to promote and fill in the vacancies with their existing resources if they are certified.
- According to an independent survey, people with PMP certification are earning 20 percent more salary as compared to their non-certified peers. This is a great return on investment of what you spend on the PMP certification.
- PMP does not bound you to a specific industry. Even though the degrees lay the foundation within a specific industry. The PMP certification lays a foundation of the project management knowledge and skills set on top of that technical skills. It paves the path towards the management ladder with a strong foundation and strong recognition.
What Are the PMP Exam Requirements?
PMI defines quite an extensive criteria requirement to sit in the PMP exam. This criterion is very well thought; it ensures that the project management aspirants meet a certain education level, relevant work experience. In addition to this, the criteria also set a requirement for relevant training. The aspirants fulfilling these criteria are eligible to appear in the PMP exam. These three dimensions play an important role to select the right candidates.
|Education||Project Management Experience||Project Management Education|
|Non Graduates||5 years/7500 hours||35 hours|
|Graduates||3 years/4500 hours||35 hours|
Education and Experience
You can see that the project management experience requirement is subject to the degree of the candidate. If the candidate is a graduate then they need to showcase the 3 years of experience which means 4500 hours of project-related activities. Whereas if the candidate is a non-graduate, then the project management experience requirement goes to 5 years. Hence the non-graduate candidate has to showcase 5 years of experience that can be converted to 7500 hours.
Contact hours – Training
In addition to education and experience, the above-mentioned criteria also emphasize the training hours fulfilment. So in order to qualify for the PMP exam criteria, candidates need to acquire 35 hours of PMP training.
Considering this important factor for 35 hours of professional engagement, you must acquire professional training. And it is very clear from this fact that the training plays a crucial role in obtaining the PMP certification. So other than your education and working experience, you must obtain these 35 hours.
What is the PMP Exam Like?
The PMP exam is composed of 180 questions. There are 230 minutes to complete the exam. The PMP Exam Questions will be a combination of multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank types of questions.
These questions are distributed within different project management domains. In other words, we can say that these questions are distributed within process groups that include, Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling and Closing.
The duration of the PMP Exam is 4 hours. So a candidate has around 1 hour for 25 questions on average. Means around 2 minutes for each question. Some of the questions will be relatively easy and may take less time of yours as compared to the average time, whereas some are long or complex which may take more time of yours as compared to the average time.
Domain wise PMP Exam questions distribution
The breakup of PMP Exam with respect to questions within different project management domains is as follows;
Three Main Domains & Weight for PMP Exam:
1- People (42%)
2- Process (50%)
3- Business Environment (8%)
About half of the PMP exam will represent predictive project management approaches and the other half will represent agile or hybrid approaches.
It is important to mention here that each question of the PMP Exam is a multiple-choice question with 4 options. Out of these options, you have to select the right one from these given options. Hence you should try your best to practice the different domains and different types of questions, and you should also practice how to pick the right choice among several others.
Types of PMP Exam Questions
This means that the duration of ~4 hours and 180 questions from various domains within the project management framework, will be good enough to assess your understanding, knowledge, and experience along with your ability to interpret, focus and sustain. For this sake, there will be different types of questions. Many others have also categorized these questions to make the aspirants understand the overall structure of the PMP Exam. But there is no breakup of question types like the one you see for project management domains of process groups. Following are the most common and general categorization of these questions;
- ITTO-based questions
- Definition-based questions
- Situation-based questions
- Formula-based questions
- Interpretational questions
- Professional and social responsibility Questions
Within the project management framework, all the processes are equipped with Inputs, Tools and Techniques and Outputs which is abbreviated as ITTO. The good part of such questions is that these are well defined within the PMBoK so one can practice and remember. But it also brings the tough dimension as one has to remember the ITTOs for each of the processes.
There are certain logical ways to remember and answer such type of PMP exam questions. You need to practice in the real scenarios by putting yourself in the situation where you learn each process in terms of what is the output and what tools and techniques you must apply to obtain this specific output. Also, to apply the tools and techniques you must have certain inputs.
You can make this learning easier if you do your homework with respect to certain domains and process group areas. That includes Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring and Control, and Closing. This makes it easier to recall for the same stage of each knowledge area with some knowledge area-specific alterations.
For example “What is the output of Project Charter Process?”
There are also some questions that can check your understanding of specific terms and definitions. These questions are based on the definition given in the PMBOK guide. Such types of questions are easier to recall and hence easier to answer.
The tip of fool proofing this type of question preparation is to go through the close terms, make a list of these terms and make a comparison of these close terms. Different training provers also prepare flashcards to remember and reinforce such types of questions.
The good part of these questions is that once you prepare the question, you are likely to recall easily. These are also straightforward questions as their definitions do not change. The main point you should remember is to cover the broader aspect of terms and their definitions. For example, you should know the difference between types of Risks or the difference between Leads and Lags.
Q: “What is meant by Finish to Start relationship?”
A: “A logical relationship in which a successor activity cannot start until a predecessor activity has finished.”
PMP exam comprises of situation-based types of questions as well. In such types of questions, you are given a situation and based on the situation you are asked to find the correct answer. These questions test your ability to apply theoretical know-how to real-life project management situations. These situation based questions are tricky ones. So you have to be very mindful when you evaluate the situations to get to the most relevant answer.
Comes with long phrasing – a distinguishing factor
These scenarios based questions usually come with long phrasing. So you can develop your baseline of the situation layout in front of you. However, it is important to note that sometimes you may get additional information so you have to extract the right information and build the scenario applicability. The idea behind this is that in real life you will be given both relevant and irrelevant information. This is your test to identify what’s relevant and what is to ignore to build up your practical scenario understanding.
In addition to this, the wording of the questions plays a vital distinguishing factor where you will be asked what will be the BEST, NEXT, LAST, NOT, or EXCEPT option. So you have to give extra care to such tricky words. Especially the keywords like LAST, NOT or EXCEPT actually turn the situation into the reversals. These are the complex questions as there seems to be more than one option within the multiple choices you are given.
Most of the PMP exam questions fall in this type. So you should have a very systematic approach to handle such questions. First of all, you need to filter relevant and irrelevant information, to capture the real and relevant problem set. Once you are done with the extraction of the right information. you must try to read the answers and check whether the provided answer could be a possible option or not. This act will help you to eliminate the obvious wrong options. As a matter of fact, by ruling out the irrelevant you are shortlisting the possible correct answers. Then again you need to try to apply each possible correct answer and check whether it fulfils all the conditions given in the question or not.
For example, you are working as a project manager to implement a project ABC. Your project requirements are in the execution stage. During your progress meeting on the overall status of the project, one of your project stakeholders asks you to implement a requirement. You also recognize that this requirement will add value to the project. What will be your best response to the stakeholder?
Such questions not only check your understanding of the concepts but also the applicability of these concepts as well as your experience in the domain of project management. So you need to focus on answering the question with the given information and your project management knowledge.
One very interesting type of question in the PMP exam is formula-based questions. There are almost fifty PMP formulas that you will need to know and understand prior to taking the PMP exam. The number of formulae is associated with different knowledge areas and domain areas. There are formulae associated with activity scheduling and costing, communications, indicators to assess project progress and value of the project.
An important thing to remember is that you will also need to know and understand all of the associated acronyms. You need to understand the applicability of these formulae. Also, you need to understand the acronyms used within each formula. On first look, you may find this variety of formula a bit harder or overwhelming, But as a matter of fact, once you understand the concepts these are like a breeze and you can easily learn them. After all your graduation degree has already taken you to a certain level where you may already have learned tot many during your education.
Just keep in mind that practicing the formula is the only way to remember. You must practice these formulae both sides i.e. forwards and backward so you can apply these formulae based on the given values in the question statement. In addition to this, a good grasp of the formulas may help you to more easily eliminate PMP exam question choices.
For example, the Cost performance index can be calculated by using the formula CPI= EV/AC, provided we can find Earned value (EV) and Actual Cost(AC) from the given statement. Likewise, we can find EV = CPI * AC, or we can find situations where AC = EV/ CPI is required using the same formula.
Be mindful that even if you know the formula, there is a room of silly mistakes if you are not doing step by step calculations or you take some preconceived notions. Sometimes it looks like you can do the calculations easily but rather than multiplying you just did a division. Try to avoid any such small mistakes. Even the answer options may be based on such mistakes so one can easily fall into the trap if not mindful.
The best advantage that is associated with the formula based questions is that once you identify the formula and apply it correctly within a given situation then there is only one correct answer. Also, it is important to bring your attention that sometimes you will have to solve the problem by not only using a single straight forward formula. You may need to apply multiple formulas to solve the problem. so you need to practice complex scenarios within your study plan.
Interpretational PMP Exam Questions
Another interesting dimension comes with the interpretational questions. These questions aim to test your ability to deduce a condition from the problem statement.
These require you to identify the meaning of the situation based on your understanding of the facts provided and will require you to apply the correct awareness for the correct answer. In other words, these questions require you to go a step further than knowledge-based questions. For instance, you are given some data in the form of a graph, performance indicator. So you can interpret the past, present, and future of the project. These questions will require your good understanding of the concepts as well as formula.
To answer these questions you must be able to decode a situation or condition from the given information in the form of status or problem. Therefore in order to prepare for such a question, you can run different scenarios while preparing for your PMP exam. For example, what is meant by a positive CPI and a negative SPI at the same time for a specific project? Does this situation mean a call for any corrective action or it is the best situation of the project?
You should also be able to understand the graphs like standard deviation. There are also other graphs in the form of quality management tools associated with the Quality Management knowledge area. What is the graph representation of negative correlation or what is the graph representation of positive correlation?
Technique-based PMP Exam Questions
In these types of questions, you will likely be tested for your understanding of specific techniques during a PMP exam question. A technique is “a defined systematic procedure employed by a human resource to perform an activity to produce a product or result or deliver a service, and that may employ one or more tools”.
These types of questions may require you to demonstrate your knowledge of a certain technique and its application. For example, you may be given a certain network diagram and asked to calculate the critical path. Or you may be asked to calculate the floats on each node within the network diagram. In addition, you may be asked to do a forward pass or backward pass and calculate the critical path, even you may be given a sample data and asked to identify the critical path. In this case, you may have to draw the network diagram first to calculate the desired values and find the best result.
In addition to this, you may be given a decision tree to find out the best option for return on investment. Or you are given a situation where you need to estimate based on PERT. So it may be knowledge-based where you can demonstrate your understanding of what a technique is used for. However, the PMP exam question can also test your understanding of how a technique is applied.
So this is a crucial part of your preparation where you not only know the techniques but you should have the knowledge to apply these techniques. You should go through the Tools and Techniques section of PMBoK, understand the purpose of each technique and the application. There are a variety of techniques mentioned in the PMBoK. Some are relatively easier to grasp whereas some require more practice. During your preparation for the PMP exam, you need to identify the gaps and keep on practicing unless you master these techniques to the extent of their applicability.
However, there are certain scenarios where you do not have to go into the fullest depth. As per my understanding, one must not necessarily apply the steps within Monte-Carlo analysis, but one should be able to interpret the result generated through this simulation.
Professional and social responsibility questions
There are a few questions that can come under this question type. Each professional body brings professional and social responsibility aspects to ensure the positive role of an individual. So these types of questions will test your understanding of the Project Management Institute Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct. This may be tested through different techniques where it is reinforced and assessed that you have a good understanding of your professional and social responsibility.
PMI has identified four core values across the global project management community that are most important to project managers. These are:
In order to test these values, you may encounter several questions within your PMP Exam. There may be questions like one of your client offers you a free lunch what will be your best approach? Or one of your clients offers you a gift what will be your approach? Likewise, your integrity for sharing the actual status can be tested.
What is the PMP Exam Passing Score?
PMI has played around with the passing score several times. It is a common belief that 61% is the passing score for the PMP Exam. However, this is not an official pass rate so no hard carded passing score is available. Also, the passing score is subject to PMI discretion. The 61% passing rate was the reason for setting a benchmark based on the complexity of the PMP examination and success ratio with respect to the total exams.
The most important point to consider is what should be the percentage of practice tests. That can give you the idea of whether you are ready for the actual PMP Exam. I can safely recommend that PMP aspirants must score at least 70% in their practice PMP exams to guarantee their PMP success. The better the practice score, the better the chance to succeed.
What is the PMP Exam Pass Rate?
The PMP Exam rate means how many of the PMP exam candidates sit and pass the PMP exam. Like the PMP passing score, there is not an official score or percentage declared by the PMI for this either. So if any websites mention the rates or percentage, they are not the official ratings or scores of PMI.
As I mentioned earlier that the PMP Exam is not a simple exam, therefore there is more likely that the candidates have a higher tendency to fail the PMP Exam in their first try. That is the reason many training providers mention their money-back guarantees. In addition to this, some of the training provers also mention their full backing to the applicants. On top of this, they mention their success rates based on their trainees who sit in the exam and qualify.
If you properly plan your PMP Exam preparation through formal training and practicing, there is more chance of success. If you have practiced well the pass rate will not have much impact. The reason being a mere fact that you do not know how many candidates appear after proper preparation.
How Can I Apply for the PMP Exam?
There are two ways to apply for the PMP Exam based on the delivery type. The examination delivery type is either Computer-Based Testing (CBT) or Paper-Based Testing (PBT). These tests are based on demographic locations. As in some countries, computer-based testing is available whereas in others only paper-based testing is available. The preferred approach is Computer-Based Testing (CBT). In some areas, the Paper-Based Test (PBT) is the only way to take the exam unless you travel far from your location. It is recommended to apply online since the process is easier and faster.
The PMP Exam application comprises of the following steps;
Create a PMI Account at PMI.org
You can create your account at PMI.org through the registration link. Once you initiate the registration you will follow the instructions for creating the account. On completion, you will get confirmation from PMI.
Submit the online application
Once your PMI account is active, you can proceed to fill your PMP application on the PMI website. When you choose Project Management Professional (PMP) certification option in the certification navigation, you are required to follow the application wizard. Once you cover all the steps of application filling, you are able to submit the application.
Review of Application by PMI
Once you have submitted your application for PMP certification, it is reviewed by PMI. There is a chance that your application is selected for the audit. And there is also a chance that your application is confirmed without any audit requirement.
In case your application is not selected for audit, you are ready to go for payment submission. In case, your application is selected for audit, you are required to comply with the audit process so that your application is approved by PMI to further proceed.
Once you have submitted your application for PMP certification, it is reviewed and approved by PMI. It completes your compliance for PMP certification eligibility criteria in terms of your education, training and relevant experience. You can now register for the PMP exam by paying the PMI examination fees.
Take the Exam
Once you submit the payment and it is acknowledged by PMI you can schedule and reserve your slot for the PMP exam within your nearest authorized center.
How can I pass the PMP Exam Application Audit?
Once you submit your PMP exam application to PMI, your PMP application will be approved by PMI. But another probability is that your application might be selected for the Audit process.
The PMP Audit process has a process of a random selection of PMP applications. In other words, The PMP may select an application at any point in time and ask the applicant to comply with the Audit process. There is a small percentage of applicants have the chance of being randomly selected for an audit.
On first look, being selected for Audit may seem stressful, however, the audit is generally a simple process. All you have to do is provide evidence of what you declared within the application. So if you fill your application carefully, there should be no problem in providing the evidence.
In order to ensure your application compliance with the Audit process, you must send the following to PMI;
Proof of education
You will need to provide a photocopy of your degree certificate for the highest level of education completed. This is the criteria in which you specified your degree. As you already have the degree with you so not a big deal to get a copy and add it to your Audit response bundle.
Proof of 35 hours of project management education
Another criterion to sit in the PMP Exam is the 35 hours of project management education. Once you get training from a training provider, they must award you with a certificate of completion with 35 contact hours. All you have to do is get a copy of this certificate and add it to your Audit response bundle which you will send to PMI in response to the Audit selection.
Details of your project management experience
The third criteria to sit in the PMP Exam is your experience based on your degree of Education. This may take a bit of additional work but still pretty much straightforward. All you have to do is to get the Print out of the PDF documents from your audit package organized by PMI and mail your documents to your supervisors. They will have to verify and sign off on each form you have sent to them. After the signing off they have to send the forms back to you. After you receive all the forms form your supervisors you will also include them in your Audit response bundle.
Please note that you may have worked on multiple projects which may require sign off from relevant supervisors. So each of the specified supervisors needs to verify their relevant project. Also, the supervisors do not have to send the verified forms directly to PMI.
Once you acquire all these above items and include them in your response bundle, you will send the entire package to the PMI on the address provided by PMI. It generally takes PMI a week’s time to receive the package, and process the audit. Once the audit of your application gets clearance, you can schedule your PMP exam.
How Much Does the PMP Exam Cost?
There are three main costs of PMP exam:
- Training fee
- The fee of the PMP Exam
- PMP exam preparation time
PMP Exam Training Cost
The training is a mandatory requirement of the PMP Exam. Therefore you will first have to complete the PMP training of 35 hours. There are many training providers from which you can acquire the PMP training. Also, several training providers give training in various formats. Some choose a classroom or instructor-led setting, while others take online courses. These formats and training options bring a variety of prices as well. In-person PMP training options start from $500 and go up to $3,500 while PMP exam online training options start at relatively low cost.
You can read our Top 10 PMP Training post to see all PMP training options and ratings.
I think the provider with the ideal cost-performance ratio is Master of Project Academy. Master of Project Academy PMP Training is reasonably priced, additionally, they have several enrolment options which start from $87/month. Finally, Master of Project Academy PMP Training has a 99.6% first-attempt pass rate with a very good refund policy.
Once you have completed the requirements pertaining to education, experience and 35 contact hours of training, you have to take the PMP exam in a Pearson VUE test center. Based on the acceptance of your application by PMI, you can schedule your exam date at your nearest Pearson VUE test center.
The PMP Exam has an associated cost. This cost varies depending on whether the applicant is a PMI member or not. The following table shows the PMP Exam fees distribution for PMI and non-PMI members. The table also displays the cost of re-attempt examination fees. These fees also vary whether the candidate is a PMI member or not.
The following table shows the PMP exam fees distribution for PMI members, non-PMI members and for re-attempt.
|PMP Examination||PMI Member Examination Fees(USD)||Non-PMI Member Examination Fees(USD)|
|PMP Exam – First Time||$405||$555|
|PMP Re-attempt Examination||$275||$375|
The PMP exam fee is 555 USD for the people who are not a member of PMI whereas the fee is 404 USD for the PMI members. One important point I would like to mention; If you choose to become a PMI member at the time of your application, you will just have to pay 555 USD for the PMP exam fee and the PMI membership fee combined. If you do not opt to become a PMI-member, you will pay the same PMP exam fee as well. Therefore, I recommend you to opt for the PMI membership prior to initiating your PMP Exam application.
PMI is a yearly membership. You will have to renew the membership after one year. The year start is effective from the date when your registration for membership is approved. PMI membership comes with its own cost. There’s a membership fee of $129 and a joining fee of $10. This cost is less then what you can save at the time of the PMP exam application as becoming a member of the Project Management Institute (PMI) can drop your exam fee from $555 to $405. Re-examination attempt fees are also drops from $375 to $275.
To avail the benefit of PMI membership in the PMP exam you must be an active member at the time of registration for the examination. If you have applied for the PMI membership, you would require ensuring that your PMI membership is approved and activate. You will not avail of the benefit if your PMI membership is either not approved or expired.
What I have just mentioned above, is one benefit of becoming a PMI member. There are also some other benefits of being a PMI member. The PMI membership offers the following benefits to the members:
- You gain free access for downloading standards, guides and other valuable material relevant to Project management. This also includes the Project Management Body of Knowledge(PMBok). All the material is available on the PMI site pmi.org
- Variety of templates that help project managers
- Access to webinars and events
- Discounted price in the examination fees and re-examination fees
- Discounts price in the CCR renewal fees
PMP Exam Preparation Time
Once you complete the PMP Exam training and earn 35 contact hours to fulfil the PMP Exam criteria you are in the phase of self-study. You can opt to study the material prior to the PMP Exam training to get the basic concepts in line with your experience. This PMP exam preparation time is the intangible cost that you need to invest in terms of time and effort.
The training providers may also suggest the PMP Exam Preparation roadmap one can follow after their training. However, this duration is dependent on how much time you can spend on the PMP Exam training. This time may vary from 4 to 6 months based on your daily and weekly effort in terms of hours. You must be considerate especially when you are buying the online course as you can fully boost your roadmap once you purchase the online PMP course because the pace of the course study will depend on you.
How Can I Study for the PMP Exam?
There are a variety of training programs being offered for the project management aspirants. If you are also looking to achieve this milestone, you can look for training options in this regard. Many training providers offer a variety of mechanisms to provide the training. You can look for the following training formats as per your priorities. These formats include:
- In-person PMP Classroom Training
- Virtual PMP Training
- Online Training
These trainings are great events that prepare you for the certifications.
- In-Person PMP Classroom Training
There are instructor-led classroom training offered by PMP training providers. These trainings generally have a duration of 4 days. Since these trainings are offered in specific locations depending on the premises arranged by the training providers if you want to avail of the trainings in this format, you need to check the availability of the courses at your nearest premises. Also, you need to adjust your schedule according to the training provider program offerings. This format of PMP training has certain advantages and disadvantages:
- You can directly interact with the experts
- You can interact with other enrolled students
- The training environment is well set for the learning
- You get a chance to work in groups, these group interactions enhance learning. Candidates learn not only from the trainer but also from the others.
- These classes will make you follow the schedule for learning.
- The classroom environment provides human touch rather than only technology
- It gets difficult to leave for the training out of your busy schedule
- You have to travel to the premises where the classroom training is offered which may cost you extra time
- These are one time trainings so once you miss the topic it may not be possible to grasp the topic in the same classroom fashion
- You can not repeat the lectures
- You may compromise on other critical activities to attend the classes
2- Instructor-Led Virtual PMP Training
Another option of getting the PMP exam training is through instructor-led virtual PMP training. These trainings generally are offered for a duration of 4 days. Such formats are offered on weekdays, and over the weekends. These trainings also award you 35 contact hours. Generally, weekday sessions start every Monday and end on Thursday. Weekend sessions start biweekly on Saturdays and end in two weekends (Saturday & Sunday). However such trainings are also scheduled by the training providers. So if you are interested in the Virtual PMP exam training you can see the schedule of the training provider.
- Long-distance learning
- Enhances collaboration and communication
- Real-time teaching and learning
- Effective and efficient time management
- Gives students and teacher a worldwide exposure
- Accessed to everyone equally from anywhere and at anytime
- Introduces students and educators to education technology
- Encourages digital and smart classrooms
- No control over the students or classroom
- No control over the learning atmosphere or environment
- You would need a computer and internet access, which might not be at hand every time
- Students lack real-time teaching experience
3-Self Paced PMP Training
Another alternative is self-paced learning which is 100% online. This training will also get you to earn 35 contact hours that are required to sit for the PMP exam.
These are the online lectures and learning material which are 24/7 available to the enrolled students. Generally, you get online access to the training material for a specific time of period depending on the package you avail from the training providers. You do not have to follow the schedule as is for in-person classroom trainings or virtual classroom trainings. So you do not need to wait or look for the scheduled offerings by the training providers to avail of this type of training.
- This is a very effective way of delivering courses.
- It is convenient and flexible, so the resources are reachable from everywhere, every time.
- If you are a part-time student or are working full time, you can benefit from this kind of web-based learning.
- Web-based learning promotes active and independent learning.
- No need to travel to attend any sessions
- You will have access to the course content 24/7, so you will be able to study anytime and anywhere.
- If you like, you can study on a day to day basis, but also on weekends or whenever you have available time. There is no fixed schedule.
- You have the option to listen to particular topics as many times as you want if you need it. This means your preparation will be quite effective. For instance, when you do a practice exam, then based on the results you might need to cover some specific gaps. This approach is highly effective to mark success in your PMP training.
- The courses are accompanied by learning activities and tasks.
- The online assessments are mostly limited to questions.
- The online learning programs might have a problem in terms of the extent of security.
- This type of learning also requires computers and internet access, which might not be at hand to everyone
- There is a lack of group-based learning
- It contains less human interactions and more technologic interactions
You can read our Top 10 PMP Training post to see all PMP training options and ratings.
Many training providers provider PMP exam trainings in different formats, also several provide all these options and you choose the most suitable for your needs. You can choose any of these formats depending on which format suits you or you are interested in. There are many service providers who offer the PMP Exam trainings in all these formats. But to cut it short here, I would recommend you go for a self-paced learning format. It provides you the flexibility and saves you from the hassle of time and location binding which is a great advantage in itself.
Choose a Comprehensive PMP Exam Training
PMP exam training programs play a vital role in the aspirant’s success in the PMP Exam. Therefore you must be careful when you choose from the available options. These training programs help you prepare a clear road map to follow. So you get a direction that you can follow to prepare for the PMP exam.
In addition to this PMP training helps you cover all the required topics to prepare for the PMP exam. You cover the project management framework, basic concepts of knowledge areas and processes with respect to the PMBOK published by PMI. When you cover all these concepts, you can be ready to improve your foundation.
It means that the right choice of PMP Exam Training is mandatory to achieve the PMP certification. Below are some questions that one can consider to choose the training provider:
- Does it provide me 35 contact hours?
- Which training formats are offered?
- Does it offer the flexibility of location and time?
- Does the curriculum cover the topics of the PMP Exam?
- Do they offer me training material to prepare more for the PMP Exam?
- What will be the duration of online access if I choose the e-learning format,?
- Will I get a certificate of completion to apply for the PMP exam?
- Will the PMP exam training help me assess my readiness with the help of exercises, quizzes, practice tests, mock sessions, etc.?
- What is the course fee? Is it cost-effective?
- If I fail in the PMP exam in my first attempt how will the institute support me?
You may refer to the article PMP Training – Top 10 PMP Training Program Review to get extensive details on the PMP Exam training options.
Should I Use PMBOK During My PMP Exam Preparation?
PMI has developed a standard PM Body of Knowledge (PMBok). That includes the foundation framework of all the processes required to manage the project. These processes are clumped together in the form of Process Groups and Knowledge Areas. In addition to this, the PMBok encompasses all the Tools and Techniques for each process within the overall framework. In other words, we can say that PMBok is the bible of project management as well as the PMP exam.
Hence, it is important to go through PMBok. It is not easy to read the PMBok, as there is high-level coverage of concepts, which makes it much theoretical. Most of the PMP exam materials are prepared inspired form the PMBok and more emphasis is given to the elaboration of these concepts. But how you would know that the PMP exam topics are well covered in the course material?
Even though it is not mandatory to follow the PMBok you need to consult PMBok to get the foundation of project management concepts. This way you can also be sure that the material is sufficient enough to cover the PMP exam as well as help you understand the concepts.
The PMP exam books and material helps you understand the theoretical concepts and practice these concepts in given real situations. If you wish to follow a PMP Book, you can follow a PMP exam prep book that focuses more on how to get ready for the PMP exam and pass in the first attempt. For reference, you can find a PMP exam preparation book published by Master of Project Academy.
Best Way to Get Ready for the PMP Exam
There are several ways you can opt to get ready for the PMP exam. Considering the variety of requirements, different training institutes provide trainings in more than one way. As we mentioned before they offer training in these formats:
- Classroom instructor-led training
- Virtual online training
Each of these formats has its own pros and cons. One can way out these pros and cons and identify which suits them.
In my opinion, the online training format is the best training. My point is backed by different factors:
- The PMP aspirants generally have busy routines
- No one likes to pay too much for a course
- Why select an expensive option when you have the option of lesser cost.
- You can repeat the lecture any time so it is in your control on how many times you want to listen to a specific topic
- You can access the contents anywhere and at any time. No constraints or bounds of time and location.
- You do not have to travel to the course location and this saves you time and travel cost.
- You can run the course as per your time schedule so planning gets easier.
When is the Next PMP Exam Date?
The beauty of the PMP Exam is that its timing is not bound to a specific month or date. As mentioned earlier, the applicants once submit their application. It is either selected for the audit by PMI otherwise the application is approved. In case of an audit, the applicant has to submit the audit response package to PMI which may take a week’s time.
Any aspirant can submit their online application at any point in time. All the activities of the PMP Exam audit and eligibility of the PMP application are subject to the application submission. Therefore the aspirants can easily plan for the timing of their PMP Exam on the basis of their availability and preparation.
PMP Exam Schedule
Once your application is approved you will have a year’s time period in which you can schedule your PMP Exam. For this sake, you need to choose a Pearson VUE Test center and select your date & time slot if it is available within the test center. It is important to note that these test centers are not dedicated to the PMP Exam. These test centers also offer several other certification and language tests. Therefore, I recommend scheduling your PMP exam at least one month before your planned date to avoid the busy dates of the testing centers. After your successful allocation of the time slot in the VUE test center, the schedule of your PMP Exam is fixed. In short, your PMP exam date is based on your choice of schedule.
What Are the Knowledge Areas of the PMP Exam?
There are 10 PMP Exam Knowledge Areas:
- Integration Management – the processes that are required to ensure that the various elements of the project are properly coordinated.
- Scope Management – the processes required to ensure that the project includes all the work required, and only the work required, to complete the project successfully.
- Time Management – the processes required to ensure the timely completion of the project.
- Cost Management – the processes required to ensure the project is completed within the approved budget.
- Quality Management – the processes required to ensure the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken.
- Human Resource Management – the processes required to make the most effective use of people involved with the project.
- Communications Management – the processes required to ensure the timely and appropriate generation, collection, dissemination, storage, and ultimate disposition of project knowledge.
- Risk Management – the processes concerned with identifying, analyzing, and responding to project risk.
- Procurement Management – the processes required to acquire the goods and services from outside the performing organization.
- Stakeholder Management – the processes that identify and develops relationships with those people and organization which are impacted by the project and which influence or determine how the team works.
Sample PMP Exam Questions
To give you an idea of the PMP Exam questions, I have mentioned some questions below. These questions do not give you the idea of all the PMP Exam Question types but they can help you grasp the idea of questions how they look like so you can make your mind to read, extract relevant information, and apply the best suitable option in the PMP Exam.
Below are a couple of examples of PMP questions:
Question – 1:
A dashboard viewable by all project stakeholders displays various statuses using the industry standard of red, yellow, and green colors. Throughout project execution, to meet the needs of the project and some of the project stakeholders, the project manager has been adding more colors to reflect additional statuses. This situation has created confusion among some of the stakeholders over the status naming conventions and meanings. What should the project manager do?
- a) Add a simpler status for the stakeholders who are confused
- b) Remove statuses from the dashboard to avoid confusion
- c) Explain the meaning of the new statuses to the stakeholders
- d) Revert the status to an industry standard of red, yellow, green
Explanation: Project managers manage multiple stakeholders. Therefore it is important for the project managers to reflect the accurate information, with the required details, in the status reports. So the stakeholders get the latest on the project. If the project manager has added more colors and statuses based on the detailed reflection of progress, it requires the project manager to elaborate and clarify the purpose of these statuses to the stakeholders. Project managers do not need to delete any information for the sake of complexity. Also, project managers are not bound to follow the industry standards only, the purpose is that all the stakeholders should be on the same page when they read the status report.
Question – 2:
Bob is the project manager for a large construction project. He has just completed a Monte Carlo analysis simulation when he learns from a team member that some of the cost estimates used in the simulation were incorrect. Bob is highly risk-averse and concerned about this issue, so he meets with his team to discuss options for how to move forward. Based on this information, which choice below best describes what the team would likely do with the results from the Monte Carlo analysis?
a) Reject the results and use the triangular distribution technique instead
b) Use the results; the simulation data can still be of value because incorrect estimates are accounted for in the algorithm
c) Correct; Reject the results; the Monte Carlo results would be inaccurate and should not be used
d) Use the results but set aside additional contingency reserves to address the project risks
Explanation: Accurate cost estimates are the most important part of a Monte Carlo analysis. If the project estimates are too broad, or too narrow, the analysis may misstate the overall risk. In turn, this could create serious problems for project planning. Since inaccuracies in the cost estimates can significantly change the results, it is best for the project team to reject the Monte Carlo analysis results and re-run the simulation once they have a better estimate
Your Program Manager asks you to provide an Estimate at Completion for a small project you are working on. The budget at the start of the project was $30,000, and to date, you have spent $20,000. However, in this consumed amount, the worth of work done is only $10,000. On assessment, you ensure that the project team will be able to complete the project work at the planned rate. What is the value you will share as an Estimate at Completion?
Explanation; You have spent $20,000 out of which you have earned the value of $10,000 only. In other words, the project cost is overrun by $10,000 which actually did not contribute to the project worth. However, you are sure that the project team will complete the remaining work within the initially planned rate and the rest of the work will complete within, i.e the rest of the work will complete in $20,000 amount. Therefore, the overall budget at completion at the current stage will be $20,000 (for consumed)+ $20,000 (for remaining) = $40,000
Question – 4:
During a bidder conference, a supplier asks why a section is missing from the request for quotation (RFQ). The project manager, realizing that an aspect of the project is indeed missing, becomes confused about the mistake. When you receive the seller responses, all but three fail to address the missing section. What is the best course of action?
a) Send a revised RFQ to all prospective suppliers and allow them the opportunity to resubmit their proposals
b) Hold the bidder conference again, and explain the importance of the point that was initially missed
c) Extend the deadline and allow all of the vendors to resubmit their proposals
d) Select from the three vendors that submitted complete proposals
Explanation: In this scenario, it will be fair to send the new RFQ to all suppliers, then clarify the critical point that was previously missing, and subsequently receive the updated responses to the RFQ. It may not be practical or cost-effective to conduct another bidder conference, especially as other aspects of the project have already been covered in the prior bidding conference. Apart from fairness, re-issuing the RFQ ensures that requirements are understood. Another benefit of sending out a revised RFQ would be receiving more viable bids from other vendors. Therefore, of the available options, the best course of action for the project manager is to send a revised RFQ containing the new information to all prospective suppliers and allow them the opportunity to resubmit their proposals.
A construction company has just hired you. The construction company is about to start a large construction management program in an under-developed country. The project will be on a build-operate-transfer basis and have a duration of 2 years. At the close of the project, the local authorities will run the program. World Bank has sponsored the project. The project is awarded to an international consortium. Your company is one of the subcontractor companies. Other than you there are 2 more contractor companies. After the project scope finalization, you developed a cost estimate of USD $11 million. The sponsor reviews your detailed costing sheets and shows his concerns about the total cost figure. He tells you that the maximum allowable budget he can allocate for this project is USD $10 million. What should you do?
a) Begin the project with the intention of requesting a budget increase at a later point in time.
b) Advise the sponsor that the project can only complete within the available budget.
c) Ask for a reduction in scope.
d) Evaluate ways that can result in cost savings and re-estimate the project.
Explanation: There is no question about beginning the project with the intention to request a change at a later stage. Any change will have a rationale for induction and approval so nothing can be added without a justifiable reason. The scope of work is already agreed on based on the project objectives. Multiple companies are going to address these objectives as currently, you are at the negotiations stage. Therefore at this stage you need to first evaluate the ways that can save the cost.
How Can I Earn Free PMP Exam PDUs?
PDUs and contact hours are different terms but they might seem interchangeable on first look. So you must know the difference between these two. The contact hours refer to the PMP training of 35 hours which is a must for the PMP Exam. Whereas the PDUs stands for Professional Development Units. These PDUs refer to post-PMP professional development activities.
Even though you may find free PMP Exam training materials, these will not fulfil the 35 contact hours requirements. Obtaining the PMP contact hours is a pre-requisite of the PMP Exam, therefore it is mandatory for the applicants to obtain comprehensive PMP training.
Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR)
Once you have obtained PMP credentials, it is not the last milestone. PMP certification requires renewal every three years. The purpose of this is PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR) program aiming to support the ongoing educational and professional development of the certification holders. So the professionals keep themselves prepared to meet the demands of a dynamic and complex business environment. Hence, you should look for PDUs if you already have PMP and trying to renew your PMP certification.
What Changes in the PMP Exam?
PMI conducts research to assess the progression of the project management field, the impact of emerging trends and changes in the responsibilities of project managers. Based on this research they publish new versions of either PMBok or PMP Exam Contents or both. But PMP exam changes do not mean that PMBOK will change as well.
This is a continuous activity that PMI performs. PMI conducted the last research in 2015. As an outcome of this research PMI defined the currently active PMP Exam Content Outline. In the same regard, PMI publishes a document on an updated outline of PMP Exam Content. Likewise, PMI announces the new PMP exam changes. However, these changes will not come into effect as of now. The new PMP Exam Content Outline provides the framework of what you can expect on the PMP Exam after 30 June 2020. The last day for candidates to take the current version of the PMP exam is now 30 June 2020.
The breakup of PMP Exam Questions
The following table depicts the changes in the domains and the proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the examination. The table depicts the domains and their percentages within the PMP Exam Contents of 2015 and 2019.
|PMP Exam Content 2015||PMP Exam Content 2019|
|Domain||Percentage of Items on Test||Domain||Percentage of Items on Test|
|Monitoring and Controlling||25%|
New PMP Exam Focus
The new PMP exam focus on three new domains:
- PEOPLE – emphasizing the skills and activities associated with effectively leading a project team
- PROCESS – reinforcing the technical aspects of managing a project
- BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT – highlighting the connection between projects and organization strategy
It is highly important to note that the content spans over different approaches within these three domains; including predictive, agile and hybrid approaches.
These percentages determine the number of questions related to each domain and task that should appear on the multiple-choice format examination. Each domain contains tasks and PMP certification measures these tasks. In addition, the domain contains knowledge and skills. One requires this knowledge and skills to competently perform these tasks.
|Total Number of Scored Questions||180|
|Question Types||multiple-choice, multiple responses, matching, hotspot, and limited fill-in-the-blank types of questions|
Updated Structure of the PMP Exam
The latest document published by the PMI specifies the updated structure for the PMP Exam Content Outline. Which is relatively easier to understand and interpret. In this outline, you will find the domains, tasks, and enablers.
- Domain: Defined as the high-level knowledge area that is essential to the practice of project management.
- Tasks: The underlying responsibilities of the project manager within each domain area.
- Enablers: Illustrative examples of the work associated with the task. Please note that enablers offer a few examples to help demonstrate what the task encompasses.
Example of People Domain
The following table is an example of the People domain which has 42% of contribution towards the total questions of PMP examination. The table depicts the Tasks and Enablers of People domain.
Interpret the source and stage of the conflict
Analyze the context for the conflict
Evaluate/recommend/reconcile the appropriate conflict resolution solution
Lead a team
Set a clear vision and mission
Support diversity and inclusion (e.g., behavior types, thought process)
Value servant leadership (e.g., relate the tenets of servant leadership to the team)
Determine an appropriate leadership style (e.g., directive, collaborative) · Inspire, motivate, and influence team members/stakeholders (e.g., team contract, social contract, reward system)
Analyze team members and stakeholders’ influence
Distinguish various options to lead various team members and stakeholders
Support team performance
Appraise team member performance against key performance indicators
Support and recognize team member growth and development
Determine appropriate feedback approach
Verify performance improvements
Empower team members and stakeholders
Organize around team strengths
Support team task accountability
Evaluate demonstration of task accountability
Determine and bestow level(s) of decision-making authority
Ensure team members/Adequate training stakeholders
Determine the required competencies and elements of training
Determine training options based on training needs
Allocate resources for training
Measure training outcomes
Build a team
Appraise stakeholder skills
Deduce project resource requirements
Continuously assess and refresh team skills to meet project needs
Maintain team and knowledge transfer
Address and remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
Determine critical impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
Prioritize critical impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
Use the network to implement solutions to remove impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
Continuous Re-assessment to address impediments, obstacles, and blockers for the team
Collaborate with stakeholders
Evaluate engagement needs for stakeholders
Optimize alignment between stakeholder needs, expectations, and project objectives
Build trust and influence stakeholders to accomplish project objectives
Build a shared understanding
Break down situation to identify the root cause of a misunderstanding
Survey all necessary parties to reach consensus
Support outcome of parties’ agreement
Investigate potential misunderstandings
Engage and support virtual teams
Examine virtual team member needs (e.g., environment, geography, culture, global, etc.)
Investigate alternatives (e.g., communication tools, colocation) for virtual team member engagement
Implement options for virtual team member engagement
Continually evaluate the effectiveness of virtual team member engagement
Define team ground rules
Communicate organizational principles with team and external stakeholders
Establish an environment that fosters adherence to the ground rules
Manage and rectify ground-rule violations
Mentor relevant stakeholders
Allocate the time to mentoring
Recognize and act on mentoring opportunities
Promote team performance through the application of emotional intelligence
Assess behavior through the use of personality indicators
Analyze personality indicators and adjust to the emotional needs of key project stakeholders
The effective date of new PMP Exam content
Even though the new PMP exam content outline is available, it is important to note the date of validity of the current version of the PMP exam and the effective date of the new version of the PMP exam.
In this article, I have provided information on various aspects that a PMP aspirant requires to understand in the process of PMP certification. We walked you through many interesting questions that any PMP aspirant is looking for. These questions are helpful for project management aspirants to initiate their journey towards project management certifications.
The high recognition and value of PMP certification make many people want to know more about the PMP credentials. In this article, we started with the advantages PMP brings to the certification holders, then we’ve talked about the PMP Exam requirements so one can assess their positioning on when they can get ready to apply for the PMP Exam.
We also discussed what is the PMP Exam looks like. On top of it, we have shared the idea about the PMP Exam passing score and Pass rate. Furthermore, we talked about the PMP Exam application. In addition to this, the article gives information on PMP Exam cost for PMI members and non-PMI members.
Afterwards, I also discussed how can you study for PMP Exam and also briefed on the PMP Exam registration and dates. Furthermore, the article also gives you a brief overview of PMP Exam Knowledge Areas and the PMP Exam questions.
As the new version of the PMP Exam is also due by the mid of the coming year the article also highlights the PMP Exam changes. So it is a good window of opportunity to go for PMP certification if you have initiated for the PMP Exam and you have pre-requisites including Education, PMP training and Experience.
I hope you found the relevant information in this article. I wish you the best of luck with your PMP Exam!