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The PMP or Project Management Professional is an internationally recognized qualification for trained Project Managers. The PMP is run by the Project Management Institute and requires you to complete a certain amount of educational and experience hours, along with passing a 180 question exam. I earned the PMP today so I thought I’d write about it.
I decided to get my PMP in 2023 so that I have more flexibility and usefulness to my employer. PMs can get billed out at a higher rate than other project members due to the larger responsibilities they hold on projects when compared to roles like the Business Analyst or the Implementation Consultant. Plus I needed a break from earning 10 Salesforce certifications!
The PMP requires a minimum of a high school diploma and 5 years of experience, or a Bachelor’s degree and 3 years experience. It also requires 35 hours of Project Management education. I decided to meet this requirement by taking the Google Project Management course. The whole course is 100 hours but I only needed the first 2 courses to meet the requirements.
The other major requirement for the PMP, outside of the exam is having the minimum experience. You don’t need to hold the Project Manager title, though. Because I was a PM during the running and launching of the ONTX (Online Text and Chat) program, I listed that experience. I also listed my year running the Sigourney Area Development Corp’s Strategic Planning.
The application process is a breeze. Once you fill in the information, your application is sent off. They say it takes 5 business days to evaluate your application, but given that it was the holidays I was comfortable waiting much longer.
After the waiting period, your application will either be accepted (meaning you are ready to book your exam), rejected (meaning after manual review you haven’t demonstrated sufficient project management experience), or audited (meaning you need to provide documentation to back up your application before you are allowed to proceed.)
Luckily mine was accepted! No audit and no concerns. I was ready to book the exam.
Now I was free to take the PMP exam. There was only one problem: I had not studied any of the PMPBOK (Project Management Professional Book of Knowledge.) No matter, I bought a well-regarded Udemy course from Andrew Ramdayal: https://www.udemy.com/course/pmp-certification-exam-prep-course-pmbok-6th-edition/ This course is so well-known you’ll here it referred to just by his initials, the “AR course.” This is not an affiliate link. I just love this course.
My target date for the exam was May, because I anticipated that I might start my first course at the University of the Cumberlands around then and didn’t want to be distracted. That left me with about 4 months to prepare. I’d heard people study or practice around 4000 questions in order to prepare. Once I had finished the course, I had less time than expected. No matter, I got to work.
I worked through part of the AR course (which took me way longer than expected), and then started to get really nervous. I dropped the $50 for the official Project Management Institute (PMI) Study Hall website (SH), but unfortunately after doing 200 SH questions I felt my confidence shatter.
Taking the Exam
Once the exam came around, I decided NOT to do online proctoring. While I’m familiar with online proctors having used Kronos WebAssessor for my Certified Salesforce Professional exams, Examity for my Salesforce Accredited Professional exams and Lockdown by Respondus, the PMP used PearsonVUE – one that I was unfamiliar with.
When I see the number of people on Reddit whose exam attempts were revoked (essentially, cancelled) for things like moving out of the frame of the camera or having internet difficulties, I decided it would be safer to book an exam in person.
The closest Pearson exam center to me is in Iowa City. I got up at 5:30am, got on the road at 6am, arrived at 7:15am and waited until 7:30am. Once the exam center opened, I went in. During the exam, you get two 10 minute breaks. I only needed the first break and finished after about 2 hours.
After the Exam
I finished the final question, hit Finish and – success! I got 3AT’s (Above Target) in each of the sections. Onward and upwards.