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PMP-CAPM FAQ

We offer you the preparation and training needed to pass the PMP® Certification Exam.

Find frequently asked questions and answers below. The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® GUIDE) - Fifth Edition is the current edition, and the PMP® Exam is based on it. The FAQs below pertain to the current exam to help you get started:

  1. What is the PMP® Certification Examination?
  2. What are the education or work experience requirements needed?
  3. What is the cost of the exam?
  4. How many hours of study time are necessary to pass the exam?
  5. What study materials are needed to prepare for the exam?
  6. How many questions are asked in the PMP® exam?
  7. How can candidates apply to sit for the exam?
  8. How long does it take for PMI® HQ to process the exam application?
  9. How will the applicant know if the application has been processed?
  10. After the application has been processed, how long do candidates have to take the exam?
  11. How do candidates schedule time to sit for the exam?
  12. What if a candidate has to cancel after scheduling the exam?
  13. What if candidates do not pass the exam?
  14. What if I need to retake the PMP® Certification Preparation class?
  15. What is the cost to retake the exam?

 

1. What is the PMP® Certification Examination?

The PMP® Credential was established in 1984 in order to recognize practitioners’ skills and knowledge in the field of project management.  Passing the Project Management Professional (PMP®) Certification Exam, along with experience and education, is key to achieving the PMP® Credential. The PMP® examination is comprised of 200 mutually-exclusive, four-option multiple-choice questions. Of the 200 questions, 25 are considered pretest questions which are not included in the score for the exam, but are used to test the validity of questions for possible use in future exams. 

2. What are the education or work experience requirements needed?

Candidates must complete Project Management Experience Verification Form(s). The Experience Verification Form is used to properly document and report project management experience. A worksheet is available to assist with documentation of project experience. Each project submitted with the application must be listed on a separate form. PM experience submitted without being documented will not be accepted. There are two sets of experience requirements depending on whether or not an applicant holds a baccalaureate degree.

For candidates who hold a baccalaureate degree:

  • 4,500 hours minimum PM experience gained within the last 8 years prior to application and covering at least 36 unique, non-overlapping months are required. This experience must include leading and directing project tasks. If the applicant worked on multiple projects during the same month, the hours count toward the 4,500 hours required, but any month in which an applicant was working on more than one project would only count as one month toward the 36 months required.
  • At least 35 contact hours of specific instruction that addresses learning objectives in project management. Hours may include content on project quality, scope, time, cost, human resources, communications, risk, procurement or integration management. Instruction may be delivered by a PMI® Registered Education Provider*, university or college, internal corporate learning program, distance-learning program, or any other formal learning resource. No time limit associated with when the 35 hours were accrued.

For candidates who do not hold a baccalaureate degree:

  • 7,500 hours minimum PM experience gained within the last 8 years prior to application and covering at least 60 unique, non-overlapping months are required. This experience must include leading and directing project tasks. If the applicant worked on multiple projects during the same month, the hours count toward the 7,500 hours required, but any month in which an applicant was working on more than one project would only count as one month toward the 60 months required.
  • At least 35 contact hours of specific instruction that addresses learning objectives in project management. Hours may include content on project quality, scope, time, cost, human resources, communications, risk, procurement or integration management. Instruction may be delivered by a PMI® Registered Education Provider, university or college, internal corporate learning program, distance-learning program, or any other formal learning resource. No time limit is associated with when the 35 hours were accrued.

3. What is the cost of the exam?

Cost for PMI® members is $405.
Cost for nonmembers is $555.

Candidates can save money on the cost of the exam by applying for PMI® membership. The cost for PMI® membership is $129/year. Membership in a local PMI® chapter is an additional $30.

4. How many hours of study time are necessary to pass the exam?

Although it certainly depends on individual learning styles and comfort level with exams of this type, on average, we tell our PMP® Prep students to expect to spend around 40-50 hours studying for the exam in addition to the time spent in the classroom.

5. What study materials are needed to prepare for the exam?

Watermark Learning provides complete course materials to its PMP® Certification Preparation and Training students. Besides hundreds of pages of useful information, study aids, and references, students in our classes also receive  over 200 practice test questions. Candidates also need to purchase a copy of A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, available at the PMI Bookstore or other retailers. PMI® Members have access to a free e-copy of the PMBOK® online that may be downloaded and printed.  (Note that the entire document is over 450 pages.)

Sample exam questions and suggested reading are also available on the PMI web site.

6. How many questions are asked in the PMP® exam?

The PMP® examination is comprised of 200 mutually-exclusive, four-option multiple-choice questions. Of the 200 questions, 25 are considered pretest questions which are not included in the score for the exam, but are used to test the validity of questions for possible use in future exams.

7. How can candidates apply to sit for the exam?

Candidates must complete an application. Candidates are encouraged to apply online but may mail the completed PMP® Certification Examination Application to:

PMI Global Operations Center
14 Campus Blvd.
Newton Square, PA 19073-3299
USA

8. How long does it take for PMI HQ to process the application?

Online applications are typically processed within five business days. Individual applications submitted by mail take approximately 10 business days. Corporate applications submitted by mail take 20 business days.

9. How will the applicant know if the application has been processed?

Once the application and fee have been processed, PMI® will electronically send the Examination Scheduling Instructions, confirming that the applicant is eligible to take the exam.

10. After the application has been processed, how long do candidates have to take the exam?

Eligibility is good for one year from the day that the application was approved. The exam may be taken three times within the eligibility period should applicants not pass on the first attempt.

11. How do candidates schedule time to sit for exam?

Once eligible to take the exam, the examination scheduling instructions received from PMI® will instruct the applicant to contact Prometric at www.prometric.com to select a date and location for taking the exam. The PMP® exam is a computer-based exam and may be scheduled by applicants at any time available at any of the Prometric sites.

Information about site locations and scheduling may be found at Prometric’s website. Select the “Professional Licensure and Certification” for test type and “Project Management Institute” for testing program.

12. What if a candidate has to cancel after scheduling the exam?

It is recommended to confirm the cancellation/rescheduling guidelines with Prometric when scheduling the exam, but typically, cancellations/rescheduling of scheduled examinations may be done no later than 48 hours prior to the scheduled exam appointment.

13. What if candidates do not pass the exam?

Candidates who do not pass the exam may retake the exam two more times for a total of three times within one year of application approval. If candidates are not able to pass the PMP® certification exam within their one-year eligibility period, they must wait one year from the date of the last attempt to reapply for the PMP® credential. Applicants who chose to apply for a different PMI credential, such as the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®), may do so at any time.

14. What if I need to retake the PMP® Certification Preparation class?

We are committed to helping you pass the PMP® Certification exam the first time. If you take one of our public PMP® Certification Prep classes and don't pass the exam, we will provide you with the following support:

  • FREE one-on-one guidance from one of our experienced PMP® Certification Prep instructors
  • FREE registration in an upcoming public PMP® Certification Prep class (space permitting)

15. What is the cost to retake the exam?

Cost for PMI members, $275. Cost for nonmembers, $375.

 

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