PMP – How to get Certified?

Interested in getting certified Project Management Professional (PMP)? This guide will help you what I learned from passing the PMP.

First of all understand this; PMP has a good market value, so any valuable thing isn’t easy to achieve. PMP is not a piece of hot cake to have a bite of! One needs to get prepared for a good amount of study. I am not advising thousands of hours, but it may require some hundreds of hours.

Let us first start with Don’ts;

1. Don’t be Over Confident!

                The first advice is don’t be over confident. Although you may have a sound knowledge of Project Management, still you do not know how accurate your knowledge is! You have to understand the perspective the PMI wants you to manage the projects.

2. Don’t use non-PMI’s Perspective Books

Avoid using books which do not use PMI perspective. You will find a lot of good books at market. At PMI store, I found just one i.e. Rita’s PMP Prep Book. Moreover, make sure that you are using latest version of the book(s).

3. Don’t Go Through Bulk of Books for PMP

Mark my words! Don’t use bulk of books for your preparation. Use PMBOK and one of any good preparation guides. First go through a chapter in PMBOK and then the same chapter in the preparation guide that you have chosen.

4. Don’t Memorize the Book, Understand the Concept

One of the best part of the preparation is that you don’t need to memorize the book(s). Instead, understand the concepts and then apply it in your practical scenarios. Memorizing the book(s) will not help you in passing the exam.

5. Don’t Break your Study

Once when you have started your studies for PMP, don’t interrupt your studies for more than 2 days. Otherwise, this will break the sequence and then you may have problems in understanding the PMI overall concept of managing the projects. I remember, once, I had to interrupt my studies for a week and it took me a whole day to get started with a new topic.

Now Let us discuss Dos;

1. Do Get Professional Development Units (PDUs)

Formal PDUs is not an option. It is mandatory by the PMI to have 35 hours of formal Project Management Training from any of the approved PMI Education provider. Moreover, it will help you a lot in your preparation for the exam. Do find a good instructor!

2. Do a Good Thorough Study for PMP

Preparation for the PMP, needs a good thorough study. How many hours of study! Well it varies from individual to individual. I can tell you about myself. I was experienced (5years) Planning Engineer having good commands over the process of Planning and Monitoring & Control. It took me around 550 hours to get ready for the PMP exam! Now don’t worry, you may be more talented than me! J

3. Do Register at PMI before Applying for the Exam

Now there are many benefits of registering with PMI. Once you register (paid membership), you will have access to your free e-book of the PMBOK guide. This saves you $50+. Next when you will register for the PMP exam, PMI will give you a discount of $100+. You may have access to other many free e-book, which otherwise may not be available to you. Remember I do not suggest reading bulk of books for the preparation of PMP.

4. Do Test Yourself before Appearing for the Actual Test

Do not underestimate the difficulty of the test; and don’t overestimate yourself! Before even reserving a sitting for PMP exam, do test yourself. You can find many good computer simulation tests. You should be able to mark over 70% in normal difficulty level.

5. Do have a Good Night Sleep before Going for Test

PMP is a long exam, 4 hours! You need to be fresh and medically fit. Even a small problem with your digestive system can disturb you! This happened to me, so mark my words!

Let me know, if you have any comments/queries or if you require any assistance. Register yourself to Project Management Category to stay updated!

Good Luck!

About the Author

Muhammad Qasim Shinwari is PMP qualified, Masters degree holder in Civil Engineering. He can be contacted at Contact Us Link or at LinkedIn.

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