Project Management Professional (PMP) is an internationally recognized professional designation offeredby the Project Management Institute (PMI). There are currently 694,536 active PMP certified individuals and 274 chartered chapters across 204 countries and territories worldwide. The exam is based on the PMI Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), and requirements to sit for the exam include, a bachelor’s degree, at least 4,500 hours of experience leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of formal project management education. A candidate who passes the exam and meets the professional requirements is awarded the PMP certification.
The PMP exam is based on which the PMP Examination Specification, which describes tasks out of five performance domains:
- Initiating the project (13%)
- Planning the project (24%)
- Executing the project (31%)
- Monitoring and controlling the project (25%)
- Closing the project (7%)
The exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions written against the PMBOK specification and the PMP Code of Ethics. Twenty-five of the 200 questions on the exam are “sample” questions used to fine-tune the degree of difficulty and precision of the exam and as such are not counted for or against a test taker. The test taker is only graded on their proficiency on 175 questions.
- The Project Management Framework embodies a project life cycle and five major project management Process Groups:
- Monitoring and Controlling.
encompassing a total of 47 processes.
- Mapped to these five process groups are ten project management Knowledge Areas:
- Project Integration Management
- Project Scope Management
- Project Time Management
- Project Cost Management
- Project Quality Management
- Project Human Resource Management
- Project Communications Management
- Project Risk Management
- Project Procurement Management
- Project Stakeholder Management
The processes of these knowledge areas are described by their inputs, tools and techniques, and outputs. The PMBOK also emphasizes the interaction and interdependence between different process groups. For example, the outputs from one process may be used by one or more other processes as inputs.
- Examination process
An example of a PMP Certificate issued by the PMI to candidates who pass the Project Management Professional Exam.
The global network of Prometric testing centers provides the PMP exam as a computer-based test. They also offer a paper-based option for locations with no nearby Prometric testing centers. The exam consists of 200 questions (“items“). 25 are pre-release items, which are not included in exam scoring. Prometric calculates the score based on the other 175 items. Each multiple-choice item has one correct answer and three incorrect answers.
Candidates who take the computer-based test receive their results (passed or not passed) immediately upon completion. PMI also evaluates proficiency levels in each project management process group in 3 levels. Proficient, Moderately proficient, and Below proficient. Examiners provide these results to the candidate on a score report after the examination. Candidates who take paper-based tests receive their test results and score reports typically within 4 weeks.
A research shows that the most difficult Knowledge areas of the PMP® exam are Quality Management, Integration Management, and Time Management.
Pre-requisites to become eligible
Candidates must have completed a high school diploma or an associates degree with 60 months (7,500 hours) of project management experience, or a bachelor’s degree with 36 months (4,500 hours) of project management experience. In both cases candidates must also have 35 contact hours of project management education. The application for the exam and verification of education and experience are done online at the PMI website. Candidates without the requisite experience can consider CAPM, Certified Associate in Project Management, also from PMI.
Continuous credential requirements
Continuous credential requirements are also called CCRs. To maintain the PMP qualification, 60 professional development units (PDUs) must be earned over a three-year cycle, from activities such as researching, authoring articles, speaking on project management-related topics, or being engaged full-time in project management. Credential holders may earn PDUs towards the maintenance of their credential through formal academic courses or courses offered by a provider (R.E.P. or Component). However, these are only two of the five categories of PDU earning opportunities in which a credential holder may participate.