imageYou have read enough about the PMP certification and the benefits associated with it. You have also been toying with the idea of getting PMP-certified for quite some time but do not know where to begin with. You have often pondered how to clear the PMP certification exam. This article aims to throw some light on the PMP certification, its benefits, the eligibility requirements, the examination structure, reference material, and some practical tips for clearing the exam.

Before you resolve to get PMP-certified, you must understand that the secret for clearing the exam (apart, obviously, from having good practical experience in Project Management) is lots and lots of revisions and exam practices. If you are game for it, then half the battle is already won. So, let’s get cracking!

Project Management is increasingly becoming popular as a profession. More and more organizations have realized the benefits of following a disciplined methodology for executing their projects successfully. To become a successful project manager, it is imperative to have a thorough understanding of the different processes to be followed at each and every stage of the project. The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a universally recognized benchmark that validates an individual’s expertise and knowledge in the field of project management. The PMP certification is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) ( It demonstrates your knowledge of all the aspects of project management. Once obtained, the certification will become a testimony to your understanding of how to manage and lead projects and project teams.

PMP Certification: Benefits

While hiring a project manager, most organizations are increasingly opting for people who are PMP-certified. The certification is becoming a distinguisher against the ever-growing competition and is a valuable tool for increasing your market value. With the PMP certification to add to your resume, you do not only stand a better chance of getting the coveted job, but are also in a position to negotiate for a higher pay package. Another key advantage of getting PMP-certified is that you establish a common language of communication with the project management fraternity. Organizations hiring a PMP-certified project manager are confident that the individual is well-versed with the various process groups and knowledge areas as prescribed by the PMI in its Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). Therefore, there is a higher probability that such an individual will easily gel with the organization’s project management methodology.

Considering the numerous benefits of getting PMP-certified, you would be wondering as to how to get PMP-certified? Well, to get PMP-certified, you need to combine substantial practice with a thorough understanding of the PMP examination structure and the concepts included in the PMBOK.

PMP Certification Examination

The PMP certification exam is conducted by the PMI. To be able to apply for the PMP certification examination, you need to have a bachelor’s degree with a minimum of three years (4500 hours) of demonstrable project management experience. In addition to this, you need to have 35 hours of project management education (which are referred to as Professional Development Units (PDUs)). More details about the PMP certification eligibility and the process for filling up the online application form can be obtained from You must remember that filling up the application form is a time-consuming process and adequate care should be taken while filling up the form. At times, the application might be rejected, or audited to verify the correctness of the information provided by the applicant. On successful submission and approval of the application form, the PMI will send a notification for the same. After this, you can schedule your exam.

The PMP certification exam uses the computer-based testing method and you can schedule the exam at your convenience depending on your preparation. You have to appear for the exam within one year of successfully submitting the online application form.

The examination comprises 200 multiple choice questions that need to be completed within 4 hours. Out of these 200 questions, 25 questions are pretest questions which do not affect your overall score. The current passing score for the PMP certification exam is 61%.

The exam comprises a specific percentage of questions for each project management process group. The percentages of questions for each process group are: Initiating: 11%, Planning: 23%, Executing: 27%, Monitoring and Controlling: 21%, Closing: 9%, and Professional and Social Responsibility: 9%.

A visual representation of the distribution of the PMP questions across various process groups is given below:


All the PMP examination questions are based on the content included in the latest edition of the PMBOK (4th edition as of date). Therefore, it is important that you have a thorough understanding of all the concepts included in the PMBOK.

Click here for the second article in this series, titled “The Secret to Clearing the PMP Certification Exam (Part 2)“. This article provides a closer look into the PMBOK.

Click here  for the  third article in this series, titled “The Secret to Clearing the PMP Certification Exam (Part 3)” which provides practical advise as to how to prepare and what resources to use in preparation for the exam.

As usual, your comments and suggestions will be appropriated.

Note: PMI®, PMP®, and PMBOK® are registered trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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