Best Ways To Master The 3 stages of PMP® Certification Process - Henry Harvin

What is PMP®?

It is no surprise that the world is undergoing a rapid change in front of our eyes. The floppy disk that once served to save our files is no more than an icon to save files. The systems, processes, and practices that were once biblical are completely obsolete today.

So what is the best way to help your company tide over the changes?

Here comes the role of a trained PMP®. 

PMP® or Project Management Professional is a project manager certification offered by the Project Management Institute(PMI).PMP is the gold standard of project management and it is the most desired and recognized professional certification for project management.

A Project management Professional is an experienced project manager who is trained and certified to guide teams towards a company goal.

What is PMP Certification?

Every company needs project managers to launch new products, expand, or just to keep it afloat.

The PMP, also known as Project Management Professional Certification is an unbiased proof of a person’s project management talents and expertise. This is an industry benchmark and the accreditation is valid across all the industries-be it manufacturing, IT, logistics, supply chain, transportation, hospitality, etc.

 Having a PMP® is a ticket to better opportunities as it adds immense credibility to one’s skill set. As a PMP® one can work in a wide array of industries and expect to get paid better than those without the certification.

What is PMI?

Project management Institute or PMI, founded in 1969 is the leading non-profit membership association for the profession of project management. It serves more than 2.9 million professionals with over 500,000 members across 208 countries.

 It provides services in the development of standards, education, publication, research, hosting conferences and training sessions, networking opportunities in local chapters, and providing accreditation in project management.

It offers 8 different project management certifications that recognize knowledge and competency.

Why is PMP® certification important?

While being PMP certified can be a time-consuming, tedious, and costly affair, the following are the benefits which make it a mark of a high level of commitment towards project management as a profession.

The following are the benefits-

image showing benefits of project management

1.Adds reliability to your skills-

Since it is not easy to get one, a  PMP certification is a definite proof of your abilities, skill, and dedication to the job and that makes you a highly valued and respected professional in that field. It would instill trust in your potential employers and future employees.

2.It increases your chances of getting hired- 

          PMP is a keyword in your CV that would instantly be grabbed by job portals and make top companies want to hire you globally. As per a report by PMI, employers will need 87.7 million project managers by the end of the year 2027. Furthermore, many companies are making it a mandatory requirement for even applying for their jobs. So it has moved on from being a nice-to-have to a must-have certification.

3. It can help your career graph go up-

  PMP certification course would not only help you learn a lot of new skills but also widen the ambit of how you acquire knowledge and achieve growth. This makes for a solid foundation for climbing up the ladder of career growth.

4.It helps you network with other certified colleagues-

    As of August 2019, there were 9,32,720 active PMP certified individuals and 300 chartered chapters across 218 countries. As a member of the PMP club, you get to meet other influential people, organizations, and communities across the world whose association could benefit you in the future in finding a better job or for a recommendation.

5.It keeps you abreast of the latest opportunities-

Members of PMI often meet at various locations globally for events organized by PMI. Being a PMP certificate holder you would gain access to such gatherings and learn about job opportunities from fellow PMI members.

6.It helps in skill enhancement-

Candidates need to go through a significant amount of course material and have a deep understanding of the subjects by reading, researching, and practicing to be able to handle any aspect of the examination. So the entire process would ultimately enrich you. Experience may teach you a lot but certification can do the same thing in a shorter period.

7.It is valid across industries-

PMPs lead projects in almost every country without focussing on a particular geography or domain. It is a confirmation that you understand the global language of project management.

image showing application of PMP Certification

8.It opens doors for a salary hike-

In the US the difference in average salary between PMP holders and those without the certification is 25%. This certification truly makes you a very competitive candidate in the job market. Apart from a higher income it also is an insurance against any future layoffs as companies value the core competencies learned through certification during the time of crisis and retain those individuals.

9.It increases your saleability-

  An employee who invests in learning is highly valued by any company. A PMP certification increases your marketability and legitimizes your work experience as a project manager as it exposes you to the best practices and current trends in project management.

10.You will be a valuable resource for any organization-

You would not only be able to adapt to changes, handle problems, and setbacks better but also bring more cohesion among the people you work with, who come from various multi-cultural backgrounds and achieve necessary results with lesser efforts. This economy of effort would make you an asset to the company. It is confirmed that 80%of high performing jobs are led by project managers.

According to PMI’s‘ Pulse of the Profession’ 2015 study, organizations, where one-third of their employees are PMP certified, tend to finish their projects on time, within budget, and within scope.

 According to PMI’s Pulse of the Profession’ 2019 study about $1 million is wasted every second around the globe owing to poor project management practices and business strategies

Why is it important to know about the PMP® certification process?

image showing eligibility requirement for PMP certification

Maybe by now, you have made up your mind to take this plunge. But before that, you need to know a few things so that you have to go through this ordeal just once(make no mistakes, once is plenty

1.This is a difficult test-

  • Required to spend 100-200 hours to prepare for it
  • Being a project manager is no guarantee to pass in this exam
  • A solid understanding is needed, memorising won’t suffice

2.  Take a PMP exam prep course-

  •  Will provide you with the 35 education hours required to sit for the exam
  • It will save you a tremendous amount of time and effort
  • As you apply online you will get your questions answered.
  • Get to meet other project managers taking the same exam and help each other.

3.Take practice exams-

  •   Take lots of practice exams before, during, and after the course
  • Get to the ‘why’ of every answer instead of just memorizing it
  • Reasoning ability is required not only to clear the exam but also after it where the real challenge begins.

4.Schedule the exam in time-

  •  Put the exam in the calendar while the knowledge is still fresh i.e within 2-4 weeks of taking the course
  • Paying the fee and having a deadline set for the exam is a great way to keep the pressure on

As we understood from the above information that PMP is a powerful tool and to acquire this one needs to follow a few steps:

How to apply for the PMP® examination?

1st step- Confirm you are eligible

  • Have a degree?
image showing requirements if you have a bachelors' degtree

36 months of experience leading projects AND 35 hours of project management training

Have a high school diploma or an associate’s degree? You will need:-

image showing requirement if you have a diploma

60 months of experience leading projects AND 35 hours of project management training

Here it is important to understand PMI’s definition of a project, which is non-overlapping professional project management experience during which 4500 hours (in case of 4-year degree holders) or 7500 hours(in case of diploma holders or associate’s degree holders )were spent leading and directing the project.

Point to be noted-If you are an active CAPM certification holder, your project management training is waived.

2nd Step-Gather all the information

Keep proper documentation of your experience and training by gathering information about-

Projects you have led-

  • The organization
  • Your role and responsibilities
  • Number of hours spent in the project
  • Name and contact information for references who can validate your experience

The training you have completed

  • Registered Education Provider(R.E.P) attended for 35 hours of training(like Henry Harvin or your local PMI chapter)
  • Courses complete

Tips for documentation of projects-

  • Start with the objective of the project
  • You must include the result of the project
  • You need to clearly demonstrate that you led the project even if that  was not your formal title for the project
  • Use abbreviations for optimum use of characters available

3rd Step-Go for the app  

You will need a account to kick-start the process


  • Have all the information mentioned in step 2 ready to go through the process smoothly
  • Got tired?No worries. You can save the application and come back to it anytime within 90 days

Tips to take note while filling up the application form-     

  • The years of experience need not be consecutive
  •  One year of working 80-hour weeks counts as just one year.
  • No need to have hours in every process group on every project.

The 35 contact hours are not included in the PDUs that you will need to maintain your PMP credential  

Then what? 

  •   Your application will be reviewed by PMI within  5 business days.
  •    If you are not flagged and qualified to move forward, you will need  to fill an exam fee

     Member price-US$4

 Non-member price-US@555

  •       If you’re flagged-

                  You have to submit your audit materials which include copies of diploma/any certificate you obtained during the 35 contact hours. 

After that, your references would need to fill up a downloadable form given by PMI and send it directly to PMI or give it to you in a sealed envelope which you can submit with the rest of your materials. 

If at this stage PMI rejects your application, your fee would be refunded after charging$100 as a processing fee.

Now, Be Ready For The Exam!

PMP® Certification preparation      

The most important thing to remember here is that your rich experience as a project manager has little to do with clearing the PMP exam. Successful project managers have been known to not clear the exam because of undermining the difference between the two. Serious exam preparation is inevitable for cracking the PMP exam.

The image below shows an overview of preparation followed by successful PMPs-

image showing overview of preparation followed by successful PMPs
image source:Greycampus

Review the PMP® Examination outline-

 This document published by PMI gives the following information-

  • Distribution of questions as per the allocated areas
  • List of task, skills, and knowledge as per the PMI’s Role Delineation Study

Going through this would give you a thorough idea of the content covered by PMBOK(or a study guide you use) and will ensure nothing sounds unfamiliar.

2. Join a formal study course offered by accredited Registered                                                          Education Providers(R.E.Ps)

R.E.Ps are organizations approved by PMIs to offer project management training. The purpose is to establish a global network of quality education providers to help thousands of aspirants and credential holders.

Why you should enroll in a training course on PMP®?

  • They provide tailor-made PMP study materials
  • Emphasize on best practices to prepare for the exam
  • Give you a head-start in understanding the various project management concepts, terminology and formulae, and other key inputs
  • Give you the 35 hours contact hours certificate necessary for you to be eligible for the exam

If you are looking for a training program that can help you prepare for the PMP exam with minimal effort and provide you with 35 contact hours training certification you can join Henry Harvin Education which is one of the best rated PMP® Certification Training  Courses available in India. 

Why Henry Harvin?

  • Based on PMBOK guide 6th edition
  • Training  by internationally acclaimed certified PMP® trainers with 10+ years of industry experience
  • Can attend multiple sessions from multiple trainers
  • Unique G.C.A.O( Goal-centric and action-oriented)pedagogy is used
  • End-to-end engagement is focussed on to make the sessions more interactive
  • Provides PMP® exam prep support
  • Illustrated through 9 industry case studies and 16 real-world examples
  • Thorough preparation through 91 end of chapter quizzes and 7 simulation exams
  • Lifetime membership of management academy
  • Give 35 hours contact hours and PDUs certificate 
  • Guaranteed internship with Henry Harvin or partner firms
  • Offline classes available in Delhi, Bangalore, and Chennai

Strategy for PMP® examination

A.Prepare a study plan

Treat the PMP® exam certification as one of your projects and prepare a proper strategy that covers all activities to reach the end goal.

  • Break your study sessions into smaller chunks
  • Include time-lines to study PMBOK, study course material,, and practice mock tests
image showing study plan for PMP preparation

B.Review the latest edition of PMBOK guide

Focus on page no 61 taht contains a table that shows the relation between 13 Knowledge areas and 5 process groups with 47 processes and their relevance to project management

C. Practice as many mock tests as you can 

  • Mock tests are good indicators of your preparedness  for the exam
  • Good way to prepare you physically and mentally to sit for 4 hours at one place and focus on answering questions
  • Useful to identify the gaps in your knowlwdge
  • Score can help you focus on areas that you need to improve on

D. Form a study group

Form a study group of you own or check out 

  • A study group would break the monotony of studying alone and keep you motivated
  • Get help on you weak areas
  • Helping out someone with their poor areas would boost your confidence
  • Sharing project management experiences would help you to crack scenario based questions
  • It makes exam preparation a part of your routine and keeps you on track

Exam pattern

  • It is a 4-hour long exam composed of 200 multiple-choice questions.
  • There are no scheduled breaks but you can take one though the clock would continue ticking.
  • Out of all the questions, 25 would be non-scorable pretest questions, which though would not affect your score but decide the  validity of future examinations
  • The PMP® exam questions are distributed through 5 phases of an actual project-initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing.
  • Professional conduct, Code of Ethics, and Professional and Social Responsibility are also included in the curriculum.
  • Before the commencement of the exam 15 minutes are given for an awareness session to help you navigate the exam: how to select and answer, how to mark questions for later review.
  • You have to complete a survey after submitting your answers and then you can see your result.

Following is a table explaining the distribution of questions according to the PM handbook updated in April 2019:

image showing distribution of questions in PMP examination
image source:PM studycircle

Tips To Ace PMP® Exam

  1. Get the table in page no. 61 of PMBok by heart and make use of the first 5 minutes to draw the table onto an empty sheet so that it can be used as a reference.
  2. Along with PMBok, review s study guides published by R.E.Ps and other reputed training organizations.
  3.  Going for 200 questions in 4 hours gives you 1.2 minutes per question, economize your time accordingly.
  4. Leave tough questions for later and move on to the next question.
  5. As there is no negative marking, attempt all questions.
  6. Try to save 25 minutes for attempting questions that u marked for later. 

Please note that unlike in earlier days, the PMP® passing score is not fixed. It is subject to the difficulty level of the exam.

If you do not crack the exam in the first go, you will have two more chances to appear for the exam that year. If you have three consecutive unsuccessful attempts, you will have to wait for one year before applying for the same again.

If you crack  the exam,you are entitled to use the designation “PMP” after your name in your CV,e-mail signature and in publication.

How to maintain the PMP® credential?

Your PMP credential is valid for 3 years.

To renew it you will have to earn 60 professional development units and .

If the PDUs are accepted by PMI your contract will be renewed for another 3 years.

What is total cost you will incur for PMP certification

image showing cost of PMP preparation

The cost can be divided into 5 categories:

  • Training
  • Books 
  • Practice questions 
  • Exam cost
  • Other costs

A rough estimate of obtaining the PMP certification can range from $913 to $2074.

Cost can vary from perrson to person and the country you reside in.


The PMP® certification as we saw is not for the weak-hearted. Go for it if you are committed and serious towards your profession, motivated to do the hard work, and ready to bear the cost for it.

But remember if you plan correctly it is a great achievement and your hard work would not go unrewarded. You would join the elite club of PMPs and this would open a world of opportunities for you.


  1. What is PMP® certification?

Ans-PMP stands for Project Management Professional. This certification is offered by PMI (Project Management Institute,USA) and is the most in-demand project management credential in today’s time.


Ans-The PMP® has become an industry standard and it will greatly enhance your resume in job portals and make you a sought-after candidate. Its validity across industries and geographical locations makes it even more relevant.

   3.What are the eligibility requirements to get the PMP certification?

Ans-a)Education-Diploma or a Bachelor’s Degree

b) Project Management Experience-3 years(degree holder),5                                        years(diploma holder)

c) Project Management Training-35 contact hours training program offered by any accredited R.E.P

4.How to apply for PMP certification exam?

Ans-Both offline and online modes are available. First, you have to create an account with and fill in the application form within 90 days of starting the process. If you pass the audit of documents and credentials you will be asked to pay the examination fee.

5.What is the fee for PMP exam?

Ans-For members of PMI, it is 405 USD and for nonmembers, it is 555 USD.

6.What is the outline of the PMP examination?

Ans-It consists of 200 multiple-choice type questions and it lasts for 4 hours.There is no scheduled break and no negative marking.

7.What is the validity of the PMP credential?

Ans-It is valid for 3 years after which it can be renewed by reporting 60 professional development units to PMI.

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