How Do I Take the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam?

  • 01 September, 2020

The Project Management Professional (PMP) credential is one of the most globally recognized credentials for project managers across all industries and organization types. In today's competitive landscape, having the coveted PMP credential increases your job and salary opportunities. There are multiple steps required to earn your credential. Being organized and prepared can make this process easier and less stressful!

Step 1: Verify that you meet the criteria

To qualify for the PMP credential, you will need to meet the defined criteria. If you have a four-year degree or higher, you are required to have 36 months leading projects and 35 hours of project management education (or the Certified Associate in Project Management [CAPM]).

For candidates without a four-year degree, the experience requirement increases to 60 months leading projects and the 35 hours of project management education (or the CAPM).

Step 2: Complete the online application

Once you are confident that you meet the requirements, it is time to complete the online application at It is at this point that you will also be required to set-up your profile with the Project Management Institute (PMI).

To complete the online application, you will need to document where you did your project work, your roles and responsibilities, the approximate project budget, team size, and the duration of your projects. Each project must represent professional project experience (not a personal project, such as a home improvement project), and you must have been responsible for leading and directing the work of the project. You will also document your education on the online application.

WARNING: Approximately 25% of applications are randomly selected for audit. Be sure you can provide proper verification in the event you are in the lucky 25%! In other words, do not lie on your application.

Step 3: Pay for your exam

As the saying goes, "nothing in life is free," and that is true for the PMP exam! The exam fees are $405 if you are a PMI member and $555 if you are not a member. HINT: given that you save more than the price of membership, it is definitely worth it to become a PMI member, at least while you're pursuing your credential.

Step 4: Schedule your exam

Once your application is approved by PMI and/or you have successfully completed the audit, it is time to schedule your exam. An exciting change was put into place in 2020, where PMP candidates can now complete their exam proctored online. No need to leave the safety and comfort of your home or office! If you prefer to take your exam at a testing site, the PMP exam is administered at Pearson VUE locations around the world. When scheduling your exam, leverage the time of day when you know you can perform at your best! Remember, this is a 4-hour exam: it's a marathon, not a sprint.

How Do I Take the Project Management Professional (PMP) Exam?

Step 5: Pass your exam

And the most exciting step is passing your PMP exam and demonstrating to the world that you are a serious, experienced, and professional project manager. You will be notified immediately upon completion of your exam as to your results. You will receive a proficiency rating in the five domains: initiating; planning; executing; monitoring and controlling; and closing.

With the proper preparation, you will be well on your road to being a PMP! Good luck!

Project Management Professional (PMP) and "PMP" are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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