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PMP Certification Requirements - Eligibility Myths

PMP requirements for the 2024 PMP exam

Achieving the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification is a two-part process. First, there is an application that you need to submit to the Project Management Institute (PMI). This online application asks you to detail some of your work history. It has an auto-save function so you can come back to it if you take a break from working on it. Once submitted, an employee of the Project Management Institute will review it. Typically, the reviewer takes about five business days to review your application. Once approved, you will receive an e-mail from PMI. In the email will be an eligibility code. You will need this code to pay for and schedule the second part of the PMP certification process: the exam.
How is the PMP exam administered?
    The PMP exam is a non-adaptive, computer based exam of 180 questions. Administered by an independent testing administrator (Pearson Vue), each exam question has one correct answer. You have slightly less than four hours to complete the exam. Most test-takers finish the exam with a little time to spare. Each question has a level of difficulty assigned to it by PMI. The “mix” of difficult and easy questions determines how many questions you need to answer correctly. At the end of the four hours, your exam will be graded immediately and you will receive your scores. The scores are the following:

    • Below Target
    • On Target
    • Above Target
    It is possible to receive a below target score in one area and still pass. However, you will need to offset that below target score with higher scores in all other areas.

How much does the PMP exam cost?
    The exam costs $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. The annual fee for PMI membership is $139, so you save a few dollars if you become a member and then schedule your exam.

What version book should I study for the PMP exam?
    Close to 70% of exam questions come directly from the PMBOK® Guide, which stands for Project Management Body of Knowledge. Right now, all PMP exams are based on the 6th edition of the PMBOK® Guide,. This edition has a blue cover to it and can be bought online for less than $60 USD.

PMP Requirement Myth 1 - I have to be a "project manager"

Wrong. There is no codified title of “Project Manager”. What PMI is concerned with is your role on a project. Did your role on a given project have an impact on a deliverable? If yes, you’re in! Keep in mind, PMI’s own definition of a project is: “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result” (PMBOK Guide, 6th Edition). So, ask yourself “How did I contribute on a project”?

PMP Requirement Myth 2 - I need a college degree.

Wrong. There are only two eligibility requirements regarding experience – Category 1 and Category 2.

Category 1: Prerequisites

  • Four-year degree
  • 36 months leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education
Category 2: Prerequisites

  • Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent)
  • 60 months leading and directing projects
  • 35 hours of project management education

Requirement Myth 3 - Audits are scary

Wrong. As long as your application has been extensively and faithfully filled out, an audit can take as little as 24 hours to turn around. Sometimes however, you will have to mail (via US Postal Service) verifications related to the colleagues mentioned in your application. Regardless, the time-clock on your one year application stops until your audit is over. Always be as honest as possible. Fraud will result in a lifetime ban from all PMI credentialing exams.

PMI will help prepare some of your audit package. Your experience information will be placed in individual forms for all of the projects you detailed in your application; you simply need to print these and have them signed/verified by the contacts named in your application. Don’t lose valuable time though using substandard postal services, or not having educational degrees (photocopies), or searching for the colleagues mentioned as contacts.

Requirement Myth 4 - I need project management training

True! You do need 35 contact hours. However, keep in mind, these hours can come from project management classes your employer paid for, you paid for, or anyone paid for! These can also be classes that have nothing to do, specifically, with project management. What do we mean by nothing to do with project management? 

Receive a free list of a dozen different ways to meet this requirement! Call 800-544-1995

Requirement Myth 5 - Only IT professionals need apply.

Wrong. Anyone working in any project environment can apply whether you come from IT, marketing, operations (processes change!) or even sales. PMI does not make value judgments about your career!

  • A project is a unique, transient endeavour, undertaken to achieve planned objectives, which could be defined in terms of outputs, outcomes or benefits.
  • Projects can go by many different names - launches, assessments, enhancements, or events. Don't limit your thinking. Be expansive!

Note: Every EdWel Programs PMP Exam Prep student is assigned an Academic Adviser ™ who will help guide you through the process. Every EdWel Academic Adviser ™ is a PMP themselves. They have been through the process as an applicant and know all the tips and tricks to make your experience a good one.