Top PMP Study Guide

We go through the mistakes 80% of people make which leads them to failing the PMP on their first try, highlight appropriate study material and a complete study plan for you to follow.

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This PMP study guide was created to a single source of all the information you need to acquire you're PMP qualification.



PMP® exam is a Project Management Professional certification by the Project Management Institute (PMI®). PMP® is globally recognised with members in 193 countries. Having a PMP® demonstrates the experience, education, and ability to lead and direct successful projects. Most project manager positions in top companies require PMP® qualification and if not it is seen as a distinct advantage to have the qualification. All information regarding PMP® can be found here in the PMP© Certification Explained article.

"Fail to Prepare, Fail to Prepare” is definitely the case when it comes to passing the PMP® Preparation. I made the costly mistake of ONLY reading the PMBOK® Guide first time round. The PMBOK® Guide is a manual/guide on the PMI® approach to project management and the PMP® exam is based on it. What you need to know is....

  • Which Resources to Purchase
  • Which Materials to Learn
  • How to Test Yourself
  • Having a Exam Day Plan (100% one of the most important things when comes to passing)
  • Credibility: The Project Management Institute (PMI®) was founded in 1969 and since the 1980's have been making efforts to standardise project management procedures and approaches. You can see the amount of PMI® credential holders in the below table.
  • Competitive Advantage: PMP® certification holders will have a distinct advantage over other project managers in the work place not only in knowledge but also salary. Check out the latest project management salary survey from 2015.


  • PROCESS
  • PMP Requirements
  • Avoiding PMP Audit
  • PMP Cost
  • Booking PMP

Acquiring PMP Process

  1. Signup to Project Management Institute (PMI). You can become a member which will save you $140 for the exam and give you a discount if you need to repeat. You do not have to be a member to take the exam.
  2. Complete 35 hours of formal project management training.
  3. Submit your pmp application outlining you'r work experience and education.
  4. If approved book exam with Prometric.
  5. If not approved you will be subject to an audit.
  6. Take & Pass the PMP exam

What are the pmp certification requirements?

The pmp certification requirements are quiet extensive as it requires formal education and a number of years experience.

Bachelor's degree or global equivalent

  • Minimum three years/36 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • 4,500 hours spent leading and directing projects
  • 35 contact hours of formal project management education

High school diploma, associate's degree or global equivalent

  • Minimum five years/60 months unique non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • 7,500 hours spent leading and directing projects
  • 35 contact hours of formal project management education

The requirements in the Project Management Professional (PMP) Credential Handbook states that a candidate must “Document 35 contact hours of project management education”. This requirement is for all candidates no matter of previous experience.

Project Management Formal Education

There is a very good chance you don’t have any formal project management education. If this is the case you need to make sure the course you pick goes towards formal project management education that is reconsigned by the PMI®. Depending on your college background you might already have project management experience complete in a module. Also you might have completed training in the work place in project management which can also be counted. It is well worth checking any previous training with the instructor to see if it qualifies. The first step is to document all education hours regardless if you think they contribute or not. There is no expiry date or a restricted time frame to have completed education hours. The second step is to classify the education type received.

*Note that the PMI defines “one contact hour is equivalent to one actual hour (60 mins) of training or instruction received”. NOTE: One hour of classroom instruction equals one contact hour. If you have completed a university or college course on project management that met for three hours per week for 15 weeks, you would record 45 contact hours. If only a portion of a course dealt with project management, only the hours spent on project management can be applied toward the total.

Types of Education Providers

35 contact hours can be met by completing courses, workshops and training offered by one of the following types of providers…..

  1. PMI Registered Education Provider (R.E.P): These are pre approved courses by PMI.
  2. PMI Component Organizations: Theses are PMI Chapter training, specific interest groups.
  3. Training Companies or Consultants: As long as content can be logically mapped to knowledge areas
  4. Company Sponsored Training: As long as content can be logically mapped to knowledge areas
  5. 3rd Party Distance-learning Companies: Can include live instructor training online or just online video course. As long as content can be logically mapped to knowledge areas.

What doesn’t satisfy PMP Education Requirements…..

  1. Self Study (Reading Books)
  2. Degree programme such as an MBA
  3. PMI Chapter meeting unless spent time learning an activity.

PMP® Audit Process Explained

The PMP audit scared the crap out of me when I was applying for the PMP examination. I spent 3 months working on my application where I mapped out every bit of work experience. I then wrote up paragraphs on each of projects, broken down by process group (initiation, planning, executing, monitoring & controlling and closing). After that I spruced them up with project management terminology and finally sent them off to my manager at the time.I did this all as precautionary you don’t need the managers to approve them before you submit them but if you get audited the mangers will need to approve them. I explain why it took me 2 months longer than it should of at the end!

PMP® Application Submission

When you submit your application for any PMI© examination you are agreeing to comply with the terms of the PMP audit process. Everyone’s application is eligible to be audited but only a percentage are selected. The selection of an application for the audit is at random but reading blogs there are theories on how to avoid getting audited. I have read that the following tips on trying not to get audited.

  1. Not to repeatedly modifying your application and saving as it could set off a flag.
  2. Not to be changing numbers for hours experience as it seems you are fixing the numbers for your convenience.
  3. Do not differentiate from recommended percentages per process group. The percentages are Initiation 5% to 10%, Planning 20% to 30%, Executing 20% to 30%, Monitoring & Controlling 20% to 30% and Closing 5% to 10%. I didn’t follow this as for some projects all my work was closing so gave more than recommended percentage.

Project Tracking

I created a tracking sheet to help track the projects I managed to calculate hours per project and to align dates.

  • PMI will only recognize 40 hours per week so 160 maximum per month regardless if you worked overtime
  • No need to include every project as long as you have covered each domain at least once.
  • Overlapping projects do not count ie. You manage 3 projects in one month you still can only claim 160 hours

Use project management vocabulary in your application such as…

Lead, Consulted, Developed, Directed, Monitored, Controlled, Identified, Contributed, Participated, Assisted,
Initiated, Provided, Estimated, Performed, Measured, Managed, Analysed, Acquired, Distributed, Requested, Selected, Verified, Reported, Administered, Contracted, Communicated, Closed.

Submitting PMP Application

Below is all the required information you need to provide per project.

  • Need provide organization details
  • Contact (Manager) details in case of an audit
  • Submit the amount of hours earned per domain
  • The description should include examples of how you led and directed this project. Ensure that your description is between 300 and 550 characters.

 

If You Are Selected

This is not the end of the world and just needs you to verify the information you provided. You will know if your application is selected for an audit straight away. You will be notified by email after payment of the examination fee is received. The email will also provide further details on the audit and the next steps.

During an audit, you will be asked to submit supporting documentation such as:

  • Copies of your diploma/global equivalent
  • Signatures from your supervisor(s) or manager(s) from the project(s) recorded in the experience verification section of the application
  • Copies of certificates and/or letters from the training institute(s) for each course recorded on the application to meet the required contact hours of project management education

You have 90 days to provide the above documentation either by regular post or express courier service in ONE envelope to the following address….

PMI

Attn: Certification Audit

14 Campus Blvd.

Newtown Square,

PA 19073-3299 USA

The audit should take about five to seven business days to complete.

Once you pass the audit you have one-year to complete the examination.

Fail The PMP Audit

You should not be failing the audit process if all the information you provided is correct and accurate.

Please note though incomplete audit submissions will not be processed and will result in failure of the audit. You will receive a refund of your fee if you do fail. Please see Refund Policy on the PMI website for more details.

Also if you fail you cannot apply for the PMP for one year.

What is the pmp certification cost?

PMP® certification cost is not the only thing you need to take into consideration when committing to PMP© certifiaction cost. The PMP© requires a lot of effort and should not be considered a quick and easy qualification.

Estimated Budget Required for PMP

Applying for the PMP© is free but you need to meet the requirements to apply. One of the requirements is having 35 contact hours of project management. I personally had completed a Computer Management Module in Bachelors Degree so didn’t have to attend any extra classes to qualify. If you haven’t any previous project management education this is going to cost you money. To sit the actual PMP© examination its costs $405 for PMI© Members and $555 for Non-Members. To repeat the exam it costs $275 for Members and $375 for Non-Members.

PMI© Membership

The membership itself cost $139 but for the PMP® examination being a PMI® member saves you $150 immediately. There are also the following benefits….

  • Discounted PMI examination fees
  • Discounted fee for repeat examinations
  • Free copy of the PMBOK© Guide Latest Edition
  • Free ability to gain required PMP PDU (in Category A)
  • Access to a local PMI Chapter
  • There is a yearly fee of $129 to maintain your membership.

If you are serious about your career in project management it is recommended to become a PMI© Member. This will enable to participate in local chapter meetings and contribute and get reconsigned in the world of project management.

  • PMP Certification Cost ItemsCost(US$)
  • PMI Membership FeeUS$139
  • PMP Exam FeeUS$405
  • Total PMP Certification Cost:US$544
  • To attempt the PMP examination without membership costs $555.

Project Management Study Hours

To apply for the PMP© you need to prove you have completed 35 hours of project management education. This will cost you money but you can combine this cost with study material and use it as preparation for the exam. The PMP preparation courses will clarify if they can go towards the 35 hours required to apply.

PMP© Exam Study Material

PMBOK© Guide costs $47.98 but is free to download from the pmi.org for PMI© members. Reading the PMBOK© isn’t compulsory and some qualified project managers have revealed they passed the exam without reading the PMBOK but you will feel more prepared if you have read it. Also the PMBOK© is a guide or reference point on techniques and processes that can be used in day to day project management and is a great tool to have in your arsenal.

Recommended Study Books….

  1. Andy Crowes
  2. Head First PMP Third Edition Edition

PMP© Practice Exams

There are a lot of free exams you can find online but there is also a number of private examines you can take.

You will be attempting the PMP© exam in a pro-metric centre. For those knew to this environment you need to know they are very strict and take it very seriously. Items prohibited from the Testing Center include….

  • Food
  • Coats
  • Calculators
  • Mobile Phones
  • Watches
  • Eye Drops
  • Beverages
  • Sweaters
  • Eyeglass cases
  • Tape Recorders
  • Wallets
  • Book bags
  • Luggage
  • Pagers
  • Dictionaries
  • Medication

You will also be searched before you enter the surveillance room where you will be assigned a cubicle with just a computer screen, a mouse, paper and a pencil. If you have belongings with you there will be a locker you can use.

Simple 10 Steps: pmp exam schedule

Navigate to website (www.prometric.com/pmi) and select the “I want to….” on left hand side option for PMP,PgMP, PfMP, PMI-SP and PMI-RMP.

*I suggest you give yourself at least 6 weeks of study time. I go through my study plan outlining how long it takes to get through the study material.

  1. Select your geographical location from the dropdown menu, and click “Next.”
  2. Select “Schedule an Appointment.”
  3. Read through the examination information presented on your screen, and click “Next.”
  4. Read through and agree to the Policies and Data Privacy Notice
  5. Enter your unique PMI Eligibility ID (the number ending with an “E” located on your scheduling notification) and the first four letters of your last name (as they appear on your government issued identification). Click “Next.”
  6. Use the tool provided to search for testing sites in your area. Select “Schedule an Appointment.”
  7. Locate and select your exam date and time. Available dates will appear in blue on the calendar, and dates with no appointments available will be in grey. Select your date from the calendar provided, and then your time. Click “Next.”
  8. Confirm your contact information and provide a valid email address. Please note, the email address provided will be the email that your examination confirmation will be sent to. Once your information is entered and confirmed, click “Next.”
  9. Review your final appointment details, and then click “Complete Appointment.” Your appointment will not be scheduled until you click “Complete Appointment.”
  10. Your examination confirmation, along with your 16 digit unique confirmation number, will be displayed. This information will also be sent via email to the address provided


Firstly you should know by now but to make sure you know what to expect. There is a total of 200 questions with only 175 being counted towards the actual mark the other 25 are PMI review questions. The PMI uses the 25 review questions to test new questions to see responses from test takers. You will not be able to distinguish the difference between real and review questions in the exam so it is best to practice full length exams of 200 questions.

PMBOK® Guide

The PMBOK® Guide itself is process-based, meaning it describes how to complete project management using tasks. The processes in PMBOK® guide, overlap and interact throughout the project life cycle. Processes are presented in terms of…

  • Inputs (documents, plans, designs etc)
  • Tools and Techniques (methods to accomplish activities)
  • Outputs (documents, plans designs etc)

The PMBOK® Guide also provides information on the PMI® Code of Professional Conduct which is also tested ion the exam.

Knowledge Areas

  • Project Integration Management
  • Project Scope Management
  • Project Time Management
  • Project Cost Management
  • Project Quality Management
  • Project Human Resources
  • Project Communications Management
  • Project Risk Management
  • Project Procurement Management
  • Project Stakeholders Management

Process Groups (% Question in Exam)

  1. Initiating (13%)
  2. Planning (24%)
  3. Executing (30%
  4. Monitoring & Controlling (25%)
  5. Closing (8%)

Below I have broken down all the different terms and definitions you should understand per process group.

DO NOT JUST READ PMBOK - YOU WILL FAIL.

Having the correct PMP® study guide is essential. I made the costly mistake of only reading the PMBOK® Guide first time round and wasn’t till after failing I learned how much of a rookie mistake it was. The PMBOK® Guide is a manual/guide on the PMI® approach to project management and the PMP exam is based on it. The PMBOK® Guide is not a manual/guide on how to pass the PMP® exam. The PMP® exam is multiple choice but the questions are situational and the PMBOK® Guide does not prepare you for such kind of questions. The questions are not easy and phrased to confuse people for this reason you need other resources to help you pass that prepare you for these questions.



The Project Management Professional (PMP®) is a lot to take on by yourself so it is advised to sign-up to professional training to help you pass the exam. As noted above it is not sufficient to just read the PMBOK® Guide as it is just a reference guide. You also need other resources to complete your preparation. Most resources prepare applicants by match their content as the chapters in the PMBOK® Guide and provide questions related to the exam. The two books I highly recommend which both include full-length practice exams with detailed explanations…..

If you are completely new to studying project management I recommend Head First PMP but if you are familiar with the knowledge areas and process groups Andy Crowe’s will be a perfect fit. Head First should be seen more as a beginners book and Andy Crowe’s more advanced but they both compliment each other. Head First PMP gives a brilliant introduction using real examples and Andy Crowe’s is more similar to the PMBOK but easier to digest and more focused on helping you passing the exam.

Rita Mulcahy was given to me by a student one day when I was teaching PMP and I was quiet impressed by it. Originally I read it was very techy but didn't seem like that at all. After reading it I would rank it alongside Andy Crowes book. If you buy with Amazon you get bonus study material though.

PMP Study Plan

1. Read through one book mentioned above.

2. Take the adjoining exam at the back of the book.

3. Keep these results for the night before the exam.

    (I used Andy Crowes as it was the best sample exam I had available)

4. Read through the below lists of process groups and ensure you are familiar with each term and concept.

5. Set out a daily routine of creating the process group map & formulas including Earned Value Management.

6. Schedule time to take other tests online and record scores. Make list of any terms/concepts you get incorrect.

7. Repeat till you have done all exams. Aim to be getting 70%+ in each.

8. Night before take exam you took in step 1.

9. Relax and make sure to follow the exam day plan. Take your breaks it gives brain chance to regroup.

5 PMP Process Groups

PMP Initiation Process Group

“The Initiating Process Group consists of those processes performed to define a new project or a new phase of an existing project by obtaining authorization to start the project or phase.” – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

The initiation process group has 2 processes:

  • Develop Project Charter (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Identify Stakeholders (Stakeholder Knowledge Area)

To learn an easy way to remember all of the 47 process to create a table check out this article.

Initiation Phase Tasks

On January 11th 2016 the PMI added tasks 2, 7 and 8 to the list of expected tasks in the Initiation phase. You can read the impact of these tasks additions here.

Task Detail
Task Purpose
Task 1
Assess project based on available project information, lessons learned documents from previous projects and meeting relevant stakeholders.
Support the evaluation of the feasibility of new products or services within the given assumptions/constraints.
Task 2
Identify key deliverables based on business requirements.
Manage customer expectations and direct the achievement of project goals.
Task 3
Perform Stakeholder Analysis to align expectations and gather support for project.
Align expectations and gain support for project.
Task 4
Identify high level risks, assumptions and constraints by analysing environmental enterprise factors, organizational process assets, historical data and expert judgement to determine a implementation strategy
Propose an implementation strategy for the project.
Task 5
Develop the Project Charter and ensure stakeholders are in agreement with its contents.
Ensure project stakeholders are in agreement on its elements.
Task 6
Obtain Project Charter sign-off from project sponsor.
Formalize the authority assigned to the project manager. And gain commitment and acceptance for the project.
Task 7
Conduct benefit analysis with relevant stakeholders.
Validate project alignment with expected business value and organization strategy.
Task 8
Inform stakeholders of approved project charter.
Manage expectations on key deliverables, milestones and their roles and responsibilities.

Initiation Phase Study Check List

While I was studying for the PMP exam I kept a list of terms and definitions on the Initiation phase for studying purposes. I turned this list into a study list to test myself by domain same as the exam is structured.

This is my own personal list and not a definitive list. If you have suggested or additions for the list please provide them in the comments section and I will update the list accordingly.

Knowledge Area

Do You Understand…

PMP Framework
Define the different Types of Organizations (Who has authority)
PMP Framework
What are Enterprise Environmental Factors
PMP Framework
What are Organization Process Assets
PMP Framework
When do you use Expert Judgement
PMP Framework
Define characteristics of a Project including lifecycle
PMP Framework
What are Project Constraints
PMP Framework
Explain Project vs Portfolio vs Program
PMP Framework
What is the role of Project Manager/Expeditor/Coordinator
PMP Framework
Define Product Lifecycle
PMP Framework
What are the 5 Process Groups
PMP Framework
What is Management-By-Objective?
PMP Framework
What are the 10 Knowledge Areas
Integration Management
Purpose & Objective of Project Charter Process
Integration Management
State the inputs to Project Charter
Integration Management
Purpose of Statement of Work & Contents
Integration Management
Define different Types of Business Cases
Integration Management
Choosing Projects based on Benefit Cost Ratio, Net Present Value, Opportunity Cost, Lifecycle Cost, Internal Rate of Return, Depreciation
Integration Management
What are the differences between Straight Line Depreciation vs Accelerated Depreciation
Stakeholder Management
Purpose & Objective of Identify Stakeholders Process
Stakeholder Management
What is a stakeholder
Stakeholder Management
Describe Stakeholder Register
Stakeholder Management
Describe Power/Interest Grid and Salience Model
Stakeholder Management
Define Project Selection; Constrained Optimization vs Economic Value


PMP Planning Process Group

“The Planning Process Group consists of those processes performed to establish the total scope of the effort, define and refine objectives, and develop the course of action required to attain those objectives.”  – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

The planning process group has 24 processes:

  • Plan Scope Management (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Collect Requirements (Scope Knowledge Area)
  • Define Scope (Scope Knowledge Area)
  • Create WBS (Scope Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Schedule Management (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Define Activities (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Sequence Activities (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Estimate Activity Resources (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Estimate Activity Durations (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Develop a Schedule (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Cost Management (Cost Knowledge Area)
  • Estimate Costs (Cost Knowledge Area)
  • Determine Budget (Cost Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Quality Management (Quality Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Human Resources Management (Human Resources Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Communication Management (Communication Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Risk Management (Risk Knowledge Area)
  • Identify Risks (Risk Knowledge Area)
  • Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis (Risk Knowledge Area)
  • Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis (Risk Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Risk Responses (Risk Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Procurement Management (Procurement Knowledge Area)
  • Plan Stakeholder Management (Stakeholder Knowledge Area)

To learn an easy way to remember all of the 47 process to create a table check out this article.

Plannig Phase Tasks

On January 11th 2016 the PMI added task 13 to the list of expected tasks in the planning phase. You can read the impact of these tasks additions here.

Task DetailTask Purpose
Task 1Review and assess detailed project requirements, constraints and assumptions with stakeholders based on project charter and previous projects lessons learnedEstablish detailed project deliverables.
Task 2Develop scope management plan, based on the approved project scope.Define, maintain and manage scope of project.
Task 3Develop the cost management plan based on project scope, schedule, resources, approved project charter and other information.Manage project costs effectively.
Task 4Develop the project schedule based on the approved project deliverables, milestones, scope and resource management plans.Manage timely completion of the project.
Task 5Develop the human resource management by defining roles/responsibilities of the project team membersCreate a project organizational structure and determine how resources will be assigned and managed.
Task 6Develop the communications management plan based on the project organizational structure and stakeholder requirementsDefine and manage flow of project information.
Task 7Develop the procurement management plan based on the project scope, budget and schedule.Ensure that the required project resources will be available.
Task 8Develop the quality management plan and define the quality standards for the project and its products based on scope, risks and requirements.Prevent the occurrence of defects and control the cost of quality.
Task 9Develop the change management plan by defining how changes will be addresses and controlledTrack and manage change during the project.
Task 10Develop the risk management plan by identifying, analysing and prioritizing project risk. Create risk register and define risk responses.Manage uncertainty and opportunity throughout the project.
Task 11Present the project management plan to relevant stakeholders according to organization policies and procedures.Obtain approval to proceed with project execution.
Task 12Hold a kick-off meeting, communicating start of the project, key milestones and other relevant information.Inform and engage stakeholders to gain commitment for project
Task 13Develop the stakeholder management plan by analysing needs, interests and potential impact.Effectively manage stakeholder’s expectations and engage them when required.

Planning Phase- Study Check List

While I was studying for the PMP exam I kept a list of terms and definitions on the Planning phase for studying purposes. I turned this list into a study list to test myself by domain same as the exam is structured.

This is my own personal list and not a definitive list. If you have suggested or additions for the list please provide them in the comments section and I will update the list accordingly.

Knowledge AreaDo You Understand….
Integration ManagementPurpose & Objective Develop Project Management Plan Process
Integration ManagementPurpose of kick-off meeting and when its held
Integration ManagementDo you understand project management plan and subsidiary plans & baselines
Integration ManagementWhat are differences between Change management plan vs Configuration management plan
Integration ManagementWhat are the Configuration Management activities?
Integration ManagementPurpose of baselines and when updated
Integration ManagementWhat is the Work Authorization System definition
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Scope Management Plan Process
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Collect Requirements Process
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Define Scope Process
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Create WBS Process
Scope ManagementWhat are the differences between Product vs Project Scope
Scope ManagementDefine the requirements Gathering Techniques
Scope ManagementWhat is a Work Package
Scope ManagementDescribe the following product analysis techniques: Product breakdown, System Analysis, Requirements Analysis, Systems Engineering, Value Engineering, Value Analysis.
Scope ManagementDifference between Non-Functional vs Functional Requirements
Scope ManagementDefine Group Decision Making Techniques x 4
Scope ManagementPurpose & Contents of Requirements Traceability Matrix
Scope ManagementDescribe following Group Creativity Techniques – Mind map, Delphi Technique, Affinity Diagrams, Nominal Group Technique, Context Diagrams, Brainstorming, Benchmarking, Document Analysis
Scope ManagementWhat are the contents of Project Scope Statement
Scope ManagementWhat are the contents of Work Breakdown Structure
Scope ManagementWhat are the contents of Scope Baseline
Scope ManagementDefine process of Decomposition
Scope ManagementDescribe differences between Scope Creep vs Gold Plating
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Schedule Management Process
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Define Activities Process
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Sequence Activities Process
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Estimate Activity Resources Process
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Estimate Activity Duration Process
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Develop Schedule Process
Time ManagementWhat is difference between Activity List vs Milestone List
Time ManagementDefinition of Rolling Wave Planning
Time ManagementWhat is Precedence Diagramming Method
Time ManagementWhat is Dependency Determination
Time ManagementWhat is difference between Leads vs Lags
Time ManagementHow to create a Schedule Network Diagram
Time ManagementDescribe Bottom Up vs Parametric vs Analogous Estimating
Time ManagementUnderstand how to calculate PERT Estimation
Time ManagementUnderstand how to calculate Standard Deviation
Time ManagementDescribe Critical Path vs Critical Chain Methods
Time ManagementDescribe Crashing vs Fast Tracking
Time ManagementDescribe Float vs Free Float vs Slack
Time ManagementUnderstand how to calculate Float
Time ManagementWhat is the purpose of Monte Carlo Analysis
Cost ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Cost Management Process
Cost ManagementPurpose & Objective Estimate Costs Process
Cost ManagementPurpose & Objective Determine Budget Process
Cost ManagementChoosing Projects based on Benefit Cost Ratio, Net Present Value, Opportunity Cost, Lifecycle Cost, Internal Rate of Return, Depreciation
Cost ManagementUnderstand process to build a budget
Cost ManagementDescribe different Estimation Techniques – Parametric, Analogous, 3 Point, Bottom Up, Expert
Cost ManagementDefine Range of Rough Order Estimates
Cost ManagementWhat is the Cost Aggregation Technique
Cost ManagementWhat are the outputs of Estimate Cost Process
Cost ManagementWhat is Reserve Analysis
Cost ManagementDescribe Funding Limit Reconciliation Technique
Cost ManagementWhat is difference between contingency reserve and management reserve?
Cost ManagementWhat is Control Accounts
Quality ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Quality Management Process
Quality ManagementWhat is conformance to requirements
Quality ManagementDescribe difference between Quality vs Grade
Quality ManagementWhat is the cost of quality
Quality ManagementDescribe Statistical Sampling, Benchmarking, Design of Experiments, Affinity Diagrams, Brainstorming, Affinity Diagrams, Prioritization Matrices
Quality ManagementWhy do you use Quality Checklists
HR ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan HR Management Process
HR ManagementWhat does RACI stand for?
HR ManagementDifference between formal and informal networking
HR ManagementWhat is difference between resource smoothing and levelling?
HR ManagementWhat is staffing management plan?
HR ManagementHow and when to perform Resource Levelling
Communication ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Communication Management Process
Communication ManagementThe Communication Method Steps
Communication ManagementWhat so the halo effect?
Communication ManagementDifferent Communication Models
Communication ManagementWhen to use formal/informal written/verbal
Communication ManagementEncoding vs Decoding Messages
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Risk Management Process
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective  Identify Risks Process
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective Perform Qualitative Risk Analysis Process
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective Perform Quantitative Risk Analysis Process
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Risk Responses Process
Risk ManagementDefine process of identifying Risks
Risk ManagementWhat is a Risk called that doesn’t have a negative impact?
Risk ManagementWhat is the difference between special and normal causes?
Risk ManagementDefine 4 ways to deal with a risk
Risk ManagementDefine the Risk Management Plan
Risk ManagementWhat is difference between Quantitative and Qualitative
Risk ManagementWhat does SWOT stand for?
Risk ManagementDefine how you would use the Delphi Technique, Fishbone Diagram, Checklist Analysis, Interviews, SWOT, Assumption Analysis
Risk ManagementUnderstand how to read a Risk Probability and Impact Assessment Table
Risk ManagementWhat is the purpose of a watch list?
Risk ManagementCalculate a Contingency Reserve for known unknowns
Risk ManagementCalculate Estimated Monetary Value
Risk ManagementWhy would you use a Tornado Diagram
Risk ManagementDefine strategies for Positive Risks and for Negative Risks
Risk ManagementDescribe difference between Secondary Risks vs Residual Risks
Procurement ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Procurements Management Process
Procurement ManagementWho is the Seller and Buyer in Procurement Management
Procurement ManagementDifference between Procurement Statement of Work mad Procurement Management Plan
Procurement ManagementWhat questions are asked for source selection criteria
Procurement ManagementDefine Fixed Price, Fixed Price Plus Incentive Fee, Cost Plus Fixed Fee, Cost Plus Award Fee, Cost Plus Incentive Fee, Time & Materials Contracts
Procurement ManagementWhat is the risk to buyer vs seller for each contract
Procurement ManagementDefine “force of majeure” and “total point of assumption”
Stakeholder ManagementPurpose & Objective Plan Stakeholder Management Process
Stakeholder ManagementDefine 5 types of engagement a stakeholder is?
Stakeholder ManagementCreate a Stakeholder Engagement Matrix

PMP Executing Process Group

“The Executing Process Group consists of those processes performed to complete the work defined in the project management plan to satisfy the project specifications.” – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

The executing process group has 8 processes:

  • Direct & Manage Project Work (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Perform Quality Assurance (Quality Knowledge Area)
  • Acquire Project Team (Human Resources Knowledge Area)
  • Develop Project Team (Human Resources Knowledge Area)
  • Manage Project Team (Human Resources Knowledge Area)
  • Manage Communications (Communications Knowledge Area)
  • Conduct Procurements (Procurement Knowledge Area)
  • Manage Stakeholder Engagement (Stakeholder Knowledge Area)

To learn an easy way to remember all of the 47 process to create a table check out this article.

Executing Phase Tasks

In January 11th 2016 the PMI added tasks 6 and 7 to the list of expected tasks in the Executing phase. You can read the impact of these tasks additions here.

Task DetailTask Purpose
Task 1Acquire and manage project resources by following procurement and human resources plans.Help meet project requirements.
Task 2Manage task execution based on project management plan by leading and developing the project team in order to achieve project deliverables.Hep achieve project deliverables.
Task 3Implement the quality management plan to ensure work is performed in accordance with required quality standards.Ensure that work is performed in accordance with required quality standards.
Task 4Implement approved changes and corrective actions by following change management plan.Help meet project requirements.
Task 5Implement approved actions by following risk management plan in order to minimize the impact of the risks and take advantage of opportunities on the project.Minimize the impact of the risks and take advantage of opportunities on the project.
Task 6Manage the flow of information by following the communication plan to keep stakeholders engaged and informed.Help keep stakeholders engaged and informed.
Task 7Maintain stakeholder relationships to receive continued support and manage expectations.Ensure the project receives continued support and expectations are managed.

 

Executing Phase Study Check List

While I was studying for the PMP exam I kept a list of terms and definitions on the Executing phase for studying purposes. I turned this list into a study list to test myself by domain same as the exam is structured.

This is my own personal list and not a definitive list. If you have suggested or additions for the list please provide them in the comments section and I will update the list accordingly.

Knowledge AreaDo You Understand….
Integration ManagementPurpose & Objective Direct & Mange Work Process
Integration ManagementWhat is the definition of a Defect
Integration ManagementWhat are deliverables
Integration ManagementWhat is Work Performance Data
Integration ManagementWhat are inputs and outputs of Direct and Manage Process
Quality ManagementPurpose & Objective Perform Quality Assurance Process
Quality ManagementDefine the purpose of Quality Assurance
Quality ManagementWhat is a Quality Audit?
Quality ManagementWho created Plan-Do-Check-Act?
Quality ManagementWhat is Kaizen?
Quality ManagementWhat is just-in-time?
HR ManagementPurpose & Objective Acquire Project Team Process
HR ManagementPurpose & Objective Develop Project Team Process
HR ManagementPurpose & Objective Manage Project Team Process
HR ManagementWhen would you use preassignment?
HR ManagementDescribe a virtual team
HR ManagementWhat is the difference between Resource Calendars vs Resource Histograms
HR ManagementDefine French & Raven 5 Kinds of Power
HR ManagementExplain following interpersonal skills Leadership, Team Building, Motivation, Communication, Influencing, Political & Cultural Awareness, Decision Making, Negotiation, Trust Building, Coaching, Conflict Management
HR ManagementWhat are Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
HR ManagementWhat is difference between McGregor’s Theory X and Theory Y
HR ManagementWho created the Hygiene theory and what is it?
HR ManagementWhat are the 3 factors on McClelland’s Motivational Needs?
HR ManagementWhat roles under mind the Project Management implementation?
HR ManagementWhat are the 5 stages of Team Development
HR ManagementWhat are the 6 ways to resolve conflicts?
HR ManagementWhat is the most common conflicts?
HR ManagementWhy are unresolved issues a major source of conflicts?
HR ManagementWhat is purpose of ground rules?
HR ManagementWhat are the categories of cultures managers should master?
HR ManagementWhat is a war room?
Communications ManagementPurpose & Objective Manage Communications Process
Communications ManagementWhat is the purpose of Managing Communications Process?
Communications ManagementWork Performance Data gets turned into?
Communications ManagementCalculate Communication Channels
Communications ManagementDifference between Non-Verbal vs Par lingual vs Feedback
Procurement ManagementPurpose & Objective Conduct Procurements Process
Procurement ManagementWhat is an Information Management System?
Procurement ManagementWhat is an cost0-reimeburasable type contract?
Procurement ManagementWho attends a bidder conference and when is it held?
Procurement ManagementWhat is the purpose of Conduct Procurement Process?
Procurement ManagementDifference between Plan and Conduct Procurements?
Procurement ManagementWhy would you use independent estimates?
Procurement ManagementWhat are the outputs of Conduct Procurements?
Procurement ManagementDefine Procurement Documents?
Procurement ManagementDefine a win-win situation?
Procurement ManagementWhat is an ideal situation for every contract?
Stakeholder ManagementPurpose & Objective Manage Stakeholder Engagement Process
Stakeholder ManagementWhat is the purpose of Manage Stakeholder Engagement?
Stakeholder ManagementWho leads negotiations?

PMP Monitoring and Controlling

“The Monitoring and Controlling Process Group consists of those processes required to track, review, and orchestrate the progress and performance of a project; identify any areas in which changes to the plan are required; and initiate the corresponding changes.” – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

The control and monitor process group has 11 processes:

  • Monitor and Control Project/Phase Work (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Perform Integrated Change Control (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Control Scope (Scope Knowledge Area)
  • Validate Scope (Scope Knowledge Area)
  • Control Schedule (Time Knowledge Area)
  • Control Costs (Cost Knowledge Area)
  • Perform Quality Control (Quality Knowledge Area)
  • Control Communications (Communications Knowledge Area)
  • Control Risks (Risks Knowledge Area)
  • Control Procurements (Procurements Knowledge Area)
  • Control Stakeholder Engagement (Stakeholder Knowledge Area)

To learn an easy way to remember all of the 47 process to create a table check out this article.

Monitoring and Controlling Phase Tasks

In January 11th 2016 the PMI added tasks 6 and 7 to the list of expected tasks in the monitoring and controlling phase. You can read the impact of these tasks additions here.

Task DetailTask Purpose
Task 1Measure project performance in order to identify and quantify any variances and corrective actionsIdentify and quantify any variances and corrective actions.
Task 2Manage changes by following change management planEnsure the project goals remain aligned with business needs.
Task 3Verify project deliverables conform to quality standards established in quality management planEnsure the project meets requirements and business needs.
Task 4Monitor and assess risks by deterring whether exposure has changed and evaluating the effectiveness of response strategies.Manage the impact of risks and opportunities on the project.
Task 5Review the issue log, update if necessary and determine corrective actions.Minimize the impact of issues on the project.
Task 6Capture, analyse and manage lessons learned management techniques.Enable continuous improvement in the project.
Task 7Monitor procurement activities according to the procurement plan.Verify compliance with project objectives.

Monitoring and Controlling Phase Study Check List

While I was studying for the PMP exam I kept a list of terms and definitions on the Monitoring and Controlling phase for studying purposes. I turned this list into a study list to test myself by domain same as the exam is structured.

This is my own personal list and not a definitive list. If you have suggested or additions for the list please provide them in the comments section and I will update the list accordingly.

Knowledge AreaDo You Understand….
Integration ManagementPurpose & Objective Monitoring & Controlling Project Work Process
Integration ManagementPurpose & Objective Perform Integrated Change Control Process
Integration ManagementWhat is the process of creating a change in a project?
Integration ManagementWhat is the relationship between Monitor & Control vs Perform Integrated Change Control
Integration ManagementWhat is a work performance report?
Integration ManagementChange Controls are used for what?
Integration ManagementDifference between change and defect?
Integration ManagementDifference between corrective and preventive actions?
Integration ManagementWhat is the phrase for a predicted problem
Integration ManagementWhat are the inputs/outputs of Monitor and Control Project
Integration ManagementWhat are the inputs/outputs of Perform Integrated Change Control
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Validate Scope Process
Scope ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Scope Process
Scope ManagementWhat are the next steps after someone identifies a required change
Scope ManagementExplain Variance Analysis
Scope ManagementWhat is the difference between Validate and Control Scope?
Scope ManagementWhat is the relationship between Validate and Control Scope?
Time ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Schedule Process
Time ManagementWhat 4 techniques are used to review the schedules performance?
Time ManagementWhat is Trend Analysis?
Time ManagementUnderstand how to calculate Schedule Variance (SV) and Schedule Performance Index (SPI)
Time ManagementWhat is the SPI to be behind schedule and what is the expected SPI to ahead of schedule
Cost ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Costs Process
Cost ManagementKnow the Earned Value Management Formulas
Cost ManagementKnow how to read CPI values if over/under budget
Cost ManagementWhat type of graphs can you expect when displaying EV data
Cost ManagementUnderstand the formulas specifically for Forecasting ie.EAC
Cost ManagementWhat is the purpose of the To-complete Performance Index and how would displayed in a graph
Cost ManagementWhat is the difference between Control Account  Work Package
Cost ManagementDescribe Reserve Analysis
Quality ManagementPurpose & Objective Perform Quality Control Process
Quality ManagementDifference between Attribute and Variable Sampling
Quality ManagementWhat are the 7 basic tools of Quality
Quality ManagementWhen would you use a Pareto Chart
Quality ManagementHow does Statistical Sampling work?
Quality ManagementWhat is the rule of 7?
Quality ManagementWhen is a project considered out of control?
Quality ManagementWhen is the 80/20 Rule used?
Quality ManagementWhat are the outputs of Control Quality Process?
Quality ManagementWhat is the difference between Control Quality and Perform Quality Assurance
Quality ManagementWhat is a Quality Audit?
Quality ManagementWho created Plan-D-Check-Act?
Quality ManagementWhat is Kaizen?
Quality ManagementExplain Just-in-Time
Communication ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Communications Process
Communication ManagementHow are change requests an output of Control Communications?
Risk ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Risks Process
Risk ManagementWho performs Risk Audits and why?
Risk ManagementWhat are the two types of risks being “controlled”
Risk ManagementWhat type of unknowns are in the contingency reserve
Risk ManagementWhen should the risk register be reviewed?
Procurement ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Procurements Process
Procurement ManagementExplain the Claims Administration steps
Procurement ManagementWhen, how and why does a contract change?
Procurement ManagementDescribe the following contract breaches: minor breach, material breach, fundamental breach, anticipatory breach
Procurement ManagementWhat is the difference between express and implied warranties?
Procurement ManagementWhat are the inputs to Control Procurements?
Procurement ManagementWhat is a Procurement Performance Review
Stakeholder ManagementPurpose & Objective Control Stakeholder Engagement Process
Stakeholder ManagementWhat are the inputs/outputs of Control Stakeholder Process
Stakeholder ManagementWhat skills are required to Manage Stakeholder Engagement

PMP Closing Process Group

“The Closing Process Group consists of those processes performed to conclude all activities across all Project Management Process Groups to formally complete the project, phase, or contractual obligations.” – A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide) Fifth Edition

The closing process group has 2 processes:

  • Close Project/Phase Work (Integration Knowledge Area)
  • Close Procurements (Procurements Knowledge Area)

To learn an easy way to remember all of the 47 process to create a table check out this article.

Closing Phase Tasks

In January 11th 2016 the PMI added tasks 6 and 7 to the list of expected tasks in the closing phase. You can read the impact of these tasks additions here.

Task DetailTask Purpose
Task 1Obtain final acceptance of the project deliverables from relevant stakeholders.Confirm the project scope and deliverables were achieved.
Task 2Transfer ownership of deliverables to assigned stakeholders according to project plan.Facilitate project closure.
Task 3Obtain financial, legal and administrative closure in order.Communicate formal project closure and ensure transfer of liability.
Task 4Prepare and share final project report according to communications management plan.Document project performance and evaluation.
Task 5Collate all lessons learned created during project and do a final project review.Update organizations knowledge base.
Task 6Archive project documents and materials.Comply with statutory requirements and for potential use in future projects and audits
Task 7Obtain feedback from relevant stakeholders.Evaluate their satisfaction

Closing Phase Study Check List

While I was studying for the PMP exam I kept a list of terms and definitions on the Closing phase for studying purposes. I turned this list into a study list to test myself by domain same as the exam is structured.

This is my own personal list and not a definitive list. If you have suggested or additions for the list please provide them in the comments section and I will update the list accordingly.

Knowledge AreaDo You Understand….
Integration ManagementPurpose & Objective Close Project or Phase Process
Integration ManagementInputs & Outputs Close Project or Phase Process
Integration ManagementWhat is the main output of Close Project or Phase?
Integration ManagementDescribe steps for closing a project
Integration ManagementWhat is Product Scope Verification
Integration ManagementInputs and Outputs of Close Project/Phase
Integration ManagementWho has authority to close project?
Integration ManagementWhat is purpose of documenting project lessons learned
Integration ManagementWhat is updated in Project Closure Process
Integration ManagementWhat are requirements to close project?
Procurement ManagementPurpose & Objective Close Procurements Process
Procurement ManagementInputs & Outputs of Close Procurements Process
Procurement ManagementWhen do you use a Procurement audit?
Procurement ManagementWhy would you need to negotiate procurements in this process
Procurement ManagementWhat is administrative closure?

In-depth PMP Blog Posts

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Learning 47 PMP Processes
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PMP Project Management Plan
In the process "Project Management Plan" formal definition is.... "A formal, approved document that defines how the project is managed,[...]
Earned Value Management Formulas
Earned Value Management Formulas > Earned Value > Planned Value > Schedule Variance > Cost Variance > Schedule Performance Index[...]
PMP Formulas
The PMP© Examination has a lot of formula questions which can be relatively easy if you know all the PMP[...]

1000 Free PMP Sample Question


When taking exams try to recreate the exam experience by setting aside 2-3 hours with no access to phone or internet. Take scheduled breaks which we outlined in the exam day plan.

PM-Training.net (200Q)

This is our very own exam created after I actually did the exam so I tried to include as many exam question topics as much as I could. I tried to cover everything from the above study lists so please leave me know what you think in the comments section after you complete the practice exam.

iZenBridge Earned Value Test (15Q)

As Earned Value Management is one of the most important sections of the exam it is crucial being able to answer any type formula question. Once you can get top results in this 15 question exam you will be ready to answer any EVM question.

Oliver Lehmann (75Q & 175Q)

Really difficult test but helped me identify new definitions and areas I hadn’t previously heard about. Oliver Lehmann was one the first to create a PMP practice exam online and has been teaching project management principles for over 10 years. Oliver also has a LinkedIn group well worth joining.

Exam Central (200Q)

This was one of my favorite test exams due to the feedback provided. It breaks down answers by process groups so you know where your weakness are to focus on. I only took this exam once due to time constraints but it identified that I was very weak in the initiation process group so I focused more on it and ended up getting Proficient in the area.

PM Study (200Q)

Great simulator for emulating the actual exam and good indicator on your ability to pass the real exam. You can also get a second free exam by using their referral system and sharing within your networks. (You can easily just create other accounts with the referral link which will give your original account access to the second exam).

PM Exam Simulator (200Q)

A really good simulator with good feedback. This is a good exam to practice your exam strategy and taking advantage of the good simulator.

Head First PMP (200Q)

Not the most difficult test but is a complete 200 question exam which helps gauge your level. I did the test with the book and online, the book is a great way of learning fundamentals.

Tutorials Point (150Q)

Has some repeat questions and not extremely difficult. Tutorial Point also provide a comprehensive study material people find useful which is worth checking out.

Passionate Project Management (15Q, 50Q & 100Q)

Personally didn’t like the way questions divided into 3 sections and never completed the exams.

PMPFor Sure (100Q)

Really close to the actual PMP exam besides some obvious grammar mistakes. Really beneficial and should be a must for any PMP taker. You do need to register to take the exam though.

Prepare PM (75Q)

Not exactly like the exam format but hard questions which you will have to rely on your knowledge more than knowing how to answer PMP questions.



  • Exam Day Plan
  • Exam Day Rules
  • Study Notes
  • PMP Exam Tips

PMP Exam Plan

This is the biggest difference and without a doubt the most important thing you can do to help pass the exam – create a test plan so you have milestones breaking up the exam so you know when to take breaks giving your brain rest which is a must for a 4 hour exam. The plan is as follows….

08:30am Arrive at Exam Centre

08:45am Start Tutorial – All you need to do is click start the system is extremely straight forward to use so you can use this 15mins for writing down all your notes.

09:00am Start PMP Exam – Aim to complete 75 Questions

10:00am Take Break – go to toilet or get a drink

10:05am Restart PMP Exam – Aim to complete 150 Questions

11:05am Take Food Break

11:10am Restart PMP Exam – Complete remaining 50 Questions

12:00am Take Break – go to toilet or get a drink

12:05am Start Review – Firstly go through all questions marked

01:00pm Submit Exam – Get results within a few minutes on the screen

Review all Marked Questions

Do not take for granted the importance of giving yourself a break it gives you time to gather your thoughts and re-motivate going into next round of questions. When attempting the exam I planned on reviewing all 200 questions but I only ended reviewing the marked questions so I recommend marking any question you have any doubt over.

What You Need On Exam Day

One day of exam you need arrive one half hour before your scheduled examination. You must sign in, present your identification and provide your unique PMI identification code that was emailed to you.

Notes About Identification

You need to present a non-expired government-issued identification. All forms of identification being presented at the testing centre must match your name exactly as it appears on the scheduling notification. Neither PMI nor Prometric will make any exceptions to this policy. Your identification needs to include:

  • English characters/translation
  • Your photograph
  • Your signature

In order to be admitted into the Prometric testing center, you must bring a valid, non-expired government-issued identification. Your identification needs to include:

  1. English characters/translation
  2. Your photograph
  3. Your signature (signature not necessary for CAPM and PMI-ACP exams)

If your government-issued identification does not display a photograph or a signature, a secondary form of identification may be used, which includes a photograph and/or signature (whichever is missing from the government-issued identification), and your name printed on the identification. All identification must be current (not expired).

The following are acceptable forms of government-issued identification:
  • Valid driver’s license
  • Valid military ID
  • Valid passport
  • Valid national identification card
The following are acceptable forms of secondary identification:
  • Valid employee ID
  • Valid military ID
  • Valid bank (ATM) card
The following ARE NOT acceptable forms of identification:
  • Social Security cards
  • Library cards

Not Abiding To Rules Equals Dismissal

If the test centre administrator feels you have broken one of the rules stated below they have the right to dismiss you from the examination.

  1. Using or attempting to use someone else to take the test.
  2. Failing to provide acceptable personal identification.
  3. Having access to, or using, notes or any prohibited aid related to the test.
  4. Creating a disturbance (disruptive behavior in any form will not be tolerated; the test administrator/supervisor has sole discretion in determining whether specific conduct constitutes disruptive behavior).
  5. Communicating, in any manner, with another person other than the test administrator/supervisor or proctor about the test during the administration, including attempting to give or receive assistance.
  6. Attempting to remove scrap paper from the testing room, or tearing the scrap paper.
  7. Eating or drinking in the testing room.
  8. Leaving the testing room or test center vicinity without permission.
  9. Removing or attempting to remove, examination related material, or portions of a test in any format from the testing room.
  10. Attempting to tamper with a computer.
  11. Engaging in any dishonest or unethical conduct, such as cheating.
  12. Failing to follow any other examination administration regulations set forth in PMI Certification Department policies given by the test administrator/supervisor, or specified in any examination materials. PMI’s Certification

This will be reported to the PMI who can cancel your exam scores, bar you from test centres. If your scores are cancelled your fee will not be refunded. For more information check out the official PMI Exam Scheduling Instructions.

Study Notes for Exam Day

When you attempt the PMP exam you will have an opportunity to take a tutorial which is 15 minutes long. Use this time to write up all formulas and study notes you have learned off. I wrote up 3 things which took 14 minutes….

  1. All formulas – It is a must to learn off the PMP formulas and at very least learn all the earned value management formulas. It is crucial to be able to read the CPI & SPI to determine if project behind/ahead of schedule or under/over budget. The easiest way to remember this is high is good and low is bad!
  2. Process Group Table – This can be time consuming to learn so depends on how much time you have available if it is reasonable for you to learn. I only referenced it maybe 5 times total in the exam to clarify next process or help figure out an input/output. I created a post on how I quickly learnt the process group table and so can you here.
  3. Team Building – Understand the different stages of team formation and Maslows Hierarchy of needs

PMP Exam Tips



You have 3 years before your PMP® certification expires. Within these 3 years you need to accumulate 60 professional development units (PDUs). If you have not accumulated the 60 PDUs you cannot renew your certification. If you have not accumulated the PDUs and renewed within 3 years your credential will be suspended. You will then have one year before you credential expires completely.

A PMP PDU is a personal development unit collected by project management professionals. PMPs need to collect PDUs to renew their certification. One PDU is earned per one hour spent in structured learning activity. Originally the purpose of PDUs was to keep PMPs up to date on latest project management methodologies and standards. Now as of of 1st December 2015 they are more aligned with employer-identified skills to ensure PMP designation holders are equipped to remain relevant and competitive by developing these employer demanded skills.

The new changes put priority on specifically Education PDUs which now are based around the PMI Talent Triangle. The Talent Triangle consists of three knowledge areas Technical, Leadership and Strategic/Business skills of PMI project managers. For more information on the PMI Talent Triangle click here.

These 3 skill areas make up the PMI talent triangle which Education PDUs need to work towards improving in project managers. This is completed by ensuring Project Managers have a minimum of 8 hours of education in each area. Project Managers can complete the remaining 11 hours in any area they choose and there is no maximum for education PDUs accumulated.



A PDU is defined by the PMI as a measuring unit for structural learning in Project Management. One PDU is earned per one hour spent in structured learning activity. There are 6 categories of PDUs broken into 2 categories.

Education PDU Categories

  • PMI R.E.P.s
  • Continuing Education
  • Self-Directed Learning

Category A: Activities offered by PMI R.E.P.s, chapters, or communities

PDU Explanation: You have 3 options to earn Category A PDUs…

  1. Earn PDUs by attending educational courses offered by PMI’s Registered Education Providers (R.E.P.s).
  2. Earn PDUs by attending events offered by the PMI such as seminars and conferences.
  3. Earn PDUs by taking a PMI Publication Quiz (70% minimum result)

PDU Example: R.E.P.s include schools, consultants, corporate training departments, professional associations, government agencies and PMI chapters. View the searchable database of R.E.P.s and the courses they offer online

PDU Rule: 1 hour of instruction related to project management, project risk, project scheduling, or program management equals 1 PDU. You can report PDUs in 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 increments

Audit Requirements: Registration form, certificate or letter of attendance

Category B: Continuing Education

PDU Explanation: You have 2 options to earn Category B PDUs…

  1. Earn PDUs by completing an academic course by a college
  2. Earn PDUs by attending relevant educational course offered outside of PMI.

PDU Example: If not a college course it can be training provided by employer or another professional or membership association.

PDU Rule: 1 hour of instruction related to project management, project risk, project scheduling, or program management equals 1 PDU. You can report PDUs in 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 increments. Only modules related to project management can go towards PDU not entire course.

Audit Requirements: Transcript or grade report with a pass mark. If non-PMI R.E.P you will be required to provide registration form, certificate with the syllabus outlining content and qualifications of instructor.

Category C: Self-Directed Learning

PDU Explanation: You have 2 options to earn Category C PDUs by completing qualifying activities which are relevant to project management, project risk, and project scheduling or program management, meet a specified purpose and use knowledgably resources.

PDU Example: Individualized learning events such as…

  1. Watching videos, podcasts or other source material
  2. Reading articles, books or instructional materials
  3. Being coached or mentored by a colleague, co-worker or consultant

PDU Rule: 1 hour of instruction related to project management, project risk, project scheduling, or program management equals 1 PDU. You can report PDUs in 0.25, 0.50 and 0.75 increments

Audit Requirements: Evidence supporting your reported learning project, including notes from and dates of discussion or reading.

Giving Back to the Profession PDU Categories

  • new pM knowledge
  • Volunteer Service
  • Working as a PM

Category D: Creating new project management knowledge

PDU Explanation: You can earn PDUs for creating new knowledge for a topic related to project management. Both time preparing/creating this knowledge and time to present it can be claimed for PDUs.

PDU Example: Examples of Category D would include….

  • Authoring (co-authoring) a project management textbook
  • Authoring (co-authoring) a peer reviewed article
  • Authoring (co-authoring) a non-peer reviewed article
  • Authoring (co-authoring) an article for PMIs knowledge shelf
  • Authoring an article for relevant electronic newsletters
  • Authoring of article on an official organization, professional, or company blog
  • Presenting in a webinar
  • Presenting in a podcast
  • Creating a course or developing course content for project management related courses
  • Serving as a speaker or instructor for project management related courses and presentations
  • Serving as a moderator of a relevant discussion
  • Serving as a subject matter expert for a panel discussion

PDU Rule: 1 hour of activity equals 1 PDU

Audit Requirements: Copies of publications, sample educational materials or course agendas.

Category E: Volunteer Service

PDU Explanation: You can earn PDUs for volunteering (non-compensated service) project management, project risk, and project scheduling or program management services to a no-employer or client.

PDU Example: All work must be legally recognized as non-profit, not-for-profit or charitable groups or organizations. Examples of Category E would include….

  • Serve as volunteer representing project management organization including PMI Chapter or communities of practice
  • Serve as volunteer on committee for project management organization
  • Volunteer services to PMI or another professional project management association
  • Volunteer project management services to a community/charity, group of college students or being a coach or mentor

PDU Rule: 1 hour of volunteer (non-compensated) service equals 1 PDU.

Audit Requirements: If volunteering a letter of certificate from the organization served acknowledging volunteering service. If coaching evidence such as notes from and dates of coaching will be sufficient

Category F: Working as a Professional in Project Management

PDU Explanation: You can earn PDUs for working as a project manager.

PDU Example: Self-explanatory.

PDU Rule: You may claim 8PDUs per 3 year cycle.

Audit Requirements: Proof of employment

When Can I Start Earning PDUs?

You can immediately log on to your PMI account and click “renew” to begin your PMP / PMI-ACP re-certification process. The process is in fact quite a simple one in which you are asked to check your information, agree to the terms and conditions and pay the required re-certification fee of US$60 for a PMI member and $150 for a non-member. Then you will have your certification extended for 3 years from the original expiry date of your certification. For example if your new PMP certificate expires on July 2019 and you complete the all the required PDUs in 2017 you will have until July 2022 to complete another 60 PDUs to renew again.

Submitting PDUs

You have two options for submitting a PDU claim you can either do it online or download the PDU activity reporting from (PDF) to complete and submit to PMI electronically. Step by step instructions provided by PMI here!

PMI PDU Audit

For a small number of randomly selected cases, PMI may request for an audit to verify the information provided during PDU requests. So it is important to retain the evidence of PDU qualifying events. Also PDUs can be submitted up to the end of next calendar year after the completion of three year CCR cycle in which the PDU accruing event occurred.

It is highly recommend record all audit requirements as you earn PDUs just as a precaution to getting audited. All requirements are highlighted above under each category decomposition in the PDU category article here.

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