The simple answer to this question is No! Not everyone can prepare for the PMP certification exam and pass it easily. It takes a lot of dedication and consistent effort. However, there are some tips that ease your preparation journey and help you attempt the PMP exam with better confidence, like taking up project management training. Read on to find out more. But first, let us brush up what PMP certification is all about and why you should pursue it.
PMP Certification – What is it?
PMP stands for Project Management Professional, a globally acknowledged credential administered by the renowned Project Management Institute or PMI. If you want to learn how to effectively manage projects and bring them to successful completion, then this certification is for you. It demonstrates that an individual is capable of managing people, processes, and prioritizing the business aspect of a project using the best project management practices. It comes as no surprise that PMP has a presence in over 200 countries and more than 1,000,000 professionals worldwide have already achieved this certification. Moreover, many project management courses online have cropped up to help professionals prepare for its exam.
The PMP Exam
Well, you can’t think of instantly applying for the PMP exam as and when you wish to. You need to fulfill certain eligibility criteria before you can register for the exam. This screening process ensures that only candidates who have the potential of becoming a project manager are applying for the PMP exam. Moreover, the PMP exam is not a simple multiple-choice questionnaire. You will face a total of 180 questions that have a mixed format – multiple choice, multiple response, hotspot, and limited fill in the blanks. The time allowed is four hours. Here are the domains on which the PMP exam is based (along with their weights in the exam):
- People – 42%
- Processes – 50%
- Business environment – 8%
What is the Difficulty Level of the PMP Exam?
For every person, the difficulty level of the PMP exam will be different. This is because some individuals might already be familiar with project management while others may not. Those who have experience in project management will find the terms used in the PMBOK guide familiar and may take less time to prepare for the exam. For such professionals, the preparation time of 45 days might be enough. On the other hand, if you are not already used to PMBOK terminology, you may take more time to grasp the concepts and it may take you 60 to 90 days to prepare for the exam.
Initially you will come across various blogs claiming that the pass rate of PMP is quite low. This is not a disheartening fact but will encourage you to be focused from the very beginning. PMP isn’t an exam where you have to answer a specific number of questions to pass it. All the questions are scored differently based on the difficulty level and you will have to equally focus on solving hard questions correctly. Another factor to consider here is the time management. There are some candidates who are capable of solving the questions but fail to manage the time spent on each question. So, it is crucial that you manage time for each question and move on to the next one if you get stuck somewhere. One of the best ways you can learn how to manage time is by taking PMP mock tests. These PMP simulation exams give you the same look and feel as the actual exam and you will understand what to improve regarding the mistakes made in the practice test.
Keep in mind that you need to go through the PMBOK Guide multiple times before you appear for the exam. There are scenario-based questions in which you will be asked what a project manager should do in a given situation. If you have not read the PMBOK guide well enough, you will not be able to recall the various ways of thinking about different parts of projects. Eventually, you may end up giving a wrong answer.
Does a Training Course Help?
The best way to reduce the anxiety related to the PMP exam difficulty is by enrolling in a reputed online PMP training course. Learning from the industry experts, that too from the comfort of your home, will help you learn all the project management concepts meticulously. Even if you think you can manage with self-study, PMI requires you to complete 35 hours of formal project management training (it is one of the mandatory conditions to be fulfilled before applying for the PMP exam). The catch here is to go for a PMI Registered Education Provider as their course material is aligned with the PMBOK Guide and the latest PMP exam changes (if any).
After reading all of the above information, when are you planning to take the PMP exam? According to a report by PMI, improving GDP, expanding job market, the growing digital transformation, and increasing demand are going to drive the growth of project managers. A PMP certification will place you far ahead of the competition when applying for a project manager job.