What is the PMP Exam?

What is the PMP Exam?

The PMP or Project Management Professional Exam is an assessment of 200-multiple-choice questions that gauges your understanding of the five phases of the project management life cycle – initiating, planning, execution, monitoring/control, and closing – as well as all the processes, tools and techniques associated with those phases.

A great resource to gain a basic understanding of the exam is the PMI Exam Content Guide.

In this blog let’s discuss the back story of the exam, what to expect on test day, and the benefits of the exam.

What is the PMP exam?: The Back Story

In explaining the PMP exam, I think it is necessary to understand two very important resources that provide significant input to the exam, PMI and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK).

PMI or the Project Management Institute is the governing body for the exam. They ensure that the exam is kept relevant and in alignment with the current edition of the PMBOK. Additionally, PMI approves all applications for individuals to complete any of the certification exams – including the PMP.

The PMBOK is the holy grail of project management for the PMP exam. The exam is created based on the content within the PMBOK guide. Although, the PMP Exam Guide notes outside resources as contributing to the exam material, a significant amount of – or I would argue the only – content you need to understand is within the 550 pages of the PMBOK.

What is the PMP exam?: Exam Day

The PMP exam is a set of 200-multiple-choice questions that you must complete in 4 hours. The exam contains 175 graded questions and a random set of 25 sample questions PMI is testing for future use.

The downfall – you do not know what is what – so it is better to prepare for all 200 questions! The exam assess your understanding of project management as it relates to the PMBOK. What I mean is, it assesses your understanding of project management in a perfect world.

There are questions that will provide some level of trickery asking questions that include the word NOT, which can quickly lead testers astray. As a former test taker, those who know the PMBOK and use good test taking strategies will do well.

What is the PMP exam?: The Benefit

The PMP is a highly regarded certification. In the world of project management, there is a clear separation of certified PMPs and those who simply work in project management. PMI even cites that certified PMPs can make 20% more than their uncertified peers.

The time you spend now to understand the structure of the exam and the associated requirements of certification will ease your nerves about test taking. Easing these nerves will allow you to focus your attention on studying the content – and ultimately pass the exam.

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