4 easy steps to get PMP certified

How to get PMP Certified – 4 Steps

Many PMP aspirants have asked me this question: “How do I get PMP certified”. Many desire to become PMP certified but are not sure how to go about it. So many questions on their minds such as:

  • What step should I take first?
  • What do I need to know and do?
  • How can I effectively prepare?
  • How can I make time to prepare?…and many more

This article would provide clarity on the PMP exam process and the steps you need to take to become PMP certified.

Steps to getting PMP Certified

Four steps to getting PMP certified

1) Check if you meet the eligibility requirements

In summary, the eligibility requirements are in 3 categories:

  • Educational background
  • Experience
  • Project management education

Don’t be put off by the eligibility requirements; the reason why PMP is widely recognized and has a very high level of credibility is that they have requirements to write the exam. This means that everyone who writes the exam has met a high standard.

It is not difficult to meet these requirements. I break down these requirements so they are easy to understand in this article: PMP eligibility requirements.

Three main PMP eligibility requirements

Not sure if you have up to 3 years of experience delivering a project? Read this article: How do I review my work experience to know if I have up to 3 years of project management experience to meet the PMP exam requirement

2) Study for the exam

Studying for the exam is the major step to getting PMP certified. That’s why I created the PMP exam study checklist for you. It shows you seven proven ways to study, prepare and pass the PMP exam and it’s available for free. Get your checklist here

Get expert guidance

There are so many good preparatory programs you can get to help you understand the PMP concepts as well as the exam content. However, I advise you pick no more than two experts who you are learning from so you don’t get confused.

I always advise that you go for a coaching program where the coach would be with you to support you from the start of your preparation until when you take your exam rather than a 5-days crash course.

Take practice tests & Review the answers

Practice tests are a good way to check understanding on what you are studying and identify areas where you have knowledge gaps.

Also, after you have covered the study materials, take practice tests questions that are structured according to PMP exam structure. They will serve as mock tests to prepare you for the main exam.

Try to do the practice questions in one sitting; try not to break the test, this helps you gain stamina for the real exam.

I have come to realize that students fail because they don’t understand how to answer PMP exam questions and not because they don’t have the knowledge. It’s important you know how to answer the exam questions. Click here for details on how to answer PMP exam questions as well as reviewing the answers.

You can also access free sample questions for practice here and some agile focused ones here.

Manage your time effectively

This is easier said than done especially with busy schedules. However, if becoming PMP certified is important to you and part of your personal/professional development goals, then it is essential to make time for it despite your busy schedule. You can make it a priority! Read this article on how to create time to study for the PMP exam with a busy schedule.

Four ways to make time to study for the PMP exam even with a busy schedule

3) Take practice tests & Review the answers

Practice tests are a good way to check understanding on what you are studying and identify areas where you have knowledge gaps.

Also, after you have covered the study materials, take practice tests questions that are structured according to PMP exam structure. They will serve as mock tests to prepare you for the main exam.

Try to do the practice questions in one sitting; try not to break the test, this helps you gain stamina for the real exam.

I have come to realize that students fail because they don’t understand how to answer PMP exam questions and not because they don’t have the knowledge. It’s important you know how to answer the exam questions. Click here for details on how to answer PMP exam questions as well as reviewing the answers.

You can also access free sample questions for practice here and some agile focused ones here.

4) Apply for the exam and book exam date once approved

To write the exam, you need to complete an application on the Project Management Institute (PMI) website. The only authorized institute that administers the PMP Exam is PMI. Hence, application for the exam and approval to write the exam, goes through PMI only.

It is free to apply and submit an application. The application process is easy and simple to follow. Once your application is approved, PMI requires that you take the exam within 1 year.

Some applications go through an auditing process. Note that the auditing process is a random selection and not based on what you fill out in your application.

If your application is selected for auditing, you will have to send the proof that you meet the requirements to PMI (certificates for your degree, 35 contact hours and attestation for each experience submitted). Check this article on how to write clear project descriptions while completing your application.

we have covered all four steps to getting PMP certified.

Note that you can apply for the exam once you meet the eligibility requirements. I actually recommend this because this means you create a deadline (one year) to prepare, study and pass the exam before your approved application validity is over. You can also forecast when you would be ready to take the exam and book the date, this is also a way to create a deadline and force yourself to study for the exam.


Do you have questions about the PMP exam?

Get all your PMP questions answered and gain clarity on how to become PMP certified. Sign up for my FREE email series on the PMP exam Road-map – A step-by-step guide on all you need to know to prepare, study and pass the exam.

Wondering how to pass the new version of the PMP Exam? Join my PMP exam Group Coaching program. The program consists of everything you need to PASS the PMP exam.


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2 thoughts on “How to get PMP Certified – 4 Steps”

  1. Abolfazl Nodehfarahani

    Hello,
    From 1998 to 2014, I worked on various projects as PM and PM assistance projects, then I immigrated to Canada in 2014 and started my master’s degree in the electrical engineering program and graduated in 2018. I took my first job in Canada as an electrical specialist in 2018 and have been promoted to an electrical engineer position.
    In fact, my PM-related experiences before 2014 and in the 3 last years I only have been doing electrical-engineering jobs as a member of the projects.
    My question to you:
    How can I provide the application to take exam permission?
    Best regards,

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