All About the PMP Exam

In order to become a PMP, you need the following (check out Figure 1-1; it's pretty): PMP Candidate: Choose the appropriate path

Education

Experience

Additional education

Exam

Project Integration Management

Figure 1-1 The PMP candidate must qualify to take the examination.

• Bachelor's degree or global equivalent and 36 non-overlapping months of project management experience totaling 4,500 hours of project management activities within the last eight years.

• Or a high school diploma, associate's degree, or the global equivalent and 60 non-overlapping months of project management experience totaling 7,500 hours of project management tasks within the last eight years.

• Regardless of your degree, you will need 35 contact hours of project management education. (Ahem—I teach project management classes for companies around the world, including an Exam Boot Camp that satisfies this requirement. E-mail me for details: [email protected].) Here are PMI-approved methods for accruing the project management education hours:

• Courses offered by PMI-registered education providers.

• University or college project management courses.

• Courses offered by PMI component organizations.

• Courses offered through your organization.

• Yes, you can complete your hours through distance learning education companies if they offer an end-of-course assessment.

• Courses offered by training companies.

• No, PMI chapter meetings and self-study don't count. (Darn! Just reading this book won't satisfy your project management education hours.)

• Extended review period of each application. Every application will pass through a review period. If your application needs an audit, you'll be notified via e-mail.

• Audit! Not every application is audited, but if your application is selected for an audit, you'll have to provide documentation of your experience, education, and signatures from your supervisors for the projects you've worked on. It's fun, fun, fun. Oh, and PMI can even audit a person after they've "earned" their certification. (Yikes! Here's where honesty is the best policy.)

• Applicants must provide contact information for supervisors on all projects listed on their PMP exam application. In the past, applicants did not have to provide project contact information unless their application was audited. Now each applicant has to provide project contact information as part of the exam process.

• Once the application has been approved, candidates have one year to pass the exam. If you procrastinate taking the exam more than a year, you'll have to start the process over.

• Be good. You will also agree to abide by the PMP Code of Professional Conduct. You can get your very own copy through PMI's Web site: www.pmi.org. We'll cover this code in Chapter 13—something for you to look forward to (no peeking!).

• A score of 61 percent is required to pass the exam. The exam has 200 questions, of which 25 questions don't actually count towards your passing score. These 25 questions are scattered throughout your exam and are used to collect stats on candidates' responses to see if these questions should be incorporated into future examinations. This means you'll actually have to answer 106 correct questions out of 175 live questions.

CAUTION PMP candidates are limited to three exam attempts within one year. If they fail three times within one year, they'll have to wait one year before resubmitting their exam application again. Don't focus on this—focus on passing your exam the first time.

The PMP exam will test you on your experience and knowledge in six different areas, as Table 1-1 shows. You'll have to provide specifics on tasks completed in each knowledge area on your PMP examination application. The following domain specifics and their related exam percentages are taken directly from PMI's Web site on the PMP examination.

Exam Domain

Domain Tasks

Percentage of Exam

Initiating the Project

Conduct project selection methods Define scope

Document project risks, assumptions, and constraints

Identify and perform stakeholder analysis Develop project charter Obtain project charter approval

II.S9 percent

Planning the Project

Define and record requirements, constraints, and assumptions

Identify project team and define roles and responsibilities

Create the Work Breakdown Structure Develop a change management plan Identify risks and define risk strategies Obtain plan approval Conduct the kick-off meeting

22.7 percent

Executing the Project

Execute tasks defined in project plan Ensure common understanding and set expectations

Implement the procurement of project resources

Manage resource allocation Implement quality management plan Implement approved changes Implement approved actions and workarounds Improve team performance

27.S percent

Table 1-1 Test Objectives for the PMP Examination

Table 1-1 Test Objectives for the PMP Examination

Exam Domain

Domain Tasks

Percentage of Exam

Monitoring and Controlling the Project

Measure project performance

Verify and manage changes to the project

Ensure project deliverables conform to quality standards

Monitor all risks

21.03 percent

Closing the Project

Obtain final acceptance for the project

Obtain financial, legal, and administrative closure

Release project resources

Identify, document, and communicate lessons learned

Create and distribute final project report Archive and retain project records Measure customer satisfaction

8.57 percent

Professional and Social Responsibility

Ensure individual integrity Contribute to the project management knowledge base

Enhance personal professional competence Promote interaction among stakeholders

8.61 percent

TOTAL

100.00 percent

Table 1-1 Test Objectives for the PMP Examination (continued)

Table 1-1 Test Objectives for the PMP Examination (continued)

All About the CAPM Exam

The CAPM exam also has requirements in order to qualify for it—and to pass it. Now this part is just goofy. The Project Management Institute (PMI), the fine folks that govern these certifications, have not provided the same level of exam details as they have for the PMP. Don't flip out; the requirements are lighter and the exam score is lower— and this book will prepare you for CAPM success. Figure 1-2 demonstrates the following CAPM examination details:

• High school diploma, global equivalent, or better (basically, if you matriculated from high school you're on your way).

• A whopping 1,500 hours or more as a project team member. You'll have to document what you did on your projects through PMI's Experience Verification Form—and that's one form per project. PMI is a stickler that your projects be projects, not operations. A project has a definite beginning and a definite ending—ongoing endeavors do not count.

Figure 1-2

High school diploma

How to qualify

...or better

for the CAPM

and

examination

1,500 hours as a project team member

23 hours of project management education

23 hours of project management education

• Or complete 23 hours of project management education, which you'll document on PMI's Project Management Education Form (PMI really loves these formal documents, don't they?). Here's the cool thing: There's no time limit on when you complete this project management education as long as you can prove it. Note that the class has to be completed prior to completing the CAPM application (finish your class and then finish the CAPM application). (Ahem—I teach project management classes for companies around the world, including an Exam Boot Camp that satisfies this requirement. E-mail me for details: [email protected].) Here are PMI-approved methods for accruing the project management education hours:

• Courses offered by PMI-registered education providers.

• University or college project management courses.

• Courses offered by PMI component organizations.

• Courses offered through your organization.

• Yes, you can complete your hours through distance learning education companies if they offer an end-of-course assessment.

• Courses offered by training companies.

• No, PMI chapter meetings and self-study don't count. (Darn! Just reading this book won't satisfy your project management education hours.)

• Like the PMP candidates, your application could be audited. If your application is selected for an audit, you'll have to provide documentation of your experience, education, and signatures of your supervisors for the projects you worked on. It's fun, fun, fun. Oh, and PMI can even audit a person after they've "earned" their certification. (Yikes! Here's where honesty is the best policy.)

• Once your application has been approved, you have one year to pass the exam. If you procrastinate taking the exam more than a year, you'll have to start the process over.

• CAPM candidates must also agree to abide by PMI's Code of Professional Conduct. You can get your very own copy through PMI's Web site: www.pmi. org. We'll cover this code in Chapter 13—something for you to look forward to (no peeking!).

CAUTION Once you're a CAPM, you're a CAPM for up to five years. At the end of the five years, you can move on to the PMP certification, take the CAPM examination again, or choose not to renew your title. Ideally, you'll have accrued enough project management experience to move on to the PMP title.

The CAPM exam has 150 test questions, of which 15 questions are considered "pretest" questions that don't count towards or against your passing score. Despite the term "pre-test," these questions are seeded throughout the exam to test their worthiness for future exam questions. They don't count against you, but you won't know if you're

answering a live question or pre-test question. Either way, you'll have up to three hours to complete the CAPM exam.

The CAPM exam objectives don't go into the same level of detail as the PMP certification does. Our pals at PMI have painted the CAPM objectives with some very broad strokes—which may be a good thing. Table 1-2 provides a breakdown on the CAPM objectives as posted on PMI's Web site (of course, you'll want to double-check www .pmi.org to confirm that these objectives are still valid).

Project Management Made Easy

Project Management Made Easy

What you need to know about… Project Management Made Easy! Project management consists of more than just a large building project and can encompass small projects as well. No matter what the size of your project, you need to have some sort of project management. How you manage your project has everything to do with its outcome.

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