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Your guide to

PMP Certification
A step-by-step roadmap for organizing your study
and economizing on time, effort and money.

A complimentary guide prepared by


Table of Contents

PMP Certification
Getting certified
Step 1: Study the PMBOK GUIDE
Step 2 Attend a Training Course
Step 3 Tools, tips and tricks for your study
Step 4 Register and go for the test.
Step 5: During the exam
Quick Facts about the PMP examination


This guide has been prepared by the Hellenic American Union (HAU) and Global Business
Management Consultants (GMBC).
HAU is a leader in professional and personal development training in Greece, with a track record
of almost 60 years in education and cultural innovation. Working exclusively with GBMC, HAU
has been training project managers since 2003. Visit
GMBC is a leading global specialist in project management training and consulting, providing
services in more than 45 countries for over 25 years. Visit
Both HAU and GBMC are PMI-registered Education Providers, meaning that they meet PMIs
standards for training and developing project managers. HAU offers GBMCs maturity-based
training curriculum in Greece, which is fully aligned with the PMI PMBOK Guide
GBMC programs are also approved by the US General Services Administration Federal Supply
Service (GSA). GBMCs nearly 100 courses are registered with PMI and are tiered for all levels of
project management experience and for various industries and government agencies.


PMP Certification
A great way to distinguish the right kind of experience
Whats the difference between a project manager from a competent project manager? Two
things, mainly: knowledge translated into good project management practices and certification.
The first is necessary to get the job done well, the second is necessary to distinguish experience
and showcase devotion to the project management discipline.
In an economy that promises 41.5 million jobs in project management by 2020, distinguishing
your experience with internationally recognized certification will further your career
development. With over 680,000 certified professionals all over the world, PMP, is one of the
most well-known project management certifications. And whats more, PMP certificate holders
earn on average 20% more than their non-certified peers.

Am I ready for certification?

Lets start with a simple question: Do you manage projects in your job? It sounds kind of
obvious, but you may already have the right kind of experience for certification even if youre not
officially a project manager. On the other hand, some managers may confuse ongoing
operations with project management.
The PMBOK Guide to PMI calls a project a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a
unique product, service, or result. Temporary means that every project has a definite
beginning and a definite end. Unique means that the product, service or result is different
from deliverables in other projects. Projects involve doing something which has not been done
before and cannot be addressed within the organizations normal operations.
You dont need the right job title but the right kind of experience. Where do you fit in the matrix

Does your job involve managing projects?

Do you consider
yourself a project




Then consider getting

certified. Professional
certification will be a key
asset in developing your
career further.

Thats fine, but keep in mind

you need at least 4,500
hours leading and directing
projects to be able to take
the certification exam. See
the section on PMP at a


Think again. Project

managers arent the only
ones who manage projects.
Even if your job description
doesnt have the word
project in it, your work
experience may make you
eligible for certification.

Are you sure? Perhaps you

do in fact manage projects
without realizing it. Take a
look at the discussion on
Roles for PMP


PMP at a glance
PMP is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI), the world's leading not-for-profit
professional membership association for the project-, program- and portfolio-management
profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals
working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education
and research.
PMP validates project management competences and experience in leading and directing
projects and project teams. To certify with PMP you need to meet requirements for project
management experience and project management education. The amount of required
experience depends on your educational qualifications. Only if you meet these requirements
can you take the test.

Your education: High school diploma, associate's

degree or global equivalent

Bachelors degree or global

equivalent 4 year degree


Minimum 5 years/60 months

unique, non-overlapping 7,500
hours leading and directing

Minimum 3 years/36 months

unique non-overlapping 4,500
hours leading and directing


35 contact hours of formal


35 contact hours of formal


Roles for PMP certification

According to PMIs Role Delineation (Job Analysis) as a PMP candidate you must:

Perform your duties under general supervision and be responsible for all aspects of the
project for the life of the project
Lead and direct cross-functional teams to deliver projects. Leading and directing as
identified with the tasks, knowledge and skills specific in PMIs Project Management
Professional Examination Content Outline
Demonstrate sufficient knowledge and experience to appropriately apply the
methodology to projects that have reasonably well-defined requirements and

Your knowledge and experience should comply with the 5 project management groups of
processes: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling and Closing.

Experience verification information

You report your experience by completing (on line) an Experience Verification Form meeting
above criteria.
In this form you fill in: project start/completion date, project title, your role in the project,
approximate number of hours spent working in the five process groups as mentioned above
(there are no minimum requirements for any of the five groups), and employer information
including name, complete address and telephone number. If project work was done for client
(and not an employer), you fill in their contact details respectively.


Getting certified
PMP is a challenging exam.
You need to answer 200 multiple choice questions in 4 hours, meaning you have an average of
1.2 minutes to spend on each question.
You need to align knowledge acquired from your experience with the standards described in
PMBOK. You need to have the stamina and focus to sit for 4 hours in front of a screen
answering demanding theory and scenario-based (situational) questions.
Some people say that you have to switch from your current memory chip with information
accumulated from your work experience, to the PMI chip, where you must answer questions and
view project management from the PMIs PMBOK professional lens.

You need a study plan.

This shouldnt be difficult for you. After all YOU ARE A PROJECT MANAGER and getting ready for
the test is a major career objective/project which needs planning, organizing, executing,
controlling and closing!
These are the basic steps to follow, as recommended by our instructors based on their
experience in running this course for over 25 years all over the world.

Study the PMBOK Guide Get Trained Study on Your Own Register and Go!


Step 1: Study the PMBOK GUIDE

A Guide to the Project Management Book of Knowledge - PMBOK Guide-Fifth Edition is PMIs
global standard for project management. It accumulates currently accepted fundamental
practices in the project management profession as these are applied to a wide range of projects
across all industries.
The first thing you have to do to start preparing for the test is to acquire the PMBOK. We
recommend that you become a PMI member and get the guide for free. Being a PMI member
you also have the benefit of discounts on a wide range of their services and products, including
a discount on the PMP exam fees.
PMBOK provides a wealth of project management principles, tools, techniques and best
practices, but dont get intimidated by this amount of information.
Read it at least once before you attend any training prep course. The second time you read it, it
will make better sense. If you manage to cover at least one chapter over the course of 1 or 2
days, you will have a very good grasp of the material within at least 2 weeks.
During your first encounter with the PMBOK, note down the areas that you are not familiar with
and get help with training and supplementary training materials. Do some sample questions
and exercises to understand how well you are familiarized with those areas.
Follow a training course or search the web for self-study guides and training materials. Studying
only the PMBOK is usually not enough to prepare for the test. To save time and target your
preparation efforts you will need extra study material or guidance from professional trainers.

In brief:

Get the PMBOK.

Read it at least once before going to any training course, and read complementary
training material.
Spend at least 2 hours per day reading the PMBOK, or at least read one chapter a day
together with any additional study material you are using.
Based on the level of your experience and knowledge choose whether you will make
the effort alone or if you will also attend a training course.
1 to 2 weeks study time of the PMBOK will get you well-prepared for attending a crash
course on PMP.


Step 2 Attend a Training Course

There are many candidates that prefer to study on their own this is, of course, feasible. You
can find study material, register with on-line self-study training platforms or databases with
thousands of sample questions to practice.
But, following a training course will make your life a little easier, especially if you are working
and your time is limited.
Youll get immediate answers to your questions answered, and gray areas defined and solved.
Youll get study material thats been tested and recommended by project management
professionals. And youll get the 35 PDUs necessary for your application.

Our PMP Prep Course

provides a chronological framework for understanding PMBOK. Yes, PMBOK is organized
according to knowledge area. While this is a great way to organize a body of knowledge, we
believe that people learn the same way as they do on the job. Thats why weve organized our
training methodology and material to take you through the knowledge areas chronologically,
start to finish, from Initiating a project all the way through to Closing a project.
uses information based on PMI publications (apart from PMBOK of course): The PMP Exam
Specification, PMP Credential Handbook, PMI Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct as well
as many supplemental articles and books.
provides you with a 700-page workbook full of explanation material on PMBOK, exercises,
and at least 500 sample questions and many examples.
gives you access to PMTetOnline, an advanced self-study system which helps you practice
with thousands of multiple-choice questions
is delivered by certified and experienced project managers.
has been delivered to a variety of companies for over 25 years, across all industries and
many government agencies. Through this weve gathered a wealth of information to put
together tips and questions that arise on the test in some form or another.
automatically offers you the 35 PDUs you need for your application. You get 24 PDUs for
attending the course and 11 PDUs using the online self-study guide PMTestOnline.
guarantees complete preparation and confidence in passing the exam. Once you get to the
desired pass level on the PMTestOnline platform you can go and pass the test.


Step 3 Tools, tips and tricks for your study

After you complete a prep course, try to spend at least 3 to 4 weeks for your study time and
then register for the test. The longer the time between the training course and the exam, the
more chances there are you might get distracted from work or other obligations, and it will be
harder to retain so much information.
Start your study by focusing first on the hard core theory: Inputs, Tools, Techniques and Outputs.
Make a cheat sheet and focus on the logic behind these dont just try to memorize them.
Know the processes and the components. You may use index cards and mind maps.
Review the study material organized in chronological order. Then study the PMBOK again
chapter by chapter.
Practice with questions per chapter. Practice with examples on formulas. Use any extra
material such as cheat sheets, formulas and mind maps from the training course.
Focus on scenario based questions. Understand the philosophy of those questions. You might
not agree with the right answer, but that is not relevant in getting the PMP. Its their test, their
Practice with at least two full 4 hour sample tests and get the real feeling of test conditions.
Answer questions strategically: some prefer to answer the straightforward questions first and
then go back to the tricky ones the computer provides you with easy access to the questions
not answered. Some read the questions twice, even the easy ones. Some answer the questions
by first eliminating the obvious wrong ones.
As of January 2016 the exam was slightly changed to give some extra attention on the following

Business strategy and benefits realization

Values of lessons learned
Project charter responsibility
Enhancing stakeholder relationship

In brief:

Make a time schedule of your efforts to be ready within 3 to 4 weeks tops

Start with the theory
Review PMBOK every time with any study material you use
Prepare your cheat sheets, formulas, mind maps and any quick and dirty help aid you
can get from your training providers
Practice with as many questions as you can and do at least two 4-hour complete
sample tests to master time under real exam conditions.
If you are scoring above 80% in mock exams you are ready for the test.

Did you notice how many times in this section we used practice with questions? More than 4.
It's the No.1 success factor in taking this test: Practice. Practice. Practice!


Lets get physical!

Being fit and healthy is crucial for your preparation.
Pay attention to your diet, your physical condition and sleeping time.
Follow a well-balanced Mediterranean diet. Cut down on alcoholic drinks and junk food.
If you are not already working out, find an outdoor sports activity that relaxes you and stay fit.
Get rest as much as possible. Do some breathing and mindfulness exercises to ease your body
and mind.
These old fashioned well-being habits will help you keep your energy levels high enough to
respond to the highly intellectual process of studying for the PMP as well as the actual 4 hours
of test.
A few days before your test make sure you reduce carbs and stick to protein and fruit. Reduce
coffee, sugar and caffeinated drinks.



Step 4 Register and go for the test.

Start with online registration.
Gather reference information for validating your experience in case of auditing.
Submit your application. PMI will get back to you within 5 working days with information on
making your appointment for the test in the authorized Prometric test center in your area,
unless you get audited.
If you get audited, first read PMIs Credentials handbook with specific information regarding the
audit process. If you fill out your application truthfully, you have nothing to be concerned with.
Follow audit instructions and expedite the process by responding as soon as possible. In some
cases it will take as little as only 4 days.
Meantime, refresh your knowledge by practicing with some more questions and prepare your
body to confront test conditions.
Some people visit the test center area a few days before their test to avoid last minute parking
Some people prefer to book the test ahead of time in order to book on their preferred day and
Make sure you have your ID and your original letter from PMI when you go to the test center.

In brief:

Complete the registration process

Schedule your appointment at the test center
Enhance your confidence with some more tests
Take 2 or 3 days off to rest before the exam date preferably take some time off from
Mind your mind and your body. Were adults, working professionals and this test is



Step 5: During the exam

Have a high protein breakfast or lunch and bring with you an energy bar, juice and water. Dont
forget your ID!
Take a 5 minute break (or every 50 questions depending on how fast you are).
Get up, sign out, go to your locker, have a bite of a high energy bar, drink water and stretch. You
will not believe how much easier this makes answering even the questions you thought you
didnt know! But note that this time counts against the 4 hours of the test.
Use all your allotted time. Usually in about 2 and half hours you should have answered most of
the questions. Some prefer to spend another hour to answer the questions which they have
skipped and then go back to the ones that they are not sure about.
Answer all questions, even the ones you dont know because questions not answered are
Dont be surprised if some long questions are early in the exam and you get behind on time.
Your PMP test has been created by the system just for you, so no test is exactly the same.
Also, there are plenty of other tricks to show you during our prep course.



Quick Facts about the PMP examination

Here are some basic facts about the PMP to help you in preparing to take the test

Exam format

4 hours duration
200 multiple choice, randomly generated, questions. You must get about 122
questions correct, or about 61% to pass the test. Pass rate is about 74%
1,2 minutes per question
Questions are based on theory and mostly on situational analysis
Examination report: upon completion of the test, you receive a printed copy of your test

Exam fees

465 for non-member

345 for members (PMBOK e-copy included)
315 reexamination for non-members
239 reexamination for members
Fees are paid to PMI
(Membership fees: abt $120)

The exam is based on PMBOK Guide 5th Edition

There are now 47 processes and a new knowledge area was added on Stakeholder
Management beginning 2016.

Domain content:


Approximate # of questions



About 26 questions



About 48 questions

Project Execution


About 60 questions

Project Monitoring and



About 50 questions

Project Closing


About 16 questions



Exam location
PMI uses Prometric test centers. For the location nearest you, please assess You will need the authorization number from PMI
to make an appointment at one of the test centers.

What happens if you dont pass?

You have 3 opportunities to pass the exam within 1 year. If you do not pass any, you must wait 1
year from the date of the last attempt.

Reasons why people fail the exam

Skip this note if you have studied enough and keep being positive.
However, people might fail this exam if:

They do not read questions correctly or have a poor knowledge on the language of the
They do not read all the choices in each question, because they immediately stuck with
the first one that seems right to them
They are too nervous.
They have not studied enough, or used source books other than the PMBOK Guide.
They believe they can rely exclusively on experience.
They have not taken a PMP Prep course like our PMP Prep Course. Select carefully
those training providers that will help you through this huge effort.

Credential maintenance
You are required to earn and report 60 professional development units (PDUs) every 3 years.
The 3-year certification cycle begins the day you pass the exam. You also pay a renewal fee.



Get ready!
Think positive!
Good luck!
Celebrate success!

For more information on our PMP courses, please visit our site

Hellenic American Union Center of Excellence in Project Management

Massalias 22, 10680 Athens, Greece,,, tel: 210-3680907