PMP, or Project Management Professional certification from the PMI (Project Management Institute) is considered the highest paid professional certification in the world. This credential validates the holder's skills and extensive experience in project management, and the exam is widely recognized and respected by industry professionals around the world.
Developed by the PMI, the PMP exam is based on the Institute's project management methodology and the body of knowledge a certified project manager should be comfortable using. The PMP exam, as well as other PMI exams, can be taken worldwide at Prometric Testing Centers. To reach the PMP level, an individual needs to go through three stages of the PMI certification path.
The Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) is the entry level certification which mainly targets project team members. Obtaining CAPM is required to proceed to the next level, the PMP. To be eligible for this credential, the candidates also need to have documented project management experience (the requirements are listed on the PMI website).
The PMP exam consists of 200 multiple choice questions, and takes two hours to complete. The cost of the exam depends on your location, but combined with preparation classes, it usually exceeds USD 1,000.
The PMP is a challenging exam, so it's important that candidates face it well prepared. Since PMI's preparation courses are a good yet expensive option, candidates may consider study guides, and interactive practice exams. They often contain real PMP questions used on the exams.
When purchasing PMP preparation materials online, be sure to get them from a reputable source. Beware of scam companies offering 'free PMP preparation'. Be critical of what you hear, and if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. It is highly unlikely that you'll be offered reliable PMP preparation materials for free.
Since PMP is a computer-based exam, various interactive practice exams are a great option to prepare. Besides being a great memorization tool, practice exams help you get used to the PMP exam environment and feel more confident during the actual exam.
Many project managers make a serious mistake when preparing to take the PMP exam. They assume that having years of project management experience itself will get them through the certification - which is not true. The exam is heavily based on the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) framework developed by the PMI, and the questions are more complicated than they may seem. This is why finding time for proper PMP exam preparation is crucial. Remember that the highest industry salaries aren't paid for nothing, and the standards are set very high. The exam also covers a variety of technical management and administrative details, methodological caveats and terms.
So, studying is key. Textbooks, study guides, as well as various practice exams help candidates like you focus on their weaker areas and focus on the knowledge gaps they might have. Even successful project managers have their weaknesses when it comes to the PMP exam. PMP practice tests are a great way to determine the subjects and knowledge areas that need improvement. Meticulous studying (with the PMI website being your best starting point) pays off with adding the PMP credential to your profile.