How to pass the exam to become a PMP® and not die trying… (part II)

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5. Fill in the PMI’s request

Start by signing in the PMI®‘s web, fill out the requested fields to create an account and once in your account enter “Apply for PMP Certification” and the application will guide you to introduce information in relation to:

  • the degree you have
  • the courses related with project managing you have done and the hours of duration. Remember that you have to confirm at least 35 hours of education in this scope.
  • Your experience as a project manager.
    • projects you directed,
    • starting and ending dates,
    • amount of hours you worked in every project management group: initiation, planning, execution, control and deadline,
    • a person who can verify that experience (the easiest thing to do: the person responsible for each project).

At this point you must keep in mind this about the calculation of worked months directing projects: if there is overlapping between projects for instance, 1 month, this month will only count once in the total amount, not as 1 month in project 1 and another month in project 2. (in the “PMP Handbook” you have an explicative figure)

There is no need to say that a Project Manager who wants to get his certificate must have experience in every process group (even though he doesn’t need to have the same level of experience in all of them)

Remember that you have 90 days to fill out your request. Once sent, your request will be reviewed in a maximum period of 5 days whereupon, if everything is correct, they will inform you to make the payment of the examination fee.

6. Making the payment of the examination fee

You have two options here, to pay the exam’s fee directly or to become a member of the PMI first and then pay the exam fee in which case the exam will be cheaper.

In this page, PMI® keep the exam fees updated. I recommend you to download the “PMP Handbook” also available at that page. It will help you to solve any doubt you may have regarding the certification process.

Once you make the payment you can be randomly selected for being audited. I was the “lucky” one, so before setting an exam date I had to accomplish the audit process. If you are audited, read point 7. If not, you can omit it and go to the next one.

7. Comply the audit process

Talking about the audit, it is not hard to pass, it simply delays a bit your plan to attend the exam because you can’t set an exam date until you pass it (in case of the exam by computer)

During my audit process I simply had to show and prove everything that I had filled out in the PMI’s web. I had to compile:

  • photocopy of the university diploma
  • photocopies of the project managing courses’ diplomas
  • (in my case) a document in which the manager of my enterprise’s education department certified that I gave inside the enterprise a project managing course
  • the “experience audit forms”, which are the documents your manager, the ones you filled in the request, must sign certifying you have managed the projects you mention, with the hours of experience you filled in the request. These documents are given to you already filled with the information you gave and the manager must only fill in the box where it says that all the given information is true and sign it.

In my case, this last step was the one that took the longest because one of the projects I put down in my request was from when I worked in the Netherlands and I had to contact my boss from those days, send him the document he needed to sign and make him send it back to me in a closed envelope by postal service.

The PMI also tells you that the envelope must be closed and signed on the flap by your manager. In my case, my manager (from the Netherlands) forgot to sign the envelope. Sending it back to the Netherlands to get it signed on the flap seemed excessive to me so I contacted the PMI to explain the case, to ask them if it was necessary to send the envelope back to my ex-boss to have it signed on the flap and they told me it wasn’t necessary, that they would accept it without the signature, and indeed they did.

Remember that the envelopes you receive from your manager can’t be opened, you must put them as they came in the envelope with the rest of the documents.

The hardest thing to do is to compile the information and to send it to the United States. They do everything very fast, achieving scrupulously the deadlines they set in the process (maximum of 5-7 days from the moment they get the documentation) and also answering quickly to any doubt you have.

8. Book an exam date in the site of an authorized center

To do the online exam, you must choose the exam date on the authorized center’s site. I went to a Prometric center but now you need to book it with Pearsons Vue.

You have 1 year after the approval of your request to do the exam.

Now, with your goal set in the calendar, you must keep studying.

There are only 4 more steps to achieve your goal, go on, read the following post

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