Congratulations! You have completed the PMP Certification class! What are the next steps?

Whether your cert class was two days, three days, or a whole week, the real work begins now. To pass the PMP exam, you must have a plan. A major benefit of taking the class is that it highlighted the areas on which you need to concentrate. Which of the nine knowledge areas gave you the most trouble? For many students, Quality Management and Procurement Management are a bit tough. However, with practice, you will do well.


– Set the Date

Nothing will happen until you have a clear idea when you will sit for the exam. The first step is to register at the Project Management Institute ( site. You must begin completing the PMP application, which requires documenting your project management experience. Remember that you need to account for 4,500 hours of leading and managing projects during the last eight years if you have a 4-year education. The hour requirement increases to 7,500 if you lack the degree.

Once PMI approves your application, you have one year to take the exam. The testing center is Prometric ( You can find a testing location near you, and the registration process is managed online. Make sure you review the requirements to changing or canceling the test date


– Develop a Plan

For most students, 80-to-120 study hours is recommended. If you attended a 40-hour boot camp, you should plan to commit another 40-to-80 hours of preparation. I advise using no more than three sources to study, and one should include a test bank. The more you practice, the more comfortable you will be with the actual exam. Note the PMP exam is computer-based, and acclimating yourself to that environment will improve your chances of doing well.


– Create a Study Group

I recommend that my students create a study group to focus on two areas of the exam: Earned Value Management (EVM) and Network Diagramming. These two sections require a bit more practice, and you can save many hours of study time by sharing knowledge with other test-takers. Some of my students report that team members are sometimes assigned individual knowledge areas and are asked to present the content. When you take the time to teach a topic to others, your grasp of the material skyrockets.


– Think Success

When studying for the PMP exam, I experienced anxiety and some self-doubt. However, when the date was set, I knew there was no turning back. I visualized the benefits that a PMP designation would provide to my long-term career plans. I understand that the credential is the “Gold Standard” in the industry, and I wanted those initials after my name. In other words, this hard work was going to yield tremendous results.

It is time for you to become part of the PMP Community. This credential will ensure you provide excellent value to the organization where you work and to the customers you serve.