Roadmap to becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP)!


I was reminded by my wife to complete my series on PMP when I passed the certification last Sept. 23. Instead of doing five separate series, this post would be comprehensive on the What, Why, When, How much and How to become a Project Management Professional. PMP is a professional certification much like Engineering board exam, Nursing board exam, or any other professional course. But unlike our board exams here, PMP is globally recognized by 20 countries.

As of Sept 2005 PMI Factsheet, There are only 128,328 PMP’s around the world with 62% in the United States and 26% (about 33,787) in Asia Pacific. Imagine, I’m the only DIAZ certified PMP based in the Philippines according to the PMP registry. This is increasingly required by US companies and you too can be a PMP Certified project manager if you are in the IT/ Consultancy Project Management Business. The best part of it, you can already add a suffix to your professional name! ( I wonder if there would be a problogger certification course in the future? )

Engr. Jose Antonio Diaz, PMP

1. Apply for Eligibility for the PMP Certification.
For me this is the hardest part of becoming eligible because you need to dig down your files and get all the relevant information. Once you are past this, exam preparation is the next hurdle you will take.

  • You need to have a College Degree
  • 4500 hours of having a responsibility in leading and directing project tasks not necessarily a project manager role (about 3 years)
  • 36 months of project management experience. (3 years essentially)
  • 35 hours of training (this translated to 5 days of PM training — either PM training in the company / university plus the PMP preparation course )
  • It should be within 8 years from the date of the application.
  • Be prepared to provide proof by certified authorities for each of the qualification when you are audited.

If you think you’re eligible, apply online now.

>> More information on PMP Certification Eligibility

2. Become a PMI member ($149)

  • Apply online to become part of the globally recognized Project Management Institute.
  • Individual Membership ($119), PMI Application Fee ($10), and Chapter Membership ($20)
  • Why? (a) members can avail of certification discounts, (b) get connected with latest PM information globally, and (c) download PM BOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge (PM BOK) – 3rd Edition

3. Attend a PMP Certification Training ($1,300)
This is essential because each company or individual has its own project management methodology and terminologies. You might be brainwashed by now and you need to reprogram your mental model to speak in terms of the global standard for Project Management contained in the PM BOK 3rd Edition.

I attended a PMP Bootcamp course certified by the Boston University and with our instruction to less than Luis Alvarez, PMP, CEO of Aldion Consulting. This is a compressed version of the 5-day course into 3 full days and costs ~$1,300 per participant. For our company, Luis’ track record is 100% passing rate. He normally gives this course in Singapore but we had 15 or more critical mass to invite him over in Manila. Look for PMI Certified Education Partner.

4. Schedule your PMP Exam ($405).

You should schedule your exam within 2-4 weeks after your training so that the concepts are still fresh. The CBT exam would costs you $405 with PMI membership discount already (if not it costs $555) . Your should received your eligibility ID before you can schedule your exam within 5 days from your application.

>> More information on preparations for the 2005 PMP Exam.

5. Study for the Exam ($56)
Just study two books:
1. PMP Exam Prep by Rita Mulchany (Fifth Edition) $56 from Amazon
2. PM Body of Knowledge (PM BOK) Third Edition (download from members section)

This is tried and tested approach. I crammed my PMP exam within 1 week and Rita Mulchany’s book saved my life. The key to studying is that:
— You need to understand the sequence of the processes and what are the inputs and outputs
— You need to learn how to answer the PMP certification multiple choice questions. Most of the answers are right and you need to choose the best one.
— Read the PM BOK so reinforce your knowledge and understand PMIsms.
— Learn by heart the PMP Code of Professional Conduct.
— Also, practice answering 200 questions and time yourself. You need to get the hang of answering 200 questions before the actual exam.

6. Take the Test!

As usual, sleep early, don’t burn the midnight oil before the exam. Bring your exam confirmation and passport, then take the test confidently. You need to clear your head and take your time. Answering 200 questions in 4 hours is just about 1 minute per question. So you won’t have time to review all of your answers so use the markers for the question adequately.

Passing score is now 81% which is you need to get 141 questions right out of 200. They raised the bar last Sept 2005 from a passing rate of 70%. That is why I took the test on the last day (sept. 23)! Although, based on my scores, I could have still passed at 81% except for the PMP code of conduct section 🙂

Overall ~$2,000 investment to become a PMP and two months of preparation. Leave a comment if you have some questions.


22 thoughts on “Roadmap to becoming a Project Management Professional (PMP)!

  1. Too small difference in salary sayang lang. not much difference if you need to pay something for it. If free, good luck and finish it off.

  2. Hello Anton. Congratulations in becoming a certified PMP. Perhaps you can talk about “lessons learned in project management” in one of our club meetings soon. Let me know. Thanks!

  3. Lessons learned in project management puede rin… not sure lang if anybody would be interested. If they are in the PM / consultancy area then maybe… Have you discussed this topic before?

  4. Some tips from found in their forum on how to access practice tests/ books for free!
    If you are a PMI member then you can read a number of first-class recent PMI book on-line, totally free of charge.
    This is just one of the many benefits of your PMI membership.
    Go to the website and select “member log on” (if you haven’t logged on before, you will need a password from PMI – all the details are there).
    Now select “eReads & Reference” from the side bar then click on “Log on Now to eReads & Reference” click the “Find Books” tab; now you are in Aladdin’s cave. Next click “Project Management” from the list of 12 categories, then “Certification” (I think – from memory).
    Lastly select, “PMP Final Exam Review” (by Kim Heldman) “Loaded with four challenging sample exams, each with 65 complex scenario-based questions, and one more set of flashcards, this handy guide is designed to test the most earnest PMP candidate”
    Hope this helps
    Jim Owens PMP
    Director Certification
    PMI Western Australian Chapter

  5. We Filipinos working in Jeddah for Al Saad General Contracting Co. Ltd. have also passed the PMP exam. We were 3 who have given a training by our company and all of us have succeeded in the passing the Exam. Two of us have encountered the difficult exam even they reduced the passing mark of 61% that’s why we were really proud of the efforts we have exerted and became a PMP which is being recognized by lots of Countries around the world. To my fellow PMP, welcome to the Global Community of PMP certificants.

  6. Hi anton,
    i would like to learn more about project management. I am a software tester and currently assigned in testing project management applications that is specifically catered to earned value management system. My question is …do you know any academic institutions that will help me to better understand the process?

  7. Did you really get more than 81 % . I doubt it, and the exam’s have 25 ? questions that are not scored. even at 61 percent the exams nowadays ar emore difficult.

  8. This is great stuff! I’ve been wanting to get a certification for PMP. I just didn’t how. And with your blog, i now know how. Thanks so much!

  9. Im planning to take the PMP certification. Quick questions: (a)how long was your preparation? (b) how much was the investment — procurements, reviews, books, etc. all in all? (c) what happens after? Promotion? Salary increase? How much?
    PLease let me know. Thanks!

  10. Earn PDUs by taking convenient, 24×7 e-learning courses! Hundreds of choices. Many highly relevant topics for Project Managers today. Find a course for as little as 1 PDU,…or many more.

  11. Project management certification and accreditation is determined by the passing of two exams. The Foundation exam is a multiple-choice test that lasts for up to one hour. The Practitioner test is a bit more complex, mixing in objective testing with multiple-choice questions, and clocking in at approximately three hours.

  12. This type of certification appeals to professionals that either want or already have the responsibility of efficiently managing projects through their completion. Of course, the projects must meet or exceed expectations, be delivered in a timely manner, within budget, and within resources.

  13. I am an IT manager for past 5 years ago. 10 years in IT business. I would like to ask if where is the best school here in Manila for training to be certified as a Project Manager? Is Global Knowledge here in Shaw blvd good? Any comments? how about near Fairview, QC?

  14. Your post is very informative.. I just want to clarify that you dont need to be a project manager to be qualified.? Iam involve in an IT project for 3yrs now, but im not the leader. I am involve from the planning stage up to the end. Do you think i will be qualified to take the PMP exam?

  15. The road map content that you have posted in your blog is giving a lot of good perspectives in learning how to obtain good project management system. It is ideally good to have this kind of information because it shows great aspects of learning on management.

  16. Given that we have acquired training sessions from somewhere else, can we just do item # 4 (Schedule your exam) and skip items 2, 3 and 5?

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