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Guide to Become PMP from a First Attempt winner

Competent Project Management Expert holding PMP with 30+ years of Project Management & Operational experience in Middle East and Asia

A step forward from Project Engineer to Project Management Professional

I was inspired by my friends, to write this hub to give guidance for Project Engineers who are intending to take up the Project Management Professional, PMP examination, since I cleared PMP in my first attempt.

Why a professional qualification

Though we are qualified in different disciplines of Engineering or Science but we have acquired skills of project management by experience. Hence it is always good to get qualified in Project Management concepts, which will declare that we are qualified project engineers / managers. It is also an opportunity to know, assimilate and understand international principles and practice of project management. It gives us professional guidance to manage the project constraints of Scope, Cost, Time and Quality. It also gives us an opportunity to align our practical knowledge with international practice and thus to tie up our missing links in experience to attain a professional status.

Project Management qualification has changed from 'Good to have' to ' Must to have' status for Project Managers due to the expanding awareness and recognition of Project management profession worldwide. In PM profession, though there are a handful of credentials, many certifications and Degrees, I chose PMP because it gives the freedom and flexible option of self preparation and due to its wide acceptance.

If you need to know the other benefits of getting certified as PMP, you may also read the hubpage Benefits of Getting Certified as PMP by SidKemp.

The PMBOK, starting with its first edition in 1996 has drastically progressed through the years adopting the industrial needs. Current version is Edition VII released in August 2021. Recent revision in PDU classification by PMI shows the need of ones awareness/ importance of Leadership and Strategy & Business Management skills, in addition to Technical Project Management skill.

Now the question is, Are you a project engineer / project manager?

Do you want to get noted among the project management community?

Do you like to put the PMP designation after your name ?

If yes and you are willing to know and prepare for PMP exam in an economical way, which I have made it and you too can do it, please read on.


About PMP Exam

PMP credential examination is conducted by the Project Management Institute of USA. PMP examination is primarily based on an American National Standard titled PMBOK (Project Management Body Of Knowledge) Guide, it has evolved over the years, the current Edition is VII released in August 2021.

PMP exam is an objective type multi choice examination with 180 questions and Exam allotted time of 230 min. Among the 180 only 175 will be considered for the score, while remaining 5 are pre-test questions. Exam scoring will be indicated with proficiency level of Below Proficient, Moderately Proficient and Proficient. Before, the questions were in the six domains of 5 Process Groups of Initiation, Planning, Execution, Monitoring & Control and Close Out and the Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct. Now, it is aligned and spread across the new three Domains of People, Process and Business Environment. Overall Pass/ Fail is decided based on the number of questions answered and by psychometric analysis, the credential handbook says.

Questions will be of many types, which are based on ITTO (Input Tools & Techniques and Output) of PMBOK, situational PM questions, General Management concepts, Concept definitions, Numericals, Code of Ethics & Professional Conduct etc. The questions will be of types of Multiple choice, Multiple response questions with more than one correct answer, Matching questions, Hotspot (Spotting in given diagram the correct answer) & Fill in the blanks.

PMP examination is of two types, paper based examination and Computer based On-line examination. Computer based testing fee for PMI members is 405 US$, while for non-members it is 555US$. Computer based exams will be at designated Prometric centres, PMI website will direct you to that site while you schedule the exam. Refer link below for further details

Project Management professional (PMP) Credential Handbook.

Current Exam content outline will be effective from Jan. 2021. For details you may refer to PMP Link, PMP Examination content Outline - January 2021.

PMI is evolving over years and from Jan 2021, new Exam content is introduced which is based on new 3 Domains of PEOPLE (42% test questions), PROCESS (50% test questions), BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT (8% test questions).

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Eligibility for PMP

  1. For Bachelors degree holders, Minimum three years/ 36 months of professional project management experience.
  2. For Diploma and Associate's Degree, Minimum five years/ 60 months of professional project management experience.
  3. 35 Contact Hours of formal Project Management Education.

Path forward for PMP

The path forward indicated below is for a self study based minimum expenditure plan, which I have practiced based on guidance from various sources.

  1. Become PMI member through PMI website by online payment for 129 US$, which includes a free copy of your prime study material PMBOK.
  2. Complete the 35 hours contact class. Different PMI REP are offering 35 hours contact class with different price tags.
  3. Submit on-line PMP application, within 90 days of your application filling process start.
  4. Schedule the examination with the Prometric centre.
  5. Prepare a study plan
  6. Study the PMBOK at least twice.
  7. Use flash cards for the ITTO practice.
  8. Use formula guides for ready reference
  9. Practice questions from at least two sources.
  10. Practice full-exam, which is based on time based simulation tests.
  11. Have systematic and effective study of minimum 2 hours a day.

One of the tricks and strong foundation in my preparation and hope may be for you also is the selection of a 35 hours contact class, which is effective and will aid in your reading of PMBOK.

I did my 35 hours contact class through web-based coaching by a North American PMI chapter. But how nice it will be if it is somebody teaching the PMBOK chapter by chapter and I was lucky enough to find one such course for my second revision. It was from PM-Prepcast, which was highly economical at that time with IV Edition and the current version is video based and updated to VII Edition of PMBOK.

It is widely told that when you are scoring consistently and above 75% in your practice sessions in all the six domains, you are ready for the examination. Lot of websites, forums, etc. are available which will give you LL (Lessons Learned), Q & A, guidance etc.

Then why are you waiting, go ahead and start preparing. No doubt, you too can succeed with confidence by disciplined self study and with an economic plan.


I have given below the links of many free resources which you can try and the valuable paid resource that I have utilised. You may click on the description of each item, which has the link to take you to that site.

  1. Free PMP® Exam Practice Questions from Project Management Academy
  2. PMP® Exam Free Questions from Oliver F. Lehmann website and loads of questions from 25 other resources

Get a free trial account with PMP Exam simulator by clicking link here -> FREE EXAM SIMULATOR and Test yourself with One week free access to 3 exams with 60 questions.

It also provides excellent paid Exam Simulators for PMP, PMI-ACP and CAPM exams.

The paid version of PMP Exam Simulator has 2280+ qns 4 exams with 930 qns + extra ITTO exam + 1350 qns quiz pool. Updated for current exam and updates regularly and now available for $149.

You can reach the purchase links for PMP, PMI-ACP and CAPM simulators at the bottom of Free Simulator page through the link above.

My recommendation for PMP preparation and 35 contact hours - PM Prepcast from OSP International LLC

Pass The PMI-ACP® Exam and become a PMI Agile Certified Practitioner

Be at top of the world with your PMP credential


If your answer is 'NO' to the above poll, please leave your questions in comments section below, I will answer them as early as possible.

Information sufficiency by this HUB


MCAL on November 29, 2019:

Learn Business Analysis, Python, Machine Learning, Data Science, Block-chain, DevOps, Selenium 3.0, and Other In-Demand IT Skills from Global Experts.

RAMSOL from Chrompet / Chennai on August 27, 2019:


Very good article thanks for sharing, keep up the good work!

Visit: for more details

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on March 10, 2013:

Shall check it out

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on March 10, 2013:

Thanks for your call and already joined

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on March 10, 2013:

Thanks for the comments, Item no. 6 of references above updated to include links to PMstudy.

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on March 09, 2013:

Thanks Sidkemp, for citing my hubpage and refering it in yours. I have updated my hub with yours, which has statistics and quantified benefits.

Sid Kemp from Boca Raton, Florida (near Miami and Palm Beach) on March 04, 2013:

Thanks - this is a very useful and practical article. I have linked to it from two of mine: and I hope you will check them out and, if you like them, return the favor.

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on April 02, 2012:

Thanks for another reference of PMP training

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on April 02, 2012:

Item no. 6 of references above links to PMstudy.

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on April 02, 2012:

Thanks for your call and already joined

S M ANTONY FRANKLINE (author) from CHENNAI, INDIA on February 25, 2012:

Dear Wajidhussian,

If you meet the eligibility criteria of minimum 3 years experience, with at least 4500 hours of project management experience, you can apply,for further details refer to the PMI credential handbook. Location is not a limitation, if time is an issue you can use online self study based courses for 35 Hrs training and of course you can take the computer based online exam in Saudi itself.

wish you all the best

wajidhussain on February 24, 2012:

i am an architect (degree B-Arch). and i am working at site but i have experience of project management.i want to know can i appear for PMP and how can i apply for that as iam resident of saudia.

Sachita Iyer on October 28, 2011:


Why dont you refer your free friends to for PMP training at an economy cost. Just an suggestion but no compulsion go with the qulity.


Sachita Iyer

varinder on August 31, 2011:


I stumbled upon your blog and I liked it. So, I invite you to join Simplilearn Affiliate Program,

Let me know your thoughts.



Affiliate Manager

Veerender Edusys on July 06, 2011:

Thanks for your article, its looks interesting and providing some valuable information.Please post some more articles and mean while please check for those who are searching for Pmp Exam , pmp certification PMP Online Classes

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