The Project Management Professional (PMP) exam is one of the most challenging certifications in the field of project management. Passing this exam requires a solid understanding of project management concepts and methodologies, as well as practical experience in managing projects. Find out what you need to know to evaluate your PMP exam readiness before you apply and prepare for the test. You can also get a quick overview of the PMP certification and requirements.

How to Determine if You Ready for the PMP Exam

  1. Master Fundamental Project Management Training
  2. Demonstrate Real-World Project Management Experience
  3. Understand Predictive, Agile, and Hybrid Practices
  4. Evaluate Your PMP Exam Readiness
  5. PMP Benefits and Training Options

Master Project Management Fundamentals

People often fail the PMP exam because they don’t have enough experience using PMI terminology and concepts in managing projects. If you want to know if you’re ready to take the exam, you should check if you’re comfortable with the concepts and terms in the PMP Examination Content Outline (ECO).

If you find that most of them are new to you and you don’t use the methods outlined in the ECO, like a WBS or prioritized backlog and network diagram, you may need project management training before studying more.

Demonstrate Real-World Project Management Experience

To pass the PMP exam, it’s important to have project management experience and know different approaches. If you don’t have enough experience or don’t understand the types of projects and approaches, you may not do well on the exam.

When you take the exam, you’ll be asked questions about different project types and approaches. You need to be able to recognize the type of project and answer from that perspective. For example, some projects use a plan-based approach, while others use an agile approach or a combination of the two.

Knowing the differences between plan-based, agile, and hybrid approaches is important for passing the PMP exam. Plan-based approaches work best for projects with a clear scope, stable environment, and predictable outcome. Examples of projects that use this approach include building a bridge or designing a new building.

Understand Predictive, Agile, and Hybrid Practices

Knowing the differences between plan-based, agile, and hybrid approaches is important. Plan-based approaches are for projects with a clear plan, a stable environment, and a predictable outcome. Examples include building a bridge and designing a new building.

Agile approaches that have scopes that are less clear and have a changing environment with uncertainty. Examples include creating a new product that is incrementally released with a defined subset of critical features, or delivering a solution where the product scope is emerging.

Hybrid approaches combine plan-based and agile approaches. Examples include constructing a new building with offices finished in stages as leases for suites are signed or developing an internal software product with a plan-based approach and tested before being rolled out to a small group of users before the full release.

Let’s explore some additional ways to gauge your familiarity with PMP exam concepts.

Evaluate Your PMP Exam Readiness

To assess your readiness for the PMP exam, consider if you understand some of these topics and are currently apply many of the methods when working on your projects:

  • Agile philosophy for project management, and good agile practices from a variety of agile methods, including Scrum, Lean, and Kanban.
  • The use of historical information from previous projects, including lessons learned.
  • What a work breakdown structure (WBS) is and how to create it.
  • Doing earned value analysis and management.
  • Planning and developing iteratively and incrementally for change-driven (agile) projects.

Check out RMC’s complete PMP self-evaluation checklist for a more in-depth review.

PMP Benefits and Training Options

There are many benefits to getting your PMP certification.  And passing the PMP exam requires both knowledge and experience in project management. By evaluating your readiness based on the factors discussed above and using the self-evaluation checklist, you can determine if you are ready to apply for the exam and explore PMP training options.

Cate Curry
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