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Questions about the PMP® Exam

Dick Billows, PMP

Dick Billows, PMP
CEO 4pm.com

Preparing to pass the Project Management Institutes’s (PMI)® Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam is tough. People have lots of questions about the PMP exam. Here are answers to some of the most common questions. Project Manager Certifications Main Page

Is there somewhere I can find a list of all the questions/answers that are going to be on the PMP exam?

Unfortunately the answer is no, not even the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK)® has all the information that is asked on the PMP exam. PMI wants you to understand the best practices of project management so you can’t memorize answers to questions and pass the exam. You have to learn and understand this material. Additionally, PMI adds 5% new questions every month. So you need to know the material well enough to be able to answer questions that you have not seen before.

Our organization doesn’t do project management the way PMI lays it out. Do I have to learn their way?

Yes, the fastest way to get a question wrong is to decide how you would handle the situation at your work. That will almost always yield a wrong answer. If you want a certification from PMI, you have to learn their way of project management.

I don’t have any experience managing projects. Can I still earn a certification from the Project Management Institute?

If you don’t have any experience managing projects (PMP requires a minimum of 4,500 hours), you should pursue the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® credential. That certification requires no experience in project management. We have a course that will prepare you to pass the CAPM exam.

What does it mean to progressively elaborate a project plan?

Progressive elaboration means that you don’t develop all of the components of your project plan at one time and then start work. Instead, you let the various elements of our project plan,  like the schedule and the budget interact and as you develop one, you may alter another. This process takes longer but it yields a much better plan.

What if I have never done a project the PMI way? Our organization never does all the steps.

Believe me, you are not alone. There may not be anyone who has ever done a project following every step that PMI includes in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide®). 95% of the projects done globally have a project team of three people or less. For projects of that size, many of the steps PMI has identified are simply too much. Even for the small number of project managers who manage very large projects, not all the pieces are necessary or desirable. So don’t feel bad if you haven’t done some of PMI’s steps. For example, we have had clients with thirty-year project management careers who have never done risk management.

Why is there so little “doing” and so much planning in this PMI stuff? This way of doing projects will make them take forever.

There’s no question that PMI and the best practices in project management stress planning. This is a good thing. It lets projects deliver scope on time and on budget because you’re not diverted from those goals by having to decide what to do next or by firefighting. Think about how much time you spend with your team trying to figure out what to do next when you’re in the middle of a project. Or how much time you spend solving problems and fighting fires you could have anticipated but didn’t. The heavy focus on planning is a good thing and well worth your while to learn (and practice).

We offer an online PMP Exam Prep course where you work individually with your instructor until you pass the exam, guaranteed. Here is more information about our online, instructor-led PMP Exam Prep course.

How To Pass the PMP Exam on the First Try – video

 

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