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PMP Exam – Are You Ready for Certification?

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick Billows, PMP
Dick’s Books on Amazon

The PMP®, Project Management Professional, certification is a valuable credential for people who are job hunting or who want to gain credibility (and increased salary) with their current employer. The PMP® is an internationally recognized credential from PMI®, the Project Management Institute. On the job hunting front, the PMP® is often used as a résumé screening tool. Human Resources people often discard the résumés of applicants who don’t have the PMP® credential. So the decision-makers for the project manager positions never see these résumés.

The PMP® is a credibility-builder for people who want to advance their career within their current organization. That is particularly true for people manage projects outside their “home” department/organization or for customers/clients.

PMP® Exam Eligibility

The PMP® has two eligibility requirements.  The first is 4,500 hours (3 years) of experience managing projects. (7,500 hours if you don’t have a college degree). The application form requires people to document their experience, including the names of their project sponsors. The second requirement is 35 hours of project management education.   Applicants must then pass a difficult 4-hour, 200 multiple choice question exam.

If you can’t meet the PMP® eligibility requirements, we offer other project manager certifications.

Passing the PMP® Exam – Rote Memorization Doesn’t Work

Passing the PMP® exam is no easy matter. The days when you could memorize definitions and the answers to a handful of questions and pass the test are long gone. The exam has now has situational questions where you must analyze the situation and pick the right course of action. You need to learn the best practices in project management and understand what tools and techniques a project manager can use in a variety of situations. The most difficult part of the exam is the situational questions where you’re given a project management situation and asked to select the right thing to do. You must analyze the situation and decide the best thing to do. You need a course that teaches you how to handle these varied situations. Our PMP® Exam Prep course does this and fulfills the education requirement.

Passing the PMP Exam® – Personal Coaching is the Key

Some PMP® exam prep courses have 50 to 100 people in a class. If all you were doing was memorizing lists and definitions, this might not be a handicap. But to pass the exam these days, you must understand what to do in different project situations and which techniques work best in those situations. So the learning process is much more complex. The way each person understands the material is different because their learning styles are different.
Our online PMP® exam prep course begins with a custom design where we fit the training to your learning style. One learning style and one teaching style do not fit everyone. Some people like lists and dot points. Others want to see flowcharts of the step-by-step processes. Some people are visual learners and want to watch videos of project managers handling various situations. Still others learn best from stories of project managers doing things the right way. The stories and videos come back to people during the exam and help them select the right answer to the situational questions. Our course offers the tools and techniques that cover each of these learning styles. Here’s a video that shows how you work with your instructor in the course and until you pass the PMP® exam.

 PMP exam – The Best PMP Training – Individual Mentoring

PMP exam - The Best PMP Training - Individual Mentoring

You get lots of personal, one-to-one coaching and interaction with your instructor.  That’s how we make sure we answer your questions in ways that you understand. And we guarantee you will pass the exam.  Over ninety percent of our students pass on their first try. But if you don’t, your instructor will work with you until you pass (for no additional tuition). Please take a look at the details of our PMP® Exam Prep course. We look forward to helping you get your PMP® certification and advancing your project manager career. After, you earn the PMP consider other certifications and courses we offer.

At the beginning of your 4pm course, when you and Dick talk to design your program and what you want to learn, you will select case studies that fit the kind of projects you want to manage. Chose you course and then select the which specialty case study from business, or marketing,  or construction, or healthcare, or consulting.  That way your case studies and project plans, schedules and presentations will fit your desired specialty.

  1. 101 Project Management Basics
  2. 103 Advanced Project Management Tools
  3. 201 Managing Programs, Portfolios & Multiple Projects
  4. 203 Presentation and Negotiation Skills
  5. 304 Strategy & Tactics in Project management
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CAPM Exam – Pass The First Time

Work Breakdown Structure
Dick Billows, PMP

Passing the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM®) exam the first time and earning the CAPM® credential, requires you to pass a rigorous 3-hour exam from the Project Management Institute (PMI)®. You have to answer questions about the project management processes, definitions of the inputs, outputs, tools and techniques and the basic mathematical formulas used in project management. You must also know how to correctly answer the tricky multiple-choice exam questions. Earning the CAPM credential is a great way to launch your project management career.  CAPM Certification

Busy professionals want to pass the CAPM exam with as few hours of study as possible. No one wants to go through the rigorous preparation for a second time. So how does a young professional pass the CAPM exam the first time?

CAPM Exam – Pass The First Time: Step 1

First, don’t sign up for a class where you have to study with 15 to 30 other people.  That a waste of your time because there’s a low probability of passing the first time. These courses are one-size-fits-all but not everyone comes to the class with the same level of education or experience.  Unfortunately the class has to move with the pace of the least qualified person or the instructor who has X weeks to finish the class.

CAPM Exam – Pass The First Time: Step 2

The key to success is individual training with a certified project manager as your coach and mentor. (Yes, it is more expensive than sitting in a class with 30 people.) When you take our CAPM Exam Prep course, you prepare for the CAPM exam with your personal mentor.   you will cover all the CAPM material at your pace and as your schedule permits. The two of you will focus on those areas where your knowledge is weak and move quickly through the areas where your knowledge is strong.

95% of our CAPM Exam Prep students pass the first time. That’s because our materials are tailored to their individual learning style. If you’re a visual learner, we will provide written materials for you. If you learn best from flowcharts and dot point lists, that’s what we will provide. If you remember stories or videos about the right way to manage a project, we have those for you too. You learn much more efficiently and will be able to answer the CAPM exam questions accurately when you study with a personal instructor who tailors the course to your learning style.

CAPM Exam: Pass the First Time

The sample lecture is from our Certified Associate Project Manager (CAPM) Exam Prep course. It focuses on estimating the resources you need for a task. It covers the tools and techniques project managers use to develop accurate estimates and how they use the estimates to develop an accurate project schedule.

Passing the CAPM Exam


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PMP How to Pass First Time

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick Billows, PMP
Dick’s Books on Amazon

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time has changed as the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam has evolved and become more difficult. (To take  the PMP Exam you must document at least 4,500 hours of experience managing projects.) Don’t have that much? Certifications with NO PM experience required: Project Certification,  IT Certification,  Construction Certification,  Healthcare Certification,  Consulting Certification 

The days of passing the PMP exam by memorizing formulas and a handful of definitions are long gone. The study techniques based on flashcards or memorizing questions and answers don’t work either. So if a friend or your boss offers you their study materials and notes from a few years ago, thank them and toss them into the trash.

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time: Key Knowledge

  • Understand the sequence of processes well enough to interpret a situation and know what’s the best thing to do next.  That situation may include skipping some of the processes.
  • Understand the limitations on a project manager’s actions that are imposed by the scale, scope and technology of the project and the type of organization in which the PM is operating.
  • Know the basic formulas of project management and how to calculate results in situations where more than one formula has to be used to reach the solution.
  • Know how to manage the stakeholders (project sponsor, stakeholders, team members, vendors and everyone affected by the project) and know the right thing to do given the specific circumstances of a particular project.
  • Know how to manage your time during the exam.  Answer all the easier questions first (pluck the low-hanging fruit) and have time to invest in the more difficult problems.
  • Know how to control your emotions in an environment full of nervous test-takers so that you can control your pace and not let nervousness make you work too fast and make mistakes.

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time: Tuition $2,595

See how the individual coaching works on your schedule. See the proprietary reading, the online lectures and “Project Manager in Action Videos” of all 44 PMP processes.

PMP Exam: Pass the First Time

Why Pass the PMP Exam on the First Try?

Going through the PMP study process and exam more than once is unthinkable. In addition to the above listed knowledge and skills you need to get your head right in two ways. First, during the four hours of the exam you must forget about how you do projects in the organization(s) where you work(ed).  Second, during the four hours of the exam, you must become the perfect Project Management Institute project manager. Keep in mind that you’re working for a perfect project executive, with perfect team members and perfect stakeholders.

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time: Study Process

Study Materials that Fit Your Learning Style & Your Life

People have many learning styles and studying with materials and instruction that do not fit your learning style makes the study process more difficult. So you begin our online course with an assessment. You and your personal  instructor have a live video conference to discuss your assessment and how to customize the course for your learning style and schedule. Some people learn most efficiently from flow charts so we provide flow charts and diagrams. People who remember information from stories can learn from our stories of project managers doing all the steps to manage small, medium and large size projects. Other people prefer to watch movies so we have videos of project managers, executives and teams going through all the steps. You see real people create all the necessary plans, analyses and reports for a project done the PMI way. Seeing the project manager’s work output and the steps he/she took makes it a lot easier to recall those steps when you’re answering the PMP exam questions. We offer this variety of materials so you and your instructor can tailor them to suit you. Your learning will be most effective and efficient when your course fits your learning style.       pass the pmp exam first try

Do Not Memorize a Dictionary… Learn by Studying Real World Projects

Professional adults learn best when the material is presented in a way that is relevant to their experience and to the natural sequence of a project. That is a more effective way to learn and easier to recall than memorizing an encyclopedia of definitions.  We have found that the best way for you to tackle these challenges is by studying the information on inputs, outputs, tools and techniques in the context of real projects. That’s why we use lots of scenarios and stories about projects in our PMP exam prep materials. They help you recognize the difference between how you do it at work and how PMI says it should be done.

You follow three projects throughout our course. The first is a small project done within a department where the project sponsor is the boss of the project manager and the entire team. The second project is larger in scale and scope. It is done in a matrix organization with resources borrowed from a number of departments that are stakeholders in the project. The third project is a large consulting project done for a multinational company that operates in over 20 countries. Seeing how the processes, tools and techniques of project management are applied in these different situations helps you understand the material well enough to apply it to PMP exam situational questions in a wide variety of contexts. We give you 25 – 35 practice exams for each module so you practice until you score high enough to  correctly answer the questions on the actual exam.

You’re a Professional, Not a College Freshman…Learn Like Professionals Learn

Our online PMP Exam Prep course gives you a personal instructor who is a PMP. They coach you on each step and work with you u
ntil you pass the PMP exam, guaranteed. You have live video conferences, phone calls and e-mails with your instructor whenever you need answers or explanations. You won’t post your questions in a chat room or on a bulletin board with dozens of other people vying for answers. You can email your instructor at their personal email, have a private phone conversation or a live video conference when you wish. There are no limits.

How to Pass the PMP Exam the First Time: Summary

You Pass the PMP Exam on Your First Try by thoroughly understanding the PMI processes, their sequence, what each of the tools and techniques produces so you can apply them to different project situations.  In our individual, online PMP Exam Prep course, your PMP-certified instructor will work with you until you pass the exam; guaranteed.  Take a look at our PMP Exam Prep course details.

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Questions about the PMP® Exam

Dick Billows, PMP
Dick Billows, PMP

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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PMP® Training

PMP (Project Management Professional) training is a necessary step in every project managers career. With that training you will learn a wide array of project management techniques that you can apply to the projects you manage. With three or four years of experience managing projects,  PMP training will also equip you to pass the project management professional certification exam. The PMP credential is the most recognized project management certification in the world. It gives you substantial credibility in your own organization and if you decide to look elsewhere it is a very potent job-hunting tool. Project Manager Certifications Main Page

Companies are looking for project managers with a certain mindset and sighting project skillset, because they don’t want to spend a lot of time and money on basic education for a new PM. They need someone who, in theory, can hit the ground running. However, the problem is to find someone like that with only the limited time HR departments have to pick and choose. Being certified does not guarantee that you are a good project manager. But it shows a third party that you have a certain theoretical knowledge about a subject, in our case, Project Management. Being certified shows someone else that you have followed a certain process and that you possess a certain vocabulary. And if the certification requires proof of experience, like the PMP does, the certification also shows that you already have experience. Are there flaws in the process? Sure. But in general, a certification gives a third party a bit more confidence in what you claim to be. Hence, if you are certified, you already look better than someone that isn’t.

Moreover, every year that passes without you getting a certification means, that it will be harder for you to actually get the certification. When I first thought about getting PMP certified, the PMBOK 2000 was released, and it was about two fingers thick. Get the latest PMBOK and you know what I mean when I say: I was shocked when I finally decided to get certified in 2012. Don’t wait it out. You get older and the PMBOK gets thicker. You can do it. Just do it.

So, if you think to yourself: OK, I want to get certified, but where to start? Well, let me tell you that you are already in the right place. I tried other preparation methods, and you certainly have to find yours. But I can tell you from first hand experience, that’s Certification Package is the way to go. Why? Well, because unlike some other “training programs” Dick Billows wants you to pass the exam because you understand the subject and speak the same language. We all know how to manage projects, but we don’t speak the same language, and sometimes, PMP’s approach needs explanation.

With the PMP prep you get the best PMP passing guarantee available.  Your instructor will  continue to work with you  if you fail the exam after completing your course in its entirety. You also have maximum flexibility in scheduling the PMP course because you’re not tied to a rigid schedule set by the instructor. Instead you set your own schedule and your instructor adapts to it.   You may wish to take advantage of the free instructor assessment which will help you decide if the PMP certification and  prep course is right for you.