Step 4: Sign up for the Exam.
“I want to become a PMP” is a good plan. But “I want to become a PMP and my exam date is in 3 months” is a much better plan because we all work a lot better when we have a deadline. To sign up, you first have to fill in the PMP® Credential Application and submit it to the PMI. You can find the paper application in the Credential Handbook (see step 1 above) but you definitely want to apply online at http://www.pmi.org. Once your application has been approved you will receive a letter from the PMI. Now you can apply to take the exam on the Prometric Website at http://www.prometric.com/PMI. The PMI doesn’t perform the test themselves - instead they use Thomson Prometric, a testing company with testing centers around the world. Depending on where you live you may have to travel quite far to take the exam. So you definitely want to schedule this well in advance.
Step 5: Read the PMBOK® Guide. Twice.
About 75% of the questions on the PMP® Exam come from the PMBOK® Guide. You must know it. And the only way to know it is to read it at least twice.
Step 6: Listen to a PMP Audio Workshop or Read a PMP Preparation Book.
There are many very good PMP Audio Workshops and PMP Preparation Books available. You can find them on eBay, Amazon or in your local bookstore. These resources will teach you the 25% of additional material that you cannot find in the PMBOK® Guide. And because the PMBOK® Guide is so “dry”, these third party products will help you understand what the PMBOK® Guide is trying to say. They will “translate” the concepts, tools and techniques from the Guide and give you examples from everyday PM life to show you what is meant. Many of the audio courses also come with contact hours - the books cannot offer that benefit.
Cornelius Fichtner, PMP is the host of The Project Management Podcast™ at www.thepmpodcast.com and The Project Management PrepCast™, the first true PMP® Podcast at www.pmprepcast.com. Cornelius worked as a Project Manager in his native Switzerland, in Germany and in the USA for the last 17 years. He received his PMP credential in April 2004. He has led projects for a management consulting company, a national retailer and an internet startup company. Currently, Cornelius works as a project manager for one of the oldest financial service providers in the USA. His passions are project management methodologies, PMOs and helping others pass the PMP Exam. In addition to hosting the PrepCast™, he is an instructor for the PMP Workshop and the 2007 Chair of his local PMI chapter. He currently lives in Silverado, California, USA with his wife and their two computers.
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