Top 3 PMP Certification Problems

The Top 3 Problems with Earning Your PMP® Certification

Taking any big step in your career can come with challenges. Earning your Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification is no different. While each individual may face their own unique challenges as they navigate the certification process, there are three common problems that you’re likely to face:

7 Secrets to Passing the PMP Exam

While these are common PMP certification problems, that doesn’t mean you can’t overcome them. Let’s dive into each challenge and explore some ways to address these problems. 

Time to Prepare for the PMP Exam to Earn Your Certification

First, let’s clarify – it’s not just about finding time to prepare for the PMP certification exam; it’s about finding enough time to ensure you’re prepared to pass. Before someone receives their certification, they have to prove they are equipped to run successful projects. This means the PMP certification exam must be a comprehensive testing of your project management knowledge. 

Plus, taking the PMP exam is no small financial investment either. The test alone is $405 for PMI members and $555 for non-members. In addition to the professional benefits, you want to make sure you pass the exam to protect your investment in the exam fee

To ensure you’re investing enough time into the exam preparation process, there are a few steps you can take. With the right strategy in place and forethought into the preparation process, you should be able to prep with ease.

  • Take a multi-day prep course. Taking a multi-day training course for the PMP exam is a great addition to self-preparation. This is a highly concentrated training course in which you get all the training you need in the short span of about four days. You can even talk to your employer about sponsoring this training course, which could mean you complete it over four workdays. 
  • Create a study plan. Preplanning your preparation process is the best way to evenly spread your study efforts so you’re not cramming for the exam at the last minute. Studying for 30 minutes each day or blocking off time on the weekend to study and take practice exams is the best way to learn a little at a time.

Fear of Failing the Exam

office-594132_640A lot of people have test anxiety, and while taking the PMP certification exam is a big step for your career, you have nothing to be afraid of when it comes to this test. While there’s no current data on pass or failure rates of the PMP exam, Project Management Institute has released some information in the past. In the 2006 PMP Handbook, PMI estimated the pass rate to be about 61% of exam candidates. While that was more than a decade ago, it may give you a little more confidence to remember that back then, most people passed. Although you may not have access to PMI’s pass rates, you can talk to training providers about the pass rate of their candidates. For example, Project Management Academy had a 99.9% pass rate in 2018

One way to ease your mind when it comes to failing the test is to select a training provider that offers a money-back guarantee. At Project Management Academy, for example, we offer training course participants their money back if they fail the exam. This means you don’t have to worry about losing your training fee if you fail, and you can always talk to the training provider about possibly retaking the training course and trying again. 

When you’re taking the PMP exam, it’s important to remember that this isn’t your only shot at earning your certification. You can always try again if you fail, but when you’re putting time and effort into preparing, failure isn’t a likely outcome. 

Choosing the Right PMP Exam Training Provider

A major PMP certification problem exam candidates face is choosing the right PMP training provider. This is a big decision due to the large investment you have to make in PMP training. You want to feel confident that you’re putting your money in the right place. To ensure you’re making the right decision and increasing your odds at passing the exam, here are some features and offerings you should look for in a PMP training provider:

  • Audit protection. All project managers who take the PMP exam can be subject to an audit by PMI. This audit verifies all of your exam materials – including proof of project management hour completion and verification of your project management training hours. Because audits are inconvenient and time consuming, it’s helpful to have a training provider on your side. They can supply proof of training completion (generally proof that you completed a training course). This can significantly streamline the audit process. 
  • Top instructors and training materials. Research training providers to verify that you’re choosing a top organization, with highly qualified instructors and helpful training materials. You also want to ask training providers about their pass rate. Top providers offer access to training materials beyond what is offered in the course, like practice tests and training portals. Factor these offerings into your decision, as well. 

Is earning the PMP Certification Worth It?

Ultimately, you have to ask yourself, is the PMP certification worth the effort to overcome these challenges? The answer is yes. The value of earning your PMP certification far outweighs any extra effort you may have to invest to prepare for and pass the exam. Earning your certification means higher pay, greater demand for your skills, and a promising career trajectory. (To find out more about the specific value of earning your PMP certification, read this blog.)

Learn all you need to know about earning your PMP certification in this comprehensive guide

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Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO
Director of Product Development at
Erin Aldridge, PMP, PMI-ACP, & CSPO