PMP is one of the most demanded and high value certifications in the market. Unlike other certifications, PMP can not be just passed through reading the books. You must have a real experience on the concepts to clear the exam. That is the reason PMP exam is having more value in the market.
What is the difficulty level of the PMP certification exam?
PMP is indeed a difficult exam, not because of the vast curriculum or knowledge one has to cover, but because exam itself is quite tricky in nature. It doesn’t only test your knowledge, but also your ability to use that knowledge in different practical situations.
One can’t pass the exam by only memorizing the material, he should also know how to apply it. Another aspect of PMP exam is that time is indeed quite short. You have to do 200 questions in 240 minutes, hence if you are stuck in some question it becomes more and more harder to complete in-time.
The degree of difficulty is something that can’t be measured by any unit, but for most people it is the hardest exam they have ever faced, while for others it is quite harder but not hardest. It also depends upon the preparation of a person. A well prepared candidate may find it a bit less difficult than an ill-prepared person.
Hence, the crux of the matter is that PMP is quite difficult exam, but definitely not an impossible to pass type exam.
How much time would take for preparing for the PMP certification exam?
Now, coming to the second part of the question, there is no rule of thumb about how long it would take to prepare for it. It depends on many factors which include, but not limited to:
1. Which preparation book and study materials is being used by candidate?
2. How well has he/she managed to grasp the concepts in the 35 Hour mandatory training?
3. What was the quality of that training?
4. How much hours daily is being dedicated by the candidate for study?
5. What is the professional background and previous project management knowledge of the person?
6. And last, but not the least, how committed and focused he/she is on passing the exam on first attempt?
Now, using we will calculate the time needed for completion using best and worst case scenarios. And then we will estimate average preparation time.
For best case scenario, consider a seasoned project manager with 15+ years of project management experience. He knows about the best prep books according to his style of learning and he has obtained 35 hour training from a top institute. He is willing to dedicate 4 hours daily for study and he has a strong aim to pass PMP in the first attempt because he has a chance of promotion if he gets PMP certified as early as possible. Now for this person 4-6 weeks of preparation in enough for passing PMP exam, provided he applied his knowledge and concepts correctly in exam.
Now, for worst case scenario, consider a entry level project coordinator with 2-3 years of project management/coordination experience. He hasn’t learned anything during the 35 hour mandatory training and the quality of training was also not very good. He will be studying 2 hours per day and he is not very passionate about PMP. For this kind of person he should prepare for at least 4-6 months or even more. It will take time, and he should allow his mind to absorb all the concepts and knowledge about project management which is almost a new thing of for him.
So, considering these two cases we can assume that on average it may take 2-3 months for preparation of PMP exam, provided you have appropriate study material, prep book (or books) and ample time everyday. And most of all you should have passion and desire for passing PMP in 1st attempt.
I hope this helps!!
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