Infographic: How to Prep For the PMP Exam

What is PMP® Certification?

  • The PMP® exam is administered by the Project Management Institute.
  • It certifies that you have mastered a core set of skills as a project manager and that you have a certain level of experience. That’s important because when you go to apply for jobs, those three letters on your résumé will say a lot about your qualifications.
  • There are close to 1 million PMP®s worldwide.
  • Employers report that PMP®s are generally more successful and earn about 20 percent more than those who don’t have the designation.

Career Prospects

Between 2017 and 2018, nearly 20,000 unique new jobs in the Bay Area listed having the PMP® as a qualification. Among the top fields are high-tech, health care, education, consulting, consumer electronics, social media and finance; other industries are also well represented.

Exam Eligibility Requirements

If you have at least a bachelor’s degree, you need to show:

  • 36 months of non-overlapping professional project management experience
  • 35 hours of project management instruction

If you do not have a bachelor’s degree, you need to show:

  • 60 months of non-overlapping project management experience
  • 35 hours of project management instruction

Example of Overlapping Project Management Experience:

Diagram showing example of overlapping projects
Diagram showing example of overlapping projects

Project 1 and Project 2 are overlapping. Combined, they would be five months of Project Management experience.

How to Show Your Experience

Include work from any of the knowledge areas or process groups, including:

  • Defining or managing scope
  • Estimating duration and costs
  • Managing a schedule
  • Performing quality assurance or control activities
  • Managing project risk
  • Reporting or stakeholder/communication management
  • Creating deliverables

How to Apply for the Exam

1. Visit

2. Register and log in.

3. Download the PMP® Handbook and the PMP® Exam Outline.

4. Begin the application process.

Pro Tip: Many of our instructors, including Edmond Matevosian, are happy to review your application before you submit it.

Application and Exam Process

1. Complete your application

  • Review your application
  • Provide required information
  • Complete within 90 days
  • Submit payment

2. Application is reviewed

  • PMI reviews your application within 5 days of your applying
  • PMI will notify you if you’re allowed to take the exam or if you are being audited

3. If audited

  • You must submit requested materials within 90 days

4. Allowed to take exam

  • Schedule the exam with an approved test center
  • Complete the exam within one year of being approved
  • You may take the exam up to three times within that year

Pro Tip: Audits are random. Be creative with your application. Everything in life is a project if you look at it correctly. Your experience could be volunteer work or educational projects.

Start Studying!

Tips from our Project Management Certificate graduates on preparing for the exam:

Graduate Siwei Tang
Siwei Tang

I took the PMP® exam right before completing the certificate. I took the UC Berkeley Extension prep course and did hundreds of mock questions online. I was continuously studying for the exam, even when I was travelling internationally for work.

Marjorie Mc Wee
Marjorie Mc Wee

By taking the UC Berkeley Extension prep class, I became comfortable with the framework. I read some additional resources to fill in the blanks and kept working across that whole framework and understanding the individual processes. I started taking a lot of online tests.


Blog: Get Tips From Those Who Have Passed the PMP® Exam