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Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam – Part III – PMP Application (#3 in the series Tips on Applying for and Passing the PMP® or CAPM® Exam)
By Vicki Wrona, PMP – Global Knowledge Instructor

Documenting your personal PM experience will be the most difficult part of the application process. PMI
requires the following information for each project:

  • Project name
  • Date range
  • Your role on the project
  • Your job title
  • Organization name and address
  • Contact information of a reference who can verify work experience
  • Total hours spent on the project
  • Hours Spent in the following:
  • Initiating
    • Conduct project selection methods
    • Identify key stakeholders
    • Define scope
    • Develop, review, and approve project charter
    • Identify and document risks, assumptions, constraints
  • Planning
    • Define roles and responsibilities
    • Create work breakdown structure
    • Define risk strategies
    • Obtain project plan approval
    • Define detailed project requirements
    • Develop change management plan
  • Executing
    • Manage resource allocation
    • Execute tasks
    • Set expectations
    • Improve team performance
    • Implement quality management plan
    • Implement approved changes
    • Obtain project resources
    • Implement approved actions and workarounds
  • Monitoring and Controlling
    • Measure project performance
    • Verify and manage changes
    • Monitor status of risks
    • Ensure deliverables conform to quality standards
  • Closing
    • Obtain formal project acceptance
    • Perform lessons learned
    • Archive project records
    • Obtain project closure
    • Release resources and provide performance feedback
    • Distribute final project report
    • Measure customer satisfaction of the project
  • Summarization of project tasks led and deliverables managed by process group
    This information is found on pages 4 and 5 of the PMP Credential Application.

TIP: To expedite the calculation of the detailed breakout of hours by category, use an Excel spreadsheet. If you do not have a current and complete list of the projects you have worked on over the prior five years or so, start with your resume and list all the projects you have worked on along with their date ranges. Once you have filled in all the gaps of time, estimate the number of hours per week you spent on each project, and then extend that to the number of hours per month. Multiply the monthly hours by the number of months to get your total hours worked on a project. (This is where an Excel spreadsheet will come in handy.)

Make sure your estimate of hours truly indicate the hours spent on the project, not just at work. For example, if you are lucky enough to only work 40 hours per week, it is not realistic to assume all 40 hours were spent on the current project, as some time will be spent on administrative tasks, other meetings, your ‘real job’, personal issues, etc. If you have a university degree, PMI states that experience should be gained over a minimum of three years and a maximum of six years. In other words, you cannot state that you have 5,000 hours of experience gathered in two years.

Then, estimate the percent of time spent in each Process Group (Initiating, Planning, Executing, Controlling, Closing), tweaking the percentages until they add up to 100%. Let Excel then calculate the number of hours per Process Group. Then, estimate the percentage of your time spent in each activity within each Process Group, ensuring that the total percent for each Process Group adds up to 100%. Again, let Excel calculate the hours spent on each task within the Process Groups. The individual numbers are what you will input into the online application, and the system will add up the total hours on each project.

Approximately 10% to 15% of applications are randomly selected for audit. Once your application has been approved, PMI will send an authorization letter, allowing you to schedule your exam. Once the authorization letter is received, you have one year to take the exam.

Vicki Wrona, PMP, has been managing projects and mentoring project managers for the past 18 years in both the private and public sectors, in manufacturing, service, and IT. Over the past 7 years, she has personally trained over 3,100 people through Global Knowledge. She is the President of Forward Momentum, LLC, an 8(a) company.

This article was originally published in Global Knowledge’s Business Brief e-newsletter. Global Knowledge delivers comprehensive hands-on project management, business process, and professional skills training. Visit our online Knowledge Center at for free white papers, webinars, and more.

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