Here in Velopi, we have been wondering why people who go to the trouble of taking a PMP® course do not achieve their goal at the end. We are particularly concerned about those people who never actually attempt the exam. Why is this?
We did some root cause analysis and came up with three possible reasons:
- The PMP® Exam Application. While filling in forms is often traumatic, the PMP® exam application is not something you do without preparation. You have to document the dates of your projects and you have to show 36 (or 60 if you don’t have a degree) months’ experience and these projects cannot overlap. Then you have to break the projects down into hours and divide the work you did across the five process groups. Again, this is not something you can do without thought. Finally, you have to describe each project. But they really don’t want you to describe the project; they want to learn about your project management experience. Velopi has developed an Experience Calculator that guides our students through this process and makes this step easy.
- Being unfamiliar with the question style. A veteran project manager who knows the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide) off by heart can fail the PMP® exam because the style of question is unusual. We developed an exam simulator to give our students ample practice with this sort of question. We provide unlimited access to knowledge area exams and full, 200-question simulations of the real thing. These latter exams are crucial for building up “match fitness” and allowing you plan your campaign during the exam – i.e. being aware of when you need to take a break before you lose concentration. If you pass the simulated exams, you should pass the real thing.
- Not realizing the commitment. The PMP® is designed for practicing project managers. So most people on our courses are holding down responsible project management roles. Many of these have families, pets, houses and hobbies that all demand attention. It is difficult to make time to prepare for the PMP® exam. Over the years, Velopi has developed a study plan to help students approach the exam in a systematic way. We also provide follow-up support, tailoring this plan to suit people’s specific needs. But there is no getting away from it: the student needs to find the time to study the material and to practice on our simulator.
Are there other reasons? If you have a different perspective we would love to hear from you – particularly if we can help you complete your journey to the PMP®. Being aware that there are people in this situation, we regularly run PMP® Refresher courses. These courses include access to the simulator and follow up support to help you put together a study plan. Together we can get you over the line.