Global Project Management League

PMP Certification Process

To earn your PMP certification, you need to meet the experience and education requirements, and pass the PMP exam. Applying for the PMP Certification is a long process and needs ample time and preparation  to nail everything you need to accomplish. The PMP exam is difficult, and no matter where you are in your career, you need to put a lot of effort to prepare for the exam.

The PMP Certification also offers you greater opportunities and advances in your career. Aside from a higher salary, being PMP certified also means you have extensive skills in the project management field, which can appeal to prospective employers looking to fill better-paying, leadership positions.

If you’re planning to get PMP certified soon, it’s better to assess everything ahead of time so you can prepare everything you need. By compiling all the necessary documents early, you can save time, avoid an audit and still have time if your application does get audited. This step by step process will help you in starting your PMP Certification journey.

PMP Certification Process Infograhic

Applying for the PMP Certification may seem like a daunting task. Therefore, we create a simplied, visual representation of the PMP certification process below so you can get the full picture of what it will take to become PMP certified.

If you need any help at all, from applying for the PMP exam, to preparing for and scheduling your exam appointment, reach out to our customer service team and we’ll be happy to support you in any way we can.

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10 Steps to Earn Your PMP Certification

Meet the domain experience and education requirements​

Before you can even apply for PMP certification, you must meet certain education levels, domain experience, and domain education. 

The PMP Certification is not only for those who have a bachelor’s degree. High school graduates and associate degree holders can also apply. There are two ways to meet the PMP eligibility criteria depending on the highest level of education achieved.


Become a PMI Member (Optional)

You can decide whether you’d like to become a PMI member or not. Non members can still take the PMP certification exam, but the exam cost is slightly higher compared to the price exclusively offered to PMI members.

To become a member, you need to pay an annual membership fee worth $129. This will grant you a 10% discount on your PMP examination fee. You’ll also have access to a digital copy of the PMBOK Guide, and on-demand webinars and articles.


Earn your 35-hour project management education

To take the PMP certification exam, you’ll need to complete 35 contact hours. You can only earn these hours once you receive training relevant to the field of project management. Any training you’ll receive that doesn’t relate to project management will not be accepted.

You can take your project management education to prepare for the PMP exam either through online, face-to-face classroom, or live virtual classroom.


Apply to take the PMP Exam

PMI encourages applicants to utilize the online certification system. Printable application forms are available on the website.

Before starting the online application, make sure you’ve met all the requirements. Once you’ve started the application, you can’t cancel it. But you can save your unfinished application and accomplish it later.

Your PMP application form will be open for 90 days and PMI will send you a reminder to complete your application. If you fail to accomplish it within 90 days, you’ll have to go over the process again.


Submit requested audit materials within 90 days

PMI will review your application for content and you might or might not be flagged for an audit. They will notify and prompt you to register for the test if you’re not listed for an audit.

If you’re audited, submit the requested audit materials, including the copies of your diploma, and certificates proving you’ve obtained your 35 contact hours within 90 days.


Pay for the examination fee

Once your application has been processed, you’ll receive an email from PMI requesting for your payment. Once your application has been processed, you’ll receive an email from PMI requesting for your payment. 

Prices depend on your membership status and examination type. Discounts are granted to PMI members, and regular rates for the non-PMI members. So if you want to cut down your costs, it’s better to apply and pay for the membership fee of $139 annually.

Here’s the breakdown of the exam costs.


If you want to be entitled to the discounts, it’s better to apply for the membership first before proceeding to the application process so you have ample time to wait for the verification. If you applied to the membership just before the payment and it was not processed completely, you’ll be charged the non-member rate.

After processing your payment, you’ll receive another notification from PMI with the instructions for scheduling your exam, or a note that your application has been selected randomly for the PMI’s audit process.

Different payment methods are available.

  • Credit card – Online certification system or postal mail to PMI
  • Check – Postal mail to PMI
  • Money order – Postal mail to PMI
  • Wire transfer – Email [email protected] for details.

Aside from the associated examination fee, you also have to budget for other expenses related to the PMP certification exam. 

This includes your project management education, PMP exam preparation, and the recurring renewal fees every three years after being PMP certified. Learn more about the PMP certification cost here.


Schedule Your PMP Exam

Now that you’ve successfully completed all the necessary requirements for your PMP application, the next step to your PMP Certification process is to schedule your exam.

It generally depends on the preparation you’ve done. Schedule your exam date when you’re confident enough with your practice test scores.

Once you’re ready, schedule your PMP exam appointment with Pearson VUE.

Rescheduling Your Exam

If you’ve already scheduled your exam and you suddenly need to shift dates, you can reschedule it up to two days prior to the originally scheduled exam date. Late rescheduling and cancellation will result in a fee because of limited seating capacity in testing centers.

Here are the policies for rescheduling your exam:

  • Within 30 days before the exam – If you reschedule your exam within 30 days prior to the scheduled exam, you will be charged $70.
  • Within 2 days before the exam – You need to reschedule your exam before you are within two calendar days before the original exam date. If you wait until you’re within two calendar days before the exam, your appointment will be cancelled and the exam costs will not be refunded. You will not also be able to reschedule your exam.

Take the PMP Exam

After the long process, you’re now ready to sit for your PMP exam. 

The PMP certification exam consists of 200 questions and you need to complete it within 4 hours. You can’t bring your own calculator and scratch papers inside the testing room–these will be provided upon entrance. You’ll be given a 10-minute break once you’re done with the first part of the exam.

Before you take the PMP Exam, make sure you're up-to-date on the exam changes and that  your study materials were updated to reflect such changes.  


Pass the PMP Exam

Congratulations! You’re now PMP certified! The process is quite difficult–from earning your 35 hours of project management education to processing and scheduling your PMP certification exam. Passing the PMP Exam is the last step in earning your PMP certification, which is good for 3 years. Take the time to celebrate. This is a big milestone worth celebrating for. All your hard work paid off!

But if you want to maintain  your certification, the process does not end here…


Maintain Your PMP Certification

After passing the PMP exam and obtaining your PMP Certification, you have to meet PMI’s Continuing Certification Requirements (CCR).

To remain certified, you have to engage in continuous professional development by earning 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) and renewing your certification every three years.

This PMP Certification process can help you ensure you’re following all the steps efficiently. 

Download the full guide to PMP certification. The right inputs, tools and techniques mirror your success in your future project management career. Best of luck to your certification journey! 

Have questions or need more guidance? Reach out to a certified instructor at Global PM League today.