How to fill your PMP application form like a pro? (with examples)
- Author Rohit Gupta
- Published January 22, 2022
- Word count 1,823
Filling out the PMP application form and getting approval from PMI is one of the first accomplishments on the road to becoming a PMP. Hence, it's imperative to understand how to fill out the PMP application correctly to enhance your chances of application approval. In the article below, I'll explain using examples all the steps you must take to fill your PMP exam correctly. So, let's get started!!
Getting to the application form
To get to the application form, first, visit pmi.org and register on their website. The registration process is pretty simple and is similar to registering with an email address and password on any other website. Once you have completed registration and logged into your dashboard under the section 'my PMI', you must navigate to the 'PMP application' home page and click on "Apply now for your PMP". Once you do this, you will be directed to the page where you must start documenting your details.
How many sections does the PMP application have?
The PMP application primarily has four sections that should be completed: Academic Education, Professional Education, Experience, and Exam details.
#1 Completing the Academic Education Information section
The first section to complete is the academic education information section.
This is the first section where your PMP exam eligibility is reviewed. Hence, you must review the criteria for your eligibility for the PMP exam.
You must enter the highest level of education you have attained (e.g., Master's or Bachelor's degree), the starting and ending years of your education, the country, and the institution's name in which you received your education.
#2 Completing the Professional Education section
The Professional education section is where you need to demonstrate your Project Management education, i.e., provide evidence of 35 contact hours you would've acquired from your PMP training provider.
Here are all the different ways you can earn the 35 contact hours required for your PMP exam application:
A. Physical/Virtual or self-paced courses from training companies offering project management courses.
B. PMI Authorized training partners (ATPs)
C. PMI Chapters
D. Employer-sponsored programs.
E. University or college programs related to project management/PMP.
To fill this section, you must document the course title, the name of the training provider, the start and end dates of the course, and the qualifying hours (typically, this will be 35 hours). Make sure you have these details with you when you get to this section. When you complete a course with a training provider, they will provide you with a contact hours certificate. However, you don't have to upload your training certificates in this section but will need them should your application be selected for an audit.
#3 Completing the Experience section
The experience section of the PMP application is the hardest to fill for the majority of the candidates. Therefore, you must expect to spend the maximum time filling out this section since getting this right is your doorway to application approval.
Here are the sections you need to fill out in the PMP application:
Organization where the project was carried out
Functional Reporting Area; the organizational department where the project was carried out
The primary focus area of the organization
The project approach used (Traditional, Agile, or Hybrid)
Project Team size
Project Start and End dates
Project Description; A high-level summary of your experience includes the project objective, outcome, role on the project, and responsibilities and deliverables. The standard response according to PMI is between 200 to 500 words, although people have written more than 500 words of description. Be as concise as you can since someone is going to read your application.
While filling out the application, you cannot have overlapping months of experience. This means that if you've been working on two projects simultaneously, you can only count experience towards one project for the months they were overlapping.
For example, if Project 1 lasted from Jan 2020 to April 2020 and Project 2 from Feb 2020 to June 2020, you can count Project 1 experience from January–April, a total of 4 months, and Project 2 experience only for May and June, a total of 2 months. Adding the experience of Project 1 and 2 sums up to 6 months of total experience.
Here are some tips to consider while documenting your project management work experience:
Use project management terminology as provided in the PMBOK while describing your projects.
Include projects where you've played the role of a Project or Program Manager or led and directed.
Focus more on what you did on the project. Make sure to bring out what you did on the project from a leading and directing perspective.
Start from the current project and work backward until you've reached the total months required.
Demonstrate your experience and skills across a wide range of domains and activities from the PMBOK. For example, you can write specific actions that you performed across the five process groups: initiating, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling, and closing a project.
Note that project management experience is required in each process area when all projects are totaled, but not necessarily on each project.
Check spellings and grammar using an app like grammarly.com.
Stick to the PMI suggested word limit.
Let's try to see an example of a PMP application written by one of the candidates. This example contains elements of agile.
Project Objective: To research, design, and deliver a new IT training course to the marketing and sales teams for a global launch.
Project Outcome: An IT training product ready for global launch by the company.
Role on the Project: My role on the project was that of a Project Manager.
Responsibilities: I evaluated the feasibility of the new course and, based on the results, created a Project charter along with the sponsor. I identified major stakeholders whose involvement would have an impact on the project and vice versa. Since the project used an agile approach for product development, I gathered high-level requirements from the stakeholders, determined the 'must have' and 'should have' user stories that the IT training product must contain, and created a release schedule and project budget. I set up a risk register, identified high-level risks that we might encounter during the iterations, and a risk management plan to deal with them. I acquired the team and the resources to execute the project, facilitated the various agile meetings for the teams, removed impediments that obstructed the team, and resolved team conflicts. I closely monitored the project's progress to keep it within project timelines and budget. I also worked with stakeholders and the team to incorporate any changes required to the product during the project. I worked with the sponsor and the subject matter experts to get formal acceptance of the IT training product and handed over the product to the sales and marketing teams for the global launch.
Here's another example of a PMP application of a candidate who worked on a Predictive Project.
Project Objective: Design, Deployment, and deliver a Learning Management System (LMS) across various internal organizational departments.
Project Outcome: Provide a more user-centric and engaging learning experience for the employees of the organization.
Role on the Project: I led the successful creation and delivery of the Learning Management System (LMS)
Responsibilities: Created a business case to justify the investment in developing a Learning Management System (LMS) for the organization. Created measurable success criteria for the project and a benefits measurement plan. Identified vital project stakeholders and documented their expectations in a stakeholder register. Determined the scope, time, cost, quality, and risks affecting the project and created the project management plan with its components plans. Got the plan formally approved by the project sponsor and held a kick-off meeting before project execution. During execution, delegated work packages to various teams, evaluated individual and team performance, and led team-building activities. Evaluated and mitigated the risks affecting the project. Provided regular project progress reports to sponsor and senior stakeholders and facilitated product approval meetings with reviewers and customer representatives. Continuously monitored the project against its performance baselines and managed the change control process in collaboration with teams and stakeholders. Gained final acceptance of the end product from the customers and solicited feedback about project quality and performance. Consolidated lessons learned into an organizational knowledge base. Archived project documents and records.
Completing the exam section
The final section of the PMP application online form is the exam details section. In this section, you'll need to complete all the information related to the PMP exam and provide your contact information.
You'll need to enter the following information:
Your name in the form as it appears on your ID
Your name, exactly as you want it to appear on your certificate.
Your email address
Your phone number
The country where you want to take the exam.
You'll also be asked to state if you wish to request any exam accommodations, for example, due to disability and/or other conditions that may impair your ability to take the exam.
Here are some commonly asked questions we encounter by candidates working on their PMP applications. Some of these might even answer the questions that you probably have.
Within how many days must I finish my application once started?
Once you start the PMP application, you have 90 days to complete the online application form. Also, you cannot cancel the application once begun. You can save the incomplete application and edit the information later.
What are the PMP application processing times?
PMI needs five business days to review the contents of your application and process it. Must your application be picked up for an audit, you will have 90 days within which you must respond to PMI with the requested documents.
What happens during a PMP applicant audit?
Amongst the plethora of PMP applications received by PMI, only a few of them get selected for audit.
PMI does not disclose how it selects applications for audit, and the application selections are primarily random. Applications selected for audit are informed via email within minutes of application submission.
Since anyone's PMP application can be selected for audit, it's best to know what you should be doing if your application gets selected for an audit.
You will need to submit the following documents to complete the audit process:
Copies of your education qualifications (e.g., degree/diploma certificates).
Signatures from your supervisor(s)/references for the project(s) are recorded in the experience section.
A copy of your contact hours certificate from the training institute.
You have 90 days to provide all the documentation to PMI. The audit itself takes only 5-7 business days to complete. Ask your references to send you their signed copies of the project management experience verification, and you can pack all the documents in a single envelope and send it to PMI at this address:
PMI Attn: Certification Audit
14 Campus Blvd.
Newtown Square, PA 19073-3299
Now that you understand how to fill the major sections of the PMP application in 2021, gather all the information you need and get started.
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