During my PMP exam preparation I encountered many myths regarding the PMP exam and application filing procedure, which causes me a lot of trouble and headaches.
I believe that this may happen with you as well.
However, if you trust any these rumors, your preparation may be badly affected, you may feel demoralized, and it can lead you in the wrong direction.
Therefore, it is very important for you to have correct information about the exam process and procedure before you apply for the exam and start your preparation.
In this blog post I am going to bust six of the most popular PMP exam myths which you might be thinking are true.
I hope this blog post will help you understand the process better, and you can focus on studying with confidence.
Okay, let’s get started.
Myth I: You must score above 61% to pass the PMP exam
This is the king of all myths.
In fact, up to November 2005 this was not a myth, and the passing score for the PMP exam was 61%. After November 30, 2005, PMI has stopped publishing the passing percentage, and adopted a different strategy. Therefore, this assumption is not true anymore. Now PMI uses a psychometric analysis to calculate the passing score.
This means that harder questions have more worth than the easier questions. So you get a higher score if you answer the harder questions correctly, and a lower score if you answer the easier questions correctly. The minimum score needed to pass is determined by the overall difficulty of your individual exam.
Only PMI knows the approximate percentage for passing the exam, no one else. Therefore, I suggest you stop thinking about passing score, prepare well, and aim for more than 80%.
Myth II: The PMP certification will get you a higher salary
Of course the PMP certification will help you excel in your career, and your peers will see you as an expert, but there is no guarantee that it will get you a raise in salary.
Although the PMP certification may help you get a better job with a better salary and earn you respect with your management, there is still no guarantee that this will increase your salary. It may only increase your chance of getting a salary increment, or an interview call from a new employer if you apply for a new job.
In one PMI survey it was found that the average salary of PMP certification holders had risen. However, past records are not a guarantee of future performance; you should not have any illusions that this certification will get you an immediate salary increase.
Myth III: PMI uses applicant profiles for auditing
Many myths are circulating regarding the PMI audit process. Many people say that PMI selects certain kinds of profiles for its audit purpose. You might also hear many other types of rumors, but you should ignore them completely.
As per PMI, the exam application audit process is completely random. You may or may not be selected for the audit regardless of your profile. Therefore, you must be fully prepared to face the audit process in case if you are selected for auditing.
It is in your best interest to be 100% truthful to PMI while filling out the application form. Keep all documents that you have claimed on your application form handy, such as experience certificates, training certificates, etc.
Inform your bosses that you are applying for the PMP exam, and that they may be contacted by PMI for your experience verification.
Myth IV: You must memorize Input, Tool & Technique and Output (ITTO)
You should not waste your time memorizing these ITTOs. By trying to do so not only you will waste your time but you will also fail the logic behind these ITTOs. PMI wants you to understand ITTOs, not memorize them.
Moreover, it is not possible for you to memorize these ITTOs unless you have God-given special memorizing powers. Also, PMI words their questions in such a way that even if you have memorized a few ITTOs, you may not be able to answer the questions based on these ITTOs.
If you want to understand ITTOs, read the PMBOK Guide as many times as you can. Try to understand the logic behind these ITTOs and visualize the process flow.
Myth V: You need 35 PDUs to apply for the PMP exam
People often confuse contact hours with PDU. Please note that you need 35 contact hours before you apply for the PMP certification exam, not PDUs.
You need not worry about the PDU until you become a PMP. Once you become a PMP, you need 60 PDUs on every three years to maintain your PMP credential.
There is a difference between the PDUs and contact hours. Keep in mind that contact hours are required before you apply for the PMP exam, and PDUs are required once you pass the PMP exam and become a PMP credential holder.
Myth VI: Only REPs can provide you with 35 contact hours training
This is also one of the most popular myths.
You can get your training from any provider regardless of whether it is a PMI approved provider or not. The only benefit of a REP (Registered Education Provider) is that their course content is pre-approved, and in the case of an audit you don’t have to show them your course content.
However, if you get your training from any non-REP and are selected for an audit, you have to show your course content to PMI to verify if it fulfills the training requirements.
Although it is not necessary, I suggest you get your 35 contact hours training from any renowned training program such as PM PrepCast.
The other advantage of REP is that their training material is reviewed by PMI, which itself gives you assurance of the quality of the product.
These are six popular myths about the PMP certification exam which I have tried to expose here in this blog post. There are many other myths that you might encounter on a regular basis. Moreover, sometimes PMI updates its procedures, causing old procedures to become myths. Therefore, I suggest you visit the PMI site on a regular basis and read the PMP handbook to stay current.
This blog post is based on the article written by Cornelius Fichtner, a world famous PMP trainer and creator of PM PrepCast (35 Contact Hours Training Program), and PM Exam Simulator, and published here with permission from the author. The original article can be found by clicking here.
(Please note that none of above courses are personally reviewed by me. Read the disclaimer.)