Are you interested in becoming a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®) in Nigeria?

Owing to the vast recognition and acceptance of project management by organizations, industries and government agencies worldwide, those who obtain project management certification, be it the PMP®, PRINCE2, or ITIL, tend to demonstrate a proficient level of project management skills.

The PMP® certification, which is one of the most globally recognized certificate in project management, is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) in the United States.

Why a PMP® Certification?

There are millions of project managers worldwide but most are not PMP® certified, yet. So, why do you want to get your certification?

When hiring project managers, most companies often look for the PMP® certification to screen incoming resumes and prioritize candidates for interviews. So the holder of the PMP® certificate tend have an edge over other competitors and they also attract higher salaries than non-certified project managers.

Steps to Get Your PMP® Certification

1. Reviewing The Requirements: You need to start by downloading the PMI’s PMP® Handbook. In that handbook, you will get a detailed overview of the requirements, process, and examination.

2. Getting the Necessary Education Hours and Experience: Make sure you meet the education and training hours set by PMI before deciding to apply for the PMP® certification. You should have at least 35 contact hours of formal project management training. If you are a Bachelor’s degree holder, you must have a minimum of three years (36 months) of unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience with at least 4,500 hours spent leading and directing project tasks. If you are a high school diploma holder, you must have a minimum of five years (60 months) of unique, non-overlapping professional project management experience, during which at least 7,500 hours are spent leading and directing project tasks. However, those hours need to have been accrued during the last eight consecutive years. You also need experience with each of the five process groups, though not on every project. Make sure to review the PMI credentials guide as it provides more details on this section.

3. Filling Out The PMI’s PMP® Application: I strongly recommend you use the online application process but reviewing the paper-based one can give you a sense of the information required. You will need to take your time and fill in all the necessary details that are needed.

4. How Much Does It Cost: After you submit your application, PMI will review it for completeness. A predefined number of applicants are selected for physical audit at random. So if your application is accepted, you will be informed if you are required to go through an audit. If you are chosen for audit, you will need to submit hard copies of your credentials (education, work experience and training). An audit may take up to 6 weeks to get approval. If you are not required to go through the audit, you receive the “Authorization to Test” letter within a week’s time. For the cost, if you are a PMI member before submitting your application, the cost of the exam is $405. But if you are not a member, the cost is $555. You can use your credit card to make payment.

5. Getting Approval and Scheduling a Date for Your PMP® Examination: Once your application is approved, you have one-year eligibility period in which to pass the PMP® exam. So, schedule the exam date well in advance in order to prepare well. During this eligibility period, you may take the examination up to three times because candidates may not pass the exam on their first attempt. There is a fee charged for re-examination. If you fail three times in a year, you must wait one year to reapply.

6. How To Schedule an Appointment for the Certification Exam: For detailed instructions on how to schedule your examination, click to review the PMI’s official Examination Scheduling Instructions. It includes step-by-step guide on how to schedule your exam. In addition, it explains the cancellation policies as well as what to do when you arrive at the testing center.

7. Where Will I Take The PMP® Certification Exam: The PMI does not perform the test themselves instead it is administered around the world through an organization named Thomson Prometric. You can find locations in your area by visiting the Prometric website. Depending on where you live you may have to travel quite far to take the exam. As a result, you definitely want to schedule this well in advance.

8. Gather Study Materials and Prepare for the Exam: A must-have material is the PMI’s Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®) Guide. Roughly 75 per cent of the questions on the PMP® Exam come from the PMBOK® Guide. You need this guide for reference but you will need other prep materials to supplement it. There are lots of prep materials on the internet and project management books in local stores that can assist you in preparing for your PMP® exam. You can also study and learn from the experiences of other successful PMPs. Becoming a member of PMI Nigeria Chapter can also make sense because most chapters offer PMP Prep Workshops. You will also have a chance to meet PMP aspirants like yourself and you can form a study group.

9. Practise With Simulators: There are organizations online that offer good PMP® exam simulation software. They model exams and offer them to you as if they are real exams conducted by PMI If you get 80 per cent of the questions right, you should be ready for the actual PMP® exam.

10. Taking The Exam: Examinations are held twice a day on all working days. It is a 4-hour test consisting of 200 questions, out of which 25 questions are pretest. Do not under-estimate how challenging it is to stay focused for this many questions over so many hours. It can be mentally and physically exhausting so make sure you have some extended practice times to get used to the pressure. Do not forget to take your ID with you.

Some Tips:

  • The best way to be confident is to be prepared.
  • Do not waste so much time on one question. Tell the exam system to mark the question for review, making it easier to find it later.
  • There are often at least two reasonable answers for each multiple choice question. Your prep material can provide some pointers on what PMI is looking for.
  • Try and get a good night’s sleep the night before the exam. Being refreshed and having slept enough is important.
  • Before the exam starts there is a short tutorial that explains how to use the computer and software. Don’t skip it. There is important information in the tutorial.

If you require a training center or study materials for your exams and you live in Nigeria, you can contact me.

Congratulations on starting your journey toward gaining the Project Management Professional (PMP®) certification!

Join our Project Management Nigeria group on Facebook where we share and discuss project management ideas and projects news and updates in Nigeria. You can also follow on Twitter @Project_Nigeria.

PMI, PMP, and PMBOK are trademarks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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Jerry Ihejirika

Owner and Editor-in-Chief at Jerry Ihejirika
Jerry Ihejirika is a Digital Marketing Specialist and an experienced Project Management/Social Media Blogger. He is passionate about promoting project management by leveraging social media. Jerry has a Bachelor’s degree in Project Management Technology from the Federal University of Technology Owerri. He is looking forward to having his PMP, PRINCE2 and ITIL Certifications. Jerry has created social media groups on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn where he shares his ideas, knowledge, tips, opinion, and news on project management and social media, and also engages with other group members. If you are searching for a full-time, part-time or contract-based digital marketing professional to handle all your digital marketing efforts, then Jerry is the right person for you. Contact him at jerryihejirika@yahoo.com.