Are you considering taking the PMP (Project Management Professional) exam to boost your project management career? Congratulations on taking this significant step!

As you embark on your PMP journey, one of the critical steps is the exam application process. While it may seem daunting, understanding the PMP exam application process and requirements can make the entire experience smoother and more manageable.

In this article, we will walk you through the application process, providing you with a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the application process with confidence. We will cover important details such as eligibility requirements, application submission, documentation, and tips for a successful application.

If you’re looking to get PMP certified in as little as 2 weeks, please sign up for our free training to learn how!

What is the PMP Certification Exam? 

The Project Management Professional (PMP) certification exam is a globally recognized and highly regarded credential offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI). It is designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge, skills, and competence in project management based on the PMI’s framework as outlined in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK). 

The PMP certification exam consists of 180 multiple-choice questions that cover a wide range of project management topics, including project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring and controlling, and closing. 

The exam is rigorous and requires thorough preparation and understanding of project management principles, practices, and concepts. 

Successful completion of the PMP certification exam validates a candidate’s project management expertise and can open doors to new career opportunities in the field of project management.

Overview Of The PMP Exam Application Process

The Application process is a comprehensive set of steps to obtain the professional certification from Project Management Institute (PMI). It requires extensive preparation to ensure eligibility and successful completion.

The main criteria for starting an application are that applicants must meet the eligibility requirements. Please refer to the diagram below: 

PMP exam eligibility

The PMP exam application process consists of several key steps, and it is outlined below:

  1. Confirm Eligibility: Before beginning the PMP exam application process, candidates must ensure they meet the eligibility requirements set by the Project Management Institute (PMI), including the education, project management experience, and project management education requirements.
  2. Create a PMI Account: Candidates need to create an account on the PMI website ( if they don’t already have one. This account will be used for the PMP exam application, scheduling the exam, and accessing exam results.
  3. Complete the Application: Candidates must complete the application form, providing accurate and detailed information about their project management experience, education, and other required details. The application requires candidates to document their project management experience, including the number of hours and months spent on various project management tasks.
  4. Application Review: Once the application is submitted, it will be reviewed by PMI for completeness and accuracy. PMI may request additional documentation or clarification during the review process. It is essential to ensure that all information provided in the application is accurate and supported by relevant documentation.
  5. Payment of Exam Fee: After the application is reviewed and approved, candidates need to make the payment for the exam. 
  6. Schedule the Exam: Once the exam fee is paid, candidates will receive an eligibility ID from PMI. Candidates can then use this ID to schedule their PMP exam with Pearson VUE, the official testing partner of PMI.
  7. Prepare for the Exam: Candidates should use the time between application submission and the exam date to thoroughly prepare for the PMP exam. This may include studying the PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge) guide, reviewing study materials, taking practice exams, and participating in exam prep courses.
  8. Take the Exam: On the scheduled exam day, candidates must report to the Pearson VUE testing center with appropriate identification documents as per PMI’s requirements. The PMP exam is a computer-based exam consisting of 200 multiple-choice questions to be completed within a four-hour time frame.
  9. Receive Exam Results: After completing the exam, candidates will receive their preliminary exam results immediately. If the exam is passed, candidates will receive their official PMP certification within a few weeks via email, and the certification will be valid for three years.

Where Do I Get The Application Form?

To apply for the PMP exam, candidates can access the application form on the official website of the Project Management Institute (PMI) at The PMP exam application process is entirely online, and candidates will need to create an account on the PMI website to start their application. 

Once logged in, candidates can access the PMP application form, which requires them to enter their personal and professional details, education and experience information, and payment for the exam fee.

Once the applicant has obtained a copy of the application form, they must ensure that it is complete and accurate before submitting it to PMI. Applicants should review all information on the form carefully and make sure all required documents are attached when sending the completed application package. 

Completing The PMP Exam Application Form

Completing the application form is a critical step in the certification process. The application form, available on the Project Management Institute (PMI) website, requires candidates to provide comprehensive information about their personal and professional details, education, and experience. It is essential to carefully review and accurately fill out the application form to ensure eligibility for the PMP exam.

The PMP exam application form typically includes sections for personal information such as name, contact details, and professional credentials. Candidates are also required to provide details of their education, including degrees or certifications earned. The experience section of the application form requires candidates to document their project management experience, including the number of hours spent on each project and the duration of the projects.

Additionally, candidates may need to provide details of their professional references who can verify their project management experience. The application also require candidates to answer questions related to their project management skills, knowledge areas, and industry-specific experience.

It is important to thoroughly review and double-check the information provided in the application form for accuracy and completeness. Any discrepancies or incomplete information may result in delays or rejection of the application. Candidates should also be prepared to provide supporting documentation such as transcripts, certificates, or employment verification if requested by PMI during the application review process.

Once the application is completed and submitted, PMI will review it for compliance with the eligibility requirements. Upon successful verification, candidates will receive instructions on how to schedule their PMP exam. It’s crucial to follow the instructions provided by PMI carefully to ensure a smooth and successful exam application process.

How Do I Submit My PMP Application?                         

Submitting your PMP application requires careful attention to detail. This includes thoroughly checking the application form itself, verifying correct spelling and grammar throughout the document and ensuring accuracy of information related to your educational qualifications and any applicable certifications. 

Additionally, make sure that you have provided evidence of your professional experience as outlined by PMI requirements. After completing these steps and double-checking for errors, you can submit your completed application.

Once submitted successfully, your application will be reviewed by PMI staff who will determine whether you meet eligibility criteria for taking the PMP exam—if so, they will provide authorization for scheduling an exam date with Pearson Vue testing centers worldwide.

Paying The PMP Exam Application Fee

The PMP Exam Application Fee is the final stage of the application process. Before submitting your application, you must pay a non-refundable fee of $555 for non-members or $405 for PMI members. 

You will receive an email confirmation once your payment has been processed and accepted. Please save this email as it serves as proof of payment should any discrepancies arise later on in the exam registration process.

Please allow up to 72 hours for processing times for PMI to approve your application.

Using The PMI Portal To Track Your Application Status

Once the application fee is paid, what’s next? How does one track the progress of their application status? Using the PMI Portal to Track Your Application Status allows you to do just that. But how can it be done effectively?

The project manager should access their profile in the PMI portal and navigate to ‘My Dashboard’. Here they will find information related to applications for certifications such as PMP or CAPM; this includes a list of all active applications with information on current statuses.

To view further details about an individual application, the user simply needs to select “View Details” associated with the specific certification type. This will provide additional data regarding each step in the process including confirmation dates when documents were received by Project Management Institute (PMI). The applicant may also update contact information as needed while tracking their application status through this platform.

If after reviewing a particular application there are still questions related to its status, individuals have options available to them. They should consider contacting customer service directly via email or phone call where staff members can assist applicants in understanding any discrepancies between expected and actual results.

How Do I Fill In The Project Management Education Section?

Filling in the Project Management Education Section for a PMP Exam Application requires following these steps:

1. Ensure that all relevant educational experience has been included and is accurate. This includes any college-level courses, degrees education certificates or certifications related to project management.

2. List each course separately on the application, including title, date of completion (month/year), number of hours completed, and institution name if applicable.

The information you provide should be verified against official transcripts or certificates prior to submission of your PMP exam application package so it can be accurately reviewed by the credentialing body.

How Long Does It Take To Complete A PMP Application?

It can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to complete your PMP application, depending on the how many projects you will submit.

The time required to complete the application may also depend on your level of readiness and organization. If you have your project management experience and education details readily available, and you are familiar with the PMP eligibility requirements and the application process, you may be able to complete the application relatively quickly.

What Happens After You Apply For PMP?

After you submit your PMP application, PMI will review your application for completeness and eligibility. The review process typically takes 5 business days, but it may take longer during peak periods.

During the review process, PMI may contact you if there are any questions or clarifications needed regarding your application. It’s important to promptly respond to any requests from PMI to avoid delays in the review process.

Once your application is accepted and you meet the eligibility requirements, PMI will send you an email with instructions on how to proceed with scheduling your PMP exam. You will be able to schedule your exam through the Pearson VUE website or by contacting the Pearson VUE customer service.

After scheduling your exam, you will receive a confirmation email from Pearson VUE with details about the exam location, date, and time. It’s essential to carefully review the exam details and make necessary preparations for the exam day, including studying the PMP Exam Content Outline, reviewing study materials, and preparing any required identification documents.

On the exam day, you will need to bring valid identification, follow the exam center’s rules and regulations, and complete the PMP exam within the designated time limit. Once you complete the exam, you will receive your results immediately on the screen. If you pass the exam, you will receive a congratulatory email from PMI with instructions on how to obtain your PMP certification. If you do not pass, you will receive a report indicating areas where you need to improve and can schedule a re-exam if needed.

Overlapping Projects

When applying for the PMP certification, you may encounter a situation where you have overlapping projects, meaning you are managing multiple projects concurrently or have managed projects that overlap in terms of their timelines. 

If you have projects that overlap, you should indicate the overlapping periods in your application, specifying the start and end dates for each project accurately.

PMI understands that overlapping projects are common in the project management profession, and they do allow for this in the application process.

How do I write my Project Experience or Project Description? 

When writing your project experience for your PMP application, it is important to provide a clear and concise account of your role and responsibilities in the project. Here are some tips on how to write an effective project experience or project description:

  1. Clearly state the project details: Begin by providing a brief overview of the project, including the project name, organization, duration, and scope. Clearly state the objectives and outcomes of the project.
  2. Describe your role: Highlight your role in the project and the specific responsibilities you held. Clearly articulate your project management tasks and activities, such as planning, scheduling, risk management, stakeholder management, and team coordination. Provide quantitative and qualitative details, such as the size and complexity of the project, the team size, and any specific challenges you faced.
  3. Showcase your achievements: Highlight the results and achievements of the project, such as meeting project goals, delivering within budget and timeline, achieving quality standards, and overcoming challenges. Use metrics and data to quantify your achievements, if possible.
  4. Use appropriate language: Use clear and concise language to describe your project experience. Avoid jargon or technical terms that may not be familiar to the PMP assessors. Use action verbs and provide specific examples to demonstrate your project management skills.
  5. Follow the PMI guidelines: Ensure that your project experience or project description aligns with the PMI’s requirements and guidelines. Refer to the PMI’s PMP Handbook and application instructions to understand the specific requirements for documenting your project experience.
  6. Review and revise: Proofread and review your project experience or project description for accuracy, clarity, and completeness. Seek feedback from colleagues or mentors to ensure that your description is clear and compelling.

What if I only have a high school diploma? 

If you have only a high school diploma, you can still be eligible to apply for the PMP exam, but you would need to meet additional experience requirements. Instead of 3 years of work experience, you will need 5 years of project management experience if you only have a high school diploma. 

Should I become a PMI member? 

Membership with PMI can provide access to a global community of professionals, opportunities for knowledge sharing, and staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in project management. Becoming a PMI member is not mandatory to pursue PMI certifications, but members do pay reduced examination fees. The cost savings make it worthwhile to become a member. 

What counts as formal project management education? How Do I obtain my 35 contact hours? 

Formal project management education typically refers to structured programs or courses that are specifically designed to provide comprehensive knowledge and skills related to project management. This can include formal education programs offered by accredited educational institutions such as universities, colleges, or specialized project management training providers.

It is important to note that you need 35 Contact Hours of project management training to qualify for your exam. 

What Should I Do If I Notice Errors After I Submit My Application?

Before submitting the PMP exam application, it is important to review the information carefully. It is essential to check for correct spelling of names, addresses and contact details as well as any other relevant information provided in the form. 

Any errors or discrepancies should be reported immediately by emailing the project management institute (PMI). Once notified, PMI will investigate and rectify any issues if necessary.

In cases where applications have been submitted but not accepted due to incorrect details being supplied or incomplete forms, applicants can ask for a refund from PMI after checking that their application does not meet requirements. This must be done within 90 days of submission otherwise no refunds are available.

What Happens If My Application Gets Rejected?

This section will explain what steps they should take if your PMP application is declined.

The first step upon receiving notice that your PMP exam application has been rejected is to read through the notification carefully. This document contains detailed information regarding why your request was not accepted and provides guidance on how you can address any issues with future submissions. It is important to review and understand each item listed in order to make sure proper corrections are made prior to resubmission.

In most cases, applications are denied due to incomplete or incorrect information being provided when filling out forms and documents. Applicants must therefore double-check every entry before submitting their paperwork as even minor errors can lead to refusal from the board overseeing the exam process.

All data must be accurate and complete in order for applications to be approved – any discrepancies or omissions may result in disqualification from further consideration.

What Happens If I’m Selected For A PMI Audit?

Should PMI deem an application requires further investigation, you may be selected for an audit. In such a case, applicants should expect to receive correspondence requesting additional evidence and/or documents related to their stated qualifications.

The following steps may occur during an a PMI audit process:

1. Documentation Request: Applicants are required to provide proof of any educational credentials, professional experience or training reported on their applications form

2. Review Process: An official review team then reviews all documentation submitted by the applicant against PMI standards and procedures before making a decision regarding approval of the application;

3. Audit Outcome Notification: Once the review and audit process is complete, applicants will receive notification of the outcome being either approved or rejected along with details about next steps if applicable.

As part of its commitment to quality assurance, PMI conducts audits periodically but only when necessary. It is important that candidates ensure they have provided accurate information on their applications to avoid delays in processing times or possible rejection due to incomplete data.

Should any discrepancies arise between what was reported on their applications versus what has been found through auditing processes, corrective action may take place as deemed appropriate by PMI’s governing body at its sole discretion.


The PMP application process is a critical component of certification. It requires careful attention to detail, as any mistakes can lead to potential delays or denials.

The successful completion and submission of the form is a crucial first step for project managers in pursuit of this valuable credential.

To ensure success, applicants should review all instructions carefully prior to submitting their applications. Additionally, it’s essential that they double-check for errors before sending in the completed forms.

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