Whew!  I'm finally scheduled to take the PMP exam at the end of February.


Initially I thought I just showed up at the test site, paid a fee and took the test.  Au contraire! 


Admittedly, I have a deadline.  I want to take the test before it's revised and I'm playing catch-up.  But be aware that scheduling the test is a bit more complicated.  It was further complicated by the help desk at PMI telling me I didn't need to do anything to provide the information on education units unless I was audited.  That's not the case.


So, here's what I had to do:


  1. Gather all the information outlined in the PMP exam information.  It would have taken a whole lot longer if I hadn't had things together:
    • Contact information — email, address, phone number
    • Education attained — school attended, level of education attained, degree date
    • Domain experience — details of the projects, programs, portfolios you’ve worked on including qualifying hours, dates of employment, role, organization details, reference, and experience summary
    • Domain education — names of courses completed, institutions attended, dates, qualifying hours
  2. Go to the PMI site and log in (or don't if you're not a member)…
  3. Contact information I assume everyone has off the top of their heads, as I did
  4. Education attained - not only the highest degree and institution, I needed the address of that institution
  5. Domain experience - this was really hard for me as a consultant as I typically run multiple projects concurrently at different companies, all under the auspices of my own consulting firm.  Sometimes I sub-contract.  Typically I run all phases of any project; sometimes I'm teaching; sometimes I'm coaching.  The moral of the story is to be ready with the hours per phase.  I can back up the hours per project with billing, but the hours per phase is a little different.  I do know, however, which projects needed what percentage of work in various phases so I was able to be pretty accurate.
  6. The education - jeez!  I ran through a program with 1 and 2 hour sessions, so I had to enter every one of them - the company, the name, the hours, etc..  There were just under 30 sessions, but it stopped having me enter data after the application requirement was met.
  7. I submitted the application.  The instructions said a response would come in 5 business days.  It came in 4 days.
  8. Before scheduling the exam, I had to pay the fee.  That sets me up for a year.  I also had to grab my driver's license to be sure the information I entered for testing matched exactly.
  9. I waited (briefly) to get the confirmation and the all-important confirmation number
  10. There are exam locations in my area (Silicon Valley), so next up was to pick a center and schedule the exam using the confirmation number.  That autofilled most of the information.
  11. I got an email response (plus printed the receipt) with all the information.

I do know that the rules at the test center are pretty strict.  You can't bring anything in the room with you - if you choose to wear a sweater, for some reason IT CAN'T COME OFF.  I have no idea why that would be, but I find it pretty irritating - a 4 hour test in god knows what temperature and I'm not allowed to be comfortable?  Apparently you can take a break for food or water.  The instructions say that scratch paper and 2 pencils or a whiteboard and markers will be supplied; if you need more paper they take away what you have.


  Now I'm off to study and take practice tests.  Wish me luck!