PMP® Exam Application - How to Record Your Project Experience

The Requirement

A section of the PMP exam application requires you to document your project leadership experience. Your title doesn't have to be "project manager." 

Depending on your formal education, here are the minimums:

  • Bachelors Degree or higher: 4,500 hours
  • Diploma or Associates Degree: 7,500 hours

Complete details of the requirements are contained in a PMI publication titled The PMP Handbook.

The Format

As you enter your experience, PMI exam application reviewers will be looking for a format that follows the five Process Groups found in the Project Management Body of Knowledge. You may use an abbreviation for each section, or you may use the entire word. Put it in capital letters so the reviewer can easily spot it. Here is the format:

OBJECTIVE (or OBJ): Describe what your project was supposed to accomplish, at a high level. You might say, "Develop a software module to handle customer credit card payments." 

INITIATING (or IN): What documents or other proof (the reviewers call them "deliverables") came from your Initiating processes? You could say, "Prepared the project charter for signature."

PLANNING (or PL): What "deliverables" were produced? Examples include the Project Management Plan, the Project Schedule, the Project Budget and other subsidiary management plans.

EXECUTING (or EX): What "deliverables" were produced? Examples include the production of the deliverables of your project. If your objective was to build 100,000 coffee mugs, then you might describe your work as "manufactured mugs." 

MONITORING & CONTROLLING (or MC): Describe your work in auditing and adjusting your EXecuting processes.

CLOSING (or CL): Describe your work in seeking the customer's final acceptance and transfer of title to the customer. You may also describe your lessons-learned meeting and the financial and administrative close of the project.

Do It Right the First Time, to Speed Your Approval

Now that you know what the reviewers are trained to look for, you can make sure your PMP exam application has the greatest chance of fast approval.