Students must convince the Project Management Institute (PMI)® that they have the necessary project management experience before they can apply for an exam.
Over the years, Velopi has developed its “Experience Calculator” tool based on which applications have been successful and which have not.
This tool allows students to enter their project hours and to describe the projects they have worked on within the constraints they will encounter in the actual online application form.
Your Velopi trainer will review your application to ensure that you use the appropriate PMI® terminology while, at the same time, avoiding industry-specific terms that might not be understood by the PMI® assessors. This step is a big help to getting your application accepted. Of course, choosing Velopi, an Authorized Training Partner (ATP), in the first place also increases the odds that your application will be accepted without being audited.
First Obstacle: Applying for the PMP® Exam
While there is quite a bit of work involved preparing for and sitting the four-hour, PMP® exam, many interested candidates never get beyond the online application form.
The main reason for this relates to the section where you must fill out your previous project management experience. There are many restrictions here. For instance, you may only consider projects that you have managed in the past eight years. Projects cannot overlap and they must total a certain number of hours and months!
Velopi noticed that its early students struggled with this and developed its PMP® Experience Calculator to assist. Divided into two sections, the calculator prompts the candidate for all the relevant information.
Section 1: Project Dates
The candidate is asked to fill in a little table for each of the projects they managed:
They only need to fill in the shaded sections – the total hours and months taken for the project are calculated automatically, for instance:
Calculations are based on the Project Management Institute’s requirements. When the candidate has provided all the individual projects, a grand total is provided to show if you have reached the overall experience target:
In this example, we are close, but not quite there yet. Please note that it is assumed that you are working 100% of the time on these projects. If you have managed two projects simultaneously, you will need to adjust the dates to ensure that they do not overlap but you get the credit for the hours spent on each.
Section 2: Project Descriptions
The original requirement for project descriptions was a maximum of 550 characters. However, the PMI® realized that this does not allow a PMP® exam candidate much room to describe their contributions to projects and now require a minimum of 200 words instead. The Experience Calculator includes example project descriptions and space for your descriptions.
The Velopi Review
Probably the most useful assistance Velopi provides is a review of your finished Experience Calculator. An experienced Velopi trainer will examine your project details and point out any problems, such as overlapping, or out-of-date projects. We also review the project descriptions, highlighting issues such as using the passive voice. The Project Management Institute is interested in what you did in your project management role specifically, so using the passive voice or “we” instead of “I” creates the impression that someone else carried out the work.
We will only recommend that a Velopi student proceeds with the online submission when we are confident that the application has a good chance of being accepted.