Risk Management Professional Guide and Study Plan

PMI-RMP Study Plan 

I wrote this study plan based on my experience passing the exam from the first trial and my experience helping professionals preparing for the exam, following the steps listed below helped hundreds of students pass the PMI-RMP exam from their first trial.

By Shadi Al-Sha’er , PMP® , RMP® , PRINCE2 Practitioner ®, November,30th,2018

In the past few years, I have been involved with hundreds of professionals who would like to have the PMI-RMP Certificate, the frequently asked question is:  I don’t know from where to begin the journey?

The Detailed study plan explained below was created by me relying on my own experience preparing and passing the PMI-RMP Exam and from the lessons learned I received from students i teach.

The Plan below is divided into 14 Steps, with busy professionals who cannot give more than 10 hours a week, the journey below is expected to take 6-10 weeks.

Take less than an hour to read the Study plan carefully, this plan will save a lot of your time and efforts!

Step one: Do you want to be a PMI-RMP Certified?

How much time and money are required?

First of all you should have the serious intent to be a PMI-RMP Certified, this intent might come from the career path you have in the project risk management field or from your passion to improve your knowledge in this field, wherever it’s coming from, the PMI-RMP is a great career enhancement for professional Risk or Project managers or people who would like to build a career in project management, Once you have this intent and you are willing to invest your time and money, you can be a PMI-RMP Certificate holder after two to three months from this moment maximum. Unless you recently passed the PMP certificate, then you can get prepared for the PMI-RMP exam with 6 weeks maximum.

Are you eligible for the PMI-RMP exam? As per the PMI Standards you must have a Secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or the global equivalent) , 4,500 hours of project risk management experience and 40  hours of project risk management education OR you should have a four year Degree, 3,00 hours of project risk management and 30 hours of project risk management education.

The PMI-RMP exam fess is $520 for members and $670 for Non Members, So It’s better and money saving to register on the PMI with the fees of $129 and $10 of application fees, especially if you are willing to have more than a certificate from the Project management Institute.  for more details about the PMI requirements for the PMI-RMP Exam and the exam fees , you can check the PMI.org website  .

The total cost of this journey will be the Exam fees, Reference book cost, 30 contact hours and miscellaneous costs of supportive documents and courses, If you have the self-learning ability, I will guide you how to get 100% prepared for the PMI-RMP Exam with only $90 including the 30 contact hours and reference book! So the total cost of the PMI-RMP Preparation journey will be around 750$ ( Including Exam fees, 30 Contact hours, reference book and Simulated tests), If you prefer going to a live classroom in your city to get the educational 30 contact hours then the cost of the journey might reach $1,500 to $2,000 .

Most of the project risk management practitioners can afford the $2,000 to get ready for the exam and apply for it; the real issue is the time investment! Like most of us are having a full time job and family you want find the most effective way to get ready, the step by step study plan I prepared based on my experience will save your time, no need to search the web for tons of useless data, 10 hours per week for 8-12 weeks following exactly this plan will guarantee your success from the first attempt.

Step Two: Get your reference book.

Pick your reference book! You will hear from other PMI-RMP credentials that having the 30 hours of education before reading the PMI-RMP reference book is better, but in my opinion reading the reference book you selected for one time at least will be much more effective, this is what I advise my students to do before they attend my workshops, Why? Once you start reading the reference book you will start pointing the topics where you have weaknesses, you will have a good general knowledge of the content, what are the Risk Management processes you want to focus on during the 30 hours training, this is the reason why I advise you to read the book, know what is the content of the training before you join it, highlight all topics you need to improve your knowledge in then go for the educational training, for sure you heard about  the PMBOK 5th Edition, a Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide), For me , It was not the perfect reference to depend on , It is more useful for project management practitioners rather than people preparing for the PMP/PMI-RMP exam,  The way and the approach of this book doesn’t make things easier, for a lot of PMI-RMP Credentials who I know personally, It was not the reference they used, even I read it after I passed the PMP Exam just for the reason of making the study notes of the PMI-RMP Exam which you can see here on this blog . But still it is not my recommendation, you can purchase this book on the price of $41 which is the best price in the market from Amazon,  For me,the best in the market is the Risk Management Tricks of the trade for Project Managers and PMI-RMP Exam Prep Guide , 2nd Edition Rita Mulcahy’s, This edition is the worldwide best-selling PMI-RMP® exam preparation book, and It’s my recommendation, an amazing book using an approach which encourage the reader to read more and more , this book focuses on the PMI-RMP Exam requirements with a lot of tricks and notes from the author which are mentioned clearly, at the end of this book you will have a test with 100 valuable questions, so practicing those questions will increase your probability to pass the exam from the first trial, for me this is the best reference and you can rely on to prepare for the exam. The prices of this book as well are reasonable, you can purchase for $27 from amazon which is the best price in the market,  Reading the reference book for the first time should not take more than 2 weeks, during the first round, highlight the important topics, have a note of points you didn’t understand in order to focus on in the 30 hours training. Remember that you are reading the book now for the reason of highlighting the points you didn’t understand before the class , so you should do , make sure you have this list, another reference you will use is the Practice Standard for Project Risk Managementa 100 pages supportive document with 9 chapters, going through the principles and concepts of the risk management,then moving through the six Risk management processes with deep explanation of the tools and techniques used in each process. If you are a PMI member you can download this guide for free from the PMI.org website, if you are not, you check the book on amazon market place here.  I have wrote a detailed review of books i used to prepare for my PMI-RMP which you can find in the reference book/guide page.

Step Two (Alternative)

During my experience helping professionals being PMI-RMP certified, i met portion of people who don’t want to start reading about a topic which they  know nothing about, so reading the reference book without having a high level background  is not a good option , however attending the 30 educational hours now isn’t my recommendation, the best is to attend a short training course to have a high level knowledge about the exam content, iCertify Institute have a created a 2.5 hours of recorded videos going through the 6 risk management processes of the PMI-RMP, It’s highly recommended to start with and you can enroll here for this course with $12 only.

Once you are done with it, get your reference book before you move to the next step .

Step Three: Attend the 30 educational Contact hours ( Live Class , Webinar or Udemy )

Nowadays getting the 30 contact hours is very easy, it’s your call! Do you prefer attending a live class around? do a simple search in the place you are living in and register for a live class training, usually it costs from 500$ to 1,200 $ depending in the place you are living in, currency and instructor repetition, the issue of attending such classes that you need to fit your timing to suit the instructor timing, and it’s usually intensive, instructors are giving the whole material of the PMI-RMP Exam within 3 to 7 days, usually students cannot acknowledge this amount of data within such short time, but still I know students who prefer having a live class/workshop.

The second option is registering for interactive online workshops  the instructor will do the 30 contact hours through online webinars while having 10-15 students, it’s money saving and more flexible, for attending such live interactive webinars and for more details about the upcoming live webinar course, you can contact our team at info@eliteminds.co, usually prices for such live webinars are from $200 to $400 and at the end of the course you will have a certificate of completion with 30 contact hours in risk management.

In my point of view, if you have the self-learning ability, you can be eligible for the PMI-RMP Exam with a $20 recorded videos course on Udemy, at the end of the course you will have 30 contact hours completion certification , this training should improve your knowledge in the Risk management field and prepare you to pass the exam , here is udemy PMI-RMP best seller course which I prepared myself, PMI RMP exam preparation course, 30 Contact hours for PMI, enroll through the link for only 19.99$, It’s a huge save of money comparing to the upper prices , you have more flexibility attending the course content, and whenever you have a question you can post it on the course Q&A or directly contacting the instructor .

Now it’s your decision, you can attend a live class, online interacting class or a recorded course on Udemy, the most important is to take the maximum benefits out of the course, understand the exam content and structure, Risk management processes and take a certificate of attending 30 hours of PMI-RMP education at the end of the course.

For more details about the best online courses in the market, refer to the 30 contact hours pages of this blog here.

Step Four: Get the Practice Standard for Risk Management by PMI

Now it’s the time to go deep with the risk management processes tools and techniques, The Practice Standard for Project Risk Management covers risk management as it is applied to single projects only. It does not cover risk in programs or portfolios. This practice standard is consistent with the PMBOK® Guide and is aligned with other PMI practice standards. Different projects, organizations and situations require a variety of approaches to risk management and there are several specific ways to conduct risk management that are in agreement with principles of Project Risk Management as presented in this practice standard , this book will help you answer the questions related to advanced tools and techniques used in risk management , the practice standard will take you through each risk management process with critical success factors of the process and advanced tools and techniques used with the process, expect to see a lot of questions about APENDIX D,this book is a must for the PMI-RMP exam, you can have a free download from this book if you are a PMI member, or you can purchase this book from amazon through the link here.

Step Five: Refer to the PMBOK 5th edition

A major part of the PMI-RMP exam will be testing your knowledge in Stakeholder Engagement in regards of risk management, this requires you refer back to the PMBOK 5th edition for the Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area, another domain of the exam will be about risk monitoring and reporting, reporting deals with communication management knowledge area which you need to refer back to in the PMBOK 5th edition. Who carries more risk in a specific type of contract? Expect to see such questions in the PMI RMP exam, this requires your knowledge in contracts types used in project management, advanced tools used in risk analysis requires your knowledge in the earned value math formulas.

Now to make it easy for you, below am listing the topics you need to refer to the PMBOK 5th edition to master before you go for the real PMI-RMP exam:

  1. Risk Management Knowledge Area
  2. Communications Management Knowledge Area
  3. Stakeholder Management Knowledge Area
  4. Contract Types – Procurement Management knowledge Area
  5. Math Topics ( Activity Cost/Schedule Estimates, Critical Path, Earned Value Management, Expected Monetary Value, Communication Channels, Make/Buy Analysis )

Mentioned above topics will have a good share of the PMI-RMP exam, you have to get your PMBOK 5th edition and study those topics to increase your probability passing the exam from the first trial, studying risk management processes will not be enough. If you would like to refer back to Rita’s PMP exam preparation book that’s fine, you need to refer back to the same topics, it’s my recommendation.

Step Six: Refer to the reference book again 

Now It’s the time to read the reference book again, with more focus on the important topics, you have the clear image of the PMI-RMP framework, what are the 6 process, how do the project flow from initiating to closing in regards of risk management, reading the book again will make you 70% ready to pass the PMI-RMP exam, this time with more focus and slow reading.

Step Seven: Master the PMI-RMP Math Formulas! Guarantee 10-15 Questions in Real exam!

This part is considered one of the most difficult parts of the PMI-RMP exam for the majority of the PMI-RMP candidates, the calculations and formulas questions. for all the PMI-RMP courses I provided this part have its own lecture with not less than 3-4 hours of detailed explanations in addition to 50 math questions, mastering the math concepts will take some time and efforts but it can guarantee 10 -15 correct answers in the real exam which is a good share out of the 170 questions, now it’s the time to revisit the following topics, memorize their formulas for the exam and practice some questions:

  1. Activity Cost & Duration Estimates: Simple Average, Weighted Average, Standard Deviation and activity range of estimate.
  2. Critical Path Method: Early Start, Early Finish, Late Start and Late finish, Float calculations, Critical path determination.
  3. Earned Value Management: Cost and Schedule Variances, Cost and Schedule Performance Indexes, the 4 formulas of Estimate at Completion, Estimate to Complete, To Complete performance Index and Variance at completion.
  4. Numerical & Subjective Risk Analysis: Risk Score Calculations, Expected Monetary Value, Decision Tree analysis, Contingency Reserve Calculations.
  5. Communication Channels : Communication Channels Formula
  6. Contracts Management : Make/Buy Analysis

The 6 topics should be mastered, each term I listed above have its own formula which must be memorized for the exam, you can refer here for the table where you can memorize all math formulas needed for the PMI-RMP exam.

I have prepared a course on Udemy which was above the students expectations with more than 300 enrolled and a rating of 4.9, it contains 4.5 hours of recorded videos, going through each of the 6 topics and all math formulas included, in this course I will be solving with you 50+ exam questions , I recommend in it to master the mentioned above topics and formulas , you can enroll here for 19.99$ ( Skip the project selection methods section for the PMI-RMP exam ), an additional course about the risk analysis math only can be purchased here for $9.99 only .

Check here all formulas you need to memorize for the PMI-RMP Exam .

Step Eight: Know the PMI-RMP Exam Structure and each domain Share in the exam

Knowing the exam structure will help you highlight the important domains and processes, know where to focus and from where it the biggest share of question will come. the PMI-RMP exam is composed of 170 multiple choice questions  which you have to complete in 3 hours 30 minutes,  Now to get my point out of this step, below is the table which shows the domains  percentage and exam content outline as per the PMI latest information:

Domain No. of Tasks Share % No. of Questions
Risk Strategy and Planning 5 20% 34
Stakeholder Engagement 9 20% 34
Risk Process Facilitation 7 25-28% 43
Risk Monitoring and Reporting 7 20% 34
Perform Specialized Risk Activities 3 15% 25

You need to master the 6 risk management processes! Understand deeply each of them, memorize the Inputs, tools, techniques and outputs, in addition to all related terms, give those 6 processes a lot of time, this will increase your probability passing the exam from the first attempt, advanced tools and techniques in Appendix D of the practice standard of risk management, and the chapters i mentioned above from the PMBOK 5th edition, those topics will cover the 5 domains I mentioned in the table.

What are the tasks included in each domain?

Domain 1: Risk Strategy and Planning

Task 1 Develop risk assessment processes and tools that quantify stakeholder risk tolerances in order to assess and determine risk thresholds for the project and set criteria for risk levels.
Task 2 Update risk policies and procedures using information such as lessons learned from projects and outputs of risk audits in order to improve risk management effectiveness.
Task 3 Develop and recommend project risk strategy based on project objectives in order to establish the outline for the risk management plan.
Task 4 Produce risk management plan for the project on the basis of inputs such as project information, external factors, stakeholder inputs and industry policies and procedures in order to define, fund and staff effective risk management processes for the project that align with other project plans.
Task 5 Establish evaluation criteria for risk management processes based on project baselines and objectives in order to measure effectiveness of the project risk process.

Domain 2: Stakeholder Engagement

Tasks No Description of the Tasks
Task 1 Promote a common understanding of the value of risk management by using interpersonal skills in order to foster an appropriate level of shared accountability, responsibility and risk ownership.
Task 2 Train, coach and educate stakeholders in risk principles and processes in order to create shared understanding of principles and processes, and foster engagement in risk management.
Task 3 Coach project team members in implementing risk processes in order to ensure the consistent application of risk processes.
Task 4 Assess stakeholder risk tolerance using processes and tools such as interviewing stakeholders and reviewing historical stakeholder behaviours in order to identify project risk thresholds.
Task 5 Identify stakeholder risk attitudes and cognitive biases using stakeholder analysis techniques in order to manage stakeholder expectations and responses throughout the life of the project.
Task 6 Engage stakeholders on risk prioritization process based on stakeholder risk tolerance and other relevant criteria, in order to optimize consensus regarding priorities.
Task 7 Provide risk-related recommendations to stakeholders regarding risk strategy and planning, risk process facilitation, risk reporting, and specialized risk tasks by using effective communication techniques in order to support effective risk-based decision making.
Task 8 Promote risk ownership by proactively communicating roles and responsibilities and engaging project team members in the development of risk responses in order to improve risk response execution.
Task 9 Liaise with stakeholders of other projects by using effective communication techniques and sharing information on project risk performance in order to inform them of implications for their projects.

Domain 3: Risk Process Facilitation

Tasks No Description of the Tasks
Task 1 Apply risk assessment processes and tools in order to quantify stakeholder risk tolerances and determine risk levels.
Task 2 Facilitate risk identification using a variety of techniques in order to enable the project team and stakeholders to understand and determine the risk exposure of the project.
Task 3 Facilitate the project team’s evaluation of the identified risks’ attributes using qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques in order to prioritize the risks for response planning.
Task 4 Facilitate the development of an aligned risk response strategy and related risk actions by risk owners from the information gathered during risk analysis in order to ensure timely and defined action when required.
Task 5 Facilitate the formulation of project contingency reserve based on the risk exposure of the project in order to have the capability and resources to respond to realized risks.
Task 6 Provide risk data to cost and schedule analysts /estimators to ensure that project risk is properly reflected in cost and schedule estimates for the project.
Task 7 Use scenarios to validate potential risk responses and evaluate key dependencies and requirements in order to enhance the likelihood of project success.

Domain 4: Risk Monitoring and Reporting

Tasks No Description of the Tasks
Task 1 Document and periodically update project risk information using standard tools and techniques in order to maintain a single, current repository of all project risk information.
Task 2 Coordinate with project manager using communication techniques in order to integrate risk management throughout the project.
Task 3 Create periodic standard and custom reports using risk-related metrics as specified in the risk management plan in order to communicate risk management activities and status.
Task 4 Monitor risk response metrics by analysing risk response performance information, and present to key stakeholders in order to ensure resolution of risk and develop additional risk response strategies to address residual and secondary risks.
Task 5 Analyse risk process performance against established metrics in order to drive risk process improvements.
Task 6 Update the project risk management plan using relevant internal and external inputs in order to keep the plan current.
Task 7 Capture risk lessons learned through comprehensive review of the project risk management plan, risk register, risk audits, risk process performance reports, and other associated reports in order to incorporate into future risk planning.

Domain 5: Perform Specialized Risk Activities

Tasks No Description of the Tasks
Task 1 Evaluate the attributes of identified risks using advanced quantitative tools and specialized qualitative techniques in order to estimate overall risk exposure of the project.
Task 2 Analyse risk data produced during the project using statistical analyses and expert judgement in order to determine strengths and weaknesses of risk strategy and processes and recommend process improvements when indicated.
Task 3 Perform specialized risk analysis using advanced tools and techniques in order to support stakeholder decision making for the project.

Now to have a better picture of how do the PMI-RMP exam look like, I have a created a 4 hours 30 minutes Videos Course, Solving 170 Exam Questions divided as per the table above, I will walk through each domain questions separately and explain why I selected the best answer, enroll here for 19.99 $ In the current stage of your journey, it’s not the good time to start practicing alone, few more steps to start practicing timely tested simulated tests.

Step Nine: Highlight your weaknesses and PMP Exam hot Topics

Now you know how the real PMI-RMP exam will look like, and you have been through 170 Questions divided on 5 domains, What areas the areas of weakness you have? you can answer this question once you are done with the course i mentioned in the previous step, It is very normal to have few weakness points which you need to give more attention to , in addition to the points you highlighted and you want to refer back to the reference book for, am listing below the PMI-RMP hot topics which you will encounter multiple questions about in the exam:

  1. Risk Management Plan Components, few questions in the PMI-RMP exam will test your knowledge in the risk management plan produced from the first process performed in risk management activities, you need to memorize the nine components of the risk management plan for the exam, refer here for a short article for more details about this topic.
  2. Major Tools and Techniques Used in Risk Management, as mentioned in Step Four, the practice standard for risk management and specially appendix D contains valuable information about the advanced tools and techniques used in risk management activities, this standard is very important for the PMI-RMP exam, refer here for additional information about 13 Important tools and techniques used in risk management activities such as: Assumptions Analysis , Brainstorming , Cause and effect diagram, Checklists, Delphi technique, FMEA, , nominal group techniques, Reserve Analysis, SWOT analysis and Pre-mortem .
  3. Monte Carlo Analysis, It’s the backbone of performing the numerical risk analysis during perform quantitative risk analysis process, I wrote an article with all what you need to know about this technique for the PMI-RMP exam, you can refer to this article here.
  4. Risk Responses Strategies, Strategies to deal with project threats are : Avoid, Mitigate, Transfer and Accept, Strategies to deal with opportunities are : Exploit , Enhance , Share  and Accept ,for the exam , most of the questions related to this topic will describe a risk response strategy used in a project situation planning for a risk , you need to know the risk response strategy used in the question, for more about the Risk response strategies you can refer to the article here.
  5. Contingency Reserves Vs Management Reserves. A reserve is an amount of time and/or cost added to the project to account for risks, there are two types of reserves: Contingency Reserves, to deal with known unknowns like residual risks. Management Reserves, to deal with unknown unknowns like risks that have not been identified. For the exam, you need to understand all methods you can apply to find out the required reserves (Time/Cost) for your project.
  6. Expected Monetary Value, the concept of expected monetary value is used to determine what the overall probable circumstance will be as results of the events. It’s a simple calculation of a value such as weighted average or expected cost or benefit when the outcomes are uncertain. It’s the probability weighted average of all possible outcomes and is calculated as EMV = P*I, it helps determine which risks need the most attention and should therefor moved into the plan risk response process., After calculating expected monetary value of the individual risks, you should determine whether the expected monetary value of the project ( Risk Exposure ) is within the threshold set by management, very important concept for the exam and you need to master the math calculations of the expected monetary value. The Decision tree analysis and contingency reserves calculations are based on the expected monetary value concepts as well, for more explanations about the expected monetary value concept you can refer here.
  7. Critical Path Method, It’s the longest duration path through a network diagram and determine the shortest time it could take to complete a project, for the critical path , you need to answer exam questions which will ask you about one of the following:
  • The longest path through the network diagram (Critical path) of the Project.
  • Early Start & Early finish of activities.
  • Late Start & Late finish of activities.
  • Project Float & Activities Float.

8. Earned Value Management, Earned value is used in performance reviews to measure project performance against the scope, schedule and cost baselines , integrates Cost , time and scope ( work done ) and can be used to forecast future performance and project completion dates and costs , it integrates Cost , time and scope ( work done ) and can be used to forecast future performance and project completion dates and costs , It’s performed in Monitor and control process group and usually results in change requests to the projects .

Earned Value Management includes the following terms :

  • Planned Value (PV) , As of today , what is the estimated value of the work planned to be done .
  • Earned Value (EV), As of today , what is the estimated value of the work actually accomplished.
  • Actual Cost (AC) , As of today , what is the actual cost incurred for the work accomplished.
  • Budget at completion (BAC), How much did we budget for the total project effort .
  • Estimate at completion (EAC) , What do we currently expect the total project to cost …. Forecast .
  • Estimate to Complete (ETC) , From this point on , how much more do we expect it to cost to finish this project … Forecast
  • Variance at Completion (EAC) , As of today , how much over or under budget do we expect to be at the end of the project… Forecast

Practice 5 EVM Questions Here

9. Reporting Formats / Performance Reporting, part of the manage communications process , very applicable in your real life , in the exam you will face questions describing the report and asking you which is report did the project manager used , the reporting formats are :

  • Status Reports , Describes where project currently stands
  • Progress Reports, Describes what has been accomplished.
  • Trend Report, Examine project results overtime to see if performance is improving.
  • Forecasting Report , Predicts future project status
  • Variance Report , Compares actual results to baselines
  • Earned Value report, Integrates Scope, cost and schedule measures to assess project performance.
  • Lessons learned documentation; reports on performance are used as lessons learned for future projects.

10Contracts Types, during procurement management, generally there are 3 broad categories of contracts to be used: Fixed Price (FP), Time and Material (T&M) and Cost Reimbursable, usually the procurement manager will select the contract type based on considerations such as: What’s being purchased, the completeness of the statement of work and the level of effort the buyer can devote for managing the seller. For the Exam , you need to understand the contract types and be able to recognize the difference between them , you will encounter situational questions that require you to pick the most appropriate contact type based on the situation described in the questions , Fixed Prices Contracts can be : Firm Fixed Price (FFP) , Fixed price Incentive Fee ( FPIF) and Fixed Price Economical Adjusted (FPEA) , Cost Reimbursable Contracts can be : Cost Plus Fixed Fee (CPFF) , Cost Plus Incentive Fee (CPIF) , Cost plus award fee (CPAF) and Cost plus percentage of costs (CPPC) , the risk on the buyer/seller associated with each type of contracts should be recognized for the exam, for additional valuable tips about contract types you can refer to my article here.

11.Stakeholders Analysis Models, Stakeholder analysis technique is used to analyze each stakeholder potential impact or influence to manage effectively throughout project life, Classification tools which can be used include Power/Influence grid, Power/Interest grid, Influence/impact grid & salience Model, Salience Model which describes stakeholders based on Power, Urgency, and Legitimacy.

12. ITTO’s of Communication and Stakeholder Management Knowledge Areas, It’s not enough to memorize risk management processes ITTO’s, You need to do as well for the communication and stakeholder management processes.

Step Ten: It’s the time to test your self

At this stage you are almost ready to go for the real PMI-RMP exam, one step remains before you schedule your exam date. Test your readiness for the exam, at this stage you are done with the 30 contact hours, have read the reference books needed, highlighted the hot topics of the exam , done with detailed math concepts , and familiar with the exam structure through step eight, I have created a course on Udemy platform that contains three simulated tests each with 170 questions which you need to complete in three hours thirty minutes ,overall the course contains 510 questions , my practice tests questions types I used are similar to the real exam questions, PMI-RMP exam questions are not short and direct to the point! The majority of the 170 questions are situational Such as : Which of the following describes the best action ? What’s next? What’s first to d, else than situational questions you will have long wordy questions, the concepts of this step is to check if you are ready to schedule your exam or not, Enroll first to the three simulated tests course here for $19.99 , Set in your room, open the laptop, have a plain A4 paper, with simple calculator, off your mobile and be away from any possible interruption, you have to finish the 170 Questions in 3 hours 30 minutes with a passing score of minimum 128 out of 170 .Go for practice test # 1, you will practice the second and third exams of the course in later stages .

It’s OK if you were not able to complete the 170 questions within exam time frame in the first attempt, what’s important is to get a score of +128 out of 170 questions, if you got this result, move to next step, if not, Don’t worry, just refer back to step four of this study plan and repeat tell you reach this step again, and this time use practice test # 2. Go forward with this study plan once you get a result of 128 or more.

Step Eleven: Schedule your exam 2 weeks ahead

Now it’s the time to schedule your exam date, go for the PMI.org website and follow steps below to fill your application online:

  1. Visit the Website pmi.org, Select Membership from the home page upper bar. Choose the individual membership type which will cost you 129$ + 10 $. Press on Join Now, fill in your information and create your account.
  2. Now once you are done with the PMI log in and membership process, go back to the home page and Select certifications from the home page upper bar and choose Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP) ®then press on Apply Now.
  1. Fill in your address and work address, then fill your contact information ( Email address and phone number) .
  2. Fill in your attained education information (Bachelor Degree or Diploma)
  3. Start with the Requirements overview then save and continue
  4. Press on the Project Experience Link and fill in your projects experience with the following:
  • Start and End Date of each project
  • You’re Role (Job Title) and the industry field.
  • Your Organization name and address.
  • Your reporting manager / Colleague  and his/her contact information ( Email and address )
  • Your experience divided into 5 parts, Check below as an example (you will fill only the number of hours) :

Risk Strategy and Planning: 60 Hours

Stakeholder Engagement: 250 Hours

Risk Process Facilitation: 750 Hours

Risk Monitoring and Reporting: 250 Hours

Perform Specialized Risk Activities: 125 Hours

     1 Month: 125 Hours

Note : The description of each project shall not exceed 500 characters !

Keep doing and mention all the projects you want to until you have the sum of all projects as the required hours of the exam 3,000/4,000 hours .

  1. Fill in your risk management educational hours, Title of the course , Institute name , start and end date of the course and the number of hours .
  2. Mention your name as how you want it to appear on the certificate.
  3. Read the agreement then click the box “I agree “.
  4. Review your application then submit.
  5. Pay the Exam Fees, $520 as you already a member.

Wait for the notice authorizing you either to schedule your exam or to inform you that your application will be subjected to an audit before it’s approved, Once your application is approved you can schedule your exam date two weeks ahead by checking parametric centers available in your location and their availability. Note that once you receive your authorization notice; you must pass the exam within one year.

In case your application was selected for the audit, relax, they will send you an experience audit form- Verification form – for each experience you mentioned, you should sign it from your supervisor or colleague, and send a copy of your bachelor degree certificate and your 35 contact hours training certificate, if you took one of the above courses, print the soft copy you will have at the end of the course and send it , It will be accepted for sure ( As I did it myself ) . You should send a hard copy of all these documents to the address mentioned on the PMI Website and wait for the results, It’s very rare to fail in the audit process, the only reasons of failure are: having false information “Fraud “, candidates choose not to attempt audit – one year suspension period or not being able to verify the experience or the educational hours .

Step Eleven: Practice, Practice, Practice

From my experience helping students passing the PMI-RMP exam, one of the core reasons why people fail in their first trial is the shortage of time, solving 170 questions ( Most of them are situational and long ) within 3 hours 30 minutes time frame isn’t easy! The best practice to come over the timing challenge is to practice , practice as much as you can, practicing the exam questions will get you closer to the real exam environment, you can have an idea about the exam questions through the free resources I include in this blog , you can practice more than 300 questions through those free resources, the next stage shall be practicing timely tested simulation exams, Practice the real exam environment, through the course you enrolled into in Step Nine! Have a plain A4 paper , with simple calculator, off your mobile and be away from any possible interruption  , you have to finish the 170 Questions in 3 hours 30 minutes  with a passing score of minimum 128 out of 170. Practice the second and third exam of the course and be ready with the real exam circumstances. If you didn’t enroll for the 3 simulates tests in step nine, here is the link were you can do with $ 19.99 only. For the best quality simulated exams available in the online market, refer to my article here.

Step Twelve: 3 Days before the Exam

Three days before the exam , don’t get confused bringing out all reference books you used in front of you to review the exam content material , It will not work !

For this purpose I have created the PMI-RMP exam study notes which am proud of, It’s one of the most valuable FREE resource for the PMI-RMP exam preparation, I wrote 10 Study notes of the risk management processes and activities, High level conclusion targeting key terms and concepts of each process, they were written based on my experience passing the exam from the first attempt, PMBOK 5th edition, Rita Mulcahy’s PMI-RMP exam preparation book 2nd edition and practice standard for risk management, I highly recommend using those free study notes few days before your exam date, you will not have a better tool covering the exam content and can be reviewed in a short period of time .

Step Thirteen: Go and Pass

One Night before Exam, Relax and have a good sleep, In the morning have a good breakfast, be at the testing center 1 hour before the exam, Once you enter the examination room, you will have your own desktop with a simple calculator, few white papers and pencil. Read the exam tutorial which will appear automatically on the screen, It will explain for you that it includes 170 Multiple Choice Questions and that exam timing is 3 hours 30 minutes, start your exam, you will be able to mark the question you are not sure of its answer in order to review later on, do not keep your eyes on the timer, take a look each 50 questions only, a lot of the exam questions will be a case description followed by a question asking what is the BEST to do, In this type of questions you cannot guarantee 100% that you picked the right answer, but trust me, just follow the knowledge you learned in the preparation journey and for sure you will pick the right answer, don’t get confused during the exam , just highlight questions you are not sure of their answers and go for the next questions .

Once you are done, Click finish, they will ask you to do a short survey about the testing center; once you are done you will have your exam result with a short report of each domain score.

Step Fourteen: What’s next? Maintain your certificate gaining PDU’s

Once you get the PMI-RMP certificate, your journey to maintain your PMI-RMP certificate each three years will begin, you need to gain 30 PDU’s within three years of time to renew your PMI-RMP Status. In this article am listing all key points you need to know about the PDU. PDU refers to Professional development unit. There are two types of professional development units (PDUs) that you can claim towards renewal —Education and Giving Back to the Profession. Under each of these categories are numerous options and, once you’ve satisfied certain educational requirements, the rest is up to you.

PMI PDU requirements for the PMI-RMP certification is a quality assurance mechanism to ensure PMI-RMP certificate holders are up to date with latest project and risk management field concepts, best practices and trends; simply, the PDU is a system which will encourage PMI-RMP certificate holders for continues education.

In general,1 PMI-RMP® PDU equals 1 hour of participation in the PDU activity, PMI accepts PDUs to be recorded in quarterly increment (in the multiple of 0.25 PDU) for Educational activities, for the rest PMI-RMP® PDUs must be submitted in multiples of 1 PDU.

On the other hand, if you are not able to accumulate 30 PMI-RMP® PDU during your 3-year cycle, the PMI-RMP® credential will be suspended. PMI gives you 1 extra year to earn the required PDU. But be reminded that the next 3-year re-certification cycle will still be counted from your original credential end date.

For the PMI-RMP PDU requirements, you need to consider the following:

  1. Out of the 30 required PDU’s, there shall be minimum 18 educational PDU’s, through courses, eLearning, webinars and self-directed learning, Education PDU’s have three categories: Category A which is courses provided by REP and Chapters, Category B through Continuing education, Category C Self Directed learning, the minimum 35 PDU’s from education can be earned but not more than 30 PDU’s in Category C, moreover, out of these 18 PDU’s, 8 PDU’s should be in technical project management, 8 PDU’s in project skills and 8 PDU’s in strategic business management skills, this is named as the PMI talent triangle.
  2. Out of the 30 required PDU’s, there shall be maximum 12 contribution PDU’s. creating PM knowledge , volunteer service, and working as a professional in project management, It’s also called giving back to the profession PDU’s which can be categorized into three categories as well : Category D with creating knowledge, Category E through volunteering and Category F with working as a professional. Only 4 PDU’s can be claimed through category F during the three years.
  3. Once you collect the 30 PDU’s, you can apply for the credential renewal for $60 if you are a PMI member and $150 if you are not.
Best Ways to Earn to PDU’s for the PMP Exam
1.   Your Day Job , Earn 4 PDU’s for FREE .

If you work as a Project Manager this is probably the easiest way to tick off up to 4 PDU’s per three year period. For the details on this and the other PDU categories mentioned below please refer to the following link.


2. Learn Deeply Practical Project Management on Udemy , Earn 15 PDU’s @ $10

A Course created by William Stewart, Applying the project management processes into practical life, Highly recommended for project management practitioners, and you can earn 15 PDU’s for the PMI PMP renewal process, the course is 9 Hours videos ,Register here for $12 .

3. Learn MS Project beginner to expert on Udemy , Earn 9 PDU’s @ $10

Microsoft project is the most commonly used scheduling software in project management; even you are not a planner! you should be aware of using MS Project , Srikanth Shirodkar created the best seller MS project course on Udemy , which you make use of to learn MS project and earn 9 PDU’s for your PMP renewal process , the course is 9 Hours videos ,Register here for $12.

4.Learn Microsoft Excel for Project Managers on Udemy , , Earn 5 PDU’s @ $10

Microsoft Excel can help you with so much of that! In this course we’re going to explore lots of things that Microsoft Excel can do for project management. We’ll dive into formatting, charting, conditional formatting, and building a custom dashboard and report. If you don’t have a more advanced project management software, that’s okay, you can do much of that business right in Microsoft Excel, this course is worth five (5) Professional Development Units with the Project Management Institute, the course is 4 Hours 30 minutes videos, Register here for $12.

5. PMP Seminar on Udemy, Earn 35 PDU’s @ $12

Formal Academic educational courses related to Project Management is one of the easier categories, Joseph Philips created a course on Udemy which includes 35 PDU’s with 20 Hours of Technical project management , 9 hours of business skills and 6 hours of leadership skills , at the end of the course you will have a certificate of completion which you can submit for the PMI renewal process , this seminar is considered as a great tool to refresh your knowledge in the PMBOK material , the course is 24 hours video . Register here for $12.

6. Volunteer Service

Become a volunteer of your local project management association like PMI Saudi Chapter or PMI Jordan chapter and earn 1 PDU for each hour of service. A letter or certificate from the organization acknowledging the participation is required for confirmation. (To find your local  PMI® chapter, go to http://www.pmi.org/GetInvolved/Pages/PMI-Chapters.aspx)

7. Create new Project Management Knowledge

There is a lot you can do in this category to earn PDUs. You could be authoring or co-authoring articles, books or newsletters, present a webinar or podcast, or create and present a project management course. Each will earn you PDUs. The rule is that every hour spent in preparing and delivering these activities is equal to one PDU. The PDUs claimed in this category count toward the 12 PDU’s maximum for categories D, E and F.


Do you consume a lot of materials like reading articles or books, watching videos? If you participated in any of these activities and the topic at hand was relevant to project management, had a specified purpose and used knowledgeable resources then you can claim 1 PDU for each hour spent on this as “self-study”.

How to Submit PDU?

PMI supplies you with an online “Continuing Certification Requirements System” to record your PDU. After you have attended PDU activities, you can submit the PDU activity details through the Continuing Credential Requirements System (CCRS). If you participate in a webinar by PMI or projectmanagement.com, your PDU will be automatically recorded and there is no need to enter it manually.

After you have submitted the PDU request, PMI will review and approve the PDUs. You will receive an email and the PDU will be added to your account once PMI approve your request. PMI may require you to submit supporting documents with reference to the particular categories of PDU you are claiming within 5 days in order to evaluate your claim, after you have collected enough PDUs in your PMP® renewal cycle, PMI will send you an email asking you to complete the form and pay for credential renewal. The PMP® renewal fee is US$60 for PMI members and US$150 for non-members as I mentioned earlier ,the renewal application and payment process must be completed in 90 days after your credential end date in order for your to keep your PMI-RMP® status. PMI will send the new PMI-RMP® certificate to you within 6 to 8 weeks.

You PDU application might be selected for audit randomly before you are approved for PMP® renewal. You will need to present proof/documentation for all the PDU claimed during the 3-year cycle to PMI for verification.

In Case of Audit  

Like the PMI-RMP® Certification audit, you may be required to submit supporting documents for the PDU  you have claimed or selected for an audit process of your claimed PDU by presenting documentation for verification after submitting your renewal request. PMI requests PMI-RMP® to keep the documentation at least 18 months after the 3-year cycle.

Documentation for the PDU can be attendance certificate , registration confirmation letter , webinars, self study or during discussion about project management , authored books / presentation materials / podcasts / record of webinars ,blog posts , transcript or grade report of academic courses .

Good Luck in your Journey!

Hope this resources described will help you with your exam preparation. If you find any of the Exam Simulators suitable and if you enjoy my articles, please consider buying it though the links on this page. I will earn a small commission (at NO extra cost to you) to sustain my website costs. Thank you.


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