PgMP‎®:‎ Exam Application Tips

Updated: Sep 25, 2018






I- PgMP Application Prerequisites

The PgMP certification has prerequisites based on the candidate education level.

As shown in this table, if the PgMP candidate has Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree, global equivalent or higher degree), he will be requested to have the following experience in project management and program management in order to be eligible to attend the exam:

  • Minimum project management experience is four years of unique non-overlapping professional project management experience, which is equivalent to 6,000 working hours.

  • Minimum program management experience is four years of unique non-overlapping professional program management experience, which is equivalent to 6,000 working hours.

But, if the PgMP candidate Secondary diploma (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent) as shown in this chart, he will be requested to have the following experience in project management and program management in order to be eligible to attend the exam:

  • Minimum project management experience is four years of unique non-overlapping professional project management experience, which is equivalent to 6,000 working hours.

  • Minimum program management experience is seven years of unique non-overlapping professional program management experience, which is equivalent to 10,500 working hours.

So, the difference only between the two education levels is the program management experience required.



II- Tips to fill-in the Project and Program management experience:


Consider the following tips when writing your PgMP application - Program and Project management experience part

  1. Prepare the required information before you begin writing the application, this includes the projects and programs that you planned to add to the application, the contact person for each project and program with contact details, the organization details, the start and end date for each project and program, some progress information, obstacles, issues, risks similar important information related to the selected program.

  2. Each program mentioned in the program management experience should have at least two projects sharing strategic goals and objectives. You will be requested to enter information related to these projects ( at least two projects).

  3. Your projects and program management experience should be within 15 years before the application submission date.

  4. Your project and program experience part should concentrate on the program objectives and goals, how they are related to organizational objectives and goals, program components, program structure, and any relevant high level information about the program to let the panel reviewers understand what is your program about. Remember that this is not the right place to mention what is your experience as a program manager and how you managed program problems, but this will come later when responding to the five questions related to the five program domains.

  5. The contact person that you added for each project or program should be accessible to you, because you will need to contact him if you got audited by PMI.

  6. You are required to enter the project management experience even if you hold PMP certification.

  7. No overlapping is allowed between the projects or between the programs when reporting the hours or years of experience in the project and program management. No overlapping is allowed between a project and a program either.

  8. List each project in the project management experience individually.

  9. List each program in the program management experience individually.

  10. If your professional experience consists of more than one program, you do not need to have experience in all domains within every program. In other words, the total program management experience recorded (the sum of all programs), must include at least some experience in each domain in order to be eligible.

  11. In the area related to program description and details, write information about the program, its structure, its components, how it is connected with the organization goals and objectives. Do not elaborate your skills and experience here, these will be required in the domains area.



III- What are the five domain questions?


Program Management Five Domain

You will have five questions, each of which is related to one of the five program domains. Each questions has two options for you to select and adopt your answer based on your choice. The five questions are as following:


Experience Summary #1: Strategic Program Management

A. Developed program justification and business case in alignment with the organization's strategic plan

B. Monitored the business environment, program goals, and benefits realization plan in order to ensure the program remains aligned with the organization's strategic objectives


Experience Summary #2: Benefits Realization

A. Defined and monitored benefits realization measurement criteria

B. Identified opportunities that resulted in optimized program benefits


Experience Summary #3: Stakeholder Management

A. Identified and analyzed program stakeholders

B. Developed clear expectations and program acceptance criteria with program stakeholders


Experience Summary #4: Governance

A. Established and adapted the program governance model

B. Identified and evaluated risks and their impact on the program objectives throughout the program


Experience Summary #5: Program Life Cycle

A. Managed and optimized the use of resources (human, materials, equipment, facilities, finance, etc.) across component projects

B. Managed and resolved program-level issues and issues escalated from component project(s)


For each one of these questions, you will select option (A) or (B) to address in your answer. Remember your answer, for each question, should be about 350 words, and should not be less than 200 words.



IV- Tips to consider when writing your answer regarding the above five domain questions to present your program management experience in the five domains


Consider the following tips when answering the five questions regarding your experience in the five domains

  1. Your answers should be clear and concise, and you should use proper English. A word processing application will help you to do this job.

  2. Be sure to address all elements of the Option you select (A or B) for each experience summary. For example, if the Experience Summary Option requires you to describe how you identified and evaluated risks, be sure to give examples of how you identified and evaluated the risks.

  3. You do not have to repeat the program description in your responses, only the program name is enough as the program background information provided in the work experience section of your application will be provided to panel reviewers.

  4. In your response you should explain what you have done, what was your responsibilities. Do not speak about what the other people did, and do not use the passive voice as it does indicate who was the actor. The panel reviewers need to know what you have done, and what is your experience in order to evaluate your eligibility to enter the exam. This is very important point to comply with.

  5. Describe your experience, the problems that your faced and incidents happened to you that are related to question subject. Do not include theories, definitions or paragraphs from the standards for program management guide. Again, the panel reviewers need to know what you have done, and what is your experience in order to evaluate your eligibility to enter the exam. This is the right place to impress the panel reviewers on your practical program management experience that complies with the PMI standards.

  6. Re-read your responses before submission to ensure that they are correct and complete


V- Common mistakes in writing your PgMP Application


During my long experience to review and advise PgMP candidates when writing their PgMP application, I found these common mistakes that you should avoid


Avoid these mistakes when writing your PgMP Application

  1. Used bad English that weakened or missed the purpose required by the candidate.

  2. Forgot to write the project management experience and wrote only the program management experience.

  3. Elaborate his program management experience with good examples in the program description area.

  4. Forgot to mention the program components.

  5. In answering the five questions, the candidate wrote many theories and did not concentrate on his experience.

  6. In answering the five questions, the candidate spoke generally like: we developed... or used a passive voice like: the charter was developed...


For more details about the fees, terms and conditions, and more, refer to the PMI Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Handbook, you can download it for free from the PMI website.

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