As many of you know, my firm is the only company on the market offering an extensive suite of products for the Portfolio Management (PfMP) exam preparation including our book, Sensible Guide to Passing the PfMP Exam, our online PfMP exams, accelerated PfMP bootcamps, and multiple freebies (e.g. free online exam, LinkedIn Group AchievePfMP and PfMP Webinar). These products are live today, not some hollow promise of portfolio management offerings. One of the questions that we often receive is “how do I know that I am ready for the PfMP? exam” In response, we designed our latest freebie – a comprehensive readiness tool that results in a eight-page PfMP readiness report – all free (at least for now).
The primary design factors of the readiness assessment focus on two important questions:
- How valid is the readiness assessment?
- How to keep it sufficiently short that most busy professionals will actually complete it and not abandon it while in progress?
Creating a valid and accurate assessment is difficult. This is mainly because PMI does not publish the testing reports. For example, the actual passing grade is not published. Therefore, we have to make educated guesses. To develop a more valid exam, we tapped into our extensive knowledge of training (in project, program, and portfolio management), university teaching (with heavy emphasis on assessment), and our experience with Project Management Institute (PMI) exams (after all, I am certified in multiple PMI credentials). The PfMP Readiness Assessment (PfMP-RA) contains three parts:
- Knowledge – Based on 20 questions from our extensive online bank of 2,000+ questions
- Experience – Based on your roles and responsibilities as a portfolio manager
- Aptitude – Based on your history with PMI and other standard exams
The idea behind “Knowledge” is simple – we chose 20 questions across the five knowledge areas of varying difficulties to evaluate your knowledge and skills. These questions require some combination of conceptual knowledge, work experience, and a bit of math to perform quantitative and qualitative analyses. The questions are weighted according to their difficulties, and this weighted approach gives us the ability to approximate the performance of the entire exam using only 20 questions – to keep the exam to 30 minutes (actually the average is 28.5 minutes).
The “Experience” aspect is based on our unique consulting framework what I have been using for the past 15 years. It’s a simple set of questions based on a progressively increasing set of roles and responsibilities. Since portfolio management is at the top of the project management profession and the actual exam questions are mainly experience-based, it is very important for candidates to have broad experience across the entire spectrum of portfolio management experience, especially at the decision-making level.
The final part, “Aptitude”, is perhaps the most subjective as it is based on the test-taker’s knowledge of other PMI exams or other standardized professional exams. PMI exams are intense, and prior experience with their exams (and likely other certification exams) will prepare you mentally for the test.
The tool also evaluates whether the test-takers qualify for the portfolio management credential. PfMP has a fairly rigorous set of requirements including general business experience, portfolio management experience, and educational level. Synthesizing these three parts together, we determine a score based on a 100% scale. The final report provides details at the knowledge area level with our frank recommendations for improvement. Since we started creating this tool, we have tested it with various candidates, and all of them find the insights extremely useful.
So are you interested in the Portfolio Management Professional (PfMP) certification? Give this tool a try: www.pmoadvisory.com/pfmp/readiness. Or click here to see a sample report. For complete information on our PfMP suite of products, visit us at www.pmoadvisory.com/pfmp.