Which PMP® Course?
Why Self-Paced Courses?
All of the courses selected for this comparison are self-paced courses.
If that’s not for you, and you prefer taking a week off of work to attend a week-long boot camp, that’s OK. Just remember that a week-long course is typically not enough. You’ll still need to follow up with more study on your own – as well as taking practice exams until you’re ready.
Let’s take a look at the comparison criteria, one at a time.
Native Speaker. This means that the course is taught by instructors who are native speakers of standard American English. You’ll notice that several of these courses don’t meet this criterion. In some cases, the instructors have a heavy regional accent. In the case of PM PrepCast, though Cornelius is not a native speaker, his English is good – except for a few words that he consistently mispronounces.
Pass Guarantee. This is a big deal. Of all these courses, only PM Ready™ includes a pass guarantee: that if you pass any two of the PM Ready practice exams, you’ll pass the PMP exam the first time – or your money back. Some of the others offer a pass guarantee, but only if you take their instructor-led courses (at a significantly higher price), and they have limitations, such as offering additional training or coaching, but not your money back.
Course Access. This is how long you have access to the course. Some limit you to 90 days, or 6 months. A few provide unlimited access – but only to the version of the course that you buy. Only PM Ready offers access forever, including automatically upgrading you to all future versions of the course.
Simulator Access. The amount of time you have to use the provider’s exam simulator varies, and is not always the same as the amount of time you have access to the course. You may want to consider taking an exam simulator practice exam before you even start the course. This will give you an assessment of where you need to focus your efforts. However, if the access time for the exam simulator is less than that of the course, you won’t want to do this, or you may lose access to the exam simulator before you’re ready. That’s the problem with PM PrepCast’s exam simulator. You end up waiting until after you’ve gone through all of the course material before you dare start the clock on access to the exam simulator.
Course Refund. Most, though not all, offer a course refund. PM Ready allows for refunds anytime before you’ve been issued a course certificate. PM PrepCast is within 90 days – as long as you haven’t started the course final exam. PM Training only gives you 24 hours, and only if you haven’t accessed the course! Simplilearn is within 7 days, as long as you haven’t accessed more than 25% of the content, and haven’t downloaded the ebook. Velociteach is only 5 days, but as long as the course certificate hasn’t been generated. RMC doesn’t allow for refunds at all. GreyCampus is only 3 days, and only if you haven’t accessed more than 30% of the course, haven’t downloaded any materials, haven’t started any practice exams, and haven’t used any exam vouchers. Joseph Phillips’ course is on Udemy, which offers a 30-day unconditional refund policy. Sandra Mitchell’s course is on LinkedIn Learning, which offers no refunds.
Simulator Refund. The limitations on exam simulator refunds are similar to those of the course refunds. Those with liberal course refund policies, generally offer liberal simulator refund policies – except for those noted as having no refunds.
Hours of Video. You might think that a 35-contact hour course meant that it would include at least 35 hours of video instruction. Not necessarily. Some courses count time you spend on exercises and practice exams as contact hours. The extreme examples of this are RMC and Sandra Mitchell, which include only 10 hours and 6 hours, respectively.
Instructional Videos. This is my subjective measure of the quality of the instructional videos. For some, the quality of the video and audio recordings themselves is poor. Many of these providers give you access to a sample video (or a limited 1-day trial), so you can see for yourself. Some are little more than videos of instructors lecturing. Some may be visually appealing, but don’t cover all the material you need to pass the exam, or have too much fluff. You know, like the books you’ve read that could have made a good article or pamphlet, but are bloated to 300 pages to sell it as a book. High-quality videos are visually appealing, have good sound quality, and present the information visually as well.
Mobile-Friendly. Most courses these days are mobile-friendly so you can use your tablet or phone as well as your desktop.
Downloadable Video. But what if you’re on the go, and don’t always have an internet connection? That’s when it’s good to have the course already downloaded on your device.
Exam Simulator. All but one of these providers offers an exam simulator. Some are included with the course. Others are sold separately, or can be bundled with the course. All of these options evaluated include both the course and exam simulator, if available. Beware of Velociteach’s bundle: it’s more expensive to buy their bundle than to buy the course and simulator separately. The price above reflects the less expensive option of buying them separately.
Practice Exams. This is how many full-length practice exams are provided.
Practice Quizzes. This is whether the course and/or exam simulator includes practice quizzes.
Customizable Quizzes. Some courses allow you to customize your quizzes so you can focus on a specific knowledge area, or process group, or ITTOs.
Math Guide. Some courses include a guide to the Math you need to know for the PMP exam. PM PrepCast doesn’t include one in the course, but you can get it for an additional $29.
Student Support. Not all courses include a way for you to ask your instructors questions and get answers. Getting timely and accurate answers can be an important component of your studies. (GreyCampus is shown as having none. They do provide some, but only for 30 days, which isn’t long enough to count.)
Progress Tracking. Most courses are delivered using a learning management system (LMS) that will track your progress through the course.
Price. For each of these options, I have included the price for the course + exam simulator (if any), and I’ve applied all commonly available discounts and coupons. As you do your own research, you may often see the higher prices that don’t have these discounts and coupons applied. PM Ready doesn’t have discounts or coupons. The price is the price. No games.