I have written this article to review and compare the best online PMP Certification Training courses. A PMP certification aspirant needs 35 contact hours of project management education to write the credential exam. An online PMP exam prep course is the cheapest and most flexible way to complete this requirement. These courses are also called self-learning or on-demand PMP training programs.
There are tens (if not hundreds) of such online classes available on the Internet today. You have to be extra careful while investing in such a program since all of them are not equal. A bad choice can spoil your chances of success in the exam.
Don’t worry! I have done a thorough & careful analysis while researching and reviewing the top PMP certification training programs. By the end of this article, you would know the best online PMP course.
As the name suggests, PMP online training courses are delivered over the Internet. These courses are very different from boot camps or live online programs. They do not follow a definite schedule and are not taught by an Instructor. As a student, you just buy the training course and start studying on your own through online videos and other eLearning material like audios, presentations, practice tests, and workbooks.
Note: You should read my other article on review & comparison of online PMP boot camps if you are looking for a live online class.
A Comparative Review Of Top PMP Online Training Courses
Cornelius Fichtner vs BrainSensei vs Christopher Scordo vs Simplilearn vs Andy Crowe vs PMStudy vs Rita Mulcahy
|Cornelius Fichtner||BrainSensei||Christopher Scordo||Simplilearn||Andy Crowe||PMStudy||Rita Mulcahy|
Is The Provider A PMI Registered Education Provider (REP)?
Does The Provider Issue Mandatory 35 Hours Certificate?
Are The Videos Done By A Native English Language Trainer?
What Are The Technology Aids Available?
|LMS||Yes. Good.||Yes. Very good.||Not Available||Yes. Very good.||Yes. Good.||Yes. Good.||Yes. Very good.|
|Mobile Access||Downloadable Videos||Requires Internet||Requires Internet||Mobile App||Requires Internet||Mobile App||Requires Internet|
|Technology Aids Rating||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
What Study Aids Are Provided As Part OF The Program?
|Video Content||50 hours||8 hours||35 hours||29 hours||35 hours||4+ hours||18 hours|
|Course Workbook||129 pages||No||450 pages||No||No||No||No|
|Study Guide||No||No||Downloadable||No||No||Yes||Online viewing of Rita’s book|
|Chapter End Quizzes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes. With Rita’s Book & Fastrack subscription.|
|Final Mock Questions||1200 questions with free subscription to PM Exam Simulator||900 questions||200 questions
1000+ Q simulator available a special price of USD 49.00.
|1400 questions||500 questions
600 Q simulator available for USD 99.00.
|800 questions||1500+ questions with Fastrack subscription|
|Formulas Guide||No. Guide with 105 Q available at USD 29.99||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||Yes|
|PMBOK Guide Process Chart||No. Complete ITTO Guide available at USD 4.99||No||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|Flashcards||No. 1500 flashcards Available at USD 29.99||No||No||No||No||200. Not downloadable.||No. 300 flashcards available at extra cost|
|Tips & Tricks||Yes. As part of the course and through weekly newsletters.||Yes. As part of the course.||Yes||Yes. As part of the course.||Yes. As part of the course.||Yes. As part of the course.||Yes. As part of the Rita’s book.|
|Glossary||No||Yes. Not downloadable.||Yes||No||No||Yes||No|
|Other Content||Email Course.||PM Templates.||None||PM Case Studies.||None||None||None|
|Study Aids Rating||(4 / 5)||(3.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(3.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)|
How Is The Student Support Provided?
|Study Assisstance||Yes. Through online forum.||Yes. Through email.||Yes. Through email and chat.||Yes. Through online peer forum.||Yes. Through email and chat.||Yes. Through email.||None|
|Study Assistance Rating||(3.5 / 5)||(3.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(3.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(2 / 5)||(0 / 5)|
What Is The eLearning Access Duration?
|Till next PMP exam change||6 months||90 days||180 days||3 months||180 days||180 days|
|Access Period Rating||(5 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(5 / 5)|
How Good Is The Quality Of The Content?
|Content Quality Rating||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)||(4 / 5)||(4.5 / 5)|
Information About The Other Attributes Of The Program
|Refund Policy||90 days. Conditions apply.||No refunds. 100% pass guarantee.||24 hours. Conditions apply.||7 days. Conditions apply.||5 days. Conditions apply.||None||None|
||USD 349||USD 499.95||USD 988|
|Overall Rating||(4.3 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4.2 / 5)||(4.1 / 5)||(3.6 / 5)||(3.6 / 5)|
|Buy At Discount|
- PM PrepCast is available in three variants – Basic, Elite & Executive. PM PrepCast Executive is the most expensive of the lot as it includes coaching sessions with an instructor. PM PrepCast Elite is a combo product that includes PM PrepCast Basic, PM Exam Simulator (1000+ practice questions), and a few other exam prep products as detailed in the table above. PM PrepCast Basic is a regular online self-learning course.
- Brain Sensei course is completely different from the other programs. It is extremely easy to grasp the PMBOK Guide concepts as the topics are taught Process Group wise. It comes with a 100% pass guarantee.
- PMTraining program includes number of study aids. It has almost everything except for the final simulation tests. These can be bought separately for a special price of USD 49.
- Simplilearn’s course is priced differently in different countries. You can check the price in your country by clicking here. It is available at special discount on this blog.
- Velociteach’s course is also available for 1 month & 6 months access for USD 219 and USD 499 respectively. I have considered 3 months access for comparison, which is available for USD 349.
- PMStudy offers its program in many packages. The lowest cost package is available at USD 89.95. This package gives only 30 days of online study access and does not provide 35 contact hour training certificate, which is mandatory for siting in the exam. I have considered highest package for the comparison, which is available for USD 499.95. A lower package with same content, 90 days access, and 35 hour training certificate is also available for USD 299.95.
- RMC’s program is also available without 35 contact hours certificate for only 3 days of access at USD 288.
Rational for Rating
I have compared and rated the programs on 5 different parameters. You can look at the details of these parameters in the Appendix below. Here is the rational for the ratings:
- Technology Aids – I would have given a 5 star rating if the providers were giving a fully-featured Learning Management System (LMS) and a mobile app. There is something or the other missing in each program. Hence, I have given a lower rating of 4 and 4.5 depending on the quality of the LMS and availability of the mobile app.
- Study Aids – I have given the rating based on the quantum and utility of study material given by the providers.
- Study Assistance – I have given the rating based on the quantum and type of support given by the providers.
- Access Period – I think 90 days is more than enough to prepare, study and pass the exam. Nonetheless, I have given 4 star rating for 90 days or 3 months access and 5 star rating for more than 90 days access.
- Content Quality – I have given rating on content quality after critically reviewing the videos and other study material.
I have not considered pricing, refund policy, and pass guarantee while arriving at the ratings as the programs should be compared on the technical factors like quality & content. In my opinion, pricing should not influence the rating. Moreover, everyone’s budget is different. However, you should consider the price before taking the final decision.
Best Online PMP Certification Training Course
The PMP certification is an expensive affair. The training cost is one of the major component of the total certification cost. You should choose your training course judiciously. A good training could improve your chances of success whereas a bad one can lead to the failure in the exam.
We have reviewed top 6 courses but you need only one for your exam prep. It is very difficult to choose one out of the six as some of them are evenly matched. So, let us start by eliminating the ones that are not worthy of investment.
RMC and PMStudy are established brands in the project management training industry. Their offerings are popular but they have not fared well in our comparison. Some aspects of their programs is very good, but their overall rating is low. Moreover, in my opinion, RMC’s progra is obnoxiously priced. You can buy a good PMP Instructor Led Training Course in this price range. I would not recommend you to buy any one of these two programs.
Let’s talk about the other programs. All of them have almost equal rating in our comparison but each one of them has its own advantages. You can buy any one of them based on your unique preferences. Let me elaborate a bit.
Cornelius Fichtner is renowned educationist and well respected figure in Project Management training industry. Every year thousands of aspirants successfully pass the exam by studying from Cornelius’ training material. He is the founder of his company and the creator of many exam prep products.
Among all courses, this course is most reasonably priced. It has got the highest rating in our comparison. The best part is that you can download all the videos. If you decide to invest in this course, then I would recommend you to buy in PM PrepCast Elite as it offers better value than the Basic variant. The Elite variant is price at USD 299 whereas the Basic variant is priced at USD 229. However, the Elite variant comes bundled with 1200 practice questions PMP Exam Simulator. The Simulator is separately priced at USD 129, but you would save $59 by buying it as part of PM PrepCast Elite.
Alternative First Choice
Brain Sensei’s course is completely different from any other program that I have seen. It teaches the PMBOK Guide’s topics Process Group wise. This is really helpful in understanding the the project management concepts. The topics are covered as part of a long story, which makes the course very engaging. You never feel bored. The lessons are interspersed with small quizzes & exercises that validate your learning as you go along.
This course comes with very few study aids. You would need to buy Kim Heldman’s study guide to complement this course. It is more expensive than the other choices presented in this article but it is worth the price.
Close Second Choice
Christopher Scordo is a well known personality in the Project Management training industry. His book (PMP Exam Prep: Questions Answers & Explanations by Christopher Scordo) is one of the best selling books for the exam prep. He is the founder of PMTraining.
This course offers the more study aids than any other course. It is almost complete in all respects. But you would need to buy extra practice questions to complement this course.
Another Second Choice
Simplilearn is a professionally managed company that offers slew of courses. They provide professional studio quality videos, very good study material and excellent support. It is the most expensive course among the recommended choices but the price becomes reasonable because of the exclusive discount coupon available on this blog. If you are looking for a big and well-established brand then you can invest in Simplilearn’s offering.
Andy Crowe is a leading author and speaker on Project Management. His PMP Prep book is one of the best selling books on Amazon. He is the founder of Velociteach. Velociteach is the biggest brand among the 4 recommended providers.
This program has a modern LMS and has very good content quality. You would need to buy extra practice questions to complement this course.
I believe, one of my recommendations would suit your needs. You can buy any one of the recommended courses mentioned above. However, if you want to explore more courses, you can use the key parameters (described in the Appendix below) to review, evaluate and compare any other course(s) that is not covered in this article.
Key Parameters Of An Online PMP Training Course
What are the key factors or attributes that makes a self-learning PMP online training course good? What are the things that you should look out for before enrolling in such a course? Here is a list of key parameters that are must for a self-learning online course.
Registered Education Provider (REP) – This is not an essential feature of a online PMP course, as a non-REP can also also issue a 35 contact hours certificate. However the certificates issued by a REP are pre-approved by PMI. Since the PMP certification exam is a difficult exam, one should be careful and take online PMP course from a REP only.
35 Hours Certificate – Many training providers give access to the online training material but they do not issue the 35 contact hours certificate. Since this is a mandatory certificate for appearing in the exam, a training course is useless without it.
Native Language Trainer – The exam is conducted in English. It is extremely useful to learn from the content that has correct English grammar and idioms. The online videos and the other content should be prepared by an trainer whose native language is English.
Technology Aids – The availability & quality of Learning Management System (LMS) and accessibility of eLearning material over mobile devices are very important for an on-demand program. LMS keeps track of your learning progress and learning through mobile devices can save a lot of time.
Study Aids – A PMP online course should provide additional study material besides the video and audio content. The video and audio content is good for understanding the concepts, but actual learning comes from practice tests, downloadable workbooks, formula guide, glossary etc.
Study Assistance – Many courses provide study support through emails, private forum discussions, and webinars; while some others do not provide this feature. Since you are studying on your own, this is a crucial feature to clarify the doubts. You might feel lost in the absence of such a feature. A PMP online course should provide such a feature.
Access Period – I believe duration of access period for eLearning course should not be less than 90 days. I think 90 days is more than enough to prepare, study and pass the exam.
Content Quality – The quality of content is another important aspect of a PMP online training course. You would have to study & understand things on your own. You will face problems, if the content quality is not top-notch. The written content, pictures, graphics and illustrations should be clear & readable (in presentations & videos). The speech quality should be excellent in both video & audio content – the instruction should be clear, well-paced, and without any discernible accent. Overall, the content should be engaging & interesting.
Other Factors While Evaluating A Course
Refund Policy – You may need to get refund of your money in an exceptional circumstance. Most providers have some sort of refund policy.
Pass Guarantee – Some courses provide a pass guarantee. Generally, under such a guarantee, the training provider either refunds your fees or allows you to continue to access the course till you pass the exam. A pass guarantee is not a bad attribute in itself. If all the other things are equal, then pass guarantee could be an icing on the cake. Otherwise, do not get swayed by it. Do you want to enroll in a course to fail the exam? You neither want your money back nor waste time & money on additional PMP attempts. So, a better approach is to invest your time & money in a good, credible, and popular course.
Disclosure: I have not received any compensation (in cash or kind) from the Authors or the Training Companies or anyone else associated with any of the training courses. But this article contains affiliate links – it means that, if you click & buy from these links then, I will receive a small commission. This commission helps me in maintaining this blog for free. However, you don’t pay anything extra. I do not actively use any of these products since I am already certified. But, I recommend only those products that I believe will definitely help the certification aspirants.
Company logos taken from respective company websites