Where to Start Your Search for Online PMP® Exam Prep Providers

When going the online route to preparation for your PMP® examination, a few variations are possible. Here we don’t consider the case of blended learning, where only some of the class segments are accomplished through online participation.

  1. Instructor-led e-Learning
  2. e-Learning on demand
  3. Purely online participation in a classroom-based course

The information provided here should put you on a fast track to evaluating the latest available offerings from these and other vendors. Keep in mind that the course features and costs could change, and some courses may over time become unavailable.

Please note that when prep courses provide more than the 35 contact hours required for taking the exam, the excess hours cannot be used as PDUs. That is to say, only PMP®s can earn PDUs.

Considerations When Choosing a Provider

Depending on the nature of the class, some combination of the following questions will be appropriate.

  1. What are the computer system requirements? (Be sure to “trial run” the course software at a provided link for at least a full day and preferably a week before the beginning of class.)
  2. Is there a time limit within which I must complete the class?
  3. Is there a time limit after which the course is no longer accessible to me?
  4. Are you a PMI Registered Education Provider?
  5. For self-paced courses, can I consult with a facilitator or instructor?
  6. How many contact hours of credit will I receive?
  7. What are the criteria (if any) that I must meet in order to receive course credit?
  8. If I exit an online course, can I resume where I previously exited?
  9. After payment, how soon is class access available?
  10. Is the course updated for the Fifth Edition (or the current edition) of the PMBOK® Guide?

If a course completion document is provided online, be sure not to forget to print and/or save it!

Online Participation in Classroom-Based Courses

This category is currently unusual and a new concept (as of 2013), but certainly the technology available makes it not only feasible but advantageous. Online participants gain the advantage of interaction with classmates who are in the physical classroom and the real time interaction with the instructor. Hence much of the benefit of classroom attendance is obtained without the normally associated travel (and perhaps lodging) cost.

Learning Tree International

Classroom portion is available at 39 centers in the following cities: Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Northern New Jersey, Philadelphia, Stamford, Alexandria, New York, Toronto, Reston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Rockville, New York, Ottawa, Los Angeles, Greater Washington/Baltimore

Price range: $2950 (commercial); $2650 (government)

Approximately 40 percent of this course is spent in a series of individual practice workshops and simulated exams. This course awards 35 contact hours. Using Learning Tree’s AnyWareTM software, students can attend from either an Internet-equipped location of their choosing, or optionally at a more controlled, limited-access Learning Tree location listed above. Attendance away from the normal environment can be far more conducive to concentration due to the absence of everyday interruptions. AnyWare centers provide dual-screen computers with high-speed Internet. Regardless of location, students can interact with other students and the instructor. Instructors will be able to see exactly how you’re doing and can interactively offer concrete help. Included in the course kit are the course materials, a microphone-equipped headset and setup instructions.

Instructor-Led e-Learning

This category is essentially like a classroom case but with a profound difference. Rather than being in the classroom, students are remote at a location of their choice, though they cannot choose their time of participation.

This category includes cases that could be considered “seminars” and “courses,” with a principal difference being that seminars are typically of short duration.


At this writing (2013), PMI has four on-demand e-learning courses available. You can search for them by keyword(s), area of interest, month, PDUs (contact hours) and level (Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced or Intermediate/Advanced) at PMI’s website. Because there were no currently available exam prep courses in the search, this avenue may be more useful for candidates who wish to mix and match their 35 contact hours between various subjects, or who only need a specified number of additional credits rather than full exam preparation.


Price range: $1999

This is a four-day virtual classroom event. A tool for the tricky task of calculating work experience is provided. A money-back guarantee applies. Completing participants are rewarded with 40 contact hours. An additional online prep course is included. A complementary risk management online course worth 20 PDUs can be used after credential achievement for a head start on the credential renewal three years later. More than 800 practice questions are included.


Price range: Not published


Edwell’s five-day course includes a 1,400 question exam simulator, a 400-page course book with an extra 700 questions, memory and study aids and customized study tools. An adviser assists students in class preparation.

PMT Institute

See description under e-Learning on Demand.

Intense School

See description under e-Learning on Demand


Price range: $2447


This four-day class provides 35+ contact hours and uses a blend of traditional, virtual and e-learning components. The actual class is conducted virtually via GotoMeeting over four consecutive days. Group training is available. Past winner of PMI’s Provider of the Year award for Continuing Education. Classes are guaranteed to run. Class includes six months of unlimited access to the company’s e-learning facilities. A guarantee applies.

e-Learning on Demand

This approach allows students to participate not only at the location of their choice, but also at a time and, very importantly, pace of their choosing. On the positive side, concepts that are less easily grasped can be studied without rush. A shortcoming is that instructors take longer to reach if they can be reached at all, and further research may be required on the part of the student.


At this writing, PMI has 238 on-demand e-learning courses available. You can search for them by keyword(s), area of interest, PDUs (contact hours) and level (Foundation, Intermediate, Advanced or Intermediate/Advanced) at PMI’s website. Because there were no currently (late 2013) available PMP prep courses in the search, this avenue may be more useful for candidates who wish to arrange their 35 contact hours by combining various subjects, or who only need a certain number of additional credits rather than full exam preparation.

Rita Mulcahy

Price range: $988


This 16-lesson multimedia course features more than 150 video and audio clips of Rita. The exam simulator is particularly robust, with more than 1,500 questions. The course is enriched by exercises, games and electronic flash cards. After completion, students are eligible for the 35 contact hours required by the exam. Included is her exam prep book. There is a less expensive “final tune up” course available for those wanting a refresher course just before exam day.

Villanova University

Price range: $1595; discounts are available for previous online students


This course includes more than 1,000 questions based on the knowledge areas of the exam, a comprehensive study guide and 500 flash cards. Real-world examples and case studies are included. Completion is at the student’s convenience. According to Villanova, prior to enrolling in this course, you should take Essentials of Project Management and Mastering Project Management. Inquire if your experience can substitute.

PMT Institute

Price range: $695-$1395


PMT Institute offers an interesting range of options, two of which are on-demand and one is instructor-led. All courses include:

  • 35 contact hours
  • a PMTI study guide and exam prep book
  • more than 500 questions
  • exam eligibility assessment before enrollment
  • a completion certificate
  • 30 days of access to the online course

The price points and associated features are as follows:

  1. For $695, the above features apply. No pass guarantee applies.
  2. For $895, an exam-readiness assessment is included along with “exam resume preparation” assistance. A pass guarantee applies.
  3. For $1395, the course is instructor-led and live. As with the $895 option, an exam-readiness assessment and “exam resume preparation” assistance are provided, and there is a pass guarantee.

The Knowledge Academy

Price range: $195-$245


This scenario-based system includes as many as five exam simulators timed and scored like the certification exam. Assessments for various PMBOK Guide areas provide feedback for decisions on how to invest your study time. These courses provide a minimum of 35 contact hours. A pass guarantee applies. Discussion forums allow interaction with other students.

  1. The Platinum Package ($245) provides 45 contact hours (or PDUS, as appropriate) in global live sessions and five mock exams with the number of questions and timing just like on the real exam.
  2. The Gold Package ($225) includes 40 contact hours and four mock exams.
  3. The Silver Package ($195) includes 35 contact hours and three mock exams.

Intense School

Price range: $3895.99 ($1000.99 General Services Administration discount available)


This course lives up to the name of its provider and provides 35 contact hours. It’s provided in three online variants in addition to the live in-classroom case described in another article.

  1. Streaming only. This self-paced option is recommended for those looking for a refresher course.
  2. Mentored online. This option blends online and offline playback. While study is self-paced, a mentor is available, and complex simulations and exercise files are included.
  3. Live online. With this option, you can participate in the live classroom almost as if you were there, but from the comfort of an Internet-accessible location of your choice. One year of PMI membership and an exam voucher are included. The instructor is constantly available to online participants during class. A pass guarantee applies. A pre-study book is pre-shipped to participants who get hundreds of practice questions, can participate in group-study sessions, and the opportunity to take the course again during a one-year period. Participants who are ready can take the exam at a testing center on the fifth day.


Price range: $100-$249


Simplilearn’s course is available in a Basic and a Standard version. The price determines how long the course is made available, ranging from 30 to 180 days.

The Basic version includes 1 practice test, 14 audio/video chapters and an e-book, offering 35 contact hours. The Standard version adds three practice tests, five additional PDUs, help with filing the exam application and live class time for discussion of questions.


Price range: $35


This self-paced Flash-based course provides 35 contact hours, includes “hundreds” of exam-type questions and a 50 question “final exam.” Practice exams on every topic are timed, thereby establishing a sense of the required pace in answering questions. Course access is provided for 39 days. You must provide your own copy of the PMBOK Guide. Completion of the entire course contents is required in order to receive the course certificate.


See description under Instructor-Led e-Learning.