Comparison of Low-cost PMP PDU Courses

In this article, I’m comparing some of the best and cheapest online sources of earning Contact Hours toward PMP (and CAPM) certification education requirements through self-study.

NOTE: THIS ARTICLE IS WORK-IN-PROGRESS

  • PM Prepcast by Cornelius Fichtner
    • Pros:
      • Most comprehensive program, of all I've reviewed
      • The material covers all aspects of the exam, not just syllabus
      • Excellent content
      • PMI REP (it means their Contact Hours are pre-approved)
      • Can be used on mobile devices
      • Free automatic updates via iTunes
      • Downloadable content (it means the content is yours to keep, and not subscription-based)
      • Money-back guarantee
      • Other freebies such as newsletters, and email-based courses
      • Very good customer support
      • Access to online forum
      • Free sample lessons, so you can try before you buy
    • Cons:
      • Price: $129.99 - more expensive than other products listed here
      • Non-interactive course (audio-video only, no student interaction, no chapter-end tests)
      • 60 free sample questions - fewer compared to others
      • 3GB download size (maybe an issue if your internet connection is not good)
    • Overall
      • If you don't want a restrictive subscription-based access, and want to have a program that works on iOS and Android devices, then this is your best option.
      • Good value for money
  • PMP Prep Kit by Joseph Philips 
    • Pros:
      • Good quality content, but not as in-depth as PM Prepcast (I have reviewed this)
      • Interactive course - quizzes and other exercises in each chapter
      • Price: $55 - best price of all the courses listed here
      • 200 sample questions in PDF format
      • Free sample lessons, so you can try before you buy
      • Reputed author
    • Cons
      • Flash-based - would not work on the iOS devices
      • Not updated for Aug 2011 changes
      • Not as comprehensive as the Prepcast
      • Support is really questionable. I've written emails, and left comments on the website, but haven't got a response
      • Information (such as Subscription duration) is not clearly listed on the website
    • Unconfirmed / unclear Information
      • Subscription period - not listed on the website
      • PMI-REP status
      • MP3 course - I haven't reviewed the MP3 files
      • Flashcards - I haven't reviewed these either
    • Overall
      • If you want the cheapest way to get your Contact Hours, then this seems to be the best option, at least on paper. The BIG question is - is the site still operational? Would you even get your Contact Hours certificate after completing the course? Their website has not been updated for months, there are no recent comments, and the comments I have posted are still awaiting moderator approval. So, how do we know whether they are still in business? I would say, just stay away for now. I'll update this information, if I get a response from them.
  • Simplilearn - Online PMP Basic Course
    • Pros
      • Low entry Price: $57.99
      • 200-Q online simulated exam (different from their FREE exam)
      • Chapter end questions
      • PMI-REP (Contact Hours are pre-approved)
      • Updated as per Aug 2011 exam changes
      • One full 200-q FREE sample exam
    • Cons
      • Quality is decent, but not as good as the above two programs
      • Subscription based access (you lose the access after your subscription is over)
      • 30-day subscription is too short. 90-day access costs twice as much as 30-day access
      • No free lessons
    • Unconfirmed Information
      • I have done a cursory review only, and not sure how comprehensive the entire program is
      • Is the material flash-based?
    • Overall
      • Probably the best option if you are looking for an absolute low-cost solution.
  • PM Study
    • Pros:
      • Reputed name in the field (for online exams)
      • One full 200-q FREE sample exam
      • About 900 chapter-end sample questions
      • PMI-REP (Contact Hours are pre-approved) 
      • The Guides seem to be in Podcast format (though I couldn't get the free samples to work). So, they should work on Media players.
    • Cons:
      • Price: $109.99 / 30 days - almost twice the price of Simplilearn
      • I could not get their free Podcasts to work. The links seem to be dead. 
      • No extra full-length exam in the package
    • Unclear
      • Are the guides downloadable or online only? 
      • The format of the Guides - are they Podcast + PDF? Are there any flash-based lessons?
    • Overall
      • I have not reviewed this program personally, but the information listed on their website is not clear. Reading it, I cannot tell what I'll be getting after making the payment. Price-wise, it's not the best option.

If you are looking for an absolute cheapest way to earn Contact Hours, then Simplilearn is your best option, unless I can get Joseph Phillips to respond. If you are looking for a comprehensive training program, which is almost as good as attending a classroom training, and also keep the material for future reference, then PM Prepcast is the best bet.

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