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I understand PMP documentation is 4500 hours with a degree and that the hours covered must not overlap. I also understand that the hours you spend studying, can only cover a 36 month period.

My question is, does that 36 months have to be consecutive or is it framed such that the time used needs only encompass 36 months in total?

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The 36 month period is applicable to the experience requirement (must have gathered your 4500 hours of experience in a period equal to or greater than 36 months), but I don't see anywhere that specifies that the 35 hours of educational time needs to be in that same period. There's no restriction that I'm aware of as to when the contact hours can be accumulated, so if you've got 35 hours of training over the last X number of years, you should be fine.

With that said, you would want to ask yourself if the time that you spent in a training course ten years ago is still relevant enough to be helpful to you today. It may be in your best interest to ensure that your training is as fresh as possible to assist you with writing the exam.

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