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Pass PMP® Certification Exam: Quick Tips To Get You Started

IntroductionPMP® (Project Management Professional) is one of the most coveted, popular, and widely recognized professional certifications pertaining to project management domain in the world. Thousands of aspirants appear in this exam every year, but unfortunately only a few have managed to pass this examination. No matter how much talented, knowledgeable and experienced you are, it boils down to sticking to the proper planning and strategy to excel in this exam. So let’s discuss more about the exam preparation planning and strategy.The Big StrategyEvery strategy must be equipped with a clear roadmap otherwise it is just like a pen without ink. So here we go.Attend PMP® training workshop from an REP (Registered Education Provider) who is authorized by PMI® (Project Management Institute) to provide PMP® training workshop.Get 35 contact hours’ certificate from the REP post 4 days of the training workshop. This certificate is a mandatory requirement by PMI® to appear in the PMP® certification exam.Decide a date for the exam. Ideally, you should set the exam date considering 30-45 days of preparation after your 4 days’ workshop. Although this timeline may vary from person to person, 3-6 months is the ideal time for the exam preparation.Start preparing for the exam. Ideally, you should aim to invest 2-3 hours during weekdays (considering you are a working professional) and 6-7 hours during weekends for this period of 30-45 days.Take PMI® membership (optional). It is recommended to take PMI® membership due to a couple of benefits. For example: By taking membership, you can download a free copy of the latest PMBOK® guide. You will also avail discounted examination fees.Start submitting PMP® application at least one month earlier to your exam date as the process of application approval by PMI® may take time if your application is chosen for auditing.Important ConceptsBelow is a list of a few concepts related to which questions appear quite frequently in the PMP® exam. Hence please ensure to have a complete understanding of these concepts.Organizational Process AssetsEnterprise Environmental FactorsManagement Plans for each Knowledge AreaProject Management PlanBaselinesPM Plan and Document UpdatesProject Scope StatementWork Performance Data, Information and ReportExpert JudgmentChange RequestITTOStudy MaterialThis is one of the most debatable points of discussion as there is no concrete answer to this point because the recommendation for study material may vary from person to person based on their experience and views. However, following are the most preferred study materials to ace the PMP® exam.PMBOK GuideRita Mulcahy’s PMP® Exam Prep BookHead First PMP® Practice Exam (for practice tests)Preparation TimelineConsidering 6 weeks as the ideal timeline for this exam preparation, below is the allocation of time.First 2 weeks: Training material, Rita book (First time) and PMBOK®Second 2 weeks: Rita book (Second time) and PMBOK®Third 2 weeks: Mock exam, Flashcards and cheat sheetTips & TricksThis is again a subjective point of discussion as it may vary from person to person. However below is the list of most common and effective tips & tricks for you to pass the PMP® exam.While answering questions, always think of big projects in line with project definition laid down by PMI® and not the projects in your organizationDon’t blindly memorize but rather understand the concepts as the exam tests knowledge, application & analysis and not the ability of your memorization. However, memorize all formulas and standard definitions & terms.Remember, more important than studying a lot is studying in the right way. You need to study properly with a concrete plan of action.Attempt 3-5 full-length real-time practice tests to gauge your readiness for the exam, and also when you score more than 80% consistently in those testsBe prepared to face ambiguous and wordy questions and hence practice such questionsDon’t invest much time on any one question, as you have limited time. Mark and skip questions which seem challenging to you and get back to them later (if you have time)Attempt all questions as there is no negative markingBe prepared for more than one right answer as well as challenging questions which you may not be able to answer correctly.Have a process of elimination to narrow down to the correct answerFinal ThoughtBecause of the vast popularity and demand for PMP® certification, many people create unnecessary and irrelevant hype about the exam which eventually build unnecessary pressure on candidates. Please avoid such situations and keep yourself focused and motivated. Face the exam with a big smile and a confident heart. You deserve to pass the exam and celebrate your victory. All the best!
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Pass PMP® Certification Exam: Quick Tips To Get You Started

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  • by Nipu Nath
  • 13th Jun, 2018
  • Last updated on 06th Mar, 2019
  • 1 mins read
Pass PMP® Certification Exam: Quick Tips To Get You Started

Introduction
PMP® (Project Management Professional) is one of the most coveted, popular, and widely recognized professional certifications pertaining to project management domain in the world. Thousands of aspirants appear in this exam every year, but unfortunately only a few have managed to pass this examination. No matter how much talented, knowledgeable and experienced you are, it boils down to sticking to the proper planning and strategy to excel in this exam. So let’s discuss more about the exam preparation planning and strategy.

The Big Strategy
Every strategy must be equipped with a clear roadmap otherwise it is just like a pen without ink. So here we go.
Road map strategy for PMP certification exam

  1. Attend PMP® training workshop from an REP (Registered Education Provider) who is authorized by PMI® (Project Management Institute) to provide PMP® training workshop.
  2. Get 35 contact hours’ certificate from the REP post 4 days of the training workshop. This certificate is a mandatory requirement by PMI® to appear in the PMP® certification exam.
  3. Decide a date for the exam. Ideally, you should set the exam date considering 30-45 days of preparation after your 4 days’ workshop. Although this timeline may vary from person to person, 3-6 months is the ideal time for the exam preparation.
  4. Start preparing for the exam. Ideally, you should aim to invest 2-3 hours during weekdays (considering you are a working professional) and 6-7 hours during weekends for this period of 30-45 days.
  5. Take PMI® membership (optional). It is recommended to take PMI® membership due to a couple of benefits. For example: By taking membership, you can download a free copy of the latest PMBOK® guide. You will also avail discounted examination fees.
  6. Start submitting PMP® application at least one month earlier to your exam date as the process of application approval by PMI® may take time if your application is chosen for auditing.

Important Concepts
Below is a list of a few concepts related to which questions appear quite frequently in the PMP® exam. Hence please ensure to have a complete understanding of these concepts.

  1. Organizational Process Assets
  2. Enterprise Environmental Factors
  3. Management Plans for each Knowledge Area
  4. Project Management Plan
  5. Baselines
  6. PM Plan and Document Updates
  7. Project Scope Statement
  8. Work Performance Data, Information and Report
  9. Expert Judgment
  10. Change Request
  11. ITTO

Study Material
This is one of the most debatable points of discussion as there is no concrete answer to this point because the recommendation for study material may vary from person to person based on their experience and views. However, following are the most preferred study materials to ace the PMP® exam.

  1. PMBOK Guide
  2. Rita Mulcahy’s PMP® Exam Prep Book
  3. Head First PMP® Practice Exam (for practice tests)

Preparation Timeline
Considering 6 weeks as the ideal timeline for this exam preparation, below is the allocation of time.

  • First 2 weeks: Training material, Rita book (First time) and PMBOK®
  • Second 2 weeks: Rita book (Second time) and PMBOK®
  • Third 2 weeks: Mock exam, Flashcards and cheat sheet

Tips & Tricks
This is again a subjective point of discussion as it may vary from person to person. However below is the list of most common and effective tips & tricks for you to pass the PMP® exam.

  1. While answering questions, always think of big projects in line with project definition laid down by PMI® and not the projects in your organization
  2. Don’t blindly memorize but rather understand the concepts as the exam tests knowledge, application & analysis and not the ability of your memorization. However, memorize all formulas and standard definitions & terms.
  3. Remember, more important than studying a lot is studying in the right way. You need to study properly with a concrete plan of action.
  4. Attempt 3-5 full-length real-time practice tests to gauge your readiness for the exam, and also when you score more than 80% consistently in those tests
  5. Be prepared to face ambiguous and wordy questions and hence practice such questions
  6. Don’t invest much time on any one question, as you have limited time. Mark and skip questions which seem challenging to you and get back to them later (if you have time)
  7. Attempt all questions as there is no negative marking
  8. Be prepared for more than one right answer as well as challenging questions which you may not be able to answer correctly.
  9. Have a process of elimination to narrow down to the correct answer

Final Thought
Because of the vast popularity and demand for PMP® certification, many people create unnecessary and irrelevant hype about the exam which eventually build unnecessary pressure on candidates. Please avoid such situations and keep yourself focused and motivated. Face the exam with a big smile and a confident heart. You deserve to pass the exam and celebrate your victory. All the best!

Nipu

Nipu Nath

Project Manager - Publishing

Nipu is a CSM® and PMP® certified professional with over 7 years of industry experience in project management, program management and operations management. Nipu holds MBA in Finance & Strategy and an Engineer in Electronics & Telecommunication domain. Nipu likes to encourage and support his friends, colleagues and relatives who not only want to pursue career in project management but also plan to do relevant certifications by conducting necessary workshops, training sessions and developing study materials & contents.

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Top 10 Certifications in Project Management

Whether it is the IT or non-IT industry, a successful project always depends on a highly competent project manager. An adept and proactive project manager helps the teams in becoming consistently productive and accountable for their tasks and responsibilities. Nowadays project management is a highly pursued job title. Any professional aspiring to be a project manager can greatly benefit from working in this role. This is not only because of the lucrative salary but also because a lot of skills can be acquired after being certified as a project manager, like knowing how to plan, schedule, budget, execute, deliver and then report on the business projects. Here are some of the top certifications in project management that companies are looking for, presently:1. PMP®: Project Management Professional Project Management Professional (PMP)® is one of the top-level project management certifications and is globally recognized as the gold standard in project management. By being PMP® certified, you can work in any industry with any methodology irrespective of the situation. This certification includes all the top necessities required to test your knowledge and skills in managing the project "triple constraints", that is time, cost, and scope.Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria:Eligibility RequirementFour-year degree or global equivalentA secondary degree or global equivalentYears of Project Management Experience3 Years (36 months)5 Years (60 months)Hours Leading & Directing Projects4,500 Hours7,500 HoursHours of Project Management Education35 Hours35 Hours2. CAPM®: Certified Associate in Project Management Another certification governed and accredited by the Project Management Institute (PMI)®, the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® lays the foundation stone for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification. CAPM® is perfect for professionals who want to move steadily into the project management field. Individuals who do not possess a college degree or have no/minimal experience in the field can also apply for this certification. Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria:A minimum of 23 hours of project management education before the examination. The minimum educational criterion to go for the Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® certification is a high school diploma certificate or any global equivalent form of education.3. CSM®: Certified Scrum MasterEver since agile methodologies have become the standard in most industries, especially the IT sector, Certified Scrum Masters have been in high demand. Despite various Scrum master certifications being available in the market, the Certified ScrumMaster (CSM)® from the Scrum Alliance is a great way for aspiring project managers to start as Scrum practitioners. Scrum Alliance® offers this CSM® credential and is a non-profit organization that promotes the concept of adopting Scrum and agile practices. The organization globally has 450,000 plus certified practitioners. Accreditation body: Scrum Alliance® Eligibility criteria: There is no set of eligibility requirements to attend this Scrum Master Certification course and it can be taken by freshers or professionals who want to:Extend their careers in project management.Strengthen their grasp of Scrum.4. PMI-RMP®: Project Management Institute-Risk Management ProfessionalNowadays it is normal for any undergoing project to face risks at every stage, thus affecting its execution, success rate, and the final result. This requires planning the project by detecting potential risks, both threats, and opportunities, taking actions to reduce threats, and increasing opportunities.  The Project Management Institute-Risk Management Professional (PMI-RMP)® credential affirms that Risk Managers know the best way to identify project risks and lessen threats while making the best of available opportunities. Accreditation body: Project Management Institute (PMI)® Eligibility criteria: Either Secondary degree (high school diploma, an associate degree, or the global equivalent) 4,500 hours of project risk management experience within the last 5 consecutive years 40 hours of project risk management education Or Four-year degree (bachelor’s degree or the global equivalent) 3,000 hours of project risk management experience within the last 5 consecutive years 30 hours of project risk management education5. CompTIA Project+ certificationTraining in the CompTIA Project+ certification will enable professionals to learn and implement common project management principles and important soft skills such as team building, conflict resolution, communication, negotiation, setting, and managing expectations. CompTIA's Project+ serves as a primary-level project management credential.Accreditation body: CompTIAEligibility criteria:There are no strict prerequisites, however, according to CompTIA, a candidate should have at least one year of experience managing, directing, or participating in small- to medium-scale projects.6. PRINCE2® Foundation/PRINCE2 PractitionerAccredited by Axelos, PRINCE2® is a de facto standard that describes project management standards and assists in forming consistency among projects. It began in the UK and then applied it to its government entities. Famous across Europe and now countries in the middle and far east, many industries have adopted these standards and gained impressive results. As a result, PRINCE2® Practitioners are sought-after for their knowledge of applying this framework on projects. There are two key certifications: PRINCE2® Foundation and PRINCE2® Practitioner Certifications. The Foundation certification is an entry-level credential, testing basic project management terminology and methodology. On the other hand, the Practitioner certification tests advanced project managers who have already achieved the PRINCE2® Foundation.Accreditation body: Axelos Eligibility criteria: PRINCE2® Foundation Certification: There are no eligibility criteria for the PRINCE2® Foundation Certification Exam. However, it is recommended to possess basic project management knowledge.PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification: To get certified with PRINCE2® Practitioner Certification, applicants must have one of the below-mentioned certifications:PRINCE2® Foundation Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)® IPMA Level A (Certified Projects Director) IPMA Level B (Certified Senior Project Manager) IPMA Level C (Certified Project Manager) IPMA Level D (Certified Project Management Associate)7. PgMP®: Program Management Professional (PgMP)® Certification Training This certification is created and administered by the PMI® and is the next step, after achieving the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Certification. PgMP® is for professionals who coordinate and manage multiple projects aligned with strategic objectives. This includes directing and managing complicated activities that may extend over functions, organizations, cultures, and geographies.With the PgMP® certification, professionals will strengthen their grasp in the six prime focus areas of program management such as Governance, Prioritization, Escalation, Resource Management, Benefits Realization, and Stakeholder Management. 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