Introduction PMP certification 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.
Attend PMP training course from an REP (Registered Education Provider) who is authorized by PMI® (Project Management Institute) to provide the best PMP training online.
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 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.
Organizational Process Assets
Enterprise Environmental Factors
Management Plans for each Knowledge Area
Project Management Plan
PM Plan and Document Updates
Project Scope Statement
Work Performance Data, Information and Report
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.
Rita Mulcahy’s PMP® Exam Prep Book
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.
While answering questions, always think of big projects in line with project definition laid down by PMI® and not the projects in your organization
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.
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 tests
Be prepared to face ambiguous and wordy questions and hence practice such questions
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)
Attempt all questions as there is no negative marking
Be 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 answer
Final Thought Because of the vast popularity and demand for PMP course and 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 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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