Passing the PMP exam is a goal that many have in attaining professional project management qualifications and there are some great tips and tools that can help. Over the coming weeks I’ll be aiming to do a some full reviews of the pmp exam courses and guides that are available to assist you in passing the pmp exam and pmp exam certification. This post is to help you with some more general tips on how to pass the pmp exam and to introduce you to some of the pmp study guides and resources available to you.
So, let’s begin with the top five tips for passing the PMP exam:
1. The PMBOK guide is always right.
Many people coming to the PMP exam certification have years of experience in project management. Real life projects, with real life issues and have learned practical application of project management knowledge and experience. This is a great thing – but don’t let that get in the way of the objective of the PMP exam certification – which is to test your knowledge related to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, which of course is outlined in the PMBOK guide! Sometimes you may see an answer that you believe is right based on your experience and that answer may contrast with an answer that is correct from the perspective of the PMBOK guide. When it comes to the PMP exam certification, the PMBOK guide is always right.
2. Choose the best correct option – not the first correct option
When taking the PMP exam certification you will be under time pressure to answer the questions. There really is a lot to get through in a short time. One of the most important things that you need to remember when taking the PMP exam – in fact when taking any exam – is to read the question. I know that sounds simple but really read the question and understand what is being asked for – is it the best answer, the incorrect option, the most suitable option. Sometimes there will be more than one correct answer and it becomes a judgement call on what is the most appropriate answer. Of course your answer must come via the filter of the what is best based on the teachings of the PMBOK guide.
3. Focus your study
You will definately need to study for your PMP exam, but study the right things in the right way is much more important than simply quantity of study. There are many people, when looking at passing the PMP exam who simply read the PMBOK guide over and over and over. Many people have spent long, hard hours memorizing the PMBOK guide. Although this can and does work, it is certainly not the most efficient way to go about study for the pmp exam. Focusing your study on what is relevant and then focusing on practising with the same format of questions you will be expecting is a far more efficient way to study and pass the PMP exam.
4. Use practice questions
Related to the item above which talks about focusing your study – both in terms of content and format – is the tip to use practice questions. As many as you can get! The actual exam itself has a myriad of available questions, so you can’t expect to have seen all possible questions during your study but it is the exercise of reading and answering the same formats of questions and getting used to the pace of answering, reading the question, evaluating the options.
5. Use a targetted study tool
There are several organizations who have spent a lot of time and effort to provide a study tool that focuses on the very things that you need to focus on – so why not make use of those tools? There are many study guides you can purchase and even courses that you can attend and I do hope to bring you several of these on this website soon to help you learn about what is out there. There are two, however, that I have used and will present here:
This is a video tutorial study series that focuses on what you need to know and how best to learn it. For me the best part of PM PrepCast is that it is delivered in video format that is suitable for all sorts of devices, which means I can study in the car, on my iPhone when I’m sitting at an airport or in a waiting room or in bed! This is the big clincher for PM PrepCast as it means you can ‘catch’ bits and pieces of study whenever you can. I also find the presenter of PM PrepCast , Cornelius Fitchner, quite easy to listen to, which is nice! Over 11,500 have used PM Prepcast and it has significantly decreased their study time and increased not only their understanding of PMBOK but meant that more people have been more prepared to pass the exam first time! It is relatively inexpensive, well presented and they offer a 90 day guarateee which means that you can be assured of being satisfied or get your money back. Click the image below to learn more about PM PrepCast.
This is a book that offers to teach you the PMP test, not the PMP material. Sounds like a funny claim but the developers of the PMP Exam Secrets Study Guide proport that it’s not necessarily good enough to teach the MATERIAL, you must teach the TEST and know how to apply the knowledge of the material. The guide is concise and concentrates on what you need to know, avoiding mistakes and recognizing give-away questions. The PMP Exam Secrets Study Guide gives an EXACT STUDY PLAN for the PMP test that the developers say will give you the best results in the least time. It’s a plain language guide and they offer you email support, which is pretty good if you need some questions answered. You can read even more about the PMP Exam Secrets Study Guide at their site, but the basis of it is that it’s a relatively short, concise and easy to read guide that will give you some great strategies that are not just about the material itself but about taking the actual test and that sort of information is invaluable. It’s pretty cheap too! Click on the image above or the following link to learn more about the PMP Exam Secrets Study Guide.
So, they are my five top tips for PMP exam preparation. Hopefully these tips and possibly the resources discussed may be useful for you.