As we’ve talked about here at Project Management Success previously, preparing for your PMP is going to take some study time and effort. I’m sure you’re not surprised by that statement! Another thing we’ve discussed before as well is that although the PMP examination is based on the PMBOK guide, reading the PMBOK guide as your only study method is probably not the most efficient way to go about it.
There are several PMP exam preparation tools and resources available commercially, including study guides and video/audio tutorials as well as some free resources on the internet. There is, however, another PMP study tool that should be seriously considered as part of your PMP study resources and it is that study tool that I wanted to discuss in further detail now. That study tool is PMP simulation or PMP exam simulation software.
When I was at university – and this has been several times over the course of many years studying for several undergraduate and post graduate qualifications (I’m nothing if not well educated!!) – one of my most effective examination study methods was to obtain (legitimately, I might add!) copies of past exams for the subject I was studying for. Of all the study I would do, this method definately provided the most ‘bang for buck’. Using PMP simulation provides the same two main benefits for studying for the PMP certification as obtaining past exam papers did for my university exams. Those two benefits are:
Familiarity with sample pmp examination questions – This includes:
- Familiarity with multiple choice style format of questions
- Experience in reading and understanding the question and what it is asking of you.
- Experience in critically analysing and comparing mutliple answers to select the best one, from potentially more than one correct answer.
Opportunity to simulate exam conditions - This includes:
- Opportunity to simulate the relatively fast paced timing required to answer the 200 questions in a four hour period.
- Simulation of the heightened anxiety state that goes along with sitting for an exam.
PMP simulators will usually provide many hundreds of sample PMP examination questions as well as several PMP preparation exams, which provides you with much needed experience. Experience with the same sort of questions, answering in the same required timeframe, with the same ‘nervous’ feeling that you may have in the exam. This sort of experience is invaluable and a very, very effective method of study.