There are several ways to get ready for PMP certification exam. Studying from PMP books, PMP audio books, PMP prep books or PMP exam books is one of the many alternatives to get ready for PMP certification exam. Actually, studying from a PMP book is one of the oldest and conventional way of getting ready for the PMP exam.
In this article, we will explore the available PMP exam books in the market and list the best PMP exam books for getting ready for the PMP certification exam. You will have an insight of advantages and disadvantages of each PMP prep book. So that you can decide which PMP book you will choose for your PMP study.
After helping over 50,000 professionals in more than 180 countries with a 99.6% first attempt pass rate, we have prepared a seven step PMP study plan. Read this PMP study plan and create your own PMP prep plan accordingly.
Why Do I Need to Study for PMP certification exam?
What is the most prestigious project management certification around the world? No doubt: PMP certification provided by PMI. Based on the PMI’s Talent Gap Report 15.7 million new project management jobs will be created by 2020 across seven project-intensive industries. There is currently a huge demand for certified PM professionals amongst employers. This makes PMP certification more and more important year-by-year.
You might be working in project management jobs for a long time. You might have a very good knowledge of project management theory. However, these are not sufficient to pass your PMP certification in your first attempt. PMP certification requires a dedicated and rigorous study even if you are coming project management background. I know several project managers who managed hundreds of projects during their career and sat for PMP exam without a proper preparation. Result? Of course, failure in most of the cases. Because, PMP certification exam assesses your theoretical knowledge with your practical experience on applying project management techniques when managing projects.
After helping thousands of professionals to pass their PMP certification exams, we recommend at least 80-85 hours of PMP study for professionals. Considering that the most of the PMP aspirants are full-time working professionals, it takes around five to six months to get ready and pass the PMP certification exam.
How Can I Get Ready for PMP Certification Exam?
Of course, one of the oldest and main ways of getting ready for PMP certification exam is studying through PMP books. We will go through the available PMP exam prep books in the market and provide insights about how to select the best PMP book that will bring you PMP certification. Before listing PMP books, it is better to give a short information about the other ways of getting ready for PMP exam.
1-) Attending a PMP Classroom Training
One of the PMP exam requirements is attending a 35 contact hours project management education. Therefore, you must have completed a project management training before you apply for PMP exam. PMP classroom courses will not only help you to satisfy one of the PMP prerequisites, but also prepare you for the PMP certification exam.
The main advantage of attending a PMP classroom training is you will attend an interactive PMP prep course. The main disadvantage is these PMP exam prep courses will have four- or five-day intensive schedules. There is a huge content to get ready for the PMP exam and grasping all the exam-critical details in an intensive program will not be easy. You will have to study on your own after attending the PMP classroom training as well.
2-) Attending an Online PMP Training
After 2010s, with the help of technology and emerging online education options, online PMP training options started to be popular as well. There are many advantages of attending an online PMP training. First and the most important one is, online PMP training options help you to follow the training at your own pace and in any place! Therefore, you can revisit the lectures of the PMP training any time you wish during your PMP study.
Since the PMP training is provided online this brings a big cost advantage for the students as well. On average, an online PMP training is four to five times cheaper than a PMP classroom training. However, you must be careful when choosing an online PMP certification training whether it satisfies the PMP exam requirements of PMI.
You can check PMP Certification Training of Master of Project Academy for further details. This online PMP training satisfies the 35 contact hours project management training prerequisite of PMP certification requirements. It covers more than 300 lectures, over 750 practice questions, downloadable handouts, supporting documents, cheat sheets and several other PMP prep materials.
PMP success stories of Master of Project Academy proves the quality of this PMP certification training option. Don Wheeler is one of the several PMP success stories of Master of Project Academy. Don passed the PMP exam successfully with the PMP training from Master of Project Academy and he scored “Above Target” on all five domains of the PMP exam. This is the highest score where a PMP candidate can get from the PMP exam. You can read Don’s PMP success story.
How Can I Get Ready for PMP Exam with a PMP Book?
The fundamentals of PMP exam content relies on PMBOK guide which is the Project Management Body of Knowledge prepared and published by PMI. PMI works on changing dynamics of the project management world continuously. Depending on the changes and emerging new methods for project management, PMI updates and publish new versions of PMBOK. Therefore, one of the oldest and main ways of getting ready for PMP certification is studying through a PMP book.
A PMP exam prep book will have sections aligned with the knowledge areas of PMBOK and it will have several practices, quizzes, and other resources to get you ready for the certification exam. Our recommendation is, once you choose your PMP exam book, plan to complete each section of the PMP book over a PMP study guide. Once you complete the PMP book, you can apply for the PMP exam.
What are the PMP book options in the market? Which PMP exam book is the best? What is PMP audio book? We will explore all these now.
PMP Book #1 – PMBoK – Project Management Body of Knowledge
The PMBOK constitutes the main frame of PMP exam content and PMP training providers, PMP exam book authors, and other PMP resource generators align their content based on the changes of PMBOK continuously. This makes the PMBOK as one of the main sources for getting ready for the PMP certification exam. Therefore, although you must attend in a PMP training to be eligible to sit for PMP exam, many PMP exam candidates follow a supplementary PMP exam prep book during their study.
However, PMBOK is not an easy-to-read source. Although it is a great source of project management knowledge, the structure of the book is designed in a way to concentrate on inputs, outputs and tools and techniques of project management rather than how to apply them. Therefore, you must find other PMP book options to supplement PMBOK.
PMP Book #2 – Rita Mulcahy’s PMP Exam Prep Book
PMP exam prep book by Rita is the most popular PMP book in the market after the PMBOK. Since its first publication in 1990s, Rita PMP book become the major source for PMP aspirants who are getting ready for PMP certification through a PMP book.
The structure of the book is easy to follow. Sections of the book is completely aligned with the PMBOK so you can easily map what you are learning from the Rita’s PMP book vs PMBOK. End of section quizzes help you to assess your knowledge after you completed a section. Several practices teach you complex concepts easily. You can read the complete review of PMP Rita Book.
PMP Book #3 – The PMP Exam: How to Pass on Your First Try
This PMP book by Andy Crowe is comprehensive and a very good guide to get ready for PMP exam. You will be able to follow the instructions and learn the concepts easily with the help of this PMP book. The PMP practice questions in this book are very similar to the ones you will see in the PMP exam. However, do not be upset that some questions are really harder than the real PMP exam questions. The more difficult PMP questions are for preparing you to harder ones so that you can pass the PMP exam easily.
PMP Book #4 – Head First PMP Prep Book
Head First PMP books is probably the easiest PMP book to study. However, do not expect so many easy questions in the real PMP exam as you will see in this book. The structure of the book is designed in a way that you will learn the concepts in a very entertaining way. However, the book is not covering 100% of the PMP exam content. Therefore, you must find other resources to complement this PMP book.
PMP Book #5 – PMP Exam Simplified Book
PMP exam simplified PMP exam prep book by Aileen Ellis is like a supplementary material to understand the PMBOK. The book concentrates on inputs, outputs and tools and techniques (ITTOs) of project management processes in a way that will help you understand the PMBOK better. Some PMP aspirants find this PMP exam book not comprehensive enough to get ready for the PMP exam. Also, the PMP practice questions of this PMP book is criticized for not being similar to the real PMP exam questions.
What is the Best PMP Book?
Although most of the PMP students follow PMBOK and PMP book by Rita, there is not an easy answer of this question. Some students might find PMBOK very hard to follow while some others find it very useful. Some students might like Rita PMP book while others prefer Andy Crowe’s PMP Book. So, the best PMP book might change for each PMP candidate.
The important thing is finding the best PMP exam prep book for you. Some of the PMP books offer a free preview section while some send demo to your address or email. You can go to a book store and look for the available PMP books as well to check which PMP book you will like the most.
Should I Try PMP Audio Book?
PMP podcasts or PMP audio books started to become popular in recent years. PMP instructors or authors record their voice when they are training students or they record specifically to prepare a PMP audio book. You can find these resources on YouTube, in blogs of authors and in other places as well.
If you are spending significant time when commuting during a day, you can start a PMP audio book. Following a PMP audio book will refresh what you learned in your PMP training or from your PMP book. It is important to mention that you can use PMP audio books as supplementary material. However, we do not recommend them using as the main source of your PMP study.