If you are looking for the information on how to nail your PMP certification you are definitely reading the right article. As in this article, we aim to provide you with the guidelines that can help you achieve your target – The PMP Certification. We will help you make your preparation the best PMP Exam Prep and help you to clear the PMP Exam in the 1st attempt.
We know the level of effort and commitment you are going to invest for the accomplishment of your target. Therefore we care and value your efforts. Everyone wants to reap maximum benefits from their efforts, so is the case with the PMP aspirants who are preparing to appear in the PMP Exam.
We value your time, effort and finance, you are going to spend on the PMP certification preparation. Also, you must be pretty much engaged in your professional life. So it is important that you put all your efforts in such a manner so that there will be a greater chance of success in the first attempt.
This is why we compiled 10 rules for Best PMP Exam Prep. Read on and make your PMP preparation period a success!
Best PMP Exam Prep: The 10 Rules for PMP Exam Preparation
1. Set Mission and Vision: Make your mind clear and focused
All of the aspirants want to mark their success in the first attempt of the PMP Exam. Though there is a provision of reappearing in the exam it is not a good idea to keep that in mind. You should start preparing for the PMP by setting a mission and a vision. You should consider what you will get and what it will look like:
How will you feel when you are PMP certified? What it will look like when people acknowledge your skills? What are the different jobs for PMP that you can get with your certification? Are you looking for the promotion within your organization which demands PMP certification? What is the value addition you will get in the market? Do you want to achieve a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction in achieving the next level?
You should set your mission and vision based on your wishes and goals. These are just a few we have listed to share the idea. As there are cases where people even set the moment and feeling of success – when they will see the congratulations screen after completion of the online PMP Exam.
Once you envision yourself as what you will be, this will help you set your focus. The first ground rule is to have clarity of mind without doubts. Be convinced that you have to do it and there is no other alternative. Believe it – this is the starting point of the road to success!
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 best PMP exam prep plan accordingly.
2. Know the Rules of the Game: Because you want to win
After setting your vision, you need to explore certain areas pertinent to the PMP Examination. For instance, you must explore the registration process, prerequisites etc. For the sake of exploration you can focus on these basic questions:
- What are the Prerequisites of the Exam?
- Am I eligible for the PMP Exam?
Best PMP Exam Prep Tip: You need to cover the PMP Prerequisites to become Eligible:
If you have at least a four-year bachelor’s degree (or global equivalent), you need the following:
- Experience: You must have at least three years of project management related experience. Within these three years of experience or 4,500 hours of working experience in project management activities.
- Training: you must have completed 35 contact hours of formal PMP Exam Course. You can see PMP training for this.
If you have a secondary degree (high school diploma, associate’s degree or global equivalent), you need the following
- Experience: You must have at least five years of project management related experience. Within these five years, you must have spent at least 7,500 hours for project management related activities.
- Training: you must have attended 35 hours of formal PMP Exam Course
You can identify the initial gaps especially regarding the prerequisites of the PMP Exam. Good understanding of these areas will help you in laying the basic foundation of what is required with respect to your current situation. So if there is any gap in the eligibility criteria you need to cover it up at the first priority.
In addition to the above queries, you will also need to explore the following:
- What is the registration process for the PMP Exam?
- What is the duration of the exam?
- How many questions will be asked in the exam?
The PMP exam is composed of 200 multiple-choice questions. Out of these 200 questions, 25 questions are pre-test; these marks do not affect your score. These pre-test questions will be placed randomly throughout the exam questions. Therefore it is better to assume that all 200 questions are scorable. Following tables depicts the percentage of questions within the PMP Exam:
Percentage of questions
|1||Initiating the project||13%|
|2||Planning the project||24%|
|3||Executing the project||31%|
|4||Monitoring and controlling the project||25%|
|5||Closing the project||7%|
3. Get PMP Training: Go for the best one for the best PMP exam prep
While identifying the prerequisites, the very first identification that will draw is the PMP Exam requirement of 35 contact hours. These contact hours are also known as PDUs (Professional Development Units). To earn these 35 contact hours you got to acquire formal training. So the PMP training helps you earn 35 contact hours to fulfill the requirement to sit in the PMP Exam. You can consider project management classes online options as well if you want to attend in an instructor-led PMP training.
There are many training institutes that offer PMP exam preparation trainings. Different institutes offer different training modes. These modes include classroom training, virtual classroom training, and e-learning. There are several institutes which offer PMP trainings in all of these modes.
The selection of the training provider has its own impact on your success. Keep in mind that if you want to get the best PMP exam prep you should choose the best training. By this way, you will learn the project management processes that will help you to crack the PMP exam in your 1st attempt.
The set of queries mentioned in the prior section need to be addressed during these trainings. The institutes with a focus on great learning contents, coverage of the course, effective instructors, the guidance of process, addressing the challenges, accessibility, and availability at the time of need will always train you with the required skills to write the PMP exam with confidence and motivation.
These trainings help you understand the PMP standard – Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBoK) by PMI. During the trainings you should keep your focus that you have to acquire the PMP credential. There should be no doubt about it.
Furthermore, during the training, you should take notes which will help you to recall at a later stage – during the self-study – on what you covered during the training. Be focused and be pro-active during the training and don’t be shy to ask any pertinent queries or discuss your viewpoint to clear the subject topics
4. Set and Follow the Roadmap for Self-Study
Once you are done with the training it means that you are all set for your own drive. Just like when you go on a long drive, you set your destination, resources and the time to reach the destination. Likewise, at this time you should have a timeline to sit in the PMP Exam.
This is the most critical stage which may not seem urgent but this is very important. This stage has a makes or break impact on the PMP Exam. Though the time is not the only factor to choose the duration for self-study, the effective time is. It means you should know your capacity based on your other work routines.
As a general recommendation, you can plan your study for 8 hours per week. You can break this time as 2 hours for 4 days per week. The reasons for suggesting 4 days a week include:
- You will be able to have focused short sessions which are more effective
- You will still have a couple of days in the reserve for your own activities as well as to cover up in case you miss any planned day.
- 4 days will bring consistency in your approach and your mind will be attentive towards completion – thus stopping you from going in sleep mode
If you acquire the training from a good training provider, you should have good material along with PMI Standard PMBok to prepare for the exam. The overall duration is subject to individual experience, knowledge, and passion. However, if one follows this pattern of effective engagement, generally it will take around 8-10 weeks for full-fledged preparation.
5. Register With PMI
Once you register with PMI, you get several benefits. The first advantage is that you have access to the standards and related material which is accessible to the PMI members. So you have the privilege to go through the knowledge base. As well as you can download the standards as part of the package. Once you go through the PMBok standard you capture the whole process framework required for Project Management. So covering the standard will reinforce your full content coverage.
In addition to this, you also get the monetary advantage when you apply for the PMP Exam. There is a membership fee associated with the membership. You have to pay the fee to become the registered member of PMI. The PMI membership will cost $129. Additional $10 will be charged one time for the application fee. This saves you bucks as the PMP Exam fee for the PMI non-members is $555 whereas the PMP Exam fee for the members is $405.
We recommend that you become a member of PMI first and then apply for the PMP Exam rather than applying for the PMP Exam as a non-member of PMI.
6. Practice a Lot For the Best PMP Exam Prep
We suggest that you opt for the practice tests based on the topics you covered during PMP training. This will help you to assess your standing within a specific topic. You may cover the topics in line with the PMP Exam training and PMBok. This approach will enable you to cover one topic and move to the next topic.
After completing your topics you may practice full-fledged PMP practice exams which will reflect your overall position with respect to the PMP Exam.
Once you re-assess your standing, you might need to cover up the areas where you identify gap and room for improvement. Focus on those specific topics as identified during the practice sessions and participating through the forums and groups.
After covering these topics you need to re-assess your position through practice tests and quizzes. This is the most critical phase for the best PMP exam prep as you have to push yourself for the best and stable and confident to appear in the exam.
This is the best time when you practice full-fledged mock-ups as this will prepare you to:
1- Apply what you have learned
2- Focus for the 4 hours duration of PMP Exam
3- Manage to answer all of the 200 questions
7. Connect With Project Management Networks
Join different Project Management networks available on social media. Especially being PMI member brings you a lot of opportunities to collaborate through events, webinars, You get latest updates through research papers and Project Management Journals.
Networking is a significant benefit of a PMI membership; you will have opportunities to connect with professionals through several communities. You can learn a great deal by connection with professionals. In these networks you can seek for help for preparing for PMP certification, you can find people sharing lessons-learned, they share their experience during the preparation of the PMP exam, even to the extent such networks are helpful to get jobs and references through the built connections.
In addition to this, once you acquire PMI membership, you can also join the local PMI chapter by paying a minimal cost. Joining the PMI local chapters brings a lot of value addition. You can get in-person guidance from the people. You also get to meet people who are preparing for the PMP Exam. These groups hold frequent meetings and discussions. They also invite guest speakers who are experts of their domains and Project Management. These experts share their knowledge which brings you more clarity and motivation to keep the spirits high for achieving your target.
8. Act as a Specialist – Be an Advisor
We suggest you join PM forums and groups where you find the queries and questions raised by other PM aspirants which will help you to identify any gaps in terms of understanding. Likewise, you have the provision to raise any questions to get the best answer within the forum.
The best approach is to understand the problem and response to these questions. Otherwise, check the responses posted by others against these posted questions. This helps you contribute your knowledge with others during your PMP preparation as well as developing your expertise on the subject matter.
With this approach, you can identify the gaps that require to be covered up through more study and practice tests. Keep this activity as part of your routine in parallel to your self-study. This helps you reinforce what you have learned.
9. Measure Your Progress
Measuring one’s own progress is a tough but critical aspect during the PMP Exam prep. While you are doing self-study, or you are sharing information on the forums, or you are practicing the PMP tests, in all these dimensions, you get to assess your progress. Every single day you move closer to your target.
You need to refresh your knowledge especially in the areas where gaps are observed. The notes and the material you collected during the PMP Exam training will be helpful in quick refreshers. Furthermore, you are responding to questions raised by other members on various forums. In addition to this, your attempts of the available mock-ups and the tests are the good indicators of your progress. The trends of the progress will help you asses your readiness for the PMP Exam.
10. Relax for the PMP Exam Day
You should relax and don’t panic when you sit in the PMP exam as you have prepared for all the aspects required to sit in the exam. Now you should be focused, confident and cool to appear for the test. Therefore, it is also very important that the night before the PMP Exam you should have slept well.
The PMP exam has a total duration of 4 hrs in which you have to answer 200 questions. Hence the exam is both test of your knowledge and race against time. In order to tame the wild horse of time, you should have enough practice to solve 200 questions within 3.45.
You should keep around 15 minutes for the short breaks you may want to avail during the PMP Exam. Complete your test and mark your success by achieving PMP credential.
Best PMP Exam Prep: Conclusion
In this article, we provided you with the guidelines on how to prepare for the PMP Exam with the objective of passing it in the 1st attempt. Considering the worth of your investment to acquire PMP certification, it is important that you put all your efforts in such a manner that there is a greater chance of success in your first attempt.
We appreciate your reading this article and we hope you enjoyed it. We are confident that these guidelines will help you achieve PMP Certification in the best possible way in your very first attempt. Best of luck!