PMP is the world’s most recognized certification for the project management profession offered by the Project Management Institute. But earning the PMP Certificate might be challenging especially if you are a working professional. Because most full-time working professionals struggle to find time to study PMP. Is there any PMP study plan? Which PMP study plan will fit me? What are the steps of a PMP study plan? These are the most frequently asked questions of a professional when he or she wants to get project management professional PMP certification.
You will learn the 7 steps of how to create your own PMP Study Plan in this post.
Actually, there is not a simple and concrete answer to the “What is the PMP study plan?” question. Most PMP certification aspirants expect a guide like a recipe and once they follow it, they expect that they will pass the PMP certification in their first attempt. Most of the PMP blogs, training courses, or other platforms claim that they will make sure that you get your PMP certification in your first attempt if you follow their PMP study plan.
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Although a solid PMP study guide will increase your chances of passing the PMP exam on your first attempt, no one can guarantee 100% PMP success since it depends on many factors such as the background of the PMP certification aspirant, PMP prep course he or she attended, PMP study plan he or she followed and so on.
PMP Study Plan from Master of Project Academy
As Master of Project Academy, we have helped more than 500,000 professionals in more than 180 countries to clear their PMP exams with our PMP Training. While we had students who cleared the exam only in 15 days, we had students prepared for the PMP for 6 months as well. Briefly, it all depends on your background in project management, your availability, and your dedication to PMP preparation.
What is included in our 35 contact hours of self-paced PMP Training?
However, based on our experiences, we have prepared a PMP study plan for working professionals. Most of the PMP aspirants work full-time during the day and try to study for the PMP exam during their leisure time. These can be in the evening after work, on weekends, or on public holidays. Therefore, our PMP study plan below is valid for a full-time working professional.
Watch our “How should I study for the PMP® exam?” video
7 Step PMP Study Plan for Working Professionals
Our PMP study guide for working professionals includes 7 major steps. We will go over each step one by one.
Step #1 – Determine Target Date for Sitting PMP Exam
If you wish to succeed, you need to determine an attainable target first! Determine when you will sit for the PMP exam. This is the first step of the PMP Study Plan. This does not mean that go and schedule your PMP exam date. Just mark a date that you will be ready to take the PMP exam. It all depends on your schedule, availability, and dedication, but our recommendation for a regular full-time working professional is to plan 3-4 months for PMP preparation.
Because a regular PMP Training includes 35 hours of project management education. But you will be spending more time taking PMP practice exams, going over notes, remembering formulas, and going over unclear parts that you could not understand well in the first attempt, etc.
Therefore, a typical PMP preparation takes around 70-85 hours in total. If you consider that you will be able to study only in the evenings, during weekends and public holidays, we assume that you can spare around 6 hours for PMP study each week. And this makes 12-14 weeks of preparation time in total.
Important Note: Before setting your PMP exam target date, first, we recommend you check whether you are eligible to take the PMP exam. There are certain PMP certification requirements that you must meet before PMP application. You must have project management work experience and you must have attended a 35 contact hours of project management education to be eligible to sit for the PMP exam. You can read more about the PMP requirements.
Fulfilling the 35 contact hours project management education requirement for the PMP exam is relatively easy compared to fulfilling project management experience. If you do not have sufficient experience of managing projects to sit for the PMP exam, we recommend you consider enrolling in CAPM training and get the CAPM certification which is the entry-level project management certification.
Watch Alan’s “New” PMP® Exam Journey Interview
Step #2 – Prepare Your Study Plan
You can plan 6 hours of study per week based on your study schedule. For instance, you can study 2 hours on Monday, 2 hours on Wednesday and 2 hours on Sunday. Or, if you want to leave the weekend empty, you can swap Sunday study with Thursday. The days you will study for PMP may change week to week but try to keep at least 6 hours of study time for each week.
There might be long public holidays or special days ahead that you won’t be able to study. There might be long weekends or holidays that you are planning to spend with your friends, family or relatives. Plan these weeks for free and make your PMP study plan accordingly.
There are 10 Knowledge areas in PMBOK guide, and 2 additional introductory sections. The length of the content and respectively the time required to complete these sections will change but roughly, plan to complete 1 section each week. And in total, 12 sections will be completed in 12 weeks.
Step #3 – Take Notes during Your PMP Study
There will be lots of concepts, PMP formulas, hints, etc. throughout the PMP Training. Print out the handouts before starting lectures and take notes during your PMP study.
Especially take notes where you found valuable information. These notes will be useful once you finished the course. You will go over the notes during the last weeks of preparation to remember previous lectures you completed before.
If your PMP exam prep study materials include a PMP cheat sheet, it will be good to go through this cheat sheet during your PMP study to remember the important points. If you do not have a PMP cheat sheet, you can create your own PMP cheat sheet and write down critical points during your PMP study.
Step #4 – Make Practice as Much as Possible
The biggest tip we can give you for passing any certification exam is: Do as much as practice you can. Actually, it is not a tip only for the PMP certification exam. For any kind of exam, practicing with as many practice questions as possible is the key to success.
Most PMP certification aspirants look for Free PMP Questions on the web. However, most of these exams might be outdated, giving wrong answers or rationales. Free PMP materials not only lack the comprehensive PMP exam content but also guide you inappropriately during your PMP study. Therefore, be careful if you will use free PMP material during your PMP study.
Our PMP Online Training includes 750 practice questions, section quizzes at the end of each section, and 1 sample full realistic PMP exam.
Mark your answers and check whether you can score over 70% on each quiz and from sample PMP exams during your PMP study. Our recommendation is, that if you can score over 70% from quizzes and sample exams of our PMP Training and from PMP Exam Simulator Exams, you can confidently pass the Real PMP exam as well.
Step #5 – Go through your wrong answers
Once you finished your PMP study, go over the wrong answers that you selected during quizzes and sample PMP Exams. Your wrong answers show your weaknesses. Especially go through the knowledge areas where you made the most mistakes.
Going over the same section for the 2nd time will strengthen your know-how and reduce the risks of selecting the wrong options during the real PMP exam.
Step #6 – Go through your notes frequently
The best way to keep your mind ready for the PMP exam is by going over your notes frequently. PMP preparation is a long journey, and sections you completed earlier might be harder to remember when you come to the further sections.
Therefore, the best way to memorize what you will learn throughout the PMP study is to go over your notes frequently.
For instance, you can spend 15-20 minutes each week going over your notes from previous sections.
Step #7 – Go and Get the PMP!
You have gone through all sections, completed all quizzes, and scored over 70% on quizzes and realistic PMP exams.
You are ready for the Big Day!
If you have still time for the PMP exam, spend your last days going over your notes. Get a good sleep before the day of the PMP exam, and go to the PMP exam center to finalize your PMP study.
Frequently Asked Questions About PMP Study Plan
After helping 100,000 professionals to pass their certification exams we have gathered the most frequently asked questions about the PMP study plan.
Is there any solid PMP Study Plan that will work for me?
No, there is not a solid, recipe-like PMP study guide that will work for all PMP aspirants. However, there are important points that you must consider during your PMP study. We have outlined these steps for you to create your own PMP study plan.
What is the 30-Day PMP Study Plan?
Most PMP aspirants want to get PMP certification as quickly as possible. That is why you will see several PMP training providers, blogs, or platforms market “30-day PMP study plan”, “60-day PMP study plan” or “90-day PMP study plan”. However, PMP exam success requires rigorous PMP preparation.
Remember that average PMP preparation takes around 70-85 hours of study. To get ready for the PMP exam, you must spare around 3-4 hours each day to pass the PMP exam in 30 days. We do not say this is impossible however it requires big dedication, strong project management background, and sufficient time to study for the PMP exam.
If you consider the duration, time, and steps we outlined above, you can scale your PMP study into 30 days, 60 days, or 90 days. Respectively, you will have a “30-day study plan”, “60-day study plan” or “90-day study plan”.
Many of our PMP students passed their PMP exam in less than 30 days. Joffrey and Rahul are just two of them and you can read their 30-Day PMP Study tips.
What is the PMP Study Plan PDF?
As same as we listed the PMP Study Plan steps above, a PMP Study Plan PDF file will include the same steps as well. Rather than a blog post, it is a PDF file that includes the PMP study plan, checkpoints or other important points to consider during your PMP study.
We have prepared a summary of this PMP study plan as a PDF file as well. You can reach it here.
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Master of Project Academy will help you to pass the PMP certification exam in your first attempt. Master of Project Academy students had a 99.6% first attempt pass rate in certification exams. Besides, a 30-day money-back guarantee is offered if you will not be satisfied with the content.
Learn more about PMP Certification Training
How to Get PMP Certification article describes the five major steps you should pass for getting PMP certification.