How to Prepare for the PMP Certification Exam, Pass it and Become a PMP – Part-2

prepare-for-PMP-Pass-and-become-a-PMP-IIThis is the second part of a series of two posts. Please read the first part of this series:

How to prepare for the PMP Cert. Exam, pass it and become a PMP – Part-I

How to Study for the PMP Certification Exam

Start by reviewing all concepts from the reference books, manuals, slides and notes. Refer to the PMBOK Guide side-by-side to understand the process flow and logic of Input, Tool & Techniques and Output (ITTOs).

Refer to page number 61 of the PMBOK Guide 5th Edition to understand the Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Areas Mapping.

A clear understanding of the above map will help you to answer several questions in the PMP Certification Exam.

Repeat the above procedure until you’re comfortable with it.

The next step is to practice some sample exam questions. You can find a few sample questions at the end of each chapter from your reference books. You can also purchase a good question bank from any renowned provider to practice the sample questions. I would recommend you to go for either Rita or uCertify. Practice these questions and then attempt their mock tests.

These mock tests are exactly the same as the real test and consist of 200 questions. By reviewing the results of these tests, you can find out which domains you are not performing well in. Revisit those domains, and fill in the knowledge gaps.

There are some good sites on the Internet providing free mock tests for the PMP Certification Exam. Find them and try their mock tests.

I have seen on many forums and in group e-mails that people desperately look for sample practice questions and free mock tests. Please don’t do this. You should not try to attempt each and every sample question or free mock test available on the Internet. It will only demoralize you and waste your precious time.

If you purchase any one question bank mentioned in this blog, believe me that will be more than enough for you to pass the exam.

The PMP Certification Exam is based on the PMBOK Guide, and a lot of the questions in your exam will be directly from the PMBOK Guide. Therefore, read and understand the PMBOK guide thoroughly.

Do this untill your scheduled exam date arrives.

At Prometric

Reach the Prometric center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time to complete all formalities.

It takes less than 5 to 10 minutes to complete all formalities. Afterwards, you will be allowed to enter the test room, and your test will start.

The PMP Exam

Once your test starts, you will be made aware of the display on the computer screen; e.g. how to select an answer, how to mark a question for review, etc. It will take 15 minutes to finish. You can finish the introduction in under 15 minutes (once you finish the introduction, don’t click on “end”; if you click on it, your exam will start immediately and you will not be able to use the time that you saved) and utilize this time to note down some formulas or any confusing concepts on the paper provided by the Prometric Center.

You have to answer 200 questions in four hours – that is 1.2 minutes per question. From my experience, I can say that if you are well prepared for the exam, this time is more than enough for 200 questions. Professionals who have passed the PMP certification exam and became a PMP on average took two and a half to three hours to complete the exam.

Take your time to complete the exam and review the answers in your remaining time, and then submit it.

After submission there will be a short survey, and then you will be able to see your result. If you pass the exam then PMI will congratulate you, otherwise they will offer their condolences.

In the PMP certification exam, there is no negative marking. Therefore, you must attempt all questions and give answers for them. Even if you don’t know the answers for few questions, choose the best guess. Answer all the questions, and never leave any answer blank in your exam.

If you pass the exam, within 24 hours your name will be updated in the PMI Certification Registry, and then you can see your name there. You will receive your certificate within four to six weeks (although, officially PMI says that it will deliver your certificate package within eight weeks).

Before I end this blog post, let’s summarize all the steps once again:

  • Research and collect all information relevant to the PMP Certification Exam.
  • Collect study materials for the exam; e.g. books, sample questions, notes, the PMP prep software, etc.
  • Become a PMI member and download the PMBOK guide. Start studying the PMP certification exam preperation. reference books and the PMBOK Guide.
  • Get the 35 contact hours of formal PM education training from any PMI approved R.E.P.
  • Schedule your PMP certification exam.
  • Start studying seriously.
  • Take the PMP certification exam and pass it.
  • Come here to PM Study Circle and share your lessons learned!

This was all about “How to become a PMP”, I hope you found this blog post useful for your preparation.

Good luck on your PMP certification exam preparation!


  1. Anjan says

    Thanks for this blog post. I really appreciate the pain you have taken to explain the procedure. I was just wondering where to start from and now I have the pointers. Thanks once again :)


  2. Shiva says

    This blog is a very useful, informative and educative blog. I really appreciate your efforts from bottom of my heart for sharing the information and educating others. So far never came across a blog like this. Now I am more interested than before to attempt for PMP certification.


  3. Mahmood Sabt says

    Dear Fahad

    I have been reading your blog since I booked my exam, and yesterday I passed my exam, therefore I would like to thank you for sharing your great knowledge and for maintaining this blog.

    Keep the good work. Wish you all the best.

    Mahmood Sabt

    • Fahad Usmani says

      Hello Mahmood,

      Congratulation for becoming a PMP and I am glad that I was a part of your journey towards becoming a PMP.

      Thanks for your wishes.

  4. Sudhakar says


    While I browse internet regarding PMP certification, I found your blog very much useful to get started with. Thanks a lot for sharing your experience and guideline. I am an IT professional having 14 years of experience currently I am planning to go for PMP certification. Can you send me your email id so that I can contact you for some more details and gain confidence.


      • Sudhakar says

        Thanks Fahad. I took break from work to prepare and clear PMP. can you please clarify below few questions…

        is it mandatory to get PMI membership to write PMP exam?
        since the PMI edition getting changed after July’13 to 5, If I write and clear edition 4 certification does it have same value even after edition 5 exam comes into effect? Should I write any upgrade kind of exam (after clearing edition 4 cert.) to match with edition 5 pattern?

        which knowledge area added in edition 5, rest all remain same as like edition 4?


        • Vijay says

          Hi Fahad,

          Even I have the same question that Sudhakar has. I came across one of the site that July 31st is last date to complete the exam with edition 4 and later we need to attempt with edition 5. Questions I have is,

          1. Is it good to complete the PMP by July 31st 2013
          2. Any idea or where I can get information about how more is being added to edition 5 ?
          3. Will importance of PMP certification cleared before July 31 remains same after also ?

          Some info please ….

          -Thanks, Vijay

        • Fahad Usmani says

          @ Sudhakar & Vijay

          Answers to your queries are as follows:

          It is not mandatory to become a member of PMI in order to apply for the PMP exam.

          It is up to you to decide whether you want to clear the exam before 31st July or after it. In my opinion, if you are well prepared and confident that you can pass the exam, you should try it.

          Read appendix of the fifth edition of the PMBOK Guide, here you can see all changes made in new version.

          Your PMP certificate will have same value regardless of current version of the PMBOK Guide.

          No, you don’t have to give any upgrade exam to match the PMBOK 5th Edition.

          Stakeholder Management is a new knowledge area added to fifth version of the PMBOK Guide. For the rest, there is a minor change and update.

  5. Moabi says

    Just passed my pmp today,well well,easier than most people make it,i only read Rita’s book then used her fast trick (1.5 months),so just read to understand,do her chapter exercises,then you good to go.

    • Fahad Usmani says

      Congratulations Moabi for passing the exam.

      One book is okay, and two books are enough for exam preparation along with any question bank with some practice questions.

  6. Jojo says

    Hi Fahad,
    I just want to let you know how good and helpful your site is. Every study notes are very informative and important for my study.. it really helpful for me to distinguish and differentiate the terms/ideas! Thank you so much for your sharing and explaining on every single details..Yeah.. I have just passed the exam yesterday :)

    Once again, Thanks and appreciate it !

    • Fahad Usmani says

      Hello Jojo,

      Congratulations for passing the PMP exam. I am very happy that my blog helped you in your endeavor.

      Hope to see you here more often…


  7. Manimala says

    Hi Fahad,

    I just started preparing for PMP Exam….You have given me very useful tips! Very nice.

    Thanks for your information.

  8. Ajay says

    Hi Fahad,

    I can say this is right post for me. I am very impress to see the detail you had mention in this post. This guideline is not big but it is very important for me to note down this things before I leave for the exam. I am getting PMP Certification training from institute. The Mr. Ashish Sadekar is the ultimate guy & also our trainer. I would like to show your post to him and I am sure he will impress with your suggestions.

  9. Prashant says

    Hi, I am looking for a study partner for preparation of my PMP Test. If interested, please add me on or text me here to let me your convenient time to study. Studypal also provides free mentoring by experts.

  10. maria says

    Hi Fahad
    Thanks for sharing the info. I have started preparing pmp from a month (Rita’s book).I am a little worried about memorizing all the concepts. Do you think if I practice the question bank alot, I will be able to pass the certification?


    • Fahad Usmani says

      Dont worry about memorizing the concepts. Try to understand the concept and read the PMBOK Guide, and practice some questions. This will be enough for you to pass the exam.

  11. Avinash says


    I have started preparing for PMP certification. Can some one please guide me how should i start it and which of the books should i refer

  12. Avinash says

    Hi Fahad,

    I am a software developer with 4 yrs experience..I have started preparing for PMP exams,the book which i am reading is Rita’s, but i am so much worried because many many of the concepts are very new and i am not able to memorize them or learn them at its best. I am also very much worried that syllabus will be going to changed after nearly 3 months,so just 3 months are there. Sometimes i feel i am not capable of this exam, i feel very depress, Only 3 months are remaining and anyhow i want to clear this. Please guide me what should i do and how should i follow the study approach…
    Thanks Fahad in advance…!!!!

  13. remya says

    Hi.. I am looking for ” Rita Mulcahy’ sPMP Exam Prep, Eighth Edition—Updated” book.
    Can any one let me know where I can download a copy of the same?


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