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 page number 43 of the PMBOK Guide 4th Edition to understand the Project Management Process Group and Knowledge Areas Mapping. Update: For the PMBOK 5th Edition, refer to page number 61.
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 attend their mock tests.
These mock tests are exactly same as the real test, and consisting 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 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 it. 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; a lot of questions in your exam will be directly from the PMBOK Guide. Therefore, read and understand the PMBOK guide thoroughly.
Do this till your scheduled exam date arrives.
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 be started.
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, you exam will start immediately and you will not be able to utilize 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 hours to three hours to complete the exam.
You 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 you, otherwise they will offer their condolences.
I want you to see the congratulatory message.
In the PMP Certification Exam, there is no negative marking. Therefore, you must attempt all questions and give answers to them. Even if you don’t know the answers for few questions, choose the best guess. Answers all questions; 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 (though, officially PMI says that it will deliver your certificate package within eight weeks).
Before I end this blog-post, let’s summarize all 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 Prep 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 find this blog useful for your preparation.
Good Luck on your PMP Certification Exam Preparation.