The best way to prepare typically consists of a mix of strategies, including:
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Most PMP®seekers will need 30-90 days to preapre for the exam. The duration depends on the hours of effort you’re able to put in each week given your other commitments. It’s a good rule of thumb to treat your PMP® project like a small part-time job (at least 5-10 hours a week).
The PMBOK® Guide is a PMI publication updated every three years or so. It identifies a subset of principles, processes, tools, and techniques that are generally recognized as good practice across many industries and sectors.
Since over half of the exam covers Agile content, we recommend that you also read the PMI Agile Practice Guide and the Scrum Guide, a short document that specifically outlines the Scrum framework. Outside of these source documents, we also recommend you pick up a copy of The 50 PMP Exam Questions Everyone Gets Wrong by Cornelius Fitchner, creator of the most respected PMP Exam simulator on the market. (We like it so much we include it as part of our comprehensive PMP Exam Prep program.)
Yes, there are a few formulas that you should know for the exam. However, there are relatively few of them and they are simple to learn. Most people say that the formula quesitons are some of the easiest, because they have straightforward answers. The most difficult questions on the exam are situational, where you must use you best judgement to choose between two or three equally attractice (or unattractive) answers.
It’s definitely possible to study for the exam (and pass) without taking an exam prep course. That said, it’s much more difficult. Here are the key challenges you’ll need to address if you go down the self-study path:
These challenges are why many people choose to leverage PMP exam prep courses. These courses typically count for your 35 education contact hours, include live instruction on everything you need to know, and provide vetted practice questions
In terms of a comprehensive exam prep textbook, Rita Mulcahy’s test prep book is the most popular and credible on the market. It’s worth reading, especially for the practice questions which are included.
Our favorite prep book is The 50 PMP Exam Questions Everyone Gets Wrong by Cornelius Fitchner. While it’s not a comprehensive overview of the exam content, it’s a great way to test your knowledge. Plus, it contains some really useful exam-taking tips at the back.
We’ve tested a TON of exam prep simulators, and gathered lots of feedback about which ones are closest to the real thing. The winner, hands down, is the PMP Exam Simulator by OSP international. It includes over 2000 practice exam questions, including five complete exams. Every question includes full answer explanations.
This product has been on the market a long time and has a great reputation. We think the questions are slightly more difficult than the ones on the real exam, but that’s a good thing. We like this so much, we wish we had created it…so we did the next best thing. We included it in our exam prep course.
We recommend that you begin by inventorying your knowledge. Take a practice quiz or exam and note both your overall performance and the topics you found most challenging. Next, shore up your knowledge by reading key sources for the exam (including but not limited to the PMBOK® Guide and Agile Practice Guide) or taking an exam prep course. Lastly, you’ll want to do LOTS OF PRACTICE QUESTIONS.
Most people need to do between 800-1000 practice questions before taking the test. But you should also consistently be scoring over 80% on practice exams before you take the real thing. Some people find that means they need to do well over 1000 questions to be successful.
Time management begins with every practice test you take. Try to maintain a pace of 1 minute per question, except on very long ones. It’s also really important that you simulate the real exam by doing long sets of questions as you approach test day (i.e., 50-100 at a time.) This will help develop resistance to fatigue
During the exam, make liberal use of the “mark question” feature. If a question is taking too long, mark it and move on. Do a first pass of the easier questions, and then come back to ones that could be time sucks.
You should be consistently scoring 80% or higher on practice exams on longer quizzes (i.e., quizzes over 50 questions).