One of the most crucial factors for passing the PMP exam in the first attempt itself is the PMP® Exam Prep method you choose. Not all exam prep methods fit into everyone’s lifestyles. For instance, a working professional will prefer online PMP exam prep method while others may like taking coaching classes to get prepared for exam. No matter what method you choose, you must prepare a good PMP study plan, one that makes sure you are adding something to your knowledge every day and also get enough time to take some practice tests before the exam.
Structure of PMP exam
Let us understand the structure of PMP exam before diving into PMP exam prep.
It is a 4-hour objective kind of exam with 200 questions, each of which has four answer options with only one correct answer. You will not get any negative marks if your answer is wrong but rigorous PMP exam prep is needed to answer correctly. There is a variety of questions designed by practicing project managers from across the world. While some questions are based on data interpretation, quant aptitude, and practical experiences, others are based on Project Management Body of Knowledge framework or PMBOK. It makes sense to base your PMP exam prep according to five process groups as the percentage of questions are based on this.
Following are the two ways of preparing for PMP exam:
Classroom Training: This is the traditional way of PMP prep. Herein you attend a classroom PMP course and after completing 35 hours of project management education. It is a 4 to 5 days intensive program covering all the important topics for the exam. But classroom training can hit hard on your pocket as it can cost around $1500-$2500 in the US.
Online Courses: Classroom-based PMP exam prep courses are not appropriate if you are a full-time working professional, as your job would not allow you time to attend classes and invest that much time into preparations. You may like to prepare on your convenience and online courses are a great aid in such scenarios. You can study each PMP knowledge area one-by-one at your own pace and convenience of your own home with these online courses. Also, they cost much cheaper than classroom training. You can find online PMP prep courses ranging from $35 to $199 offered by various online academies and professionals.
Do’s and Don’ts of PMP Exam Prep:
Following are a few things you must include in your PMP exam Prep and a few that you should avoid:
- At first, you need to unlearn your company’s terminology and get used to PMI glossary. The terminology that PMI uses for each process, activity, or artifact might be different from what you have been using, so it is always better to unlearn and relearn to avoid any unnecessary mistakes in the exam.
- It is important to be verse with the processes and their weightage in the examination to be sure you invest your time well during preparation. For example, out of 47 total processes executing process group total of eight processes but covers around 31% of questions in the exam, which is around 62 questions. On the other hand, planning has 24 processes but only covers 24% of the questions, which means you need to cover 24 of those processes to answer 48 questions in the exam. So, once you know the weight mark, you know which part of the curriculum to stress more during your PMP exam prep.
- Time management is the key to success when appearing in PMP exam. It is advisable not to spend more than 1 minute on any question. Mark answers for review before moving on, this will help you go through them before submitting the exam, and you can recheck on some of the difficult questions.
- Although, there are four options and no negative marking making sure you have a 25% probability of selecting the right answer until giving as many mock tests as you can to get the feel and pattern of the exam.
- Personalize your learning experience. What may be the right method of PMP exam prep for one person may not be the right one for another. if you are more of a listener then consider listening to audio books and podcast available for PMP prep. if you are more of a visual person, then maybe video lectures from online academy and professionals may be a better choice for you.
- Even when you are done with the course syllabus, keep taking as many mock tests as you can. Continuity is very important to stay in touch with the processes and concepts covered in the curriculum.
KnowledgeHut Bonus Tips:
- PMP exam prep is not just about theory and definitions; you will need to understand real case studies and examples on quality management for successfully passing the exam. Go through examples where six sigma, Kanban, and other managerial concepts were applied.
- Some concepts can be really confusing for anyone and may need extra attention. so, it is advisable to always keep a time window before the exam to go through notes on such concepts. yes, you need to make notes as well. Quality assurance, corrective action, product scope are some of that often require more time to grasp.
- Finally, less is more for practicing quant and statistics section. Usually, this section consumes most of the time and most errors as well. They say if your quant is strong, you can fair quite well in your PMP examination.
The key to successfully passing the PMP exam is a combination of 3Ps. Those 3Ps are Plan, Prepare, and Pass. If you have a well-thought plan divided into days and topics to be covered each day for PMP Exam Prep and you follow it rightfully then nobody can stop you from clearing this exam. And practice! Practice till the last day because that is what going to make you perfect and bring you success in your PMP examination.