Passing the examinations for the certification of Project Management Professional (PMP) demonstrates that you have mastered all the project management principles that can be applied in your workplace. It’s a challenging test though considering that it has a pass rate of only 60%. In short, 4 out of 10 students will fail the PMP exam in the first try.
Scared to be one of those unfortunate 40%? Here are 7 study tips from people who actually took the exam and excelled at it too:
Tip #1: Prepare for the exam
Preparation means dedicating at least 2 to 3 hours a day for studying. If you are like most individuals who juggle between work, family, and other life’s commitments, it can be difficult to set aside this amount of time. A solution, however, is to reduce or eliminate distractions in life like watching TV, sleeping more than 8 hours, playing video games and late night parties. Have a strict schedule and stick to it especially at least a week before the exam.
Tip #2: Take online PMP exam training
If you get easily distracted and need a more disciplined approach to studying, taking online project management training course like those offered by the Project Management Prepcast team. It will provide you a structure to prepare for the PMP exam and access to a variety of learning materials, instructor-led training, sample quizzes and on-demand coaching.
Tip #3: Read and read more
If you are spending few hours a day for the PMP exams, you will eventually read and read a lot more. That means you could be taking notes, reading your study materials, and paying attention to all small details. After you have read your resource once, go back and read it again. It will help you ‘cement’ what you have learned while also helping you revise all information that you may have skipped the first time. This could take a lot of time, but in the end, all will be worthwhile.
Tip #4: Take the practice test
Take every practical test that is available to you. Most study guides include practice exams and review questions. Many are available on the Internet, and most of them are free. The questions are worded exactly to the ones you will encounter in the real PMP exam. Therefore, the more you get familiar with these types of tests, the better your exams will go.
Tip #5: Study visual guides, or charts
The PMP exam includes Inputs, Tools, Techniques, and Outputs, or ITTO sections. Creating visual guides and studying them will be useful for these sections. So, create visual guides and charts on paper and hang them on the wall or somewhere you will see frequently. When you come across these charts, stop and study them for a while.
Tip #6: Do brain dumping exercises
Although it sounds a little bit awkward, ‘brain dumping’ is actually practiced by many PMP exam takers. In this process, you simply transfer the knowledge (or dump) from your brain to some other medium such as paper or on your computer hard drive. This knowledge contains only brief information, such as theories, definitions, and formulas, to help you jog your memory. Studying these sheets will help you focus on the question at hand instead of struggling to remember formulas and theories, thereby, putting you in a good frame of mind to take a test.
Tip #7: Join online forums
Studying several hours a day on your own can easily leave you isolated. Join an online PMP forum to share your concerns, ideas, experiences and gain access to many resources. Forums like these let you interact with other people who are preparing for the Project Management Professional exam or taking PMP training courses. You can also interact with the experts who can help you and show you best practices to pass the PMP exam. So, get involved, voice your opinions, ask questions, and get more information that will help you prepare for your exam well.
Studying for exams requires a lot of effort, time, and diligence, especially for the PMP test. You need to study 2-3 hours a day for several months (6 months) to prepare for the PMP exams and pass it the first time. If you juggle through work, relationships, and other life’s commitment, setting aside time to study for PMP exam could be quite difficult. However, with a systematic approach to study, it is possible to master all the materials for the PMP exam. These seven study tips for PMP exam mentioned above should help you stay on track and pass the test in your first try.