As everyone knows, preparing for an exam involves a lot of time, work, and diligence. It takes months of preparation to pass the Project Management Professional – PMP exam. You need to study hard for the PMP exam! You must be able to understand the practical use of the large quantity of project management content that you will be learning. If your career is well established, it’s possible that you haven’t prepared for an exam in years, which has left your study skills outdated. Here are some excellent PMP exam prep tips to help with that.
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A Few Pointers to Help You Prepare for the PMP Exam
There will be more competition for you because the PMP exam is becoming more and more popular, with about 762,000 people holding one of the fastest-growing certifications in the world! Don’t worry, though; with enough effort, enthusiasm, and drive, you can still pass the entire PMP course. To assist you, we provide a methodical strategy for passing the PMP certification exam.
Discover your motivation! Determine what you want to learn from the offered content before commencing your day’s work. If your study materials include any specific study goals or recap questions, read them first to make sure you know where you’re going and what you need to get done by the end of the day.
Examine the content you intend to cover before starting your study session. Examine every chart, graph, and heading in your study guide and A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK Guide). Being acquainted with the subjects you want to study can help you locate certain topics in the book more easily, both for your original research and for review. It’s also easier for you to mentally arrange facts in a logical and methodical sequence when you start with this type of survey.
Research from cognitive psychology indicates that people often remember the early and last parts of a study session the best. Take advantage of this inclination and divide your study sessions into manageable parts. If you want to study for three hours total, for instance, divide it up into six 30-minute periods with brief breaks in between. If you take a break from your studies, it will be easier for you to recall what you have already studied.
Prepare a list of questions you would like answered before you start your learning day. You’ll become an active researcher instead of just a passive reader after doing this, which could come in handy when you study the PMBOK® Guide.
PMP Exam Tips: Top 10 Ways to Get Ready for the Exam
Understand the PMBOK Guide
The Project Management Body Information Guide (PMBOK® Guide) is published by PMI. One of the most important things to do to pass the PMP exam is to be familiar with the PMBOK® guide. Although there are other books available, none can replace the official guide. “I don’t see” a lot of the questions in the manual, you might say. It gives you a sense of achievement, that much is true, but it does not imply that you cannot pass the exam.
The handbook is lengthy and tedious to read, which is the bad news. As a result, most consumers favor less visually appealing markets of various kinds. If a large number of people are reporting that they failed the exam despite multiple attempts, it’s possible that they didn’t follow the PMBOK guidelines.
Make a Schedule or Plan
A study plan serves as your preparation’s road map. It’s important to establish your objectives and make a plan for achieving them before you start studying. Let’s be honest, most of us find exams to be somewhat intimidating. Without a clear plan in place, it is easy to become bogged down in the planning and lose sight of your objectives.
When creating your plan, there are a few key topics you should address. The time is the most significant. What is the duration of your preparation period in months? How many hours a day can you dedicate to the exam? Is it possible for you to study in the mornings before heading to work, or are evenings more your style? Determine what works for you by attempting to respond to these questions. Subsequently, investigate the sources that you must consult. Set deadlines for yourself to do the various assignments on the course. And schedule some time for your PMP practice exam.
But keep in mind that having a strategy in place does not guarantee exam success. You must adhere to it as well. For people, this is the difficult part. In order to succeed in the exam on your first try and differentiate yourself from the competition, make sure you plan your study and stick to it.
Consult another study guide.
Even while studying the PMBOK guide is essential, passing the PMP exam requires more. The PMBOK is not exam-oriented, which is the cause. The processes’ underlying theory or facts are provided by the guide. However, it does not explain how these methods are related to one another or how to use them in real settings. You’ll quickly learn that most of the questions on the PMP exam are scenario-based. Therefore, learning the fundamentals of project management from the PMBOK guide alone won’t guarantee that you pass the exam.
Furthermore, a lot of subjects that are frequently tested on the PMP exam are not included in the PMBOK handbook. You must thus select a different handbook that addresses these subjects.
Create Practice Exams
Creating the entire simulated exam in addition to completing practice questions is an expansion of the previously mentioned advice. You will inevitably fail the PMP exam if you approach it solely as a knowledge-based exam. Yes, there is a large curriculum and challenging questions. However, keep in mind that it takes a lot of strength to sit for four hours and efficiently answer 200 questions with varied degrees of difficulty.
Therefore, in order to enter the mental state needed to function well during those four hours, you must write the mock exams. Practice exams also assist you in tracking your development and refining your test-taking technique. Can I finish the exam in the allotted four hours? Am I answering the questions too slowly? What kinds of questions am I having problems answering? Are my anxiety levels rising too high? Is my performance declining as the test goes on? Can I still recall the ideas that I have learned? Do you think there are any details I’m overlooking that might be causing my thoughtless mistakes? These are all significant questions. Additionally, writing the simulated exams is the only way you may respond to these.
You will pass the real exam if you see that you are routinely scoring higher than 80% on your mocks. As a means of providing feedback, use the mock exams to fine-tune your exam-day plan and achieve success.
Solve bunch of practice questions
The vast majority of questions on the PMP exam are scenario-based. There are wide variations in these cases. Therefore, applying the theory in practical settings is not assured just by reading it. This is when the practice questions come in handy.
Furthermore, when you solve a variety of questions, you will see that they may be classified. Some questions are brief and to the point, while others are extensive. There are some formula-based questions. Others are scenario-based. You will also be asked ITTO questions regarding project management tools and methodologies.
So what benefit does answering practice questions have? As you read the questions, it will assist you in recognizing the various question types and the abilities you will need to develop in order to answer them. On test day, you should be able to quickly recollect the method to answer a question as soon as you read it.
Practice questions can be found in a variety of places on the internet. When selecting a source, make sure to thoroughly investigate both the quality of the content and the credibility of the source.
Create a plan of action that suits you.
When you read the success tales of those who pass the PMP exam on their first attempt, you’ll find that most have a distinctive story to share. Which exam technique is the most effective? There isn’t a single method that fits all situations and gives positive results.
Everybody is unique. Some people may not benefit from what works for others. For example, some of us are really good at learning with flashcards. Others find that learning best happens visually. Some people learn better when they study in a group. Thus, the greatest strategy for passing this test is to be aware of your study habits and areas of strength and weakness. Try out a few different approaches throughout your practice PMP exams to determine which works best for you.
Make the most of your 35 hours of project management training
Before you can even register for the exam, the PMI requires you to complete 35 contact hours of formal project management instruction. The vast majority of people regard it as a task that must be completed. Instead, see it as a teaching opportunity that will help them achieve their objective of passing the PMP exam. It is important to use these 35 hours to solidify your understanding of the ideas being assessed. The contact hours might help you identify any specific areas where you are missing.
Make certain that the training you choose is provided by a Registered Education Provider (REP). The PMI has assessed and approved these trainers. As a result, you don’t have to be concerned about the relevancy or quality of the information.
H3: Become a member of PMI to network with other project managers.
Being a PMI member has various advantages prior to the exam. First off, the exam costs less if you are a PMI member. Second, joining PMI gives you a ton of chances to network with other project management experts.
Keeping up with the most recent advancements in the field is crucial because the PMP exam is dynamic in nature. Assisting other project managers is the most effective approach to accomplish this. Studying in a group also offers several advantages. If you’re having problems understanding any concepts, someone in the group can assist you. Moreover, some of the challenging scenario-based problems might be answered by drawing on the project management experiences of others. Lastly, group study sessions can help you maintain your motivation to complete your preparation.
Effective time management
Time management consists of two main parts:
- In the planning phase
- In the exam
The majority of PMP exam takers are typically employed professionals. Thus, it’s critical that you balance the amount of time you have for both your work obligations and exam preparation. It is essential to arrange your time because the exam involves a significant amount of studying, answering practice questions, and completing mock exams. Do only the most crucial items during the months of preparation. Taking a relaxing vacation could seem like a smart option. However, you risk losing track of your progress if you schedule it during the middle of your preparation period.
Some individuals express dissatisfaction with their inability to finish the exam. The issue, then, has to do with not managing your time well on test day. Recall that there is very little chance of passing the exam if you omit more than 1/5th, or roughly 40, of the questions.
For the exam, you have 1.2 minutes to respond to each question. It will be less than that if you need to take a break in between the exams. You will get around 50 to 60 seconds for each question, not including the time you will need to review any of the questions.
Learn to maintain your cool.
Perhaps you performed remarkably well on your practice exams. However, keep in mind that the day of your exam may fluctuate slightly due to any worry or nervousness you may have before entering the exam room. The majority of us struggle when things get tough. You have no control over a lot of variables. We could be startled by some of the tiniest things during the exam. If the restroom is located far from the exam room and you took longer than the allotted break time, for instance.
What PMP Exam Questions We Can Expect?
The practice questions are the most crucial thing to accomplish after finishing your study of the PMBOK® Guide. A total of 200 multiple-choice questions will be included in the exam. These questions will contain questions based on formulas, knowledge, difficult situations, short situational questions, and interpretive questions. You will gain insight into how to accurately respond to each question by taking the PMP practice test.
Your ability to distinguish between pertinent and irrelevant content will be put to the test by the situational questions. These are often long, so before responding, make sure you have carefully read each question through a few times to correctly identify the pertinent material and omit the irrelevant information.
There is more to formula-based inquiries than merely figuring up a median or earned value. More than 50 PMP formulas, ranging from basic averages to probabilities and depreciations, must be understood. To get the required marks, your formulas and computations must be correct.
You will be tested on facts in the knowledge-based questions, which are often taken from the PMBOK® Guide. Sometimes you might be asked where the processes fit within the knowledge domain or which processes the inputs, techniques, tools, or outputs belong in. You could occasionally be asked to name a graph or chart, like a RACI chart (also called a responsibility assignment matrix) or a Pareto chart.
The interpretational questions will put your analytical skills to the test.
Additionally, you will need to respond to questions about particular techniques. For instance, one task may need you to recognize a forward pass or backward pass from a network diagram.
How Will You Know You Are Ready For The PMP Exam?
The number of questions that must be answered properly to pass the PMI® exam is not specified by the organization. Most people believe that 62% is the required passing score. It is wise to use the 85 percent guideline to determine your readiness.
Work on the example questions until you are able to correctly answer at least 85% of them. You can declare yourself prepared to take the test once you have accomplished this.
It is difficult to pass the PMP exam, but you can succeed if you put in the necessary effort, use study materials, and are driven. As in high school and college, apply the tried-and-true best practices that worked for you. Take along your study materials so you can refer to them whenever the chance arises. For extra motivation to prepare, consider joining a PMP exam study group. Make time to concentrate on your areas of difficulty and make sure you rewrite your study plan five or six times at the very least.
You should also get ready for your interviews after passing your certification exam. Even though every job interview is unique, there are a few important questions that you will probably be asked if you hold the PMP certification. We have put together a list of frequently asked PMP interview topics to assist you in acing the interview and landing the project management position of your dreams!
Check out the following 10 PMP example questions as well: