Preparing for PMP Certification

pmp certification prep

So you made the decision that you want to complete the PMP certification, you understand the PMP has prerequisites, but you want to know how to prepare.

As you might expect, it is important that you understand the content that will be on the PMP exam; however, I assume you are here to learn how you best go about learning this content. PMI notes that candidates who use multiple preparation methods are the most successful.

So let’s review some possible PMP certifcation prep options you can utilize to get ready for the exam, including, PMP Prep Courses, PMP Apps, PMP Sample Questions, PMP books and practicing the PMP Brain Dump.

PMP Certification Prep Course

For some of you, this is the first time you are reading my reminder that the PMP has a prerequisite that you complete 35 hours of project management education, but for others you might be tired of my reminder.

I am making note of this information here, as many people complete the 35 hour requirement by taking a PMP certification prep course. You can read more about your options in the, “How to Chose a PMP Prep Course.

Although this prep course, of any variety, will be critical to your preparation, you will need to use many other methods to ensure you are ready for the exam.

Additionally, I would highly recommend that you complete the PMP prep course within 6 months of your exam date. All of these courses are created to expose you to all the content on the exam. Making sure this information is fresh in your mind will only help improve your score.

PMP Apps

The PMP will assess your knowledge of many new vocabulary words. For example, do you know what Projectized means? If not, then you need to review your vocabulary. One great way to do this, if you remember from grade school, is flashcards!

At the beginning of my PMP journey, I downloaded a free PMP flashcard app on my phone. I used PMP Flashcards by Khanh Do, but there are many options if you visit your mobile app store.

I used these flashcards in any spare time. For example, if I was waiting for my oil change, or if I arrived early for a meeting. Taking a few minutes to test your understanding of terms can only work to improve your comprehension to be ready for your longer PMP book reviews!

PMP Sample Questions

Practice, Practice, Practice! I cannot stress enough how important it is to practice sample PMP questions. Most PMP certification prep books, outlined below, will provide you with sample questions at the end of every chapter, as well as some provide full simulations of 200 practice questions!

Although, these are wonderful and very useful, there are also many free online questions that you can use to practice. For example, many of our PMP blog posts contain sample questions. Here are a few, Communications Management: PMP Questions to Study or Scope Management: PMP Questions to Study.

While I studied for the exam, I would use my lunch break and take any and all free PMP sample questions I could find. In addition to the practice, I would review each answer I missed to understand my mess-up.

This was a quick activity that kept me focused. And if you are like me, you could make it a little competition for yourself to see how much you improve on a daily basis.

PMP Books

The book that the PMP most heavily relies on for content is the A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge or PMBOK. It is important that you review this book, I will be honest though, that it is not the most thrilling read.

Although you need to review the PMBOK, don’t worry if it isn’t grabbing your attention. Personally, I found a highly regarded book in the industry, which was based on the PMBOK that was written in a much more conversational tone. Thus making it much easier for me to understand.

Some possible options that many people use include Crosswinds PMP or Rita Mulchay. They both offer PMP certfication prep books and each provides a different author style that works for different readers. I personally used Rita Mulchay’s prep book as noted above, but listed to a Crosswind audio book in the car on my daily commutes.

PMP Brain Dump

Oh the PMP Brain dump. We won’t spend time discussing what the PMP Brain Dump is, as my peer does a great job in the blog, “How to do a PMP Brain Dump.

What I will say is that throughout your PMP certification prep, you should practice creating this information over and over again. Just like having an understanding of the vocabulary will provide you a deeper comprehension on the overall exam content, practicing the brain dump will allow for it to roll off your pencil on test day!

Final Thoughts

Every person has a different study preference. However, this blog outlines some great PMP certification prep options for you to consider.

What I will leave you with is, remember PMI notes that the most successful candidates use multiple preparation methods. The more you immerse yourself in all things PMP while you prepare, the better you will do!

Trust me, I felt like I lived, slept, ate, and breathed PMP during my preparation, BUT IT PAYS OFF! You got this!

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