Project management is a demanding field, where gaining a professional qualification is far from a walk in the park.
Examinations can consume you. Studying requires tremendous time, effort and diligence. The Project Management Professional (PMP) exam demands significant preparation and is a qualification which can take months to pass. It’s essential to study hard regardless of your circumstances, but even more so if it’s been a while since the last time you took an exam.
There will be lots of material to absorb, but you can still master the syllabus if you combine dedication, effort, perseverance, and guidance. But what specific guidance will help you do well in your PMP exam?
Here are some top tips which will help you pass your PMP exam with flying colors:
Utilize the PMBOK Guide
The PMBOK Guide is the mecca of the PMP certification. It is the perfect study tool to prepare you for the PMP exam. With this being said, it’s important to supplement reading with additional resources, providing you begin with this comprehensive guide.
You’ll heighten your knowledge of the subject area if you focus on learning one process every day. This is a great way to schedule daily and weekly milestones, devising a clear plan of action to organize your learning endeavors.
It’s difficult to pass the PMP exam on feats of memory alone, which is why it’s important you absorb the concepts in depth. By leveraging every ounce of concentration and focus you have, you’ll be positioned to apply the principles of the guide to the PMP exam.
Interpreting the questions asked is one of the hardest things to do, especially when it’s easy to be thrown off by irrelevant information that’s included to throw you off. You should cover sections of the PMBOK over and over until you reach a deep understanding of the subject matter. This requires significant reading and rereading, but you’ll certainly benefit from your efforts.
The more you read the more the information will become lodged in your mind. Treat the PMBOK Guide as your bible and you’ll be primed for success.
Exam Prep Workshops
Studying on your own requires strong self-motivation and determination. It’s best to diversify your learning environment, perhaps considering prep workshops as a great way to keep things fresh. There are opportunities for one-on-one interaction too, a great way to reinforce the material you’re learning.
What’s good about prep workshops is they become a networking event for your professional career, where you’re bound to meet other project management professionals. By attending these workshops you’ll usefully fulfill your 35-contact-hours requirement too, an added bonus.
Capitalize on a Good PMP Prep Book
This is one of the supplementary resources mentioned earlier. A great textbook will predispose some of the difficult questions you’ll encounter in the exam.
The best PMP textbooks will test your ability to apply learning in real-life scenarios, a situational approach which predisposes the industry environment. What’s great is you’ll acquire knowledge that will help you thrive as a Project Manager.
Great preparation material will solidify your commitment to the cause. Many textbooks encourage learners to start with the basics before moving onto the ITTOs. This approach will help you spot the connections between processes. You won’t need to memorize ITTOs, thus freeing up time to prepare for exam questions.
Online PMP Exam Prep Workshops
If you’re restricted by geographical location, in today’s digital environment all is not lost. There are many online prep courses for you to take advantage of, some being cheaper than the in-person alternatives. Online learning isn’t for everyone though, which is why it’s important to select an educational route that suits your individual preferences.
Before committing to an online course, you should evaluate testimonials to ensure you select a route that will benefit you.
Online PMP Exam Simulators
Nothing will prepare you better than questions which simulate those you’ll find on your exam paper. You could read the textbook and guide all day without appreciating the format of the questions you’ll face.
PMP simulators test applications with exam-like questions, giving you time to familiarize yourself. Simulators also replicate the exam environment, regarding the timing and pressure involved. When you reach the point where you’ve covered the bulk of the theory, use an exam simulator to test your readiness.
Using flashcards is an effective, tried and tested studying approach. Flashcards are fantastic for summarizing key points, those which are crucial to your success come exam time. You can use either paper or electronic flashcards, whatever suits you best. Modern flashcards can be downloaded and flipped on the screen of your portable device, a convenient way to absorb critical information. Though flashcards are an old-school study method, they are simple and cost-effective, plus can help you immensely on route to passing your exam with flying colors.