Project Management Professional (PMP) Certification is given by the Project Management Institute (PMI) to those who clear PMP exam. As Project Management Industry is rising quite fast, there is a need for good project managers in the field. So, the PMP exam is the criteria to prove that you are a good project manager.
If given enough effort and time, it is entirely possible for you to clear the PMP exam in the very first attempt. Following are some tips that can help in passing PMP exam within 60 days:
Following are some tips that can help in passing PMP exam within 60 days:
1. Understand the true nature of the exam
Many people treat PMP certification as an educational examination, but it is not simply that. Rather, it also involves some psychological testing. It does not only include the stuff you have read and studied in PMBOK (Project Management Body of Knowledge), PMI articles, and other guides. It has to make sure that you are able to react in a positive way to various and regularly occurring challenges in the project. And, that is something your nerves can easily handle, not the crammed material.
Another important thing is that every time PMI exam is scheduled, it takes into account the new trends in the project management industry and incorporates them into the test. So, it is important to stay aware of the new trends and challenges in project management. If you hold onto your previous knowledge or just onto the books that are written decades ago, you are missing on some important stuff.
Moreover, the two important documents on PMI website regarding PMP exam are Exam Syllabus Document and PMI Code of Ethics.
Exam Syllabus Documents or the Content Online is extremely helpful as it includes the topics, skills required in a project manager and process groups (the tasks of project management) you should go by while preparing for the exam.
The PMI Code of Ethics has an overview of the moral and ethical values specifically for the PMI and Project Management. So, going through it will help.
2. Create a custom study plan
The most important aspect of preparing and attempting any exam is to schedule study hours for it in your daily routine. You might be an early riser or a night owl. Also, you will have to balance your family or work or university life alongside it. So, the point is to create a custom study plan according to your sleeping habits and routine, so you can manage other chores of the day as well.
3. Refer and study, not rely on PMBOK
The PMBOK guide has all the necessary information for you. It contains an overview of PMP Certification as well as its requirements and conditions. It also lets you know the type and number of questions. It also tells the time allotted for PMP exam and the passing criteria.
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There is detailed information regarding the course and topics that should be covered. The percentage of questions for each subject is also well explained. So, it is important to study and refer from the PMBOK but try not to solely depend on it. There are a lot of other good books and data available for preparation.
4. Understand Process Groups
Process Groups are important to be understood as they are a backbone of any project. There are a total of 5 process groups, each with its own ITTO (inputs, Tools, Techniques, and Outputs). Do not intend to cram or memorize them. This will do you no good, but rather invest time into understanding them well enough.
5. Understand all ITTO, do not memorize
ITTO is a cycle, Inputs-Tools-Techniques-Outputs, that needs to be understood as they are quite complex. Without understanding ITTO, you are not going to get through the PMP so buckle up!
6. Understand all the tools
ITTOs include various tools that are complex and difficult to comprehend. However, once you understand them, everything starts making sense. So, understand all the different tools such as Cause and Effect Diagram, Flowcharts, Checksheets, Pareto diagrams, Histograms, Control charts and Scatter diagrams.
7. Understand and memorize all formulas
While you are practicing the questions, you will come across a lot of formulas. Make sure you spend some time on them and understand them well. Once you have understood, memorizing will be easier. Then, practice a lot of questions to know how they actually fit in and work.
8. Use additional books and study guides
As mentioned, there are many new and good books, study guides as well as online sites that can help you with a good preparation. Restraining yourself to one book limits your area of knowledge. One most helpful books you can refer to is Rita Mulcahy’s PMP exam prep book. Its ninth edition is the latest one and it has an easy to understand language as compared to PMBOK guide.
One beneficial thing you can find on Google is Edward Chung’s website. It has tricks, tips, and study notes, links of practice exams and good explanations of the difficult and confusing terms.
9. Practice the right and relevant questions and tests a lot
Many people tend to start practicing any sort of questions that come in the way. Once you have understood the true nature and the outline of the exam, you should be able to differentiate between the questions that are significant and relevant and the ones that are not.
While practicing, you will get to know that many questions are easy, direct and short. Others may be trickier and time-consuming. There are formula-based as well as scenario-based questions. To be equally good in both cases, practice as many relevant questions as you can.
Also, there are several ITTO questions that are based on the tools and techniques used in project management. For this kind of questions, you can refer to the guides on PMI sites or PMBOK of course.
Apart from understanding, cramming and solving practice question, it is important to practice some tests as well. There are PMP exams available online as past PMP papers. Writing and solving these past exams before you actually appear in the exam will help in articulation and management of stress and time.
10. Study and take help from the PMI articles on PMI website
On the PMI website, there are several articles and whitepapers added regularly. They address all the basic and newest trends going on in the industry. As they include such things in the exam, it is good to go through the site once a week and read the newly uploaded articles until the date of your exam. This tip will really help!
11. Make flashcards
Flashcards are an extremely important tool. Whenever you go through a new formula, a new concept or a unique term, make a flash card. Whenever you get free time out of the day apart from your schedule, you can review these flash cards to recall what you have studied lately.
Also, while you are traveling, walking, cooking or doing any other activity, these flash cards can help revise the important material.
12. Treat 35 hours of project management training as a learning experience
Everyone has to go through this project management training before they can appear in the exam. Many people take it for granted and as a condition to fulfill in order to appear in the exam. While you are taking this 35 hours training, make sure you process every information as it contains many new and founding concepts.
They might not appear important at the moment but they actually help in clarifying your weak areas.
13. Become a PMI member
Becoming a PMI member can give a lot of benefits. It gets you in contact with project management professional and the people who successfully passed PMP exam in their first attempt. You can get a lot of healthy tips there.
Moreover, as you need to stay aware of the recent developments and trends in the field, there can be no better place than this for connecting with the project managers.
14. Be a good time manager
Besides being a good project manager, it is important to be a good time manager. It complements your skills and plans as well as their implementations. Time needs to be managed in two areas while appearing for PMP exam. Firstly, during the preparation and secondly, while taking the exam itself.
If you prepare according to the scheduled study plan, you can always stay on track and finish things on time. As you practiced many questions and attempted mock tests, it helps in managing the time during the actual exam.
Doing a good breakdown of time is an essential tip!
15. Keep motivating yourself
Motivation is the most important factor all along. From start until the end, you need to keep motivating yourself so as to not give up. You need to remind yourself that no matter what happens, you are not going to lose your confidence.
It doesn’t really matter if you come across the most difficult concepts or questions once you are motivated to attempt and surpass them. If you let demotivation take you, you are going to end up losing.
So, get a strong hold of your nerves and keep motivating yourself!
Best of luck!