Preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP®) exam requires a significant amount of dedication, effort, and time. The PMP exam is considered one of the more challenging exams, and passing it requires extensive preparation over several months.
Therefore, it is essential to effectively prepare for the PMP exam. The material covered in the exam encompasses a wide range of topics in Project Management, and one needs to have a thorough understanding of the practical applications of that information.
If you have been working in the field for some time, it may have been a while since you have taken an exam, so brushing up on your study skills may be helpful. The following tips can assist you in your PMP exam preparation.
1. Master PMBOK Material
The Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) is a book containing a set of terms and guidelines for project management published by the Project Management Institute (PMI).
Mastering the material in PMBOK is a mandatory requirement that must be carried out by project managers. Unfortunately, some people avoid reading project management materials from PMBOK directly because they are considered long and tedious.
You still have to master PMBOK to pass the PMP certification exam. This is because PMBOK gives you the conceptual foundation of project management knowledge. Rereading the PMBOK at least twice before starting this certification exam is recommended.
2. Take the Official Online Course from PMI
One of the concerns of prospective participants in this certification exam is the limited source of official question papers from PMI.
The good news is that PMI has officially opened training through an authorized online course for prospective PMP exam participants.
Managed directly by PMI through Registered Education Providers (REPs), the trainers in this course can be sure to deliver content that is relevant and has been updated according to the questions tested for the PMP exam later.
The good news is that this official online course is much more affordable than outside online courses.
3. Do the practice questions
The PMP certification exam questions are mostly scenario based. These scenarios can be very diverse. Questions based on formulas, procedures, and ITTO (Inputs, Tools and Techniques, Outputs) ask about tools and techniques in project management.
So, simply reading the theory in PMBOK does not automatically guarantee that you can apply it in various situations. That’s where the matter of practice is essential.
There are many practice resources for the PMP certification exam questions. However, ensure you choose questions from accredited sources with a good reputation.
4. Monitor the Latest Official Information from PMI
Keeping up with the latest information about the PMP certification exam from the official PMI website is something you must do!
For example, did you already know that the 2020 PMP exam has been postponed to 2021? Did you already know that the 2021 PMP exam will be held online with close monitoring?
Did you already know that the 2021 PMP exam uses a different question formula from previous years? If not, it means you have minimized the chances of passing the certification later.
So, start catching up on your information and constantly actively update information from PMI, okay!
5. Consult Your Colleagues Who Successfully Passed the PMP Exam
Because this certification exam is dynamic, it is essential to keep track of the latest developments in the field. The best way to do this is to connect with other project managers, especially those who have successfully passed the PMP exam.
Through them, you can learn about their experiences from the preparation stage to the D-day of taking the exam.
This can be an excellent step to mentally prepare for the PMP exam later.
6. Subscribe as a PMI Member
Did you know that becoming a PMI member before taking the exam has many advantages? First, exam fees are cheaper if you are a PMI member.
Second, PMI opens up great opportunities to network with other professional project managers. Because you are part of a large community, you also make it a place to study.
You can ask various questions, such as how to solve scenario problems known to be complicated in the PMP exam. As a result, you can be more motivated and get a lot of information from this vast network by joining as a PMI member.
7. Memorize Important Formulas!
The questions in the PMP exam are not rote memorization but remembering essential formulas you still have to do. Some essential recipes you must remember by heart include three-point estimating, communication channels, and earned value analysis.
8. Do a Written Examination Simulation
The PMP exam will take about 4 hours with 200 questions. Is your stamina ready for this?
With a long time, many questions, and tough and varied question weights, your knowledge is certainly not the only provision to pass this PMP exam. Stamina and mental strength should also be trained as early as possible.
Try to do a written exam simulation at home, like the actual exam conditions. Collect practice questions and start working on them according to the rules applied by PMI. You can monitor learning progress and form a problem-solving strategy when working on these questions.
9. Create a Mind-Map and Study Schedule
The important thing you have to do to be ready to take the PMP exam is to make a mind map and study schedule.
Because you have busy activities at the office, doing these two things will make it easier for you to focus on your goals to successfully pass the PMP exam.
Make questions such as: “How long do I have to study the material in a day?”, “When is the right time for me to study?”, “How many months does it take me to be ready to take the exam?”, “How can I understand some difficult material for me to digest?”
Be sure not to make plans in writing. However, make yourself disciplined in implementing the plan. Without that, this plan would be in vain, right?
10. Choose Exam Time in the Morning
Morning is the time when your body is still fresh. In contrast to the time of day or evening when you are already actively doing many activities that drain energy.
For this reason, choosing a PMP exam time in the morning could be the best solution. Also, consider taking a break the day before the test and going to bed early to wake up in top shape.