This morning I received a mail from one of PMESN readers, KJ.

“.. [can you] please help me with PMP exam preparation or give some pointers. I have other commitments as well [that take up my time]. I need to pass the exam. How do I prepare and by that I am not asking shortcuts, just right guidance.”

She said that she has a limited time to spend towards PMP prep and has a lot of commitments, and she asked me for some pointers that help her pass the exam.

pmp exam prep guide

Now, it was hard for me to put together all that information in one email. So instead, I sent her a bunch of relevant page links, grouped under few buckets so she knows exactly where to look for what information and run with it.

Then it occurred to me that such information to come up with a complete plan by spending just a couple of hours may help many PMP aspirants with similar situation (shorter timeframe and multiple commitments) that are looking for a way out.

In this post I give you 4 stages of PMP preparation.

And all that you need in each of these stages to come up with a solid and simple PMP exam prep plan, resources, tips and techniques to ace your PMP exam.

Spend a couple of hours on these pages and at the end of the session you will have clarity, plan, resources and hopefully, a bit of fillip you need to go get that certificate. These couple of hours may be the best time investment you could make at the beginning of your PMP journey.

These couple of hours may be the best time investment you could do at the beginning of your PMP preparation.

Disclaimer: Some of the links you find here are affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase the product using these links I will get a small commission, at no additional cost to you (your purchase price does not change). This commission keeps this blog and other efforts of free PMP education (Fb community, coaching, email support etc) running. However, you are free to go to those sites directly and buy from there. I only recommend them because either I have used these PMP products, or have verified them and believe in the value they provide you in your PMP preparation.

With that said, let’s get started!

We shall see how to achieve PMP credential in 4 stages –

  • Stage 1: Set a solid Foundation
  • Stage 2: Prepare and optimal Study Plan
  • Stage 3: Choose Study Resources that suit YOUR needs
  • Stage 4: Let us experience of successful PMP students refine your Study Approach!

For each of these stages I shall specify exactly what to focus on, and provide with tools and resources to fulfil the aim. At the ene of this exercise you should have pretty much everything you will ever need to prepare for PMP with ease and pass without any stress.

Now, that’s a bold statement.

And the results PMESN readers are getting gives me the confidence in the PMP exam prep guide I am sharing below. And don’t miss the bonus section at the end, it can very well act as an additional dose of motivation!

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PMP Digital Badgepmp digital badge pmi dream job

Did you know that an astounding 97% of organizations believe project management is critical to business performance and organizational success, according to the report published by PricewaterhouseCoopers?

TechRepublic quotes dice.com report that PMP is the most desired certification with nearly 2,200 requets in job postings on any given day.

pmp in job profile

Figure: Job profiles increasingly demand for PMP certification

No wonder many smart recruiters ‘spy’ on potential hires on the Internet and look at their LinkedIn and other social platforms.

The question is,

How do you make your online presence credible and make sure your PMP credential is highlighted with the right people?

Welcome digital badges by PMI.

pmp digital badge

What is a ‘digital badge’?

PMI has begun to give away digital badges to successful candidates through its PMI Certification Digital Badge program.

Well, they themselves are not creating them, but PMI has partnered with a company called Acclaim that manages digital badges. Acclaim is backed by Pearson Education – leader in online education field.

Acclaim issues these digital badges on behalf of organizations that offer certification exams such as PMI, Microsoft, VMWare, Teradata. It then provides the recruiters a way to verify the certification specific information of potential hires.

“What’s in it for me?”

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Often the question that intrigues people that are planning for their PMP exam is: What does it take to get PMP certificate?

In the past few years, I have had the honor of helping over 732 PMP aspirants from around the world, with personal 1-1 coaching. More often than not I am surprised to learn the reasons that are holding them back.

pmp myths

..and strategies to use when you have no clue about the answer (use with caution!)

I myself have been guilty of believing in some of these. These are simply myths and understanding them will make your PMP journey clearer and smoother.

By the way, this probably is going to be an important post you would read about PMP exam, and this is a long one. So cut any distractions, get yourself a cuppa coffee, sit back, relax and let’s get started (and don’t miss the bonus section in the end).

Some of PMP aspirants have taken just 2 weeks to begin the study and pass the exam, and some have taken years before finally appearing for their PMP exam. It took me about 2.5 yrs after ‘deciding’ to take the exam. With some smart planning it is definitely possible to pass PMP within 4-week timeframe.

Building blocks of PMP exam

If one has to understand the basic building blocks of PMP success, there are just two you need to get your PMP certificate –

1. Find your ’emotional’ reason to get PMP

PMP journey can be hard and a long one for many. Based on my interaction with several hundred PMPs I see the main reason for the delay is the lost study momentum. With so much to do on our plate at work, it is natural to drop the lesser priority tasks. And that exactly what PMP turns out to be – lesser priority – when we don’t have a strong reason to get it done.

Tying the need for PMP to an emotional reason is one of the ways to make sure that it gets higher priority. Here’s how to figure out the emotional reason –

Take a pen and paper (you can do this exercise with your spreadsheet program as well). [click to continue…]

I completed my PMP successfully in my first attempt, and here is my PMP study plan. I hope this could be of help to people preparing for their PMP exam. And no, it didn’t cost me a fortune in coaching or resources.

pmp study plan 4wk gayathri

My PMP Study plan

gayathri narayanan pmp1. I booked the exam date a month after to give me enough time to prepare.

I would suggest you decide on your exam date not too far in future, but not impossibly near. Take into account any exigencies at work or in personal life, important events and so on.

2. In the first week, I prepared all my resources – including the free pdfs from Shiv Shenoy’s emails, and free books that were offered during that time, and then collected mock questions to try out later.

3. In the second week, I began to prepare by spending 2 hours every day.

I studied the PMBOK completely once. It took me a one whole week to do that. I understand that it is a bit dry to read, and can take more time or lesser for you than me. I used to take notes while studying to help me revise at the end of every chapter.

Also Read: How Jerly Thomas used a smart and economical planning to ace her PMP exam!

4. Third and fourth week were crucial to me and so I spent slightly more than 2 hours daily, and during weekends, around 5 hours with sufficient breaks in-between. [click to continue…]

With 55 days of PMP test prep, I passed the exam. In this article, I’d like to explain my 5-step process to succeed in PMP quest. If you are preparing for your PMP exam, your approach may differ from mine, but my hope is that some of this will be useful for you as well.

pmp test prep rahul

The intention of writing this article is to share the lessons learned from my PMP journey along with the tips and tricks that could help you get over any inhibitions.

Why PMP?

pmp rahulEach one has a reason to pursue a relevant certification. For me personally, the Project Management Professional PMP is one of the most valuable and sought after certifications among the project managers. Yet, this can also be the most dreaded endeavor to pursue. An endeavor that often gets postponed and eventually abandoned or compromised with some other ‘equivalent’ certification.

The reasons are many. But most commonly, lost focus due to unexpected workload and demands of professional, family and personal needs.

Also Read: 2 P and 3 MP in 2.5 hours. PMP Prep Experience of Mostafa Adel, PMP

My PMP test prep approach

I got my 35 contact hours of PM education early in 2014, but it was not until quarter-1 of 2017 that I felt the burning need to put together an effort that would earn the three sought after alphabets next to my name. In the meanwhile, I had had few false-starts and had almost come to a decision to pursue another certification instead of PMP.

Now that I have got my certification, here’s how I look at it from a systematic process perspective. [click to continue…]

I recently passed my PMP exam with the highest ‘Proficient’ rating in all 5 domains. Here is my PMP preparation experience, along with few tips that you may find useful for your PMP exam.

PMP preparation 5P SELVARAJ

PMP study materials I used

  1. Rita Mulcahy’s PMP preparation book – I read this twice, along with chapter-end questions
  2. PMBOK 5 – read this just once
  3. Full mock exams (4 Nos. – all free resources) as suggested in many other posts in this group
  4. Analysis of ITTOs from PMBOK guide
  5. Video of Ricardo Vargas on PM Processes
  6. Small mock exams (max. 50 questions – Total approx. 300 questions) from Christopher Scordo

Also Read: How to study in the last week before exam and increase the odds of acing it

pmp selvaraj ramasamyUnderstanding concepts by making notes

I wanted to start with a simple PMP book and so took up Rita Mulcachy’s book to completely understand concepts in detail. I figured that going with each process group will be easier for me. I started with Planning process group and as I went over the chapters I took the chapter-end questions to test my understanding.

Then I memorized the sequence of processes in Planning process group.

This way I was able to get a firm understanding of concepts of all process groups.

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