Since 2013, till the time of writing this article, I’ve worked 1-on-1 with over 5583+ project managers to pass their PMP exam either through my books, courses, or coaching.
And another 3425+ through emails, LinkedIn chat, and Skype conversations.
In addition, I have interviewed over 333+ PMPs to bring their prep secrets to you on this blog.
All this has resulted in some incredible insights about how to prepare for the PMP exam.
Increase the odds of passing the exam.
Avoid any blind traps along the way.
Ace it on the very first attempt.
All these years only my students knew these, and now I’m sharing these PMP exam study tips in this series, with my blog readers.
In the first part of this ‘PMP Exam Made Easy’ series, we saw the top 5 tips you can use to simplify PMP prep efforts and increase the odds of success.
In the second part, we saw 5 more.
Then in the third part, you got tips #11 to #15.
Today, you’ll discover 5 more PMP preparation tips.
Bookmark this series of articles, and visit regularly to refine your PMP prep approach!
Get a cup of your favorite brew, share this page with a friend, and dive in! 😀
Do you want my PMP launch course ($27 value, free today)?
👉 PMP Exam Made Easy, Tip #16: Find ways to gamify!
How do you make the dreaded PMP preparation enjoyable?
Here’s something every kid knows:
You’ll enjoy a game. Games are fun.
So, add fun elements to your PMP prep.
The question is, how?
Here are 4 simple ways (use one or more):
1/ Reward yourself when you reach a milestone
- Build a series of small victories
- Make the child in you *want* to win
- At each milestone reward yourself
- It can be small – fav bev/movie/ice-cream
2/ Build a healthy competition with your study buddy
- Study buddy is the BEST way to make it fun
- Challenge each other: quiz, debate, mock test score
- Keep it healthy and supportive
3/ Teach your pet (no kidding!)
- If you don’t have a study buddy, teach your pet
- She won’t complain
4/ Create an imaginary project situation for each concept
Let’s say, you are learning 4 types of Characteristics of Hybrid Life Cycles
- Agile Development Followed by a Predictive Rollout
- A Combined Agile and Predictive Approach Used Simultaneously
- A Largely Predictive Approach with Agile Components
- A Largely Agile Approach with a Predictive Component
These are from the Agile Practice Guide.
Referring to the figures, create projects that meet each of these types.
- Developing a Car audio system
- Legacy software system redesign & development in phases
- Construction of a Power plant
- Software product developed with testing on different mobile devices
You get the idea.
PMP exam preparation is hard.
But you can make it fun & memorable.
Use one or more of these 4 techniques :
- Reward yourself when you reach a milestone
- Build a healthy competition with a study buddy
- Teach your pet (or find someone interested in PM)
- Create an imaginary project situation for each concept
Get the top 5 popular articles to help you pass PMP with confidence:
- PMP FAQ – Discover the nuances!
- 9 insane PMP prep tips, from 9 years of coaching
- PMP Exam Study in 2022: 5 Traps You Must Avoid
- 15 top PMP strategies from 327+ PMPs I’ve interviewed
- Grab this week’s top PMP resource discounts, offers, bonuses!
👉 PMP Exam Made Easy, Tip #17: Create your own questions!
Having a hard time mastering a PMP concept?
Here’s an easy way to wrap your head around it:
👉 Create your own questions!
When you create a question based on a tough concept, you’ll think differently than you do while studying.
Here’s a painless way to do it:
- Choose a PMP concept (use only one per question)
- Apply to a scenario from one of your projects
- Write down the correct answer as an option
- Create 3 incorrect/partially correct options
Create as many questions as you can!
Let’s take an example:
1. Choose a PMP concept (use only one per question): Scope Creep
2. Apply to a scenario from one of your projects
Can you think of a scenario from any of your projects, where a harmless change asked by a client snowballed into a big one?
That scenario becomes part of your question.
Followed by, “What should the PM do now?”
3. Write down the correct answer as an option
Add the answer as one of the options.
4. Create 3 incorrect/partially correct options
Identify the possible options you had as the options to your question.
Now, putting it together you have your sample PMP question:
You are responsible for managing a project that deals with laying out a freeway connecting two major port cities. Progress in the past has been smooth. But in the past few months, you have observed a schedule and budget overrun. You decide to hold a meeting with your team members.
On discussions, you realize team members went ahead and made changes at the behest of the client requests on site. You are pretty sure the changes were not a part of the project scope statement.
This is an example of which of the following?
a. Scope Creep
b. Gold Plating
c. Integrated Change Control
d. Fast Tracking
The answer is, of course, Scope Creep.
This exercise helps you in 2 ways:
1. Creating the question gives you deeper insights into the concept
2. Exchange your questions with your study buddy!
Pick up a concept and create a question now.
It feels great! 😀
Get 5 recent PMPs’ strategies to help you pass PMP:
- “I work at the university and PMP helps me excel!”, says Felcy,PMP
- “With strong basics, you can get over any blockers”, says Markus, PMP
- “PMP stands for Practice PMI-mindset Perfectly”, says Balachandiran, PMP
- “Use a proven system & mentor to pass PMP effortlessly”, says Prakash, PMP
- “Community eases your PMP voes & helps you succeed”, says RenukaPrasad, PMP
👉 PMP Exam Made Easy, Tip #18: This is the BEST thing you can do.
“I’ve been thinking about PMP a lot.”
You know what’s the hardest part?
👉 Simply Getting Started.
I talk to many PMP aspirants every week.
Most of them tell me that they have been planning.
Some, for several years.
It reminds me of my own experience.
Of planning and waiting.
Almost 3 yrs.
Just get started.
Waiting, planning, plotting, thinking, wishing.. nothing helps.
Taking action does.
Here’s the easy first step.
This small investment will set the ball rolling.
The benefits of PMI membership are plenty:
- Reduce your overall exam cost
- Download soft copy of PMBOK & APG
- Get access to tons of PM learning material
- Expand your network with PMs across the globe
- After passing PMP, get free PDUs by watching webinars!
Go ahead and sign up as a PMI member today.
Take the first step to building your authority.
You’ll be surprised at the immediate change in your ‘readiness’.
Get 3 popular articles on PMP study:
- How to calculate Critical Path, Float and Early- & Late- Starts & Finishes
- Corrective Action Vs Preventive Action Vs Defect Repair
- How to create your Project Schedule – the right way
👉 PMP Exam Made Easy, Tip #19: “in what way I can learn better & faster?”
You want PMP, but you’re struggling to make progress.
Take a pause. Do this instead:
Ask yourself, “in what way I can learn better & faster?”
Do I need help with:
- Making study an interesting activity?
- Committing to studying daily?
- Understanding concepts?
Figure out the top reasons & see how to get them.
Would it help :
- If I got a coach to work with?
- If I got an accountability buddy?
- If I changed my study resource(s)?
- If someone explained tough concepts?
- If I teamed up with a fellow PMP aspirant?
- If I did a combination of one or more of these?
Find the root cause and pivot. Like a true PM.
Your time is too precious for a low Return on Investment.
I run 2 daily -support communities you can join:
Join them for free today.
👉 PMP Exam Made Easy, Tip #20: Treat your PMP goal like an agile project.
The secret to making PMP easier for you?
Align the challenge to your strong area :
👉 Treat your PMP goal like an agile project.
Start with what you know, refine based on data, inspect & adapt.
It becomes crazy easy when you do it this way.
Here is how :
- 𝘗𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵 𝘣𝘢𝘤𝘬𝘭𝘰𝘨: Prioritized set of study tasks
- 𝘚𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘥𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯: Monday to Saturday
- 𝘚𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘳𝘦𝘷𝘪𝘦𝘸 & 𝘳𝘦𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘴𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦: Sunday afternoon
- 𝘕𝘦𝘹𝘵 𝘚𝘱𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘵 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘯𝘯𝘪𝘯𝘨: Sunday evening
- 𝘋𝘢𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘶𝘱: At the start of the study session
Ask these questions during standup :
- 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘥𝘪𝘥 𝘐 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘺 𝘺𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘥𝘢𝘺?
- 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘮 𝘐 𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘥𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰𝘥𝘢𝘺?
- 𝘞𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘢𝘳𝘦 𝘮𝘺 𝘣𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘬𝘦𝘳𝘴?
Here’s what will happen :
- The first couple of Sprints will go haywire. It’s ok.
- You’ll find a study rhythm. This is great.
- You’ll see steady progress. Fantastic!
𝗢𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 #1 :
You are already loaded with many projects. Can’t afford one more.
What would you do if your manager assigned you one more project?
You’ll most likely negotiate ways of making time for the new project.
When you are PMP certified, your manager & company benefit too.
So, it’s in her best interest to help you get time for PMP preparation.
Bonus: While at it, ask if she can recommend HR to sponsor your PMP.
Most companies oblige.
𝗢𝗯𝗷𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 #2 :
Your manager doesn’t give you more time.
Give yourself a non-negotiable 1-hr per day.
That’s enough to do it, trust me on this.
Your career depends on it.
Yes, PMP exam preparation takes time.
It is not easy, it takes effort.
But there are ways to make it simpler and enjoyable for YOU.
In this series, we’ve been learning the same.
16: Find ways to gamify!
17: Create your own questions.
18: This is the BEST thing you can do.
19: Think, ‘how I can learn better & faster?’
20: Treat your PMP goal like an Agile project.
My only goal is to help you enjoy the PMP exam preparation, pass it, and get ahead in your career.
Thank you for reading this article and giving me an opportunity to be part of your PMP journey.
Even if one of these 20 tips (and possibly more in this series) can help you achieve it, I’ll consider my efforts have borne fruit.
Have a great day!
Shiv Shenoy, PMP
I share content every day to help project managers grow fast. Follow me on LinkedIn and click the Bell icon to not miss any posts.
When you are ready, here are a few ways I can help you enjoy your PMP prep and pass the exam with ease: