Hi Shiv, happy to share that I have completed PMP on 29th April on my first try with little over 3 months of preparation. I am sharing my PMP study plan and lessons here, with a hope that it will help PMP students..
My PMP study plan consisted of 3 study resources, and four rounds of systematic and focused study. I also used a combination of ‘test project’, self-study notes, mock tests and brain-dump as study strategies.
Study sources I used
• PM PrepCast online PMP video course
• PMBOK Edition 5
• PMESN PMPBOOKS (from Shiv) – Especially, the sample questions (300Q+250Q), Formula guide, Type of Questions, Mind Maps & Test Taking Strategies
My PMP study plan
I created my own study plan in terms of a ‘project’ – that I could apply the processes to as I studied them! This helped me understand the concepts with better clarity.
The other thing that helped me is that I fixed a target date for my exam, and planned backwards to create study plan. Having the exam date fixed had another advantage: it helped me focus better on my studies
First round of study: Understanding PMP concepts
I have taken PM PrepCast as starting point for the study – I went to through all the video modules. I watched self-study videos of a particular chapter and studied the same chapter from PMBOK5; then the next chapter self-study videos and the same chapter PMBOK5 and so on…
I would recommend preparing your own study notes during this journey (chapter wise). I found this very valuable.
Second round of study: Make it stick
In this round I focused only on PMBOK5 guide. Again, I went along chapter-wise, made my own notes.
I used a spread sheet for making notes in general, going by the knowledge areas, in the form of ITTOs, to create a quick ref guide.. like the one below –
Then I went over glossary and all formulas, and made sure I understood the application of formulas to scenarios well.
Third round of study: During last one and half month
I took full length mock exams during Saturday and Sunday; Sample questions daily – some 50Q for practice till the last week of the exam.
My mock test scores were –
|Sample test from
|Sample Questions Books (from Shiv)||(not timed test)|
|Exam Central (4 exams)||76%, 80%, 84%, 87%|
|PM PrepCast Exam Simulation (9 Exams)||80%, 83%, 80%, 76.5%, 81%, 80.5%, 81.5%, 91%, 94%|
During mock exams, I noted down the pointers which went wrong and what the correct answers were. This is very important and will be useful for quick ref during last one week before the PMP exam.
Also Read: Visuanathan shares how he aced PMP exam with his own PMP study plan here!
Fourth Round: During last week before exam
- Focus was to create my brain dump. And then practicing to write down on a sheet of paper the entire brain dump (Processes, Knowledge areas, important formulas, important theories and etc). Target to complete was 10-13 mins.
- Practiced writing the ITTOs for each KA by understanding (even if you are 80% correct we are good)
- Don’t prepare anything one day before the exam. Just relax and hit the exam 🙂
I completed my actual exam in 3 hours and utilized last 1 hour is for reviewing the questions. Finally saw “Congratulations” message with combination of Ps & MPs!
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