Studying for a Project Management certification shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t over-think yourself. As a Project Management Professional-in-training, you already know the value of planning. “Plan the work. Work the plan.”
However, it can be easy to get bogged down in the planning. In wanting to do it perfectly.
Let’s state it again – you do not have to get 100% to pass the certification test. You don’t have to hit 85% or 80% or 75% or even 70%. Just pass. Be proficient. That’s it.
We detailed the process for figuring out if you qualify to take the test as well as the going through the process of taking a class and applying for the test itself. In order to pass, you need to have the right number of qualifying hours. You need to take a credentialed class. You sign-up, pay the money and schedule the test. And then you study.
Barebones Guides to Project Management
I have created a series of the best products in the interest of Project Management education. These guides cut through the fluff, and give you the essentials necessary to communicate, articular and organize your role as a Project Manager.
Your experience as a Project Manager is your most valuable asset. But you know as well as anyone that you must understand the structure, processes and procedures of the PM profession in order to thrive and lead successful projects.
The Barebones Guides are a distillation of the terminology which all PM’s must master; first to gain certification and later on to keep your certification current as well as to plan the work and work the plan.
Individual Barebones PM Guides
If there are particular sections of Project Management on which you need to concentrate, the Barebones PM Guides are also available in individual sections
- Section 1 – Structure and Processes
- Section 2 – Integration Management
- Section 3 – Scope Management and Time Management
- Section 4 – Cost Management and Quality Management
- Section 5 – Human Resources Management and Communications Management
- Section 6 – Risk Management and Procurement Management
- Section 7 – Stakeholder Management and Professional & Social Responsibility
Exam Prep Books available on Amazon
Yes, you need to read the PMBOK. It’s dry. It’s not riveting. But it is necessary. By no means should it be be your main study aid but it has to have a place in your regimen. Especially for the Ethics section. Once you join the Project Management Institute, you’ll have free access to an online copy of the PMBOK. But I still recommend that you own a paperback version so that you can highlight relevant passages and make notes in the book.
This is by far one of the most comprehensive books on the market for studying for the PMP exam. It is simply beyond excellent. You see, the Project Management Book of Knowledge is essential for studying for the test. But learning just the theory in it will not assure you of passage. Understanding Project Management situations using PMI’s methodology is the critical piece. Theory is all good and well. You will be tested on theory but as Project Managers, we live in the real world. So you will be tested on your application of PMP principles to real-life situations.
Get Rita’s book. Study it over and over. Learn the situations, the tricks of the trade, the way to eliminate close answers. Here’s a dirty little secret: if you’re scoring 70% or higher on Rita’s practice tests, it’s time to take the exam. Remember, no one will know if you pass with flying colors; only that you pass.
Yes. The Barebones Guides, Rita Mulcahy’s prep, the Project Management Book of Knowledge and your Project Management experience are the best paid resources. If you get a good study class, that will be an immense help. But if all you do otherwise is study these three materials, you’ll be in great shape.
Last but not least – FREE resources
Even after all that prep, you may want more practice. Personally, studying material only takes me so far. I whipped through Rita’s tests, looked at the explanations and then hunted for more practice questions. Here are the two main test bank resources I used:
Exam Central – Over 1,000 test questions with detailed explanations to the answers. After registering, you’ll be able to access the test bank, as well as an unlimited number of full-length practice exams, customizable flashcards and a project management dictionary.
Oliver Lehmann – 3,000 test questions. Simulated short exams. Plus Android & iPhone apps with smaller sets of free questions. These are very difficult questions. If you’re doing well on them, you’re ready to take the test.