Top Ways to Prepare for (Project Management Professional) PMP Credential Examination
Now-a-days the PMP credential examination is one of the toughest examinations globally. This examination is conducted by Project Management Institute (PMI), one of the world's largest not-for-profit membership associations for the project management profession, with more than 650,000 members and credential holders in more than 185 countries. The PMP exam includes 200 multiple-choice questions with four answers per question. Of the 200 questions, 25 questions are pretest questions.
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Pretest questions do not affect the candidate’s score and are used in examinations as an effective way to increase the number of examination questions that can be used in future PMP exams. The passing score for the exam is almost 61 percent (106 questions correct out of 175 scored questions). For achieving success in this examination you need to perform very well in the examination; you need to prepare with good planning. Many people could suggest different ways to achieve success in this exam or to prepare for the examination, but you need to know the standard ways to pass this exam. What are those? I will explain some well tried and tested ways to prepare for this exam.
- Gather as much information as possible. Discuss with your friends, colleagues who have passed this examination already. Get information about the eligibility for appearing in this examination. Several times, I have heard about candidates attending 35-hrs Professional Development Units (PDU), without knowing the actual requirement for this examination. Check the same in your case as well. Try to locate a study group, i.e., a group of candidates who are going to appear for this examination, and participate therein. It will enhance your chances of success.
- Select a good training center that can provide PMP Prep training and award you 35-hrs PDU on the successful completion of the training. Select the best training center as that is the starting point of your preparation and a good training center can guide you on the correct path. Follow the training religiously, attend the lectures of the training faculty since a lot of tips that will not be available in books can be got in these lectures. Take it in a positive manner.
- Take a substantial number of days for the preparation after completion of the PMP Prep training. Ideally keep about 45-60 days in hand for the complete preparation. Adjust your office work and preparation of the exam smartly. You need to manage both, so act accordingly.
- As you know there are nine knowledge areas in the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK), so divide the number of days available for the preparation into knowledge areas. Ideally, you should keep minimum three days for each knowledge area. That will keep you in tandem and you will be more confident in your understanding of the methodologies.
- It is obvious that we are strong in some areas and weak in others. In the nine knowledge areas; you may be very good in six and poor in three. Try to balance these on a single platform. You need to work hard in the weak areas so that it can not influence the exam result. Otherwise the result can be awry. Try to balance your strong areas and weak ones.
- Don't jump off on the questions directly without understanding the complete concepts on knowledge areas. It is bad really to go for the questions directly without understanding the subject thoroughly. So be alert on these issues. Go for the knowledge areas, take study methodologically, clear your doubts, take some confidence in the same and then go for the questions. If you are still facing trouble in solving the questions, go for the knowledge area study again.
- Try to find out which knowledge area is important. For example, you may feel that the risk management knowledge area is very important as it is directly related with time management, cost management and even with scope management. So try to understand the relationship among the knowledge areas as quickly as possible. You can get a lot of questions based on this relationship alone.
- Try to apply the easiest way to memorize the formulas, mainly Earned Value and PERT related. Don't memorize the way you did during your school days. Think analytically, like in Earned Value formulas, Earned Value (EV) looks first. Memorize in this way. You can expect 10-15 questions based on these formulas alone.
Conclusion: Based on the above discussions, I’m sure an individual can be benefited if s/he follows it religiously. Try it! Feel confident and keep these tips in mind while appearing for the examination. All the best!
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