It takes time and dedication to get through the PMP® materials with a full understanding of the content. Learn how to study for the PMP® exam, how to create a study plan, and get some additional tips.
- Studying for the exam is a full time job. Well at least part time. It takes time and dedication to get through the materials with a full understanding of the content. You don't want to waste precious time studying ineffectively. The following tips will help you prepare for and study for the exam. The first step is to create a study plan. Passing the exam is a project. This sounds self evident; however, some students have had good success with creating an explicit plan broken into steps with schedule milestones such as review course material, use online exams to assess progress, plan to study areas for improvement.
For example, one knowledge area or one process group at a time. Plan exam strategy. How many questions per hour? How many breaks, etc.? Practice taking four-hour exams, preferably more than once. Practice a brain dump. The brain dump is critical for helping you get through the exam. It may include earned value formulas, mnemonics, motivational theories, six Sigma percentages, and anything else you want to remember for the exam.
It should fit on one side of a piece of paper. This brain dump will be used at the start of the test to help reduce test-taking stress and mistakes. As you learn and explain your brain dump's contents, practice writing it from scratch as needed until it becomes nearly automatic. You should be able to do this in less than 10 minutes. Know all the processes of project management. Include this in your brain dump. Go beyond memorization to knowing the logic behind this ideal, cohesive, and integrated system.
Spending time comprehending the process flow charts at the start of each chapter while learning the matrix is a good means to move beyond mere memorization. You should know most of the inputs, tools, techniques, and outputs of each process. Mnemonics are helpful for the process groups. For example, I plan every meeting carefully. If you were to look at this. I stands for initiating, plan stands for planning, every is executing, meeting is monitoring and controlling, and carefully stands for closing.
Use your resources. If you know someone who has taken the PMP exam, reach out to them for help on difficult concepts or questions. PMPs are an excellent resource. Also, if you have access to a questions database, practice taking 30-minute, 60-minute, and 4-hour exams. And be sure to study the PMBOK guide from cover to cover including the glossary. Chart your own course. In general it's best to take the exam within two to three weeks from completing your studies.
However, there are examples of people who took the test many weeks later, studying constantly until they took the test. Score at least 80 to 85% on test questions. Testing at this high level is necessary in order to be best positioned to achieve the necessary 61% correct rate to pass the exam. Also, it is recommended to take a quiz early in your studying in order to set a baseline for which you can use to identify knowledge gaps and against which you can measure your progress.
Practice taking at least one full four-hour online test exam before the real exam. This allows you to see how your body reacts to taking a test for four hours straight. For example, do you need to take a break at one hour, two hours, or none at all? Do you get hungry or thirsty? These are details to know before the actual exam. If you haven't already, put a plan in place for how are you going to study for the exam. It is similar to a project. You need to plan how often you're going to study, how long, and which sections for each day leading up to the exam.
I always start with the end in mind, the exam date, and work backwards to see how much I need to do for each day to be fully prepared for the exam. Consider implementing these study tips when putting the plan in place and you will be well on your way to being prepared for the exam.
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