Over the recent number of months, the volume of inquiries about the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification has increased. It prompted this series of articles to provide guidance on how to obtain these certifications. The Project Management Institute (PMI) have a suite of 8 certifications ranging from project (CAPM® and PMP®), Agile (ACP®), Risk (RMP®), Schedulers (SP®), Program (PgMP®) and Portfolio (PfMP®). This is quite a list and one that takes time and patience, also to obtain these certifications, the correct structure and approach is required. The PMP® certification draws solely from A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide). This guide is entering into the 6th edition and hence sees the addition of agile to the list of items that will appear on the exam.
To obtain the PMP®, we would suggest five key tips:
- Apply for the Exam: – The PMP® requires that people to possess at least 3 years project management related experience and have received formal project management training or instruction. One of the key blockers to people doing the exam is the application. It may sound simple, but once you have applied, the remainder is the easy part. We would recommend as the first step (before you open a book) is to complete the application and submit to www.pmi.org
Tip 1: – Complete the exam application. Here is a snapshot of our off-line exam application guideline, for a FREE copy of this send an email to email@example.com with the subject line ‘PMP Application Sheet’
- Know the PMBOK® Guide and more importantly be able to apply it: – Many consider the PMBOK® Guide as the bible for the exam. However, since it is more of a book of facts, it is a dry read. You may try reading the PMBOK® Guide but the key tip we have here to attempt to visual the standard. Here is our example of the visualisation of the standard in the form of a flow diagram.
Tip 2: – Seek out somebody who is familiar with the PBMOK® Guide and work with them in developing a visualisation of the standard. Use mind maps, process flow, post-it notes but do whatever it takes to get an understanding of the standard.
- Get some good PMP® Sample Questions: – There is an old proverb that says “Practice makes perfect”. Like with any other thing in life, the PMP® certification also requires a lot of practice. We estimate that you will need to do about 1,000 PMP practice questions to be comfortable with the exam. A good PMP® simulator gives you the right platform to practice these questions. You should be focusing on three types of questions:
- Situational and Knowledge types PMP® questions based on the knowledge areas of the PMBOK® Guide.
- A dedicated Knowledge based PMP® sample exam. The objective of this exam is to find out how well you know the PMBOK® Guide.
- Dedicated Situational based PMP® sample exams. This exam is focused on your performance as it attempts to simulate the PMP® exam.
Tip 3: – We at Turlon & Associates are happy to be able to provide our PMP® Exam Simulator to you for FREE. Login details are here https://www.turlon.com/learning-centre/
- Develop a study plan and dedicate a regular time to study: – If you want to pass the PMP® exam, you will need to have a plan to study in manageable chunks and establish discipline to follow through on the plan. The study plan includes what you are studying, how much time you plan to spend per day, what topics you plan to cover, and what materials you will use. We believe to study for the PMP® exam, you will minimum of four weeks to prepare. Don’t underestimate the amount of time needed.
Tip 4: – Develop a study plan that suits your needs and establish a routine. We provide a great study plan in our PMP® Preparation book can be got here. This study plan can be got for free by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line ‘PMP Study Plan Request
- Sign up to a Good and Well-Respected PMP® Preparation Course: – An often-asked question is whether it’s possible to study for the PMP® exam on your own. Doing so offers considerable flexibility in managing your time and, of course, can save a course fee. However, sometimes no amount of real-life experience in project management can assure that you will pass the exam. In fact, without dedicated study, you almost certainly will not pass. There is no denying that the exam’s questions require the mind-set of “the PMBOK® way” and this is what you should be looking for in a PMP® Preparation Course
Tip 5: Sign-up to a PMP® Preparation course 5 – 6 weeks before your exam date. Our next PMP® Preparation course is on Dec 5th in Dublin and if you quote this Article, we will give you 10% discount (https://www.turlon.com/events/capm-and-pmp-preparation-course/)
We hope that by following these tips and tricks, you will be able to obtain your PMP® certification. Passing this exam helps you clear a large hurdle and shows your competence and commitment to project management.