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Best Tips on Preparing for PMP Exam

I have to tell you that PMP test one of the toughest test I have taken since I finished my college. It is a 4-hour test, and I had to use every single minute of it without taking a bathroom break.

I strongly recommend putting your best efforts to pass it on the first try, and would like to offer tips based on my own experience and what I have gathered from various websites.

1. Study with books

There are two books that are highly recommended over any others.  They are Rita's PMP Exam Prep - Eighth Edition and PMI official PMBOK Guide.  Rita's exam prep book is known to be a must have study material based on thousands of reviews over many years.  It is what I used primarily in the last week leading up to the test day, and helped me so much to pass the exam on the first try.

PMI's official PMBOK Guide is the master source of all material covered in PMP certification.  It is kind of a reference book that should be used more in the early part of your preparation.

2. Take many practice tests

The more practice you take the more you will be ready for the real test.  I do not recommend taking practice tests as a way to study the material, but it's also good idea to take one at the beginning of your journey to see where you stand.

Most of the study guides comes with 1 or 2 practice tests, but that's probably not enough.  Check out this practice test book which probably contains more than enough questions you will need:

PMP Exam Prep Questions, Answers, & Explanations: 1000+ PMP Practice Questions with Detailed Solutions, 5th Edition

3. Take bootcamp class

I have never attended a bootcamp or any other type of in-person classes to pass the PMP exam on the first try.  Then again, I have spoken to many who has successfully done that.  It all depends on your preference, time availability and learning style.

If you are like me and do not like formal in-person class learning method then try online courses.

4. Take online course

For me, the Skillsoft online course was the success factor.  It allowed me to learn all the material at my own schedule and full 35 hours education requirement at the same time.  If you are not committed to attending bookcamp or any other form of in-person classes then this is the best option.

5. Carry a cheat sheet

No, I did not meant to carry a cheat sheet on the exam day.  There are quick reference guides containing all formulas and key facts on a page or two.  It helps so much to carry this so you can maximize your study time.

Trust me, you will have to now all the formulas covered in PMBOK and know how to use in based on real life situation given on the exam question.

You have to make sure the cheat sheet contains all material of PMBOK version 5.  You can buy this really nice one on Amazon if you cannot find one for free.

6. Final review the day before exam

Try to relax and take a plenty of rest the day before exam.  The 4-hour PMP exam can be brutal. However, that doesn't mean you should skip on final review of the material.  I spent about 2 hrs the day before the test, and it surely helped with answering a few questions correctly.

6. Never rush to an answer

I have taken many exams in my life, and there is something unique about PMP exam.  Some may call it tricky question, but the multiple choice questions on PMP ask for the "best answer" not "correct answer".  

In many questions you may struggle with what seems to be more than one correct answer, because there are more than on correct answers in these questions.  So you really have to review all choices before rushing to a conclusion.

In almost all cases, the right answer is the one that follows guidelines outlined in PMBOK, not necessarily what makes more sense.

Best Tips on Preparing for PMP Exam Reviewed by Brandon on Sunday, February 15, 2015 Rating: 5

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