How to Prepare for the Project Management Professional Exam

Project Management Professional Exam test

The Project Management Professional (PMP) exam takes commitment and time to prepare for. This exam is offered by the Project Management Institute (PMI) and is an internationally recognized-professional designation. Before you can even take this exam, you will need to meet the education and training requirements and you’ll also need to apply to take the exam through the PMI website.

Since the exam is rigorous, it is a good idea to commit to a serious exam preparation program. If you want to pass the PMP exam you need to be prepared. A Master of Business Administration in Project Management degree is a highly effective way to prepare for the exam, but here are some other steps to take to get ready to earn your PMP certification.

5 Steps to Earning Your PMP

1. Review What Is On the Exam.

It is important to read through the PMP examination content outline document. This document tells you the number of questions in each of the process areas. It also explains the tasks, skills and knowledge needed to pass the exam. Start by going through this document to get an idea of how to create your study plan. You may feel confident in one area and less so in another. Knowing how the test is designed can help you determine where to focus your attention as you continue preparing for the exam.

2. Sign Up for a Study Course.

There are local organizations approved by PMI that offer project management training, workshops and other preparations for the PMP course. Use an accredited trainer so that you know you are receiving a quality education that will help you attain your certification. The courses given by approved trainers will include ready-made study materials and practice exams. They also help you review project management concepts and terminology. Additionally, the training courses should allow you to fulfill the 35 contact hours needed to be eligible for the PMP exam.

3. Start Studying.

In addition to taking a course, you should find the latest edition of the PMI study guide, prep book and any other self-study books published by other training organizations. Try to review more than just one book to ensure you don’t miss out on any vital information. As you study, focus on the knowledge areas and process groups that you feel you need the most work with. However, do not forget to also test yourself and brush up on the areas you feel confident in too. Paper or electronic flash cards can also be a very helpful means of retaining the information you’re studying. Remember, new information is added to the PMP exam so that project managers remain knowledgeable about the most up-to-date practices. That is why it is important to make sure you are studying up-to-date information and prep books.

4. Take the Practice Test.

How you score on a practice test given in a study course or in a study guide can be a good indicator of how ready you are to take the PMP exam. You will be able to get an idea of your general project management knowledge and afterward, you can analyze your test results to see what areas you need to focus on within the test. Additionally, if you have not taken a long test in a while, sitting for a mock test helps you understand what it will be like to sit for a four hour PMP certification exam.

5. Study With Others.

Working with a group to study can help you find somebody whose strengths might lie in the areas that you are struggling with or the other way around. Additionally, studying for the PMP exam with people who have real-world experience may help you better grasp the scenarios used in the PMP questions. Working with a group can motivate you to continue to study and stay on target before your PMP exam.

The tricky part is finding a study group. If you know of some people taking the exam, ask to meet with them and study together. This is when being in a Master of Business Administration in Project Management degree program can be beneficial as some of your peers are likely taking the exam. Otherwise, try searching for “PMP Study Groups” online or on social media platforms to find a group near you. Arrange to meet on a regular basis so that you can break up the monotony of studying for the PMP alone.

If you are hoping to take the PMP exam and become a certified project manager, you can prepare by earning your Master of Business Administration with an Emphasis in Project Management at Grand Canyon University. For more information on GCU’s Colangelo College of Business degrees click the “Request Info” at the top of this page.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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