PwC did a survey, and they found out that people with the PMP certification are the ones who do the best projects in the world. Also, when PMI did a survey, they concluded that people with the PMP certification do better than those who don’t have it. So, the PMP certification is very beneficial to advancing your project management career. If you’re considering taking the PMP exam, this blog will share five tips you can use right away to study, prepare, and pass the PMP exam on your first attempt.
Table of Contents
- Have the Right PMP Certification Mindset
- Know the PMP Exam Content Outline.
- Have a Plan For PMP Certification Exam
- PMP Certification Practice Questions
- Review the Answers
Have the Right PMP Certification Mindset
Is there a mindset for PMP? The answer is yes; there is. It would help if you were not afraid of the PMP exam. Because there’s a lot of talk out there that the PMP is hard, it can be challenging. It is indeed a complicated exam. In the PMP exam, you get 180 scenario- and application-based questions, so they’re not cramming questions. Yes, they are tense, and you have to really read through them and then pick the correct answer. However, when preparing for and sitting for the PMP exam, the right mindset is knowing that the PMP exam has been structured and tailored for you to pass it, especially if you have up to three years of project management experience. You can think about it this way: what the questions are asking are the things you do daily. So, there’s nothing really to be afraid of. Because the questions being asked are things that we know and do.
You’re good to go if you have up to three years of project management experience, which is the criteria for sitting for the PMP exam. Have the mindset that you will pass it because you need to know who wrote the PMP questions or the questions that will come. Only top professionals see what’s coming next, so don’t be afraid if you consider yourself one of the top professionals. Have the mindset that you will prepare and study for the PMP exam, and you’ll pass it because you’re a project management professional. This certification won’t make you a project management professional; instead, it’s a way to show that you’re credible and genuinely are a project manager and professional.
Know the PMP Exam Content Outline.
The PMP exam is not based on the PMBOK.
Let’s clarify that now because many think it’s based on the PMBOK. No, it’s not. It is based on the exam content outline, which you can find on the PMI website. Once you download the exam content outline, ECO, or Exam Content Outline, you’ll realize that the PMP certification is based on three domains: people, process, and business. You need extensive knowledge of those three domains to pass the exam. Also, the exam content outline breaks down these domains into topics and subtasks. So, once you understand the issues underneath it, you’re good to go for the exam.
The ECO is the PMP Bible for the exam. So, know and understand the various topics outlined in the domains. Because every question you see in the exam can be linked directly to one of those domains or one of those topics outlined underneath the domains, that is all you need to know to pass the exam. PMI has released about ten reference materials that you can read. But as busy professionals, you may only be able to study some of the ten materials.
So, here are three primary materials that you can study to get an understanding of the three domains and the topics underneath each of them:
- The Agile Practice Guide
- the PMBOK 7th edition
- the process group practice guide
These three will help you understand each domain and the topics underneath them. If you don’t find the process groups practice guide, you can also use the PMBOK 6th edition because it’s very similar to the process groups practice guide. The process groups practice guide shows you the 49 project management processes in the PMBOK 6 Edition. If you need help getting the process groups practice guide, then PMBOK 6th edition is a good alternative.
Have a Plan For PMP Certification Exam
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Have a plan that outlines exactly what you will study every day, every month, for the duration you’re set aside to prepare and look for the PMP exam. You must have a plan because different things will usually come up and take time. Things come before we know it. With a plan, you’ll see that a month has passed, two months, six months, and one year have passed, and you still need to study for the exam. So, creating a plan is essential, especially if you have a busy schedule. Also, remember to follow your plan after you’ve made it because there’s only a point in having a plan if you follow it. Another thing you can do with your plan to ensure you follow it is to have an accountability partner to ensure you’re going through the plan as you intended.
PMP Certification Practice Questions
Do practice questions—lots of them.
The reason is that practice questions help you check your understanding. It allows you to check that I am studying this area, and I understand it because I can pick the correct answers to questions in this area. Doing practice questions helps very much. Also, practice questions when you’re finished studying. Start using them to do mock exams and simulate what the PMP exam will be like. You know the PMP exam has 180 questions; you must complete them in 3 hours and 15 minutes. So, simulate that. Have 180 questions and answer them within 3 hours and 15 minutes.
Simulate that experience because it will help you build mental capacity and stamina so you won’t experience mental fatigue on exam day. Once you have mental fatigue, you start picking any answer, regardless of the assurance that it is correct. You would want to get over it, and that’s not the state of mind you need on exam day. It would help if you were sharp and ready to answer the questions and pass on your first attempt. So, practice questions; use them to check your understanding and build mental stamina for the exam day.
Review the Answers
When you do the practice questions, check which questions you fail to answer. Is there a particular area or domain in which you could have answered many questions? By reviewing the questions, the answers, and the rationale behind them, you can identify areas with knowledge gaps. Once you identify those areas, you can go back and review them, gain more knowledge, close those gaps, and then attempt more practice questions to check and validate that those gaps have been completed. So, ensure that, after doing your practice questions, you review them and the rationale behind them. Applying these five tips means you’re on your way to becoming PMP-certified. So, use them and pass your exam on your first attempt.