How long does it take to prepare for the PMP® exam?

PMP® is a demanding exam.

Even the most experienced project managers, do not know every single tool, methodology, tactic, practice explained in the 756 pages of the PMBOK® Guide, which is the standard upon which the exams have been designed.

You have to understand and remember the PMBOK® Guide content and you also have to rely on your experience.  Some questions are theoretical, some are situational and some require calculations. And you have to answer 200 questions (scored for only 175) in 4 hours - no breaks.

So studying hard is the only option. But how hard and for how long?

Well, firstly, that depends on how exposed you are to project management tools and methodologies, so that you can easily go over the basics (i.e. WBS, scheduling formulas etc.) and dive into details in all 10 knowledge areas and process groups described in the book.

Most guides, courses and training providers recommend that studying may take from 60 to 120 hours. Calculating an average of 3-hour study sessions, this adds up to 1 full month if you study at least 5 times a week (60 hours), and up to 2 - 3 months. So how long it will take you to master PMBOK® Guide mostly depends on your level of project management experience and your other daily workload, but it shouldn't go beyond 3 months. You will get tired, your memory will fail you.

Here are some time savers and time consuming parameters that you need to know:

Apart from your own study time you should add 35 training hours by PMI in order for you to be eligible to take the test.  Select a prep course that will help you master the PMBOK® Guide material, organize your study, and give you plenty of working material to practice.

Practice - practice - practice.  The #1 tip to master this test is practice with as many sample questions as you can. Find a simulation platform or a question database and consider yourself ready if you score at least 85%.

Study material: this is very important for your preparation. Prep courses should equip you with training materials that will help you decode PMBOK® Guide and use it as a reference tool. PMBOK® by itself is not enough for your study; it will take you much more time to understand it compared to decoding it with a study guide or other support materials. There are many areas that need more explanation and examples to fully grasp the theory. A prep course together with a study guide will save you time and make your preparation less stressful.

Put the "PMI chip" on and program your inner guts to go by the book.   Many test questions are in a scenario format and sometimes all answers seem logical and feasible. Sometimes the wrong answer is usually what everybody does to get the job done in the most convenient way, but not according to the book!

You will need time to delve into the theory and the tools, understand the process that PMI dictates and follow the rules. Practice with questions will help.

Act like a soldier. You are about to conquer a demanding certification and a difficult test. Prepare. Follow a daily study schedule. Taking care of your body is also very important. In the course of these months of preparation, make sure you sleep properly, eat nutritious meals and exercise. You won't believe how much time you will save if you follow a systematic and healthier style of life.

Language: you need to be proficient in English to manage 200 questions in 4 hours in front of a computer with just a glass of water next to you. If your English is not that good, you need to double your efforts in practicing with questions.

Taking your PMP Certification exam soon? Test your skills with this free quiz

Last Update At: 2019/08/19 - 17:09:40

  

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