6 reasons to avoid a PMP Prep Course

We don’t mean all PMP Prep courses, just those that have one or more of the following warning signs:   

1. The instructors have little or no experience in leading PMP prep courses.

You don’t take a PMP Prep course to learn project management. You take it to pass a very rigorous test.   Obviously, instructors who do not have the PMP should never be your choice for PMP training, and instructors who aren’t experienced project managers won’t be able to help you understand the philosophy of PMP questions.  (That said, project management experience alone can be a bad advisor to PMP questions - how many times do you hear: “Theoretically this is correct, but we don’t do it that way!”)  

Experienced PMP prep instructors should have project management experience, training expertise, and mastery of the PMBOK. These trainers can identify where experience and practice is in conflict, complies with or complements PMBOK material and can point out potential Q&As.  

Avoid courses given by instructors who are not PMP-certified project managers, or don’t have experience leading a PMP Prep courses.  Just because someone has managed a few projects, even a complex one, and has the PMP doesn’t make him or her a PMP Prep trainer.   Ask for references.

2. The methodology and material are ineffective (or just like stuff you can find online)

Courses that simply guide you step through the PMBOK, having you read one chapter after the next and take sample tests won’t help you to absorb all the information contained in PMI’s standard.    You can read the chapters one by one on your own; you don’t need a tutor for that.

Just as useless are prep courses that mostly give you ppt slides with long explanations of the PMBOK chapters.   Explaining PMBOK through examples,  cases, and sample questions is a much better way of understanding the material on which you are going to be tested. 

PMP prep courses should instead provide you mental models and tools to help you organize the material and your study, and help you focus on the areas you need to work more.  Choose a course that also offers you unlimited resources of sample test questions.  The key to passing the test is take as many sample tests as you can until you feel ready to pass.

3. The course is too long.

Many PMP Prep courses are offered over a long period of time, allowing candidates to study at a slower pace and absorb information better.  However, if you are a project manager, you’re likely a busy person who will want to tackle preparing for the test the way you do your job—with effective use of time and resources.  PMP prep courses that drag over time might give you another excuse to cut back on study time.  Things happen at work that might prevent you from studying.  In the end, you wind up postponing your exams and leaving more loose ends in your schedule. 

Pick a fast-track course during a specific period of the year when your work load will let you devote a month to preparing for the test – a week for the prep course and approximately another three afterwards for studying.

4. There are no pre-requisites for the course.

PMP Prep course that do not require previous project management experience or at least familiarity with PMBOK, usually attract a very diverse group of candidates, making everybody’s work difficult, including the instructor’s efforts to help you. Joining a course with no prerequisites might put you on a team of people with a lot less (or even no) experience than you have, which means your instructor will spend time answering irrelevant or basic questions. 

Choose a course with specific entry requirements so that you will get training designed for your level of knowledge and have the chance to form focused study groups with other candidates at your level.

5. The course isn’t PMI-accredited.

PMI-accredited courses guarantee the quality of the material, the training process and the instructor’s competencies.  Taking a course by a training organization or a trainer not accredited by PMI will not give you the necessary PDUs to meet PMP eligibility requirements.  However, PDUs should be your last concern in a case like this.  Training organizations and consultants-trainers who do not comply with PMI’s Registered Education Providers program cannot guarantee quality of their course and material.  Some may trick you by mentioning that their trainers are PMP- certified.  This does not guarantee that the course aligns with PMI’s training accreditation standards.

6. The course is unbelievably cheap.

We hate to admit it, but “you get what you pay for”.  It’s a good bet that very inexpensive courses are taught by inexperienced, poorly paid instructors, and provide hastily put together, low-quality training materials.  We are talking about a test prep course, so you need to pass; don’t take chances with a cheap one.

Earning PMP is a huge effort, an investment, and a career choice; don’t leave it to amateurs and random instructors.

Hellenic American Union
Center of Excellence in Project Management

Last Update At: 2014/10/09 - 17:12:04


Worth Visiting 

 Hellenic American Union

Business Management Consultants

Where to find us

Massalias 22, (7th floor)
10680 Athens
Business Programs: 2103680907, 2103680056
Email: project@hau.gr



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