Before I give you my three steps foolproof PMP® Certification Study Plan, let’s first explore what the PMP exam includes? The PMP Exam Content outline mentions the syllabus of the PMP exam and focuses on skills to lead projects for all three key approaches-
To cover these approaches; you need the following skills and learnings –
To know more about the idea of these concepts, I strongly recommend first referring following blog – 7 Tips To Pass The PMP Exam; it will give a good value in creating your Study Plan.
Before creating your Study Plan, it would be best to have a clear study plan goal; I observe that most test takers give exams within six to eight weeks of enrollment in the course. And those who don’t give it within six to eight weeks, it becomes six months, keep procrastinating further. Also, based on my experience, I suggest weekly goals are easy to plan and follow instead of daily goals.
Now, let’s develop the study plan for the PMP Exam Preparation. A Study Plan suitable for one person; doesn’t guarantee that the other can also benefit from the same study plan. You cannot devise your Study Plan based on any other individual’s experience without customizing it per your requirements. Each person’s experience is unique and has different exposure to project management and Agile practices, so it requires a plan accordingly.
Then what is the solution? I am suggesting the following 3 phase approach, which can help in devising a study plan suited to your requirements –
Following are three steps/phases with appropriate phase exit Criteria:
The goal for this phase is to familiarize yourself with the PMP content.
Phase End Criteria: It is mandatory to identify your phase end criteria, i.e., how much you need to score. For iZenBridge PMP Course, we recommend that our students score –
You are free to use quizzes and practice tests from any book or study material available.
Note: – After the change of the PMP exam in January 2021, PMI released a PMP Exam Prep Guide to cover the PMP exam content outline. To get a brief of this PMP Exam Prep Guide, kindly refer to the “3. Get a PMP Exam Prep Book” section in the following blog – 10 Steps To Begin Your PMP Certification
Activities: this part of your study plan depends on what all materials and resources are available to you, i.e. what activities you can perform to meet your goal.
For the PMBOK, the most common confusion I see in PMP participants is – which PMBOK edition should I refer to for the PMP Exam? Please watch the following video to get information on this question –
Also, while exploring PMP Exam Prep Guide modules, you need to relate all these concepts with all three life cycle approaches (Predictive, Agile, and Hybrid). For example, if you are exploring Project Contracts, you need to explore – how contracting is different in all three approaches. iZenBridge PMP certification course helps you to relate these concepts well.
As an ATP (Authorized Training Partner), iZenBridge shares PMP Exam Prep Guide with each participant. PMP Live classes use the presentation based on this Guide. In general, we recommend to refer PMBOK, Agile, and Scrum fundamentals before Live class, but that’s not compulsory for everyone –
We have learning guidelines based on participants’ experience and when the person enrolls for the course before live classes.
The goal of this phase is to master the PMP Exam Domains (People, Process, and Business Environment)
Phase End Criteria: Score 80% + in each PMP exam domain test; if you score less, attempt again and discuss your confusion with your trainer or study group peers if you have any.
You are free to use practice tests from any book or study material available.
The Master phase mostly starts after completing Live classes, but it is not mandatory. We have many experiences where many participants cracked the PMP exam within a week of Live class completion as they could cover the content during the gap between Live classes. So, it all depends on your work, life obligations, and experience in leading project management activities and Agile & Scrum Practices.
After the KNOW phase, you have developed a good understanding of the PMP exam preparation content; you can connect the dots between the content of different Guides. So, it is time to Master three domains of the PMP exam; the following shows the proportion of questions from each domain that will appear on the examination –
Activities: some of the possible activities (completely dependent on the availability of resources to the learner) for this goal include –
Watching or reading Domain wise videos with more focus is a Good Idea. Let’s discuss the step-by-step plan here –
This phase aims to develop endurance and get comfortable with the 230 minutes 180 questions PMP exam.
Phase End Criteria: Score 70% + in expert full length simulation exams. Be cautious since this part is tricky and tends to confuse candidates and delay the certification too.
Activities: Pick some reliable and good question bank resources, practice 2 to 3 full length or 400 to 600 questions. It is crucial to practice as many as questions possible but what is more important here is what you learn from one test with full concentration. I have seen many people taking umpteen tests to ensure they have prepared well. Learning can be possible even with fewer tests too.
Take the full-length mock test in one sitting and work on each question after the test gets over, analyze their solution, and discuss your doubts with the trainer or peers of the study group if you have any. Fixing the gap before moving to the next test is vital. Then, repeat the process for the next test.
Some final tips while practicing questions –
Last but not least:
At any point, if something is not clear, come to the iZenBridge forum. With 5000+ active threads, this can also be treated as a learning source. Almost all possible questions have been discussed here. You can search for your doubts, and if needed, you can post your questions as well. Interaction and participation in our forum are available to all PMP® Certification aspirants, irrespective of whether you enrolled in our course or not.
Also, live interactive doubt clarification session support on Zoom is available to our clients. Apart from that, I usually do weekly clubhouse events because I understand the need for continuous interactive discussion till you get certified.
I would suggest going through the following blog to get high-level clarity on the steps to pass the PMP Exam – 10 Steps To Begin Your PMP Certification
I hope this blog helped you in getting a goal-based study plan. Still, if you have more questions in mind? Contact us; I will be happy to assist.
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